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House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

First Nations Financial Transparency ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Bob Zimmer

That is the NDP.

First Nations Financial Transparency ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

The member from the other side is chastizing me. Obviously, we can see that those members know full well that we are talking about them and how awful they have been.

The Conservatives are setting out to force first nations to do what they themselves refuse to do. They are seeking to impose standards that are greater than those applied to politicians in many other elected jurisdictions in a way that creates more bureaucracy without really increasing accountability of first nations governments to their communities.

These standards and the costs associated with them are even more unrealistic when one considers the entirety of the circumstances, especially the recent budget cuts to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

We also cannot ignore the narrow scope of talking points that are the driving force behind this legislation. The maxim that worse case scenarios make bad legislation should be considered as we debate Bill C-27. Time and again we hear about a handful of overpaid first nations politicians, which leads to assumptions that are based far more on opinion than fact. Those scenarios, while unfortunate, are in no way among the most pressing the government faces with respect to our first nations communities. However, we are debating an unnecessary piece of legislation instead of working on ways to address more pressing needs, and that is a shame.

From the outset we know there is a problem because the intention of the bill is to duplicate something that already exists. To hear proponents of the bill speak, one would think that first nations report nothing about the funding they receive or the salaries and compensation provided to their leadership, when we know the opposite is true.

First nations produce year-end reports that include annual audited consolidated financial statements for the public funds provided to them. These reports include salaries, honoraria and travel expenses for all elected, appointed and senior unelected band officials.

First nations are also required to release statements to their membership about compensation earned or accrued by elected, appointed and unelected senior officials, and the amount of remuneration paid, earned or accrued by elected and appointed officials, which must be from all sources within the recipient's financial reporting entity, including amounts from economic development and other types of business corporations.

That is not being made widely known or acknowledged by the government. Instead, it is imposing a bill that goes out of its way to force a different method of financial reporting and the costs associated with that onto first nations.

The New Democrats do not share the government's view on the urgency of this issue. We believe that Bill C-27 must be considered in the context of the June 2011 findings of the Auditor General, which stated that despite repeated audits recommending numerous reforms over the last decade, the federal government had failed abysmally to address the worsening conditions for first nations.

That report tells us that the money just is not flowing to the problems but that it is not for lack of audits or reporting processes.

The Auditor General pointed out that the reporting burden on first nations had actually worsened in recent years despite that office's repeated calls to reduce the reporting burden. Worst of all, the findings showed how many of the reports were not even used by federal government departments and were not serving anything but bureaucratic processes. They are white elephants and the government is eagerly seeking to increase them.

This is a non-turn in the road for a government that has said that it is so dead set against red tape. Perhaps it is only red tape when it frustrates the goals of its main lobbyist friends and not so much when it comes to frustrating the efforts of people it does not spend as much time with.

However, the New Democrats are convinced that changes to how audited statements are presented to first nations do not need heavy-handed legislation. Any changes deemed necessary could be a requirement of funding arrangements that the department has each first nation government sign. We are concerned that this bill not only ignores the simple solution but is overly punitive as well.

First Nations Financial Transparency ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing will have two and a half minutes remaining for her remarks and five minutes for questions and comments when the House next returns to debate on the motion.

The House resumed from June 19 consideration of the motion that Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (elder abuse), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Protecting Canada's Seniors ActGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It being 5:30 p.m. the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred division at second reading of Bill C-36.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #448

Protecting Canada's Seniors ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I declare the motion carried.

Consequently, this bill is referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

The House resumed from June 19 consideration of the motion that Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the motion that this question be now put.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the previous question at the second reading of Bill C-28.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #449

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I declare the motion carried.

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Madam Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you would find agreement to apply the results of the previous motion to the current motion, with the Conservatives voting yes.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Madam Speaker, we agree with proceeding in this fashion, and the NDP will vote no.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

June 20th, 2012 / 6:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, the Liberals agree and will be voting against.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

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

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is in favour of the motion.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Independent Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Speaker, Thunder Bay—Superior North will be voting yes.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I will be voting yes.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Independent

Peter Goldring Independent Edmonton East, AB

Madam Speaker, I will be voting yes.

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I was not in attendance at the last vote, but I want to clarify for the record that I will be voting with the Conservative Party on this very important bill.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #450

Financial Literacy Leader ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

The House resumed from June 15 consideration of the motion that Bill C-394, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act (criminal organization recruitment), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading of Bill C-394 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #451

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I declare the motion carried.

Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee Justice and Human Rights.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)