Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
That Bill C-41, an act to amend certain Acts, be referred forthwith to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak briefly today about Bill C-41, the technical adjustments bill, which proposes minor corrections to a number of statutes that would not justify stand-alone bills in Parliament.
The government has introduced this kind of bill as a housekeeping initiative to make the most effective use of parliamentarians' time and to ensure that our laws are accurate and up to date and often particularly reflect changes in terminology between the French and the English languages.
By proceeding now with this bill, Parliament can consider minor amendments to statutes without having to wait for legislation dealing with more fundamental changes to the statutes in question.
Bill C-41 is the second technical corrections bill the government has introduced. A similar bill was introduced in 2001 to correct a variety of statutes.
I want to quickly summarize the provisions of this bill.
For example, amendments to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Act would change the French title for the new one that is now accepted for deputy commissioner from “commissaire adjoint” to the new term “commissaire délégué”, which I understand reflects the modern way of describing this term in French.
The title for the executive director of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy would be changed from executive director to president. Again, this is a more up to date title.
The Financial Administration Act would be amended to clarify the definition of officers-directors to provide for clearer administration of these positions.
There is a provision involving lieutenant governors. Bill C-41 updates the disability provisions for lieutenant governors over age 65 consistent with provisions for lieutenant governors under 65 and changes for parliamentarians made in 2001. The bill would also allow lieutenant governors to contribute to their pensions for up to five years in the event they become disabled and receive disability benefits.
This provision would ensure that disabled lieutenant governors can become eligible for their pensions, consistent with the provisions available to MPs and public servants. We addressed these issues in the MPs' plan a little while back. This merely standardizes the form for lieutenant governors as well.
With respect to fees for consular services, since 1998, the government has been levying such fees based on a decision made by the Treasury Board.
An administrative correction is needed to validate this authorization to levy these fees between January 1998 and January 2003.
Bill C-41 also makes corrections with respect to customs-related matters, notably the coordination provisions in the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, and the references to tariffs in the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.
As I indicated earlier, these amendments are purely technical and do not imply any general policy change. I hope that the members will facilitate the passage of these amendments to correct and update our legislation, as required.
I call on my colleagues to support this initiative so that we may make corrections and have proper translations in our legislation as soon as possible.
Subtopic: Amendments and Corrections Act, 2003