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House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-290, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for loss of retirement income).

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendments.

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-526, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (special benefits).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation that would amend the Employment Insurance Act to extend the maximum period for which special benefits for illness, injury or quarantine may be paid from 15 weeks to 52 weeks.

The inspiration for the bill came from Natalie Thomas, a cancer survivor from Coquitlam, whose story touched me and made me realize how important and necessary changes to the Employment Insurance Act were. Another cancer survivor, Marie-Hélène Dubé from Montreal, who is on the Hill today, has gathered over 200,000 signatures for a petition that calls for these changes.

Both of these amazing women had one thing in common. They had to focus on how they were going to find the funds needed to survive once their 15 weeks of medical EI ran out. This made it extremely difficult to focus on what they should have been focused on, recovery. That is why I am introducing this bill today.

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

Canada Pension PlanRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-527, An Act to amend the Canada Pension Plan (pension and benefits).

Mr. Speaker, I am thrilled to be introducing a bill that would finally put a legal end to the potential for people who have been convicted of spousal homicide to derive a CPP survivor benefit from their heinous crimes.

I had assumed that the long-established principle in law that no one should be able to benefit from a crime would also be enshrined in the eligibility criteria for government benefit programs. Imagine my surprise when I received the following correspondence, which states, “I have a relative who killed his wife, served very little time for manslaughter, and is (and has been) collecting CPP survivor benefits for over 10 years. Since 1-2 women per week die at the hands of their partners, how many more men are collecting this? How is this legal?”

I researched the file to verify that this could really happen and I learned that there was no legal prohibition that prevented people who had been convicted of spousal homicide from collecting either the death benefit or the survivor pension. Clearly, that loophole must be closed.

My bill would do precisely that. It would amend the Canada pension plan to prohibit the payment of the survivor's pension, orphan's benefit or death benefit to a survivor or orphan of a deceased contributor if the survivor or orphan had been convicted of the murder or manslaughter of the deceased contributor.

The integrity of the Canada pension plan is enormously important to Canadians. I know I am not alone when I say that the very thought that someone convicted of spousal homicide could derive a monetary benefit from such a heinous crime is an issue of fundamental justice. I trust all members of the House will feel the same way and I look forward to the speedy passage of my bill.

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

Calgary Airport Taxi ServicePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to present a petition signed by over 400 residents in Calgary.

The petitioners call on the House to protect taxi drivers and consumers at Calgary International Airport. Moving to a single taxi contract would create a monopoly, kill competition and remove consumer choice. It would not only hurt consumers but would also hurt the families of hard-working small business people.

The petitioners seek to defend their community from the unilateral actions of the Calgary Airport Authority.

HousingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition to the House of Commons signed by 475 Gatineau residents urging the Prime Minister to support Bill C-304. This bill would ensure access to safe, adequate, available and affordable housing for all Quebeckers and Canadians. It is extremely important for our society to make that happen for people.

Access to Medicines RegimePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to table a petition on Bill C-393 regarding the reform of Canada's access to medicines regime.

Fourteen thousand women, men and children die every day from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and AIDS. This country has yet to fix Canada's access to medicines regime which was created a number of years ago, back in 2003, which still has not helped provide access to low cost medicines for those abroad. We are literally letting children, women and men suffer unnecessarily.

The petitioners call upon Canada to reverse its policy and to become a contributor to the health and well-being of those individuals as opposed to ignoring them.

Environmental Bill of RIghtsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am rising to table a petition from the citizens of Edmonton, St. Albert, Lac La Biche and Spruce Grove, Alberta.

The petitioners call on the House of Commons to enact Bill C-469, an environmental bill of rights, so as to provide the tools for Canadians to hold their government accountable to protect the environment, including the enforcement of environmental laws, and to act on international conventions and obligations, and to give Canadians the right to participate in environmental decision making.

TransportationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

I have a second petition, Mr. Speaker, from the citizens of Edmonton calling on the House of Commons to support Bill C-466 to create greener commuter choices.

The petitioners are concerned about declining urban air quality, the threat of climate change and the fact that one-half of transport is personal transport creating greenhouse gases.

They call on the House to pass Bill C-466 and to implement a national transit strategy and to increase the municipal share of the federal gas tax.

Cosmetic PesticidesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a third petition from the residents of Edmonton, St. Albert and Spruce Grove, Alberta, calling for a ban on the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides due to clear links to health risks and the environmental impacts associated with the use of those substances. The petitioners call for action on the international precautionary principle which Canada has signed on to and has been enforced by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prison FarmsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first petition is a call to stop the closure of the six Canadian prison farms. Dozens of Canadians have signed this petition demanding that the government reconsider its ill-thought decision.

