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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

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use).

Mr. Speaker, in the year 1928 a prohibition era law was passed and to this day makes it illegal to bring a bottle of wine from one province to another.

Canadians are a law-abiding people who like to follow the law and many share a passion for our great Canadian wines. This passion for wine, along with the hard work of many Canadian families, have resulted in wineries now being located in every province across our great nation.

My bill proposes an amendment to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act. This amendment would create a personal exemption from the act. This personal exemption would allow individuals to either directly import, send, take, or transport or cause to be imported, sent, taken or transported wine only for personal consumption. This is not for resale or for other commercial use in quantities as permitted by the province in question.

I would like to recognize the member for Kelowna—Lake Country for his ongoing work on this subject. I would also like to thank the many small wineries in my riding of Okanagan—Coquihalla for their invaluable assistance in bringing this matter forward.

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

Democratic Representation ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-312, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (democratic representation).

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to introduce my bill, which would amend the rules in the Constitution Act, 1867, for readjusting the number of members of the House of Commons and the representation of the provinces in that House. For decades, the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta have been growing quickly, and therefore they are seriously under-represented in the House. This could be the case for a long time if nothing is done. However, despite repeated promises to restore democratic fairness in the country, the Conservatives are dragging their feet. During the last parliament, Bill C-12 was never called for debate by the government. When the government refuses to take action, the New Democrat official opposition rises to the occasion.

In doing so, the NDP is giving a real meaning to the formal recognition of the Quebec nation by the House on November 27, 2006, by proposing protection for Quebec's political weight, as unanimously called for by the Quebec National Assembly. My bill provides for a minimum representation with respect to the number of members for the province of Quebec.

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

Food and Drugs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-313, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce my bill, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act. I also want to thank my colleague, the member for Scarborough Centre, for seconding this bill.

The bill would deem non-corrective contact lenses to be a class II medical device. Those who were in the House prior to this session will know that my Motion No. 409 started this work. The bill would continue that work. I look forward to the same unanimous consent as in the last sitting.

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

Breast Density Awareness ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-314, An Act respecting the awareness of screening among women with dense breast tissue.

Mr. Speaker, this enactment would require the Government of Canada to encourage the use of existing initiatives in order to increase the awareness of women about the implications of dense breast tissue for breast cancer screening and to assist health care providers in making well-informed decisions regarding screening.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in 2011 it is expected that over 23,000 Canadian females will be diagnosed with breast cancer, of which, regrettably, over 5,000 will pass away.

The Government of Canada can certainly play an effective role in the adoption of effective early detection screening practices. Targeting dense tissue is one of the means by which we can make a tangible difference.

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

Canada Labour CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-315, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (French language).

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to introduce a private member's bill to harmonize the language requirements that apply to federal businesses operating in Quebec with those in force in that province.

Although we must admit that the Conservatives were the ones to recognize Quebec as a nation, there is no denying that this concept has turned out to be nothing more than an empty gesture. This bill, however, would recognize the culture, language and rights of thousands of workers in Quebec on a daily basis.

This bill represents a step towards tangible recognition of Quebec as a nation within Canada, without taking anything away from the country's other provinces and territories. This clearly demonstrates the NDP's approach and its desire to move Canada forward by implementing asymmetrical federalism in which everyone feels that they have a voice and are being respected.

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

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-316, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (incarceration).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Barrie for his support and seconding this bill, my Ottawa staff for help they provided in putting this together and my wife, Annie, for the support she gives me and, indeed, on this private member's bill.

I believe that most Canadians, maybe as high as 99%, maybe a vast majority of members of Parliament and maybe yourself, Mr. Speaker, do not know that going to prison could allow someone to double the amount of time they can apply for and receive in employment insurance benefits. Sections 8 and 10 of the Employment Insurance Act currently allow for prisoners to receive the same level of opportunity as hard-working Canadians who are in need of employment insurance. My bill would repeal those provisions in the Employment Insurance Act so prisoners would no longer be able to apply for an extension to their employment insurance benefits simply because they were in jail.

Why should criminals receive the same level of treatment as hard-working Canadians who are pregnant, or suffer illnesses or injuries? As an example, a mother in Quebec was denied employment insurance after her place of employment went out of business because she had just returned from maternity leave and had not worked enough hours in the previous year. If she had been in prison, however, instead of on maternity leave, she would have been able to receive the extended benefit. This is crazy.

Thus, quite simply, the bill would change the EI Act so that those who serving time for crime no longer would be able to receive preferential treatment over hard-working Canadians, who deserve and need this kind of help. This bill is all about fairness for hard-working Canadians.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

October 3rd, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-317, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations).

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce a bill to amend the Income Tax Act for labour organizations. I would like to thank the member for New Brunswick Southwest for seconding the bill.

Labour organizations play a valuable role in Canadian society, representing and defending the rights of workers to health and safety on the job and ensuring good compensation for the work that they do.

The bill would require a public disclosure of the finances of labour unions. This is in line with the increased transparency we have introduced for government departments, agencies and native reserves. Public disclosure is strongly supported by the Canadian public and even more so by union members themselves.

