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40th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 067

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 3, 2009





CANADA

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 144 
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NUMBER 067 
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2nd SESSION 
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40th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayers


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

    It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

House of Commons Interpretation Services

    Mr. Speaker, over the more than three years since I was elected as a member of Parliament, I have always been impressed by the courtesy and professionalism displayed by the staff of the House of Commons and the parliamentary precinct as a whole. They deserve the admiration and praise of all hon. members.
     However, there is a group of about 40 dedicated staff here on the Hill who, although we listen to regularly each day here in the House and in committee, we seldom get the chance to meet face to face.
     Just to qualify to work in this area, they need a Master's degree from the University of Ottawa, followed by at least one year of practical training. The transcription of their work becomes a testament to the presentations and interventions by hon. members and senators each day of each session of each Parliament.
    By now I am sure members will know or will have guessed of whom I speak. I welcome all hon. members to join me in expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciate to the people of interpretation services.

Quintessential Vocal Ensemble

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize the success of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble from Newfoundland and Labrador, who represented Canada and captured three awards this past week at the prestigious Florilège Vocal de Tours international choral competition held in France.
    They won awards for the best overall renaissance program and received the prix du ministère de la culture for the best presentation of a French choral work composed after 1830.
    The Quintessential Vocal Ensemble is conducted by Susan Quinn. It was formed in 1993 by the alumni of the award-winning Holy Heart of Mary High School Chamber Choir, my alumni, so that their musical experiences might continue. The choir has distinguished itself by winning prizes and awards both nationally and internationally.
    The choir continued their successful tour of France this week, giving performances at Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel, Arras today, and Paris tomorrow.
    I am proud to count these individuals among my constituents and friends, and offer my heartfelt congratulations.

[Translation]

Quebec Week of the Disabled

    Mr. Speaker, this is Quebec Week of the Disabled. As members of Parliament, we can contribute to raising public awareness of the variety of situations the disabled experience. We are all aware of the daily struggle the disabled have as they strive to take their place in society and especially to win respect for their rights.
    It takes only simple actions to support them in their efforts.
    May I take this opportunity to salute the not for profit organizations in my riding, as well as all others that provide invaluable service to all those living with disability. I did volunteer work myself for a number of years and I know just how much needs to be done.
    Today is an opportunity for me to invite my colleagues in the House to think about some one thing they can do for this Quebec Week of the Disabled. It is also an opportunity to salute all those people who continue to battle daily for acceptance in society.

[English]

Aboriginal Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, health care is fundamental to us as Canadians.
     I am proud to be part of the New Democratic Party, a party that has led and continues to lead the fight on health care in our country. We recognize, however, that there is a lot left to be desired when it comes to Canada's health care first peoples, first nations.
    Despite Canada's obligation to first nations in terms of health care, they face one of the lowest standards of living in Canada, challenges that many Canadians cannot imagine.
    First nations need more doctors, nurses and health workers to meet the demand, preventing such tragedies as the death of Chace Barkman of Garden Hill who was misdiagnosed.
    First nations need preventive supports, as we are now dealing with a possible outbreak of the flu in St. Theresa Point that could potentially be damaging.
    First nations need health care infrastructure in their communities that fit their needs, whether it is Cross Lake, Opaskwayak Cree Nation or the Island Lake region that have been demanding health centres for some time.
    Finally, first nations deserve access to housing, roads, water and sewer services, education and employment that so many Canadians take for granted.

Skin Cancer

    Mr. Speaker, last evening I had the pleasure of co-hosting, along with the Canadian Dermatology Association, the third annual Chuck Cadman memorial skin cancer clinic.
    I am pleased to announce that last night's event saw its highest turnout of over 150 guests. The doctors performed over 60 full examinations and many partial.
    In 2009 it is estimated that more than 75,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, 5,000 will have melanoma, and 940 will die.
    Skin cancers, including melanoma, are highly curable if detected and treated early.
    I would like to thank my colleagues from all sides of this House, the Upper Chamber and staff for coming out and partaking in this important event.
    This summer I will host a similar event in my riding in which I hope that together with the Canadian Dermatology Association, we can help save lives.

[Translation]

Montreal's Mount Sinai and Jewish General Hospitals

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the historic anniversaries of two health institutions founded by the Montreal Jewish community and located in my riding.

[English]

    The first is the centennial anniversary of Mount Sinai Hospital, a state of the art McGill University affiliated teaching hospital specializing in respiratory care, palliative care and long-term care, underpinned by innovative research and exemplary ambulatory services.
    The second is the 75th anniversary of the Jewish General Hospital, one of the province's largest and most engaged cutting edge health care institutions, also affiliated with McGill University, that admits more than 23,000 patients a year together with at least 300,000 outpatient visits, 67,000 emergency visits and delivers more than 4,000 births on an annual basis.
    I invite my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to these two world class institutions providing comprehensive, accessible, innovative, responsive and patient-oriented health care to all Quebecers and beyond.

  (1410)  

Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Evron

    Mr. Speaker, in August 1909 eight women from the Sisters of Charity Notre Dame d'Evron in France arrived in Trochu, Alberta and established a hospital and a school.
    One hundred years later we will honour them as they succeeded in bravely facing the many challenges of pioneer life on the prairies.
    This August, Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Evron from all over the world including Africa, England, France, Peru and Canada will join us to celebrate in Trochu, Alberta.
    The St. Mary's Health Care Centre in Trochu has served generations of families in need of hospital care in my riding.
    We will name the new subdivision in Trochu “Evron Place” dedicating it to the memory of the sisters who came here to help build and serve our community.
    The Knights of Columbus, the Communities in Bloom, the town council, local businessmen and school children are all pulling together to commemorate the 100th anniversary.
    In Trochu we are thankful and truly blessed by the efforts and legacy of these eight sisters and the many who followed them.

[Translation]

Bill C-306

    Mr. Speaker, on June 1, I spoke to Bill C-306, An Act respecting the use of government contracts to promote economic development at second reading . This bill will make it possible to create hundreds of jobs and, we hope, to attenuate some of the negative effects of the economic crisis we are going through.
    What did the Conservative member and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board have to say? “The year is 2009, not 1929. We live in a time when Canada no longer needs to prop up its industries with protectionist laws.”
    As for the Liberals, they said they would not support Bill C-306 because “the bill seems aimed less at being passed than as a medium for certain partisan discussions.” Yes, let us send this bill to committee where it can be discussed. What a lukewarm reaction from the Liberals.
    As for the workers of Quebec, they understand that one of the things a bill like C-306 is aimed at is economic recovery.

[English]

Clean Air Day

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in celebration of Clean Air Day.
    Clean Air Day is an important part of environment week first championed by our great former Conservative Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker.
    For too many Canadians air pollution is a significant health concern. That is why our government is continuing the Conservative tradition of cleaning up our air.
    Our government is committed to reducing pollution and its negative effects. We are expanding the air quality health index launched in 2007. We are committed to solving the health impacts experienced by Canadians on poor quality air days.
    We are also working with the provinces and other stakeholders to put in place regulations to reduce air pollution from industrial activities.
    We are holding a formal dialogue with the United States to reinforce our efforts to reduce air pollution.
    I challenge all members of the House to champion air quality within their own constituencies.

Clean Air Day

    Mr. Speaker, today is Clean Air Day, a chance to recognize the importance of the quality of air we breathe.
    Even in tough economic times, we must make clean air a priority. Doing so is an investment in our future.
    A recent poll commissioned by the Canadian Lung Association found that 54% of Canadians believe clean air should be a top priority for both provincial and federal governments.
    Only 30% of Canadians said that their governments are doing enough to clean up dirty air. That is a strong message that we need to be doing more to protect the health of Canadians and the environment in which we live.
    Air quality affects everyone. Children, seniors, asthmatics and outdoor workers are particularly at risk. Dr. Menn Biagtan of the British Columbia Lung Association has said that the link between air pollution and lung disease is often under appreciated.
    I invite the government to use Clean Air Day 2009 as a reminder to take stronger action and ensure Canadians enjoy a cleaner environment, fewer smog days and healthier lungs.

  (1415)  

Nunavut Official Languages Act

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak to the hypocrisy of the Liberal Party and its empty rhetoric on Canada's north.
    On Monday, this House spoke with one voice and endorsed a motion recognizing the Nunavut Official Languages Act. This motion is the result of 10 years of consultations on the best ways to preserve the Inuit language and culture.
    The motion also recognizes that the Inuit will proudly control their institutions, speak their language and manage their future. This was a historic occasion.
    Unfortunately, on Tuesday, unelected and unaccountable Liberal Senators blocked the passage of this step forward for Nunavut. This is a disgrace and members of the Liberal Party should be ashamed of themselves.
    Unlike the Liberals, we take the north seriously. We value its place, culture and creed within Canada. With Conservatives, our northern policy is more than just empty lip service. With Conservatives, it is real action.

1989 Tiananmen Square Protest

    Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago, Ding Zilin's son went to Tiananmen Square to celebrate free speech, democracy, and to push against corruption. Along with other students, Jiang Jielian died that night on the square.
    Since then, China's economic reforms have lifted millions out of poverty. However, a great country must allow for workers' rights and encourage human rights reform.
    Let us redouble our efforts here in Canada to build a stronger relationship with China through cultural exchange and trade so there are more opportunities for dialogue on democracy and human rights.
    Tiananmen mothers cannot mourn in public, but they can rest assured we will remember them and their children.

[Translation]

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the opposition leader's fiscal agenda is clear: he wants to raise taxes. He himself has admitted that he will have to raise taxes.
    We would like to remind him once again that Canadians do not want tax hikes. It is clear that the Liberal leader is gradually falling into his party's bad habits. It is also clear that people across the country do not want to go backward.
    Fortunately, the Leader of the Opposition has an alternate plan. He told us that if he were not elected, he thought he would ask Harvard University to take him back.
    He seems to have his heart set on returning to Harvard. He can rest easy: more than ever, our government is committed to fighting these tax hikes and his centralist fervour and giving Harvard University a gift.

Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, today, members will be called on to vote on my bill, which would require federally regulated companies to comply with Bill 101 in Quebec. The Liberals and Conservatives like to brag about recognizing the Quebec nation, but they refuse to give expression to that recognition by honouring that nation's only official language: French.
    The leader of the Liberal Party can talk all he wants about being the first federalist in Ottawa to recognize the Quebec nation, but in actual fact he thinks like the Conservatives. He is ducking the issue and will be absent for the vote, and his fellow Liberals will vote against this bill. In 2006, the same Liberal leader said that recognizing Quebec as a nation within Canada did not mean making new concessions.
    Quebeckers are not stupid. They know that there is no difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives and that these parties will never take real steps to recognize the Quebec nation.
    The Bloc Québécois members, on the other hand, stand up to defend Quebec and the French language.

7th Étudiant Outaouais Gala of Excellence

    Mr. Speaker, on May 12, the 7th gala of excellence for the Étudiant Outaouais newspaper was held at the Maison de la culture in Gatineau. Over the course of the school year, more than 170 student journalists from 14 high schools tackled some formidable challenges. Three hundred texts were written as part of the competition for the 2009 journalism awards gala.
    The 2009 gold trophy was awarded to Joé Charbonneau Laurin, a grade-ten student at Érablière comprehensive high school. The silver trophy was awarded to Gabrielle Falardeau, from Mont-Bleu high school, and the bronze trophy was awarded to Sarah Lemelin-Bellerose, from Versant high school.
    I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to these three winners for their remarkable talent, their determination and their brilliant success. As well, I congratulate the student artists who also demonstrated exceptional talent.
    I would also like to congratulate the Amis de L'Étudiant Outaouais group, and especially Martin Godcher, Sylvain Dupras and Marie-Ève Bouchard, for their dedication and for generously volunteering their time. A special thank you to Jacques Blais, from Médias Transcontinental—

  (1420)  

    The hon. member for Oak Ridges—Markham.

