June 17, 2010

CPC

James Rajotte

Conservative

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton—Leduc, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to the retirement income security of Canadians.

I would like to thank all committee members for their work, as well as the clerk, the analysts and all the staff who helped us prepare this report.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Finance
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NDP

Denise Savoie

New Democratic Party

Ms. Denise Savoie (Victoria, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-549, An Act to amend the National Housing Act (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's retained earnings).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that would harness CMHC's $2 billion annual surplus to the goal of sheltering Canadians, a goal from which CMHC has strayed over the years.

This bill would amend section 21 of the National Housing Act, requiring CMHC's unappropriated retained earnings to be transferred to provinces to provide housing for low income households. It would pose no financial risk to CMHC, which maintains twice the level of capital reserves recommended by OSFI, but it would guide it in fulfilling its mandate to help Canadians in need access affordable, sound and suitable housing.

Finally, it would help all of us attain the right to housing that the Government of Canada pledged to uphold when it ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights more than three decades ago.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   National Housing Act
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NDP

Don Davies

New Democratic Party

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-550, An Act respecting the forgiveness of student loans for health professionals.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that would help students and improve access to basic medical care for people across the country.

We know that regular checkups and preventative health care are far better and cheaper for Canadians than ignoring health problems until a trip to the hospital is required, but far too many families do not have access to a family doctor.

My bill would freeze student loan payments for the first five years after graduation for all doctors and nurse practitioners who agree to practise family medicine in an underserved area. After five years, their student debt would be decreased by 20% for each year they continue to serve as family doctors or nurse practitioners in underserved communities. The effect would be that after 10 years of practising family medicine, their student debt would be totally forgiven.

Last year I met with representatives of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and they told me about the crippling debt burden faced by many medical graduates.

This bill would help these hard-working students who are dedicating their lives to serving the public and it would help get more family doctors and nurse practitioners into communities that need them.

I ask all members of the House to support this practical idea to strengthen our public health care system for all Canadians.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Forgiveness of Student Loans for Health Professionals Act
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NDP

Claude Gravelle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-551, An Act to amend the Investment Canada Act (committee members).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to table my bill entitled, An Act to amend the Investment Canada Act . I am pleased that this bill is being seconded by my colleague from Churchill.

Liberal and Conservative governments have consistently rubber-stamped foreign takeovers of Canadian companies without any transparency or accountability to the Canadian people. When parliamentarians seek details of these takeovers, they are told by the industry minister that they are not allowed.

This bill would change all that. It seeks to expand section 36 of the Investment Canada Act to include members of the Standing Committee on Industry. Amending section 36 in such a way would provide meaningful oversight by parliamentarians and would allow a multi-party review of foreign takeovers. This would provide greater public confidence in the process.

For too long, federal industry ministers have hidden behind section 36 of the Investment Canada Act to deny stakeholders and the public access to the terms of agreements between foreign companies and the federal government.

With this act, the Ministry of Industry would now have to co-operate with parliamentarians in the industry committee and that is a much needed improvement in the current act.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Investment Canada Act
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Hon. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-552, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (representation of women).

Mr. Speaker, for a number of years Canadians have been demanding democratic renewal of Canada's Parliament.

With a changing cultural landscape, Canada's Parliament should be representative of the diversity that is celebrated in this country. Sadly, the reality is that today, less than 25% of the total elected members of the House of Commons are women. That is why this morning I am tabling a bill that would alter the formula of special allowances per vote received by political parties.

My bill would amend the Elections Act to provide a special quarterly allowance for registered parties in which a certain percentage of the members elected are women.

In addition to the existing quarterly allowances paid to political parties, which is $1.95 per year for each valid vote cast, the bill provides for a special quarterly allowance for parties in which women represent 20% of the elected members. The 20% threshold was selected because it corresponds to an overall average in the House of Commons, where for several decades now, women have held at least 20% of the total number of seats.

The proportion of women in the House has never been higher than 30%. Although it has been as high as 25% or 30%, it has since fallen and now varies between 20% and 25%.

