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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Eliminating pardons for serious crime actRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Criminal Records Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

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

Eliminating pardons for serious crime actRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I apologize to my colleagues. I was delayed in the lobby but I was wondering if I could seek unanimous consent to return to tabling of documents.

Eliminating pardons for serious crime actRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent to return to tabling of documents?

Eliminating pardons for serious crime actRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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, I thank my colleagues for their permission to return to this part of routine proceedings.

Pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to nine petitions.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present two petitions this morning.

The first one was signed by several hundreds of citizens calling upon the House of Commons to adopt a universal declaration on animal welfare. This petition stresses the contribution of animals to our ecosystem. Animals are essential to the food chain in many countries. There are also pets. I need not make a long speech about how important animals are in human life. Therefore, this petition calls for a universal declaration on animal welfare.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, my second petition was signed by 2,222 people who were disappointed with the government's decision not to allow the third reading of the bill to eliminate the employment insurance waiting period. Tens of thousands of people have already signed petitions, which were tabled in the House. This petition is another in that series of petitions to impress upon the government the need to take steps to eliminate the waiting period so that people no longer have to wait for two weeks after they have the misfortune of losing their jobs.

Sri LankaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Andrew Kania Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of presenting a petition on behalf of Canadians of Tamil origin.

May marks the one year ending of the war in Sri Lanka. As we know, thousands and thousands of persons were killed in that war and there is still no durable political solution. The petition asks the Canadian government to engage both the Sri Lankan government and the international community to seek a long-lasting political solution and to assist the persons who are still jailed in the barbed wire camps in Sri Lanka.

The United Nations High Commissioner has called for an investigation into the various war crimes or killings that occurred, especially near the end of the war. The petition seeks engagement on that issue as well.

Human TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today.

The first petition deals with human trafficking. The petitioners state that the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation should be condemned and that it is the duty of Parliament to protect the most vulnerable members of society from harm, those being victims of human trafficking.

The petitioners request that Parliament amend the Criminal Code to include a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years for the offence involving trafficking of persons under the age of 18.

Firearms RegistryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is regarding the long gun registry.

The petitioners state that the long gun registry was originally budgeted to cost Canadians $2 million but that the price tag has spiraled out of control, to an estimated $2 billion a decade later, that the registry has not saved one single life since it was introduced.

The petitioners state that they would rather see their tax dollars keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and gangs instead out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Skin CancerPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the last petition is regarding skin cancer.

The petitioners state that one in seven Canadians will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, that melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in Canada and that education, resources and treatment are extremely limited.

The petitioners call for support for a national skin cancer and melanoma initiative to provide much needed access to newer drug treatments and funding for research and educational programs.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first petition was signed by dozens of Manitobans calling for equal employment insurance benefits for adoptive parents. Under the current EI program, adoptive parents have 35 weeks of paid leave, followed by a further 15 weeks of unpaid leave. The biological mother is given both the first 35 weeks and the latter 15 weeks as paid leave.

We all know that adoptions are very expensive, lengthy and stressful to the adoptive parents and their families. Recent studies have shown that an additional 15 weeks of paid leave would help parents to support their adopted children and help them through a very difficult period in their life.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to support Bill C-413 tabled by the MP for Burnaby—New Westminster, which would amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code to ensure that an adoptive parent is entitled to the same number of weeks of paid leave as a biological mother of a newborn child.

Earthquake in ChilePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, the second petition was also signed by dozens of Canadians.

The petitioners are calling upon the Canadian government to match funds personally donated by the citizens of Canada for the victims of the Chilean earthquake. Members will know and we will soon find out next week, I believe, that the earthquake caused massive damage in southern Chile and the communities in Canada are organizing raising funds for Chilean earthquake relief. There is another social coming up in Winnipeg, I believe, on May 22.

The question that people are asking every day is: When will the Prime Minister give the same treatment to the Chilean earthquake victims as he did for the victims of the Haitian earthquake and match funds personally donated by Canadians to help the victims of the Chilean earthquake?

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I have the honour of presenting two petitions signed by many Canadians who are calling upon the House to pass animal welfare legislation to effectively improve the condition of animals and promote animal welfare in Canada.

These petitions suggest that Bill S-203, which provided for stiffer sentences for criminal offences relating to animal cruelty, was without effect. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the government, through the House of Commons, to bring in serious sentences for offences relating to animal welfare.

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

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 172 and 181.

Question No. 172Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

With respect to support for Canadian veterans: (a) why does the government provide up to $13,000 for funeral and burial expenses for Canadian Forces members, but $3,600 for Canadian veterans' funerals; and (b) when will the government increase the financial support it provides to veterans' families for funerals and burials?

Question No. 172Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to a) There are differences between the funeral and burial programs of the Canadian Forces and of Veterans Affairs Canada. The Canadian Forces’ funeral and burial program is part of the employee benefit package available to serving members. The main goal of Veterans Affairs Canada’s program is to ensure eligible Veterans receive a dignified funeral and burial.

Veterans Affairs Canada is always looking for ways to improve the program and is actively working on the matter to ensure that the level of support provided continues to allow a dignified funeral and burial.

With regard to b) Information regarding changes to the funeral and burial program will be communicated as soon as it is available. Veterans Affairs Canada is committed to addressing this situation.

Question No. 181Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Since 2006, what grants, contributions, contracts or loan guarantees were applied for either through a crown corporation, department or agency of the government by the holdings of the “blind trust” of Rahim Jaffer, or businesses owned or partially owned by Mr. Jaffer, including (i) the source and dollar amount, (ii) date made, (iii) reason(s) for providing or denying the funding, (iv) present status of the grant, contribution or loan guarantee (whether repaid, partially repaid, or unpaid, including the value of the repayment), (v) in the case of contracts, whether the contract is fulfilled, whether it was tendered and any reason for limiting the tender?

Question No. 181Questions 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 government consulted the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada, an agent of Parliament independent of the Government of Canada, with respect to this question.

Section 31 of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons provides that the commissioner shall retain all documents relating to a member for a period of 12 months after he or she ceases to be a member, after which the documents shall be destroyed.

Since Mr. Rahim Jaffer was not re-elected in the October 2008 federal election, the Office of the Commissioner no longer holds documentation pertaining to Mr. Jaffer.

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

Furthermore, Madam Speaker, if Questions Nos. 163 and 164 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker Ms. Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 163Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

With respect to the use of the government-owned fleet of Challenger jets from January 2002 until January 2006 and for each use of the aircraft: (a) what are the names and titles of the passengers present on the flight manifest; (b) what were all the departure and arrival points of the aircraft; (c) who requested access to the fleet; (d) who authorized the flight; (e) what is the number of flying hours accumulated; and (f) what are the associated costs?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 164Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

With respect to Senators travelling with the Prime Minister or any other Minister of the Crown outside of Canada during the period of January 1, 2007 to March 25, 2010: (a) what are the names of all Senators who have travelled outside of Canada with the Prime Minister or any other Minister of the Crown; (b) what is the political party affiliation of each individual Senator; (c) to and from where did each Senator travel; (d) what were the dates of each trip; (e) what are the names of all Senators and spouses or partners who have travelled on airplanes operated by the government; (f) what was the total cost of each trip broken down by (i) air travel, (ii) accommodations, (iii) per diem, (iv) meals, (v) hospitality, (vi) other expenses; and (g) who paid all travel-related expenses in (f)?