House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was peoples.

Topics

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition that I have is presented from Canadians across Canada. They are calling on the House of Commons to protect the conscience rights of physicians, health care workers and health care institutions. They recognize that the Canadian Medical Association also confirms that conscience rights do not interfere with access to health care.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition that I have to present today is from hundreds of Canadians from across Canada. These petitioners are concerned about the accessibility of violent and degrading sexually explicit material online and its impacts on public health, especially on the well-being of women and girls. They recognize that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires Canada to develop a means to protect children from forms of media that are injurious to their well-being. As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to adopt meaningful age verification on all adult websites.

Palliative CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I have to present is from hundreds of Canadians across this country who are concerned about the state of palliative care in this country. They have signed this petition to ask the government to establish a national strategy on palliative care.

FirearmsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I have to present today seeks to support the health and safety of Canadian firearms owners. The petitioners recognize the importance of owning firearms and are concerned about the impact of hearing loss caused by the noise levels from firearms and the need for noise reduction.

These petitioners acknowledge that sound moderators are the only universally recognized health and safety device that is criminally prohibited in Canada. Moreover, the majority of G7 countries have recognized the health and safety benefits of sound moderators and allow them for hunting, sport shooting and noise pollution reduction. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to allow these firearms owners to purchase and use sound moderators for all legal hunting and sport shooting events.

Sex SelectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the last petition I have to present today is from Canadians across the country. In this petition, they are writing to condemn sex-selective abortion and they are calling for the rapid passing of the bill presented by the member for Yorkton—Melville.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present to the House petition e-2943, which has over 30,200 signatures.

The petitioners are asking the Canada Revenue Agency to immediately suspend the imposition of the federal sales tax on osteopathic care provided in Quebec.

People in my riding have talked to me about taking this issue very seriously because Quebec is currently holding consultations about creating a professional association for osteopaths. That is going to happen in the next 12 months. The petitioners are asking the government to suspend the tax because it was done very suddenly and this group of professionals got no warning.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, given that the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of this very chamber, after comprehensive study, concluded from all the witness evidence that was presented that the threshold was met to call what is going on with Uighur Muslims in East Turkestan by the Communist Party of China a genocide, the petitioners call on the House of Commons to take the following actions to address the situation. They ask the government to formally recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subject to genocide, and to use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, more commonly known as the Magnitsky act, to sanction those who are responsible for the heinous crimes being committed against Uighur Muslims in East Turkestan.

Sex SelectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition supported by thousands of Canadians. It notes that sex-selective abortion is presently legal in Canada and the practice is antithetical to our commitment to equality between men and women. The petition also notes that a recent poll conducted by the National Post shows that 84% of Canadians believe it should be illegal to have an abortion if the family does not want the child to be a certain sex.

The petitioners also note that international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, UN Women and the United Nations Children's Fund, have identified unequal sex ratios at birth as a growing problem internationally.

Finally, they note that Canada's health care profession recognizes sex-selective abortion as a problem. Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon the House of Commons to pass a Criminal Code prohibition on sex-selective abortion.

Indigenous AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present a petition. I am speaking today from the traditional territory of the WSÁNEC Nation. Hych'ka Siem.

The petitioners are calling for the House assembled to follow through on commitments to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to follow through on commitments to meet the calls for action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The petitioners specifically note the ongoing situation on Wet’suwet’en territory and the Coastal GasLink. They also note the pervasive ways in which implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should be incorporated into Canadian law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a mere three petitions in the House today. I will try to do better next time.

The first petition is on Bill S-204, which is currently before the Senate. It has been put forward by Senator Salma Ataullahjan, who is doing so much great work on human rights. This bill would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad and receive an organ where there had not been consent. It would also make a provision for a person to be inadmissible to Canada if they have been involved in organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition deals with the human rights situation of Uighurs, and it is similar text to what my colleagues have put forward. It calls for the recognition that Uighurs in China have been and are being subjected to genocide, as well as for the use of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Magnitsky act, to sanction those responsible for this heinous crime being committed against the Uighur people.

