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House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Waterfront TorontoOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, not only can I confirm the commitment of the federal government, in fact, the commitment was $500 million and about $492 million of that money has been spent. In fact, most of the projects that have gone ahead, including Mimico Park, Canada's Sugar Beach and the Sherbourne Park, were done primarily with federal money on the Toronto waterfront. Therefore, we have supported the Waterfront Toronto project throughout its time of advancing.

I understand that the mayor of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto are having some discussions and I expect that they will come to an amicable resolution.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government said this week that he fully intends to reintroduce the bill to change the composition of the House of Commons by increasing the number of seats, describing Quebec's concerns over its decreasing political weight as “horse-trading”.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his House leader? Is that how much respect the government has for the nation of Quebec?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, each Canadian vote, to the greatest extent possible, should carry equal weight. We will be taking reasonable and measured action to restore fair representation in the House of Commons, including protecting Quebec's constitutionally-enshrined representation.

Unlike the opposition, we are governing for all Canadians and we will pursue what is fair and principled.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Finance in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Conflict of Interest and Ethics CommissionerOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to section 28 of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, it is my duty to present to the House the report of the Ethics Commissioner on an inquiry into Helena Guergis, former member for Simcoe—Grey.

Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic CompetitivenessRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two reports summarizing consultations on the Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. These reports were made available to the public on August 29, 2011.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 19th, 2011 / 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 22 petitions.

Pope John Paul II Day ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-266, An Act to establish Pope John Paul II Day.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville to introduce my first private member's bill in the 41st Parliament. The bill is an act to establish Pope John Paul II day.

Pope John Paul II was born in Poland on May 18, 1920 and died in Rome on April 2, 2005. He was elected as the 264th Pope and Bishop of Rome on October 16, 1978. He was a pope who was hailed as the people's pope. He visited Canada in 1984, 1987 and in 2002. He established World Youth Day in 1985. Despite his increasing age and frailty, Pope John Paul II continued to travel and visited 129 nations during 104 trips abroad.

Pope John Paul II humanized the papacy and managed to connect with thousands from different religions that gathered wherever he visited. He helped end communism in eastern Europe and made a great contribution to world peace and freedom.

At his end, millions, including many Canadians, went to Rome affirming the last time how greatly he had altered the nature of the papacy and the world's expectations of a pope.

His Holiness John Paul II was a people's pope and this bill recognizes this and his contribution to Canadians and all people in the world.

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

Canada Water Preservation ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-267, An Act respecting the preservation of Canada’s water resources.

Mr. Speaker, I think this is the third time I have introduced this bill, going back a few years. I am hoping that this time it will make it through the legislative process. Essentially, it is a bill to enable the federal government, along with the provinces, to become part of the process of making water in Canada a public trust. More specifically, it is a bill that would keep water in its natural basin thereby preventing large diversions of water from one basin to another in Canada and, by extension, outside of Canada.

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

Excise Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on funeral arrangements).

Mr. Speaker, every family in this country goes through the death of a relative, a loved one or a friend. The average cost of a funeral in this country is $10,000 and it is simply unconscionable for the federal government to tax that.

I have been reintroducing this bill since 1998. It is now 13 years in the making. I hope the federal government will understand this time that a tax on funerals is simply unconscionable, un-Canadian and immoral.

I am asking the federal government to remove the GST portion on all funeral and crematorium services.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-269, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (community service group membership dues).

Mr. Speaker, no government can do everything for all of its citizens.

I could not help but notice that His Honour, the esteemed Governor General of Canada, stated yesterday in the media that we needed to do more for community service groups and volunteers in this country.

The basic premise of the bill would allow volunteers of an organized group, such as the Lion's Club, the Legion, the Kiwanis Club, rotarians, volunteer firefighters, et cetera, who provide 250 hours or more of service a year to claim a $1,000 tax deduction at the end of the year. We believe this would help offset some of the costs faced by volunteers across this country.

I should remind the House that in Nova Scotia alone, volunteerism equates to $2 billion of assistance to our economy. We can imagine what it is like in Ontario, Quebec and other larger provinces.

This is a repetitive bill that I have had in the House for over 13 years. I am hopeful that this time the government will see the merits of this legislation and pass it almost immediately.

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

Financial Administration ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-270, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act and the Passport Services Fees Regulations (passports for veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their spouses or common-law partners, and seniors).

Mr. Speaker, throughout the years, many members of the military and the RCMP have asked if it would be at all possible to have their passports and those of their immediate spouses issued free of charge as a benefit for their service. These individuals travel across the country and serve abroad many times. It would be a wonderful benefit to our men and women of the service and the RCMP. Allowing them to obtain a passport free of charge would go a long way toward thanking them for their invaluable service to this country.

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

Internet Child Pornography Prevention ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-271, An Act to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute pornographic material involving children.

Mr. Speaker, the genesis of the bill goes back to 1995 with the hon. Chris Axworthy, who was a New Democratic Party member of Parliament and who then became the justice minister and attorney general of Saskatchewan.

We have noticed that the government recently adopted small parts of this bill into its crime legislation, which we greatly appreciate, but it honestly does not go far enough.

What is on the Internet right now when it comes to the abuse of our children is unconscionable. I am sure I speak for all members of Parliament when I say that using the Internet to persuade and attract children for nefarious means for the pedophile industry is simply unconscionable. We must do all that we can to ensure that the Internet is not an evil means by which these people can perpetrate their deeds.

This bill, which has great support from police officers across the country, would go a long way in deterring that action in this country.

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

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-272, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code (compassionate care benefits).

