This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Privacy Commissioner

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Privacy Commissioner concerning the Privacy Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Government Performance ReportsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of 95 departments and agencies, I have the honour to table, in both official language, the departmental performance reports for the 2010-11 fiscal year and their companion piece, entitled “Canada's Performance 2010–11”.

I invite members to access the performance report at tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr.

I also ask members to think about the benefits of using electronic reports versus the usual thousands of printed pages that have been distributed in previous years. Indeed, for the first time, the great majority of these DPRs are on memory sticks, thus saving the cost of printing three million pages. I have the honour of doing this for the first time in this Parliament.

Veterans OmbudsmanRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table this morning, in both official languages, the Veterans Ombudsman's report, entitled “One Veteran: A Matter of Fairness”.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts.

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

Corrections and Conditional Release ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-350, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (accountability of offenders).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce an amendment to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. The amendment would ensure that any monetary amount awarded to an offender, pursuant to legal action or proceeding, would be paid to victims and other designated beneficiaries.

The amendment would ensure victims of crimes came first and criminals would not profit from crimes.

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

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions this morning.

The first one is with regard to the atmospheric ozone layer, which is critical to life on Earth through its regulation of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The ninth meeting of the parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is being held next week, in Bali. Canada's commitments to ozone monitoring and science under the convention and the government's commitment will no doubt be questioned.

The petitioners call upon the Minister of the Environment to develop a plan to ensure the integrity of the ozone monitoring program and commission a report to assess the adequacy of Canadian contributions to the global observing system for climate in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to present a petition regarding chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI.

Fifteen thousand procedures have now been performed in 60 countries. Patients report reduced brain fog and fatigue, and improved circulation and motor skills, as demonstrated through improved EDSS scores. Dr. Mehta studied 150 consecutive MS patients who showed more than a 25% increase in quality of life scores a year after the procedure.

The petitioners are calling for the Minister of Health to consult experts actively engaged in diagnosis and treatment of CCSVI to undertake phase III clinical trials on an urgent basis in multiple centres across Canada and to require follow-up care.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.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. 167, 170, 171 and 172 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 167Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

With regard to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada funding in the riding of Pierrefonds—Dollard for the last five fiscal years: (a) what is the total amount of spending by (i) year, (ii) program; and (b) what is the amount of each spending item by (i) Technical Assistance and Foreign-Based Cooperative Activities (International Trade and Labour Program), (ii) Skills Link (Youth Employment Strategy), (iii) Consultation and Partnership-Building and Canadian-Based Cooperative Activities (International Trade and Labour Program), (iv) Canada Summer Jobs (Youth Employment Strategy), (v) Children and Families (Social Development Partnerships Program), (vi) Labour Market Development Agreements, (vii) Labour Market Agreements, (viii) Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, (ix) Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities, (x) Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, (xi) Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment, (xii) Enabling Accessibility Fund, (xiii) Skills and Partnership Fund--Aboriginal, (xiv) Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, (xv) International Academic Mobility Initiative--Canada-European Union Program for Co-operation in Higher Education, Training and Youth, (xvi) International Academic Mobility Initiative--Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education, (xvii) Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, (xviii) International Labour Institutions in which Canada Participates (International Trade and Labour Program), (xix) Labour Mobility, (xx) New Horizons for Seniors, (xxi) Career Focus (Youth Employment Strategy), (xxii) Fire Safety Organizations, (xxiii) Organizations that Write Occupational Health and Safety Standards, (xxiv) Social Development Partnerships Program--Disability, (xxv) Foreign Credential Recognition Program Loans (pilot project), (xxvi) Fire Prevention Canada, (xxvii) Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program, (xxviii) Canada-European Union Program for Co-operation in Higher Education, Training and Youth (International Academic Mobility Initiative), (xxix) Labour-Management Partnerships Program, (xxx) Social Development Partnerships Program--Children and Families, (xxxi) Social Development Partnerships Program--Disability, (xxxii) Foreign Credential Recognition Program, (xxxiii) International Trade and Labour Program--Technical Assistance and Foreign-Based Cooperative Activities, (xxxiv) International Trade and Labour Program--Consultation and Partnership-Building and Canadian-Based Cooperative Activities, (xxxv) International Trade and Labour Program--International Labour Institutions in which Canada Participates, (xxxvi) Sector Council Program, (xxxvii) Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program (Youth Employment Strategy), (xxxviii) Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program, (xxxix) Employment Programs--Career Development Services Research, (xl) Career Development Services Research (Employment Programs), (xli) Occupational Health and Safety, (xlii) Youth Awareness, (xliii) Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, (xliv) Homelessness Partnering Strategy, (xlv) Youth Employment Strategy--Skills Link, (xlvi) Youth Employment Strategy--Canada Summer Jobs, (xlvii) Youth Employment Strategy--Career Focus, (xlviii) Youth Employment Strategy--Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program, (xlix) Apprenticeship Completion Grant, (l) Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, (li) Work-Sharing, (lii) Small Project Component (Enabling Accessibility Fund)?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 170Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

