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House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elected.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two reports. One is entitled, “Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan”. The other is entitled, “Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan”. Both were announced by the Prime Minister yesterday.

Ban on Shark Fin Importation ActRoutine Proceedings

December 8th, 2011 / 10:05 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-380, An Act to amend the Fish Inspection Act and the Fisheries Act (importation of shark fins).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the bill, an act to amend the Fish Inspection Act and the Fisheries Act (importation of shark fins). I would like to thank the member for Vancouver East for seconding the bill.

The bill would amend the Fish Inspection Act to prohibit the importation of shark fins into Canada, and would make into law a prohibition on shark finning in Canadian waters.

Sharks are top predators and play a key role in maintaining ocean health. Their populations are plummeting around the world. Scientists report that up to 73 million sharks are killed annually for their fins, often by finning, a horrific practice in which the fins are severed from the shark and the shark's body is discarded at sea.

In 2009, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported that over one-third of all shark species are threatened with extinction as a result of shark finning.

The best way to curb illegal finning is to stop the international trade in shark fins. Canada can become a world leader in shark conservation and ocean stewardship by adopting legislation to protect sharks.

I hope all members of the House will support this legislation.

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

Strengthening Fiscal Transparency ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-381, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Parliamentary Budget Officer).

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to introduce my private member's bill, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Parliamentary Budget Officer).

I am pleased to present this important legislation. I would like to thank my colleague from Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques for seconding the bill and for supporting efforts to promote transparency and accountability, which are so important to our role as members of Parliament.

The position of parliamentary budget officer was created in 2006 after the Liberal sponsorship scandal, as part of the Conservatives' commitment to government accountability. But despite their promise to create an independent parliamentary budget office, the Conservatives refused to grant the PBO the same independence and the same authority as other officers of Parliament, such as the Auditor General.

In accordance with the legislation, the PBO's appointment can be revoked at the discretion of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, and not Parliament, has the power to hire and dismiss the PBO. This restriction is not imposed on other officers of Parliament.

Canadians and their members of Parliament deserve to know the real costs of policies and laws, and the PBO must have enough power and independence to achieve this goal.

Canadians and their MPs deserve to hear about the real costs of policy and legislation, and the PBO must have sufficient power and independence to meet this goal. The bill would allow the PBO to operate independently with a budget to fulfill his or her mandate.

Canadians want the government to be held accountable. We must be focused on ensuring that fiscal transparency and accountability are standard operating procedure in Ottawa.

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

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Safer Railways ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

moved that Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, be read the first time.

(Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)

National Philanthropy Day ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

moved that Bill S-201, An Act respecting a National Philanthropy Day, be read the first time.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce Bill S-201, an act respecting a National Philanthropy Day.

Both at home and around the globe, Canadians are recognized for their generosity and compassion. We continue to be inspired by the dedication of volunteers who give freely of their time to improve the lives of others.

I want to thank my good friend, Senator Terry Mercer, who has introduced this bill to recognize November 15 as national philanthropy day numerous times in the other place. Through his persistence and hard work, the Senate passed the bill on several occasions. I hope this time my colleagues in the House will see fit to pass it as well.

Every one of us is a beneficiary of volunteerism and the generous spirit that Canadians exemplify. This philanthropy is seen in organizations like Beacon House, a food bank in the Bedford/Sackville area, which is in my riding. It depends upon the generosity of people who care about others, their friends, neighbours and people they may never meet.

There are larger organizations, like Feed Nova Scotia, which collects and distributes food to more than 150 food banks in Nova Scotia and meal programs thrive under the caring spirit of Nova Scotians.

Canadians give more than two billion hours a year of their time to help others. Two-thirds of all Canadians donate to charitable organizations every year. It is in recognition of these immeasurable contributions that we look to recognize national philanthropy day every November.

(Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)

Human RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, the House of Commons joins the Senate of Canada in calling upon the Government of Pakistan to immediately release Ms. Asia Bibi, to ensure her safety and well-being, to hear the outcry of the international community and to respect the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

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

Human RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Human RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Human RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Human RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to present another three petitions signed by hundreds more people in my riding of Hamilton Mountain who call upon the House of Commons to finally take action on asbestos. They note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known. In fact, they point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than from all other industrial and occupational causes combined.

The petitioners also draw the attention of the House to the fact that Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world. Asbestos use is banned in Canada, but Canada still spends millions of dollars subsidizing and promoting the asbestos industry abroad and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all its forms and to institute a just transition program for both asbestos workers and the communities in which they live.

They also call upon Parliament to end all government subsidies of asbestos in Canada and abroad. They want the government to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam convention.

