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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was summits.

Topics

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, of course, my colleague is right. The government could spend a lot more money on maternal health care. If the government had stayed out of the maternal health care business of other countries, we would probably have some successful G8 and G20 meetings. However, because of its interference in the maternal health care of other countries, the government will go down in history as a very bad government that is not minding its own business in the maternal health care of other countries.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Shefford has time for a very brief question.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from the other side of the House said that he would like to see what happens at the NDP caucus meeting. Personally, I would find it interesting to see what happens at the Conservative caucus meeting when it is announced that they will be stealing $57 billion from workers and employers, that this debt will be erased and not a single cent will be repaid.

What does the member think about the measure that would erase this $57 billion debt, and what does he think about the fact that the Conservatives are stealing from the employment insurance fund?

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his good question. I do not think that anything happens during the Conservative caucus meeting because I am sure that the Conservative members are not allowed to say much. But he has a very good question. We could have used that $57 billion to give money to people who are not working.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak the motion today. It gives me an opportunity to explain the process that was followed to come to the costs in the estimates with respect to the incremental security-related costs incurred by provincial and municipal security partners in relation to the G8 and G20 summits.

We are talking about the security costs. Whenever we talk about these costs, it is important that we also talk about the facts, which I think have been lost for the better part of this day. Before I proceed into these details, I will go over some things that I feel are equally important as well. I think members opposite seem to be unable or unwilling to understand the larger budgetary process that must be undertaken whenever we consider costs in this place.

The costs put forward in Parliament on May 25 are the result of the security planning preparation initiated over a year and a half ago. In no way do they constitute an escalation in cost. The amount identified for Public Safety Canada in supplementary estimates A tabled last week was $262.6 million. This is in addition to the initial amount of $32.1 million allocated to Public Safety Canada through the supplementary estimates C tabled in March 2010 for the fiscal year 2009-10 for planning activities.

The parliamentary budget process provides for allocation of funding based on the assessment of the requirements, which involves cabinet and Treasury Board. This process results in the setting aside of specific envelopes for funding that can be accessed through the estimates process. The President of the Treasury Board tables three supplementary estimates, usually in late spring, late fall and early spring, to obtain the authority of Parliament to adjust the government's expenditure plan as reflected in the estimates for that fiscal year. Funding for these estimates is provided for in the federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

The supplementary estimates serve two purposes. First, they seek authority for revised spending levels that Parliament will be asked to approve in an appropriation act. Second, they provide Parliament with the information on changes in the estimated expenditures to be made under the authority of statutes previously passed by Parliament.

This government has been open in its communication around the estimated costs of the G8 and G20 summits and has followed the usual parliamentary processes to secure the estimates required to fund them. We have budgeted for these costs and we have been open in communicating them. One does not just have to take our word for it. It is there, it is plain and it is in black and white.

Ward Elcock, chief of the Integrated Security Unit, said, “Canada is one of the rare countries that has been transparent about the security costs” and “if you actually could find an apple-to-apple comparison, you would find that [the costs of the summits] are actually pretty comparable”

I hope my colleagues have found this overview of the parliamentary budget process helpful. Just in case any confusion remains, I would remind them that the Auditor General has confirmed, “the $179 million is really partial funding, and the way government funds these things, it was not an initial estimate of what the costs would be”. When one understands the parliamentary budget process, one sees that the government has budgeted for these costs and it is on target.

I would like to now speak about the security framework in more detail. The RCMP is the lead agency responsible for policing and security at major international meetings held in Canada. For such events, given the scale and scope of security requirements, the planning and implementation of security routinely involves provincial and municipal police forces in the jurisdiction in which the event is held. For example, for each president or prime minister-led meeting in Canada, the RCMP gathers information and intelligence to perform a threat assessment and determine if there is a requirement for extraordinary security measures.

