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House of Commons Hansard #261 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-60.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians remain very concerned about the ongoing conflict in Syria. Hundreds of lives have been lost, thousands have been displaced and basic freedoms are denied to many.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs update this House on the current situation in Syria?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are deeply concerned about the violence in Syria, the tens of thousands of people who have lost their lives as well as the millions of people who have been displaced internally and have had to seek refuge outside of their borders.

Canada is playing a leadership role with respect to humanitarian assistance. We are one of the top six or seven countries in providing and actually delivering aid to both UN organizations and bilaterally to some countries. We will continue to be actively engaged with this and continue to increase our support as it is warranted.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

He should know that sandbars along the coast of the Acadian peninsula are blocking port access channels and endangering fishers' lives. Just last week, another four fishers were trapped on sandbars and more were stranded at sea.

What will he do to speed up dredging so that fishers' lives are no longer in danger?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, if I understand the question, I believe it is around small craft harbours.

Of course, we have an annual budget to invest in small craft harbours across the country, which is done on a priority basis. Everything is assessed on an annual basis to determine which ones will be fixed during a season.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

That concludes question period for today.

Canadian Forces Day is an opportunity for Canadians across the country to recognize the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf.

It is with great pleasure that I draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of 12 members of the Canadian Forces who are taking part in Canadians Forces Day today.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe that it is very important for all members of the House to respect people from other countries.

I understand that some members can get pretty excited when expressing themselves and asking questions, but I found it insulting when the member for Trois-Rivières said: “drivers wonder whether they are on the streets of Beirut, not those of a major city in Quebec”.

I think that we should respect all peoples, not just the people of Beirut and Lebanon, but also Canadians and Quebeckers of Lebanese origin who would not appreciate comments like that. I therefore ask the member to apologize.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, of course I will apologize if my comments offended anyone in Quebec. That was not even remotely my intention.

The House resumed from May 30 consideration of the motion that Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Witness Protection Program Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, be read the third time and passed.

Safer Witnesses ActGovernment Orders

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to an order made on Wednesday, May 22, 2012, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-51.

Call in the members.

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

Vote #710

Safer Witnesses ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to)

Export Development CanadaRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a document entitled the Canada Account Annual Report, 2011-2012.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 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 two petitions.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 57th, 58th and 59th reports of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to the reports of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the provinces of Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Quebec.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-517, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my private member's bill, C-517, an act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons). Three years ago, this House unanimously passed a bill to enact a mandatory minimum sentence for those found guilty of human trafficking of minors. On that day Canada sent a clear message that human trafficking is simply abhorrent. However, our work is not done. According to the United Nations' global report on human trafficking, 73% of victims are adults.

It is time for Parliament to take action to close this legal gap. My bill would amend the Criminal Code to put in place a mandatory minimum sentence for anyone found guilty of trafficking of a person 18 years of age or older and would send a strong message that the trafficking of humans is simply wrong, regardless of age.

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

Protecting Taxpayers and Revoking Pensions of Convicted Politicians ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-518, An Act to amend the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act (withdrawal allowance).

Mr. Speaker, the alternative title of the bill I am putting forward today is the protecting taxpayers and revoking pensions of convicted politicians act. Should this bill become law, it would revoke the parliamentary pensions of any senator or elected member convicted of an offence under any act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for more than two years.

There are two points I would like to highlight on this bill.

First, the way the bill is written, those people found guilty are not required to serve a sentence of more than two years. It is simply that the maximum penalty be two years or more. Therefore, there could be a member who is sentenced for a period of six months, as was the case at one point with a not so honourable member from the other place.

Second, this bill would be made retroactive to today, June 3, 2013. In doing so, I have adopted the aim and intent of a bill from Nova Scotia, which followed the same precedent.

Therefore, I ask that this bill be brought forward for debate in the House.

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

Excise Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-519, an act to amend the Excise Tax Act (motor vehicle fuel).

Mr. Speaker, a second bill I would like to move today is the ending gasoline tax on tax act. The bill aims to amend the Excise Tax Act so that GST and HST are no longer levied on any federal or provincial excise tax charged on fuel for motor vehicles.

