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38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 097

CONTENTS

Thursday, May 12, 2005




1000
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     Government Response to Petitions
V         Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

1005
V     Criminal Code
V         Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V     Committees of the House
V         Agriculture and Agri-Food
V         Mr. Paul Steckle (Huron—Bruce, Lib.)
V         Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Criminal Code
V         (Bill C-13. On the Order: Government Orders:)
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read the third time and passed)
V     Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V     Competition Act
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

1010
V     Pension Benefits Standards Act
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V         The Speaker
V     Credit Ombudsman Act
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

1015
V     Canada Grain Act
V         (Bill C-40. On the Order: Government Orders:)
V         Mr. Paul Steckle (Huron—Bruce, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Michel Guimond
V         The Speaker
V         
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to, bill as amended concurred in at report stage, read the third time and passed)
V         Hon. Rob Nicholson
V         The Speaker
V     Committees of the House
V         Citizenship and Immigration
V         Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.)

1020

1025
V         Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

1030
V         Hon. Andrew Telegdi
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Newton—North Delta, CPC)
V         Hon. Andrew Telegdi

1035
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.)

1040
V         Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco

1045
V         Mr. Gary Carr (Halton, Lib.)
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco
V         Hon. Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC)

1050
V         Mr. Paul Szabo
V         The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)
V         Hon. Rob Nicholson
V         The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

1135
V     (Division 86)
V         The Speaker

1140






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 140 
NUMBER 097 
1st SESSION 
38th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

  +(1000)  

[English]

+Government Response to Petitions

+

    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

*   *   *

  +-(1005)  

+-Criminal Code

+-

    Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-49, an act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons).

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

*   *   *

+-Committees of the House

+Agriculture and Agri-Food

+-

    Mr. Paul Steckle (Huron—Bruce, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in accordance with its order of reference on Tuesday, April 19.

    The committee has considered Bill C-40, an act to amend the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act and agreed on Tuesday, May 10 to report it with an amendment.

*   *   *

+-Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, following an editorial amendment consented to by all parties, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

    In accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, November 2, 2004, your committee has considered Bill C-13, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the DNA Identification Act and the National Defence Act, and agreed on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, to report it with amendments.

*   *   *

+-Criminal Code

    (Bill C-13. On the Order: Government Orders:)

    May 12, 2005--Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada--second reading, report stage and third reading of Bill C-13, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the DNA Identification Act and the National Defence Act.

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I think you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

    That Bill C-13, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the DNA Identification Act and the National Defence Act, be deemed read the second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read a third time and passed.

+-

    The Speaker: Does the hon. Parliamentary Secretary have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

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

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

*   *   *

+-Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-386, an act to amend the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act (appointment of permanent members).

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this private member's bill today and in that way demonstrate that some of us are still interested in continuing to work in this Parliament.

    In this particular instance, this is an issue of great importance to working people because the Canadian International Trade Tribunal is a very influential body and currently there is no labour representation on this panel.

    We believe that this critically vital panel should be in a balanced tripartite initiative with business, labour and industry represented on the tribunal to ensure the interests of all of the stakeholders are in fact looked after.

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

*   *   *

+-Competition Act

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): moved for leave to introduce Bill C-387, an act to amend the Competition Act (investigations by Commissioner and class proceedings) and to make a related amendment to another Act.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, it again gives me great pleasure to introduce a bill that we have been working on for some time in consultation with a number of stakeholder groups across the country.

    The bill would make changes to the Competition Act regarding the investigation by the commissioner and also regarding class action suits.

    The interesting change that the bill would make is that the commissioner of competition would be able to cause an inquiry upon application by 100 or more persons who are of the view that there exists in any sector of the Canadian economy an arrangement or relationship that may constitute an offence. In other words, the commissioner would be allowed to take action and undertake a full inquiry on a petition of 100 or more Canadians who are of that view.

