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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Commissioner of Official LanguagesRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour, pursuant to section 66 of the Official Languages Act, to lay upon the table Volume II of the annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages covering the period from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 23 petitions.

Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials ActRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-53, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mega-trials).

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Standing Committee on International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on International Trade.

In accordance with the order of reference of Monday, September 27, your committee has considered Bill C-8, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and agreed on Monday, November 1, to report it without amendment.

Standing Committee on International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to seek unanimous consent for the following motion, seconded by my colleague from Timmins—James Bay: That Bill C-565, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (arrest without warrant by owner), better known as the lucky moose bill, be deemed read a second time, deemed referred to a committee of the whole, deemed reported back from the committee of the whole without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.

Standing Committee on International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Trinity—Spadina have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Standing Committee on International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

North Korean RefugeesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 2nd, 2010 / 10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from several dozen residents of Toronto, Mississauga and Oakville in southern Ontario.

The petitioners are concerned about the plight of North Korean refugees. Many people have escaped the despotic regime in North Korea. Despite the widespread human rights violations, they managed to make their way to the People's Republic of China but, unfortunately, the Chinese government returned some to North Korea to certain torture and often death.

These many residents of southern Ontario call upon the House of Commons and the Government of Canada to support a number of motions that deal with the plight of North Korean refugees, including my Motion No. 383 that requests the Canadian government to intervene very strongly with the Chinese government to ensure that North Korean refugees are treated as refugees.

Corporate AccountabilityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition from about 50 residents of the Kitchener--Waterloo area who wish to draw the attention of the Government of Canada to alleged abuses of human rights and environmental degradation and who would have wanted the Government of Canada to consent to the expeditious passage of Bill C-300 and also create effective laws regarding corporate responsibility.

Aerospace IndustryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present to the House a petition signed by 260 people on behalf of the workers of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the unionized workers of Air Canada. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to ensure full compliance with the 1988 Air Canada Public Participation Act, which requires that Air Canada maintain operational centres in Mississauga, Winnipeg and Montreal. More than 23,000 direct and indirect jobs are at stake.

Harmonized Sales TaxPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, winter is coming and our heating bills are starting to go up in northern Ontario. In fact, just this week we have had a number of people in our office who are concerned. Not surprisingly, they have brought forward petitions about the regressive HST and how it is affecting people, particularly people on fixed incomes and people in rural areas who need to heat with older heating units. The government, of course, has cancelled the energy retrofit program that would have helped many of these families.

The petitioners are calling upon the government to stop punishing northern and rural residents with this regressive tax, the HST.

Passport FeesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my petition is a call on the Canadian government to negotiate with the United States government to reduce the United States and Canadian passport fees. The number of American tourists visiting Canada is at its lowest level since 1972. It has fallen by five million visits in the last seven years, from 16 million in 2002 to only 11 million in 2009.

Passport fees for an American family of four could be over $500 U.S. While 50% of Canadians have passports, only 25% of Americans do.

At the recent Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, attended by myself and over 500 elected representatives from 11 border states and 3 provinces, the following resolution was passed unanimously:

RESOLVED, that [the] Conference calls on President Barack Obama and [the Canadian] Prime Minister...to immediately examine a reduced fee for passports to facilitate cross-border tourism; and be it further

RESOLVED, that [the Conference] encourage the governments to examine the idea of a limited time two-for-one passport renewal or new application;

To be a fair process, passport fees must be reduced on both sides of the border. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the government to work with the American government to examine a mutual reduction in passport fees to facilitate tourism and, finally, to promote a limited time two-for-one passport renewal or new application fee on a mutual basis with the United States

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, this is a petition among several petitions I have presented for the last month and will continue to do so over the course of the winter which asks for continued measures to improve employment insurance. Throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, and certainly throughout my riding, these petitions have been coming in fast and furious, to say the least.

This petition comes from areas such as Seldom and Joe Batt's Arm on Fogo Island, and Bonavista, primarily around fish plants, including OCI in Bonavista, as well as the Fogo Island Co-op.

The petitioners are calling for particular measures. A very important one is the fact that we have a pilot project that is still in place which allows the best 14 weeks as a way of formulating benefits. I would implore the government to reconsider this option. It has extended it by only eight months, which tells me that there is not a lot of sincerity about keeping these programs. The best 14 weeks is great for employees but it is also very good for employers who are able to hire people, otherwise they would turn down work in a case where they would only receive less benefits.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 365, 368, 371 and 372.

Question No. 365Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With regard to immigration applications or sponsorship files, from 2006 to present: (a) how many immigration applications or sponsorship files are lost each year, listing for each file the class (economic, family, protected persons, and others), visa office involved, rationale for the missing file and wait times resulting from the loss of the file; and (b) what actions are being taken to reduce the number of lost files?

Question No. 365Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not keep statistics on lost files. However, the following procedures, implemented at various offices and missions, mitigate the chances of a file being misdirected: Files are kept in a secure registry. Access to the mail room and file storage registry is restricted to staff who require access. Each file or application is assigned a specific file number. A tracking database is used to record the movement of files. Staff are trained on proper use of the tracking database. Files are stored in the registry until requested for processing. Inventory exercises are conducted by registry staff for misfiled documents or files. Specific procedures are established for the transfer of files from one office to another.