If it is determined that extraordinary security measures are required, including a significant involvement of provincial and municipal security partners, the Minister of Public Safety, in conjunction with the federal minister hosting the event, may recommend to thePrime Minister that the event be designated under the security cost framework policy as eligible for financial assistance.

The Government of Canada recognizes that provincial and municipal security partners involved in the 2010 G8 and G20 summits will incur incremental costs for the implementation of security measures to support the RCMP in providing security for these events. In this case, security measures required for the two summits exceed the local authorities' normal response capacity.

As such, both the G8 and G20 summit events were designated by the Prime Minister. Therefore, financial assistance will be provided to the provincial and municipal security partners under the security cost framework policy covering the incremental extraordinary, justifiable and reasonable security-related costs incurred as a result of their involvement.

The overall objective of the security costs framework policy is to obtain the active participation provincial and municipal security partners in the provision of extraordinary security measures for major international meetings, such as the G8 and G20 events.

For the upcoming G8, the provincial and municipal security partners are the Ontario Provincial Police, the Toronto Police Service, the Peel Regional Police Service, the town of Huntsville, the district of Muskoka, the township of Lake of Bays and the North Bay Police Service. For the G20, the partners are the Toronto Police Service, the Peel Regional Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Once designation is obtained, Public Safety Canada has been mandated to negotiate and enter into contribution agreements with these provincial and municipal security partners under the security cost framework policy. Public Safety Canada officials have been engaged with these partners since November 2008 to explain the terms and the conditions of the policy that the government uses for the reimbursements of incremental security costs.

Following this designation, discussions focused on the development of cost estimates by security partners and for which a due diligence process was conducted to ensure compliance with both the requirements of the overall RCMP-led security plan as well as the policy. This includes on-site visits to understand the security requirements to validate the partners' plans and the ongoing dialogue with the RCMP to confirm alignment with the overall security plan.

Allow me to quote Canada's Auditor General again, who recently said:

—we have to realize that security is expensive. There are a lot of people involved over a very long period of time. We may think that the meetings only last for a few days, but all the preparations involve extensive planning, extensive co-ordination for months before that.

Based on that process, funding requirements were put forward, along with the federal departments involved with the G8 and G20 security, to secure financial allocations for the application of that policy.

Once the G8 and G20 events are over, provincial and municipal security partners will be submitting final claims for incremental security costs incurred, which will be subject to a full independent audit to determine the eligibility of the claimed expenses. Based on the final audit report, reimbursements will be made to provincial and municipal security partners. As a result, the final costs will be known after the summits conclude and a final audit has taken place.

The Government of Canada has an obligation to ensure that the leaders participating in the G8 and G20 in June are safe and secure, and that is exactly what we are doing. We have listened to the security experts to implement an unprecedented security operation with the largest deployment of security personnel in Canadian history. We are ready to showcase Canada's leadership on the world stage and are making the investments necessary to ensure the complete security of these summits.

In contrast, the Liberal leader has said that he is embarrassed that Canada was hosting the world at the G8 and the G20. His members have characterized Huntsville as nothing more than a political decision. Yet, two short years ago, the Liberal leader supported Huntsville when he thought it would boost his political prospects. Now he is against it. The Liberal leader also said that it was the role of the federal government to fund the cost. Now he has reversed that position as well.

Unlike the Liberals, we are not embarrassed or against fulfilling our obligations to our international partners and to our citizens. This means that security is a reality, and providing the security is non-negotiable. As such, I cannot agree with this motion before us today. I believe that the security budget is necessary. It simply is not spiralling out of control.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the member has indicated he is not embarrassed. I have a question about the money that was spent in the riding of the industry minister.

According to all media reports, $50 million were spent on curbs, roads, trees, landscaping, rinks, shrubs, signs and sidewalks, none of which had anything to do with either the G8 or the G20. What we had was a good old-fashioned political pork-barrel orgy. The sad part is this $50 million was paid for by the taxpayers of Canada. The sadder part is the taxpayers of Canada had to go out on the markets and borrow the $50 million.

