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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was negotiations.

Topics

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2010 / 10:05 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 responses to nine petitions.

International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

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

In accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, October 26, 2010, the committee has considered Bill C-46, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Panama, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Republic of Panama and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Panama, and agreed on Monday, December 13, 2010, to report it without amendment.

Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to its study of federal corrections, mental health and addictions.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the clerk of the committee, Mr. Roger Préfontaine, for his work, and also the analysts, Lyne Casavant and Tanya Dupuis, who I understand were up working until 11 p.m. last night.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-606, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (prohibition against the transportation of oil by oil tankers on Canada’s Pacific North Coast).

Mr. Speaker, this bill is being seconded by the member for Yukon.

I am very pleased to introduce my private member's bill, which is an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. It is a prohibition against the transportation of oil by oil tankers on Canada’s Pacific north coast.

I want to thank the member for Yukon for his strong support and for seconding this bill. The member is a tireless advocate for the people of the north and for the sustainable economic development and protection of the environment.

This bill is a response to the vast majority of British Columbians who want continued protection of the inland borders around Haida Gwaii. That would be the areas of the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Islands. They want this area protected from the transport of crude oil for export in oil tankers and supertankers.

This very strong desire for protection is democracy at work. This includes municipalities, first nations and residents in British Columbia, including the residents of Vancouver Quadra.

Over the years, we have experienced the Exxon Valdez accident and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It is a reminder that there cannot be a guarantee against an oil spill caused by human error or equipment failure. This law would protect the north coast.

I want to thank my Liberal colleagues, colleagues from other parties in the House and all of the advocates for a protected coast for their support.

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

Independent and Effective Office of the Veterans' Ombudsman ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-607, An Act to establish the office of the Veterans' Ombudsman.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this morning to introduce the independent and effective office of the Veterans Ombudsman bill, which if passed would give the Veterans Ombudsman independence from departmental and ministerial control and would shift the reporting requirements to Parliament itself.

Members of Parliament are fond of arranging Christmas gifts for our soldiers, particularly those on active duty in Afghanistan at this time of year. An effective and independent ombudsman to help them when they leave the forces, especially if they are injured, would be the best possible gift to give them.

This bill would provide veterans with an independent voice that could effectively advocate on their behalf. The bill would make significant changes to the scope of the ombudsman's ability to investigate problems, offer mediation services and comment on systemic issues using the same resources now committed to the current office. These powers and new reporting relationship would significantly strengthen the ombudsman's effectiveness at no additional cost to the taxpayer. As such, the bill would not require a royal recommendation. This is a serious bill for a serious problem.

This is the sort of holiday gift that Canadian soldiers and Canadian veterans want and deserve. I take this time to wish them all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

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

Penalties for Organized Drug Crime ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice

moved for leave to introduce Bill S-10, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

(Motion agreed to and bill read the first time)

Mining IndustryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to bring forward the voices of the people of Thompson and Manitoba in general. Today I would like to present petitions on their behalf calling for the federal government to stand up for Canadians and Canadian jobs.

On November 17 Vale announced devastating news that it is planning to shut down the smelter and the refinery in Thompson. This announcement means the loss of over 600 jobs and a devastating impact on the community, the northern region and the province.

The people of Thompson are saying that the federal government must stand up for them. Not only did the Conservative government allow the foreign takeover by Vale, it also gave the company a loan of $1 billion just over a month ago, just weeks before such devastating news.

People in Thompson and Manitoba in general are asking that the federal government stand up for Canadians rather than foreign companies. They are asking that the government work with the stakeholders to save the 600 jobs at the Thompson Vale smelter refinery.

Conscientious ObjectorsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Madam Speaker, I have a petition to present today signed by 738 secondary school students in my riding.

The petitioners are asking that the government respect a motion passed on June 3, 2008 by creating a program to allow conscientious objectors to the Iraq war and their family members to apply for permanent resident status in Canada and halt all deportation proceedings against them.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present three petitions.

The first is signed by hundreds of constituents who call upon the government to enact the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in support of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This includes an increase in the support of stable and adequate funding.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition is signed by hundreds of constituents in my riding.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to affirm that pension benefits are deferred wages, to elevate defined pension benefit plans to secured status in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Protection Act, and to pass into law any legislation before it that would achieve these objectives.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Madam Speaker, the last petition is signed by hundreds of constituents in my riding.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to respect the will of the House of Commons and immediately restore the integrity of Canada's employment insurance system.

