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House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Trinity—Spadina for raising a very relevant topic today, but with all due respect, I do not think we want to diminish the importance of this report.

We need to recognize that at hand is Bill C-9, which we were debating, the bill entitled leading the way on jobs and growth. That has seized all the members of the House and should, because there are a number of important issues in that bill that we need to get done immediately. I would suggest that all hon. members would be willing to continue with that hon. member's debate once we get the bill passed through the House.

Therefore, I move that the debate be now adjourned.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am afraid that the hon. parliamentary secretary is a little premature. We are on questions and comments at the moment. He can ask a question or make a comment, but I do not think he can move a motion at this point.

The hon. member for Trinity--Spadina may wish to respond to the comment of the hon. parliamentary secretary, although perhaps his comments are an indication of what he is going to do when he gets the floor a little later.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for that ruling. I thought that there should be at least an hour of discussion on this matter before a motion such as that was moved.

I will attempt to answer that question, rhetorical though it is.

It is important that we deal with this citizenship guide. Why? It is because the first batch of the citizenship guide has been printed. There probably will be a reprint of the guide quite soon.

It is such a basic issue of fundamental rights. Right now, in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sexual orientation is included. How is it possible that it is not in our citizenship guide? I think it is a priority. It is important that the House have a comment and issue a position on whether it believes that gay rights should be in the citizenship guide. That is why I raised that as a motion.

To try to answer the question the member has raised, I have no idea why environmental assessment, for example, is in Bill C-9 and whether it pre-empts a review of the environmental review process. Bill C-9, the budget bill, has all sorts of things in it that are not connected with the budget, such as the sale of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. or Canada Post, and so on.

Therefore, we should continue the discussion on this very important issue.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, after that very crude, wrong-headed attempt by the Conservatives to shut down yet another debate, I welcome the opportunity to actually raise a question on the issue at hand.

We can hear the reaction from the Conservatives. This is what they do. They take blunt instruments and try to brutally beat people into submission.

On the issue of Bill C-9, it is completely inappropriate what they have done with the monster bill in 24 different areas.

We have the third report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that the member for Trinity—Spadina has brought forward, thankfully. The issue, of course, is the issue of respecting diversity.

We have a government that does not respect diversity. It has cut and slashed all funding for organizations that support the rights of gay Canadians. In every single place, what it has done is slash funding. Now we see the citizenship guide that completely eliminates any reference to the many contributions of gay, lesbian, and transsexual Canadians.

We have people who come to Canada, and that presence, that history, and those immense contributions are simply erased by the government in a very mean-spirited way.

I want to ask the member for Trinity—Spadina if she sees this as a systematic attempt by the government to completely eradicate the contributions made by gay Canadians by eliminating references to gay rights, equal marriage, and the history of gay Canadians. Does the member see this as a strategy that the government employs to try to eliminate that respect for diversity on which Canada was founded?

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I could add to the elimination list, the elimination of the funding to Gay Pride Day. Gay Pride in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are extremely successful events. Gay Pride Toronto, for example, brings in over one million visitors. The economic spinoff is phenomenal. It promotes tourism. It helps small businesses and hotels in Toronto. It is the same with the ones in Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver. To deny the funding to Gay Pride Day in Toronto, for example, is totally unjustifiable. But I see a pattern. It is a shutdown, a silencing, a bullying effort. It is a moral statement in some ways that would include, for example, not funding organizations that provide information, counselling or referral services on abortion in developing countries. It is really a way to say that government is not for all people. Government is only for those who agree with a very narrow ideology.

This citizenship guide should be for all new citizens, not typecast to a certain group of people, because those who have homophobic thoughts are the ones especially who need to know that gay bashing is not acceptable, that it is a crime in Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for putting this motion forward for discussion this afternoon.

I want to ask her why the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration was seized of this issue. I know it is a very important issue to members of the GLBTT community in Canada, of which I am proud member.

We were very concerned when we saw the new citizenship guide and saw that we were made virtually invisible in terms of the history of our community as part of our country's history. We believe that is an important history. It is one of the things that distinguishes us from almost every other country on the planet and Canada's progress on issues of GLBTT rights has been far greater than almost any other country, perhaps greater than any country on the planet.

