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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, following the tradition that the chair has, the Prime Minister has decided to invite a number of foreign dignitaries and representatives of different countries to discuss the outstanding issues they face.

As members know, the Prime Minister will be discussing issues that are related to development and issues that are related to global security. This is going to be an excellent summit for Canada and Canadians. We are going to be very proud of our Prime Minister.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister announced that child and maternal health would be a top priority of the upcoming G8, we all applauded.

However, despite the rhetoric, we have seen no action. While the government is spending billions on security and its fake lakes, it is flatlining its aid budget and is refusing to commit any concrete money to maternal health.

Last week Bill and Melinda Gates committed $1.5 billion over five years to maternal and child health. Could the government tell us what its commitment is and if it cannot tell us that, when can we know the exact amount for child and maternal health?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite right that the Gates Foundation has supported Canada's initiative to save the lives of mothers and children. In fact, Melinda Gates said, “Canada is proposing a bold but achievable plan that can save countless lives – and I hope all G8 members will lend their strong support”. That is exactly what is happening.

Secretary of State Clinton said, “We commend the Canadian government for focusing attention”.

The Prime Minister of the U.K. said, “We have agreed to tackling the scandal of—

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue to show how out of touch they are with the average Canadian, particularly the Canadian farmer. They continue to advocate for the continuation of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry and the prison farm system.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety please explain to the Liberals that Canadians expect their programs to be run effectively and efficiently?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his strong support in standing up for hard-working Canadians and victims of crime.

For Liberals, a 1% success rate is an effective use of taxpayer dollars and justifies the continuation of the prison farm system. For Liberals, farmers should be criminalized by a wasteful long gun registry.

Unlike the Liberals, this Conservative government believes in ensuring programs are effective and efficient. When will the Liberals stand up for victims and law-abiding Canadians?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems the Prime Minister made a big mistake when he gave control of the marquee tourism program to the minister for fake lakes.

Instead of helping promote tourism, we learned the minister decided to choose ideology over economics and cut events like the Edmonton Folk Festival, Caribana and Toronto Pride.

With so much spent on the G8 and G20 summits that no one will remember a month from now, why can the government not support festivals that actually generate tourism dollars?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what this government has done for two years running. We have supported marquee tourism festivals through this special stimulus fund. This year we have expanded the reach of the marquee tourism program to 19 other events in other cities and towns across our great nation.

I was at the Luminato festival in the city of Toronto on Friday night for its grand opening. I can assure the hon. member that the people were very excited, this premier arts festival for the country and indeed the world. They were happy this government was on their side.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the third year in a row, the francophonie festival in Gatineau, “Outaouais en fête”, has been denied funding from Canadian Heritage. The reasons—or excuses—cited are the geographic and historic aspects of the festival. The event's chairperson believes this refusal has more to do with a prejudice against Impératif français.

Can the minister review the organization's request for funding and ensure that it was considered fairly?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that application was considered fairly. The organization did not qualify to receive taxpayer money for three reasons.

I will explain to my colleague very clearly. The reason this festival did not qualify for taxpayer funding was that this particular festival had a $1 million surplus left over from last year.

The reason we are not funding this festival is that it has a surplus and we think there are other festivals and other priorities for taxpayer dollars other than giving money to festivals for a second and third time unnecessarily.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, maternal health care for first nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada lags behind the care available for non-aboriginal Canadians. Aboriginal women have less access to pregnancy care, have more premature births and suffer more complications. This results in double or triple the national infant mortality rate, Canada's hidden shame.

When will the government commit the same level of funding to aboriginal maternal health in Canada as it has to security and props for the G20?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the Minister of Health comes from the north and she recognizes that investing in maternal health leads to greatly improved long-term health outcomes.

We continue to work collaboratively with first nations and Inuit leaders, partners and stakeholders to ensure access to quality health programs for infants, children and families in all first nations and Inuit communities.

In Nunavut, we are supporting the Government of Nunavut in its responsibility of delivering health services, including those for new mothers and children. This year alone our government is transferring over $25.4 billion, which is an all-time high to the provinces and territories.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to moving forward with a more robust complaints investigation and resolution mechanism for our national police force, the RCMP.

I am encouraged that the Minister of Public Safety is working hard to ensure that the appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms are in place for the RCMP.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety update the House on the good work being done with regard to our 2010 budget commitment?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her strong support of the RCMP and her work in advocating for a strengthened complaints review body.

This government committed in budget 2010 to moving forward with strengthening our nation's police force by providing for a more robust complaints investigation resolution mechanism.

I am proud to say today that theMinister of Public Safety will announce that we are delivering on that promise by improving the RCMP civilian review and complaints body.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of fake lakes chose to make cuts to Quebec festivals like FrancoFolies, the New France Festival and the Festival Grand Rire de Québec.

The irony is not lost on Quebeckers who saw a significant amount of support for the tourism industry evaporate, despite the fact that the minister “forgot” to spend $12 million last year.