With regard to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada funding in the riding of Beauséjour for the last five fiscal years: (a) what is the total amount of spending by (i) year, (ii) program; and (b) what is the amount of each spending item by (i) Technical Assistance and Foreign-Based Cooperative Activities (International Trade and Labour Program), (ii) Skills Link (Youth Employment Strategy), (iii) Consultation and Partnership-Building and Canadian-Based Cooperative Activities (International Trade and Labour Program), (iv) Canada Summer Jobs (Youth Employment Strategy), (v) Children and Families (Social Development Partnerships Program), (vi) Labour Market Development Agreements, (vii) Labour Market Agreements, (viii) Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, (ix) Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities, (x) Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, (xi) Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment, (xii) Enabling Accessibility Fund, (xiii) Skills and Partnership Fund--Aboriginal, (xiv) Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, (xv) International Academic Mobility Initiative--Canada-European Union Program for Co-operation in Higher Education, Training and Youth, (xvi) International Academic Mobility Initiative--Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education, (xvii) Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, (xviii) International Labour Institutions in which Canada Participates (International Trade and Labour Program), (xix) Labour Mobility, (xx) New Horizons for Seniors, (xxi) Career Focus (Youth Employment Strategy), (xxii) Fire Safety Organizations, (xxiii) Organizations that Write Occupational Health and Safety Standards, (xxiv) Social Development Partnerships Program--Disability, (xxv) Foreign Credential Recognition Program Loans (pilot project), (xxvi) Fire Prevention Canada, (xxvii) Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program, (xxviii) Canada-European Union Program for Co-operation in Higher Education, Training and Youth (International Academic Mobility Initiative), (xxix) Labour-Management Partnerships Program, (xxx) Social Development Partnerships Program--Children and Families, (xxxi) Social Development Partnerships Program--Disability, (xxxii) Foreign Credential Recognition Program, (xxxiii) International Trade and Labour Program--Technical Assistance and Foreign-Based Cooperative Activities, (xxxiv) International Trade and Labour Program--Consultation and Partnership-Building and Canadian-Based Cooperative Activities, (xxxv) International Trade and Labour Program--International Labour Institutions in which Canada Participates, (xxxvi) Sector Council Program, (xxxvii) Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program (Youth Employment Strategy), (xxxviii) Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program, (xxxix) Employment Programs--Career Development Services Research, (xl) Career Development Services Research (Employment Programs), (xli) Occupational Health and Safety, (xlii) Youth Awareness, (xliii) Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, (xliv) Homelessness Partnering Strategy, (xlv) Youth Employment Strategy--Skills Link, (xlvi) Youth Employment Strategy--Canada Summer Jobs, (xlvii) Youth Employment Strategy--Career Focus, (xlviii) Youth Employment Strategy--Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program, (xlix) Apprenticeship Completion Grant, (l) Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, (li) Work-Sharing, (lii) Small Project Component (Enabling Accessibility Fund)?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 171Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

