June 18, 2015

CPC

Leona Aglukkaq

Conservative

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canada was the first country in the world to ban traditional coal-fired electricity.

I want to share with hon. members an example of what we are doing to support the global community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One financing project that is under way is the solar plant in Uruguay. Once completed, the solar plant is expected to eliminate approximately 18,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The solar plant is also expected to supply the Uruguay national grid with an average of 96,000 megawatts per year.

This is another example of our support for the global community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bill: Bill C-52, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Message from the Senate
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CPC

Jim Hillyer

Conservative

Mr. Jim Hillyer (Lethbridge, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I hope I heard wrongly, but while the member for Calgary Centre was asking her question, I overheard the member for Wascana say that she was a pathetic creature. I hope I am mistaken, but if that is correct, I ask him to apologize.


Subtopic:   Points of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Oral Questions
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if the sensibilities across the way have been offended, I am happy to apologize. That still does not sanction the quality of the question.


Subtopic:   Points of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Oral Questions
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The House resumed from June 17 consideration of the motion that Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.


CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

Pursuant to an order made on Wednesday, June 17, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment of the member for Victoria on the motion at third reading of Bill S-4.

Call in the members.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Digital Privacy Act
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(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:) Vote #465


CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

I declare the amendment defeated.

The next question is on the main motion.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Digital Privacy Act
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(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:) Vote #466


CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Digital Privacy Act
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The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Statutory Instruments Act and to make consequential amendments to the Statutory Instruments Regulations, be read the third time and passed.


CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred record division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill S-2.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act
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(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:) Vote #467


CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

Before we move on to the Thursday question, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all my dear friends and colleagues for the support you have placed in me and the trust you have given me to be your Speaker in the 41st Parliament. It has been a great honour.

It is often said that there is no such thing as a bad seat in the House of Commons, but you have allowed me to sit in what I consider the best seat in the House of Commons, and I do sincerely appreciate that.

I want to sincerely thank the former member for Victoria, Denise Savoie, for her service to this Parliament, as well as the member for Windsor—Tecumseh, the member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock and the member for Simcoe North for their service as well.

I hope that everyone will have a good summer. Although the debate here is sometimes heated, making my job a little more difficult, nobody can say that we have not gone through some historic moments together.

I want to wish everyone a good vacation, a good summer, good health and the best of luck.

I would also like to take this one last opportunity to invite all members to an informal reception in Room 216-N.

It being Thursday, what would a Thursday be without the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster's Thursday question?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, before I start with my thanks, I would like to note that four months from tomorrow, Canadians will choose a new government. We can hardly wait.

I have thanks to give as well.

I really appreciate the work of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. He is so knowledgeable and energetic.

I would also like to thank the Liberal Party's House leader, the member for Beauséjour, who has so much experience as an MP and as the Liberal House leader.

I wish both of them a great summer, and of course I wish them luck in the election.

As my colleague from Hamilton Mountain did a few years back, I would also like to recognize all those who keep the House running. Canadians watching at home might not realize it, but there is a huge network of very talented and professional staff who work tirelessly to make this place run like clockwork.

First, there is you, Mr. Speaker, and your staff, along with the procedural experts in the offices of the clerks, the Table, the Journals Branch, the Committee Directorate staff, the Library of Parliament staff, and all our incredible pages who do a wonderful job. It is fair to say that the pages of the House of Commons rock, and they do a wonderful job.

We also saw first-hand last October the courage of our security agents, RCMP officials and the Sergeant-at-Arms. We salute them always for their bravery.

I would also like to thank everyone responsible for traffic operations, the people who drive our green buses, dispatch officers, mail room staff and messengers. I thank the cafeteria staff and the food services and catering team. I thank the maintenance staff and the tradespeople working in the parliamentary precinct, as well as those in charge of materiel management and room allocation.

There is everyone in Information Services, including telecom, ISSI, printing services, the broadcasting team, and the people who deal with human resources, finance, travel and pay and benefits.

Finally, there are the folks at Hansard, who transcribe and edit of all our words, and those who translate and interpret them from one official language to the other. Given that the NDP is a bilingual caucus, we appreciate all of the work that is done by the interpreters and translators.

The official opposition NDP wishes one and all a happy summer with lots of door knocking.

We will see each other again after the election, and we truly hope to have a new government, an NDP government.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Business of the House
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, according to the Standing Orders, this will be the last Thursday question of the spring. Therefore, I would like to first take some time to thank the people who have been busy behind the scenes.

The parliamentary pages have been hard at work all year, making our time in this place run more smoothly. They have supported all members in the House in their daily tasks that we may take for granted, but certainly supporting us with things we need. Outside of their important role here in Parliament, the pages have had to balance a full academic schedule. This being considered, their hard work, devotion and enthusiasm during busy question periods or late night debates are especially impressive.

