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House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefit.

Topics

Firearms ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focusing on protecting families and communities while standing up for law-abiding Canadians rather than allowing the Liberal Party's redundant and administratively burdensome gun show regulations come into force.

Pursuant to Section 118 of the Firearms Act I am pleased to table, in both official languages, proposed regulations amending and repealing certain regulations made under the Firearms Act.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-28, an act to amend the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendments.

Corrections and Conditional Release ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-446, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (blood samples).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce my private member's bill.

On the authorization of a warrant and on the testimony of a staff member of a correctional centre for justice, the bill would allow the taking of samples of blood from an inmate in order to determine whether the person carries a designated virus, namely hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV, for the health and well-being of Canada's dedicated correctional staff.

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

Development and PeacePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions signed by residents from the riding of Mégantic—L'Érable, represented by the hon. Minister of Industry. The petitioners are from Plessisville and Princeville and are calling for financial support for Development and Peace.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of constituents of mine in Random--Burin--St. George's who are objecting to the government's decision to raise the eligibility age for OAS from 65 to 67. They point out that, whether it is today, tomorrow or 10 years from now, this will impose a hardship on seniors and make it difficult for them to make ends meet.

The petitioners call upon the government to reverse this decision. They believe there is time to do it and the time is now.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present two petitions today from all across the country.

The first petition calls upon the Government of Canada to urge the United Nations to immediately establish an independent international and impartial mechanism to ensure truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka following the human rights violations that continue to happen in that country.

Post-Secondary EducationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present petitions from citizens in Port Stanley, London, Ottawa and from all across the country who recognize that post-secondary education has an important role to play in the economic, social, cultural and political development of Canada and in the learning and development opportunities of Canadians in general.

The citizens of Canada call upon the Government of Canada to create a post-secondary education act that would remove the federal funding for post-secondary education from the social transfer to the provinces and would create a new transfer of funds dedicated solely to post-secondary education here in Canada.

Criminal CodePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition with strong support on behalf of Cathy Kaip, a constituent in my riding of Palliser.

The 2,089 petitioners would like to draw the attention of the House of Commons to section 810 of the Criminal Code which states that the current protection for victims of stalking and criminal harassment is limited in term to one year, and victims of stalking and criminal harassment are revictimized by the necessity to renew this protection on a yearly basis.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to increase the length of protection provided to victims of stalking and criminal harassment.

HealthPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 2nd, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I table a petition in support of Bill C-398. The advocacy group network, known as the Grandmothers, has been circulating the petition and asking members of Parliament to table it.

The petition highlights the fact that millions of people die needlessly each year from treatable diseases, such as HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria. Half of the people who require treatment for these diseases are not able to receive it because of the cost of medication.

Lyme DiseasePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition today from residents of Scarborough, Ontario, in support of a private member's bill I submitted to have a national strategy developed to deal with Lyme disease. I am very grateful for the support from across the country and from different parties in the House.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am presenting today is from mostly residents of Burnaby, British Columbia, who are concerned with the government's approach to rapid approval of the Enbridge project, the so-called northern gateway project.

The petitioners are urging the government to reconsider and assess the full science of the threats encompassed in the proposal.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 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, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government: (a) should not make a decision on the proposed takeover of Nexen by CNOOC without conducting thorough public consultations; (b) should immediately undertake transparent and accessible public hearings into the issue of foreign ownership in the Canadian energy sector with particular reference to the impact of state-owned enterprises; and (c) must respect its 2010 promise to clarify in legislation the concept of "net benefit" within the Investment Canada Act.

Mr. Speaker, this is a very important debate today. To underscore the importance of the debate, I will read a letter I received last night from Calgary from one of the many Canadians who are concerned both with this deal and also with the lack of government action and irresponsible approach that it has taken thus far on a file, an application, that it knew about more than two months ago.

Part of the letter reads as follows:

I am a lawyer with over 25 years of experience in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industry. Currently I am VP Legal and General Counsel for a pipeline transmission company headquartered in Calgary. ... I have grave concerns about the proposed CNOOC takeover of Nexen.

CNOOC is a state-owned entity. ... While CNOOC has promised to comply with federal and provincial health, safety and environmental laws, this commitment doesn't address the fact that the executives directing the Canadian subsidiary's actions reside in China, well beyond the reach of Canadian courts. The Sinopec case shows that Chinese state-owned entities will fight all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to avoid prosecution.

