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House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.

Topics

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of this House, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be deemed concurred in provided that changes in the membership of the Standing Committee on Finance only take effect on Monday, October 4; that the Standing Committee on Finance meet as scheduled on Monday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 29; and that the Standing Committee on Finance be authorized to meet on Monday, October 4 for the purpose of electing a chair pursuant to Standing Order 106.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Sittings of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, usual practices of the House or the order adopted Thursday, September 23, on Friday, October 1, the House shall meet at 8:30 a.m. and the order of business shall be as follows: private members' business from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; oral questions from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.; statements by members from 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; daily routine of business at 10:30 a.m.; and that the House shall adjourn at the conclusion of routine proceedings or at 10:45 a.m., whichever is earlier.

Sittings of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Sittings of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Sittings of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Sittings of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Sittings of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition with 26 names on it.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to bring forward and adopt into legislation Bill C-544, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption).

Government of IsraelPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition today that calls for international investigation of Israeli attacks on the flotilla.

Since 2007, the Israeli government has imposed a blockade upon the people of Gaza. This blockade has denied the importation by merchants of many goods that are basic to human health and well-being.

At the end of May, an international flotilla of vessels was bringing relief supplies to Gaza with the intention of breaking the blockade. On May 31, Israeli military personnel stormed the flotilla while it was still in international waters. Nine of the volunteers on the flotilla were killed, many others wounded, while the rest were taken prisoner. The vessels were seized and towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

The petitioners are calling for a full and open international investigation of the May 31 Israeli attack in international waters on the flotilla bringing aid to the people of Gaza.

Violence Against WomenPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 27th, 2010 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present a petition signed in support of my private member's bill, Bill C-380.

In Canadian hate law, propagation of violence based on race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation is criminal. Incredibly, misogyny and the propagation of violence against women is legal. This bill would add sex, the legal term for gender, to the list of identifiable groups in relation to hate propaganda provisions in the Criminal Code.

Half of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical and sexual violence since the age of 16. This type of violence against women is often motivated by gender based hatred. For these reasons, the petitioners urge the government to adopt Bill C-380.

KAIROSPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first petition is about restoring the funding for KAIROS. Many listeners may not be aware that it is a faith based organization that promotes sustainable development, human rights and peace.

This call for reinstatement of funding is because of the many important projects that KAIROS is involved with, including a legal clinic to assist women who are victims of the on-going violence in the Congo, African youth organizations, the women's organization protecting human rights abuses in Colombia, grassroots local support in peace and human rights work, and women in Israel and the Palestinian territories who work as partners for peace in the Middle East.

The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to immediately restore its funding relationship with KAIROS and fund the KAIROS overseas programs for the period 2010 to 2013.

Sisters in SpiritPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls on the government to allocate funding for the Sisters in Spirit.

Specifically, the petitioners call on the Parliament of Canada to ensure that the Native Women's Association of Canada receives sufficient funding to continue with very important work protecting women through its Sisters in Spirit initiative and to invest in initiatives recommended by the Native Women's Association of Canada to help prevent more women from disappearing.

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition regarding chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and the liberation procedure.

Seventy-five thousand Canadians suffer from MS and over 1,500 people have been liberated worldwide, with researchers from Bulgaria, Italy, Kuwait and the United States, showing an improvement in brain fog, fatigue and motor skills. Dr. Zamboni, the pioneer of the technique, said that the procedure is safe and that clinical trials should proceed.

The petitioners are asking that nation-wide clinical trials be implemented for evaluating venography and balloon venoplasty for the treatment of CCSVI in persons diagnosed with MS.

Passport FeesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my petition calls on the Canadian government to negotiate with the U.S. government to reduce U.S. and Canadian passport fees.

American tourists visiting Canada is at its lowest level since 1972. It has fallen by 5 million in the last seven years, from 16 million in 2002 to only 11 million in 2009.

Passport fees for multiple member families are a significant barrier to traditional cross-border family vacations and the cost of passports for an American family of four can be over $500. While over a half of Canadians have passports, only a quarter of Americans have passports.

At the mid-western legislative conference of the Council of State Governments, attended by myself and 500 other elected representatives from 11 border states and three provinces, a resolution was passed unanimously that reads, be it:

RESOLVED, that [this] Conference calls on President Barack Obama and [the Canadian] Prime Minister to immediately examine a reduced fee for passports to facilitate cross-border tourism;

...we encourage the governments to examine the idea of a limited time two-for-one passport renewal or new application; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this resolution be submitted to appropriate federal, state and provincial officials.

To be a fair process, passport fees must be reduced on both sides of the border. Therefore, the petitioners call on the government to: (a) work the with the American government to examine a mutual reduction in passport fees to facilitate tourism; and finally, (b) promote a limited time two for one passport renewal or new application fee on a mutual basis with the United States.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 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, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

When the matter was last before the House, the hon. member for Richmond Hill had the floor, and he has eleven minutes remaining in the time allotted for his remarks.

I therefore call upon the hon. member for Richmond Hill.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, we are a nation of traders, and obviously, one of the issues that clearly comes to mind is the approach we take in terms of our trade relations with our neighbours, particularly when we have about 85% trade with the United States.

Clearly what we need to have is a vision. We need to clearly have a plan as to what we need to be doing. I talked about the fact that although the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement is an interesting approach, there is a wider market in that area, in terms of the Arab free trade area, which, with 18 states, is very important. The fact is that a multilateral approach is absolutely critical. Given what has been happening in Doha, we need to really push multilateral agreements. We need to push multilateral agreements, in large part because our neighbours are clearly doing that: Australia, the United States, the EU and others. It is very important that we be a player.

