PENNOCK, Robert, B.A.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Etobicoke North (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 14, 1936
businessman, contractor

Parliamentary Career

September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
  Etobicoke North (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 20)

March 17, 1988

Mr. Bob Pennock (Etobicoke North):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Communications. The Minister knows that the National Arts Centre has been seeking a new director unsuccessfully now for two years. With yesterday's resignation of the chairman of the board, Mr. Boutin, the problem has been compounded. It is important that the new director and the chairman of the board work effectively together.

1 know the Minister shares this concern with myself and other Members of the House, and I wonder if the Minister can tell us the timeframe under which she is operating to put a new chairperson in place?

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March 17, 1988

Mr. Bob Pennock (Etobicoke North):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer my congratulations to the Ottawa Police Force on its decision to release the photograph of a man who donated AIDS contaminated blood.

AIDS is a terrible disease which must be dealt with by harsh measures, if we are to protect all Canadians. Any individual who would knowingly put others at risk loses the right to privacy.

Photographs should be released, nation-wide if necessary. Photographs will act as a warning to the public that these individuals are a health hazard.

I do not propose to invade the privacy of those carrying the AIDS antibody. Only those individuals who knowingly spread this disease, lacking thought for the innocent, should be subject to this kind of scrutiny.

In addition, I would like to urge the Government to amend the Criminal Code to deal with the wilful spread of AIDS. The common nuisance charge currently being used does not adequately address this issue.

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January 26, 1988

Mr. Bob Pennock (Etobicoke North):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to recognize the thirty-eighth anniversary of India's Republic Day. In 1950 India became a republic. Like our Canada Day, India's Republic Day is its biggest national holiday.

Sharing similar aspirations of accommodating various ethnic and linguistic groups, India has tried to achieve a better democratic system and standard of living for its people. Canada, for its part, has made its contribution to India through various development efforts down through the years. In the international arena, Canada and India have shared values, particularly the desire to bring justice and peace to the world.

Canada has been made richer by having amongst its cultural mosiac Canadian citizens of Indian origin. I, for one, would vouch that they have made a tremendous contribution to our country and our Canadian society as a whole. I am proud to have citizens of all cultural origins in my riding of Etobicoke North, and today I am pleased to be able to pay a special tribute to those Canadians of Indian origin.

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January 22, 1988

Mr. Bob Pennock (Etobicoke North):

Mr. Speaker, the CRTC's November decision to grant new licences to TV specialty services deprives Canadians of the freedom of choice we cherish. Most do not know that if they do not want a 24-hour rock channel, a religious channel, or an all-news channel, they will be forced to receive it and will have no choice. Most do not know that they will be forced to pay an extra monthly charge for these services, estimated at over $2, and they will have no choice.

What about the 25 per cent of Canadians who do not have a channel converter? Their plight is even worse. Not only will they not be able to receive the new services but they will have to pay for them anyway. What about seniors or low-income families to whom the additional charge of $2-plus per month will be a burden? They will either have to pay it or give up their cable service.

January 22, 1988

Canadians here in Ottawa are rebelling and are making their views known to their cable companies here. They do not want this forced down their throats. 1 encourage all Canadians to write or call their cable companies to express their outrage at this mandatory carriage of service.

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November 5, 1987

Mr. Pennock moved

that the Bill be read the third time and passed.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise and speak in the third reading debate on my Private Members' Bill, C-254, which proposes to amend the Citizenship Act with respect to the period of residency.

This Bill, although not a contentious or partisan issue, is of national significance to Canadians from all parts of this country who at any given time are serving our nation abroad in the Public Service. It relaxes the residency requirement for a non-Canadian spouse who, in my opinion, equally serves Canada when accompanying his or her Canadian spouse on duty abroad.

However, when my Private Member's Bill received second reading and went to a legislative committee it became apparent to me, on advice from legal professionals, that it, too, had its shortcomings and needed to be amended. Accordingly, the committee, under the direction of the Hon. Member for Hull-Aylmer (Mr. Isabelle), unanimously decided to amend the Bill as follows:

(1.1) Any day during which an applicant for Canadian citizenship resided with his or her spouse who at the time was a Canadian citizen and was employed outside of Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces or the Public Service of Canada or a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person, shall be treated as equivalent to one day of residence in Canada for the purposes of paragraph (l)(b) and subsection 10(1).

The need for this amendment arose from an obscure point which, as I am not a lawyer, escaped my notice. If my original Bill had been allowed to stand it would, as an example, have permitted the spouse of someone hired to work for the

Department of National Defence as a clerk to have that time frame counted toward their spouse's Canadian citizenship residency requirement. This was not the intention of my Private Member's Bill.

The difficulty encountered by spouses of Canadians trying to fulfil the first residency requirements is great given the rotating nature of foreign employment assignments. Spouses of these Canadians who serve overseas on an on-and-off basis are never in Canada for a period of time long enough to fulfil the three-consecutive-year residence requirement. Each day of less than three years in Canada is erased. Therefore, one cannot accumulate years of residency during successive stays in Canada and apply them toward residency requirements, even though they are as much a part of representing Canada abroad as their spouse. My Bill would end this inequity.

The Foreign Service Community Association has actively supported this Bill and has stated that the residency requirement of the Act, as it presently stands, is one of the primary irritants of employment with the foreign service of Canada. I am pleased to see that members of the Foreign Service Community Association are today in the Members' Gallery.

It cannot be stated enough that spouses of all Canadians who are in the employ of our Armed Forces, External Affairs, and Public Service abroad deserve better treatment. This inequity makes it difficult for us to keep some of our best and brightest people in these occupations to serve our country. Canada deserves better.

A blatant example of this hardship is illustrated by the circumstances surrounding the wife of former Canadian Ambassador to Iran, Mr. Ken Taylor. Mrs. Taylor was ineligible to receive the Order of Canada for her role in the American hostage episode because she was not a Canadian citizen and could not become one due to the residency requirements. It is the duty of Members of Parliament not to let the renowned quality of our professional people in these occupations decline because of this inherent problem in the present Act.

In closing, it is my sincere hope that Bill C-254 will be concurred in today and unanimously passed so that it may proceed to the Senate for consent and Royal Assent. This would ensure that consistency can be brought back to the Citizenship Act and fairness restored to the treatment of Canadians and their spouses who serve Canada so well abroad.

I am sure that most Canadians are not aware of how difficult it is for a Private Member's Bill to reach the stage which my Bill has reached today. It requires a lot of cooperation. Therefore, I would like to thank the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Clark), the Secretary of State and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism (Mr. Crombie), and the Minister of State for the Treasury Board (Mr. Lewis) for their support and encouragement.

In addition, I would like to thank all my colleagues and in particular the Hon. Members for Kamloops-Shuswap (Mr. November 5, 1987

Riis), Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier), Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), Glengarry-Prescott-Russell (Mr. Boudria) and Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador (Mr. Rompkey) for their guidance and co-operation.

This goes to show that if a private Member does have good legislation, with the co-operation such as I have received, it can go forward in the short time it has taken this Bill to be passed.

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