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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forces.

Topics

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-522, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and respecting the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (student transport).

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to introduce my Boys in Red bill. The purpose of the bill is to prohibit the transportation of students in vehicles commonly known as 15-passenger vans. This enactment also requires the Governor in Council to make certain amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to limit the sale, importation and inter-provincial shipment of 15-passenger vans that are configured to transport more than one passenger.

I named this the Boys in Red bill in memory of the seven members of the Bathurst High School basketball team and their adult chaperone, who were travelling in a 15-passenger van and lost their lives in a road accident near Bathurst, New Brunswick in January 2008.

At this time, I would like to recognize Isabelle Hains, the mother of one of the students, who is on the Hill to see this bill introduced. Her work, along with the work of Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Acevedo, two other mothers who lost their sons in the tragic Bathurst accident, has helped to ban these 15-passenger vans in New Brunswick.

This continues on. In British Columbia, another young man lost his life. These vans have been abolished in the United States.

I hope that I will receive the support of members of the House for my bill.

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

Genetically Modified OrganismsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, as members know, genetically modified organisms have been the subject of great controversy and concern, and this concern has led to this petition.

The petitioners ask that the House forward the petition on to the ministry of health in order for it to look at the toxic, allogenic and less nutritional aspects of GMO modified organisms. The petitioners state that GMO crops could damage vulnerable wild plants and animal populations and harm biodiversity and could have other adverse impacts on our environment.

The petitioners are asking for an independent inquiry on the safety of genetically modified organisms. They are also asking if the government has clear evidence to show that GMO food is not a risk to humans or the environment.

Some 60 petitioners from the greater Toronto area have signed this petition. They are asking that it be referred on to the ministry of health and that consideration be given to the concerns that arise from the petition.

Caffeinated BeveragesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. The first one, by dozens of Manitobans, is a call against Health Canada's authorization of caffeine in all soft drinks.

Health Canada announced on March 19, 2010, that beverage companies will now be allowed to add up to 75% of the caffeine allowed in the most highly caffeinated colas to all soft drinks.

Soft drinks have been designed and marketed toward children for generations. Canadians already have concerns over children drinking coffee and colas, and they acknowledge caffeine as an addictive stimulant. It is difficult enough for parents to control the amount of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other additives that their children consume, including caffeine from colas.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to reverse Health Canada's new rule allowing caffeine in all soft drinks and not to follow the deregulation policies of the United States and other countries, and sacrifice the health of Canadian children and pregnant women.

Air Passengers' Bill of RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is also signed by dozens of Canadians and calls upon Parliament to adopt Canada's first air passenger bill of rights.

Only in the last six months Barack Obama and his transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, have rocketed ahead of Canada by penalizing airlines for $27,500 per passenger for tarmac delays of over three hours, and LaHood recently charged Southwest Airlines $120,000 for overbooked flights.

It is time that a Canadian air passengers' bill of rights is brought into this Parliament. The bill should cover Canadian carriers anywhere they fly in the world. The bill should provide for compensation for overbooked flights, cancelled flights and long tarmac delays. It should deal with late and misplaced baggage. It should require all-inclusive pricing by airlines in all their advertising.

Europe has had such laws now for over five years. A recent passenger recounted how much better treatment he received in Europe than in Canada, flying on the same Canadian airline.

The new rules have to be posted at airline counters, airline passengers have to be informed of their rights, and the process to file for compensation. If the airlines follow the rules, it will cost them nothing.

The petitioners call upon this government to introduce Canada's first air passengers' bill of rights.

Eliminating Pardons for Serious CrimesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to rise once again to table a petition in regard to the ongoing requests that I am receiving from all across Canada from petitioners calling on changes to the pardons act. They are calling upon Parliament to prohibit the granting of pardons to convicted sexual offenders.

The government has already announced its intention to proceed with such changes, but petitions are continuing to pour in from all across the country because petitioners are concerned that the opposition will not choose to pass this. It will delay and stall the legislation, and they are very concerned about that.

I hope the opposition is listening. Thousands and thousands of Canadians from all across this country are calling upon just that.

Foreign TakeoversPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I present today a petition signed by hundreds of people in the Timmins-Kirkland Lake region. It is apropos on a day when the United Steelworkers from Sudbury are here on the Hill, 11 months into a strike by the corporate bandit, Vale, which was able to buy one of the greatest mining companies in the world because of the failure of the government to do due diligence.

In particular, the petitioners are concerned about what happened with Xstrata. This month we have a thousand jobs being lost in Timmins. Our copper refining capacity in Ontario has disappeared. Our zinc refining capacity has disappeared.

The petitioners are calling on the industry minister , who should have been doing due diligence but instead was out hawking cleaning products for companies in his riding, doing commercials, to do due diligence on the foreign takeover.

Given the negligence of the government and the resulting damage that has been done to our base metals industry in Canada, the petitioners are calling on the government to open up section 36 of the Foreign Investment Act, to make clear the secret deals that the minister has signed with companies like Xstrata and Vale, so that the public can know that the government is actually on their side, that the government actually has a vision for resource development in this industry and in this country.

We call our ministers to a higher standard to represent the interests of Canadians rather than hawking products and doing infomercials in their ridings.