This would be a special quarterly allowance of 20¢ to 40¢ per year, depending on the percentage of women elected for each political party.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Hon. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-553, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (special quarterly allowance).

Mr. Speaker, my bill would amend the Canada Elections Act to provide a special quarterly allowance for registered parties in which a certain percentage of the members elected are aboriginal people, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

In addition to the quarterly allowance given to political parties, which is currently set at $1.95 a year per valid vote, my bill would provide a special quarterly allowance to parties in which 10% of their elected representatives are part of a designated group. A threshold of 10% was chosen because visible minorities were approximately 16.2% of the population in 2006, which was an increase over the 2001 level of 13.4%. In 2017, it is estimated that between 19% and 23% of Canadians will be from visible minorities, while aboriginals account for 1.2 million Canadians and persons with disabilities, 4.4 million. For each quarter, the allowance would be calculated as follows: 10¢ per year if the proportion of people from these groups is between 10% and 19% of the party's total elected members, 20¢ per year if that proportion is between 20% and 29%, and 30¢ per year if the proportion of people from these groups is more than 30%.

I hope that my colleagues will support both these bills.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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LIB

Irwin Cotler

Liberal

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-554, An Act to Protect Canadian Citizens Abroad.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce an act to protect Canadian citizens abroad in support of the foundational principle that all Canadian citizens, without discrimination, deserve the protection of the Government of Canada while detained, stranded, captured or disappeared abroad.

There are a number of high profile cases, including those of Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and Abousfian Abdelrazik, and the related jurisprudence that have underscored the need for legislation setting forth both the rights of Canadian citizens, as well as the threshold obligations of the Government of Canada and its consular services.

Accordingly, this legislation, the first ever of its kind, would affirm these rights and obligations, including rights to consular access, consular visits and repatriation; reporting requirements for Canadian officials when they suspect a Canadian detained or captured abroad has been or may be tortured; and requiring that the government request the repatriation of a Canadian detained abroad in situations where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Canadian has been or may be tortured, is being subjected to conditions constituting cruel or unusual punishment, or is being arbitrarily detained.

I trust that this bill will enjoy the support of all members of the House.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Protecting Canadians Abroad Act
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NDP

Olivia Chow

New Democratic Party

Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-556, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (exception to inadmissibility).

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to introduce a bill that speaks on behalf of those vulnerable people who are denied immigration status because of their health condition.

This bill looks to stop discrimination against people living with disabilities by improving our Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and making it fair and equitable.

I want to thank my former colleague, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, for all her work on this issue in the past, and her work in favour of those living with disabilities and protecting their rights.

The act currently suggests discriminating against people living with disabilities by prohibiting them from immigrating to Canada since they might represent an excessive burden on our society. That was the case of David and Sophie Barlagne, a French family that was told by the Federal Court that their daughter, Rachel, who has cerebral palsy, constituted an excessive demand on the social service resources of the province of Quebec, even though the family can support her. Through these actions, the government is telling the family that their child is a burden.

That is the reason this bill guarantees an opportunity of an appeal process for people with a disability who have applied for immigration but have been turned down. This bill would allow them to prove they have abilities that need to be recognized and that in fact they will not pose an excessive demand on our society, but on the contrary they can contribute greatly to our country.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
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NDP

Olivia Chow

New Democratic Party

Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-557, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeals).

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to introduce a bill that amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It amends section 38 that excludes people with disabilities from immigrating to Canada, even though they have been accepted by the provincial government and have the financial means to support themselves.

Canada signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities while still systematically undermining it by falling back on old stereotypes.

Tonight in Toronto, the Canadian Paraplegic Association will be celebrating its 65th year of existence and of its excellent work.

No one should be deported or barred from Canada after becoming physically disabled in Canada. I urge all members to support equal rights for all persons in Canada.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
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NDP

Libby Davies

New Democratic Party

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-558, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (social condition).

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to rise in the House today to present this bill. I would like to thank the member for Vancouver Kingsway for seconding this bill.