With regard to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada funding in the riding of Davenport for the last five fiscal years: (a) what is the total amount of spending by (i) year, (ii) program; and (b) what is the amount of each spending item by (i) Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP), (ii) Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, (iii) Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund, (iv) Adult Learning Literacy and Essential Skills Program, (v) Apprenticeship Completion Grant, (vi) Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, (vii) Career Development Services Research (Employment Programs), (viii) Canada--European Union Program for Cooperation in Higher Education, Training and Youth (International Academic Mobility Program), (ix) Canada Summer Jobs (Youth Employment Strategy Program), (x) Career Focus (Youth Employment Strategy Program), (xi) Children and Families (Social Development Partnerships Program), (xii) Contributions for Consultation and Partnership-Building and Canadian-Based Cooperative Activities (International Trade and Labour Program), (xiii) Disability Component (Social Development Partnerships Program), (xiv) Employment Programs--Career Development Services Research, (xv) Enabling Accessibility Fund, (xvi) Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities, (xvii) Federal Public Service Youth Internship Program (Youth Employment Strategy Program), (xviii) Fire Prevention Grants, (xix) Fire Safety Organizations, (xx) Foreign Credential Recognition Program, (xxi) Homelessness Partnering Strategy, (xxii) International Academic Mobility--Canada--European Union Program for Cooperation in Higher Education, Training and Youth, (xxiii) International Academic Mobility--North American Mobility in Higher Education, (xxiv) International Labour Institutions in which Canada Participates Grants (International Trade and Labour Program), (xxv) International Trade and Labour Program (ITLP) Contributions for Consultation and Partnership-Building and Canadian-Based Cooperative Activities, (xxvi) International Trade and Labour Program (ITLP) Grants for Technical Assistance and Foreign-Based Cooperative Activities, (xxvii) International Trade and Labour Program (ITLP) International Labour Institutions in which Canada Participates Grants, (xxviii) Labour-Management Partnership Program, (xxix) Labour Market Agreements, (xxx) Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, (xxxi) Labour Market Development Agreements, (xxxii) Labour Mobility, (xxxiii) New Horizons for Seniors Program, (xxxiv) Occupational Health and Safety, (xxxv) Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, (xxxvi) Organizations that Write Occupational Health and Safety Standards, (xxxvii) Sector Council Program, (xxxviii) Skills and Partnership Fund--Aboriginal, (xxxix) Skills Link (Youth Employment Strategy Program), (xl) Small Project Component (Enabling Accessibility Fund), (xli) Social Development Partnerships Program--Children and Families, (xlii) Social Development Partnerships Program--Disability Component, (xliii) Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, (xliv) Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, (xlv) Technical Assistance and Foreign-Based Cooperative Activities Grants (International Trade and Labour Program), (xlvi) Work-Sharing, (xlvii) Youth Awareness, (xlviii) Youth Employment Strategy--Canada Summer Jobs, (xlix) Youth Employment Strategy--Career Focus, (l) Youth Employment Strategy--Federal Public Service Youth Internship Program, (li) Youth Employment Strategy--Skills Link?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 172Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

With regard to the Toronto Airport Rail Link: (a) what is the total volume of correspondence received by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and by departments for which the minister is responsible calling for the electrification of the rail line from (i) individuals, (ii) organizations, (iii) elected officials; (b) what is the total number of petition signatures received by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and by departments for which the minister is responsible calling for the electrification of the rail line; (c) what are the names and addresses of all organizations in (a); (d) since 2006, what reports has the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the departments for which the minister is responsible produced or received regarding (i) the health impacts of diesel trains in urban centres, (ii) the benefits of electrification of the urban rail, (iii) the noise pollution of diesel trains; (e) what, if any, federal funding has been provided for the Toronto Airport Rail Link; (f) if federal funding was provided for the Toronto Airport Rail Link, were any conditions put in place requiring the electrification of the rail line; and (g) what is the government’s position on making the electrification of urban rail lines a condition for receiving federal funding for transit projects contained within an urban area?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—Aboriginal AffairsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

November 17th, 2011 / 10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

moved:

That the House call on the Government of Canada to address on an urgent basis the needs of those First Nations communities whose members have no access to clean, running water in their homes; that action to address this disparity begin no later than spring 2012; and that the House further recognize that the absence of this basic requirement represents a continuing affront to our sense of justice and fairness as Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for St. Paul's.

It would be nice if we did not have to debate this issue, but we have to recognize that Canadians live, unfortunately, in very different conditions, depending on where they live. A continuing affront to our sense of wholeness, justice and fairness as Canadians is the fact that members of first nations communities and other aboriginal communities across the country are living in conditions of deep poverty and great hardship. The most telling reflection of this hardship is the fact that there are hundreds of communities which do not have access to clean running water at the present time.

I have a personal reflection on this because at the time that I led a government in Ontario, the provincial government made a decision that it was not going to tolerate this situation in our own province. Although it was, strictly speaking, outside our jurisdiction, we negotiated with the federal government a cost-sharing agreement in which Ontario, even though it did not have to, would contribute to infrastructure to ensure that people living in first nations communities would have access to clean running water, flush toilets, sewage treatment, and housing and the basic conditions of life which make a difference.

I spoke with Premier Selinger in Manitoba. He told me that he would be interested in negotiating a similar agreement with the federal government, but that the federal government was not expressing an interest in dealing with this question on an urgent basis. He signalled to me that his government was not going to do it without the support of the federal government, which is not an unreasonable position for him to take. However, if the federal government were willing, the Province of Manitoba would be willing to step up to the plate and contribute to making a difference to the first nations people who are living in northern Manitoba.

It really is quite extraordinary that the federal government has not taken up such an offer. It is not every day that a provincial government says it is prepared to spend money outside its jurisdiction in order to deal with a deep humanitarian problem. The federal government has said that it is prepared to change the regulations that would increase the requirements for first nations governments on the question of clean drinking water. However, that approach flies in the face of the recommendations the government has received from an expert panel that it appointed. That expert panel said to deal with the resources first and then the regulations.