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present on behalf of a number of Canadians. They are petitioning the House of Commons to ban asbestos in all its forms and issue a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities that they live in.

Asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known. This country remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos. In our own Parliament, we are taking asbestos out of the buildings, because of the deadly nature of asbestos, at a cost of many millions of dollars. It is banned for use in Canada, yet Canada continues to export asbestos to other countries of the world.

The petitioners are calling on Canada to end all government subsidies of asbestos, both in Canada and abroad, and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam convention. It is time Canada started acting with integrity on this issue. We banned it in this country for use. We should be banning the production and export of it. It is a deadly industrial product that has been known for many years to cause serious illness and death.

It is time Canada started acting on the principles, and took action to support and provide a just transition program for all asbestos workers and the communities that they live in. The key here is to ban the export of this deadly industrial killer and ensure that we do not contribute to deaths around the world.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 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, Question No. 193 will be answered today.

Question No. 193Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With regard to the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), on a yearly basis and since its inception: (a) what amounts were incurred by the TPA on (i) public relations, (ii) lobbying; and (b) what is the breakdown of legal fees incurred by the TPA, with the justification for each amount spent, for (i) the TPA, (ii) senior executives, (iii) employees?

Question No. 193Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the Canada Marine Act, all port authorities, including the Toronto Port Authority, are autonomous entities under the strategic direction and management of its board of directors. The board has the authority to define hospitality and travel expense policies and to ensure compliance with these policies. The board has the authority to set contract amounts such as those for professional services.

Under subsection 37(1) of the Canada Marine Act, a port authority shall make available for inspection by the public, at its registered office during normal business hours at least thirty days before the annual meeting, its audited annual financial statements and those of its wholly-owned subsidiaries for the preceding fiscal year.

Subsection 37(2) of the act requires that the financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and consist of at least the following:

(a) a balance sheet;

(b) a statement of retained earnings;

(c) a statement of income and expenses; and

(d) a statement of changes in financial position.

Futhermore, Subsection 37(3) of the act requires that the annual financial statements shall set out the total remuneration paid in money or in kind to each of the following persons in that year by the port authority or its wholly-owned subsidiary, including any fee, allowance or other benefit:

(a) the directors;

(b) the chief executive officer; and

(c) the officers and employees whose remuneration exceeds a prescribed threshold.

The Toronto Port Authority has satisfied these requirements by making the information publicly available at their annual general meetings, as well as publishing statements from 2007 and 2008 on their website.

Should additional financial information related to the Toronto Port Authority be required, please contact the Toronto Port Authority at 60 Harbour Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1B7.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 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, if Questions Nos. 194, 196 and 197 and Starred Question No. 190 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 194Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With respect to government spending or contracts with Harbour 60 Steakhouse in Toronto by each department, agency, and crown corporation for the last ten years: (a) which have spent funds; (b) what were the amount of funds spent; (c) when were those funds spent; (d) who authorized payments; (e) which events included the use of funds for alcohol; (f) which events were linked to private business; and (g) which events were attended by lobbyists?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 196Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

With regard to corporate taxation: (a) how many corporations in Canada paid no tax in each of the last ten years, (i) what were the names of these corporations, (ii) what were their combined revenues and profits in each of the last ten years; (b) how many corporations in Canada had an effective tax rate of less than ten percent in each of the last five years, (i) what were the names of these corporations, (ii) what were their combined revenues and profits in each of the last ten years; (c) what is the total amount of deferred corporate taxes for the last ten years; and (d) which corporations deferred more than $1,000,000 and what were their combined revenues and profits in each of the last ten years?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 197Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

With regard to poverty in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations in Canada: (a) what has the poverty rate been in each of the last ten years by (i) province, (ii) age group, (iii) First Nations, (iv) status Indians, (v) non-status Indians, (vi) Métis, (vii) Inuit; (b) what are the goals for poverty reduction for each of these groups for the next (i) five years, (ii) 10 years, (iii) 20 years; (c) what are the leading indicators for tracking poverty; and (d) what has been the average household income in each of the last ten years by (i) province, (ii) age group, (iii) First Nations, (iv) status Indians, (v) non-status Indians, (vi) Métis, (vii) Inuit?

(Return tabled)

*Question No. 190Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

With regard to government of Canada interactions with the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS): (a) is the government aware of any allegations of torture or abuse by the NDS within Kandahar province since August 2005 and, if so, (i) what were the dates and locations of those allegations, (ii) what follow-up was done, (iii) what Canadian Forces or Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade investigations were carried out, (iv) what were the conclusions of those investigations, (v) is the government aware of any NDS investigations, (vi) what outcomes from NDS investigations were communicated back to the government; (b) have site visits been conducted on NDS facilities and, if so, (i) what date were they carried out, (ii) where were they carried out; and (c) did the government come to the assessment that "Canadian partnership in NDS projects without prior insight into its methods runs the risk of appearing to condone human rights abuses and acts which would be illegal under Canadian law'' and, if so, when?

(Return tabled)

*Question No. 190Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

*Question No. 190Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

*Question No. 190Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from May 26 consideration of Bill C-9, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 and other measures, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.