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House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fair.

Topics

Public Accounts of CanadaRoutine 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, it is an honour for me to table today, in both official languages, the 2011 public accounts of Canada. The Government of Canada committed to strictly managing our financial resources and to showing more accountability and transparency in our reports. For the 13th consecutive year, the government has received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor General of Canada on the financial statements. The Government of Canada has every reason to be proud of this.

A message from His Excellency the Governor General transmitting supplementary estimates (B) for the financial year ending March 31, 2012, was presented by the President of the Treasury Board and read by the Speaker to the House.

Members' ExpendituresRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table a document entitled “Individual Member's Expenditures for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2011”.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Certificates of NominationRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in regard to the certificate of nomination of Michael Ferguson to the position of Auditor General of Canada.

Cell Phone Freedom ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-343, An Act respecting the locking of cellular telephones.

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to introduce a private member's bill, the cellphone freedom bill. The bill takes an important step, providing more consumer choice and promoting competition in the domestic wireless market. It would do that by striking a healthy balance on the issue of mobile phone network locks.

Network locks means that Canadian consumers' cellphones are locked to work only on the network of the carrier from which they buy their phone. The cellphone freedom act would level the playing field for Canadian cellphone customers. It would mandate that consumers buying new cellphones in Canada must be informed of any cell network lock on their phones before sale. It would require phone companies to unlock handsets upon request, without charge, when consumers purchase new phones outright. It says that carriers must unlock handsets upon request, free of charge again, when a consumer comes to the end of his or her service contract, or any time thereafter.

I invite members of all parties to stand up for competition and consumers and support the cellphone freedom bill.

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

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

November 3rd, 2011 / 10:10 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

moved:

That, in accordance with subsection 3(1) of the Auditor General Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-17, and pursuant to Standing Order 111.1, this House approve the appointment of Michael Ferguson as Auditor General of Canada for a term of 10 years.

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #51

Auditor General of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

Health CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, petitions continue to pour in from 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 a national drug plan that would enable all Canadians to enjoy equitable access to medicines and at the same time control the rising cost of drugs.

The petitioners 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 the 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 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 its timely leadership on this important issue.

Health CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would just remind hon. members that the Standing Orders provide for a succinct explanation of the petition and I urge members to stick to that so we can accommodate more members who wish to present petitions.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Visitor VisasPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to present a petition today on behalf of individuals who have growing concerns regarding the number of visas that are being rejected. Quite often parents and close family members are attempting to come to Canada to participate in weddings and many other celebrations. However, too many visas are being denied.

The idea of multi-year, multi-entry visas is something that needs to be acted on. We know that it is there in principle, but it does need to be acted on.

The petitioners are asking the government to give special consideration to family members.

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition signed by literally thousands of Canadians who are calling upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known.

The petitioners point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial causes combined, and yet Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world, spending millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

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

Foreign AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by Nova Scotians who are concerned about the fate of Mr. Philip Halliday. Mr. Halliday, a resident of Digby, has languished in a Spanish prison for 22 months without even having a trial date set. Friends and family will hold a rally in support of Mr. Halliday tomorrow and a strong turnout is expected. They have the same hope as the people who signed this petition.

The petitioners call upon the government to defend the rights of Mr. Halliday and take action to intervene on his behalf with the Spanish authorities.

The petitioners also call upon the Government of Canada to use diplomatic channels to ensure Mr. Halliday receives a fair and speedy trial, or immediate release based upon the length of his detention with no trial date and his continued deteriorating health issues.

Search and RescuePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of a number of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and also residents of other parts of Atlantic Canada calling on the government to reverse its decision to close the marine rescue coordinating centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The petitioners point out that the rescue centre staff have a unique knowledge of the area, the ocean and the coastline. They are responsible for an area of 900,000 square kilometres. This rescue coordinating centre has the highest proportion of distress incidents in Canada and saves the lives of 600 people in distress each year.

The petitioners call upon the government to reverse its decision and to reinstate and keep the marine rescue coordinating centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. They are concerned that its closure will mean services will suffer and lives will be put at risk.

This is a very important issue in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The knowledge of the people at sea and the Coast Guard auxiliary that is available are very important to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:55 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, Question No. 151 will be answered today.

Question No. 151Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to Infrastructure Canada, what was the estimate, prepared for the seventh report to Canadians, of the number of Economic Action Plan projects and the value of the federal contribution that would be affected by the government's December 2, 2010, decision to extend the stimulus construction deadline?

Question No. 151Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as part of Canada’s economic action plan, Infrastructure Canada is responsible for delivering the $4 billion infrastructure stimulus fund and the $500 million top-up to the communities component of the building Canada fund. These two programs benefited from the government’s decision to extend the stimulus construction deadline from March 31, 2011, to October 31, 2011. Two additional programs not managed by Infrastructure Canada, the knowledge infrastructure program and recreational infrastructure Canada, also benefited from the extension.

Although the seventh report to Canadians was released on January 31, 2011, it was finalized ahead of this date. At the time the report was finalized, provinces, territories, municipalities, and other partners had not yet submitted, as per the conditions of the extension, their requests for extending their projects beyond the original March 31, 2011, deadline to October 31, 2011. Details are presented on page 65 of the seventh report.

As such, figures on the number of projects seeking extension or the value of the federal contribution under Infrastructure Canada’s two programs were not included in the seventh report to Canadians. This was noted on page 66 of the seventh report: “Details on the value and number of projects that will be extended into 2011-12 will be known closer to the end of 2010-11 following receipt of estimates from provinces, territories, municipalities or other partners.”