I want to know why the committee felt so strongly as to look at this issue and pass this recommendation. Perhaps she could tell us something of the discussion that the standing committee had.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reason that the citizenship and immigration committee decided to send forth a position on this matter is precisely because of what the member said. No one should be invisible. New immigrants need to see themselves reflected. There are gay, lesbian and bisexual immigrants coming to Canada. Some of them are refugee claimants. They came to Canada because they face the death sentence, torture, harassment and beatings in their home countries. They came to Canada wanting to be proud, wanting to celebrate who they are. There is no reason that they must hide their sexual orientation. That is why it is critically important that we have this history. Frankly, it is not just tolerance. It is a celebration that we should have—

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

Resuming debate. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know I was so intent on getting back to the actual debate at hand, and I know that we have most Canadians supporting this legislation. In fact, the committee has dealt with it and brought it back here without amendments. I think it is important that we move on.

So, at this point, I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #51

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

The House will now resume with the remaining business under routine proceedings.

Public TransitPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 31st, 2010 / 4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to present a group of seven petitions signed by people from all across Halifax regional municipality.

These petitioners draw attention to an increase in violent assaults against public transit operators, school bus drivers, para-transit and intercity bus workers across Canada. They say almost 40% of Canadian bus operators have indicated they have been physically assaulted in their career.

These employees, of course, provide a valuable service to the Canadian population and as such deserve stronger protection.

The petitioners ask the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to recognize the growing incidence of violence against these workers, affecting their safety and that of the travelling public.

Postal ServicePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to present a petition from the residents of Halifax Regional Municipality.

This petition recognizes the need to improve and maintain the network of public post offices that play a key role in the social and economic life of Nova Scotian communities.

The petitioners point out that the government is allowing Canada Post to close post offices with as little as one month's warning to the public, which is an insufficient amount of time for communities to discuss solutions to the loss of such a necessary resource.

The Nova Scotians who have signed this petition urge the government to consult with the public, their elected representatives, postal unions and other major stakeholders to develop a uniform and democratic process for making changes to this vital network and to retain the integrity of that network for the benefit of all Canadians.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to present a petition signed by several constituents of my riding of Red Deer.

The petitioners urge the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration on animal welfare.

First Nations UniversityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition in support of First Nations University of Canada. The petitioners call for the reinstatement of provincial funds and up to $3 million in federal funds to the proposed Indian students program will not ensure the long-term sustainable funding of the First Nations University.

They also indicate that the founding mission of the First Nations University includes a commitment to enhance the quality of life and to preserve, protect and interpret the history, language, culture and artistic heritage of first nations people, that we must not lose the valuable resources and indigenous knowledge that has been created in the First Nations University and that, above all, we must support students at First Nations University who have demonstrated their dedicated commitment and overwhelming desire for their continuation at the institution.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to work with students, staff and faculty to build a sustainable and viable future for the First Nations University of Canada by fully reinstating federal funding of at least $7.2 million.

Foreign AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition to the Parliament of Canada calling for an immediate end to the Gaza blockade and expressing support for the recommendations of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict.

Assisted SuicidePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by over 700 people from all across Canada. The petitioners are reminding members that section 241 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that everyone who counsels a person to commit suicide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

They are calling upon Parliament to retain section 241 of the Criminal Code without changes in order that Parliament not sanction or allow counselling, aiding or abetting suicide, whether by personal action or the Internet.

Mining IndustryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting petitions on behalf of hundreds of people from northern Ontario who are very upset with the absolute failure of the government to stand up with any coherent vision for the base metal industry. Of course, I am speaking about the ham-fisted handling of the sale of Inco and Falconbridge, two internationally respected Canadian mining companies that were picked off by corporate raiders like Xstrata.

Now there are 1,000 jobs being lost in Timmins. All the copper refining capacity of Ontario is disappearing. We are 10 months into a Vale strike. This is all as result of a lack of vision from a government that treats mining as if it were doing ShamWow infomercials.

The petitioners are asking the government to open up section 36 of the Investment Canada Act and call upon the government to actually stand up for industry instead of just hocking cleaning products.