[English]

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader will say anything and do anything to get what he wants. He came back to Canada simply to rule our country.
    He is so focused on winning at any cost that he will actually say what the Liberal Party wants him to hide. On April 14, he said he would raise taxes. He would hike the GST. He is also the father of the job-killing carbon tax.
    When out in B.C., he called the forestry sector a basement industry. He then criticized the auto sector out in B.C. to make up for that slip of the tongue. Once he got back to Ontario, he then defended the auto sector.
    He will say anything, do anything, including blurting out that he will raise taxes--
    Order. Oral questions.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Minister of Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, when a minister loses a binder full of secret government documents, it is serious.
    When the same minister does not try to get them back because she did not even know that they were lost, it is ridiculous.
    When she blames her own employee, it is despicable.
    How can Canadians believe this minister when she does not want to assume her own responsibilities?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, this is a serious matter. Clear procedures were not followed in this case. Corrective action has been taken. I offered to resign if the Prime Minister felt it necessary and he did not accept it. The person responsible for handling the documents offered to resign and I did accept that resignation.
    Mr. Speaker, that presumably is the same 26-year-old staffer who is responsible for spending $1.7 billion since 2006. It is presumably the same staffer who is responsible for the isotope shortage. It is presumably the 26-year-old staffer who is responsible for the whole darn department.
    How are we supposed to believe such a fiction? When will the minister take her responsibilities seriously?
    Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this is a serious matter. Clear procedures were not followed. We have taken corrective measures in that matter.
     As well, it is important to note that this government has invested $1.7 billion in AECL since 2006 because we do believe in the 30,000 high-skilled jobs here in Ontario and supporting the Canadian nuclear industry.
    Mr. Speaker, the issue here is an issue of competence, and not just competence in relation to this minister, but competence in relation to the whole government.
    In 24 hours we have learned that the Minister of Natural Resources lost a binder of secret documents and did not even know the documents were missing. We have also learned in the last 24 hours that the Minister of Finance missed the mark on his five year deficit estimates by a staggering $70 billion.
    The issue here is that Canadians want competence in their government. When are they going to get it?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated already, this government has taken steps. We know that this is a very serious matter. The procedures were not followed and corrective action has been taken.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote the Prime Minister, who said last year: “The former foreign affairs minister admitted that he left classified documents in unsecured premises. That is the reason why he tendered his resignation and I accepted it.”
    Does this standard still apply?

  (1425)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have indicated to the House already the steps that have taken place. We do treat it as a very serious matter. Procedures that we had in place were not followed by a member of my staff and corrective action has been taken.
    As well, it is important to note that I did offer to resign to the Prime Minister and he did not accept my resignation.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's own guide for ministers says this:
    The Prime Minister holds Ministers personally accountable--
    --I repeat, personally accountable--
--for the security of their staff and offices, as well as of “Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada”... and other sensitive information in their custody.
    Are these just words on paper? Why will the Prime Minister not apply his own rules?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to the House, we do take this as a serious matter. In fact, that is why corrective action was taken instantaneously, once it was discovered that the procedures were not followed.
    I have offered my resignation to the Prime Minister, if he felt it necessary, but he did not accept my resignation. However, I have taken responsibility.
    The person taking responsibility for handling these documents offered to resign and I accepted it.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, according to the Prime Minister's office, it was the Minister of Natural Resources' aide who left secret documents at the CTV office. Although they may try to have her take the blame, the Prime Minister was very clear at the time of the Couillard affair: ministers are responsible for their secret documents.
    Consequently, will the Prime Minister ask for the resignation of the Minister of Natural Resources because of her negligence?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we treat this as a very serious matter and it is a very serious matter. Clear procedures in my office that had been set out regarding this material were not followed and as a result corrective action has been taken.
    The person who had the responsibility for the documents offered to resign and I accepted it.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we are told that this situation is different than the one involving the former minister of foreign affairs. If I have understood correctly, leaving secret documents at a television station full of journalists is less serious than leaving them at a girlfriend's. They cannot be serious.
    Either the Minister of Natural Resources is being given preferential treatment or the reason given by the Prime Minister for accepting the resignation of his former minister of foreign affairs was not the real one.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated and as the member has pointed out, this is a serious matter and we have treated it as such.
    The procedures in place were clearly not followed and corrective action has been taken. I have accepted the resignation of the individual who was responsible for the documents.
    I also offered my resignation to the Prime Minister, if he felt it necessary, but he did not accept the resignation.

[Translation]

Nuclear Waste

    Mr. Speaker, instead of stubbornly insisting on consulting the municipalities and going over the head of the Quebec government—which wants nothing to do with the project—the Prime Minister should take care of his own affairs and dismiss his minister who cannot keep track of her secret documents.
    Will the Prime Minister ensure that Quebec's areas of jurisdiction are respected and put an end to all attempts to negotiate directly with the municipalities?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization which is undertaking a very long process associated with finding a willing host and informed community for the repository of nuclear waste. This is a 30-year project.
    What the NWMO is doing this year is inviting public review and comment on a discussion paper and holding a series of consultations in various provinces this summer. That is the extent of the consultation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife for Quebec, Claude Béchard, has been very clear: Quebec wants no part of any projects involving the disposal of any nuclear waste produced outside its borders. The Quebec National Assembly has passed a unanimous motion to that effect.
    Will the government immediately commit to respecting the position of the Quebec National Assembly?

  (1430)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, which is a separate organization, is carrying out the mandate of determining a willing and informed community for the purposes of nuclear waste disposal and storage in the long term.
    I invite the opposite member to give that feedback to this organization and it will take it as part of its decision making for a suitable community for this project.

[Translation]

Minister of Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, this is what the Prime Minister said exactly one year ago: “Minister Bernier has learned and informed me that he left a classified government document in a nonsecure location.”
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Outremont is well aware that the names of members cannot be used in the House. He must be more careful.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, one year ago, our Prime Minister said, “What matters here is that rules respecting government classified documents were broken”, and he had to resign.
    “There is in this, obviously, a warning to all ministers”. All ministers? Really?

[Translation]

    Why this double standard?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, this is a serious matter. Clear procedures that were set out in my office with respect to the handling of documents were not followed and, as a result, we have taken corrective action. The individual who was responsible for handling these documents has offered to resign and I accepted it.
    I also offered my resignation to the Prime Minister but he did not accept it.
    Mr. Speaker, let us look at what the Prime Minister had to say about this a year ago. He said:
...no matter what their personal circumstances, ministers must follow the rules concerning documents. The rules were breached in this situation and that is why the minister resigned.
    He said that on June 3, 2008. That was then and this is now. The rules say that she is the one responsible, not some underling. How come a year ago the minister had to resign and today they are allowed to blame an underling, a subservient person, for all the responsibility of the minister? How is that acceptable?
    Mr. Speaker, I am a little concerned with the language being utilized by the member opposite. He utilized the term “subservient”. The people who work for us on the Hill work very hard. Indeed, in this case, clear procedures were not followed and the individual took responsibility by offering to resign and I accepted it.
    I am more concerned about the tone in which the hon. member has put this forward, indicating that perhaps only a woman could be subservient.
    Mr. Speaker, that is one for the record books. The person who resigned was a man.
    She is still there and she is trying to claim that it has something to do with her status as a woman. That is pure, unmitigated nonsense.
    The reason she is still there is that the Prime Minister publishes rules for confidentiality of documents and does not apply them. He said that it was a warning to all ministers. She is still there. It is unacceptable. She should resign and leave immediately.
    Mr. Speaker, the one thing I have learned in the House is that just because one yells louder does not make it any more compelling an argument.
    This is a serious matter. Clear procedures were not followed and corrective action has been taken. The individual responsible for handling these documents offered to resign and I accepted it.
    Mr. Speaker, the issue is not a staff member. The issue is the minister and the oath she took. If the Minister of Natural Resources cannot even manage her secret documents, why should Canadians be surprised that we have an isotope crisis?
    The minister needs to explain how a secret document could be missing for a week. Does the minister not have a tracking system for her own secret documents? Does she not understand the concept of ministerial accountability?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, clear procedures were in place in my office and, as indicated, they were not followed in this case. We have taken strong and corrective action. The person who was responsible for the documents has offered to resign and I have accepted it. That is clear accountability.
    Mr. Speaker, ”Ministers are always responsible for the protection of classified documents”. Who said this? The Prime Minister of Canada.
    Could the minister answer this question? Why did she offer to resign unless she admits that she did something wrong and did not honour her oath as a minister?
    Mr. Speaker, we have treated this as a serious matter because it is, indeed, a serious matter. Procedures that were set out in my office regarding the handling of documents were not followed. We did take corrective action and, as I have mentioned, I have offered my resignation to the Prime Minister, if he chose to take it, but he did not take it.
    In the case of the staff member who was handling the documents, she has offered her resignation and I have accepted it.

Royal Canadian Mint

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not hold himself to the same standards that he expects of everyone else.
    The list of government mismanagement just keeps growing. Today we learned that gold and other precious metals are unaccounted for at the Canadian Mint and yet the police have not been called in to investigate.
    Canada's reputation for confidence is taking a beating at home and abroad.
    Is the Minister of Transport prepared to tell Canadian taxpayers how much gold and silver is missing? What is the value? Will he conduct an investigation? Will he make the findings of an external audit immediately available to the public?
    Mr. Speaker, the Mint is a crown corporation at arm's length from the government.
    However, I was in touch with the CEO of the Mint, Mr. Ian Bennett, earlier this morning to find out what has been going on. He has assured me that an external audit was started in early March and that it will be completed within the next two weeks and will be public. I will not speculate on its outcome.
    It is clear, Mr. Speaker, that nobody on that side is in charge and prepared to assume responsibility for what is going on.
    We have had continuous faulty accounting of the nation's finances, security lapses and now lost gold and silver. We do not know if the affair at the Mint involves faulty accounting or a gold heist.
    While the Minister of Finance is living in a world of fantasy numbers, could the Minister of Transport tell the Canadian public when this pot of gold will be found?
    Mr. Speaker, we do take this situation rather seriously. The Mint brought in a third party to perform an external audit to examine exactly what has been going on. That audit will be completed within the next two weeks and it will be totally public.
    I would encourage my hon. colleague not to speculate on the outcome because I do not believe he knows and neither does anyone else. We should just wait for the process to be completed.

[Translation]

Forestry Industry

    Mr. Speaker, in the London court, American lawyers used statements made by Canadian ministers suggesting that loan guarantees for the forestry industry are illegal. Statements made about loan guarantees by the Prime Minister and his ministers are being used against Canada in this case.
    Does the Prime Minister realize that what he said about loan guarantees is sabotaging his own lawyers' work and is bad for the forestry industry and for Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, the loans issue is before the court, as my colleague said. I must emphasize that we will wait for the outcome. In the meantime, we have plenty of programs to support forestry companies. Just last year, we helped over 430 forestry companies in Quebec through EDC.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, that attitude is a great example of the Reform-based, anti-Quebec sentiment that still has such a strong hold over the Conservative Party. This reminds me of the time when Reformers leaked information to Embraer, a company that is in direct competition with Quebec-based Bombardier.
    Does the Prime Minister not understand that the best way to counter the United States' claims is to give loan guarantees to the forestry sector?
    Mr. Speaker, since 2008, forestry companies in Canada have received over $14 billion. Over $9 billion of that has gone to companies in Quebec. Quebec companies have received more help and support than companies elsewhere in Canada. Is EDC against the rest of Canada? I do not think so. EDC's job is to help forestry companies during times of financial crisis.

