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House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed from June 4 consideration of the motion that Bill C-395, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (labour dispute), as reported (with amendment) from committee, be concurred in.

Employment Insurance ActPrivate Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion for concurrence at report stage of Bill C-395 under private members' business.

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

Vote #71

Employment Insurance ActPrivate Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from June 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-475, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (methamphetamine and ecstasy), be read the third time and passed.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-475 under private members' business. The question is on the motion.

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

Vote #72

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

7 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

I wish to inform the House that because of the delay there will be no private members' business today. Accordingly, the order will be rescheduled for another sitting.

Use of Camera in ChamberPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

June 9th, 2010 / 7:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the rule in the House is that we are not supposed to use cameras to take pictures. The member for Oakville just used a camera to take pictures in the House while the House was sitting.

Use of Camera in ChamberPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

It would appear that the member for Oakville has left the chamber. The point of order is noted and we will wait to hear from the member for Oakville.

Use of Camera in ChamberPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it may be too late in light of your earlier comments, but I was hoping to ask the House to see the clock as 6:59 p.m. so that we might proceed to private members' business.

Use of Camera in ChamberPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Is it agreed?

Use of Camera in ChamberPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, on April 16, I rose to ask the Minister of Public Safety why he continued to pay no attention to the safety and security needs of Canadians in southeastern New Brunswick.

Since 1997, Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe have employed RCMP police services, with great success I might add. The Codiac RCMP has ensured honourable and effective service for many New Brunswickers but costs in recent years have soared.

Public safety is a fundamental right and it is the responsibility of government to guarantee this right. That is why the federal government has a cost sharing agreement with Canadian municipalities for their policing needs.

Of almost 270 communities in Canada, all but 2 out of 270 enjoy the 10% rebate provided by the federal government. Both of those communities are in southeastern New Brunswick. This is shameful. It is a dereliction of duty on the part of the government and it is not in the national interests. I speak now of the local concerns of the municipal governments in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe that are suffering, as are the taxpayers, by this discrimination and dereliction of duty.

Over the last three years, municipal, provincial and federal leaders in New Brunswick have requested the cost sharing agreement every other community has been afforded. Repeated and sustained efforts have been met without the slightest response or acknowledgement from the government. This is totally unacceptable.

Every year the people of Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe must foot an extra $2 million in police costs that are covered by the federal government in every other community, and this is at a time when the government thinks it is appropriate to spend about the same amount of money, $1.9 million, on a fake lake. So, $2 million for policing services or $2 million for a fake lake with a fake lighthouse. What do the people of Canada think about this?

How have photo ops come to supercede the public safety needs of Canadians? All parties involved, from the municipalities to the Codiac Regional Policing Authority, have proven their shared commitment to finding a resolution to this matter but the federal government has not.

This is beyond the time for deliberations and consultations, as the minister continues to assert. These discussions have gone on for years now and the safety and security of New Brunswickers continues to suffer. The City of Moncton alone has made it clear that the current situation is unsustainable. Requests for a decision from the government have been completely ignored and the city stands to not renew its contract with the Codiac RCMP when it expires in 2012.

Only with a far more equitable cost sharing agreement can the Codiac RCMP continue to operate in the region. Moncton must make its final decision on the future of its police services by June 30 of this year. After years of being ignored by the government, it has now come to a head.

The question has been asked in this House numerous times. Soft assurances have been given and lunches paid for in the parliamentary restaurant by the government for mayors and successive mayors. Successive municipal administrations have not had an answer from the government.

When will equity and fairness be done so that southeastern New Brunswickers can join the other 268 communities that enjoy this advantage?

7:10 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I rise to respond to the question put by my good friend, the member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, regarding the police services agreement for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

In 1992 the Government of Canada entered into police service agreements with all of the provinces, except Ontario and Quebec which have their own provincial police forces, the territories and about 180 municipalities. Contract policing carried out by the RCMP is a method by which contract jurisdictions enter into an arrangement with the federal government known as a police service agreement for the use of the RCMP as a provincial, territorial or local police force. Contract policing has been seen as a way to advance federal government goals for public safety, as well as to provide a recognized professional police service to contract jurisdictions.

