This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 2nd, 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 response to 11 petitions.

Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in relation to “Building the Pipeline: Increasing the Participation of Women in Non-Traditional Occupations”.

Standing Committee on FinanceRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations between parties and there has been general agreement for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding Standing Order 83.1, the Standing Committee on Finance be authorized to present its report on the prebudget consultations no later than December 10, 2010.

To clarify, the committee was due to table the report tomorrow but it is asking for a one week extension. I have been told the parties support it.

Standing Committee on FinanceRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. Chief Government Whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion.

Standing Committee on FinanceRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Committee on FinanceRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Standing Committee on FinanceRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Committee on FinanceRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Firearm OffencesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

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

Collected by Boris' parents and friends in the neighbourhood where he lived and where his promising young life was snuffed out by a bullet on October 3, 2008, the petition was signed by over 600 constituents.

The petitioners urge the government to pass my private members Bill C-537 and make offences involving firearms be automatically tried by a superior court. The bill would also toughen bail conditions by requiring those accused of crimes involving firearms to have to demonstrate in court why they should not be detained in custody before trial.

The man charged with Boris' murder is out on bail. At the same time, Mr. and Mrs. Cikovic are forced to struggle with the knowledge that they may be passing their son's murderer on the very streets of their own neighbourhood where Boris was killed.

Citizenship and ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to present another petition that was signed by over 800 constituents in my riding in support of Iryna Ivaniv and her four children who are forced to live separated from their husband and father, Volodymyr Kokhanovskyy.

The petitioners believe that Mr. Kokhanovskyy was unfairly denied permanent residence status and therefore the ability to properly provide support for his wife and children.

Furthermore, the petitioners are appalled by the prejudiced views expressed by the case officer in the notes in this file, which were received through access to information.

The petitioners urge the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, the Immigration and Refugee Board Immigration Appeal Division and minister's counsel, hearings and appeals, to grant authorization to permit Mr. Kokhanovskyy to return to Canada and obtain permanent residence status.

HealthPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to present a petition signed by approximately 900 residents of my riding of Calgary Northeast and the surrounding area.

The petition recognizes that Gage Latreille of Calgary Northeast passed away as a result of a late diagnosis of biliary atresia. In fact, his father, Dan Latreille, is here today to witness this presentation. I thank him for waiting patiently since yesterday.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to strongly support the testing for biliary atresia if symptoms of jaundice last more than 14 days and also to urge Canadian provinces and territories to implement mandatory testing if the jaundice lasts more than 14 days.

What happened to baby Gage can and should be prevented.

Vale IncoPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present a petition from the residents of Thompson in northern Manitoba who are calling upon the federal government to stand up for Canadians and Canadian jobs.

On November 17, Vale announced the shocking news that it was planning to shut down the smelter and the refinery in Thompson. This announcement means the loss of over 600 jobs and will have 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 government allow the foreign takeover by Vale, it also gave it a loan of $1 billion just over a month ago, just weeks before such devastating news.

The people of Thompson and Manitoba are asking that the federal government look to the Canadian people and work with them and the stakeholders in Thompson to save the 600 jobs and the Thompson Vale smelter and refinery.

Remembrance DayPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition where the residents of Canada call upon the House of Commons assembled in Parliament to recognize Remembrance Day, November 11, as a general holiday throughout Canada, with all the same legal provisions as general holidays such as New Year's Day, Canada Day, Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, Labour Day and Christmas Day.

The petitioners are saying that Canada owes its freedom to the efforts of our brave servicemen and women and that Canadians have a great sense of pride in the accomplishments of our servicemen and women and they deserve to be honoured for their sacrifices.

I want to thank Mr. Vince Lacroce, the spiritual leader at Laurier Macdonald High School in my riding, for having organized this.

Environmental Bill of RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to stand and present to the House petitions signed by more than 12 communities in Alberta: Edmonton, Lloydminster, Calgary, Birchcliff, Sherwood Park, Lethbridge, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort McMurray, Camrose, Spruce Grove, Grand Prairie, Red Deer and Valleyview, all calling on the government to pass Bill C-469, An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights.

They state in their petition that as Canadians value a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, they call on the government to afford the rights and opportunities to Canadians to participate in decision-making, and the opportunity to hold the government accountable to protect those rights.

Foreign TakeoversPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring forward concerns from residents in Timmins, Iroquois Falls and region, especially now that we see that Vale has decided to attack the value processing of base metals in Manitoba with its attack on the Thompson smelter, which echoes the attack by Xstrata against Ontario's copper refining capacity that we just witnessed over the last year.

The petitioners are growing increasingly concerned about the government's absolute lack of oversight in allowing foreign corporations to come over, buy up some of Canada's greatest base metal mining assets, strip them, high-grade the resources and leave the communities high and dry.

The petitioners are asking for changes under section 36 of the Canada Investment Act so we can hold these corporate raiders to account and we can set clear transparent standards so we will know that if a company is able to come in and buy up a great resource like Inco or Falconbridge, it will need to be accountable to the Canadian people and prove a net benefit to the people of northern Ontario, northern Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and all across our country.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to speak to the whole issue around employment insurance. In our country we do need a healthy employment insurance system. A lot of people have no choice but to take advantage of the system, again, a system that they paid into for years, but in some cases, of course, when they are no longer employed for whatever reason, in most cases not of their own making, they really do need to make use of the EI system.

The petitioners are from my riding, but we have also seen petitions that my colleagues have presented from other ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador, and it is the same throughout the country. They are asking that the government maintain the benefit duration for at least 50 weeks in all regions, eliminate the two week waiting period, ensure workers can continue to use their best 14 weeks of employment on which to base their claim, and to continue to allow workers to earn 40% of their rate while on a claim.