Government Assets

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are not even trying to conceal the fact that they are contemplating selling off federal government assets with the sole aim, as we know, of reducing the size of the state to a minimum. The Minister of Finance said yesterday that in Canada's economic action plan, Heritage Canada is not on the list for asset review “this year”.
    Does this then mean that the CBC might well turn up in a future list of asset sales in a few months, and that the minister does not dismiss the idea of selling off the CBC and Radio-Canada?
    Let us be clear, once again, Mr. Speaker. We made a promise during the election campaign to maintain or increase the budgets of CBC/Radio-Canada and we have done so in each of our four budgets. I have the Bloc Québécois platform, its assistance plan, here before me. In its 21 pages there is not a single mention of the arts, not a single mention of culture, not a single mention of CBC/Radio-Canada.
    If CBC/Radio-Canada is really a priority for the Bloc Québécois, why is it not included in their platform?
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the federal government's shares in General Motors, the Prime Minister has said that these would be sold at the appropriate time, and that is completely logical and reasonable. At the same time, he has announced that he wants to dispose of certain federal government assets immediately. As if the economic situation were not the same in both cases.
    Are we to understand that the government would be prepared to sell off corporations such as VIA Rail and the Old Port of Montreal Corporation now, for purely ideological motives?

[English]

    What is clear is what I said yesterday, Mr. Speaker, and that is we have identified certain departments for asset review this year and we will proceed with that.
    What is odd is the position taken by the opposition, including the Bloc, when they say to the government, “Spend more, but be fiscally responsible and don't increase the deficit”. Part of being fiscally responsible is reviewing assets and making sure that those assets continue to perform in the best interests of the Canadian people.
    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.
    The TD Bank's analysis shows that the government will add $170 billion of debt to ordinary Canadians over the next five years. The finance minister, in his fall economic statement, said that over the next five years he will be booking $2 billion from asset sales each year.
    Will the minister inform Canadians across the country which specific assets, and from what departments, he intends to sell this year to fill a $2 billion hole in his balance sheet?
    Mr. Speaker, TD economists have presented one view. It is on the low side. There are other economists who are going to present other views. We are going to hear lots of views about the economy in an uncertain time.
    With respect to asset review, it is prudent for any large organization to review its assets from time to time. In fact, that is the position of the Toronto-Dominion Bank's economists.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a hard time believing the minister, who a few years back was the architect of deficit in Ontario. He shut 26 hospitals, laid off 8,000 nurses and cut half of the water inspectors, leading to the Walkerton crisis. These institutions affect Canadian lives and Canadian identity.
    Will the minister set aside his reform ideology and be honest with Canadians about what he intends to sell?
    This is more hypocrisy on the other side, Mr. Speaker. They are the same Liberals who in the mid-1990s cut transfers to the provinces. They cut funding for schools. They cut funding for hospitals. They cut funding for universities. They cut funding for the elderly. They cut funding for children.
     This is the hypocritical position of the Liberal Party of Canada: cutting spending on the weakest in our economy.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the government has plunged Canada into a disastrous economic situation. Jobs are being lost, the deficit is growing, and the government is just making it up as it goes along.
    Now the government has come up with a new idea. Some genius somewhere has decided to hold a fire sale of government assets—our institutions—and privatize them.
    This includes CBC/Radio-Canada and the National Arts Centre. They have decided to sell some of the essential components of our very own culture.
    Is the minister going to understand that our culture was not for sale yesterday, is not for sale today, and will never, ever be for sale?

[English]

    Let me try to understand the Liberal opposition, Mr. Speaker. Liberals voted for the budget, Canada's economic action plan. The asset review is set out in the budget. Now they are saying they do not like an asset review.
    The Liberals are saying they want fiscal responsibility, but they are saying, “Do not review expenditures. Do not review assets.” They say they want to spend more on EI but they say not to increase spending. Who in Canada can take any of them seriously?

Arts and Culture

    Mr. Speaker, the problem is that nobody believes him any more.

[Translation]

    Loving culture means defending that culture. Loving culture means appreciating its importance. Loving culture means investing the necessary funds into it.
    Today the government is imposing a strategic review, and thus cuts, to some of our national flagships, some of the most important programs for our artists and creative people.
    The government is engaged in a full-scale attack on the NFB, the Canada Council, Telefilm Canada and CBC/Radio-Canada.
    Why do they have such a hatred of culture?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member can yell and scream all he wants, but the facts in the budgets that we passed in this House of Commons, which the member voted for, are crystal clear. This Conservative government made promises in election campaigns to maintain or increase support for arts and culture. We have increased funding for the National Arts Centre. We have increased funding for the Canada Council for the Arts, up to a record amount, $181 million. Those are artists supporting artists for the future, to support our creative economy.
    When the Liberals ran for office and were elected, they promised not to touch arts and culture. They gutted arts and culture, they cut CBC by a third, and now they are pointing fingers to us and saying that we are not doing our job. We kept our word. We have delivered. It is the Liberals who have failed.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, this government reduced taxes on Canadian families by $20 billion, yet the leader of the Liberal opposition wants to reverse proactive tax measures. Can this be true? The Liberal leader wants to reduce the amount of money hard-working Canadian families have to spend. In fact it is true. It was proven when the leader of the opposition stated, “We will have to raise taxes” and that he was “not going to take a GST hike off the table”.
    Canadians have a right to know. Does this government believe the Liberal leader's statements?
    Mr. Speaker, the words have meaning and the hon. leader of the opposition has said, “We will have to raise taxes”. He has described himself as a “tax-and-spend Liberal”.
    Canadians want to know from the Liberal leader exactly what his plan is for the economy, which taxes he would like to raise, how much he would raise them, and who will have to pay. Does he have a serious plan for the economy, or is he just visiting?

  (1450)  

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

    Mr. Speaker, CPP Investment Board members lost a staggering $24 billion, wiping out four years of CPP contributions. They will get millions in bonuses, while retirees will get on average a mere $500 a month. This is an unethical abuse of power.
    What is the response from the government? A letter from the minister, asking them to respect a vague set of G20 rules. That simply is not good enough.
    Will the minister finally find the courage to do the right thing and demand that the executives pay back these outrageous bonuses?
    Mr. Speaker, this is not a vague set of rules. These are very specific rules that were developed by the Financial Stability Forum of the G7, which have now been adopted by the G20, by all of the leaders when they met at the London summit. They are very specific.
    We have asked the CPPIB and the others who are responsible to the Crown to report back with respect to those principles, whether they are in compliance, and to confirm steps they will take, if necessary, to be in compliance.
    Mr. Speaker, the G20 rules deal with fund managers, not with their innocent victims who are the Canadian pensioners.
    The rules the minister is referring to are not specific enough, and simply writing a letter is not courageous enough. Canadians demand better and they deserve better. These executives need to be told in no uncertain terms that what they are doing is irresponsible, shameful and wrong.
    Will the minister stop protecting his friends and hiding behind the G20 rules and stand up today to publicly denounce their actions and demand the money back?
    Mr. Speaker, during the global recession, the G20 internationally has taken the leadership role, ensuring that we are coordinating our stimulus efforts, ensuring that we address issues like appropriate executive compensation.
    That is exactly what the leaders did when they met in London not that long ago. They approved these three rules with respect to executive compensation. They are to be followed by all of the G20 countries, including Canada, and we are extending that to the public institutions in Canada.

[Translation]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development continues surprise us. She said that it was not necessary to change the employment insurance criteria, because the recession means that more people have access to it. Like the conservative economists who rely on the invisible hand to regulate the market, the minister thinks that the recession, all by itself, will settle the problem of accessibility to employment insurance.
    What is the minister waiting for to do what everyone is calling for: to make comprehensive changes to the employment insurance system to meet the challenges of the current crisis, and, most importantly, to meet the needs of the unemployed?
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois members certainly do not know how much money we are putting towards supporting our workers while there is a recession and other major economic difficulties. This year, we have put $7.3 billion towards supporting workers. Furthermore, we have taken action to make changes, by adding five weeks to EI, among other things. They were offering two. We offered five, and they even voted against it.
    Mr. Speaker, announcing the same program twice is one thing, but making sure it produces the expected results is another.
    The minister prides herself on having put $500 million towards a training program. But more than one week after her program was announced, we still have unanswered questions. The only tangible thing to come out of her announcement is false hope.
    What will it take for the minister to realize that, without comprehensive changes to the employment insurance system, all of her short-term solutions will not do?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, this is a perfect example of the work we are doing to support people who are losing their jobs. During an economic crisis, a person could have worked 20 years for a company, when it is suddenly shut down. These people need much longer training. We are offering them this training through the program we set up this week. That is $500 million that will ensure that workers are paid for two years while they receive training.
    In addition, there are 3,300 companies that take advantage of job sharing right now. We are taking action. We are helping our workers and people who lose their jobs.

Forestry Industry

    Mr. Speaker, American black liquor subsidies may spell the end for many struggling Canadian pulp and paper mills.
    On June 8, the Fraser Papers plant in Edmunston will close its doors and hundreds of workers will be unemployed for an indeterminate period. What has our government done? Absolutely nothing.
    The Conservative government is again abandoning our forestry sector and its thousands of workers.
    Why wait for people to lose their jobs before taking action? Why must more workers and families suffer before this Conservative government decides to act and save Canadian jobs?

  (1455)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in terms of aid to the forestry sector, in our unprecedented cross-country consultations we spoke to both industry and communities about the best way to support them through Canada's economic action plan. We have developed the $1 billion community adjustment fund that is beneficial for that.
    With respect to the black liquor, it is important to note that this was the result of a U.S. green tax and the utilization of mixing diesel with black liquor in order for paper companies to take advantage of it, which we find unacceptable, and we want the United States to know.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, cross-country consultations will definitely not bring back the thousands of jobs that have been lost and save those at Fraser Papers in Edmundston.

[English]

    The American black liquor subsidy could be the final nail in the coffin for many struggling Canadian pulp mills. After having done nothing on the closure of AbitibiBowater in Dalhousie, now it is Fraser Papers that will be affected.
    The Conservative government is letting down hundreds of workers while other countries are helping their industries. What is the Conservative government waiting for? How many other jobs have to be lost before it helps the industry?
    Mr. Speaker, further on the black liquor tax credit for pulp producers in the United States, my colleague, Minister Day, of course has been working—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I am sure the hon. minister's whip will explain that the use of members' names in the House is contrary to the rules and that she will try to avoid that kind of reference, distinguished though the minister she referred to is.
    The hon. Minister of Natural Resources has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be more careful with respect to names.
    I want to indicate that the black liquor subsidy in the United States is of great concern. My colleague, the Minister of International Trade, has been working with the United States and bringing attention to the detrimental effect it has on the industry and what a distortion it is.
     We are working across the border with our colleagues there, and we are working internally to determine the best options.

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, Xstrata workers are again getting dinged by the government. This winter the Conservative government failed to enforce a signed agreement with the company not to lay off workers for three years. To soften the blow, Xstrata and CAW negotiated a sub-plan that would add an additional $175 a week on top of the worker's regular EI, but now the government is planning to claw back the first two weeks of this plan.
    Why is the government taking money away from the unemployed when they need it most?
    Mr. Speaker, I am unaware of the situation that the member describes, but we will look into it.
    However, what I can tell the chamber is that as a result of our intervention, plans by Xstrata, which were mere promises, obtained the efficacy of a contractual obligation to the people of Sudbury and to the people of Canada to continue its investments and to reinvest in Sudbury.
    That is the kind of negotiations we do. We do not get on our high horse and engage in rhetoric. We actually get the job done for the workers and the people of Sudbury and Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, what about EI? The Catalyst Crofton pulp mill is laying off workers again. This is on top of forestry suppliers selling off equipment, timber companies going under and layoffs at sawmills.
    There will be no severance package for Catalyst workers. Instead the employer is negotiating a plan to top up EI benefits, just like in Sudbury.
    Could the minister explain whether these sub-plans will trigger clawbacks? If yes, why is the minister penalizing these laid-off workers?
    Mr. Speaker, whenever there is a threat of a company doing mass layoffs, Service Canada immediately moves in to work with the company, with the employees and union, if there is one, to try to reach a situation that will help all of them to get through these times. It may be work-sharing. It may be advising them of potential benefits, including the option for them to continue with long-term work studies so they could upgrade their skills.
     We are doing everything we can to help particularly those workers who have been in the workforce a long time and who need new skills for the new jobs to look after their families.