    Just as critically, it also would provide that class actions for compensation by any of those who under normal circumstances can demonstrate that they have suffered losses as a result of a contravention of provisions of the act, that such class actions would be allowed an avenue of redress for those who may feel that they have suffered damages under an absence of competition.

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

*   *   *

  +-(1010)  

+-Pension Benefits Standards Act

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-388, an act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (protection of the assets).

    He said: Mr. Speaker, there is just so much work to do and so many things that need to be done in this Parliament that I am taking this opportunity to present another issue of critical importance to working people all over the country.

    This bill would amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act in such a way that there would be mandatory equal representation on the board of trustees of pensions so that the representation should allow for pension beneficiaries and pension plan membership. This is currently not mandatory across the country.

    It would also limit the amount that employers are allowed to underfund pension plans. Currently almost an emergency across the country is the situation of underfunded pension plans. We believe that this practice has to stop and we believe that Canadians want us to take action to limit this so that in the event of a bankruptcy we do not want to find that a pension plan is 50% underfunded.

    It would also prevent members and beneficiaries from being limited from trading in the employer's shares and stocks unless the directors and officers of the company are similarly limited. In other words, no more of the practice of the officers and board members of a company being able to trade in the shares of that company and the beneficiaries of the plan being barred from doing so.

    The final thing that this particular bill to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act would do is protect members and beneficiaries by providing that they must--

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

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre knows he is supposed to give a short explanation but unfortunately they are getting longer and longer with every bill. We will have to move on and deal with first reading of this bill. It is a short explanation of the bill that is required, not a detailed account of every clause. I am sure the hon. member has worked hard on this but it is only first reading.

*   *   *

+-Credit Ombudsman Act

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-389, an act to establish the position and Office of the Credit Ombudsman, who shall be an advocate of the interests of consumers and small businesses in credit matters and who shall investigate and report on the provision, by financial institutions, of consumer and small-business credit on a community basis and on an industry basis, in order to ensure equity in the distribution of credit resources.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly try to be brief because I know you do not like it when I go on too long, but I was trying to explain the four key elements of my previous bill.

    The bill that I have just introduced is an act to establish the office of a credit ombudsman simply because there has been a growing demand for access to credit from people. The greatest evidence of that is the burgeoning growth of the private payday loan operations and Money Marts.

    The purpose of the bill is to establish the office of a credit ombudsman to be an advocate for the interests of consumers in all credit matters and to ensure that ordinary Canadians have access to adequate credit when they need it. When the banks really have this obligation and payday loans are having to fill that void, we need an ombudsman to whom Canadians can complain.

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

*   *   *

  +-(1015)  

+-Canada Grain Act

    (Bill C-40. On the Order: Government Orders:)

    May 12, 2005--the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food--report stage and third reading of Bill C-40, an act to amend the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act.

+-

    Mr. Paul Steckle (Huron—Bruce, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move:

    That Bill C-40, an act to amend the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act, as amended, be concurred in at report stage, read a third time and passed.

+-

    The Speaker: Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

[Translation]

    The Bloc Québécois critic on a point of order.

+-

    Mr. Michel Guimond: Mr. Speaker, I just want to know whether we are talking about Bill C-40.

    An hon. member: Yes.

    Mr. Michel Guimond: We agree.

+-

    The Speaker: Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    

[English]

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Mr. Speaker, this is most unusual. Certainly we are supportive of this particular initiative, but I wonder why it has been brought to the House in this manner. There was no discussion among all the parties and no discussion among the House leaders of the parties, but we are prepared to support it.

+-

    The Speaker: I am afraid your Chair knows nothing of this, but does everyone agree that the member can propose the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

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

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to, bill as amended concurred in at report stage, read the third time and passed)

+-

    Hon. Rob Nicholson: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We have had unanimous consent given for a couple of bills and I am hoping for a third.

