This page is in the midst of a redesign. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Civil Marriage ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-435, An Act to amend the Civil Marriage Act (divorce and corollary relief).

Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill entitled an act to amend the Civil Marriage Act (divorce and corollary relief).

Members will know that on February 17 the government introduced a similarly titled bill which has as its main purpose to guarantee the validity of all same-sex marriages entered into in Canada, something we on this side of the House have never questioned.

My bill aims to provide the same legal guarantee but has two additional provisions. The most important is to add a clause to allow Canadian courts, if asked, to assume jurisdiction for corollary remedies. This would allow them in non-resident same-sex divorce cases to deal with important matters like child custody and division of property. Without this provision, which is not in the government's bill, non-resident same-sex couples would be able to get a divorce but they would have no way of dealing with outstanding legal questions connected with that divorce, including child custody.

The other provision would correct a technical flaw in the government's bill that would require one member of a same-sex couple seeking a divorce, where the other was missing or unreasonably withholding consent, to get a declaration stating this from a court in the home jurisdiction. This is obviously impossible if the same-sex marriage is not recognized in that jurisdiction.

Since creating the furor over the question of validity of same-sex marriages, the government has not proceeded beyond introducing its bill. Today I call on the Conservatives to either proceed with their bill, and I will offer them the amendments from mine, or if they prefer, as of today we could proceed with my bill.

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

Public TransitPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to present two petitions from citizens of Edmonton.

The first petition brings the concern to the House that Canada is the only OECD country that does not have a national public transit strategy and that it is estimated over the next five years there will be an $18 billion gap in transit infrastructure needs.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enact a national public transit strategy to provide a permanent investment plan to support public transit, to establish federal funding mechanisms and to work together with all levels of government to provide sustainable, predictable, long-term, adequate funding and establish accountability measures to ensure all governments work together to increase access to public transit.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Madam Speaker, my second petition is from Edmontonians who raise concerns to the House about proceeding with hydraulic fracturing of shale gas in the absence of any kind of proper regulatory framework. The petitioners are concerned that the process injects millions of litres of water laced with large numbers of chemicals underground, at high pressure, potentially causing environmental and health effects.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to entertain an in-depth analysis immediately on the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and that companies be required to publicly disclose chemicals used. The petitioners ask that a study on the risks to and effects on human health be undertaken by Health Canada, that a cross-Canada public consultation be held, and that federal legislation be reviewed, especially the Canada Water Act and the CEPA, to ensure provisions to protect water for Canadians.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please.

I would just remind all members that petitions are not to be read verbatim, but should be summarized.

The hon. member for Brampton West.

Child AbusePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the pleasure today to introduce a petition from Bramptonians, calling upon the government to create a national survivors and victims day for those who are survivors and victims of child abuse. Survivors of child abuse have endured the stigma and have been shunned and, therefore, we have a day for survivors and victims of child abuse.

The petitioners call upon the government to make July 20 a day of acknowledgement.

HealthPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition regarding physical activity. There is a robust body of evidence that lack of physical activity is a major public health issue in Canada. Canadian children are getting more than six hours per day of screen time and are spending more than half their waking hours sitting down. Only 9% of boys and 4% of girls meet the Canadian physical activity guidelines.

The petitioners call upon the government to work with the provinces and territories to develop a comprehensive, pan-Canadian strategy to promote physical activity, to commit to the resulting strategy and to make the necessary investments.

Health of Animals and Meat InspectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions that support my bill, Bill C-322. The petitioners state that horses are ordinarily kept and treated as sport and companion animals, that horses are not raised primarily as food-producing animals, and that horsemeat products sold for human consumption are likely to contain prohibited substances. The petitioners therefore call upon the House of Commons to pass my bill to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act.

Rights of the UnbornPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to present two petitions from residents of communities throughout my riding—St. Isidore, Dunvegan, Clarence Creek, Casselman, Rockland, and others. These petitioners are asking Parliament to examine Canada's 400-year-old definition of a human being that says that a child does not become a human being until the moment of complete birth.

I would also like to point out that 20,000 Canadians came to Parliament Hill to support a motion to that effect.

Seniors' PovertyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I have the pleasure to table a petition today from residents of Winnipeg North. The petitioners recognize the issue of elder abuse. They also recognize that one of the forms of elder abuse is poverty and that OAS is one of the ways in which poverty is combatted.

These residents ask that the government recognize that people should be able to continue to have the option to retire at the age of 65 and that the government not, in any way, diminish the importance and the value of Canada's three major programs: OAS, GIS and CPP. That is one of the ways in which we fight poverty.

Old Age SecurityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Madam Speaker, on this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I have the honour of tabling a petition from the people of Acadie—Bathurst on the old age security program.

The petitioners are saying that the old age security program helps to combat poverty among seniors and that increasing the age of eligibility for those benefits would have a direct impact on seniors living close to the poverty line.

They are therefore asking that the age of eligibility for the old age security program be maintained at 65 and that the guaranteed income supplement be increased to help lift seniors out of poverty.

The EconomyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Independent Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to present a petition from citizens in places like Nipigon, Red Rock, Thunder Bay, Kakabeka Falls, Terrace Bay, Rossport and Schreiber, all in my riding.

The petitioners call on the government in the wake of Thunder Bay losing the only stand-alone blood plasma clinic in Canada. Aside from the loss of 30 jobs, the petitioners note that we will now have to import U.S. blood plasma to make up the supply. This will be sourced from paid U.S. donors, putting the supply at risk.

The petitioners call on the government to take action on this.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Independent Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to present a second petition signed by fellow Canadians who are concerned that the recent cuts to CBC Radio-Canada will endanger more services and the long-term viability of our national broadcaster.

Radio-Canada plays an absolutely vital role in providing Canadians with a voice to express our ideas, concerns and opinions.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Speaker, I have three petitions, mostly from members of my riding of Toronto—Danforth.

The first petition calls on the Government of Canada to create a Canadian energy strategy which focuses on transitioning to a new energy economy based on conservation and renewable energy, with many good ideas actually presented in the petition itself.

41st General ElectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition concerns mounting evidence of election fraud in the 2011 federal election. The petitioners call on the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister to set up an independent, fully empowered royal commission into election fraud.

Bill C-38PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Speaker, my third petition is on behalf of residents of Toronto—Danforth and relates to Bill C-38, which I would remind everyone has not yet passed this House.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to allow for greater study, debate and public scrutiny on the budget implementation bill.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition from residents of Acadie—Bathurst.

Seniors are worried about changes to old age security. That is why they are petitioning the government to maintain funding for old age security, to make the necessary investments and to increase guaranteed income supplement benefits to lift all seniors out of poverty.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 640 and 641.

Question No. 640Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

With regard to government expenditures related to the travel of cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries on April 27, 2012, to promote the proposed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: (a) what was the total amount spent for each minister, parliamentary secretary, and staff person on (i) travel expenses, (ii) hospitality expenses, (iii) accommodation, (iv) alcohol, (v) beverages, (vi) food?

Question No. 640Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, these expenses will be made available according to proactive disclosure guidelines. When posted, they will be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pd-dp/gr-rg/index-eng.asp.

Question No. 641Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

With regard to the Office of Religious Freedom: (a) who was consulted regarding the creation of the office, (i) when did the consultations take place, (ii) what are the names and affiliations of those who were consulted; (b) what are the names, positions, and religious affiliations of the guests who attended consultations on a new Office of Religious Freedom in October 2011, (i) how many people from religions including, but not limited to, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Buddhism were invited to the meeting, (ii) how were the panellists and participants chosen for the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, (iii) who made the final decisions on panellists and participants chosen for the meeting, (iv) what discussions were held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) about inviting Amnesty International and why was this organization not invited; (c) who are the employees responsible for the development of the Office of Religious Freedom within (i) the Prime Minister's Office, (ii) the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Office, (iii) other Ministers’ offices, (iv) DFAIT, (v) other government departments; and (d) how will this office work differently from other sections of DFAIT already working on human rights issues?

Question No. 641Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the promotion and protection of human rights is a key component of Canada’s foreign policy, and the Government of Canada believes strongly in the ability of all people to be free to practice their religion of choice. Canadians enjoy the rights and privileges that come with living in a free and democratic society in which human rights are respected.

The government is also keenly aware of the struggles that religious minorities face around the world. That is why, during the most recent Speech from the Throne on June 3, 2011, and again at the United Nations General Assembly, the government committed to creating an office of religious freedom. Since taking office in May 2011, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has met both domestically and internationally with a wide variety of individuals, organizations, like-minded countries, religious leaders and academics to discuss the protection of religious minorities. They include, but are not limited to, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, the Aga Khan, the Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, the Secretary General of the Baha'i International Community, Ahmadiyya religious leaders, ambassadors and many others.

With regard to (b), owing to section 19 of the Access to Information Act, DFAIT cannot disclose the names of those present at the October 2011 stakeholder consultation session. It can confirm, however, that invitations were sent out widely to a broad range of faith-based, civil society and academic organizations, including, but not limited to, members of the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Falun Gong, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities. Those unable to attend in person were given the option to participate via teleconference. It is important to note that this is but one of many consultations the government has undertaken, both here and abroad, on the creation of this office. Both the department and the minister’s office were involved in organizing the consultation. As with all initiatives, officials make recommendations; final decision-making authority rests with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

With regard to (c) and (d), as previously stated in response to order paper question Q-410 in the first session of the 41st Parliament, tabled on March 12, 2012, no formal announcement has been made and work is ongoing. Therefore, it would be premature to speculate on the staffing structure of the office. It is expected that the office will focus on areas such as advocacy, analysis, policy development and programming related to protecting and advocating on behalf of religious minorities under threat; opposing religious hatred; and promoting Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance abroad. The government will have more to say on this important initiative shortly.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, if Questions Nos. 639 and 650 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 639Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

With respect to cuts to the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission outlined in Budget 2012: (a) what is the breakdown of expected savings for each department, agency and organization for fiscal years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017; (b) what programs and services are expected to be cut; and (c) how many jobs will be lost?