As I indicated, the RCMP does provide police service across the country pursuant to police service agreements with contract jurisdictions. All municipal police service agreements signed before 1992 contain a term or clause to share certain costs with Canada. The greater Moncton area, which includes Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe, has been policed by the RCMP under a police service agreement entered into in January 1998 by the former government. Within this agreement there is a clear provision agreed to by the signing parties that the policing service provided by the RCMP would be charged at 100% cost recovery.

The contract was signed in 1998, as I indicated, by the previous government and will expire in 2012, along with all other police service agreements. Currently the federal government is discussing the renewal of all police service agreements with the contract jurisdictions. There are many issues under discussion as all parties prepare for the expiry of the agreements in 2012 and for new arrangements starting then.

I am well aware of the issue concerning the costing arrangements for the police service agreement with Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe. The member may rest assured that this issue has been and will be discussed within the broader context of the renewal of the police service agreement. I believe it would be wise to allow our officials to continue to advance this issue.

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the response. I know the parliamentary secretary is very hard working and has a background in policing. I do appreciate his sincerity.

However, here is the deal. The deadline is approaching. The citizens of Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe have to make a decision, and by the non-response, because the response to Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe has to be couched in an overall reassessment of the agreement for the other 268 communities, this means that the governments in Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe will have to make a decision and that decision will not be with the benefit of a future reduction in the RCMP costs of 10% that other communities enjoy.

The answer tonight says to governments and mayors that we will not have the RCMP in the greater Moncton area. The government has done nothing to further the cause of the RCMP in greater Moncton because it does not give a response to this June 30 deadline.

It is a fait accompli. I am sorry for this dereliction, but that is the way it is.

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope my colleague across the floor listens closely. Contract policing is recognized by other nations as a model for integrating the fight against crime at the local, provincial, national and international levels, which does advance federal government goals for public safety and provides a professional police service to many rural and remote areas of Canada.

The cost issue has been and will continue to be discussed within the broader context of the renewal of the police service agreements.

7:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's G8 and G20 maternal and child health strategy is of profound concern.

On April 28, 2010, I asked the Minister of International Cooperation to explain to the House why the government has decided to renege on its international commitments by refusing to include a complete range of maternal health services in its maternal and child health strategy.

All G8 partners, including the Americans and the British, have been very clear that access to safe abortions must be part of the maternal health initiative.

In his response, the parliamentary secretary followed the example of the minister and decided to use quotations from various organizations, creating the illusion that these organizations actually support this G8 initiative. The cherry-picking of quotations misled the House and the Canadian public.

On May 3, the Standing Committee on the Status of Women began its study on the G8 maternal and child health initiative. Over the course of our meetings, we heard from a number of reputable aid and maternal health organizations. These organizations that specialize in maternal health stated that access to legal, safe abortion must be included in a maternal health strategy.

I will give members an idea of the information that was presented at committee. We learned that with the adoption of the Maputo plan of action on sexual and reproductive health and rights in 2006, all African states now permit abortion under some circumstances.

However, despite this, the WHO shows that only 5 in every 100 abortions in Africa are carried out under safe conditions. So, despite political will among these nations, they have not been able to put the infrastructure in place to provide safe abortions.

Katherine McDonald, executive director of Action Canada for Population and Development, cautioned the committee, saying that if we are to restrict abortion from Canadian aid policies, we have to remember that in most of those countries where women get sexual and reproductive health care there is only a one-stop shop.

If abortion is legal, contraception fails and they go back to find out what their options are with respect to the possible termination of a pregnancy, the practical issue arises of what to do if that clinic is receiving Canadian aid. Do providers say no, that it must turn them away because they have Canadian aid pooled in their funding, or is it a situation where Canadian aid will not be available to that clinic at all?