Mr. Speaker, you and your wife have children and, if you both work outside the home, one of you can take a year off in maternity or paternity leave. What happens if a couple has a seven-year-old child who is diagnosed with cancer and has four months to live? What are parents prepared to do? That is a very difficult decision. Do they leave their places of employment to care for their loved ones? Of course they do. Will their employers keep their jobs for them when they return? We do not know.

The fact is that no one should have to go through that alone. We in the NDP believe in using the unemployment insurance system for what we call eternity leave for up to six months to allow someone the opportunity to take time off work to care for a dying relative on a compassionate basis or on a severe rehabilitative basis.

I notice that the hon. Jane Stewart, the former minister of social services back in 1999-2000, adopted part of this bill for six weeks and then the hon. Belinda Stronach extended it to eight weeks. We believe that is just not enough time. If it were increased up to six months, it would go a long way in assisting families when dealing with a very serious crisis in their lives.

We believe that of all the bills I have introduced, this one should pass immediately. It should be passed this afternoon, go to the Senate, over to the Governor General and be in law by tomorrow.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-273, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cyberbullying).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to reintroduce my private member's bill, which is an act to amend sections 264, 298 and 372 of the Criminal Code in order to clarify that cyberbullying is an offence. Cyberbullying is a problem that touches over half of Canada's youth, whether they witness bullying, are victims or are bullies themselves.

In a recent study by the University of Toronto, 50% of surveyed students reported that they had been bullied online and this insidious form of online bullying can follow youth through their whole lives.

This bill has the support of the Canadian Teachers' Federation and most media and other levels of communication are included under sections of this bill. It is time to add electronic communication.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-274, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (animal cruelty).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce this important legislation that would amend the Criminal Code by consolidating animal cruelty offences and increasing the maximum penalties for this type of offence.

For over 10 years Parliament has debated this issue and has never adequately addressed it. This bill reflects the contribution of animal welfare groups, many in the animal use industry, and members from both Houses. This bill, in previous incarnations, has been passed in the House on two separate occasions. I look forward to working with all parties for its swift passage.

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

Hazardous Products ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-275, An Act to amend the Hazardous Products Act (recreational snow sport helmets).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce for the fourth time my private member's bill entitled An Act to amend the Hazardous Products Act (recreational snow sport helmets), which would ban the advertising, sale and import of unsafe ski and snowboard helmets in Canada that do not have CSA approval.

This is not only a good medical and safety issue, it is good public policy. It is estimated that recreational head injuries cost Canadian taxpayers over $100 million each year. Fifty per cent to 88% of acquired brain injuries happen because of this kind of unsafe helmet use.

My bill would ensure that Canadians have the headgear protection that is actually safe. This does not need to be debated in the House. It just needs an order in council to allow for CSA-approved helmets to be used.

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

Canadian Human Rights ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-276, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill entitled An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression).

The bill adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code sections regarding hate crimes and sentencing provisions providing explicit protection to transgender and transsexual Canadians from discrimination in all areas of federal jurisdiction. It would give transsexual and transgender Canadians direct access to the protections provided for in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

As many of my colleagues may know, the bill was passed by the House in the previous Parliament when it was sponsored by former MP, Bill Siksay. Given that the House has previously approved the legislation, I look forward to working with my colleagues to once again pass this urgently needed legislation, as Australia has recently done.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-277, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a bill that would further amend the Criminal Code to add a new section for animal cruelty offences. Laws on animal cruelty have not been updated substantially in this country since the Victorian era. It is time that we close the loopholes in the Criminal Code that allow perpetrators of animal cruelty crimes to go free because we know that these crimes are also linked with other crimes against humans.

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

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations on the following motion. I move:

That, during its consideration of matters pursuant to Standing Order 83.1, the Standing Committee on Finance be authorized to adjourn from place to place within Canada and to permit the broadcasting of its proceedings thereon, and that the necessary staff do accompany the committee.

(Motion agreed to)

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 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. 1, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, 28, 32, 38, 44, 46, 51, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 66, 68, 71, 73, 76, 77, 80, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 97, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 108 and 109.

Question No. 1Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

With regard to corporate taxation, what is the total amount of deferred corporate taxes for the tax years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010?

Question No. 1Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA.

The CRA is unable to provide a response in the manner requested.

Deferred corporate taxes, reported on corporations’ financial statements, are captured in CRA’s CORTAX database. The database is used to capture information from T2 corporate income tax returns and to administer corporate income tax.

However, corporations are able to file amended returns and financial statements to request a reassessment, and this may include a revision to their financial statement data, including deferred income taxes. This type of taxpayer-requested adjustment can initiate changes on multiple tax years. Therefore, there is no definite point at which data can be considered final for any given tax year.

A data analysis of the amounts presently captured in the CRA’s database determined that a representative amount of deferred corporate taxes by tax year cannot be provided.

Question No. 16Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

With regard to declining fish stocks in Atlantic Canada, especially in the Gulf Region, and the predatory effects of seals thereon: (a) does the government intend to increase the quota for the culling of the harp seal and the grey seal herds to mitigate the seals’ impact on fish stocks; (b) what are the numbers of harp and grey seals harvested during this year’s hunt in (i) the Gulf Region, (ii) off the waters of Newfoundland; (c) what do the numbers in (b)(i) and (ii) represent as a percentage of the total allowable catch (TAC) for both areas; (d) given declining levels of sea ice in the Gulf Region, does the government intend to allow seals to be hunted on land in the future; (e) what is the projected TAC for the 2012 seal hunt; (f) what is the best price for seal pelts in 2011; and (g) what is the expected best price for seal pelts in 2012?