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House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libya.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the member shares my concern for Canada's economic recovery. Our government is focused on our low tax plan, keeping taxes low, and creating jobs for Canadians.

The opposition parties want to force an unnecessary election in order to raise taxes and kill jobs. While they are focused on opportunism and partisanship, we are focused on bringing forward the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, and creating jobs and growth.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the list of worrisome studies on the state of the Champlain Bridge keeps growing year after year. The only thing the minister has done is send a senator and would-be candidate to throw a bit of money into the potholes. In 2008, the engineering firm Oxand was already sounding the alarm, and a study had been done by Dessau the year before that. Now it is Delcan's turn to draw its own troubling conclusions.

If the minister is saying that the bridge will hold for another 10 years, will he agree to release all the reports on the diagnostic testing done by these three engineering firms?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the safety and security of the Champlain Bridge is a very important one. It is one we take very seriously.

Last Friday we announced a significant amount of dollars and together with the last two years, since 2009, $380 million has been allocated to make sure the bridge is not only safe but it stays that way long into the future.

I have just tabled documentation with regard to that and my hon. colleague can be assured that the bridge is safe.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new president of Rights & Democracy, Gérard Latulippe, has confirmed the new approach at the agency, which works in international development. Rights & Democracy will no longer be publicly criticizing certain of the government's political stands as it was able to do in the past. That is quite the statement: the Prime Minister has managed to silence Rights & Democracy.

Does the government realize that this statement by the new Rights & Democracy president is the clearest evidence that the Conservative government has successfully taken ideological control of this agency?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about taking control, but I am simply talking about modernizing the approach used by Rights & Democracy. It is, as we all know, perfectly normal for the board of directors to address the direction of this agency. In that regard, the president and CEO shared his point of view and the new intentions of the agency.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Diamond Aircraft, a leading manufacturer of private planes, has completed the expensive and sophisticated research and development to launch its new D-Jet and the next generation of private jets.

Diamond already has an order for 240 D-Jets, $20 million from the private sector and a $35 million loan guarantee from the Ontario government. To begin production and secure over 200 good jobs and the potential for 500 more jobs in London, Diamond needs a federal commitment.

Will the Minister of Industry approve a federal contribution for this job creating initiative?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank the members for Elgin—Middlesex—London and London West for their hard work and engagement on this file.

Our government was pleased to support Diamond Aircraft, with close to $20 million in financial support in February 2008 through our strategic aerospace and defence initiative. That was to support their R and D efforts.

This new request is a lot of money. Our government does not take this lightly, and we will be considering our options.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, since 2006 this Conservative government has focused on low taxes for Canadians.

In the first phase of Canada's economic action plan, the government delivered a strategic injection of temporary, timely, targeted stimulus into the economy through programs like work sharing, which helped Canadian families like the Nelsons and the Peters from my riding maintain financial security.

Could the Minister of State for Finance tell the House what time tomorrow the government will be letting the House and all Canadians know about the latest steps in our plan to create jobs, continue the recovery and improve financial security for Canadian families?

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals clearly want to force an election. They want to impose higher and higher taxes on Canadians that would stall the recovery, kill jobs and set Canadian families back.

That is not what our economy needs or what Canadians want. We are focusing on what matters to Canadians, which is jobs and economic growth. We are focused on building on the 480,000 net new jobs created since July 2009.

We are going to continue our focus on creating jobs and growth for Canadians.

JapanOral Questions

March 21st, 2011 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Following discussions among representatives of all parties in the House, I understand there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the earthquake in Japan.

I invite hon. members to rise.

[A moment of silence observed]

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, at your request, if I used any unparliamentary language in response to a question from the member for Timmins—James Bay, I withdraw it.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if I used any unparliamentary language in the course of my response to the member for Kings—Hants, I withdraw that completely and unreservedly.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank both hon. members for their generous compliance with the rules of the House following question period.

Access to InformationRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to section 39 of the Access to Information Act, a special report by the Information Commissioner entitled Interference with “Access to Information, Part 1”.

Conflict of Interest CodeRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Pursuant to Section 15(3) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons it is my duty to lay upon the table the list of all sponsored travel by members for the year 2010 as provided by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 33 petitions.

Canadian HeritageCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the impacts of private television ownership changes and the move towards new viewing platforms.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, and issues regarding cultural diversity.

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th and 12th reports of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in relation to Bill C-304, An Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians, and Bill C-481, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canada Labour Code (mandatory retirement age). The committee has studied both bills and has decided to report each bill back to the House with an amendment.

I wish to thank all of the committee members for their work and collaboration in the course of this process.

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I wonder if the House would give its consent to revert to tabling of documents. I believe the Minister of Veterans Affairs has a document he wants to table. I did not see him at the time and failed to recognize him. Would the House agree to revert?

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Agriculture and Agri-FoodCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 109, I would like to table, in both official languages, the government response to the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food entitled, “Young Farmers: The Future of Agriculture”, which was tabled in the House of Commons on November 19, 2010.

Canada Business Corporations ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-640, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (remuneration of directors and officers).

Mr. Speaker, I am introducing an amendment to the Canada Business Corporations Act regarding the remuneration of directors and officers. It is called the Canadian shareholders act.

The shareholders act would make corporations more accountable to the shareholders of corporations by giving them a direct say in the salaries, stock options and other compensation to the top executives and officers of their companies. This amendment would provide for a special resolution as defined by the Canada Business Corporations Act, which requires a two-thirds vote of the shareholders for passing approval of top executive pay, which applies to the approximately 196,000 federally-regulated Canadian corporations.

We have seen an outrageous increase in top CEO pay since the 1990s, as well as over 400% increases of $10 million, $20 million, even over $40 million a year in a single decade. For years, investment funds and shareholder associations throughout Canada have been asking for greater accountability in executive remuneration for the sake of greater responsibility toward its shareholders' investments.

It is time that the government stands up for ordinary Canadian shareholders who depend upon their investments for their modest pensions, while top executive pay skyrockets shamelessly into the stratosphere of tens of millions of dollars. It is time for corporate responsibility to shareholders who own the companies and it is time for the Canadian shareholders act.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-641, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (death benefit).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill today in the House and I thank my colleague from Cape Breton—Canso for seconding it.

The bill would eliminate income tax payable on a death benefit received under the Canada pension plan. I have heard from many constituents of the heavy burden that funeral costs place on their families and of their surprise when they find out that they must pay income tax on the $2,500 Canada pension plan death benefit.

In some cases, receiving this benefit can have disastrous financial implications, not only reducing the amount available to help with the funeral costs but pushing a beneficiary's income into a higher tax bracket or reducing eligibility for social assistance or the GST/HST tax credit. Making the CPP death benefit tax free is the right thing to do and the fair thing to do to support families as they mourn the loss of a loved one, and ensure that there is no financial penalty for receiving this payment.

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

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the town of Charlottetown, Newfoundland and Labrador about the best 14 weeks of an EI claim. Signatories signed a petition to make permanent the pilot projects that were installed through the EI system. They would like for this permanency to go beyond the normal expiration date, which is the end of June. A permanent program would certainly benefit seasonal workers, both businesses and those currently in the EI system.

I also have a petition from the area of Port Union. This one has particular relevance, given the fact that in the town of Port Union recently it was announced that the shrimp processing plant would not reopen this season. Therefore, these pilot projects would go a long way, extending beyond the month of June.