  (1500)  

Foreign Investment

    Mr. Speaker, the CIDA-INC program was intended to encourage private sector engagement in developing countries to promote economic growth and poverty reduction. However, a recent review of the program found it was outdated and ineffective.
    Considering today is Trade Day, could the Minister of International Trade tell the House what the Conservative government is doing to ensure Canadian tax dollars are spent responsibly?
    Mr. Speaker, this is a very well-intended program and it is designed to allow private sector companies or individuals in Canada to invest in countries that are emerging in terms of their developing economies. However, it was found, upon review, that it would be more effective to have this under the international trade area, where there are some 150 trade offices around the world with over 950 representatives who can work with private sector companies in Canada to guide them and also to give resources to allow them to invest in emerging countries to help poverty issues in those countries and also benefit Canadians at the same time.

Minister of Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Natural Resources be just a bit more forthcoming?
     First, do the secret documents, which she lost at CTV, reveal commercially confidential information about dealings between the Darlington nuclear plant and the Ontario government? Second, when did she first know the documents were missing? Third, where they merely a staffer's documents or were they her own documents, personally as minister?
    Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, this is a serious matter and clear procedures were not followed in the handling of these documents. Corrective action has been taken. I offered my resignation to the Prime Minister, but he did not accept it. However, the individual who is responsible for the documents that day has tendered a resignation and I have accepted it.

[Translation]

Sri Lanka

    Mr. Speaker, the Tamil diaspora in Quebec and Canada is worried and with just cause. The UN must be allowed to conduct a real investigation into human rights violations committed by both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict.
    Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to increase pressure on the Sri Lankan government to allow the UN to do its job and conduct a credible investigation?
    Mr. Speaker, our honourable colleague has identified two issues. The first is to ensure that an independent tribunal is set up by the Sri Lankan government in order to shed light on this matter.
    The other is to allow the United Nations to provide aid to those displaced by this conflict.
    Canada, my colleague the Minister of International Cooperation and I are working very hard on this.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the minister has tabled his empty 2009 climate change plan. Incredibly it is a plan to do nothing, no binding reduction targets and delayed action on coal-fired. He will repeat the last 15 years of consultations, more delay, more hot air.
    On National Clean Air Day, where is the long promised action on clean electricity?
    Last year the Canadian Medical Association reported air pollution hospitalized an estimated 92,000 Canadians with 21,000 deaths. In whose interest is the minister delaying action on clean air and climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct. This is Clean Air Day and we are moving forward with the regulations that I previously described with respect to climate change. In addition, the air quality health index is being expanded in a way that it has never previously been expanded by any other government.
     With respect to the pollution agenda, we have re-engaged with the provinces and with other stakeholders to put in place a regulatory approach that will deal with air pollutants, which will be parallel to and integrated with our approach to clean air as it relates to climate change.

  (1505)  

[Translation]

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, contrary to the opposition's inaction, and thanks to our Prime Minister's leadership, our government is taking steps to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and support Canadian families and workers.
    Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell me what the infrastructure stimulus fund will do for Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question.
    We are continuing to work with the Province of Quebec to finalize agreements that will get projects off the ground.
    In Quebec City yesterday, our colleague, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, announced an agreement with Quebec to invest over $2.75 billion in the province over the next two years. That money will create jobs now, tomorrow, and in the future.
    Our government is taking action and getting real results, not just for Quebeckers, but for all Canadians.

[English]

Presence in Gallery

    To commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day, I wish to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Mr. Stanley Fields, a veteran who landed on Juno Beach on D-Day and served Canada until the end of World War II.
    Members will be interested to know that prior to joining the armed forces, Mr. Fields served as a page in the House of Commons when Mackenzie King was prime minister.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

    It being 3:07 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2 the House will now proceed to statements by ministers.

D-Day

    Mr. Speaker, dear colleagues, Mr. Fields, on Saturday, June 6 Canadians from across our great country will gather to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Later today veterans and their families and grateful others will begin their pilgrimage to France to visit the graves of our fallen heroes and honour their sacrifice.
    It is appropriate for the Canadian House of Commons to mark this historic occasion. In so doing, we again pledge ourselves and the country to honour the promise made in the act of remembrance. We will remember them.
    Let us each in our own way learn of the great deeds and the sacrifices made by Canadians and Allied men and women, so-called average Canadians, performing extraordinary acts of courage and commitment.
    There are few who would dispute that the events of June 6, 1944, were to be one of the most significant events of the 20th century. In marking its anniversary, we must not forget other military actions which equally cost Canadians and Allies dearly.
    For personal reasons, I think particularly of the Italian campaign, which resulted in the liberation of Rome, 65 years ago tomorrow, June 4.
     On June 5, the following message was transmitted on BBC radio.

[Translation]

    

The long sobs
Of the violins
Of autumn
Wound my heart
With a monotonous
Languor.

[English]

     Those cryptic words borrowed from the French literary giant Verlaine signalled by Churchill to the French underground and the allied forces that the D-Day invasion was about to begin.
    The 6th of June is one of those pivotal dates, landmark dates, etched in the minds and memories of veterans and those who served and their families. It is also etched in stone on hundreds of cenotaphs across our country and on bleached dignified tombstones throughout Europe, for most of Europe had languished under the iron fist and the racist rule of Hitler. D-Day and the campaign that followed in Normandy would at a long last signal the beginning of the end of the enemy who was making its last desperate stand in the European theatre of war.

  (1510)  

[Translation]

    Sixty-five years ago—perhaps Mr. Fields was here—the prime minister made a statement to the members of this House in which he said the following:
    At half-past three o'clock this morning the government received official word that the invasion of western Europe had begun. Word was also received that Canadian troops were among the allied forces who landed this morning on the northern coast of France. Canada will be proud to learn that our troops are being supported by units of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. The great landing in western Europe is the opening up of what we hope and believe will be the decisive phase of the war against Germany. The fighting is certain to be heavy, bitter and costly.

[English]

    Indeed, the toll was costly. The headstones of Beny-Sur-Mer and other Canadian cemeteries, the monuments to those who died at sea, the Books of Remembrance housed here in the House of Commons, in the Memorial Chamber of this building, are stark testimony to the heroism and sacrifices of our armies, airmen and women and navy. A great history was written that day.
    Humanity entered into a great debt when a previous generation embarked on the D-Day mission. That debt is our duty to never forget the deeds of those who gave their all on Juno Beach.
    In the days that followed June 6, the fighting continued to be bitter and costly. Units across the country were involved. From my home province, the North Nova Scotia Highlanders worked with Quebec's storied Sherbrooke Fusiliers and suffered severe losses over two days combatting the elite 12th SS Panzer Division.

[Translation]

    Far too many young Canadians died that day on Juno Beach. In the 10 bloody weeks that followed, soldiers from the First Canadian Army—with vital support from the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy—battled a powerful enemy and suffered and inflicted heavy losses. Nearly one-third of the soldiers involved in the fighting never saw their beloved Canada again. On August 3, when the Normandy campaign ended, the enemy had suffered a crushing defeat, mainly thanks to the efforts of Canada's land, sea and air forces.

[English]

    Those who survived the war returned home, raised families, got on with their lives and built a new Canada. Without effort, what they did on Juno Beach might fade with the passage of time. New generations may not know what happened on June 6, 1944. It is our responsibility to tell their story, our story, our history, our legacy.
    I compliment our veterans who have been so generous in sharing their individual histories. It is difficult for some, impossible for others, and that is understandable. Yet their story, our story, must be told, and it is through the marking of these anniversaries that the next generation learns of its heritage.
    I praise our heritage minister for the attention that he is giving to this important task.

[Translation]

    Our Prime Minister will be in France to mark this anniversary. The Minister of Veterans Affairs is leaving today for France and will lead a delegation of Canadian veterans returning to Normandy. He will travel with them to the places where they fought and to other locations as well. They will gather in war cemeteries and in front of Canadian cenotaphs. They will pay tribute to those who gave their young lives for our freedom. I know that all Canadians will think of them that day.
    Two young ambassadors will accompany the veterans and listen as they tell their stories. When they return, they will be able to talk about what they saw and heard. They will share the veterans' stories with others and keep the torch of remembrance burning for future generations.

  (1515)  

[English]

    As we pause to commemorate those Canadians of the Normandy campaign, I also want to bring attention to another deserving group: the men and women of today's Canadian Forces. The first Sunday in June has been declared Canadian Forces Day.
    I would like to take a moment to recognize the sacrifice and accomplishments made here at home and around the world by our current men and women in uniform. They carry on the proud tradition of answering the call of their country to serve, to stand for our values and to defend freedom and democracy and human rights whenever that call comes.
    I consider it a distinct honour to rise in this place, to be with members of Parliament in this storied chamber to pay respect to veterans. As the Minister of Veterans Affairs said yesterday in the other place in an eloquent and stirring address to senators as well as a large assembly of veterans who were there:
--of all Canadians, no one owes our Veterans more than Parliamentarians do. It is only because [our veterans] have served our country that we as Members of Parliament and Senators can serve--freely, in a truly democratic country.... And, when our world leaders gather in France later this week, they will recognize that. It has been said that great countries are those that produce great people. And no nation has produced finer men and women than Canada. Our troops have always been the best in the world.
    Going overseas has been a way of helping us understand the great debt that we owe our country's truest heroes. That is why it is so important that we do go back to the shores of Normandy, as a Canadian delegation will this week, to see how other nations still remember what it was like to have their countries occupied by a foreign army. They pass down the memories from generation to generation as powerful reminders so that the peace and freedom within their borders will never be taken for granted.
    I would like to share a story with colleagues of the House. The Minister of Veterans Affairs and I were in Afghanistan just 10 days ago and we met with the Dutch commander of Regional Command South in Kandahar province, General de Kruif. Upon meeting him and hearing that we were Canadian, he insisted on telling us a story. He explained that whenever he returned to Holland, to his family, after serving in Afghanistan, he would meet people who would ask him, “Why are Dutch soldiers serving in Afghanistan today?” He said, “I would always respond the same way, with a question: Why was Canada in Holland during the second world war?”
    All these years later, the Dutch, the French, the Belgians, many throughout Europe and around the world whose nations were once occupied, have not forgotten. They know instinctively that when the world calls, Canada answers, as we have today, because this is the Canadian way. It is the way it has always been and always will be.
    This is the heritage, the national identity we have inherited from the D-Day and Battle of Normandy veterans for a way of life they stood up to protect, but their service came at a terrible price, a price paid with many young lives cut short and so many comrades buried on distant lands.
    Finally, I would like to close by saying it is impossible for any of us to say thank you enough to those who fought on June 6. What we can do is remember, and we do.

  (1520)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, 65 years ago, 14,000 Canadians waded through the murky Channel and into enemy gunfire at Juno Beach. Many were cut down before they reached the shore.
    On this day, in this House, we celebrate our country’s hard-won victory during the Allied invasion of Normandy.

