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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are going to try to remove the useless passages in committee. In my opinion, the amendments to section 494 are the only really useful thing in this bill.

It is true that a number of situations are described, illustrating when the use of force is reasonable. I would point out that all these situations were drawn from case law. Judges do not require a detailed list of what is or what is not reasonable, especially when the list is not exhaustive. What is deemed reasonable has never posed a problem; jurors and judges are perfectly capable of discerning this in practice.

Even though this clause is clear, it is useless. I believe that we should only retain the useful part, that is the amendments to section 494.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to add some commentary on Bill C-60.

Most Canadians will recall the incident where a shopkeeper observed someone stealing from his market in Toronto and then took off. Then the person came back and did it again. The shopkeeper saw him, ran him down and held him.

It is fairly straightforward in the eyes of the public. It is interesting to note that there are some very sensitive questions of law. Most Canadians would say that they have the right to protect their property or to hold a person until the police arrive. We have seen many stories like that.

The issue of civil liberties is very sensitive in the law. From some of the speeches given to date, there is a question about whether the proposed amendments in Bill C-60 will, in fact, be appropriate.

It is my view, where there are technical, legal matters and where the House has brought in a bill, we are asked, without the benefit of expert witnesses and legal opinions, et cetera, to debate it the best we can do. Without hearing from witnesses, we are at second reading.

The importance of that is at second reading we kind of get the mood of the House and whether we are prepared to approve, in principle, a bill to go forward to the next stage, which would be to go to committee.

In the question about what is actually affected by second reading, it is important for members to know and to remember that when we give approval in principle, it restricts the scope of amendments that can be made at committee. Certain things cannot be touched. We will not be able to go beyond the scope of the bill. For instance, if it deals with this universe, these items and we wanted to make it bigger than it was at second reading, it could not be done. If we wanted to change, substantively, the intent or the essence of the bill, it could not be done at committee. That is one of the reasons I asked the question of the hon. member earlier.

I am a little confused. This case took place in October 2010. I think it was tabled in the House February 10. We are now in the beginning of March and we are finally starting debate.

This is a matter where Parliament could have shown a bit more leadership in addressing a very serious question of law. The bill could have been put forward, certainly before the Christmas break, and referred to committee so it could prepare its work and at least arrange for witnesses during the Christmas break. Then we could have started the hearings in committee when we came back in January.

It is an important issue of law. It is an issue which I think Canadians would expect us to deal with in a responsible fashion so we could address the questions of the day.

I raise those points because I think it is important. There is always a good reason to send a bill straight to committee rather than having second reading.

The other part has to do with the whole concept of the civil liberties. The member who just spoke laid out the fact that many of the amendments were problematic and might be more harmful than helpful in this case. When I finish my comments after question period, I hope to lay some of those out.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

I must interrupt the member at this time for statements by members. The hon. member for Mississauga South will have 15 minutes remaining when the House returns to this matter.

St. Thomas Industrial Revolution ChallengeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, who wants to be an industrial revolutionary?

St. Thomas, Ontario has a vision to be the best manufacturing community in North America and a group of local private sector business leaders has taken huge steps to make this happen.

We want to welcome industrialists, innovators and business leaders from around the world to imagine building something great in St. Thomas, Ontario.

If people have an idea but no place to set up, then they should take the challenge now. They should enter to win a factory to call their own and to make their home. People must enter today and a winner will be chosen and be in his or her new home by September.

We are serious about manufacturing in St. Thomas, and we are proud of it, too.

If what people have just heard describes them, they should enter the St. Thomas industrial revolution challenge at stirchallenge.ca.

Win a factory, be an industrial revolutionary and make St. Thomas home.

Immigrant Settlement ServicesStatements By Members

March 7th, 2011 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, federal funding for language, counselling, mentoring and job training to help new Canadians integrate and support themselves and their families was arbitrarily cut by the government by $53 million in December.

Nowhere has the impact been more dramatic than in Toronto and the greater Toronto area, where unemployment rates for new immigrants are nearly triple the national average, as their jobs have proven to be less secure in the recent recession.

Fully 81% of these cuts are being made in Ontario, largely in the GTA and are in addition to $207 million the federal government promised but has not spent.

The Province of Ontario has responded with interim funding to community-based organizations, which will allow a continuation of service during this present impasse.