...selling our non-renewable natural resources to the highest bidder is not the answer [to the issues before us].

Please note, I'm not asking you to say "no" to foreign investment in the oil sands, but rather to say "no" to foreign takeover of the oil sands. Once these resources are sold to a state-owned entity, Canada will never get them back.

This is why this issue is so fundamentally important. Canadians are writing and phoning in saying that very clearly. In the constituency meetings we are having across the country, I know every member of Parliament has had people approach them about this deal. I certainly I have in my riding.

What the NDP is saying is that there needs to be public consultations on this deal. Before the government moves to rubber-stamp, it should consult the public. That is what we are saying today and that is where we are hoping to get support from all members of Parliament in the House.

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with our terrific industry critic, the member for LaSalle—Émard. I will be looking forward to her presentation in just a few minutes.

The concerns that have been raised by that particular individual are not concerns that we only see occasionally but concerns being raised regularly right across the country.

It is only fair to listen to what the public knows so far of this particular application. An opinion poll just a few days ago indicated that about 70% of Canadians oppose this deal.

Mr. Speaker, you know, because you are very well versed in these matters, that the majority of chief executives who are polled are opposing this deal unless they can see stringent conditions. I will get back to that in a moment. There are real concerns about the government's ability to even put in place the kind of conditions that are required.

We are seeing concerns raised by the public and in boardrooms across the country. We have even heard concerns raised in the Conservative caucus.

For all of those reasons, the NDP is presenting a motion today that would allow for the type of considered discussion around this issue that needs to take place. We are saying that there should not be a rubber-stamp placed on this “without conducting thorough public consultations”; that the House should direct the government to “immediately undertake transparent and accessible public hearings into the issue of foreign ownership in the Canadian energy sector with particular reference to the impact of state-owned enterprises”; and that the government “must respect its 2010 promise to clarify in legislation the concept of 'net benefit' within the Investment Canada Act”.

That is what we have put forward. Certainly no Conservative member of Parliament could oppose a commitment that was made to Canadians both in a previous House and in a previous election campaign.

As we start this important debate today, I will recall for members on all sides of the House the unanimous support for the motion by our late leader, Jack Layton, two years ago and adopted unanimously in the House.

It stated that in the opinion of the House we needed to make public hearings a mandatory part of foreign investment review. The Conservatives voted for that.

More particularly, it called for increased transparency by:

(b) ensuring those hearings are open to all [who are] directly affected and [to the] expert witnesses they choose to call on their behalf.

—which the Conservatives and everyone else in the House voted for, and—

(c) ensuring all conditions attached to approval of a takeover be made public and be accompanied by equally transparent commitments to monitoring corporate performance on those conditions and appropriate and enforceable penalties for failure to live up to those conditions.

—which again, all members of the House voted for, and by—

(d) clarifying that a goal of the Act is to encourage foreign investment that brings new capital, creates new jobs, transfers new technology to this country, increases Canadian-based research and development, contributes to sustainable economic development and improves the lives of Canadian workers and their communities, and not foreign investment motivated simply by a desire to gain control of a strategic Canadian resource....

Every single member of Parliament, including every member of the Conservative Party there on that date in 2010, voted for that motion by Jack Layton. It was one of those rare occasions when there was a unanimous move by the House of Commons to direct the government to undertake certain actions.

Now it is two years later. Has anything been done to follow up on that motion passed unanimously by the House?

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

No, my colleagues remind me, nothing has been done in the last two years.

Two months ago at the end of July this application was announced. At that time, the industry critic, the member for LaSalle—Émard, and I rose in a press conference to say very clearly that the commitments undertaken in 2010 needed to be brought forward in 2012 because the application was pending. Was anything done?

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

No, my colleagues remind me again.

Now we are a few days from the deadline. When the formal application came forward, the 45-day period started and we are now only a few days from the point when the government should be making an enlightened decision, given the importance of the file and the many letters and phone calls we are receiving from, and conversations we are having with, our constituents.

It is a few days away. Has anything been done by the government to reinforce that commitment made two years ago?

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

There we go.

