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House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, a hole in the ozone layer twice the size of Ontario has developed over the Arctic this spring, exposing northern Canadians to dangerous levels of radiation.

It was thanks to the research of Canadian scientists that we discovered the serious extent of this problem, but instead of taking action, the government has actually chosen to cut the ozone monitoring and research program.

With such a serious threat looming over Canada, will Conservatives finally commit to fully fund ozone research?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have been around this any number of times in the past couple of weeks.

Environment Canada has indeed contributed magnificently to this study. As I said earlier, the results are troubling. Canada banned ozone-depleting chemicals some years ago, but they remain in the atmosphere and in the stratosphere for many years. They will continue to negatively impact ozone for years to come.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is only through the foreign media that Canadians are becoming aware of the threats to their health and their environment.

David Tarasick conducted a study for Environment Canada which revealed the presence of a hole in the ozone layer, but this government is preventing him from talking to the media.

Is the government trying to hide scientific data or trying to cover up its error in cutting the budget for monitoring the ozone layer?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government, Environment Canada, and all Canadians should be very proud of Dr. Tarasick's contribution to this study. As I have said, the results are troubling and that is why Environment Canada will continue to monitor ozone in the troposphere and stratosphere. That is why the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre will continue to deliver world-class services.

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents in New Brunswick Southwest have contacted me to say they are deeply concerned about the new U.S. tax reporting requirements. This affects many Canadians throughout the country. The vast majority of people being targeted by the IRS are honest, hard-working and law-abiding. They have obediently paid their Canadian taxes. Their only transgression has been failing to file IRS paperwork they were unaware that they were required to file. Many people face huge penalties for failing to file, even though they do not owe any U.S. tax.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please update the House on the latest developments on this issue and what steps our government is taking to protect Canadian taxpayers?

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for this very important question. We share this concern and raised this issue directly with the U.S. government. We have also been very clear: any penalties imposed by the IRS under FBAR will not be collected by Canada. As such, we have called, and will continue to call, on the U.S. government to look upon them with leniency.

We are also happy to report some progress as the IRS has released a statement that says:

The IRS recognizes that many Canadians face complex tax situations because of dual citizenship--

It goes on to say:

Recent publicity about the issue has spotlighted a number of areas that the IRS will consider in our continuing effort to strike the rig2ht balance in administering the U.S. tax laws.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling on Vancouver's Insite and its proven lifesaving services engages section 7 of the charter on life and security of the person of the IV drug users who use the facility. The public health officers of 17 Canadian cities wish to set up similar safe injection sites.

Will the Government of Canada respect the intent and effect of the court's ruling, and grant further exemptions for cities to replicate Insite's success?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I stated on Friday, we are disappointed with the Supreme Court of Canada's decision, but we will comply with it. We also believe that the system should be focused on preventing people from becoming drug addicts in the first place. Our government believes that spending money on treatment to support and help people stay off drugs is the best investment we can make.

SeniorsOral Questions

October 3rd, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Seniors Day, the government boasted about tax measures that would help seniors. The reality is that over 0.25 million--

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see they are so busy patting themselves on the back but with over 0.25 million seniors living in poverty, tax measures are not the solution. Many seniors are so poor they do not even pay taxes.

When will the minister take action to address the real problems facing our seniors by boosting access to home care, eliminating seniors poverty and supporting caregivers?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, our government was given a strong mandate. It is doing more for seniors than under any other government. It was our government that introduced pension income splitting and doubled the pension income credit. We lowered taxes and removed 380,000 seniors from the tax rolls completely. We also raised the guaranteed income supplement exemption, putting more money in the pockets of 1.6 million more seniors. What did the opposition do? It voted against all of these measures.

Religious FreedomOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the right to one's religion and to practise that religion are fundamental human freedoms. I know our government used these as key elements of Canadian foreign policy.

Could the foreign affairs minister please update the House on Canada's efforts in this regard?

Religious FreedomOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the member for Brandon—Souris for his leadership in this regard. Protecting and promoting religious freedom is an important part of Canada's principled foreign policy. We are speaking up around the world, at the United Nations, and every other corner of the world for religious freedoms. Whenever there are more religious freedoms, there are better human rights, and more freedoms which we strongly believe are important.

I was pleased to see more than 100 people of different faiths come to Ottawa to offer their advice and suggestions on the establishment of an office of religious freedom, something we committed to do in the Speech from the Throne. We will listen and then we will act on a path to religious freedom.

