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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will let my colleague, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, answer the question about reuniting families. However, I would like to assure the hon. member that, as I already mentioned, I had the opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Bellerive and President Préval this morning. We have been assured that the votes will be recounted.

On a similar note, we are recommending that Canadians not travel to Haiti, and our embassy in Port-au-Prince is asking Canadian citizens who are in Haiti not to—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. minister.

That concludes today's question period.

The hon. member for Hull—Aylmer is rising on a point of order regarding question period.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat surprised and disappointed. We had an arrangement with the government whip as far as a pairing agreement is concerned. Our critic for the environment was down in Cancun over last weekend and met with dozens of important officials and participated in some meetings that he was allowed in. Other meetings, as we all know, were strictly for government officials, so he could not attend.

Obviously those members here do not want to listen to the explanation, but I will continue.

I am told that he was back in Canada as of last night and attended a large community council meeting on the environment.

Let us face it. He was down there, he did the work he had to do and he came back and did the work he had to do in Canada.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure the House appreciates the clarification, but I do not believe it is a point of order.

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre is rising on a point of order arising out of question period.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period the Minister of International Cooperation led us to believe that the answer to KAIROS was that the department and she had rejected the application. In fact, at committee yesterday the president of CIDA said very clearly that it supported the application from KAIROS and, in fact, it was the minister who had rejected it.

We have on the record in Hansard both the parliamentary secretary and the Minister of International Cooperation stating that it was the department. I believe, if we look into it, that this was a case of the minister misleading the House.

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring this to your attention to look into. I can provide the relevant Hansard and committee blues from yesterday for you to take a look at, or offer that the minister straighten it out today, right now.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am afraid that it is not for the Chair to decide whether statements made in the House are accurate. I have stressed this on a number of occasions. This is the second time today. I do not think that is a point of order.

Points of order deal with procedural matters. Whether a statement is accurate is not a matter of procedure.

I urge hon. members to restrain themselves on points of order.

Is there another point of order from the hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte? I hope it is a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is the practice and convention of the House to seek unanimous consent for the production or tabling of papers referred to during question period.

During the course of debate on pensions over the last number of weeks, I have attempted to table in the House, for the benefit of all members, various papers that have been brought into my possession. I have referred to these papers during question period and they have formulated much of the basis of many of my questions to the government. They actually indicate that there has been no change whatsoever in federal public pension policy except to deny seniors pension benefits should they cash out their RRIFs for emergency circumstances.

The parliamentary secretary, during the course of today's question period, referred to a point of which members should take note. He said that the previous policies, or the current policies, on the administration of public pensions and the eligibility rules surrounding the guaranteed income supplement, were indeed cancelled.

It is common knowledge of all members who understand the administrative practices of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that in order for those policies to be cancelled, specific documents would have to be assigned or distributed to Service Canada employees. Those documents are called functional guidance and policy procedures. Those written documents are formal documents that describe the government's policies.

In order for the parliamentary secretary's statements to be accurate, there would have to be a written record of that decision through the functional guidance and policy procedures documents.

Would he now table those documents in the House so that all Canadians could actually see whether or not there is a shred of truth to what the parliamentary secretary has said?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I do not think it is a point of order. It is a question that the hon. member is asking, one that he could ask in question period next week if there is no answer forthcoming. So we will move on. I am afraid I do not think this is a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have a second point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thought that is what the member just got up on.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, during the course of my questions, I referred to documents that were drafted and distributed by the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. They are indeed documents called functional guidance and policy procedures. There is also a service delivery directorate that I referred to during the course of my questions.

I will ask for the unanimous consent of this House to table those documents, noting that what the parliamentary secretary said in his answer is not actually revealed in these documents whatsoever. There is a problem of fact in the parliamentary secretary's answer.

I now ask this House for unanimous consent to table those documents I referred to during—

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte have the unanimous consent of the House to table these documents?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

House of CommonsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour to lay upon the table the Report of the House of Commons to Canadians for the year 2010.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.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 responses to nine petitions.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in relation to Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-470, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (revocation of registration).

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, November 16, your committee has considered Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to the National Defence Act, and agreed on Thursday, December 9 to report it with amendment.

Scrutiny of RegulationsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Kania Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations, in relation to the Indian Estates Regulations.