As many members know, my wife was a page when she was a student, and she still talks about the experience that she enjoyed during her page year. Just to illustrate what an impact a year like that can have, next week, almost three decades later, she will be delivering the toast at the wedding of another fellow page. Joining her in giving that toast will be another page, who is now the chief of staff to the leader of the Liberal Party. They will not be the only former pages from that year in attendance at this event.

I am sure this year's pages have built similar friendships and fond memories of their times here. I know they have experienced what has been a particularly eventful year, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours. I hope this will be a tremendous foundation for very successful lives ahead.

I also cannot forget to thank the clerks of the House of Commons, who work diligently with all of those who organize the debate and proceedings in this place. Their support is crucial to keeping things running smoothly.

Of course, there are many administrative and support staff that I have not mentioned who work every day to keep the House running and support all members and Parliament as a whole.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for presiding over the House for the past four years. You have had quite a job to do, but you have shown a great deal of patience in your role. Back on the first day of this Parliament, you told the House:

It is an old maxim that one learns by doing and I have certainly learned a great deal with first-hand experience in the chair.

Some 505 sitting days later, you have proven a sound claim and then some, having cited that maxim.

Speaking of the Chair, I do want to note that your number two and number three in command, the hon. members for Windsor—Tecumseh and Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, will both be retiring from the House. Their service to the House has been truly appreciated. I want to thank them in particular. I would also like to thank your fourth in command, though I hope to see him here again after the next election.

I also want to extend my thanks to my six counterparts during this Parliament—the honourable members for Outremont, Westmount—Ville Marie, Windsor—Tecumseh, Skeena—Bulkley Valley, Beauséjour, and Burnaby—New Westminster—for their co-operative approach some days, and for making the job a lively one on the rest.

An immense debt of gratitude goes to my colleagues on the Conservative Party's House management team. I could not ask for a better team. It has done superb work, and I appreciate the tremendous support and our superb team atmosphere.

This week I heard an interview on the radio with a country singer. He was being asked about the difficulties of touring and the difficulties of the business and all the travails he goes through. His answer was interesting. He said, “You know, when I was helping my mother move recently, I found this picture of myself as a 12-year-old with a guitar, and if that 12-year-old heard me complaining about where I am today, he'd kick my ass.” I thought it was a worthy observation. Who among us would not face a similar admonition from a younger version of ourselves?

For all its challenges and difficulties, and there are many—this is a business that does take a very thick skin from time to time—this is an amazing place to be. It is a rare opportunity to serve and to make a difference. All of us are remarkably fortunate to be able to help people—to help our constituents as individuals, but to also help shape the greatest country in the world and help to deliver change for the better.

We have had ample opportunity to do that in this Parliament. During the course of this productive, orderly, and hard-working Parliament, all hon. members have participated in a lot of lively debates, by day and sometimes by night, in this chamber. All told, the 41st Parliament has been the most productive in terms of legislation for the last two decades. About 160 bills have become or will become law after the hard and diligent work of MPs. This is 20% greater productivity than the average Parliament since the Right Honourable John George Diefenbaker became prime minister. Of course, I was actually born around the time he was prime minister.

What stands out, though, amidst this productivity is the unprecedented number of private members' bills that have become law. More private members' bills have become law during the 41st Parliament than during any of the 40 Parliaments before it. In fact, the number of private members' bills to become law during this Parliament almost surpasses the total passed during the five previous Parliaments combined. Under our Prime Minister's leadership, at least three times as many substantive private members' bills have become law than under any other prime minister in history.

There are some—the pundits and the experts—who like to say that individual members of Parliament do not count, that they do not matter. It is a sentiment that has been around a long time, since one prime minister called backbenchers “nobodies”. Frankly, that is disrespectful. It is also ignorant, because it is wrong, and the statistics in this Parliament demonstrate that fact. Individual members of Parliament have made a huge difference to the future of this country and have rewritten the laws of this country.

It is not just the business on the floor of the House that keeps members busy. The sixth report of the Liaison Committee, tabled Monday—a document that has dominated the headlines all week—actually paints a picture of the House’s committee landscape becoming increasingly one of hard-working, cost-effective, and productive groups of dedicated MPs.

The number of committee meetings is up. The number of substantive, thoughtful reports, too, is up. The number of meetings spent talking about inside politics is down—which means the amount of time focused on real issues of consequence to Canadians has, in turn, gone up.

What is more, all this committee productivity was achieved with the lowest expense in at least a dozen years, if not longer.