    I seek the unanimous consent of the House for the following: I move that the proceedings on the motion for second reading and referral to the Standing Committee on Finance of Bill C-43 conclude at 1:57 p.m. this afternoon, that all questions necessary to dispose of second reading of this bill be deemed put, that a recorded division be deemed requested and deferred until 5:30 p.m. today; that the proceedings on the motion for second reading and referral to the Standing Committee on Finance of Bill C-48 conclude at 5:29 p.m. this afternoon, that all questions necessary to dispose of second reading of this bill be deemed put, and that a recorded division be deemed requested and deferred until 5:30 p.m. today.

+-

    The Speaker: Does the hon. chief opposition whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

*   *   *

-Committees of the House

-Citizenship and Immigration

+-

    Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I move that the third report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, presented to the House on Thursday, November 30, 2004, be concurred in.

    I will be splitting my time with the member for Laval—Les Îles.

    On November 30 we tabled this document from the citizenship and immigration committee. Let me say that the issues we at the committee tried to address are issues that have been longstanding concerns in front of this House.

    One of the main issues that I was certainly very much interested in was the whole issue of revocation of citizenship for those who were not born in Canada. Under our current Citizenship Act, revocation of citizenship for naturalized Canadians does not conform to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    I was delighted to see in the throne speech what the government laid out in saying that we are going to modernize our Citizenship Act. I was also glad to see that in the throne speech the government laid out that one of the founding principles by which it would govern was based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    The issue we are talking about on revocation of citizenship pertains to all those Canadians who were not born in Canada. We are talking about nearly 6 million Canadians. We have close to 50 members of this House who were not born in Canada. This would apply directly to them.

    We have been trying to deal with a new Citizenship Act since 1996. The first Citizenship Act that was considered in debate was Bill C-63, which was followed by Bill C-16, at which point in time I was parliamentary secretary to the minister of citizenship and immigration. As parliamentary secretary to the minister of citizenship and immigration, I could not at that time support the contents of Bill C-16 as it pertained to the revocation of citizenship.

    I could not support Bill C-16 because I believe that something as important as citizenship, which strikes at the very identity of the 6 million Canadians who were born elsewhere, is of great importance and should be covered by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    At this time, I am sad to say, citizenship is not covered by the charter. Therefore, I had looked forward to sitting on the citizenship committee, whereby we could correct a longstanding injustice.

    Madam Speaker, I may say that this situation applies to you as well, not having been born in Canada, and many other members of this House.

    My battle has been to make sure that for something as valuable as citizenship rights, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies and applies also if the government wants to challenge the legitimacy of any naturalized Canadian's citizenship.

    It is not often that a parliamentary secretary opposes a government initiative or, as a matter of fact, votes against the government's legislation and resigns over it, but that was one of those occasions, so when I returned in the last Parliament I decided to sit on the citizenship and immigration committee to address this issue in particular.

  +-(1020)  

    I am very pleased that the committee, acting in a very non-partisan fashion and with the good of Canadians in mind, went through the Citizenship Act and made a number of recommendations in our report. We recommended that the government table a new Citizenship Act.

    First, those recommendations included one that there must be equal treatment of Canadian born and naturalized citizens. We cannot change the fact that some of us were born in Canada and some of us were born elsewhere, but we are all citizens. What we have in common besides our love for this country is the fact that our rights, and a right as important as citizenship, should be protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The committee made that recommendation in the report and it is worth emphasizing again: there must be equal treatment of Canadian born and naturalized citizens.

    Second, referring to Bill C-18, there should be no probationary citizenship status.

    Third, the legislation should enhance English and French as the official languages of Canada.

    Fourth, for those who qualify, citizenship should be seen as right rather than a privilege. I think that is a very important concept, because there were those who said that citizenship is a privilege that can be revoked at a whim of the government. That is wrong. The committee unanimously agreed that it is wrong. I regret that some of the former ministers of citizenship did not see that point.