I believe the bill would be in line with our government's priority to balance the books by 2015 and would fit nicely into that schedule.

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

Supporting Non-Partisan Agents of Parliament ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-520, an act supporting non-partisan agents of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to introduce an act supporting non-partisan agents of Parliament. The act would establish a requirement for all persons who apply for a position in the office of an agent of Parliament to make a declaration stating whether, in the 10 years before applying for that position, they occupied specified politically partisan positions. For successful candidates, these declarations would be posted online.

The act would also require the persons who work in the office of an agent of Parliament and these agents to make a declaration if they intend to occupy a politically partisan position while continuing to occupy their positions. These declarations would also be posted online.

As well, the act would require an agent of Parliament and the persons who work in his or her office to provide a written undertaking that they will conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner in fulfilling the official duties and responsibilities of their positions.

Agents of Parliament are given the important mandate to perform non-partisan duties in Parliament, and the public has a right to know whether or not the agents or those who work in these offices are engaging in political activities.

This would help protect the institution of Parliament and bring more transparency and accountability into the Canadian political process.

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

Navigable Waters Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-521, an act to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act (Nottawasaga River).

Mr. Speaker, in March, I read an article about AWARE Simcoe, which is a citizens group that is looking to protect the Nottawasaga River. AWARE Simcoe points out that this is a river of major historical importance. It has played a large part in the creation of the county, and it has been protected under the Navigable Waters Protection Act since 1882.

As we all know, this piece of legislation was gutted by the Conservatives last fall and the Nottawasaga River is no longer protected. Despite the fact that the Conservatives will not act, I am proud to stand here today to present this bill that would actually ensure this river is protected.

I think today is the first step in ensuring that rainbow trout and other species and ecosystems of the Nottawasaga are protected and that the people who care deeply for this river are given the tools to ensure it is enjoyed by future generations.

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

Navigable Waters Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-522, an act to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act (Saskatchewan lakes).

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour, today, to present a bill to reinstate Saskatchewan lakes into the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Reindeer Lake, Cree Lake, Lac la Ronge, Lac Churchill, Old Wives Lake, Last Mountain Lake, Buffalo Pound Lake, Big Quill Lake, Little Quill Lake, Katepwa Lake, Goose Lake and Redberry Lake all must come under this act.

These lakes, if left unprotected, could mean the loss of clean drinking water for the people of Saskatchewan, including those who live in Regina and Moose Jaw. Protecting these waterways would also preserve the habitat of unique wildlife.

Today, these waterways are the source of livelihood and quality of life for people across Saskatchewan.

The future lies in protecting these waterways. I am proud of our NDP team standing up for the people of Saskatchewan and calling upon the government to act.

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

Lyme DiseasePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 3rd, 2013 / 3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to present a petition signed by a number of my constituents in Leeds—Grenville. The petitioners call on the government to support Bill C-442, An Act respecting a National Lyme Disease Strategy.

Canada PostPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table.

The first petition is a call for the government to cease closure of the Sandwich Towne post office. Unfortunately, the government has chosen to go ahead with that. Councillor Ron Jones and I were actually in the building the other day, and we were mortified by the condition of the building. The petitioners would like answers, and we would like to see that it at least go to the community.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in regard to pet coke, which is now being stored on the Detroit River. The petitioners call for the Minister of the Environment to invoke the International Joint Commission.

This pet coke is a by-product of manufactured bitumen at a Marathon plant, and now it is stored right on the riverfront with very little regulation and oversight. There are actually other locations that are now starting to get these, including the one in Essex County that has also emerged.

Genetically Modified AlfalfaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of constituents in my riding of Dufferin—Caledon who are concerned about the issue of genetically modified alfalfa. Among a number of things, they are concerned that organic farming prohibits the use of genetic modification and that the organic sector in Canada depends on alfalfa as a high-protein feed for dairy cattle and other livestock, and as an important soil builder. The petitioners ask that the government impose a moratorium on the release of genetically modified alfalfa in order to allow a proper review of the impact on farmers in Canada.