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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 61
 
Thursday, November 3, 2005
 

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage met at 11:05 a.m. this day, in Room 308, West Block, the Chair, Marlene Catterall, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Hon. Sarmite Bulte, Marlene Catterall, Sébastien Gagnon, Maka Kotto, Bev Oda, Yasmin Ratansi, Gary Schellenberger, Mario Silva and Scott Simms.

 

Acting Members present: James Bezan for Gord Brown, Libby Davies for Charlie Angus and Meili Faille for Sébastien Gagnon.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Joseph Jackson, Senior Analyst; Sam Banks, Analyst; Matthew Carnaghan, Analyst; Alex Smith, Analyst. As an Individual: David Black, Consultant. House of Commons: Joann Garbig, Legislative Clerk.

 

Witnesses: Library of Parliament: Joseph Jackson, Senior Analyst; Sam Banks, Analyst; Matthew Carnaghan, Analyst. As an Individual: David Black, Consultant. Department of Canadian Heritage: Michel Francoeur, General Counsel and Director, Legal Services; Kristina Namiesniowski, Director General, Multiculturalism and Human Rights.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Monday, April 18, 2005, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-333,Chinese Canadian Recognition and Redress Act.
 

The witnesses answered questions.

 

The Committee resumed its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

 

By unanimous consent, Clause 1.1 was allowed to stand.

 
On motion of Sarmite Bulte, it was agreed, — That Bill C-333 be amended by adding after line 12 on page 2 the following new clause:

“3.1 The measures may include the installation of commemorative plaques at certain places where exclusionary measures were enforced.”

 

Clause 3.1 carried.

 
Sarmite Bulte moved, — That Bill C-333, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 13 to 30 on page 2 with the following:

“4. The measures may also include the following public education measures:

(a) the exhibition of information concerning immigrants of Chinese origin and their contribution to the development of Canada; and

(b) the preparation of related educational materials.”

Debate arose thereon.

 

Libby Davies moved, — That the amendment be amended by adding the following:

“(c) compensation for those persons who paid a head tax, their families and direct descendants for the decades of pain and suffering that they endured as a result of the head tax and The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923, 13-14 George V, c. 38.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Libby Davies, Meili Faille, Maka Kotto — 3; NAYS: James Bezan, Sarmite Bulte, Bev Oda, Yasmin Ratansi, Gary Schellenberger, Mario Silva, Scott Simms — 7.

 

Meili Faille moved, — That amendment be amended by adding, at the beginning of clause 4, the following new subsection:

“(1) The Government of Canada shall negotiate directly with the families that were victims of the head tax and the exclusion legislation, and with their representatives.”

 

The question was put on the subamendment of Meili Faille and it was negatived.

 

Clause 4, as amended, carried.

 
Sarmite Bulte moved, — That Bill C-333 be amended by adding after line 30 on page 2 the following new clause:

“5. The Government of Canada and the National Congress of Chinese Canadians may request the Canada Post Corporation to issue a commemorative stamp or set of stamps.”

 

Libby Davies moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the words “Canada and the National Congress of Chinese Canadians ” with the words “Canada, the National Congress of Chinese Canadians, the Chinese Canadian National Council and other representative groups ”

 

The question was put on the subamendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Libby Davies, Meili Faille, Maka Kotto — 3; NAYS : James Bezan, Sarmite Bulte, Bev Oda, Yasmin Ratansi, Gary Schellenberger, Mario Silva, Scott Simms — 7.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Sarmite Bulte and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 5 carried.

 
Sarmite Bulte moved, — That Bill C-333 be amended by adding after line 30 on page 2 the following new clause:

“6. The Government of Canada and the National Congress of Chinese Canadians may consider any other measure that promotes the objective described in section 2.1.”

Debate arose thereon.

 

Libby Davies moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the words “Canada and the National Congress of Chinese Canadians” with the words “Canada, the National Congress of Chinese Canadians, the Chinese Canadian National Council and other representative groups ”

 

The question was put on the subamendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Libby Davies, Meili Faille, Maka Kotto — 3; NAYS : James Bezan, Sarmite Bulte, Bev Oda, Yasmin Ratansi, Gary Schellenberger, Mario Silva, Scott Simms — 7.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Sarmite Bulte and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 6 carried.

 
On motion of Sarmite Bulte, it was agreed on division, — That Bill C-333 be amended by adding after line 30 on page 2 the following new clause:

“7. Negotiations undertaken pursuant to section 1.1 shall not be interpreted as constituting an admission by Her Majesty in right of Canada of the existence of any legal obligation of Her Majesty in right of Canada to any person.”

 

Clause 7 carried.

 
On motion of Sarmite Bulte, it was agreed on division, — That Bill C-333, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 21 and 22 on page 1 with the following:

“1. This Act may be cited as the Immigrants of Chinese Origin Exclusionary Measures Recognition Act.”

 

The Short Title, as amended, carried on division.

 
Sarmite Bulte moved, — That Bill C-333, in the preamble, be amended by replacing lines 3 to 16 on page 1 with the following:

“Canada, particularly in the construction of the railways during which many workers of Chinese origin died;

WHEREAS, despite this contribution, a head tax was imposed on immigrants of Chinese origin from 1885 to 1923;

WHEREAS The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923 imposed other exclusionary measures with respect to immigrants of Chinese origin until 1947;

WHEREAS Parliament wishes to express its deep sorrow for those events;

AND WHEREAS Parliament acknowledges that those events are deserving of recognition through public education and the promotion of the shared values of multiculturalism, inclusion and mutual respect;”

Debate arose thereon.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Sarmite Bulte and it was agreed to.

 

The Preamble, as amended, carried on division.

 
Sarmite Bulte moved, — That Bill C-333 be amended by replacing the long title with the following:

“An Act to acknowledge that immigrants of Chinese origin were subject to head taxes and other exclusionary measures and to provide for recognition of these actions”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Sarmite Bulte, as amended, and it was agreed to.

 

On motion of Bev Oda, it was agreed, — That the amendment be amended by replacing, in the English version, the word “this event” with the words “these actions”

 

The Title carried on the following recorded division: YEAS: James Bezan, Sarmite Bulte, Bev Oda, Yasmin Ratansi, Gary Schellenberger, Mario Silva, Scott Simms — 7; NAYS: Libby Davies, Meili Faille, Maka Kotto — 3.

 

The Bill, as amended, carried.

 

ORDERED, — That the Chair report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

 

ORDERED, — That Bill C-333, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.

 

At 12:00 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 12:07 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 

At 12:08 p.m., the Committee proceeded to sit in camera.

 
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee proceeded to a briefing session on Canadian Feature Film Industry Study.
 

Joseph Jackson made a statement and, with the other witnesses, answered questions.

 

At 1:03 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Jacques Lahaie
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2005/11/07 10:59 a.m.