    The next point was that no one should be denied or deprived of Canadian citizenship if doing so would render them stateless. This is important because we are signatories to international conventions in which we fight against statelessness. For us to be signatories to those conventions and then turn around and do this is wrong.

    Another main point is that all determinations under the act should be made by an independent decision maker in a judicial process free from political interference. This point strikes at the very heart of our judicial system. It means that no politician, even a prime minister, should be able to deprive individuals of their liberties. That can only be done by the due process of law under the legal section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Another issue we talked about was that while we get rights with citizenship, we also have responsibilities. That is an important concept. We often talk about rights but we do not talk about responsibilities, those responsibilities including people partaking in the democratic process and in the life of their community.

    One of the very interesting things about this report is that we toured across Canada. During most of April, the citizenship and immigration committee went from coast to coast. We visited every provincial capital. We also visited Vancouver and Montreal, and for the very first time in its history, we visited the Waterloo region. The outpouring of support for the principles enunciated in this report was overwhelming.

  +-(1025)  

    This is a very important document that strikes at the very heart of what it means to be Canadian. I hope we can get legislation to incorporate both this report as well as all presentations to be heard from coast to coast.

+-

    Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate the hon. member for his chairmanship of the standing committee and for the hard work he has done on behalf of Canadians for immigration and citizenship issues.

    Could the member elaborate briefly on what this means to Canadians? Often when we do things in this place and we have reports, people want to know how it touches them and how it touches Canadians at large.

  +-(1030)  

+-

    Hon. Andrew Telegdi: Madam Speaker, citizenship is really a vital part of who we are, our identity as a person. When people go abroad and somebody asks them where they come from, they say that they are from Canada, that they are Canadian. This is a visceral kind of reaction. To be a citizen of Canada means that we have come from all corners of the world and that together we have built one of the most prosperous nations in the world. We also have built one of the most inclusive nations in the world. That is what Canada means to me and that is what Canada means to most Canadians.

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Newton—North Delta, CPC): Madam Speaker, I highly appreciate the initiative by the member on the issues of immigration that he has led in the immigration committee. From time to time I appreciate the initiatives he has taken in the House with respect to immigration.

    However, on this side of the House, we have been saying all along that all Canadian citizens should be treated equally, whereas in the past the Liberal government has been creating different tiers of citizenship in Canada. In fact, it has promoted segregation rather than integration of newer immigrants or newer Canadians into mainstream Canadian society. There is a little conflict in the ideas that we have promoted.

    In the meantime, would the revocation of citizenship initiatives, which he has explained, be retroactive? Would it be retroactive for those who have been affected by the legislation in that past or would it start from the time of proposal?

+-

    Hon. Andrew Telegdi: Mr. Speaker, my colleague has made many inputs in front of the citizenship and immigration committee. He has made a contribution to our work and we all appreciate it.

    Our committee is very non-partisan. We leave our partisanship at the door when we go into committee. It does cause me a bit of pain to see what is happening today. We are ready to table yet another report, but we cannot conclude that report because committees do not have quorum. Unfortunately, the two parties opposite are not coming forward. It is really sad because we have had hundreds of people come to us from across the country to give input.

    The whole issue on citizenship revocation is an historic wrong that has never been corrected. The Citizenship Act precedes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It goes back to 1977. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms came in on April 17, 1982. Unfortunately, the act does not have the benefit of that act.

    On segregation and integration, I think we all strive to ensure that we maintain distinct identities of a multicultural nation. We also are very inclusive. The whole struggle is really about that.

  +-(1035)  

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I would like to get back to the reason why we want to discuss Canadian citizenship. Why is it so important in terms of legislation? Why do we need new citizens in Canada? Why should we have more Canadian citizens?

    Canadians are well aware of the fact that we are, unfortunately, an aging population. The hon. members opposite might want to listen to what it means to be a Canadian citizen, since they are Canadians and are entitled to all the privileges that come with Canadian citizenship, but want to reject it.