Do the people who live and vote in the member's riding have any concerns about this $50 million expenditure, for which probity and any kind of proper spending was thrown to the wind? Do they have any concerns about paying this money back when the money is due to the bondholders?

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I know that Charlottetown, as well as many constituencies across the country, has benefited from the budget that allocated the funds for the G8 and the G20 preparations for the community of which he spoke. In fact, I can reference many projects in my own constituency where tens of millions of dollars have gone to improving infrastructure and building the necessary infrastructure not only to host people who might come, but to host people who live there. This includes improvements in roads, sewers and all the things for which the action plan allocated funds.

When a community is hosting the G8 and G20, there are necessities in terms of ensuring that the infrastructure in the local community does not pose any security threats. We looked to Pittsburgh and many other communities that held equivalent events. They had to remove rocks from landscapes and different things like that to ensure they did not pose a security problem. I know some of that preparation is done.

The community in which the G8 will be held is beautiful. We look forward to the world leaders seeing that community.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, given the fact that 1.5 million people are still out of work, this $1 billion would have been better spent in programs to help them get back to work.

However, I have a comment for my colleague with respect to the $1 billion that the government will spend on security. People are going to be having a hard time getting to and from work because this is right in downtown Toronto. That will impact them being able to feed their families.

Does the member not think there should have been better thought as to having this meeting held in a more secure location, where it was not going to impact so many people, especially at a high time of the tourist season? Maybe the government should have held it in a jail or one of those facilities for which it is spending billions.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons Canada has been selected as being the host country for these summits was because of the shining light that Canada has been in terms of economic growth and the ability to recover from this recession.

We know people are still out of work. It is our belief that we need to continue to support those folks. Therefore, many measures have come in through the last budget as well as the many programs the government has put forward to ensure there will be continued growth within our economy. The NDP has consistently voted against those measures.

However, we believe the world is coming to Canada because we have seen the largest growth of GDP in the last quarter. We have not seen this type of growth for years and years in Canada. We also have seen a continued decrease in the number of people who are unemployed in Canada.

We do have a lot to showcase, not only in the beauty of our land but also in terms of the policies that we brought forward to ensure the security of our national economy.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being 5:15 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the supply proceedings.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

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

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 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 #52

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from May 28 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Oil and Gas IndustryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Pursuant to order made Friday, May 28, 2010, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the member for Edmonton—Strathcona relating to the business of supply.

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

Vote #53

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

Bill C-9--Notice of time allocationJobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

5:50 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is with great reluctance that I rise to advise you that an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the report stage and third reading stage of Bill C-9, the jobs and economic growth act.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, Canadians are expecting this bill to pass before we rise for the summer. Some of the consequences of our not adopting Bill C-9 by the summer are that payments will not be authorized for over $500 million in transfer protection to the provinces. Bill C-9 also authorizes appropriation of $75 million for Genome Canada, $20 million for Pathways to Education Canada to provide support to disadvantaged youth, $10 million for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and $13.5 million for the Rick Hansen Foundation. These payments and many others cannot be made until Bill C-9 receives royal assent.

Therefore, under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of the proceedings at the said stages.

Bill C-9--Notice of time allocationJobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

5:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.

National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day ActPrivate Members' Business

June 1st, 2010 / 5:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

moved that Bill C-465, An Act respecting a National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure today to address the House concerning Bill C-465, An Act respecting a National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day. This simple enactment would designate September 23 in each and every year as a national hunting, trapping and fishing heritage day.

These activities have helped form the fabric of the Canadian experience and our identity. Hunters, trappers, fishermen and anglers have made a significant contribution to the development of our nation by traversing and mapping the forest, streams, rivers, lakes, hills and mountains from coast to coast to coast.

I echo the Speech from the Throne in stating that our values as Canadians are rooted in our history. Hunting, trapping and fishing were an integral part of the life of Canada's aboriginal peoples and first settlers. Hunting, trapping and the availability of fish defined where people settled.