Sex SelectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

The third and final petition I am presenting today, Mr. Speaker, deals with sex-selective abortion. The petition is in support of the private member's bill put forward by the member for Yorkton—Melville. Petitioners note wide public support for legislative measures aimed at ending this practice and affirming the dignity of all people, regardless of gender.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Terry Dowdall Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured and pleased to present a petition as well in support of Bill S-204, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting as well as trafficking.

Public SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of one of my Davenport residents. It is e-petition 2699, initiated by Alex Quaresma, who I want to thank for her passionate advocacy in this petition.

E-petition 2699 acknowledges some of the historical injustices behind the founding of the RCMP, as well as the anti-indigenous racism that still exists within many of Canada's institutions, including the RCMP. This petition urges an increased focus on reallocating some of the RCMP's funding and resources toward community-based resources and trauma-informed care, among many other things.

The petition also urges the elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing measures, which disproportionately impact indigenous people, Black Canadians and people living in poverty, and it asks for the implementation of the action items outlined by the Parliamentary Black Caucus. Finally, it urgently asks for the implementation of the recommendations put forward by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

I would like to thank Alex for her wonderful advocacy, and I hereby present this petition in the chamber on her behalf.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 23rd, 2020 / 4 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting two petitions today.

The first petition regards the situation of the Uighurs in China and calls on the House to recognize this as a genocide, something I note the Subcommittee on International Human Rights did recently.

Sex SelectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on the subject of sex-selective abortion. The one thing that has not been mentioned by the previous speakers on this topic is the fact that sex-selective abortions are inevitably of female unborn babies or fetuses.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, I too am presenting a petition on the suppression of the Uighurs by the Chinese Communist Party, which includes methods such as forced sterilization and abortion.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Vidal Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I too, like my colleagues today, am honoured to present this petition on the Uighurs in China. It has been well explained by a number of my colleagues already.

I present petition no. 10874647 on behalf of the Uighur people, formally recognizing that they have been subject to genocide in China and that we promote the use of the Magnitsky act to sanction those responsible for these heinous crimes being committed against these people in China.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 124, 125, 128, 131, 133 and 134.

Question No.124Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

With regard to the Optional Survivor Benefit (OSB) for common-law partners and the statement on the government’s website that “The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) was amended so that a member living in a common-law relationship can provide a survivor pension if the relationship begins after age 60. However, the regulations must be amended to specify the details. Consequently, the OSB is not yet available for common-law relationships.”: (a) when will the regulations be amended to make the OSB available to those in common-law relationships that begin after age 60; (b) why have the regulations not yet been amended; (c) what are the government’s projections regarding how many such individuals will be eligible for the OSB; and (d) of the individuals in (c), what percentage does the government project will opt in to the OSB?

Question No.124Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Liberal

Anita Vandenbeld LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Armed Forces offer competitive salaries and world-class benefit packages that start on the first day of a member’s service, up until after they retire. To ensure members are fairly compensated for their service to Canada, National Defence continues to work on issues, such as the optional survivor benefit for common-law relationships, to better reflect the reality of today’s veterans.

With regard to part (a) of the question, optional survivor benefit regulations are currently in the process of being amended. The amendments are complex and require coordination among multiple departments to ensure they are done properly. This process is being done collaboratively with Treasury Board and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

With regard to part (b), National Defence is currently working collaboratively with Treasury Board and the RCMP to determine a common policy approach for amending regulations. This will ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces, public service and RCMP pension plans are cohesive and contain similar optional survivor benefit provisions.

With regard to parts (c) and (d), National Defence does not maintain this information and it is not available to provide a projection at this time.

Question No.125Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Nelly Shin Conservative Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

With regard to expenditures related to legal proceedings involving veterans and veterans' groups, since January 1, 2018: (a) what is the total amount of expenditures incurred to date, broken down by case; and (b) what are the expenditures in (a), broken down by type and line item?

Question No.125Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, with respect to expenditures incurred in relation to legal proceedings involving veterans and veterans' groups, since January 1, 2018, to the extent that the information requested is or may be protected by any legal privileges, including solicitor-client privilege or settlement privilege, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, it has only waived solicitor-client privilege to the extent of revealing the total legal costs, as defined below.