The principle is very simple. We believe that all Canadians, regardless of where in Canada they live—whether it is in the north, the south or elsewhere in the country—have a fundamental right to have access to drinking water and that they also have the right to adequate water facilities. As Canadians, we refuse to accept that people live in such conditions of poverty, when we talk about Canada as a fair and just country. There is a contradiction there that the Liberal Party can no longer accept.

This is not a motion that is intended to engage us in partisan debate. I hope the government can find a way to support it.

The government may want to spend the day making partisan speeches saying that the Liberal government did not do this or that. We can all recognize that not everything was done that should have been done, but that is not the point.

The point is now we have clear public statements from the expert panel to which I have referred, chaired by Dr. Harry Swain who was a well-known deputy minister in the Government of Canada. We have the reports of the former auditor general, Sheila Fraser.

These reports from the Auditor General directly address the unacceptable living conditions in this country's first nations communities.

We have reports coming out as recently as this week indicating just how unacceptable it is for our country. As of 2010, 116 first nations reserve communities across Canada are under a drinking water advisory with a mean average duration of 343 days. Lack of access to clean drinking water presents a serious health threat to first nations reserve communities, creating a higher likelihood of disease and infection transmission, and poorer overall health outcomes.

We can look back to the 19th century and ask what explains the dramatic improvement in the living conditions of working people all across Europe, what accounted for a tremendous extension of life for working people in the middle of the 19th century. It was clean drinking water and sewage treatment. Those are the two things that made a profound difference to the health of ordinary people.

I can see many colleagues in the House, and all of us can speak of our travels. I remember one trip when I was in provincial politics in the 1980s to the communities recognized by my colleague from Timmins. It had an impact on me, and when I became premier I said that if we did nothing else, we had to take steps to make sure that we improved the basic living conditions and the infrastructure for the people living in Attawapiskat and Kashechewan and the communities on the shores of James Bay in the province of Ontario.

There is not a single member in this House who would not be equally affected by visiting the northern reserves right across this country. Members would find isolated conditions, people living in poverty, housing conditions that are unacceptable by any standard. Too many people are falling sick because they do not have access to something quite basic and fundamental, safe, clean drinking water.

Let us think about Canada, the country of clean water, the country of beautiful lakes, the country of flowing rivers. Is this a country that cannot provide the basics of life to its own people? Is this a country that says it will pass regulations but it will not provide the resources?

It is something we cannot accept, and we insist that it be changed.

Opposition Motion—Aboriginal AffairsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Madam Speaker, I understand the umbrage that comes forward from the leader of the third party. I understand the substance of the motion. We will support this motion. It is a good motion from the standpoint that we all are in agreement that the current standards are unacceptable. The situation in first nation communities across the country in too many cases is unacceptable.

However, I do have a real issue with the attitude that is displayed. When I was sitting here in opposition for 13 years, in year 12, the government of the day sent the army into Kashechewan because it had not dealt with the fact that the community outfall was above the water intake. That is the kind of behaviour and lip service we saw from the Liberal administration, which I find unacceptable.

Opposition Motion—Aboriginal AffairsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, you may be surprised and so may the minister by my response to that. I think we all recognize that more could and should have been done. I do not come into the House with this motion with any sense of partisan superiority. There is not a government in this country that can look at itself and ask if it has done everything possible to deal with this situation.

We all know the circumstances that have existed in the past. What we are asking the House to do is to say that these are conditions that cannot be allowed to continue. If it makes the Conservatives feel better all day to simply say that the Liberals did not do anything over a period of time, they can go ahead. We have a defence to that. We can show members what we have done. I pointed to an area where the Liberal government of the day and the New Democratic government in Ontario were able to agree on an infrastructure program in northern Ontario that actually made a difference, that actually fixed some problems.

I encourage the minister to take the same practical approach as we go forward.

Opposition Motion—Aboriginal AffairsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to hear that our communities of Kashechewan and Attawapiskat are being referred to because they are the epicentres of Canada's shame on the international stage for what is happening. As we speak, there is a state of emergency in Attawapiskat. There are families who are dumping waste out of buckets in the streets. That is happening under the current government. It happened in Kashechewan under the last government.

As premier of Ontario, he talked about the province getting involved. After Walkerton, we saw the province establish standards that affected water standards right down to cottages and to campgrounds, but those water standards end at the reserves. These are citizens of Ontario. People have seen the federal government's years of neglect. The member has spoken with the premier of Manitoba. Would he speak with Premier Dalton McGuinty and say that if the federal government will not protect the citizens of Ontario, that the province will step in and ensure that the guarantee of clean drinking water, fire standards and education will be maintained because these are citizens who are being denied their basic rights?