In addition, this House has supported a resolution from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration calling for a reinstatement of the program in support of settlement services.

Given the actions of the Province of Ontario and this House, I would ask that the minister simply declare a moratorium on the funding cut and accelerate negotiations with the Province of Ontario for a new Canada-Ontario agreement for settlement services.

ColombiaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, in December 2010, the people of Colombia were hit hard by terrible floods.

I was saddened not only by the number of deaths, but also by the number of families affected by this natural disaster. Oxfam has estimated that over 2.1 million people have been affected by the severe flooding, which destroyed nearly 3,000 homes and damaged farmland, infrastructure and major highways. Some 28 of the country's 32 districts were flooded.

The flooding has exacerbated the already glaring socio-economic inequalities. It is estimated that about 70% of those affected by this disaster do not have access to clean drinking water.

In Colombia, it is time to rebuild and it is a time for hope. Here in North America, however, it is also time to rebuild—within our hearts and minds.

Long live the people of Colombia and may pan-American solidarity prevail.

Animal CrueltyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, like many in B.C., I was horrified to learn of the slaughter of 100 sled dogs in Whistler. These dogs were massacred in an inhumane and cruel manner and then buried in a mass grave.

Public reaction has been huge as Canadians express their outrage and sadness about this appalling crime. I would like to thank the many people who have sent petitions banning the import of cat and dog fur, and petitions pressing for a ban on human consumption of horse meat. I am very pleased to have seconded Bill C-618 regarding the banning of products made of cat and dog fur. I strongly support Bill C-229 to strengthen cruelty to animals laws so that those responsible for such acts would be punished accordingly.

All these important citizen initiatives have focused our attention on what needs to be done.

Animal cruelty laws must be effective and they must not be stripped down in the Senate. I urge all members to join together to protect animals and prevent animal cruelty.

Don BrittainStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was Friday evening at a gala that Don and Rose Brittain were chosen as Parksville's citizens of the year. Sadly, the award was posthumous for Don, who passed away suddenly on February 6.

Don Brittain was a founding member of the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department and was fire chief for nearly two decades. He worked much of his career with the Ministry of Transport and Highways, and finished as an inspector of commercial vehicles.

An avid outdoorsman, hunter and farmer, a leader with 4-H and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, Don was a good neighbour to everyone who knew him.

The Brittains raised their own and numerous foster children. Their home was a magnet for young people, and love was the foundation.

Don's memorial service drew an estimated 750 people, who jammed the hall to remember a man who always showed up when help was needed. Don's truck and firefighting gear were featured at his memorial. Area firefighters saluted a local icon and on Friday, and Parksville's citizen of the year received a standing ovation.

It is my pleasure to salute Don Brittain, citizen of the year, one great Canadian who left a legacy that shaped a community.

Mutual Insurance CompaniesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has 106 mutual property and casualty insurance companies that were set up by farmers over 100 years ago at a time when it was very difficult for them to find insurance at a reasonable cost.

As a result of action taken by external sources, the Economical Mutual Insurance Company announced its intention to demutualize last December. Because there is no process in place for property and casualty insurers, the Minister of Finance will be asked to consider draft regulations.

The Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies is strongly opposed to professional consultants, brokers, directors, officers and selected staff from getting a windfall from the demutualization. Furthermore, in the case of Economical, a small minority of policyholders stands to share in the whole value of the company. This is wrong and should not be allowed.

I call on the Minister of Finance to give significant consideration to how value should be distributed during the demutualization of a property and casualty insurance company with the objective of finding fairness for all.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was a hero's welcome for reserve soldiers of the 56th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery in Brantford. On February 24, families and friends gathered to celebrate the safe return of all 25 soldiers who just completed a recent tour in Afghanistan.

Fit, healthy and safe, these brave soldiers participated in a welcome home parade that honoured their exceptional service to their regiment, community and country.

As Canadians, we take enormous pride in our men and women who have served and continue to serve in Afghanistan. We are grateful for the sacrifices they continue to make and their unwavering commitment to our country.

Sylvain CoutureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate Dr. Sylvain Couture, a doctor from Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, who was honoured at the La Presse/Radio-Canada excellence gala for 2010 for the quality of his work and for his devotion to humanitarian causes.

