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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Amateur SportOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I certainly join with my colleague in the good news that Sidney Crosby will return to the ice tonight. He was a great star for Canada at the Olympics and is a role model for Canadians on how to behave in sport.

I agree with my colleague and his persistent efforts on this subject. Our government has taken action. The Minister of State for Sport and the Prime Minister have been involved on this file to ensure that we work with amateur sport organizations, not against them, to ensure we can move forward and have strategies that make sense for individual sports. Lacrosse has a different universe of head injuries, so do football and hockey. They all have their own science and we need to ensure that the sports are safe for our kids to play.

IranOral Questions

November 21st, 2011 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, including Canada, spoke with one voice on Iran's nuclear program. Even traditional allies of Iran voted for a resolution that holds the Iranian regime to account for again failing to live up to its international obligations.

Could the government House leader please update us on this situation?

IranOral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the International Atomic Energy Agency resolution but, frankly, we wish it had gone further. That is why Canada is working together with like-minded countries and is today expanding sanctions against Iran.

Canada is working together with like-minded countries and is today expanding sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions cover the known leadership of the Iranian revolutionary guard and block virtually all transactions with Iran, including those with the central bank.

The regime in Iran poses a significant threat to regional and global peace. We will do what it takes to isolate the regime and to minimize the risk that it poses to global peace.

Child PovertyOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was Universal Children's Day but Canadians have little reason to celebrate with one of the worst child poverty rates in the G20.

While the government claims to be supporting families, one in ten Canadian children live in poverty. The government's callous response is “just get a job”.

The Conservatives just do not get it. Many have jobs, low paying, part-time jobs.

Why is the government refusing to help fight child poverty? Why has there been no action on creating the jobs that these families need?

Child PovertyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the real question is why the NDP has voted against every initiative we have to help families get back to work and look after their children.

Those members voted against the universal child care benefit. They voted against an increase in the national child benefit. They also voted against the WITB, the working income tax benefit, that is there to help families get over the welfare wall and encourage them to get back to work.

Why is it that the NDP will not help workers work?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, unhappy that Quebec is opposed to their justice bill, the Conservatives are turning to blind partisanship. Senator Boisvenu, an unelected representative, is doing the dirty work.

For a week now, he has been attacking the credibility of the Barreau du Québec, questioning the competence of minister Jean-Marc Fournier and ridiculing unanimous decisions by Quebec's National Assembly.

My question is simple, and I hope to receive a very clear answer. Does the Minister of Justice approve of the inappropriate attacks being made by the unelected senator or does he condemn the derogatory comments?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have been very consistent. The bill that is before Parliament has been here in some cases for four years. It specifically targets those individuals in the business of trafficking in drugs and those individuals who would sexually exploit children.

Canadians from coast to coast gave us a mandate and we are following through on that mandate. I am very proud of our stand in that area.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of a delegation that is heading the 18th Canada-Mexico Interparliamentary Conference led by His Excellency José González Morfí, President of the Senate of the United Mexican States, and His Excellency Porfirio Muñoz Ledo from the Chamber of Deputies of the United Mexican States.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I also would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Canadian Autism Day ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-351, An Act respecting a Canadian Autism Day.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill respecting a national autism day. I am proud to introduce legislation that would recognize the work and struggles of those with autism. It also would recognize the challenges faced by friends and families of people with this condition, in particular, parents who raise an autistic child and all of the special people who work with and advocate for them. It is right and overdue to mark and appreciate these challenges.

So much about autism remains to be discovered and I know many in the House have called for additional funding for research, support and coverage under the Canada Health Act. I repeat these calls today. The creation of a national autism day would bring light and attention to those who fall in the autism spectrum and to those who tirelessly support a family member or friend with autism. This is a positive step we can take today. National attention and focus are important first steps to ensuring that all affected by autism have the support they need.

I ask that all members of the House support the bill.

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

National Office for Fire and Emergency Response Statistics ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Statistics Act (National Office for Fire and Emergency Response Statistics).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill that would create a national office for fire and emergency response statistics. This office would build a database to compile fire and emergency response statistics from across Canada. These statistics would be a valuable and much needed source of information that would help our firefighters and policy-makers analyze data to keep our communities safer.