This bill is very important because it amends provisions of the Criminal Code to establish principles related to sentencing and describe the aggravating circumstances that require increased sentences to be imposed.

The bill requires an increased sentence where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on social condition of the victim.

This bill is the companion to another bill that I will be introducing on social condition. It is done in recognition that there are people in our society who are disadvantaged because of social condition, because of poverty, homelessness, education and background and that they do face prejudice and discrimination. It is very important that we have the tools to address the reality they face in their daily lives.

I hope that all members will support this bill. This issue has been before the House many times. In fact, there have been many studies on the issue of social condition and how people do not have protection. This bill is aimed at addressing that to ensure there is dignity and respect for people based on social condition.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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NDP

Libby Davies

New Democratic Party

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-559, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (social condition).

Mr. Speaker, this is the companion bill to the one I just introduced. I would like to thank the hon. member for Nickel Belt for seconding this bill.

This bill would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of social condition. In doing so it would protect from discrimination people who are experiencing social or economic disadvantage, such as adequate housing, homelessness, source of income, occupation, level of education, poverty, or any similar circumstance. As the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation and many other organizations have pointed out, a person's standing in society is often determined by his or her occupation, income, education level or family background.

As legislators, we know that we must be aware that tools are very much needed to promote and protect the economic and social rights of Canadians. This bill would send an important message to the public that people who are disadvantaged because of their social condition are equally deserving of dignity and protection from discrimination.

I hope that all members of the House will support this bill.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canadian Human Rights Act
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NDP

Bruce Hyer

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay—Superior North, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-560, An Act respecting the locking of cellular telephones.

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce the cell phone freedom act. This bill would take an important step toward providing more consumer choice and to promoting competition in the wireless market. It would strike a healthy balance on the issue of mobile phone network locks.

Most Canadian consumers do not know that their cell phones are locked to work only on the network of the carrier they bought their phone from and that they cannot easily move to a competitor. Unlike most other countries, Canada does not yet regulate these network locks. That diminishes competition. There is much less consumer choice and freedom of movement between service providers, and higher prices and worse services for consumers.

The cell phone freedom act would level the playing field for Canadian cell phone customers. Consumers buying new cell phones in Canada would be informed of any network lock on their phones before sale. Phone companies would have to unlock new phones upon request, without charge, at the end of their service contracts.

Let us stand up for competition and consumers and support the cell phone freedom act.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Cell Phone Freedom Act
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LIB

Francis Scarpaleggia

Liberal

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-561, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (mining activities).

Mr. Speaker, I am introducing a bill which would address a practice that is occurring with increasing frequency and which is of enormous concern to those of us who would like to see Canada's freshwater lakes better protected. This practice is the practice of mining companies asking for permission under the metal mining effluent regulations to use healthy freshwater lakes as dumping grounds for mine tailings.

Unfortunately, permission for that practice is being granted much too easily. This bill would close the loophole in the Fisheries Act which allows that practice to occur.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Fisheries Act
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CPC

Gordon O'Connor

Conservative

Hon. Gordon O'Connor (Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, during the consideration of the Business of Supply on the last allotted day in the supply period ending June 23, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. the House shall proceed to the consideration of a motion or motions to concur in the Main Estimates, provided that, unless previously disposed of, a Member from each recognized party may speak for not more than 10 minutes on the motion, after which the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith, without further debate or amendment, every question necessary to dispose of the opposition motion and forthwith thereafter put successively, without debate or amendment, every question necessary to dispose of the motion or motions to concur in the Main Estimates and the Supplementary Estimates (A), and notwithstanding Standing Order 71, for the passage at all stages of any bill or bills based on the main or supplementary estimates.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Does the hon. chief government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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LIB
CPC

Gordon O'Connor

Conservative

Hon. Gordon O'Connor (Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have two travel motions.

I move:

That eleven members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts be authorized to travel to Quebec City, Quebec, to attend the Conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts, in August 2010 and that the necessary staff accompany the Committee.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Public Accounts
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June 17, 2010