[English]

    In June 1944, Juno Beach was one of the most heavily defended stretches of shoreline on the coast of Hitler's fortress Europe. The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, reinforced by the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, were given the task of capturing it, and they did so.
    What happened 65 years ago on Juno Beach, and on the American and British beaches that flanked it, began the push toward Berlin that ended the most terrible war in human history.
    Today we celebrate Canada's role in that victory. We celebrate our troops, whose valour earned a place in history. We remember the 359 Canadians who perished among the dunes and the surf, and the men whose bravery tipped the balance of war.
    As we commemorate D-Day, we pay tribute to a great generation, one that is slowly leaving us with the passage of time. We make to them a simple promise: that their story will be our own and that their memory will never fade.

[Translation]

    The sacrifice of war is a national endeavour. The remembrance of war must be no less.
    Today we celebrate not only the Canadians who fought at Juno, but also the tradition of which they are part. Our servicemen and women have always stood ready to lay down their lives to defend our freedom—and the freedom of others: from Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach to Kandahar.
    We honour those who served at Normandy—and on all the battlefields of our shared past.

[English]

    Today in this House we feel the weight of a shared responsibility. We recall the parliamentarians who came before us, who provided civilian leadership in times of crisis, and who stood in this place to send Canadian troops into battle.
    We recognize that for our soldiers in Afghanistan, that responsibility falls on our shoulders. While there may be differences in this House about the mission, our respect and our support for these soldiers transcends all our divisions, all party lines, and all sides of the House.
    As we remember the invasion of Normandy, the fight for European liberation and the still ongoing struggle to protect our common humanity, our respect for our military tradition, incarnated by the word “Juno”, transcends all time, transcends all generations.
    Today, 65 years after Juno Beach, we stand together here in this House as one, proudly, in admiration.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to rise here today to speak on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, in commemoration of the Normandy landing.
    The Normandy landing began in a rather special way, with a verse from Verlaine. The BBC broadcast a coded message indicating that Allied troops would be landing the next day. That message was as follows:
    

The long sobs
Of the violins
Of autumn
Wound my heart
With a monotonous
Languor.

    That was the signal that the next day, 24 hours later, many soldiers and all their equipment would be landing in Normandy.
    People say that it was probably the largest military landing in history. Some 156,000 men landed on the beaches of Normandy that day, including 15,000 Canadians with many Quebeckers among them. They brought with them 6,000 vehicles, 900 tanks and 600 guns. It was an incredible operation. Seven thousand boats, including 4,000 landing craft were also used, as well as 130 war ships. Twelve thousand planes were used to ensure air support and the success of the landing, and 5,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped.
    We need to keep in mind that weapons at that time were not as precise as today, and so the plan was for a massive bombardment. That was the doctrine of the day, anyway. Before the landing, air strikes were used to break down resistance so that the Allies landing on those beaches would be less of a target for enemy fire.
    I also need to point out that this invasion was a long time in the planning. In Casablanca in January 1943, Winston Churchill met with Roosevelt and Stalin to analyze the war, which was not going at all well at that point. Moreover, the Germans were engaged in the siege of Leningrad, and everyone agreed that it was very important to open up a second European front to divide the Germans. The Russians had adopted a very good tactic by letting the German forces penetrate far into their territory, but a second European front was necessary and that was what the Allies agreed to. A year after came the Normandy landing.
    A person needs to try to put himself into the skins, the minds and the hearts of the men who were headed for the Normandy beaches. The Channel crossing was a very difficult one because the weather conditions were very bad. To put ourselves into that scenario, there we are in a landing craft headed for the beach, with bullets whistling all around us, shells landing in the water right beside us. When the landing craft hits the beach and the ramp door opens, afraid or not, seasick or not, terrified or not, we have to move out. Many of our comrades may already be lying on the beach dead or dying, and it is terrible.
    A lot of things go through a soldier's head at such a time. They think of family and friends, they think of the importance of protecting democracy and freedom. They carry out their duty at the risk of their lives. These people must be saluted. We must remember the sacrifices they made, some of them the ultimate sacrifice.
    As I said earlier, the night before the landing, there were air strikes on German positions. The Germans were therefore considerably weakened, but they were still there waiting for the Allies when they landed.
    We cannot forget the navy. There were 109 ships ensuring that the German navy did not make it out of the harbour. The Allies could not afford to have the German ships intervene and derail the battle. The work was done. We also cannot forget the minesweepers. Since the Germans had scattered mines all along the coast, the Allies had to make sure they were not caught by these mines.
    The battle is more or less the same today. I agree with those who spoke before me: the Bloc Québécois naturally has reservations about some current missions, like the one in Kandahar, but we have never questioned the dedication, bravery and courage of the soldiers. That must be said loud and clear. I am happy that there are many witnesses here today, and I hope that there are many people watching us. We have never questioned the work of the soldiers, even though we have some reservations about the mission.

  (1530)  

    Once again, these soldiers courageously defend our democracy and our freedom.
    I would like to thank a number of divisions and brigades that distinguished themselves at the time of the landing: the 3rd Infantry Division, the 2nd Armoured Brigade, the 1st Parachute Battalion, and the 48th Commando.
    For those who lost their lives, there are words we say here each Remembrance day, and they are appropriate today: at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to join with the Minister of National Defence, the Leader of the Opposition, and my colleague from the Bloc Québécois, to recognize and honour those brave Canadians who played such a significant role in the Allied invasion of occupied France 65 years ago this week, in June of 1944.
    D-Day was the beginning of the liberation of France after four years of bitter occupation, after the fall of France in June of 1940, and the beginning of the end of the most horrific war in the history of the world.
    The successful invasion of Juno Beach was part of a massive invasion of Normandy. Fourteen thousand Canadian soldiers landed on the beach, 450 landed by parachute or glider, 10,000 members of the Royal Canadian Navy were involved in the landing, and we had the support of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
    It was, as the minister said, a magnificent but horrific invasion. It was successful, but many lives were lost. Fifty-four hundred Canadians are buried in Normandy. Over 1,000 Canadians lost their lives in the first six days alone of the D-Day invasion.
    Let me digress a moment to talk as a Newfoundlander and Labradorian. We were not part of Canada during the second world war. We did not send our own Newfoundland regiment overseas as we had done in World War I, but Newfoundlanders participated. Over 20,000 Newfoundlanders served in World War II, 3,000 of them with the Canadian Armed Forces, including 500 women. Over 8,000 Newfoundlanders served in British regiments. Another number served in the Royal Navy. However, in the British land forces, there were in fact three Newfoundland regiments, one of which served in Normandy, the 59th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment, and the Newfoundland 125th Royal Air Force Squadron.
    So, there was fact significant participation by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. In fact, we have to acknowledge that Newfoundland was a front in the second world war, and I will get to that a little later.
    As parliamentarians, we are often asked to talk to young people, and we do talk to them, about the significance of events that occurred before they were born. This is an event that occurred before most of the members of this Parliament were born, so it is hard to find the right words to underscore the importance of what happened 65 years ago.
    It is no exaggeration to say that if these brave Canadians did not do what they did then, we would not be here today, enjoying the fruits of their sacrifice in a democratic Parliament.
    Let us not forget that the enemy was at the door. In 1943, over 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed by enemy action in Newfoundland and Labrador. Four iron ore carriers were sunk by a German submarine attack while docked at Bell Island, in Conception Bay, and the passenger and railcar ferry, the Caribou, was torpedoed and sank on a normal run to Port aux Basques from North Sydney.
    So, we must all give thanks to those who served and honour those who lost their lives in the defence of our country and our beliefs, and who died and fought to put an end to tyranny that had a plan to take over and dominate the world and impose an ugly dictatorship.
    It was a war that may not have been won, but the commitment, the determination and the sacrifice of the men and women of Canada and our allies eventually prevailed.
    We must always remember the sacrifice and the debt we owe to them, and to all our soldiers who fight for our country and our ideals, including those who are serving today in Afghanistan.

  (1535)  

    I invite the House to rise and observe a moment of silence to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
    [A moment of silence observed]

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

    Order, please. It being 3.38 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the previous question at the third reading stage of Bill C-24.
    Call in the members.

  (1545)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 73)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Andrews
Arthur
Ashfield
Bagnell
Bains
Baird
Bélanger
Bennett
Benoit
Bernier
Bevilacqua
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brison
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannis
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Coady
Coderre
Cotler
Crombie
Cummins
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dykstra
Easter
Eyking
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Folco
Foote
Galipeau
Gallant
Garneau
Glover
Goldring
Goodale
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guarnieri
Guergis
Hall Findlay
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Holland
Ignatieff
Jean
Jennings
Kania
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kennedy
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacAulay
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Malhi
Mark
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Mayes
McCallum
McColeman
McGuinty
McLeod
McTeague
Mendes
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Minna
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Neville
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Oliphant
Pacetti
Paradis
Patry
Payne
Pearson
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Proulx
Rae
Raitt
Rajotte
Ratansi
Rathgeber
Regan
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Rodriguez
Rota
Russell
Savage
Saxton
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Silva
Simms
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Szabo
Tilson
Toews
Tonks
Trost
Trudeau
Tweed
Uppal
Valeriote
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Volpe
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilfert
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young
Zarac

Total: -- 203

NAYS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Angus
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Beaudin
Bellavance
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brunelle
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Comartin
Crowder
Cullen
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dorion
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Faille
Gagnon
Gaudet
Godin
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hughes
Hyer
Julian
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
Malo
Maloway
Marston
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mulcair
Nadeau
Ouellet
Paillé
Paquette
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Roy
Savoie
Siksay
St-Cyr
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Vincent
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 76

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

     I declare the motion carried.

[English]

    The next question is on the main motion.
    Mr. Speaker, if you seek it I believe you would find agreement to apply the vote from the previous motion to this motion.
    Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 74)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Andrews
Arthur
Ashfield
Bagnell
Bains
Baird
Bélanger
Bennett
Benoit
Bernier
Bevilacqua
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brison
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannis
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Coady
Coderre
Cotler
Crombie
Cummins
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dykstra
Easter
Eyking
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Folco
Foote
Galipeau
Gallant
Garneau
Glover
Goldring
Goodale
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guarnieri
Guergis
Hall Findlay
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Holland
Ignatieff
Jean
Jennings
Kania
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kennedy
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacAulay
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Malhi
Mark
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Mayes
McCallum
McColeman
McGuinty
McLeod
McTeague
Mendes
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Minna
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Neville
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Oliphant
Pacetti
Paradis
Patry
Payne
Pearson
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Proulx
Rae
Raitt
Rajotte
Ratansi
Rathgeber
Regan
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Rodriguez
Rota
Russell
Savage
Saxton
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Silva
Simms
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Szabo
Tilson
Toews
Tonks
Trost
Trudeau
Tweed
Uppal
Valeriote
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Volpe
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilfert
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young
Zarac

Total: -- 203

NAYS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Angus
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Beaudin
Bellavance
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brunelle
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Comartin
Crowder
Cullen
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dorion
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Faille
Gagnon
Gaudet
Godin
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hughes
Hyer
Julian
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
Malo
Maloway
Marston
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mulcair
Nadeau
Ouellet
Paillé
Paquette
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Roy
Savoie
Siksay
St-Cyr
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Vincent
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 76

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

     The House resumed from June 2 consideration of Bill C-15, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of Motion No. 1.
    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-15. The question is on Motion No. 1.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous support to apply the vote from the previous motion to this motion, with the votes being reversed.
    Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 75)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Angus
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Beaudin
Bellavance
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brunelle
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Comartin
Crowder
Cullen
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dorion
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Faille
Gagnon
Gaudet
Godin
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hughes
Hyer
Julian
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
Malo
Maloway
Marston
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mulcair
Nadeau
Ouellet
Paillé
Paquette
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Roy
Savoie
Siksay
St-Cyr
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Vincent
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 76