Recently I met with representatives of the firefighting and emergency response community. They told me that Canada did not track fire statistics and that it was missing an important tool to help them do their jobs, keeping Canadians and firefighters safe.

Our first responders are asking us to keep comprehensive information on fire damage, fire deaths and emergency response times so they can better serve our communities.

There are many other things that the government could be doing to support our firefighters. We should implement a public safety officer compensation benefit for the families of fallen police and firefighters. We should include firefighter safety considerations in the national building code and we should expand our fire database to eventually include comprehensive information on all aspects of firefighting that could be shared across the country.

The bill is one important component of what firefighters have been asking for. I urge all members of the House to join with me in supporting our firefighters and give firefighters access to the information they need to keep us all safe.

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

Excise Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-353, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act and the Income Tax Act (extra-energy-efficient products).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill inspired by a young person in my riding, Hansel Fung. He, like many young people, is concerned about our excessive use of energy. This bill proposes a system of tax incentives to encourage Canadian families to lower their energy consumption.

Specifically, the bill would provide financial incentives for individual families to lower their carbon footprint by reducing their energy consumption and use. It would create an HST exemption to lower the price of household appliances deemed by regulation to be extra energy efficient.

The existing Energy Star program helps consumers make informed choices by highlighting energy efficient products, but this bill would go one step further by exempting such products from the HST. Families would be rewarded for making green choices when they purchase low-energy household appliances and products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs. This bill would also create a tax credit to be claimed at the end of the year that would allow families to deduct 10% of the cost of the purchase of low-energy appliances.

I hope all of my colleagues will join with me in supporting this bill, which will encourage a greener future for Canada and a better world.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present. The first petition is about Bill C-233, An Act to eliminate poverty in Canada.

In this petition, the undersigned indicate that poverty affects over 10% of Canadians and disproportionately affects aboriginal peoples, recent immigrants, people with disabilities, youth, women and children. Poverty leads to poor health such that individuals suffering from poverty suffer more health problems and have lower life expectancies.

There are a number of other items that they outline in the petition. They indicate that a majority of provincial and territorial governments have adopted poverty reduction strategies, but that they are limited in that they are unable to reduce poverty in their jurisdictions without support from the federal government.

They are calling on the House to ensure swift passage of Bill C-233, An Act to eliminate poverty in Canada.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I have has to do with An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (mandatory labelling for genetically modified foods). The undersigned are saying that Canadians have a right to make informed choices about the food they eat by having adequate information provided on food labels. They therefore call on the House of Commons to support An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (mandatory labelling for genetically modified foods).

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the final petition has to do with banning asbestos. In this petition the petitioners indicate that Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos. Canada spends millions subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use. They are calling on the Government of Canada to ban asbestos in all its forms and institute a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities that they live in; to end all government 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.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, since March, ten Tibetans have set themselves ablaze in a symbolic yet horrific act of defiance against the Chinese government. These incidents reflect not only the dire situation facing Tibetans but also the lengths to which they will go in order to sound the international alarm, which we ignore both at their peril and our own.

Petitioners note that seven of these self-immolations have been linked to the Kirti monastery in Ngaba, where Chinese security forces are present. These unprecedented and desperate acts are an attempt by the Tibetan people to raise awareness of the systemic repression and persecution they face while seeking international intervention.

Therefore, petitioners call on the government to intervene to save the lives of Tibetan people by urging China to withdraw its security forces from the Kirti monastery, to stop the ongoing torture and mistreatment of monks in Tibet and to uphold the fundamental values of freedom of religion.

Mr. Speaker, I join my voice and those of the members of this House to those of the petitioners in calling upon China to immediately cease the persecution of Tibetans, and in particular of Tibetan monks.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, this is a petition on behalf of many residents in Labrador, primarily from Red Bay, but also from Mary's Harbour and Charlottetown.

They are calling for more work to be done on the vital transportation lifeline for Labrador communities, providing access and economic activity and allowing residents to obtain health care and all other vital services. They cannot afford to wait any more years, or decades, for phases two and three of the Trans-Labrador Highway and the Labrador Straits portion of the Trans-Labrador Highway, which form part of the national highway system.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 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, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 164 and 174.