I am thrilled by the huge response my article in the Mountain News generated on asbestos, and I will continue to table petitions until the government finally listens to all those Canadians who are engaged on this file and who want to see action.

Health CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to present a petition that was developed by SEIU Local 1 and circulated by SEIU retirees. They gathered hundreds of signatures in support of 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 is the third most expensive country for brand name drugs because it deliberately inflates drug prices in order to attract pharmaceutical investment.

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 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--

Health CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order. There are lots of members on their feet to present petitions and we would like to get through them all in 15 minutes. I would ask the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain to quickly finish.

Health CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

I just need two more seconds, Mr. Speaker.

The petitioners 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.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 it is an honour to rise in the House today to present two petitions on behalf of many Ottawa residents.

I would like to recognize the advocacy efforts of my constituent Mr. Joe Parchelo of Ottawa South.

I am also pleased to table a petition on behalf of Mr. John Dorner of the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

The petitioners wish to build support for positive Canadian action at the United Nations conference on climate change in Durban, South Africa.

It is a privilege to table these petitions on behalf of very concerned local citizens.

Veterans AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present two petitions.

The first petition is signed by veterans and their supporters who feel they have been abandoned by their own government and believe planned cuts of $226 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs are wrong. This petition notes the impact of the government's severe cuts will impair the department's ability to provide support to the very veterans who have been injured in the service of their country.

The proud Nova Scotians who have signed this petition call on the government to restore full funding to Veterans Affairs and exempt the department from the current program review.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by citizens in my riding on behalf of the Canadian interfaith call for leadership and action on climate change.

This petition points out that the growing crisis of climate change is symptomatic of greed, an underlying spiritual deficit which has led to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

The petition calls on Canada to lead by example instead of waiting for others to act.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from the Canadian interfaith call for leadership on action on climate change.

The petitioners, who reside in the Abbotsford-Delta area in the Lower Mainland, call on Parliament in the spirit of global solidarity to take collective action by signing and implementing a binding international agreement replacing the Kyoto protocol that commits nations to reduce carbon emissions and set fair and clear targets to ensure that global average temperatures stay below a 2° Celsius increase from pre-industrial levels.

Canada Post CorporationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition addressed to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. It is signed by about a hundred of my constituents, who say:

We, the undersigned, Canadian residents and persons with reduced mobility, wish to call to the attention of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities that the Canada Post Corporation has cut an essential service without consultation and without offering another comparable service, by refusing to use the built-in mailboxes between the entrances of 6660 and 6680 Couture Street to collect mail.

Therefore...and with the support of...[our] member of Parliament for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, we, the undersigned, residents of the Gérard-Poitras complex, located at 6660 and 6680 Couture Street in Saint-Léonard, Quebec, are calling on the Canada Post Corporation to install a mailbox directly in front of our complex, since the nearest mailbox to the Gérard-Poitras complex is too far away and is inaccessible for many of us who have reduced mobility.

Citizenship and ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions to the House, the first of which pertains to Bill C-4.

Hundreds of petitioners in my riding of Parkdale--High Park wish to call the House's attention to Bill C-4, the preventing human smugglers from abusing Canada's immigration system act. The petitioners argue that the bill is in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as numerous international conventions and covenants to which Canada is a party. They therefore call upon the House to withdraw the bill.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I wish to present today pertains to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure that the Holodomor and Canada's first national internment operations are included in the exhibits permanently displayed at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and that any further funding to the museum be suspended until there is a transparent review of the governance of the museum.

Quebec City Marine Rescue Sub-CentrePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition signed by over 2,000 people calling on the government to reverse its decision to close the marine rescue sub-centre in Quebec City and maintain all marine rescue coordination operations at the Canadian Coast Guard base in Quebec City.

That centre serves an area between Lake St. Francis and Blanc-Sablon, including the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands. I would remind the House that the centre was created in 1977 after many deficiencies were identified in the management of rescue operations, which at the time were coordinated by the centres in Trenton and Halifax. One particular concern was the fact that those centres could not provide services in French. Let us not forget the fishermen from the Magdalen Islands who died on the Acadien II in March 2008.

Despite that tragedy, the Conservative government announced in the last federal budget that it is closing the Quebec City rescue centre in the spring of 2012, and any distress calls from the St. Lawrence River or gulf will be handled in Trenton, Ontario, or Halifax, Nova Scotia. In other words, all marine rescue operations for the St. Lawrence River and gulf will no longer be coordinated in Quebec City. Instead they will be transferred to Halifax or Trenton. It makes absolutely no sense, which is why I support this petition and I call on the government to stay the closure of the marine rescue sub-centre in Quebec City.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 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. 195 will be answered today.