Canada Labour CodeRoutine Proceedings

December 10th, 2010 / 12:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-603, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (minimum age of employment).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill today, which builds on the incredible work of young members in the trade union movement who have launched a national campaign to raise awareness about Canada's inadequate minimum age laws, and to advocate for Canada to ratify International Labour Organisation Convention 138.

My bill would bring federal labour legislation into compliance with ILO C138 by ensuring that the age of employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling, which in Canada is age 16.

This threshold is set to protect the health and well-being of young people and to ensure that they have the proper means to develop as individuals and citizens through sufficient education. The only exception states that light work of persons between 13 to 15 years of age may be permitted, if it is not likely to be harmful to their health or development and not such as to prejudice their attendance at school or their participation in vocational orientation or training programs.

Today all of the existing minimum age laws under Canada's federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions contravene C138. In some cases, as with the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, official minimum age laws have weakened in recent years, dropping to as low as 12 years of age. At the same time, young worker injury rates are on the climb, and still too few young workers are aware of their rights at work.

I hope that passage of my bill will be the first step toward ensuring that the federal government will officially sign on to ILO C138 and that Canada will become a leader in the fight to defeat child labour around the world instead of remaining passively complicit to, if not active proponents of, child labour here at home.

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

Firearms OffencesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am saddened to present a petition collected in my riding of Etobicoke Centre in memory of Boris Cikovic, a teenager who was gunned down by thugs trying to rob him.

This time of year is very hard for Boris' parents and his many friends in the neighbourhood where he lived and where his promising young life was snuffed out by a bullet that terrible day, October 3, 2008.

This second petition, signed by over 500 constituents, comes on the heels of a 700-person petition last week.

The petitioners urge the government to get tough on crime by passing my private member's bill, Bill C-537. This bill would ensure that offences involving firearms are automatically tried by a superior court. It would also toughen bail conditions by forcing those accused of crimes involving firearms to have to demonstrate in court why they should not be detained in custody before trial.

The individual charged with the murder of Boris allegedly refuses to co-operate by naming his two accomplices and is out on bail.

Boris' parents, Vesna and Davorin, struggle daily knowing they may actually be passing their son's murderer in their own neighbourhood.

Prevention of Coerced AbortionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in hand. These petitioners indicate their support for Roxanne's law, Bill C-510, which would empower women to press charges if they are coerced into an unwanted abortion.

The petitioners also reference Roxanne Fernando, a Winnipeg woman whose boyfriend attempted to coerce her to abort their unborn child and subsequently murdered her for not doing so.

The petitioners would also like Parliament to support Bill C-510, which would help protect vulnerable women from being aggressively coerced against their will to have abortions.

Passport FeesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition on behalf of a number of Canadians who are concerned about the significant reduction in tourism. In fact, the number of Americans visiting Canada is now the lowest since 1972, having fallen by five million visitors in the last seven years. This is blamed on increased costs as a result of the requirement of passports for Americans and Canadians, mostly the American law requiring American citizens to have passports to re-enter the U.S.

The petitioners ask for a fairer process and want the Canadian government to negotiate with the Americans to try to examine a mutual reduction in passport fees to facilitate tourism. It now can cost an American family of four in excess of $500 to obtain passports. This is a significant barrier to the traditional kind of cross-border family vacations that existed for many years.

This is a serious problem. It is something that we think the Canadian government should be working on because it is reducing tourism, and as the numbers show, it is significantly reducing the number of Americans who come to Canada and spend money in our tourism facilities and enjoy the benefits of Canadian vacations. This is something that the petitioners urge upon the Government of Canada, and we support this petition.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a petition that was put together by the Council for Human Rights in North Korea. I have worked with this group from Toronto for a number of years now.

The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to use all means available to put pressure on North Korea to end and dismantle the Kwan-li-so political prison camps, or the gulags, where all kinds of atrocities are taking place.

This petition is some 70 pages long, with hundreds of concerned Canadians asking the government to take action.

Prevention of Coerced AbortionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to present two petitions from the people of Saskatchewan to all members of Parliament.

The first petition calls upon all members of Parliament to support Bill C-510, Roxanne's law, to help empower women to press charges if they are coerced into an unwanted abortion.