Question No. 164Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

With regard to Canada’s fleet of fighter jets: (a) how many CF-18s are scheduled to be in service in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018, (iii) 2019, (iv) 2020, (v) beyond 2021; (b) on average, by how many additional flight hours can the life of the CF-18s be extended beyond the extension achieved through the Incremental Modernization Project; (c) in what year will Canada’s full fleet of F-35s achieve (i) initial operating capability, (ii) full operational capability; and (d) what contingency plans, if any, does the government have to ensure that there is no operational gap between the retiring CF-18s and the acquisition and deployment of F-35s should their production schedule be delayed?

Question No. 164Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), retirement of the CF-18 fleet will be coordinated with the acceptance schedule of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces forecast that the number of CF-18s in service will reduce gradually in the early years of the acquisition of the F-35, and then reduce more quickly as the F-35 fleet comes online. The Canadian Forces undertook an in-depth planning process to ensure that there would be no operational gap for our fighter aircraft fleet. The current delivery plan is based on a cost-effective point in the F-35 production schedule, balanced against the Royal Canadian Air Force’s ability to absorb the F-35 and the anticipated life expectancy of the CF-18.

With regard to (b), to be clear, the CF-18 incremental modernization project, IMP, did not extend the structural life of the aircraft. This project was limited to addressing the obsolescence of avionics and armament systems that were no longer operationally relevant and were increasingly expensive to maintain.

There has been a separate multi-year project to increase the fatigue life of the aircraft by developing repair schemes for cracks and by strengthening the structure in key areas. The amount of repair work to be completed under this project will be assessed and managed as necessary to ensure that there are sufficient CF-18s available during the transition to the F-35.

With regard to (c)(i), initial operating capability is currently forecast to be 2020.

With regard to (c)(ii), full operational capability is currently forecast to be 2025.

The definition of initial operational capability, IOC, is associated with attaining a certain specific operational capability. In the case of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the declaration of initial operating capability is based on the RCAF receiving a certain minimum number of aircraft to employ operationally, as well as adequately trained operators and maintainers. In general, full operational capability will be reached once the project has delivered and put into place the full fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, trained personnel, infrastructure, equipment and support elements to meet the Canadian Forces’ mandated capabilities.

With regard to (d), the CF-18 incremental modernization project and the CF-18 structural life extension process have provided a measure of robustness and flexibility to react to short-term delays in the achievement of F-35 initial operational capability. As stated above, retirement of the CF-18 fleet will be coordinated with the acceptance schedule of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

Question No. 174Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

With regard to Transport Canada, and more specifically the disposal or sale of vessels formerly operated by Marine Atlantic, the MV Caribou and the MV Joseph & Clara Smallwood: (a) who bought or acquired each of the vessels; (b) how much, in Canadian dollars, did the purchaser pay for each of the vessels; (c) who was the ship broker that handled each of the transactions and where was the broker from; (d) were any Canadian broker firms considered or asked to handle the transactions, and, (i) if so, who were they and why did they not participate in the process, (ii) if no Canadian broker firm was considered, why; and (e) how much, in Canadian dollars, were the brokers compensated for each of the transactions?

Question No. 174Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the MV Caribou was sold to Comrie Ltd. of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for $3,875,000 in Canadian dollars.

The MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood was sold to Merrion Navigation S.A. of the Marshall Islands for $3,800,000 in Canadian dollars.

With regard to (c), the ship broker was ICAP Shipping based out of London, England.

With regard to (d), Marine Atlantic disposed of the vessels in accordance with all appropriate and accepted procurement practices applicable to Canadian crown corporations. The corporation issued a request for proposals, RFP, to ensure an open bidding process to select a broker. The RFP was posted on MERX, a leading electronic tendering service used by the Government of Canada. While no Canadian brokerage firms were directly contacted by Marine Atlantic, the tendering process allowed for any Canadian brokerage firm to submit a bid through MERX. No Canadian firms submitted a bid.

While it was publicly known for several months that Marine Atlantic was attempting to sell the vessels, no Canadian brokerage firm approached the corporation before the issuance of the RFP or in response to the RFP. One Canadian broker did contact Marine Atlantic after the selected brokerage firm had been awarded the contract.

With regard to (e), ICAP received 1% of the gross sale price: $38,750 in Canadian dollars for the MV Caribou and $38,000 in Canadian dollars for the MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 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, if Questions Nos. 166, 168 and 169 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.