Now that you have indulged me that preamble, Mr. Speaker, let me say, with respect to the business of the House, we will take up Bill C-53, the life means life act, at second reading. Should additional time be available before we adjourn for the summer, we will tackle other bills on the order paper.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Business of the House
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first I want to join in the words of my colleague House leaders, the government House leader and the member for Burnaby—New Westminster, in expressing to you, Mr. Speaker, our thanks for your firm and fair hand in guiding our debates. I thank you for your good humour both in the chair and in a number of more private meetings where we have had the privilege to work with you. I know I can speak on behalf of my colleagues in the Liberal caucus, Mr. Speaker, in saying that it has been a pleasure to work with you in this Parliament, and we wish you and your family health and happiness over the summer months.

I would also like to say a few words to my fellow House leaders, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and my colleague and friend from British Columbia, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

Although at times we disagreed about bills and political issues, I believe that we managed to work together in a spirit of friendship. I have some extremely fond memories of my exchanges with my fellow House leaders, and I also wish them much health and happiness this summer. It is rather odd, but I want to say that I look forward to seeing them next fall.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to join my colleagues in expressing our thanks and our respect to your colleague chair occupants who have indicated that they will not be seeking re-election in the next Parliament. All of you, you and your colleagues, who occupy that important function in our Parliament have done so with honour, fairness, and good humour. I know that my colleagues in the Liberal caucus have appreciated all of our colleagues who have served in this Parliament in that important chair.

My colleagues also mentioned the procedural clerks at the table, who provide invaluable advice to all parliamentarians in a fair, non-partisan, and professional way. I think we should also have a special moment of thought for Ms. Audrey O'Brien, who has faced a difficult health challenge. We wish her health and a full recovery this summer and we hope to see her back.

The person who replaced her during this time, Mr. Bosc, the acting clerk, has also, with his colleagues, done an extraordinary job. We thank him and all of his colleagues for their work in this House.

I will not repeat the list. My colleagues have correctly noted the staff in the Library of Parliament and the people who work on standing committees. As always, they have provided a very high quality of professional, competent, and efficient advice. I know my colleagues in the Liberal caucus have appreciated every exchange and every opportunity to work with this remarkably talented group of women and men.

We would like to especially acknowledge our friends the pages. Every year they arrive in the fall, and in this Parliament we have had four groups of pages. They are remarkable young Canadians who come from all over the country. They were leaders in their secondary schools, and they were carefully chosen to serve and help us carry out our parliamentary duties.

I hope the pages have had a successful and positive academic experience in their first year of university here in Ottawa. We hope that in the coming years we will have the privilege of seeing them in other capacities on Parliament Hill. I know that at some point many of them will seek elected office and join us in Parliament as elected parliamentarians. We wish all of them success and happiness in the coming years and thank them for their important service.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues rightly pointed out that the Parliament, House of Commons and Senate security officers, under the leadership of Mr. Vickers and now Mr. McDonell, did a remarkable job a few months ago during events that we could not have imagined. I am obviously referring to the tragic events of October 22. However, before and after these difficult events, the security staff acted professionally and with competence every single day.

They assure our security and the security of the Canadians who work here. They assure the security of the thousands of Canadians who visit Parliament as well. They also deserve our thanks and our respect.

As I mentioned earlier, the list is long. There are those who work in food services, the interpreters, the messengers, the maintenance people and the technical help.

All of these people support the work we do in Parliament in a professional and thoughtful way, and we are very grateful.

I come finally to our colleagues in this Parliament, our fellow members. The government House leader and the member for Burnaby—New Westminster were talking about the camaraderie that we develop and the privilege we have to serve Canadians in this House of Commons. We saw that with the recent vote when those colleagues who announced that they will not be returning for the upcoming election were applauded by all sides for their service as they cast what will probably be their last vote in this Parliament.

I was also reminded that in the last four years, a number of our colleagues on all sides of the House have gone through difficult health challenges. I do not think it is widely known or understood by others who do not have the privilege of working in this place that there is a bond shared by people who are fortunate enough and privileged enough to have a seat in this Parliament. When a colleague on any side of the House has faced a difficult health challenge, as a number of our colleagues have and are still, I have been touched by the compassion and generosity that so many of us showed toward those people, who really deserve our support, our affection, and our respect. It reminds us of what we share, even though we come from different political parties.

In the end, we want the same things for our country, our constituents and our ridings. These moments reminded me of the personal friendships that we have developed with our elected colleagues. I wanted to mention that.

On behalf of the Liberal caucus, we wish all of our colleagues much health and happiness during the summer months. To those who have decided not to re-offer we wish good health and continued success in their personal and professional lives. To those who are re-offering, we wish you success this summer—

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Business of the House
Permalink
?

Mr. Rodger Cuzner

On division.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Business of the House
Permalink
LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc

Mr. Speaker, my colleague for Cape Breton—Canso says “on division”, but regardless of who comes back to this Parliament after October, we look forward to seeing one another on other occasions and being reminded of the happy four years when we had the privilege of serving in this House.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Business of the House
Permalink

June 18, 2015