Mining IndustryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I am presenting petitions signed by residents in the Timmins and Sudbury region who have lived with the effects of the government's complete abdication of due diligence when allowing Vale to basically rob the people of Sudbury, Thompson and Voisey's Bay by taking Inco, as well as Xstrata taking Falconbridge, one of the world's great mining companies, and shutting down refineries. We see the shutdown in Timmins. We see the shutdown in Thompson.

The petitioners are calling on the government to show some due diligence. Certainly the industry minister has been the Mr. Magoo of industry and could not see any problem as our mining industry fell off the side of the cliff. Obviously the Conservatives will not stand up for mining communities. We see that in Thompson. We have seen that in Sudbury. We have seen that in Timmins.

We need some basic rules to keep the government in check to represent and defend the interests of mining communities.

AfghanistanPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by dozens of Canadians calling on the government to end Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.

In May 2008, Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw the Canadian Forces by July 2011. The Prime Minister, in agreement with the Liberal Party, broke his oft-repeated promise to honour the parliamentary motion. Furthermore he refuses to put it to a parliamentary vote in the House.

Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training mission still presents a danger to our troops and an unnecessary expense when our country is face with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion so far, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors' pensions right here in Canada.

Polls show that a clear majority of Canadians do not want Canada's military presence to continue after the scheduled removal date of July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call on the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, Questions Nos. 534 and 541 will be answered today.

Question No. 534Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to paragraph 3(1)(c) of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act: (a) what is the procedure for imposing penalties on contractors and where are those procedures outlined; (b) how many contractors were penalized under this provision between January 1, 2005 to October 26, 2010; (c) did any contractors fail to pay the penalty and, if so, (i) how many, (ii) did Human Resources and Skills Development Canada pursue further action to collect the penalty; (d) were any contractors who were not penalized investigated and found to be in violation of the Act; and (e) when and where were the procedures for imposing penalties published?

Question No. 534Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, with regard to paragraph 3(1)(c) of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, FWHLA, in response to (a), Human Resources and Skills Development, HRSD, labour program’s current policy does not include procedures for imposing penalties to address the administration of paragraph 3(1)(c) of the Fare Wages and Hours of Labour Act. Note that paragraph 3(1)(c) states that the minister under whom the work contemplated by the contract is being executed, in most cases the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, may deduct the amount of the penalty from moneys payable to the contractor.

In response to (b), the labour program is not aware of any contractors being penalized under this provision.

In response to (c), the HRSDC labour program is not aware of the failure of any contractor to pay the penalty.

The response to (c)(i) is nil, and (c)(ii) is not applicable.

In response to (d), for 2010-11 to date, no violations of the FWHLA have been found. In 2009-10 nine investigations noted infractions and resulted in payments being made to workers in eight cases to date.

In response to (e), this is not applicable.

Question No. 541Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

With regard to the government's activities in Botwood Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador: (a) is a human health risk assessment being conducted and, if so, what are its results to date; and (b) what are the results to date of the sediment sampling program?

Question No. 541Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), at this time, there are no indications that there are any adverse effects on human health. However, as a further precaution, Transport Canada initiated a screening level human health risk assessment in 2010 that identified potential risks from contact with the marine sediments or fish. In the absence of shoreline specific data, these risk rankings were developed based on marine sediment data. To further refine the analysis and to provide greater certainty, a site-specific fish-sampling program and near-shoreline sediment sampling are under way in Botwood. Should any adverse impacts be identified, Transport Canada will ensure that action is taken to mitigate the risk.

In response to (b), since 1996, several environmental studies have been conducted to assess the sediments in Botwood harbour and elevated metal concentrations were found in the samples. The most recent sampling event in 2010 also indicated that elevated metals were present in the sediments. Recommendations from environmental reports state that the sediments should remain and allow natural sedimentation to bury the sediments containing metals. Monitoring of the natural burial process is being conducted biannually.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, if Question No. 537 could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 537Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

With regard to Section 74 of the Indian Act, is there a policy document, directive, guideline or other documentation that the Department uses to apply the Minister’s authority?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Madam Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?