    Let me come back to my speech. Allow me to explain our need for immigrants in this country. We know that by 2017, at the latest, we will have serious problems in the workforce because we will be unable to fill all the available jobs. We have also known for many years now, given the aging population and the low birth rate, that old age pensions will become a serious problem. Not enough young people are contributing to the pension fund for us to even receive benefits.

    In the history of Canada, and among ourselves, who sit in the House of Commons at this time, immigration has been an important issue. On this side of the floor, we are greatly interested in two things: that immigrants continue to come to this country in large numbers, and that they acknowledge they are here to stay. We want the government and the people of Canada to recognize that, when these people receive Canadian citizenship, they are here to stay and will make a major contribution to our culture, our history and our economy.

    What is more, contrary to what the hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill said last week concerning this side of the House, the government in particular, we have already taken some extremely important steps to help newcomers become full-fledged members of Canadian society.

    We know that the government of the province I come from, Quebec, has entered into an agreement with the Government of Canada to enable it to bring in a certain number of immigrants who speak French and are therefore able to adapt more readily to Quebec's francophone community. Quebec has also set up reception classes to help immigrant children to integrate into French language classes. These have been a great success. We can see how much these children have become citizens of Canada. They speak French and live in Quebec, but they are fully citizens of Canada.

    As well, contrary to what the member for Calgary—Nose Hill said last week, we are helping family reunification. We know that newcomers to Canada have often left families behind. This is a very important issue. We know what a heartrending experience that is, for everyone, and we want to help. We have already put in place a number of measures to help people sponsor relatives, including parents and even grandparents.

    Unfortunately, the sponsorship system is slow, indeed, much slower than we would like it to be. That is why we have made a proposal to the minister. A few weeks ago, the minister himself announced that, from now on, sponsored individuals, especially parents and grandparents, will be allowed to come here on multiple-entry tourist visas so that they can remain in Canada while their applications for immigration and sponsorship are being processed. This means that new immigrants will be integrated as quickly and as smoothly as possible, particularly by becoming citizens.

  +-(1040)  

    Since I became a member of Parliament, and even earlier, I have attended hundreds of citizenship ceremonies in Quebec. I have seen thousands of people from around the world swear they will be good Canadian citizens. What does that oath mean? It means that these individuals recognize that being a citizen of Canada means enjoying rights, the same rights as every other citizen.

    That has not always been recognized. A citizen who was not born Canadian but has become Canadian is entitled to the same rights as every other Canadian-born citizen. This is something important that we have created here in Canada and that we will continue to recognize. All Canadian citizens are equal before the law. They all enjoy the same rights and the same privileges. They all have the same responsibilities. More and more, people taking the oath before a citizenship judge recognize that to be a Canadian citizen is also a responsibility.

    The success of individuals who have become Canadian citizens is obvious here in the House. They have accepted this responsibility. Many people here in the House were not born in Canada and have accepted the responsibility of representing other Canadians, both those born here and elsewhere. These MPs have shouldered the responsibility of being elected, helping to create Canada's legislation and working on behalf of their fellow Canadians, both those born here and elsewhere.

    So, the rights and responsibilities that new citizens accept are extremely important. I would even say this is a fundamental part of the oath sworn before the citizenship judge. People who take this oath know and accept this and are extremely satisfied with it.

    My riding of Laval—Les Îles has a very high percentage of new citizens, people who came from many countries, including Portugal, Greece, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. They all work. They send their children to school. They have agreed to help Canada. They have come here for a better life. However, they have accepted their responsibilities not only toward Canada as a country but also toward their fellow Canadians.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is clear from the member's comments that she has great enthusiasm for building Canada. The House knows how hard the member has worked in leadership roles with regard to immigration and citizenship because she is so committed to building a strong Canada.

