Robert PENNOCK

PENNOCK, Robert, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Etobicoke North (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 14, 1936
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pennock_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=4a262831-908b-4ce4-8c2f-a6959804df4e&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, contractor

Parliamentary Career

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

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 20)


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.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-PUBLIC BILLS CITIZENSHIP ACT MEASURE TO AMEND
Full View Permalink

October 19, 1987

1. What is the current status of Ms. Sheelagh Whittaker with the CBC?

2. In her role as Vice-President of Planning for the Corporation, was she

initially retained on a personal services contract to Mr. Franklin Delaney, then

Vice-President and is she presently on such a contract?

3. Is Ms. Whittaker on a retainer to Canada Consulting Group (CCG) and,

if so, under what terms?

October 19, 1987

4. Does the Corporation make a separate remittance to CCG for the services provided on an ongoing basis by Ms. Whittaker as Vice-President, Planning and Corporate Affairs and, if so, in what amount?

5. What are the terms of the contract between the CBC and CCG for the services of Ms. Whittaker, or between the CBC and Ms. Whittaker with respect to (a) reimbursement of travel costs between Toronto and Ottawa (b) reimbursement of accommodation costs, meal allowances and other transportation in Ottawa?

6. What is the Corporation's total annual liability for the services of Ms. Whittaker?

7. Does CBC continue to utilize the consulting services of CCG for other projects?

8. In the fiscal year (a) 1986-87 (6) 1987-88, what was/is the amount of the contracts let to CCG by (i) CBC (ii) Vice-President, Planning and Corporate Affairs (iii) Vice-President, Special Projects?

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS AND CULTURE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Full View Permalink

October 19, 1987

1. What is the CBC's employment practice with respect to personnel on

contract?

2. (a) Are any restrictions placed on non-CBC staff and, if so, what are they

(b) can they be given corporate signing authority, and, if so, for what amounts

and to what limits?

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS AND CULTURE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Full View Permalink

October 16, 1987

Mr. Bob Pennock (Etobicoke North) moved

that Bill C-254, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act (period of residence), be read the second time and referred to a legislative committee.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I rise before the House today to debate my Private Members' Bill, Bill C-254, which proposes to amend the Citizenship Act, period of residence. Presently, a non-Canadian spouse of a member of the Armed Forces or a public servant, either provincial or federal, who is serving his or her country abroad, must reside in Canada in order to be granted Canadian citizenship.

My Bill, while not a highly contentious issue, is of national significance to Canadians from all regions of the country, and of particular importance to the large number of individuals who, at any given time, are serving our country abroad.

The intent of Bill C-254 is to bring consistency and fairness back to the Citizenship Act, as it relates to the individuals I have already identified. There are a couple of areas that I feel lack consistency and cause essential problems for these individuals representing Canada overseas.

The first is that citizenship court judges have absolute discretion in interpreting what constitutes residency under the Act. This means that while some judges interpret residency to mean actual physical presence in Canada, others allow time spent abroad in any official capacity to count for the residency requirement.

The second area of inconsistency concerns taxation. Foreign born spouses are taxed as Canadian citizens, however they are not granted citizenship nor do they enjoy all the rights and privileges that go along with Canadian citizenship until they have fulfilled the residency requirements outlined in the current Act.

The difficulty in fulfilling these residency requirements is great, given the rotational nature of foreign employment assignments. Spouses of these Canadians who serve overseas on an on and off basis are never in Canada long enough to fulfil residency requirements of three consecutive years at any one time.

As such, each stay of less than three years in Canada is erased. Therefore, one cannot accumulate years of residence during successive stays in Canada and apply them towards residency requirements, even though they are serving the country of their spouse abroad.

October 16, 1987

The foreign service community is actively supporting this Bill and has suggested that the residency requirement of the Act is one of the major irritants of employment with the foreign service of Canada. They too would like to see the Citizenship Act amended to facilitate a fairer system for fulfilling residency requirements.

Spouses of diplomats, Armed Forces and other government personnel in other countries do not encounter the same difficulties fulfilling residency requirements as spouses of our personnel do in Canada.

Let me outline a few examples. Australia has a residency requirement of one year within two. However, the Minister responsible may waive the residency requirement. In France there is no residency requirement for foreign service spouses. In The Netherlands, foreign service spouses can acquire citizenship from abroad. In the United States, the residency requirement for foreign service spouses may be waived as a posting abroad is confirmed. These other countries recognize the importance of the service of these personnel and their spouses.

I think all Members of the House would agree that the spouses of all Canadians who are in the employ of our Armed Forces and External Affairs and Public Service abroad deserve better treatment.

Furthermore, the rotation of their assignments causes much hardship on their spouses' ability to meet the residency requirements. This makes it hard for us to keep some of our best and brightest people in these occupations to serve our country.

We as parliamentarians have a duty not to let the quality of these professional people in these occupations decline because of this minor problem that we have found in the existing Act.

I am sure all my colleagues on both sides of the House will agree that Bill C-254 is a non-partisan issue. It is an issue of fairness to those individuals v.. o are serving the Canadian public abroad.

While non-Canadian spouses are acting on the Canadian public's behalf overseas, and are taxed as Canadian citizens, they might well be denied citi xnship because of a lack of flexibility, consistency and understanding for such circumstances in the present Act.

Canadians should be proud of the quality of our representatives overseas. They are our best and brightest, and I would hate to think that someone may have to pass up a posting or leave the service altogether, therefore losing the benefit of their knowledge, in order to fulfil the requirements of a residency.

It is my sincere belief that Bill C-254 should be considered so that consistency can be brought back to the Citizenship Act and fairness restored to the treatment of Canadians and their spouses who serve this country abroad.

Citizenship Act

I want to thank members of the Opposition for their consideration in allowing this Bill to go to the legislative committee. I do not think much more would be gained by my prolonging the debate on this issue.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-PUBLIC BILLS CITIZENSHIP ACT MEASURE TO AMEND
Full View Permalink

September 15, 1987

Mr. Pennock:

Supplementary.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Full View Permalink