Earlier settlers forged new transportation routes as they followed herds and wildlife. Famous Canadian explorers and fur traders, like David Thompson who travelled more than 90,000 kilometres by horseback, canoe, dogsled and on foot, charted Canada's untamed land and mapped more than one-sixth of the continent, paving the way for future explorers. The natural wonders that he saw and the places he visited are part of Canada's history and many have become national parks and historic sites.

Hunting, trapping and fishing were the first forms of trade and currency and formed the very backbone of Canada's financial structures. National historic sites, like York Factory, exist because of their importance to the history of the fur trade and the history of the interaction of aboriginal peoples and the first trading partners.

Our mind now goes back to the very beginnings of this country. Our mind goes to some of the first explorers of our country, like Cabot who, if members will recall, in 1497, in a report to the Duke of Milan about the new world, stated, “...the sea there is swarming with fish, which can be taken not only with the net, but in baskets let down with a stone...”. He was referring to the Grand Banks.

We also will recall, just on the river behind this very place, Samuel de Champlain and his exploration of the Ottawa valley and many parts of Canada back in the 1600s.

Through hunting, trapping and fishing, Canadian communities were forged, citizens were brought together in trading in communities and in spirit, famous Canadians, such as the first trading expansionist, Governor Frontenac who extended French trading posts all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Early settlers navigated the swift, tumultuous Canadian rivers in search of adventure and food.

A national hunting, trapping and fishing heritage day would celebrate the continuity between heritage and contemporary activities. It would serve as a link between our ancestors and future generations.

A national hunting, trapping and fishing heritage day would also be an occasion for Canadian hunters, trappers and anglers to raise awareness about the history of our great country and the role that hunting, trapping and fishing have played in the exploration and settlement of this country. It is an opportunity to pass on these national traditions.

My grandfather, Narcisse Viens, was a trapper and m father worked in the bushes of northern Ontario. Hunting, trapping and fishing are not only important to families like mine but to countless millions of Canadians from the very beginning, as I have mentioned, of this country.

The day would also represent an opportunity to highlight the role of Canada's aboriginal and Métis people in the settling of this country. For many of Canada's aboriginal and Métis peoples, hunting, trapping and fishing continue to this very day to provide a source of income, food and a tangible link to their history and the basis of many traditions.

Not only are hunting, trapping and fishing historically significant for Canada but they contribute to the economy of this country today.

Canada has a strong reputation as a premier destination for outdoor sporting enthusiasts. These industries build on the strength of Canada's economy and sustain jobs. From campsites to outfitters, from travel guides to restaurants, the hunting, trapping and fishing industry attracts visitors to Canada. The tremendous importance of these industries cannot be overstated.

In the interest of brevity, because we only have a few minutes, I would just like to relate to the House the tremendous importance of these activities on the gross domestic product of many areas of Canada and I will just name a few.

In British Columbia, the gross domestic product for angling in 2003 was some $711 million; the GDP in British Columbia was $116 million for hunting; in Alberta, it was over $102 million for hunting activities, and many more millions of dollars in other trapping and hunting related activities. In Ontario, the province in which I live, hunting alone represents over $1.5 billion in economic activity.

The fur trade in Canada contributes over $800 million to the Canadian gross domestic product. The fur trade in Canada is composed of over 60,000 trappers, including 25,000 aboriginals, with 5,000 representing fur farmers, manufacturers, dressers, retailers and others. We cannot forget the people in the Atlantic who rely on the sealing industry.

Canadians actively participate in hunting, trapping and fishing each year. Some 3.2 million Canadians participate in recreational fishing and spend some $7.5 billion on this sport. Nationally, about one in every ten Canadian adults are active anglers. Recreational fishing is a legitimate, social and economic use of fish resources, and is integrated into the management plans that conserve fish stocks. Managing and sustaining recreational fisheries allows Canadians to enjoy Canada's natural resources.