Can the minister explain how he found the money to drop gazebos into his own riding, but does not have a penny for Quebec culture, nothing for Maillardville and nothing for the people of the Saguenay region?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have no minister by that designation and until members actually address their questions in a respectful manner there will not be a minister answering.

Prison FarmsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Conservative government's agenda with respect to crown corporations is coming more into focus. After passing a budget that will privatize Canada Post and sell Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the government has announced that it wants to end the 130-year-old prison farm program.

Experts say that this program is much more effective than the repressive approach of the United States.

Is the government using its so-called “tough on crime” approach to justify the sale of farm prison assets to its private sector friends?

Prison FarmsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to put the agenda of this government on the table. Its jobs open opportunity. Our single focus is on the economy and to return Canadians to work.

We are excited by the results we have seen. Since last July, we have seen more than 300,000 jobs created, and we are proud of that.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 14th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 20 petitions.

Ensuring the Effective Review of RCMP Civilian Complaints ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-38, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

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

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-535, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (sickness benefits).

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to stand in the House today to introduce a bill that I feel is necessary and its time has come. It would get rid of an inadequate system right now when it comes to sick benefits by reducing the number of hours of insurable employment required to qualify for benefits because of illness, injury or quarantine to 420 hours and increase the maximum benefit period for illness, injury or quarantine to 30 weeks.

This is something that has come into my riding, like many of the other members' ridings in this House of 308, when people say that they have come into a situation where they can no longer work. They would need less hours to qualify and, as a result, the benefit period would be increased to 30 weeks, which is a sufficient period for people suffering from illnesses, quarantine or injury.

I my hon. colleague from Random—Burin—St. George's who, too, feels that this is an incredible issue that should be settled right now in this House.

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

Canadian Human Rights ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-536, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (genetic characteristics).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce an act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, genetic characteristics. I thank the member for Hamilton Mountain for seconding the bill.

The bill would add the term “genetic characteristics” to the list of prohibitive grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. It is an updated version of a bill tabled by my former colleague, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, earlier this year. At the time she tabled it, she said that this bill would stop Canadians' personal genetic information from being used against them. Employers, insurance companies and others have already begun to discriminate against people based on their genetic makeup. People are being punished in fundamental ways, like being prevented from earning a living or buying a house for something they have no control over. That is unfair, and this bill would update the Canadian Human Rights Act to deal with this 21st century problem.

She also pointed out that health conscious Canadians were increasingly testing for genetic clues so they can take steps to avoid diseases or conditions to which they may have a genetic predisposition. Their reward should be better health but the information is increasingly being used to exclude people from job opportunities and limit access to mortgages and insurance benefits. There is currently nothing to prevent insurance companies and others from demanding test rests and basing decisions on them.

This issue was brought to my attention by Kristina Vandervoort of North Vancouver and it is supported by the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness, whose members include the Huntington Society of Canada, the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy of Canada, the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, the Parkinson Society of Canada, the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, the National Ovarian Cancer Association, the ALS Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Osteoporosis Society--

Canadian Human Rights ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I remind the hon. member that he is to give a brief summary of the bill at introduction. He can tell us who is supporting it at the second reading debate stage and everyone will look forward to that, I think.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-537, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (judicial interim release for offences involving firearms).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation to amend the Criminal Code in memory of Boris Cikovic, a 17-year-old constituent from my riding of Etobicoke Centre, who was gunned down on October 3, 2008, in Buttonwood Park.

This bill would amend the Criminal Code to add offences involving firearms to the list of offences set out in section 469 so that offences involving firearms may only be tried by a superior court and a person accused of an offence involving a firearm would be required to demonstrate to the court why they should not be detained in custody before trial.

Boris Cikovic's accused killer has been out on bail since this terrible murder and refuses to co-operate with police in identifying his three accomplices. Boris' parents are forced to struggle daily with the unbearable knowledge that they are possibly walking past the dangerous perpetrators of the murder of their son on the streets of their very own neighbourhood.

By adopting this bill, we would ensure that perpetrators of crimes involving guns are not released into our neighbourhoods under our currently soft bail regime.

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

Canada Pension PlanRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-538, An Act to Amend the Canada Pension Plan (designation of survivor).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to present this bill. It would amend the Canada pension plan to allow contributors to designate as the beneficiary of their survivor pension someone who is not their spouse or common-law partner. I would like to thank the member for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek for seconding the bill.

This came to my attention because a constituent was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and lethal form of cancer, as a result of her being exposed to asbestos in the workplace. She is only 50 years old. Her doctor says that her cancer is inoperable and that her prognosis is one year. She is now trying to put all of her affairs in order before the inevitable and has discovered to her great dismay that the CPP survivor benefits are provided only to a spouse or children.

As she has never married or had children, she wishes to designate a beneficiary but the legislation prohibits her from doing so. My constituent believes that this legislation amounts to theft of her hard-earned CPP contributions, a pension that she has paid into for 25 years. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that this grievous inequity does not exist and that people in this position can designate someone as their beneficiary.

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