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Andrews
Arthur
Ashfield
Bagnell
Bains
Baird
Bélanger
Bennett
Benoit
Bernier
Bevilacqua
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brison
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannis
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Coady
Coderre
Cotler
Crombie
Cummins
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dykstra
Easter
Eyking
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Folco
Foote
Galipeau
Gallant
Garneau
Glover
Goldring
Goodale
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guarnieri
Guergis
Hall Findlay
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Holland
Ignatieff
Jean
Jennings
Kania
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kennedy
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacAulay
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Malhi
Mark
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Mayes
McCallum
McColeman
McGuinty
McLeod
McTeague
Mendes
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Minna
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Neville
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Oliphant
Pacetti
Paradis
Patry
Payne
Pearson
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Proulx
Rae
Raitt
Rajotte
Ratansi
Rathgeber
Regan
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Rodriguez
Rota
Russell
Savage
Saxton
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Silva
Simms
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Szabo
Tilson
Toews
Tonks
Trost
Trudeau
Tweed
Uppal
Valeriote
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Volpe
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilfert
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young
Zarac

Total: -- 203

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

    I declare Motion No. 1 defeated.
     moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.
    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    The hon. chief government whip is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent to apply the vote from the previous motion to this motion in reverse.
    Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 76)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Andrews
Arthur
Ashfield
Bagnell
Bains
Baird
Bélanger
Bennett
Benoit
Bernier
Bevilacqua
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brison
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannis
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Coady
Coderre
Cotler
Crombie
Cummins
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dykstra
Easter
Eyking
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Folco
Foote
Galipeau
Gallant
Garneau
Glover
Goldring
Goodale
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guarnieri
Guergis
Hall Findlay
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Holland
Ignatieff
Jean
Jennings
Kania
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kennedy
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacAulay
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Malhi
Mark
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Mayes
McCallum
McColeman
McGuinty
McLeod
McTeague
Mendes
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Minna
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Neville
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Oliphant
Pacetti
Paradis
Patry
Payne
Pearson
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Proulx
Rae
Raitt
Rajotte
Ratansi
Rathgeber
Regan
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Rodriguez
Rota
Russell
Savage
Saxton
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Silva
Simms
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Szabo
Tilson
Toews
Tonks
Trost
Trudeau
Tweed
Uppal
Valeriote
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Volpe
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilfert
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young
Zarac

Total: -- 203

NAYS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Angus
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Beaudin
Bellavance
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brunelle
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Comartin
Crowder
Cullen
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dorion
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Faille
Gagnon
Gaudet
Godin
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hughes
Hyer
Julian
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
Malo
Maloway
Marston
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mulcair
Nadeau
Ouellet
Paillé
Paquette
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Roy
Savoie
Siksay
St-Cyr
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Vincent
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 76

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

    I declare the motion carried.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Youth Voluntary Service

    The House resumed from May 27 consideration of the motion, as amended
    Pursuant to order made June 2, 2009, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 299 under private members' business.

  (1555)  

    (The House divided on the motion which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 77)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Ashton
Atamanenko
Bagnell
Bains
Bélanger
Bennett
Bevilacqua
Bevington
Bezan
Brison
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannis
Charlton
Chong
Chow
Christopherson
Coady
Coderre
Comartin
Cotler
Crombie
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Easter
Eyking
Folco
Foote
Galipeau
Garneau
Godin
Goodale
Guarnieri
Hall Findlay
Harris (St. John's East)
Holland
Hughes
Hyer
Jennings
Julian
Kania
Karygiannis
Kennedy
LeBlanc
Lee
Leslie
MacAulay
Malhi
Maloway
Mark
Marston
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
McGuinty
McTeague
Mendes
Minna
Mulcair
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Neville
Oliphant
Pacetti
Patry
Pearson
Proulx
Rae
Ratansi
Regan
Rodriguez
Rota
Russell
Savage
Savoie
Scarpaleggia
Siksay
Silva
Simms
Szabo
Thibeault
Tonks
Trudeau
Valeriote
Volpe
Wasylycia-Leis
Wilfert
Zarac

Total: -- 103

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Arthur
Ashfield
Asselin
Bachand
Baird
Beaudin
Bellavance
Benoit
Bernier
Bigras
Blackburn
Blais
Blaney
Block
Bonsant
Bouchard
Boucher
Boughen
Bourgeois
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Brunelle
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannon (Pontiac)
Cardin
Carrie
Carrier
Casson
Clarke
Clement
Cummins
Davidson
Day
DeBellefeuille
Dechert
Del Mastro
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Devolin
Dorion
Dreeshen
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Faille
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Gagnon
Gallant
Gaudet
Glover
Goldring
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guay
Guergis
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoeppner
Holder
Jean
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Laforest
Laframboise
Lake
Lalonde
Lauzon
Lavallée
Lemay
Lemieux
Lessard
Lévesque
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Malo
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nadeau
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Ouellet
Paillé
Paquette
Paradis
Payne
Petit
Plamondon
Poilievre
Pomerleau
Prentice
Preston
Raitt
Rajotte
Rathgeber
Reid
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Roy
Saxton
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Smith
Sorenson
St-Cyr
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Thi Lac
Tilson
Toews
Trost
Tweed
Uppal
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Vincent
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young

Total: -- 173

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

     I declare the motion, as amended, lost.

[English]

Italian-Canadian Recognition and Restitution Act

    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-302 under private members' business.

  (1605)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 78)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Arthur
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Bagnell
Bains
Beaudin
Bélanger
Bellavance
Bennett
Bevilacqua
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brison
Brunelle
Cannis
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Coady
Coderre
Comartin
Cotler
Crombie
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dorion
Dosanjh
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Easter
Eyking
Faille
Folco
Foote
Gagnon
Garneau
Gaudet
Godin
Goldring
Goodale
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Hall Findlay
Harris (St. John's East)
Holland
Hughes
Hyer
Jennings
Julian
Kania
Karygiannis
Kennedy
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
MacAulay
Malhi
Malo
Maloway
Mark
Marston
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
McGuinty
McTeague
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mendes
Minna
Mulcair
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Nadeau
Neville
Oliphant
Ouellet
Pacetti
Paillé
Paquette
Patry
Pearson
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Proulx
Rae
Ratansi
Regan
Rodriguez
Rota
Roy
Russell
Savage
Savoie
Scarpaleggia
Siksay
Silva
Simms
St-Cyr
Szabo
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Tonks
Trudeau
Valeriote
Vincent
Volpe
Wasylycia-Leis
Wilfert
Zarac

Total: -- 146

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Ashfield
Baird
Benoit
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cummins
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Galipeau
Gallant
Glover
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guergis
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Jean
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Paradis
Payne
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Raitt
Rajotte
Rathgeber
Reid
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Saxton
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Tilson
Toews
Trost
Tweed
Uppal
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young

Total: -- 131

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

     I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

[English]

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System for North America

    The House resumed from May 29 consideration of the motion.
     Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 287 under private members' business.

  (1615)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 79)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Bagnell
Bains
Beaudin
Bélanger
Bellavance
Bennett
Bevilacqua
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brison
Brunelle
Cannis
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Coady
Comartin
Cotler
Crombie
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dorion
Dosanjh
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Easter
Eyking
Faille
Folco
Foote
Gagnon
Garneau
Gaudet
Godin
Goodale
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Hall Findlay
Harris (St. John's East)
Holland
Hughes
Hyer
Jennings
Julian
Kania
Karygiannis
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
MacAulay
Malhi
Malo
Maloway
Marston
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
McGuinty
McTeague
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mendes
Minna
Mulcair
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Nadeau
Neville
Oliphant
Ouellet
Pacetti
Paillé
Paquette
Patry
Pearson
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Proulx
Rae
Ratansi
Regan
Rodriguez
Rota
Roy
Russell
Savage
Savoie
Scarpaleggia
Siksay
Silva
Simms
St-Cyr
Szabo
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Tonks
Trudeau
Valeriote
Vincent
Volpe
Wasylycia-Leis
Wilfert
Zarac

Total: -- 141

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Arthur
Ashfield
Baird
Benoit
Bernier
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cummins
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Galipeau
Gallant
Glover
Goldring
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guergis
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Jean
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Mark
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Paradis
Payne
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Raitt
Rajotte
Rathgeber
Reid
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Saxton
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Tilson
Toews
Trost
Tweed
Uppal
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young

Total: -- 135

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

    I declare the motion carried.

[English]

Official Languages Act

    The House resumed from June 2 consideration of the motion that Bill C-307, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (Charter of the French Language) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-307, under private members' business.

  (1625)  

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

(Division No. 80)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Angus
Ashton
Asselin
Atamanenko
Bachand
Beaudin
Bellavance
Bevington
Bigras
Blais
Bonsant
Bouchard
Bourgeois
Brunelle
Cardin
Carrier
Charlton
Chow
Christopherson
Comartin
Crowder
Cullen
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
DeBellefeuille
Demers
Deschamps
Desnoyers
Dorion
Duceppe
Dufour
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Faille
Gagnon
Gaudet
Godin
Guay
Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques)
Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hughes
Hyer
Julian
Laforest
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lavallée
Lemay
Leslie
Lessard
Lévesque
Malo
Maloway
Marston
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Martin (Sault Ste. Marie)
Masse
Mathyssen
Ménard (Hochelaga)
Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin)
Mulcair
Nadeau
Ouellet
Paillé
Paquette
Plamondon
Pomerleau
Roy
Savoie
Siksay
St-Cyr
Thi Lac
Thibeault
Vincent
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 76

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Aglukkaq
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Andrews
Arthur
Ashfield
Bagnell
Bains
Baird
Bélanger
Bennett
Benoit
Bernier
Bevilacqua
Bezan
Blackburn
Blaney
Block
Boucher
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brison
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Cadman
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country)
Cannis
Cannon (Pontiac)
Carrie
Casson
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Coady
Cotler
Crombie
Cummins
Cuzner
D'Amours
Davidson
Day
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dhaliwal
Dhalla
Dion
Dosanjh
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dykstra
Easter
Fast
Finley
Flaherty
Fletcher
Folco
Foote
Galipeau
Gallant
Garneau
Glover
Goldring
Goodale
Goodyear
Gourde
Grewal
Guarnieri
Guergis
Hall Findlay
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hill
Hoback
Hoeppner
Holder
Holland
Jean
Jennings
Kania
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kennedy
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lee
Lemieux
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunn
Lunney
MacAulay
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Malhi
Mark
Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Mayes
McColeman
McGuinty
McLeod
McTeague
Mendes
Menzies
Merrifield
Miller
Minna
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Murphy (Charlottetown)
Murray
Neville
Nicholson
Norlock
O'Connor
O'Neill-Gordon
Obhrai
Oda
Oliphant
Paradis
Patry
Payne
Pearson
Petit
Poilievre
Prentice
Preston
Proulx
Rae
Raitt
Rajotte
Ratansi
Rathgeber
Regan
Reid
Richards
Richardson
Rickford
Ritz
Rodriguez
Rota
Russell
Savage
Saxton
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Silva
Simms
Smith
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Szabo
Tilson
Toews
Tonks
Trost
Trudeau
Tweed
Uppal
Valeriote
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Volpe
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilfert
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young
Zarac

Total: -- 199

PAIRED

Members

Albrecht
André
Freeman
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Lebel
Mourani

Total: -- 6

    I declare the motion defeated.