All six prison farms, including Rockwood Institution in Manitoba, have been functioning farms for many decades providing food to prisons and the community.

The prison farm operations provide rehabilitation and training for prisoners through work with and caring for plants and animals. The work ethic and rehabilitation benefit of waking up at 6 a.m. and working outdoors is a discipline that Canadians can appreciate.

Closing these farms would mean a loss of the infrastructure and would make it too expensive to replace in the future.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to stop the closure of the six prison farm operations across Canada and to produce a report on the work and rehabilitative benefit to prisoners of the farm operations and how the program could be adapted to meet the agriculture needs of the 21st century.

Earthquake in ChilePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition also signed by dozens of Canadians calls on the Canadian government to match funds personally donated by the citizens of Canada to the victims of the earthquake in Chile.

Investment Canada ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again I rise to bring forward the concerns of the people of the Timmins—James Bay and Sudbury regions who have seen the absolute abandonment of natural resource policy by the Conservative government and in particular, the debacle surrounding the selling off of international mining giants Falconbridge and Inco. The government sat back and allowed them to be picked up by corporate raiders like Xstrata. Now we have a situation where Xstrata is shutting down all the copper refining capacity in Ontario and shipping out raw concentrate and high-grade resources. We see Vale now shutting down Sudbury, the jewel of international base metal mining for almost a year.

This is a direct result of the negligence of the government and the Minister of Industry in particular, who has been more concerned about promoting cleaning products in his riding than standing up for the resource industries of Canada.

The petitioners are calling on the government to open up section 36 of the Investment Canada Act so that they can see whether or not the minister did any due diligence when allowing these two great Canadian companies to be sold off.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 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, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 210 and 213.

Question No. 210Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

With respect to allegations of political interference in responding to requests under the Access to Information Act: (a) how many allegations have been brought to the attention of the Privy Council Office or the Prime Minister’s Office since January 23, 2006; (b) in which departments or agencies were these allegations made; (c) on what dates did each alleged incident occur; and (d) what actions were taken to remedy each situation?

Question No. 210Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office responds that in February 2010 one allegation of political interference in responding to access to information requests was brought to the attention of the Office of the Prime Minister. It concerned actions taken in July 2009 by the then Parliamentary Affairs Director within Public Works and Government Services Canada. The minister of the department took action to address the situation. The allegation is currently under investigation by the interim Information Commissioner of Canada.

Under Section 73 of the Access to Information Act, only officers or employees of a government institution may be delegated to perform the duties or functions of the head of the institution under the act. No political staff member may receive a delegation of authority under the act, or make access to information decisions.

Ministers are responsible to Parliament as to how the duties entrusted to them under the act are discharged.

Question No. 213Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

With respect to the press release published on the Department of Justice Web site on January 29, 2010, initially entitled “New Senators to Help End Opposition Obstruction of Law-And-Order Bills”: (a) was this press release initially drafted by public servants or political staffers; (b) what modifications were made to this press release, documented by date, time and modification, after its initial publication; (c) did any departmental employee or political staffer access the Web page containing the press release, for the purposes of modification, intentionally or unintentionally, on February 1, 2010, whether or not any modification was in fact made; and (d) at what date and time was the Web page containing the press release last accessed for the purposes of modifications, intentionally or unintentionally, whether or not any modification was in fact made, by either a departmental employee or a political staffer?

Question No. 213Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the subject matter of this question is currently under investigation pursuant to section 118 of the Public Service Employment Act. As a result, it would not be appropriate to provide any of the information requested, as this could prejudice the investigation.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 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. 209, 211, 214, 215 and 217 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 209Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Within the constituency of Brossard—La Prairie, what was the total amount of government funding since fiscal year 2005-2006 up to and including the current fiscal year, itemized according to (i) the date the money was received in the riding, (ii) the dollar amount of the expenditure, (iii) the program from which the funding came, (iv) the ministry responsible, (v) the designated recipient?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 211Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

With respect to the Special Report to Parliament published by the Information Commissioner of Canada in April 2010: (a) what specific recommendations will the government implement for each department or agency listed in the report; (b) for each recommendation, when does the government expect to be in full compliance; and (c) generally, what other initiatives does the government intend to pursue to reduce the number of responses to access to information requests that exceed the deadlines required by the Access to Information Act?