Jordan is a very good example of a country in which modernization in terms of banking and monetary infrastructure has been progressing. It is a good place to invest. Obviously, we recognize that, and we want to encourage Canadian business to recognize it by bringing on organizations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and organizations that will have an interest in participating in this type of agreement so that we can encourage the best and the brightest in this country to be on the leading edge.

Without some kind of overall strategy, these kinds of agreements are simply one-offs. We need to hear from the government in terms of what overall approach we should be taking in terms of providing leadership to deal with our competitors.

I go back to the Asian-Pacific again to say that in the Asia-Pacific, we are not a player, and we need to be, particularly in places such as Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, and others. What do they all have in common? They are all part of ASEAN. While other countries are looking at doing free trade agreements with ASEAN and the 590 million people who live there, we are standing idly by. We cannot afford to do that.

We need to be aggressive in these areas. If we are aggressive in these areas, we can compete, particularly on the environment. In the environmental area, we are experts on clean water, contaminated soils, and clean air. Environmental companies are very interested in participating there.

When I referenced my meeting, with our Minister of the Environment, in July 2007, with King Abdullah of Jordan, I mentioned the fact that they were very interested in the environmental technology this country has. Agreements like this will hopefully give Canadians an opportunity to access those markets. These are things that we should have been doing. We need to do them in a broader context as well. Without that kind of push, we are going to be left behind. We continue to do these one-offs. They are not necessarily the most productive or the most useful.

Speaking of the environment, in the agreement there are side agreements on labour co-operation and on the environment. I would point out that on the environment, one of the things I am pleased to see is that we are going to comply with and effectively enforce the domestic environmental laws and not weaken the environmental laws to encourage trade or investment. That is important. We are not going to weaken them; we are going to strengthen them.

We are certainly going to ensure that provisions are available to remedy any violations of environmental laws and to promote public awareness, because the environment is extremely important not only for Canada and Jordan, but in general, in terms of what we can provide. Providing these kinds of safeguards is obviously going to be important. They are going to be important not only for those countries and the people in those countries, but again, because we can share that expertise and get our environmental companies involved, particularly on issues of desertification and irrigation, on which we can provide expertise. Particularly in an area of the world where water is in short supply, Canadian expertise and technology can be part of the solution.

We can be part of the solution only in Jordan in the Middle East. Yet we have a trading area of 18 nations. I again point out, whether it is with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or the United Arab Emirates, that we need to be a player. I hope that the government will come back and look at the issue of expanding this in terms of a multilateral approach, which would give us more access and opportunities for Canadian business. Standing still is obviously not appropriate.

We also have the side arrangement, on the issue of labour, to guarantee freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of child labour, the elimination of compulsory labour, et cetera. A colleague in the New Democratic Party raised this issue. I would suggest that this is where the Standing Committee on International Trade could bring witnesses forward to make sure that if there are areas of concern, they are addressed. Any agreement can be strengthened. It is absolutely important, for the protection of workers, to make sure that they have the ability to organize and carry out their activities free from fear, discrimination, and pressure. That is one of the aspects of this agreement. If there are opportunities to strengthen any of these, then we need to do so. They are basic human rights, and we want to make sure that they are enshrined.

Jordan has a high degree of internal security and stability. It is a free-market-oriented economy. That is something we encourage not only for Jordan but in other areas of the Middle East where we could continue to promote free-trade opportunities. In a free market, we can be a major player. Jordan has a well-developed banking and communication system. We can take advantage of that, given the expertise we have in those areas.

There is no question, in looking at tax rates for Jordanian and Canadian companies, that there are opportunities where Canada could play a role. However, we have to go back to the issue of developing a more regional approach, because other countries are doing that. Other countries are saying that in a very competitive global environment, given the economic situation around the world, we cannot sit at home; we have to be there. That is what we are hearing from the business community. I hear that from small- and medium-sized businesses all the time.

I appreciate that when we are looking at these issues and bringing those witnesses forth at committee, we will be approving simply one agreement. How do we strengthen our role internationally and competitively in a manner that really addresses Canada's strengths, whether that be the environment and dealing with climate change or telecommunications, two particular areas in which Canada is very strong.

We talked about agriculture. We have seen that it deals with subsidy issues. Agriculture is very important because we export so much. In looking at those opportunities, I mentioned the Japanese, who are able to sign agriculture agreements with countries we never would have thought of, such as Mexico or the Philippines. I think that if we really put our minds to it, we can do more. This particular agreement gives us an opportunity to say that if, in fact, we are not going to be successful at the Doha Round on the issue, we need to deal with it in a multilateral way. I know that there are colleagues here who clearly see that as an opportunity.

I hope that the Government of Canada will continue to show leadership, because our American friends, the EU, and others are not standing still. They are being very aggressive. As with the experience in Korea, we know the importance of accessing those kinds of markets, because those countries are clearly looking well beyond their shores.

We have talked about a free trade agreement with Japan. Again, the larger issue is an Asia-Pacific agreement. If we are not a player in that part of the world, if we are not a player in a larger sense in the Middle East, we are going to be left behind.

I know that my time is coming to an end. I urge colleagues to support sending it to the committee. It is important that we examine not only this bill, but again, the broader picture of where we want to be in the 21st century in terms of our trading relations. How will they strengthen our own domestic economy so that Canadians are at work and so that we can provide leadership on the world stage.