[Translation]

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

    The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord wishes to rise on a point of order before tabling of documents. He now has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, in response to a question from the Bloc Québécois, the Minister of Canadian Heritage showed the second part of the stimulus plan presented by the Bloc Québécois, the April 2009 version. The minister mentioned that, in the stimulus plan, there was nothing for culture. Therefore, I wish to ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table the first part of the stimulus plan that was presented on November 24, 2008 and in which the Bloc Québécois specifically asked for cultural programs to be restored.
    Does the hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: We do not have unanimous consent.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Afghanistan

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a report entitled “Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan”.

Trade

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a report entitled “Canada's State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update--2009”.

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 72 petitions.

[Translation]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie respecting its participation in the meeting of the APF's Commission de la coopération et du développement, held in Cotonou from April 28 to 30, 2009.
    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I too have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its bilateral visits to Algeria and Tunisia from February 15 to 20 of this year.

[English]

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(a)(viii) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding matters related to the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in this report later this day.
    Also, if the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which was presented in the House on May 15, regarding the review of Standing Orders 153, on list of reports, and 156, editorial corrections, later this day.

  (1630)  

National Literacy Policy Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to have this opportunity to reintroduce my private member's bill, calling for a national literacy policy.
    A national literacy program would help to ensure that educational initiatives would be undertaken to assist Canada's young people with literacy issues. The bedrock of any education is the ability to read and write effectively, and a lifetime of learning requires a solid foundation. This would be assisted by the creation of a national literacy program.
    Illiteracy in our country costs the economy an estimated $10 billion annually, not to mention the ongoing daily struggles of those who must contend with limited skills in reading and writing. Ultimately, there is no short or long-term benefit to shortchanging the future of Canada by failing to adequately invest in the education of young Canadians.
    I urge the government to consider the important national initiative and recognize that by ensuring our young people receive the best possible education, we are also ensuring that our society thrives, grows and prospers.

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

National Environmental Standards Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to reintroduce my private member's bill, calling for the harmonization of environmental standards through Canada.
    Current environmental practices are well-intentioned, but in many cases they simply work in an ineffective and uncoordinated way. If there is one thing we must know about an effective response to serious environmental degradation, it is that a coordination of efforts and resources are needed to make a lasting and serious difference.
    I therefore urge the government and all present to untie the hands of existing environmental protection efforts and to co-operate toward a greener future and a cleaner future.

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

Alternative Fuels Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that addresses the urgent need to promote vehicles that operate on alternative fuels. The bill would amend the Alternative Fuels Act by creating an obligation for the federal government to ensure that no less than 10% of motor vehicles acquired by all federal agencies and crown corporations use alternative fuels.
    The bill would also amend the Excise Tax Act to encourage the purchase of or conversion to a vehicle that operates on alternative fuels. This would be accomplished by providing a rebate on goods and services tax paid by the purchaser.
    It is vital that we encourage Canadians to think environmentally and to take action by moving to alternative fuels. It is also vital that the government lead the way by providing an appropriate example.
    I encourage the support of all members in this place on this important initiative.

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

Criminal Code

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am introducing a bill today that would amend the Criminal Code to ensure that anyone who would permit another person to access child pornography or who would fail to take reasonable steps to prevent access to such material be penalized under the law.
    The bill is dedicated to Holly Jones, a young girl who was murdered on May 12, 2003, in my riding of Davenport. We need to protect all children from exploitation, and the key to this is cutting off access.
    I strongly encourage all my colleagues to support the bill.

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

  (1635)  

Criminal Code

     He said: Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce a bill today that would hold fully accountable those who would deliberately contribute to the dangers firefighters have to contend with each day by virtue of criminal behaviour. The vital service provided by firefighters is something for which we should always be grateful. In times of emergency, these men and women demonstrate incredible courage and unwavering bravery in service to their communities.
    It is for this reason that we are called upon to act to protect them under the Criminal Code from those who would willingly and purposely add to the dangers faced by firefighters when they act in the course of their duty.
    I implore all colleagues to support the bill and, in so doing, to continue to honour the hard work and dedication demonstrated each day by firefighters across Canada.

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

Pedro da Silva Recognition Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today in the House to introduce a bill to recognize Pedro da Silva as Canada's first officially commissioned letter carrier.
    Keeping in mind the enormous contributions by the Portuguese Canadian community to Canada, it is important that we recognize the enduring legacy of Pedro da Silva, a trapper and carter living in New France. He was first commissioned to transport a packet of letters from Quebec to Montreal in 1693, and he was Canada's first official commissioned letter carrier by virtue of his appointment as first courier in 1705.
    I urge all of my colleagues in the House to assist in recognizing this important cultural milestone in Canada's history.

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

National Philanthropy Day Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to bring the bill, which passed in the other place, into this place. I want to thank my colleague from Nipissing—Timiskaming, a wonderful philanthropist.
    It is important that we recognize the work of philanthropy. As somebody who has spent a lot of time working for not-for-profit organizations, like a lot of members in the House, I recognize the importance of those who give of their money as well as other resources to make Canada a better place.
    I want to thank Senator Grafstein, who is a great philanthropist and who has raised a lot of money for worthy causes, and my good friend Senator Mercer, who has been a long-time champion of philanthropy.
    We look forward to making November 15 national philanthropy day.

     (Motion agreed to and bill read the first time)

    Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House earlier this day be concurred in. The report concerns gifts under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We refuse consent for the simple reason that there has been no consultation on our side of the House. If we could have consultation, we could probably do this very quickly afterwards.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I appreciate the remarks of the previous speaker, but these rules will govern all members of the House. I have personally not had a chance to read them. I think all members should have a chance to read the rules that govern them.
    I know the member is doing what he has been told to do, but this member is saying that all members should have an opportunity to read the rules that we govern ourselves by. A quick concurrence does not do the job for me. Therefore, I am going to withhold consent for that reason. I respect the hon. member's attempt to get the rules passed quickly.

  (1640)  

    Mr. Speaker, I also move that the House give its consent that the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House on May 15 be concurred in.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent of the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It may well be that what the hon. gentleman is asking for in terms of unanimous consent can be given and the matter can be proceeded with. However, in the absence of the normal type of consultation, it cannot be sprung on the House without notice. We are happy to look at it. We are happy to give consent. Maybe that can be done later today. However, the normal consultation needs to take place.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I do not really understand what the member means by “normal consultation”. The four whips met. We are members of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, and we have been asking the Chair to submit this report for two weeks now.
    I do not see what the problem is. We even talked about this yesterday. The Liberal Party's deputy whip was there. The Chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is at his wit's end, and for good reason. I feel the same way right now.

[English]

    The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London sought unanimous consent and did not receive it.

War Veterans Allowance Act

    (Bill C-33. On the Order: Government Orders:)

    June 1, 2009—Bill C-33, An Act to amend the War Veterans Allowance Act—the Minister of Veterans Affairs.
    Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among all the parties and I think and hope you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
    That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, Bill C-33, An Act to amend the War Veterans Allowance Act, be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.
    I draw attention of the House to the words “without amendment” because there was some issue about whether it was going to be amended or not. It is not amended.
    Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin): 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 of the whole, reported without amendment, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

Committees of the House

Public Safety and National Security  

    Mr. Speaker, there have been the usual consultations among the parties and I believe you will find consent for the following revised travel motion. I move:
    That notwithstanding the motion adopted on Friday, May 29, 2009, in relation to its study of correctional services, mental health and addictions, 12 members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security be authorized to travel to Saskatoon and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Kingston, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and Dorchester, New Brunswick, in June 2009 and that the necessary staff accompany the committee.

  (1645)  

    Does the hon. chief government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin): 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)

Petitions

Employment Insurance  

    Mr. Speaker, I am here today to present a petition on behalf of many people in Newfoundland and Labrador and from the riding of Random—Burin—St. George's that I represent.
    It is a petition that calls on the government to acknowledge that we are in fact in a crisis in this country. The petitioners are looking for some measures that will see EI become much more accessible for those people who are losing their jobs.
    The problem we have is that the country is in a recession. We are in a crisis. It is time that the government acknowledged that we really need to do something, especially when we have companies that are laying people off, sometimes through no fault of their own. We are finding a lot of people without employment. They need to be able to turn to EI.
    This is a program that they have paid into. It is their money. They are asking to make that program much more available to them and for the government to recognize that this is a serious situation.
    We all know that it should take 28 days to be able to access EI, once one has been laid off and had a two week waiting period. That is not happening.
    In fact, in my riding we have people waiting as long as 70 days to access EI. In some cases, they then get a letter telling them that it is going to take even longer.
    Then the government is telling us that it is putting in measures to try to make sure that this speeds up. That is not happening.
    What we are asking for is the 360 hours to qualify and for eligibility to be standard in all regions of the country. We want to increase the benefit duration to at least 50 weeks in all regions. We want to eliminate the two week waiting period. We want to provide benefits that are at least 60% of normal earnings, use the worker's 12 best weeks, and suspend the allocation of severance pay.
    The other thing that the signatories to this petition are asking is that there be more flexible, innovative use of EI work-sharing to keep people at work.

Library Materials  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present five petitions from Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick in support of my private member's bill, Bill C-322, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (library materials).

Rights of the Unborn  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to present a petition that is signed by students at St. Thomas More High School in my riding of Hamilton Mountain. Twenty-seven of the students came to Ottawa to participate in the March for Life and used the opportunity to give my office their petition calling for a legislative reversal of the current law on abortion.
    I want to commend these students for their engagement in the political process. They clearly understand that in a democratic country like Canada, it is their right to express their views directly to the House of Commons by petitioning Parliament.
    While the rules of the House do not allow me to endorse or oppose the call for action in any petition, I think it is important for all constituents in my riding to know that as their member of Parliament I fully support the right of all citizens to have their voices heard in this chamber through the petition process, even in cases where I do not support the content of the petition itself.
    For that reason, I am pleased to table this petition on behalf of the students of St. Thomas More, and look forward to working with them on the full spectrum of issues that confront us as elected members in the House.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions that have been submitted to me by concerned constituents.
    The first petition was largely organized by Pastor Gill and it urges the Government of Canada to take action against the persecution of religious minorities around the world, especially in Christian communities in the Kandhamal district of India. This is an issue of great concern to a large number of my constituents, and I would hope that it is given due and careful consideration.

Volunteer Service Medal  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls for the government to respectfully recognize volunteer servicemen and women by means of the issuance of a new Canadian volunteer service medal. My constituents would like to see a solid recognition of volunteer servicemen and women who have done so much to build on the proud tradition of the Canadian Forces.

Falun Gong Practitioners  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by folks in my constituency and other communities throughout British Columbia and indeed Alberta.
    The undersigned acknowledge that the Falun Gong is a peaceful and beneficial spiritual practice. They bring to the attention of the House that the Chinese communist party has launched an eradication program against them, and that the government of China and its agencies have put to death a large number of these practitioners
    They call upon the Government of Canada to help stop these atrocities by the Chinese government and to condemn the communist Chinese regime for committing these crimes against humanity.