The total legal costs, including actual and notional costs, associated with legal proceedings involving veterans and veterans' groups since January 1, 2018, amount to approximatively $5,475,000. These costs cover all types of legal proceedings, including individual and class actions brought by veterans, judicial review applications of decisions of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board and appeals. The Crown is usually not initiating these proceedings but rather acts as a defendant or respondent. The total legal costs are with respect to litigation and litigation support services, which were provided in these cases by the Department of Justice. Department of Justice lawyers, notaries and paralegals are salaried public servants and, therefore, no legal fees are incurred for their services. A “notional amount” can, however, be provided to account for the legal services they provide. The notional amount is calculated by multiplying the total hours recorded in the responsive files for the relevant period by the applicable approved internal legal services hourly rates. Actual costs are composed of file-related legal disbursements paid by the department and then cost-recovered from the client departments or agencies, as well as the costs of legal agents who may be retained by the Minister of Justice to provide litigation services in certain cases. The amount mentioned in this response is based on information currently contained in the Department of Justice systems, as of October 6, 2020.

Question No.128Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

With regard to the government’s reaction to the genocide and human rights abuses of Uighurs in Xinjiang Province, China, and the decision as to whether to place Magnitsky sanctions on those responsible: (a) will the government be placing sanctions under the Magnitsky Act on the Chinese government officials responsible for the genocide; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, which Chinese government officials will be subject to the sanctions, and what criteria will the government use to determine which officials will be subject to the sanctions; and (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, then what is the rationale for not placing sanctions on those responsible for this genocide?

Question No.128Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy and is a priority in the Government of Canada’s engagement with China. The nature and scale of the abuses by Chinese authorities of Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities, under the pretext of countering extremism, are deeply disturbing. The Government of Canada is alarmed by the mass arbitrary detentions, repressive surveillance, allegations of torture, mistreatment, forced labour, forced sterilization of women and mass arbitrary separation of children from their parents. These actions by the Chinese government are contrary to its own constitution, in violation of international human rights obligations and inconsistent with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Canada takes allegations of genocide very seriously. We will continue to work in close collaboration with our allies to push for these to be investigated through an international independent body and for impartial experts to access the region so that they can see the situation first-hand and report back.

Canada has continuously relayed its concerns about China’s actions directly to Chinese officials. Canada has also taken action to speak out at the United Nations in co-operation with partners. For example, in June 2020, during the 44th session of the HRC, Canada and 27 other countries signed a joint statement voicing concerns on the human rights situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Recently, at the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, on October 6, 2020, Canada co-signed, along with 38 other countries, a joint statement on the human rights situation in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. As part of joint communications, Canada and other countries have repeatedly called on China to allow unfettered access to Xinjiang to UN human rights experts and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Canada is judicious in its approach regarding when to deploy sanctions and/or draw on other courses of action in our diplomatic tool kit based on foreign policy priorities. The regulations enacted under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act allow the Government of Canada to target individuals who are, in the opinion of the government, responsible for, or complicit in, gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or acts of significant corruption. Canada takes the matter of listing individuals under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act very seriously. A rigorous due diligence process has been established to consider and evaluate possible cases of human rights violations or corruption anywhere in the world against the criteria set out in the act, within the context of other ongoing efforts to promote human rights and combat corruption. Our government believes that sanctions have the maximum impact when they are being imposed in collaboration with other countries.

Please also note that the trade commissioner service has updated its guidance for businesses on the risks of doing business in China, including risks related to human rights abuses. Ensuring companies adhere to responsible business practices is essential to manage social, reputational, legal and economic risks. The Government of Canada expects Canadian companies active abroad, in any market or country, to respect human rights, operate lawfully and conduct their activities in a responsible manner consistent with international standards such as the UN “Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights” and the OECD “Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises”. Among other things, the Government of Canada expects Canadian companies to adopt global best practices with respect to supply chain due diligence in order to eliminate the direct or indirect risk of involvement in any forced labour or other human rights abuses.

Please be assured that the promotion and protection of human rights are core priorities of Canada’s foreign policy. The Government of Canada will continue to raise its concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang and all of China, and will continue to call on China to live up to its international obligations.