What we have seen is a failure on the part of the government to keep that commitment of two years ago. The NDP provided clear direction. Every single member of the House of Commons said yes, that it was the direction in which the country should go. The government needed to take this direction from the House of Commons, and for two years nothing has been done.

Two months ago the application was pending. We knew that. Did the government snap to attention and start working? No. No work has been done. Now we are only a few days away from a decision that we would expect to be enlightened and emboldened by full public consultation, yet we have not seen anything.

This is the fundamental problem. We have the public on one hand saying that they are learning more and more about this takeover and that they are concerned about it. We also have chief executives and those in the boardroom saying that they are looking at this and are becoming more and more concerned. We even have Conservatives raising this issue, but we have seen no leadership at all from the government.

If today the Conservatives vote against this motion, it would be a rejection and repudiation of a solemn commitment made to the Canadian public two years ago when they voted for that motion by Jack Layton. It would be a repudiation of what is clearly the public's desire to be consulted about this takeover and the whole issue of takeovers in the energy sector generally, particularly by state-owned companies.

It would also be a clear repudiation of a commitment made by every Conservative MP to clarify the net benefit test and to engage public confidence in that test, which has clearly eroded because there has been no definition of net benefit, and also to set in place a level playing field for investors so they would understand the criteria they have to meet when applying for a takeover.

Rejection of this motion today would be a repudiation of all of that. I ask Conservative members to vote for it. I hope they will support this motion.

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this motion is indeed worthy of support, as we in the opposition have raised the issue. In particular, the member for Wascana as the critic for the Liberal Party has expressed great concern about foreign ownership and has called upon the government to provide information and some form of a protocol that would ultimately ensure that industries in Canada, particularly our natural resource industries, are watched over in a very prudent fashion.

The government itself has been negligent in providing guidance on foreign investment. Would the member agree with me that the government has not only dropped the ball but has also been negligent on this particular file when it comes to foreign ownership?

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree with the member for Winnipeg North and welcome the Liberal Party finally getting engaged in this debate. We know there were 10,000 foreign investment applications approved when the Liberals were in power, all of them rubber stamped. They never rejected a single one and never attached conditions; they just let those takeovers accumulate. I am very happy they will be supporting this motion today. It is an important step in their rehabilitation.

I do want to mention, because it is relevant and pertinent, the foreign investment promotion and protection agreement that was released just a few days ago . It gives even more cause for real alarm. When we look at how this FIPA was structured, it is quite different from other FIPA agreements signed with other countries. The government has negotiated a one-sided agreement that is clearly in favour of the Chinese government's proposals around FIPA. It is not the standard Canadian template for a FIPA.

It provides what is essentially a one-sided acquisition and expansion ability. Canadian companies will not have the same rights in China as a result of this FIPA, as they would if they were already established there. Companies already established here, particularly Chinese companies, actually have more rights than those moving into the Canadian economy. It is a one-sided deal with a secretive arbitration process, and it is quite literally a red flag about how the Conservative government negotiates these types of agreements and does not act in Canada's best interests.

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of questions for the member on issues that did not come up in his comments. Frankly, I am concerned because I do not think the NDP, in principle, understands who actually owns a company like Nexen. It is actually owned by its shareholders, not millionaires and billionaires but oftentimes regular folks who have their pensions invested in these companies via pension funds, people who invested in a company because they hoped to profit and get a return on that investment. There is nothing wrong with that. However, we do have to consider them. Over 99% of them voted in favour of this deal.

I have heard a number of the concerns here and elsewhere, but what I have not heard is any consideration for the shareholders and the fact these are private companies. Does the member believe that the individuals holding these shares should actually profit from an appreciation in the value of the company?

Opposition Motion—NexenBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was actually at the shareholders' meeting and, unfortunately, there was not a single Conservative MP present. This is part of our consultations. The NDP is consulting with everyone. That is why I have been to Calgary three times. The NDP industry critic has been to Calgary and Edmonton. We are talking with Canadians and the Conservatives are not, which is very unfortunate.

The issue is not what is in the interests of Nexen shareholders, though it is a consideration, but what is in the national interest. The reality of this and the question that New Democrats have raised in the House is that CNOOC is a state-owned entity. Who named CNOOC's chair? The chair was nominated by an organizing department and named by the politburo and confirmed by the central committee. This indicates that it is very much a state-owned entity and not independent.