Question No. 368Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With respect to Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin's position as Honorary Colonel of the Air Force: (a) since August 1, 2009, what is the total cost associated with the position including a breakdown of any spending for travel based on air travel, accommodations, per diems, meals, hospitality, gifts and all other expenses; and (b) what department or agency paid for these expenses?

Question No. 368Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, since August 1, 2009, the Department of National Defence air staff has expended a total of $2,004.89 in public funds on travel, accommodation, per diems, meals and associated costs specifically to cover three engagements by Honorary Colonel Wallin in the performance of her appointment. The following is a list of those three engagements along with a breakdown of the costs involved:

On November 16, 2009, Honorary Colonel Wallin attended her investiture as Honorary Colonel of the Air Force. The public funds expended for the reception following the ceremony totalled $1,414. 50. This amount provided refreshments, no alcohol, for 110 people in attendance. Honorary Colonel Wallin received no reimbursement for this event nor were gifts, other than a framed investiture certificate, presented during the ceremony.

On January 14 and 15, 2010, Honorary Colonel Wallin accompanied the chief of the air staff in a military aircraft during his official visit to 1 Wing Kingston and 22 Wing North Bay. The total claim for that visit reimbursed to Honorary Colonel Wallin was $34.60 to cover incidental expenses for two days.

From June 23 to 25, 2010, Honorary Colonel Wallin attended the annual Air Force Honorary Colonel’s conference held at 8 Wing Trenton. The total claim for her attendance included:

All expenses were paid by the Department of National Defence air staff.

Question No. 371Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to the Canadian Secured Credit Facility: (a) how much of the $12 billion was allocated by Business Development Canada (BDC); (b) how much of the $12 billion was actually utilized by BDC; (c) how many people did BDC hire to work for the program; and (d) how much money has BDC spent setting up and administering the program?

Question No. 371Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Canadian Secured Credit Facility, CSCF, in response to (a), Business Development Bank of Canada, BDC, was granted the authority to purchase up to $12 billion in securities, and was provided with a $945 million capital injection from the shareholder to do so. The remainder of the funds were to have been borrowed by BDC. The bank allocated funds on a first come, first served basis in the amount of $3.7 billion, with the private sector meeting the rest of the demand.

In response to (b), BDC purchased $3.7 billion in securities which facilitated a total of $4.3 billion in funding to the companies that participated in the program. The $0.6 billion balance came from private investors that participated in CSCF transactions.

In response to (c), BDC hired five full-time employees.

In response to (d), the operating and administration costs for the securitization group stood at $1 million and $3.678 million in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, respectively. This includes legal and consulting set-up costs which stood at $305,372.09 and $1,128,682.32, respectively.

Question No. 372Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

With regard to the statement made by the Minister of the Environment during Question Period on March 23, 2010, that the government spends $15 million annually on the St. Lawrence River: (a) how much did the government spend on activities related to the protection, restoration, and management of the St. Lawrence River, excluding spending on wastewater infrastructure, in fiscal years 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010; (b) through which departments and programs were these funds spent; (c) how much does the government plan to spend on these same activities in fiscal year 2010-2011 and which departments and programs will fund these activities; and (d) what has the government negotiated with the province of Quebec as concerns the renewal of the St. Lawrence Action Plan?

Question No. 372Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), as part of the 2005-2010 St. Lawrence plan, which results from a Canada-Quebec agreement that consolidates the government's long-term commitment to conserve, protect and enhance the St. Lawrence ecosystem, all the investments granted were focused on the protection, restoration and management of the St. Lawrence River. No government expenditure was invested in infrastructure for wastewater treatment.

Federal government expenditures under the 2005–2010 St. Lawrence plan were in the neighbourhood of $72 million and were intended to promote ecological integrity, environmentally responsible economic activities, community commitment and informed, concerted and integrated governance of the St. Lawrence.

On an annual basis, federal government investments in the St. Lawrence plan were in the order of: for 2005-06, $17 million; for 2006-07, $16 million; for 2007-08, $12 million; and for 2008-09, $15 million. For 2009-10 the amount is estimated to be $12 million. The final amount will appear in the 2005–2010 five year report that is being prepared.

The information for the first four years of the SLP is presented in the 2005–2007 and 2007–2009 biennial reports: http://www.planstlaurent.qc.ca/centre_ref/publications/rap_bien_05_07/Rap_biennal_e.pdf http://www.planstlaurent.qc.ca/centre_ref/publications/rap_bien_07_09/Rap_biennal_e.pdf

In response to (b), federal government funds invested in the St. Lawrence plan come from regular programs of the Canada-Quebec agreement partner departments and agencies: Canadian Space Agency; Parks Canada; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Environment Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Transport Canada; and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

In response to (c), since we are currently in a transition phase, we are unable to quantify our investments. Nevertheless, the St. Lawrence ecosystem protection and conservation activities are continuing through regular departmental and agency programs, demonstrating an unequivocal commitment to protecting this ecosystem.

In response to (d), negotiation of the new Canada-Quebec agreement for renewal of the St. Lawrence plan are under way with the Government of Quebec and are going well. The two governments are discussing a long-term Canada-Quebec agreement in order to co operate and coordinate their efforts to conserve and enhance the St. Lawrence in a sustainable manner. They are also addressing the issue of solidifying their efforts through implementation of a short-term action plan and by discussing common goals related to the three priority issues identified for the St. Lawrence: biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and water quality improvement.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, a supplementary response to Question No. 258, originally tabled on September 20, will be tabled today.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.