We were also provided with some troubling statistics. Ainsley Jenicek, project manager of Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances, told the committee:

In reality, more than 220,000 children lose their mothers each year due to unsafe abortions. So it is a lot more likely that, without their mothers, those children will die.

Approximately 70,000 women die each year due to unsafe abortions.

Five million women are hospitalized because of complications resulting from unsafe abortion....

On May 11, the Minister of International Cooperation reported to the House that the Canadian Association of Midwives supported Canada's maternal and child health strategy. She led the House to believe that the exclusion of abortion was acceptable.

A letter from Gisela Becker, the president of CAM, stated:

...I would like to clarify our organization’s position and respond to [the] comments [of the minister] in the House of Commons on May 11th, 2010 that CAM supports the Canadian Government’s position on its MNCH strategy. CAM certainly [does] support [that position].... However, CAM believes that reproductive health care is an integral part of maternal health; this includes contraception, family planning and access to legal, safe abortion care as a fundamental right of women regardless of where they live.

This testimony shows that the government is risking women by refusing to provide safe, legal abortion. Does it think it can play political games with the lives of women?

7:15 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for giving me an opportunity to speak in this House on such an important matter.

Our government's foreign affairs record is impeccable. We have doubled our aid to Africa. We have doubled our total aid to an unprecedented $5 billion and our aid has become more effective, targeted and responsible. The purpose of foreign aid is obvious: to reduce poverty in developing countries. Improving the lives of mothers and children lays the groundwork for reducing poverty permanently.

What the opposition does not say about this issue is the simple fact that the NGOs that support this initiative are experts. We have worked with World Vision, UNICEF, Results Canada, Care Canada, Plan Canada and Save the Children. These NGOs support our initiative because they know, based on to their expertise, that it is an excellent initiative. These NGOs are not intimidated by the opposition's tactics.

I would like to reiterate some points made in previous speeches. Our government has no interest in reopening the debate the opposition is pushing. That is their agenda, not ours. The opposition is playing political games, and we will not stoop to their level. Our G8 initiative is about saving lives. We want to promote results-driven solutions that will help mothers and children in an effective, focused and accountable manner.

7:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!|

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to be able to talk.

For months, committees have heard a great deal of testimony, including plenty of testimony supporting and applauding our government's initiative.

I want to make sure that the NDP member and Canadians are well aware of that fact. Canadians want to see us operating on the world stage in a manner that brings people together instead of dividing them. Canadians want their government to be a world leader. This Prime Minister has taken it upon himself to ensure that we get the job done.

According to the World Health Organization, every year more than 500,000 women, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, die in pregnancy and childbirth from largely preventable causes. These women are giving birth in completely unsanitary conditions.

Every year, three million babies die in their first week of life. Nearly 9 million children in the developing world die before their fifth birthday from largely preventable diseases.

There are simple solutions to address all of these problems. The G8 initiative is the very essence of these solutions. The last thing we need are pointless debates.

I want to make sure that opposition members are aware of what Melinda Gates said yesterday. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced its program on maternal health yesterday. It mirrors the Government of Canada's position on this issue. She even told the media that they took that particular position because they do not want to be part of the controversy or contribute to the controversy.

7:20 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has chosen to cherry-pick quotations and statistics in a desperate attempt to justify an initiative that has been criticized by both Canadian and international aid experts. What is clear from the conduct of the government is that it is choosing votes from its base as opposed to the health and lives of women.

We saw the same thing from the Bush administration in the U.S. What we learned from the Bush gag rule was that refusing to fund abortion does not reduce the number of abortions that occur. It simply increases the number of unsafe abortions, thus increasing the maternal mortality rate. The only way to reduce mortality is to provide women with access to contraception and family planning, which includes abortion when necessary.

Today on Parliament Hill a demonstration was held in memory of the thousands of women who have died from botched abortions. The people present, and so many other Canadians and citizens around the world, realize that because of the government's idealized and ridiculous decision women will die.