    During her discourse, she referred to the issue of family reunification and the importance of bringing Canadian families together. I know many other members have heard the suggestion that if we bring extended families to Canada, it will be a drain on Canada and not a benefit. I personally disagree, as I know many members do. Family is important. Family creates synergies, support and an environment in which all can be cared for and progress together.

    I do not know what it would be like if I did not have my extended family around to support me, my family, children and others. I know the member shares those views. Could she share a few words about how important not only immigration is to Canada but family reunification as well.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Raymonde Folco: Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the very important question. I know people in Canada say that having parents, grandparents, spouses and grandchildren join their family here creates problems for Canadians. It is an old story that has been heard from the time Canada was created, if not before.

    It is when people are here with their family, parents, spouses and children that they can start a new family and feel just how much help Canada has given them in rebuilding not only their family but their life.

    I would also like to mention how disappointed I am that the members opposite, the official opposition and the Bloc can take that so lightly. I do not think they realize how seriously new citizens arriving in Canada take their Canadian citizenship and their responsibilities, unlike the people seated opposite me.

  +-(1045)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Gary Carr (Halton, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member as well. Some members may not know but that fine member chairs the internal caucus immigration committee on which I sit. The hon. member has been very helpful to me as a new member who does not have the years of expertise that she has in that area. My constituents and I have benefited from her guidance and I appreciate it very much. She certainly is well respected in this House, on all sides I must say, including our friends from the Bloc, for the fine work that she does.

    The committee had an opportunity to go across the country and listen to people. I heard the member's very sage advice and expertise. I was wondering if she could give us some indication of what happened during that period. The committees are very important. I wonder if the member could give us some of the feedback that we were hearing from the committees.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Raymonde Folco: Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, I am unable to respond directly to the question, because I was not a member of this committee and I did not go on its cross-country tour.

    However, from having worked for over 30 years in immigration in Quebec, I am convinced—as we see from reading the committee's report, which was presented earlier by the member for Kitchener—Waterloo—that most of the people who appeared before the committee told its members just how important citizenship, and the rights and privileges associated with it, was to them. We must not forget that this committee is composed of members from all parties represented in the House.

    Unfortunately, I cannot add much more, since I am not a member of this committee.

[English]

+-

    Hon. Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC): Madam Speaker, this is one interesting debate. It is a motion to concur in a committee report. As important as this subject is, and we have had some interesting discussion about the importance of Canadian citizenship, this is not the message the government has been conveying to the Canadian public.

    The Liberals have been telling Canadians consistently just how important their two budget bills are, the Liberal budget and the NDP budget. That is what they have been telling Canadians, yet when we came here this morning we found that even though the two budget bills were on the list to be discussed, they decided they wanted to change the subject. They alone, members of the Liberal Party of Canada, decided that they would rather discuss a committee report this morning. They are filibustering their own agenda.

    I know as soon as they leave here they will run out and tell Canadians how important their two budget bills are. The evidence right here this morning defies that and contradicts everything they have been saying, because they and nobody else chose not to discuss those budget bills.

    The proof is that earlier during routine proceedings, I asked for the unanimous consent of this House to actually deal with those two bills--

  +-(1050)  

+-

    Mr. Paul Szabo: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I certainly understand the member's position, but concurrence motions and the ability to put motions on the floor are part of our process. The member rose on debate to speak to the concurrence motion. He has not. I believe his remarks should be relevant to the motion, or he should sit down.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): I am sure that the hon. member was getting to relevance and to discussing the topic at hand.

+-

    Hon. Rob Nicholson: Madam Speaker, what is relevant is what is happening in the House today. You are right, I was only 60 seconds into my comments and I know that you are very strict on that. I was indicating just what was going on in the House with respect to this concurrence motion brought forward by the Liberal Government of Canada. I pointed out that this morning I asked for unanimous consent to deal with the two government budget bills, but the Liberals made a different decision. They wanted to discuss the concurrence motion. We know what the game is here. They want to filibuster their own agenda and they would prefer not to discuss the budget bills, so at this point, I move:

    That this House do now adjourn.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): In my opinion the yeas have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): Call in the members.