Hunting, trapping and fishing and tourism, generated by these activities, are vital to sustaining some of our smallest communities and creating jobs for Canadians in very remote areas of this country. Take for example that of more than $1.6 billion spent on recreational fishing in 2005, three-quarters of these expenditures were spent on food, lodging and transportation. This is an investment in Canada's economy and creates jobs in Canadian communities.

From the Great Lakes to the mountains on Canada's west coast and the farthest reaches of the north, these pursuits continue to draw people together and entice tourists to visit Canada. Hunting, trapping and fishing are particularly important for Canada's northern communities, on both a cultural and economic level. Canadians living in these regions rely on hunting, trapping and fishing for their very survival. Hunting, trapping and fishing also fuels their economies and helps them attract more than 400,000 visitors each year as Canada's north has some of Canada's best hunting and sport fishing opportunities.

Canada's natural resources are defining characteristics of our country and a sense of pride for many Canadians. Encouraging Canadians to pursue these outdoor activities provides opportunities for many Canadians to enjoy our natural resources in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Because of their vested interest in our natural resources, hunters, anglers and trappers have made significant contributions to the understanding of Canada's vast eco-systems. For example, Canadian anglers support national parks by taking part in surveys, reporting tagged fish and participating in public consultation. They have also been key advocates and participants in conservation efforts, and the management of fish and wildlife.

Hunters, trappers and anglers have funded and participated in research projects to help save wetlands, reintroduce wildlife and restock lakes. They have improved safety conditions and encouraged younger generations to participate in the traditions of hunting and fishing as well as trapping.

Canada's hunters, trappers and fishermen are highly regulated. Educational programs are in place to ensure that these are safe recreational activities. In many instances, licensing fees contribute to the monitoring and protection of wildlife. I must say that I belong to several of those organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited for example.

I could not speak today without mentioning Ducks Unlimited, who have been conserving wetlands in Canada since 1938. The organization has secured six million acres of habitat through land purchases, management agreements and conservation elements. It has positively influenced 47 million acres of habitat through retention and restoration measures. It has completed 8,400 habitat projects, representing 26,000 different project segments. That is just one organization of many, not including the one I belong to, which is the Quinte Elk Restoration Committee.

I recognize that this is not the first time that this topic has been raised. I would like to assure the House that Bill C-465 does not impinge upon provincial or territorial jurisdiction for the regulation of hunting, trapping and fishing. The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario have existing legislation and Saskatchewan's act is in the process.

These activities recognize the importance of hunting, fishing and trapping and this bill does not contradict that authority. Bill C-465 simply calls for the designation of a special day to commemorate our national history and heritage, a day to reflect on how our nation was formed and the continuing importance of these traditional activities.

The importance of hunting, fishing and trapping on the founding of the United States of America was recognized on September 26 and that date was designated by a proclamation as a national hunting and fishing heritage day. This proclamation highlighted the contributions of hunting and fishing to sound game management, the system of ethical, science-based game laws and national heritage. Canadians deserve a similar recognition of hunting, trapping and fishing, the role they played in building our nation and the role they continue to play in our national environment.

The formal designation of September 23 of each year as an official national hunting, trapping and fishing heritage day would raise awareness among Canadians about the important contribution that Canada's hunters, trappers and anglers have made to the settlement of Canada. The designation of this day will provide Canadians with an annual opportunity to highlight Canada's heritage and the traditions of hunting, trapping and fishing.

A national day would build on the independent spirit of those Canadians who engage in active recreation on Canada's land and waterways, and encourage Canadians to learn about Canada's history and travel the trails and the waterways of those who came before us.

I again declare that I support the designation of this day as a federal commemoration of an important aspect of national history and heritage. It may be emotional for some people. It certainly is for this member, whose family hunts and fishes just up the way.

I ask all members of the House to support this bill. It is simple, but it does recognize the tremendous importance that these activities have on every Canadian. They have formed a vital part of why Canada is the country it is today, not only to this day but since the very founding of this country.