The basic premise of the bill is that every labour union in Canada would file a standard set of financials, which would then be publicly posted on the CRA website, much like charities already are required to do. The public would be empowered to gauge the effectiveness, financial integrity and the health of any union. Using electronic filing, the expense incurred by unions and by the federal government should be negligible.

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

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the third report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House earlier today be concurred in.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House for this motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Aboriginal AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first petition is to do with the Stolen Sisters. The petitioners indicate that the Native Women's Association of Canada, through its Sisters in Spirit campaign, has identified 520 missing and murdered aboriginal women, whose cases go back to the 1970s.

The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to ensure that the Native Women's Association receives sufficient funding to continue its important work of protecting women through its Sister in Spirit initiative and to invest in initiatives recommended by NWAC to help prevent more women from disappearing.

Child CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition, the petitioners indicate that child care is not accessible or affordable for Canadian families and is often of uncertain quality for young children. They state that child care creates jobs, makes Canada more competitive, helps achieve women's equality, builds local economies and is a recognized human right.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to legislate the right to universal access to child care and to provide multi-year funding to provincial and territorial governments to build a national system of affordable, high quality, public and not-for-profit early childhood education and care accessible to all children. They say that the federal government must establish spending criteria and reporting mechanisms that ensure accountability to how the provinces and territories use federal funding to ensure quality, accessibility, universality and accountability and that acknowledge Quebec's right to develop social programs with adequate compensation from the federal government.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of citizens of Canada who are opposed to the proposed megaquarry in Melancthon township in Dufferin country in Ontario, which will be the largest open-pit quarry in Canada at over 2,300 acres.

The petitioners are specifically concerned that this megaquarry will threaten freshwater fish species, particularly in the Pine river, and will further harm freshwater fish species and the regeneration, affecting Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

The petitioners ask that the Government of Canada conduct an environmental assessment under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Act on the proposed Highland Companies' megaquarry development.

HIV-AIDSPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions on behalf of my constituents.

In the first petition, the petitioners ask the government to fix Canada's Access to Medicine Regime so that low-cost generic drugs can start flowing to developing countries. They say that 2.9 million people across the world died as a result of AIDS this year alone.

The petitioners call on the government to increase funding to fight HIV-AIDS globally and to support the creation of an international women's agency at the UN.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition on behalf of my constituents, who urge Parliament to introduce employment insurance emergency measures to respond to the economic crisis.

The petitioners ask the government to expand the eligibility criteria and the benefits.

Health CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to present a number of petitions today from people in my riding of Hamilton Mountain, all of which address the urgent need for a national pharmacare program in our country.

The petitioners point out that our goal ought to be to have a national drug plan that would enable all Canadians to enjoy equitable access to medicines while, at the same time, controlling the rising cost of drugs.

They are keenly aware of a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which concluded that the existing patchwork of private and public plans in Canada is inequitable, inefficient and costly. The report found that Canada was the third most expensive country for brand-name drugs because it deliberately inflates drug prices in order to attract pharmaceutical investments.

Instead of tackling the issue head on, the government is talking about privatization and user fees. Those are hardly the answers for an aging population that is already finding it difficult to make ends meet and whose retirement savings are again put at risk by yet another economic downturn.

The request by petitioners is as straightforward as it is urgent. They simply want the government to acknowledge that there is a sound economic case to be made for universal public medicare and then to get on with the job of developing and implementing a national pharmacare program.

While I know that the rules of the House do not allow me to endorse a petition, I will conclude by commending the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada for their timely leadership on this important issue.

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to introduce a petition signed by literally thousands of Canadians from all across Canada who call upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known.

The petitioners point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial or occupational causes combined and yet Canada is still one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos, dumping nearly 200,000 tonnes of this product per year into underdeveloped and third world countries. They also point out that Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and introduce a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities in which they live. They call upon the government to end all subsidies of asbestos both in Canada and abroad and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam Convention.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 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

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you might seek unanimous consent to revert to the introduction of private members' bills.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is there unanimous consent to revert to the introduction of private members' bills?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Old Age Security ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-318, An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act (Canada Pension Plan payments).

Mr. Speaker, I will begin by thanking my colleague, the member for London—Fanshawe, and our party's tireless seniors' advocate for seconding this bill.

Saturday was National Seniors' Day but, sadly, that was in name only. There has not been a single new initiative from the Conservative government to help the most vulnerable seniors. A quarter of a million seniors live in poverty in our country today and many more are at risk of falling into poverty as the retirement savings plummet in this continuing economic downturn.

The one thing many can count on is the cost of living increase on their CPP. However, as it turns out, even that is not always theirs to keep. Often, even this marginal increase triggers a commensurate clawback of their GIS, leaving them no further ahead. That simply is not right.

The bill that I am introducing in the House today would prohibit any reduction in the guaranteed income supplement if the only change to one's income is as a result of CPP indexing.

While I know this bill is not enough to fix the larger imperative of lifting all seniors out of poverty, it would at least allow their net income to keep pace with the rising cost of inflation. If the government is serious about honouring the spirit of National Seniors' Day, it will immediately adopt this bill into law.

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