Sales Tax harmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the finance minister was unaware before he decided to endorse him, but the Ontario PC leader is actually running against one of the Prime Minister's key economic policies, the HST. Mr. Hudak called the HST a bad deal, a punishing tax grab that will kill jobs and hurt families.

Will the Conservatives help out their good buddy Mr. Hudak, acknowledge the HST was an unfair tax grab, and finally agree to exempt hydro and home heating from the HST?

Sales Tax harmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as we have said many times in this place, provincial taxation is a provincial responsibility and changes to provincial taxation are exclusive decisions of the provincial government. Provinces have full independence to make decisions on sales tax matters and out of respect for the elected provincial legislatures or assemblies, and we are going to hear about those in the next couple of days, Parliament has agreed to facilitate such provincial decisions.

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 6, the Prime Minister went to Montérégie himself and promised a new mitigation plan to help flooding victims. This plan will also help victims of the high tides in the Gaspé. But so far, the people of Montérégie and the Gaspé have not seen any semblance of a mitigation plan or a single penny of the money promised by this government. People cannot wait any longer.

Can the Prime Minister tell us when and how he plans to give financial aid to the victims through the new measures he has promised?

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a correction. The Prime Minister stated how important it was that the government respect provincial jurisdictions. When something happens in a province, it is first up to the province to compensate the people, and then the federal government reimburses the province. The mitigation plan is for the entire country, in order to protect the entire area surrounding the flood zone. It is not, as the member stated, an aid program.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114 I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the third report later today.

Canada Labour CodeRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-307, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (pregnant or nursing employees).

Mr. Speaker, it is with great joy and pride that I rise today in this House to introduce a bill that meets the needs of the workers' movement across the country and responds to the demands of many women's groups. The purpose of this bill, which is completely reasonable, is to correct a great injustice—the differential treatment of female workers subject to the Quebec Labour Code or other provincial labour codes and those working in organizations under federal jurisdiction, who are subject to the Canada Labour Code.

The Canada Labour Code does not include the true right to preventive withdrawal for pregnant or nursing women. This bill seeks to correct this injustice and give all female workers across the country access to the compensation provided for in the provincial legislation so that they can withdraw in health if their work threatens their health and safety or that of their unborn child.

The Canada Labour Code currently provides only for unpaid leave. In other words, it puts the health and safety of certain women or certain fetuses at risk by forcing women to stay at work too long because they do not have the financial means to withdraw in order to protect their health and safety and that of their child.

Since I trust that all members of this House care about the health of women and their unborn children and that they want to stand up for families, I expect nothing less than unanimous support for this bill.

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

Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Rebuilding ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-308, An Act respecting a Commission of Inquiry into the development and implementation of a national fishery rebuilding strategy for fish stocks off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to present my private member's bill to the House of Commons. The bill's short title is the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery rebuilding act. It has been almost 20 years since John Crosbie, then federal minister of fisheries and oceans, shut down the northern cod fishery off Newfoundland's northeast coast and Labrador. It is 19 years and 4 months later and the commercial groundfish fisheries off Newfoundland and Labrador have seen little, if any, recovery. Most fisheries are in desperate shape.

Five years after Confederation in 1954, we handed over responsibility of our fisheries to the Government of Canada. I would describe our fisheries as Confederation's greatest failure, a national embarrassment, a national shame. A commission of inquiry is not about pointing fingers of blame, but pointing the way forward with a recovery plan, with a blueprint for the future.

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

Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-309, An Act to amend the Criminal code (concealment of identity).

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today in the House to introduce my private member's bill, the preventing persons from concealing their identity during riots and unlawful assemblies act. This act would amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence to wear a mask or other disguise to conceal one's identity while taking part in a riot or unlawful assembly.

This would give the tool to police to first, hopefully prevent these kinds of things from getting out of hand; and, second, if and when they do, it would give them another tool to punish those who were involved in these kinds of things and ensure they do not get too far out of hand.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-310, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons).

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce another bill that would support my last bill, Bill C-268, a human trafficking bill. If trafficking is committed by a person outside Canada, by a Canadian or a permanent resident, they can be prosecuted in Canada.

Also, the second amendment would enhance the current definition of exploitation in the trafficking in persons offence, giving specific examples.

The rising crime of human trafficking is still very much something about which to be concerned. I know 10 years ago when my son was in the ICE unit, he taught me a lot about what happened with the trafficking of victims. I began working with victims.

It is imperative that all members on this side of the House support this kind of private member's bill that would do something to help the victims of the heinous crime.

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