Following the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, Dr. Couture managed the emergency field hospital set up in Port-au-Prince by the Canadian and Norwegian Red Cross. He had already been to Haiti once before with Médecins du monde to provide assistance following Hurricane Jeanne in 2004.

Dr. Couture also worked on the ground in Southeast Asia after it was ravaged by a tsunami in 2004 and in Pakistan after the earthquake in 2005. He has also been to Afghanistan several times on relief missions.

I am proud to pay tribute to him for his exemplary work ethic, his courage and his devotion. I encourage him to continue his invaluable service.

Congratulations Dr. Couture. You are an exceptional man with great strength of character.

Outstanding CitizensStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, on March 3, Karen Davis of Dauphin and Adrienne Mack of Neepawa were awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction Award. This award is presented to role models who have made significant contributions to their communities.

Karen has distributed new books every month to 200 children in the Dauphin area, while Adrienne has volunteered for several community organizations, including the Yellowhead Road Runners Club and Neepawa Rotary Club. These citizens and others like them make Canada a better place in which to live.

I would also congratulate 20-year-old Shane Luke, captain of the Dauphin Kings MJHL hockey team. Shane was nominated for the Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year award. Shane was named the MJHL's most valuable player and won a trophy for hockey ability and sportsmanship. He will attend Providence College next year on a full scholarship at the division one level.

Whether it is outstanding volunteers or skilled athletes, the people of Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette are well served by such outstanding citizens.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to support Dress Colourfully for Democracy Day, although a black armband would have been more appropriate.

After five years of this regime, senior members of the Conservative Party are facing serious charges and potential prison sentences in relation to a $1.2 million scam to break election spending limits to buy more attack ads.

This adds to the government's egregious abuse of power and subversion of democratic processes, such as using the “H” word to rebrand the Government of Canada and misleading Parliament and hiding information.

In addition, people in charge of supervisory institutions were fired for criticizing the government, and Parliament was prorogued.

Given the way our government works, I have serious concerns about the future of our democracy.

That is why we want to fight for democracy through our plan for renewal.

It is time for the assault on Canadian democracy to stop. The Prime Minister does not make the rules. Canadians--

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Calgary East.

IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government is deeply concerned by reports that Zimbabwe is willing to supply uranium to Iran.

Iranian authorities have refused to fully co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to address international concerns about the nature of its nuclear program.

As a result of Iran's continued non-compliance, the UN Security Council adopted resolutions 1737 in 2006 and 1803 in 2008, which clearly prohibit the supply of uranium to Iran.

Canada strictly adheres to these international legal obligations to prevent the sale or transfer of uranium to Iran. Zimbabwe should immediately cancel any plans it may have to facilitate Iranian acquisition of uranium.

Our government will strongly oppose any attempt to circumvent these important UN Security Council resolutions.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Timmins—James Bay is home to some of the richest gold, copper and diamond mines in the world, and now with the ring of fire, we are blessed with an enormous potential for chromite. Our hopes for the ring of fire are tempered with the long-term plans for how this resource will be developed.

We saw the Conservative government completely abandon mining communities when it gave the thumbs up to Vale and Xstrata. The result was the shutdown of the smelter in Timmins and wars waged against the communities of Voisey's Bay, Sudbury and Thompson.

On the ring of fire, northerners are speaking with one voice. We do not want the ore shipped to other jurisdictions or to China. We want the ring of fire processed in northern Ontario. We want the full benefit for our communities, for natives and non-natives. We want to see if the ring of fire can develop our rail lines and provide long-term economic stability.

We are calling on the government to develop a plan. The New Democrats say that northern Ontario should be able to benefit fully from the ring of fire.

Childhood ObesityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, childhood obesity is on the rise in Canada. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to a child's development and overall health. Obesity can lead to a number of health problems normally seen in adults, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

The Conservative government is trying to reverse that trend. Today, the Minister of Health and Conservative colleagues launched discussions on a strategy to curb childhood obesity.

We are starting a national dialogue with the medical community, parents, teachers and children themselves on the best ways to promote and maintain a healthy weight among young Canadians.

This will be the first national dialogue of its kind in Canada. Never before have such broad and diverse groups come together to tackle the problem of childhood obesity.

The Conservative government is committed to making children's lives as healthy as possible.