This is important for Canadians everywhere. It is a system they have been paying into. It is not money coming from the government. The system is self-sufficient. They are asking that the government gives some serious consideration to not just extending a program for a period of time, but to make the program permanent. That would ensure that people are not left in the lurch when these measures run out or when they no longer have a job that they can return to.

This is important to not just to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, but all Canadians who find themselves out of work through no fault of their own and need to avail themselves of the EI system to live a life that is comfortable for them based on their hours of work, the employment they have had over the years and the fact that they have paid into the system.

AfghanistanPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, dozens of Canadians have signed this petition calling on the government to end Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.

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

Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training program still presents a danger to our troops and an unnecessary expense when a country is faced 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. In fact, polls show that a clear majority 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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 459, 473, 474 and 477.

Question No. 459Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

With respect to M-426, adopted in the second session of the 39th Parliament, calling on the government to respond to the challenges faced by Canadians with rare diseases and disorders, has the government: (a) established a definition for serious rare diseases; (b) examined options, including the possible creation of a specific fund, to improve access to rare disease treatments, building on recent work undertaken by federal, provincial and territorial governments under the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy; (c) considered the establishment of a multi-stakeholder advisory body, including treaters and patients, to recommend treatment access for life-threatening or serious rare disorders, based on scientific standards and social values; (d) explored options to consider national and international expert advice in developing criteria for treating patients based on scientific evidence and patient impact, and to link these activities with ongoing post-market monitoring of real world drug safety and effectiveness; (e) considered options to encourage research and development into treatments for rare diseases and other unmet health needs; (f) considered internationally accepted standards for conduct of clinical trials in rare disorders appropriate for the challenges inherent to very small patient populations; (g) considered how Health Canada’s work on a progressive licensing framework could provide appropriate support to the design of clinical trials for very small patient populations and appropriate review of evidence submitted from these trials; and (h) reported to the House the progress accomplished as of October 19, 2010?

Question No. 459Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the federal government recognizes the challenges faced by Canadians with rare disorders, including the fact that few and expensive treatment options exist and they are difficult to assess due to the inherent limited availability of data. The Government of Canada remains committed to assisting provinces and territories with the cost of their health care system, as underscored in the Speech from the Throne and in the 2010 budget. While provinces and territories have jurisdiction over the delivery of health care, these funds can help with the costs of their drug plans, including public drug programs covering people suffering from rare disorders.

Orphan drugs are often not recommended by the common drug review for formulary listing as they typically fail the test for cost-effectiveness due to their high costs and limited evidence of long-term effectiveness. Participating jurisdictions retain the ability to make listing decisions based on their respective needs and priorities. In fact, some provinces, Alberta and Ontario, have moved forward with their own programs specifically designed for drugs for rare diseases. The government is prepared to work with interested provinces and territories to explore new approaches to assessing treatment options for rare diseases for potential reimbursement by the respective drug programs.

The federal government regulates the authorization process of pharmaceuticals with regard to their safety and efficacy. Health Canada is exploring a new regulatory framework to address issues specific to drugs for rare diseases, such as appropriate pre-market and post-market requirements given small populations. Technical consultations with key stakeholders are under way and will continue over the coming months.

Question No. 473Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

With regard to government revenues and Vale, for each fiscal year since 2006-2007, up to and including the current fiscal year: (a) what was the total global amount of taxes paid by Vale to the Canadian treasury; and (b) what tax exemptions did Vale receive from the government?

Question No. 473Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency,CRA.

The confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, and the Excise Act, 2001 prevent the CRA from disclosing specific taxpayer information. Therefore, the CRA is not able to provide the information as requested.

Question No. 474Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

With regard to the sale of federal land indicated by Halifax, Nova Scotia Parcel Identification Number 279968 on January 14, 2010: (a) what deed authorizes this transfer and why had it not been registered at the Registry of Deeds; (b) what policy or circumstances guided the decision to cede the title of a parcel of land belonging to the government; (c) what policy or circumstances informed the cost assessment of this parcel of land; and (d) who was responsible for this decision?

Question No. 474Questions 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), the registration of the title represented as an instrument of grant, quit claim deed, which includes the disputed portion of PID No. 279968, the infilled waterlot, was registered on July 9, 2010. It is the responsibility of the recipient of the grant to register title with the Halifax County Land Registration Office.

In response to (b), the petition filed by the owners of a private property as plaintiffs against the adjoining property owners to the southeast, the Crown, and the Halifax Port Authority, claimed adverse possession to the disputed portion, the infilled waterlot, of PID No. 279968 and per the terms of the settlement agreement, the Crown issued the instrument of grant, quit claim deed, to the plaintiffs. Section 8(2)(d) of Canada Marine Act requires that federal real property under the management of a Canada port authority be listed in its letters patent. As the infilled waterlot was listed in schedule B of the Halifax Port Authority’s letters patent prior to the petition being filed by the plaintiffs, ceding title of the portion of PID No. 279968 to the plaintiffs per the settlement agreement required both an instrument of grant, quit claim deed, for the property as well as supplementary letters patent to be issued by the Minister of Transport.

In response to (c), an independent cost assessment approved by Public Works and Government Services Canada was undertaken for the disputed portion of PID No. 279968, infilled waterlot.

In response to (d), the decision was made by the Minister of Transport after consultations with Transport Canada officials and legal counsel.

Question No. 477Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

With regard to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): (a) what amount of Official Development Assistance is allocated to Haiti; (b) what specific regions in Haiti have received these funds; (c) since when have these funds been allocated to Haiti; and (d) what is the status of the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund and the matching funds from CIDA?