*   *   *

  +-(1135)  

[Translation]

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

(Division No. 86)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
André
Asselin
Bachand
Batters
Bellavance
Benoit
Bergeron
Bezan
Bigras
Blais
Boire
Bonsant
Bouchard
Boulianne
Bourgeois
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brunelle
Cardin
Carrie
Carrier
Casey
Casson
Chatters
Chong
Clavet
Cleary
Côté
Crête
Cummins
Day
Demers
Deschamps
Desrochers
Devolin
Doyle
Duceppe
Duncan
Epp
Faille
Finley
Fitzpatrick
Fletcher
Forseth
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Saint-Maurice—Champlain)
Gagnon (Jonquière—Alma)
Gallant
Gaudet
Gauthier
Goldring
Goodyear
Gouk
Grewal (Newton—North Delta)
Grewal (Fleetwood—Port Kells)
Guay
Guergis
Guimond
Hanger
Harper
Harris
Harrison
Hearn
Hiebert
Hill
Hinton
Jaffer
Jean
Johnston
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Komarnicki
Kotto
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lapierre (Lévis—Bellechasse)
Lauzon
Lavallée
Lemay
Lessard
Lévesque
Loubier
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Marceau
Mark
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Mills
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
O'Connor
Oda
Pallister
Paquette
Penson
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Poilievre
Poirier-Rivard
Prentice
Preston
Rajotte
Reid
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Roy
Sauvageau
Scheer
Schellenberger
Schmidt (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Simard (Beauport—Limoilou)
Skelton
Smith (Kildonan—St. Paul)
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
Stinson
Strahl
Stronach
Thibault (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tilson
Toews
Trost
Tweed
Van Loan
Vellacott
Vincent
Warawa
Watson
White
Williams
Yelich

Total: -- 152

NAYS

Members

Adams
Alcock
Anderson (Victoria)
Angus
Augustine
Bagnell
Bains
Bakopanos
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bell
Bennett
Bevilacqua
Blaikie
Blondin-Andrew
Boivin
Bonin
Boshcoff
Boudria
Bradshaw
Brison
Broadbent
Brown (Oakville)
Bulte
Byrne
Cannis
Carr
Carroll
Catterall
Chamberlain
Chan
Christopherson
Coderre
Comartin
Comuzzi
Cotler
Crowder
Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley)
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davies
Desjarlais
DeVillers
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Drouin
Dryden
Easter
Emerson
Eyking
Folco
Fontana
Frulla
Fry
Gallaway
Godbout
Godfrey
Godin
Goodale
Graham
Guarnieri
Holland
Hubbard
Ianno
Jennings
Julian
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Khan
Lapierre (Outremont)
Lastewka
Layton
LeBlanc
Lee
Longfield
MacAulay
Macklin
Malhi
Maloney
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (LaSalle—Émard)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Matthews
McCallum
McDonough
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
McLellan
McTeague
Minna
Mitchell
Murphy
Myers
Neville
Owen
Pacetti
Paradis
Patry
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Pickard (Chatham-Kent—Essex)
Powers
Proulx
Ratansi
Redman
Regan
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rota
Saada
Savage
Savoy
Scarpaleggia
Scott
Sgro
Siksay
Silva
Simard (Saint Boniface)
Simms
Smith (Pontiac)
St. Amand
St. Denis
Steckle
Stoffer
Szabo
Telegdi
Temelkovski
Thibault (West Nova)
Tonks
Torsney
Ur
Valeri
Valley
Volpe
Wappel
Wasylycia-Leis
Wilfert
Wrzesnewskyj

Total: -- 144

PAIRED

Nil

-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

  -(1140)  

[English]

    Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

    (The House adjourned at 11:39 a.m.)