Income Tax ActStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-288, which was introduced by my colleague from Laurentides—Labelle and introduces a tax credit for new graduates working in regions facing economic challenges, has been before the Senate for almost nine months. However, the bill is being completely blocked and its study is constantly being postponed because of pressure from the Conservative government, which opposes Bill C-288.

Students from the FEUQ and the FECQ are on the Hill today to condemn this situation. At a press scrum over the noon hour, they condemned the attitude of the Prime Minister, who is playing party politics and going against the democratic will of the members of this House who want the Senate to examine Bill C-288.

The Prime Minister is trying to dictate each and every issue that the Senate examines, and this only emphasizes its partisanship, even though he himself promised to put an end to it. Is there a single Conservative member from Quebec who will have the courage to stand up and condemn this situation?

Year of India in CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Year of India event last Friday was supposed to be a non-partisan celebration. That was until the PMO got involved. After the Prime Minister spoke, the PMO tried to embarrass the next speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, by removing the podium and ushering the media out of the room. This childish behaviour is not becoming of a prime minister. Clearly, the PMO has taken the concept of owning the podium too literally.

Like the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, I guess the Prime Minister will make sure his staff takes the blame for his mistakes, but the buck stops at the top for those who misuse government resources and treat Canada's ethnic communities like mere political pawns.

This nonsense has got to stop. I call on all members to proudly celebrate our historic and burgeoning ties with India, but let us do it free from partisan politics.

Political FinancingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the era of Liberal entitlement lives strong. The Liberals have long held that the rules do not apply to them. Last week, Liberal members stood in the House and attacked my colleague because his former staffer mistakenly used parliamentary resources for partisan purposes.

Yet, we now know that the Liberals in Prince Edward Island have been advertising that constituents can buy Liberal Party memberships in a Liberal member's office. This is out of his taxpayer-funded constituency office. What does he have to say about the abuse? He said that constituency offices are all partly political anyway.

This weekend, that same MP went on the attack again. He said, “This is totally unacceptable...Parliamentary materials are never allowed to be used for political gain, especially to drum up donations for political parties”. Apparently, what is “unacceptable” for others is “acceptable” for him.

Will the member for Charlottetown do the right thing and apologize?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative election fraud scheme is getting worse. It is a scheme to break national party spending laws by at least $1.3 million and then bilk taxpayers for $800,000 in illegal rebates claimed by 67 local Conservative riding associations. Now we know that at least 17 claims were actually paid before Elections Canada detected the fraud and stopped the dirty money.

If the Prime Minister thinks this is all okay, why did his regime concoct phony invoices to try to hide it?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it would be difficult to respond to and correct all of the factual errors in the hon. member's question in 35 seconds.

I will inform the member that Conservative candidates spent Conservative funds on Conservative advertising. The national party did transfer funds to the local campaigns and those local campaigns followed all the rules in making proper filings to Elections Canada. That is why we continue to press our case in the court of law. We took Elections Canada to court because we have followed all the rules and we will continue to pursue our case.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear, this is not just a little administrative problem. It is election fraud. It is against the law and it is not commonplace. Only the Conservative regime had this scheme.

Charges have been laid. The Director of Public Prosecutions has said there is voluminous evidence of illegality. Even to lay those charges he first had to believe there was a likelihood of conviction.

To deter such illegal behaviour, will the Prime Minister support mandatory minimum sentences to get tough on Conservative crime?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, last week I told the Liberals that they would not qualify for an Oscar victory, but that member might be an exception. He would win best fiction.

What happened here, of course, was Conservative candidates spent Conservative funds on Conservative advertising. The national party transferred funds to the local campaigns. The reason Elections Canada knows this is that we told it, and why would we not? After all, it is legal, ethical and common practice among all parties. It singled us out and so we took it to court and we will continue to pursue our case.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives did not tell Elections Canada they sent false invoices.

One minister falsifies a document, tries to cover up and fails to tell the truth. Another minister launches an illegal fundraising scheme to shake down new immigrants. Four of the Prime Minister's close advisers are charged with election fraud involving forged invoices and dirty money. Those in the Conservative regime who object to this fraud are called “turds“ and “idiots” by all the Prime Minister's men.

Will this regime at least tell Senator Finley and Senator Gerstein to step aside while charges against them are outstanding?