House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-14.

Topics

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 23(5) of the Auditor General Act, the 2016 spring reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to Parliament.

These reports are permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of a Canadian parliamentary delegation concerning its visit to the United Kingdom and France from April 25 to 27, 2016.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary 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 10 petitions.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to the supplementary estimates 2016-17.

Mr. Speaker, I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to the motion adopted by the committee regarding certain provisions of the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act.

Canada Elections ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-279, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act (length of election period).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill that will amend the Canada Elections Act to limit the length of our elections.

As we examine changes to our electoral process, it is not enough to change the way we elect our representatives, we must also ensure there is fairness in the system and that all parties compete on a level playing field.

Money distorts the ability for all people to have an equal voice in an election. My bill seeks to remedy this by placing a reasonable limit on election campaigns. The current minimum length for a campaign is 36 days, and there is no explicit maximum length, which was a loophole exploited by the previous Conservative government when it allowed spending limits to increase each day that a campaign exceeded 37 days.

Canadians do not need or want long elections to make their choice, which is something I heard constantly over the previous 78-day marathon campaign. It was a campaign that cost $443 million.

I invite all members to join with me and support this bill.

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

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present petitions circulated by the Canada Family Action Coalition that feature the signatures of several hundred Saskatchewan residents who are calling upon the government to allow for sufficient time to broadly consult, more aggressively than it has been doing, on the issues of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

They also ask that the House of Commons and the members therein be stringent and serve to minimize the occurrence of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in Canada, enact laws that would protect the vulnerable members of our society, and that they do so today.

Palliative CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present five petitions. I will be brief with respect to each one.

The first petition is from constituents in my riding who are calling upon Parliament to establish a national strategy on palliative care.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from constituents in my riding who are calling upon Parliament to protect the conscience rights of health care providers as it relates to physician-assisted suicide.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is also from constituents in my riding, who are calling upon Parliament to invoke section 33, the notwithstanding clause, in the matter of the Canada v. Carter decision in order for Parliament to have more time to examine the topic of physician-assisted suicide.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition is from Canadians across our country, with a large number being from the community of St. Denis in my riding, who are calling upon Parliament to recognize pre-born children as separate victims when they are injured or killed in the commission of an offence.

Religious FreedomPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the fifth petition is from constituents and people living in Saskatoon who are calling upon Parliament to ensure that religious freedom remains a central component of Canada's foreign policy, and that the Office of Religious Freedom's mandate be renewed.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to present a petition on behalf of constituents right across British Columbia. The Family Action Coalition has put together a petition outlining that there should be adequate safeguards in any legislation, such as Bill C-14, that parliamentarians should seek to consult in a timely and robust way, as well as to make sure that conscience rights are protected.

ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me today to present a lot of petitions on the issue of home children.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to offer an unequivocal, sincere public apology to the home children who died while being ashamed of their history and deprived of their family.

To the living, yet elderly home children, this is a significant issue. I present a number of petitions on the issue of the home children.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of presenting thousands of petitions in regard to the Falun Gong community, asking on their behalf that the Canadian Parliament and government pass a resolution to establish measures to stop the Chinese Communist regime crime from systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs, that we amend Canadian legislation to combat forced organ harvesting, and that we publicly call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I present three petitions today, all on the same issue.

The petitioners call on the House of Commons to pass legislation which would recognize preborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers, allowing two charges to be laid against the offender instead of just one.

AgriculturePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise this morning to present two petitions.

The first petition is from people throughout my riding who are very concerned about the rights, particularly of family farmers in developing countries, to save their seeds to plant in the next season. This is a time-honoured right, but is now threatened by large multinationals.

The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to ensure that programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers to protect this right.

InsecticidesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is also from residents throughout my riding, but also extending into Vancouver, and even to Kirkland Lake, Ontario, calling for action to ban the threat to pollinators across Canada via neonicotinoid insecticides.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to present two different petitions.

The first petition is on behalf of 81 of my constituents who signed a petition with regard to Molly's law, a private member's bill which stands up for a woman's choice to have her child. It is in order to ensure that a judge considers her preborn child during sentencing.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the other petition I present in the House today is a lengthy petition from members all across the province of Alberta, my home province.

The petitioners are coming forward with the Family Action Coalition with regard to Bill C-14. They are asking for stringent safeguards to be put in place on behalf of the vulnerable. They are asking for conscience protection for medical practitioners, and they are also calling on the government to consult widely with regard to Bill C-14.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition on behalf of the Family Action Coalition, signed by citizens from right across Manitoba.

The petitioners request that the government allows sufficient time for broad consultation on Bill C-14, that there are sufficient protections for the vulnerable, and that conscience rights for health care providers are protected.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to present a petition signed by hundreds of Ontarians regarding Bill C-14, requesting consideration and accommodation for medical practitioners, stringent legislation, as well as sufficient time for consultation.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 105 will be answered today.

Question No. 105Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

With regard to applications for Indian Status submitted to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, specifically as a result of the passage of the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, Bill C-3, 40th Parliament, Third Session: (a) how many applications have been submitted; (b) how many applications have been approved; (c) how many applications have been denied; (d) what is the average length of time required to process an application; (e) is there currently a backlog of processing applications; (f) if the answer to (e) is in the affirmative, how long has there been a backlog of processing applications; (g) does the Department have a projected date by which they will be caught up on any backlog that may exist; (h) has the Department identified any causes for delays in processing applications, and, if so, what are these causes; and (i) has the Department identified a staffing shortage for people required to process applications?

Question No. 105Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, the number of GEIRA applications received as of April 14, 2016, was 50,530.

Regarding part (b), the number of GEIRA applications approved as of April 14, 2016, was 36,969.

In response to part (c), the number of GEIRA applications denied as of April 14, 2016, was 7,340. In addition, 3,063 incomplete files were closed without a decision being made as a result of applicants not responding to requests for additional information.

In terms of the average length of time to process an application, or part (d), in 2014-15, the department processed 74% of applications within the service standard of 26 weeks.

Regarding the number of applications in backlog, or part (e), as of April14, 2016, 720 applications were in the processing queue for more than the service standard of 26 weeks, which is considered backlog, and 2,163 applications were in the queue for less than 26 weeks, which is inventory. In addition, 275 applications were on hold pending receipt of additional information from applicants.

In response to part (f), or how long there has been a backlog of applications, when Bill C-3 was introduced, the department started receiving applications and decided to keep them on file pending the coming into force of the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act on January 31, 2011. As such, on that date, there was a backlog of 3,900 applications previously put on hold to be processed under the provisions of the new act. The number of applications in the processing queue went up to 9,000 by July 2011, and has been decreasing since then.

Regarding part (g) of the question, the projected date by which the backlog will be eliminated is November 2016. This date is based on the current processing rate, including the number of files to process, the average length of time taken to process an application, and the number of resources available to process.

In response to part (h), causes for delays in processing GEIRA applications, delays were in part caused by the initial backlog of applications on hold pending the coming into force of the GEIRA on January 31, 2011, and the initial influx of applications shortly thereafter. In addition, there were a number of workload issues that were resolved in the first year of operation of the GEIRA processing unit. In particular, progress was slowed initially by the need to hire and train a large number of new officers. A 12-month training program is required for officers to process complex GEIRA applications, which require more in-depth genealogical research and analysis.

Finally, regarding part (i), the staffing shortage, the department is able to address the backlog situation with existing resources by improving training tools for processing officers, and by modernizing its policies, procedures, and processes, which is resulting in greater operational efficiency.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 104 and 106 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.