  (1650)  

Questions on the Order Paper

[Text]

Question No. 122--
Hon. Dan McTeague:
     With regard to departmental programming: (a) what was the total funding allocated to each program in each department in the 2008-2009 fiscal year; (b) what was the total funding spent in each program in each department during the 2008-2009 fiscal year; and (c) where were the funds spent under each program in each department, allocated by (i) town or city, (ii) project name, if applicable, (iii) dollar value?
Hon. Vic Toews (President of the Treasury Board, CPC):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question above, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat cannot provide detailed information in support of this inquiry as it is not available at this time.
    A detailed reconciliation of final departmental expenditures by vote and program activity is provided in volume II of the Public Accounts. This reconciliation of actual expenditures by vote and program activity can be found in volume II of the Public Accounts for fiscal year 2007-08, but the data for the recently concluded fiscal year 2008-09 will not be available until the fall of 2009. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat does not have information in support of departmental expenditures by town or city, project name and dollar value.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

     Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 123, 126, 127, 128, 131 and 135 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 123--
Hon. Dan McTeague:
     With regard to two government contracts or retainers awarded to Mike McCurry and Ari Fleischer: (a) what criteria did the government use in awarding these contracts or retainers; (b) what are the terms of each contract or retainer; (c) what is the value of each contract or retainer; (d) where will Mr. McCurry and Mr. Fleischer be travelling to; (e) what are the travel expenses and per diem rates for Mr. McCurry and Mr. Fleischer; and (f) was any document or record provided to a minister or MP regarding these two contracts and, if so, what are the details?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 126--
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
     With regards to requests for financial assistance made to the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec for the 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 fiscal years, and by regional office: (a) for requests submitted for the authorization of the Regional Director, how many did he approve, and how many did he reject; (b) for requests submitted for the authorization of the General Director for Regional Coordination, how many did he approve, and how many did he reject; (c) for requests submitted for the authorization of the Vice-President for Operations, how many did he approve, and how many did he reject; (d) for requests submitted for the authorization of the President, how many did he approve, and how many did he reject; and (e) for requests submitted for the authorization of the Minister, how many did he approve, and how many did he reject?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 127--
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
     With regards to projects for which a contribution was authorized by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for Quebec Regions in the Capital Fund for Business Succession and Venture: (a) what is the name of the beneficiary; (b) in what region is located the beneficiary; (c) what is the description of the project; (d) what is the maximum authorized contribution; (e) how much of the authorized maximum contribution has been paid out; (f) how many jobs were maintained by the project; (g) how many jobs were created by the project; (h) what is the value of total investments in the project; and (i) what Agency partner forwarded the request for funding to the Agency?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 128--
Mrs. Alexandra Mendes:
     With respect to projects for which a contribution was authorized by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for Quebec Regions in the Capital Fund for Business Startups in the Regions: (a) what is the name of the beneficiary; (b) in what region is located the beneficiary; (c) what is the description of the project; (d) what is the maximum authorized contribution; (e) how much of the authorized maximum contribution has been paid out; (f) how many jobs were maintained by the project; (g) how many jobs were created by the project; (h) what is the value of total investments in the project; and (i) what Agency partner forwarded the request for funding to the Agency?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 131--
Ms. Yasmin Ratansi:
     With regard to the Home Renovation Tax Credit: (a) what kind of analysis of this tax credit has been provided to the Ministers of Environment, Finance and Revenue; and (b) how many income tax audits does the government anticipate conducting to verify the use of this tax credit?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 135--
Hon. John McKay:
     With respect to access and compensation for medically necessary drugs and treatments that are not covered by provincial drug programs due to the fact that they are not approved by Health Canada: (a) what action has Health Canada taken to ensure that any drugs or medication that have been approved for treatment of a specific illness in one province are then approved for treatment in the rest of the provinces; (b) what steps has Health Canada taken to ensure that those who had to independently pay for their own medically necessary medication as a result of the drug being used off label, or the result of the drug not having been approved by Health Canada for use in general or in a particular illness, or are used in an unconventional manner and are therefore not qualifying for conventional insurance regulations are then compensated for these costs, or have the treatment subsidized in some manner; (c) for Canadians suffering from rare medical conditions, what steps is Health Canada taking to ensure that (i) research in treatment for these conditions is being pursued, (ii) orphan drugs that have been developed and proven to be effective are being actively manufactured, (iii) drugs that have been developed are being actively approved by Health Canada, (iv) legislation is being introduced to guarantee the continuation of these practices; and (d) has Health Canada or the government investigated the creation of a National Drug Program or plan which would allow equal access to medications for all Canadians, regardless of the province that they reside in?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, lastly, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Motions for Papers

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for St. Paul's, Narcotic Drug Control; the hon. member Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, Transport; the hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona, the Environment.

Request for Emergency Debate

Sri Lanka  

[S. O. 52]
    The chair has notices of application for emergency debate from at least six hon. members, all on the same subject.
    The first came from the hon. member for Scarborough--Agincourt. I therefore call upon him to make a submission in respect of emergency debates.
    Mr. Speaker, as the House is aware, Tamil Canadians are on Parliament Hill today calling upon the Government of Canada to act in order to help innocent civilians in the recent conflict in Sri Lanka.
    In Sri Lanka today, we have people who are residing in refugee camps with little or no medical assistance, little or no clean drinking water, and little or no food. We hear reports of mass graves and over 20,000 people missing. We hear reports of women being raped in these camps, children being separated from their parents, and men being segregated from their wives.
    While the government has allocated a pittance for the humanitarian assistance, it has done nothing to further pursue the intervention of the international community to ensure an end to this human suffering. The Government of Canada has done nothing to ensure that the United Nations has access to the refugee camps by humanitarian organizations and independent international journalists. This government also has not worked with the international community to ensure that a permanent solution is found and instituted in order to prevent further bloodshed in Sri Lanka.
     Canada is home to one of the largest Sri Lankan diasporas and they are looking to their government and members of Parliament to help provide a solution to their violence-plagued homeland.
    Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am asking you to permit an emergency debate on this very important issue. If we allow this destruction to continue, it has the possibility of becoming one of the greatest tragedies of our century.
    The chair has a similar request from the hon. members for Don Valley West, Beaches--East York, Etobicoke North, Scarborough Centre and York South--Weston.
    If any of the other hon. members wish to make submissions on this point dealing with other aspects for the argument that were advanced by the hon. member for Scarborough--Agincourt, I would be pleased to hear them now.
    The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. I want to request through this debate, if it is so accorded to us, to press, through the United Nations, to ensure that an individual is appointed, to get him or her in there with the authority to look at the situation, and bring back some findings, and also to press upon the UN to take the leadership role for which it was designed.
    The Chair has considered the submissions of the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt and the hon. member for Scarborough Centre, and the letters received from the other hon. members that I listed.
    I note that I have ordered a debate on this subject previously. I believe it was in February. I granted the debate on the basis of the humanitarian crisis that was existing at that time, and the House did have a debate on the subject.
    The conflict has ended, but there is continuing difficulty in the country, I agree. However, whether it is something that constitutes an emergency for the purposes of debate in this chamber, I have doubts.
    I am sure that having heard the submissions of the hon. members, I agree that further submissions by the Government of Canada may be helpful in this matter, and the government is free to make those submissions, and indeed questions are asked during question period and statements made in the House dealing with this subject, which I am sure are influencing the opinions of members of the government who make the decisions in respect of these matters.
     I am not convinced at the moment that a debate in the House, on an emergency basis, is something that is required and, accordingly, I am going to deny the request at this time, bearing in mind the possibility of the matter being brought back to the chamber at another time, as it has been a couple of times since the debate in February.
    Accordingly, I do not feel the submissions meet the exigencies of the Standing Order at this moment.
    Before I call orders of the day, I wish to inform the House that pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 2, because of the ministerial statement and the deferred recorded divisions, government orders will be extended by 78 minutes.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1655)  

[Translation]

Tobacco Act

    The House resumed from June 2 consideration of the motion that Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, we are resuming debate on Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act. It is important to point out the alternative title. The bill contains the following note: “This Act may be cited as the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act.”
    I wanted to point that out because it is clear that, in the mind of the legislator, this bill definitely fits in with the objectives set out in the Tobacco Act of 1997. In section 4(c), it states that the purpose of the act is to protect the health of young persons by restricting access to tobacco products.
    Clearly, generally speaking, tobacco is very harmful to human health, as we know. It is clear that, as a society, we want the best for our young people and our children. We want to ensure that whatever they consume things is in no way harmful to their health, their development or their growth.
    Clearly, and again generally speaking, no one wants to see someone who is still growing consume products that are harmful to health. It is only natural that a society like ours creates legislation to try to ensure only the best for our young people. That is why it is important to limit the use of tobacco products by our young people.
    That is precisely what we are doing by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors. That is the message we are sending to all our citizens, not only to the young people themselves, of course, but also to their parents and their peers. As we know, at a certain age, young people often use tobacco products to imitate others. We see people smoking and might then be inclined to smoke as well, since one of the rituals of some groups.
    However, as I was saying, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that our young people do not consume tobacco products. That is what the law tells us, by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors.
    Furthermore, according to a 2007 Health Canada survey, close to 85% of merchants abide by this law. Of course, we would prefer that all merchants abided by the law. That would reinforce the message we want to get across to young people, their parents and their friends of legal age, which is to discourage them from using these products.
    However, it is rather clear that merchants are generally aware of their roles as responsible citizens in promoting healthy lifestyles among our young people.
    An important part of Bill C-32 is to restrict the use of little cigars, or cigarillos. It is true that young people who smoke them from time to time, may not be happy to learn that flavoured cigarillos will no longer be found on the shelves. However, it is clear that in this case, we are making this change to the Tobacco Act for their own good.

  (1700)  

    It is important to note that in 2000, Health Canada determined that cigarillos contain between 67% and 200% more tar than standard cigarettes, and that unfiltered cigarillos contain twice as much nicotine. We know that these harmful substances are addictive, and it is important to restrict the use of the products by young people as much as possible. It makes me smile to think of an interview I heard at the end of last week. Louis Lemieux, a morning host on the RDI news network was having a rather candid interview with Sylvie Fréchette, spokesperson for No Tobacco Day. He spoke about his own desire to quit smoking. He was even wearing a patch during the show. During the interview, Mr. Lemieux admitted that he did not think many people enjoyed smoking, but that it was difficult for them to quit because they were addicted.
    We do not want our young people to develop an addiction to tobacco products during their development in adolescence. So it is important, in accordance with paragraph 4(c) of the 1997 Tobacco Act, to try to restrict access to tobacco products for young people as much as possible.
    We have some interesting statistics from the Institut de la statistique du Québec. Our young people, both boys and girls, begin smoking cigars between secondary 2 and 3, that is, grades eight and nine. About 21% to 22% smoke cigars. We tend to believe that things are the same as in an earlier time and that only boys smoke; however, girls smoke now as well and that is not what we want for them.
    Exactly what is Bill C-32 trying to do? It introduces three things.
    It prohibits certain types of flavouring agents used in little cigars or cigarillos. Surely everyone has seen them. The little cigars now come in cute packaging resembling a package of candy or treats in all kinds of flavours that are unusual, interesting and colourful. This bill will eliminate these flavoured tobacco products from our stores.
    It also prohibits the sale of single products. Young people do not necessarily have a lot of money. They often manage on odd jobs or perhaps gifts or allowances from their parents or grandparents. They do not necessarily have the money to buy a package of 20 or 25 cigars or cigarettes. At present, these flavoured little cigars are sold individually or in packages of three, five or eight. Subclause 10(1) of the bill reads as follows:
    No person shall import for sale in Canada, package, distribute or sell cigarettes, little cigars or blunt wraps except in a package that contains at least 20 cigarettes, little cigars or blunt wraps or, if a higher number is prescribed, at least the prescribed number.

  (1705)  

    From now on, it will be much harder for minors to purchase these products because the larger packages will be more expensive.
    With respect to advertising, current legislation allows tobacco product manufacturers and distributors to advertise in publications that have an adult readership of 85%. It is also interesting to note that there will be some advertising restrictions because we noticed that some of these publications were being distributed free of charge and were available to everyone, including minors. These publications may have been community, culturally or socially oriented, and their content may have been of interest to young people.
    It is interesting to note that, to prevent these ads from reaching minors, legislators decided to take that option away from advertisers who wanted to put tobacco advertising in such publications.
    I also want to point out that the Government of Quebec did not wait. I always like to remind people that the Government of Quebec and Quebeckers generally do the responsible thing when they realize that it is in the collective best interest and in young people's best interest.
    The Government of Quebec has already implemented a number of rules to limit minors' access to tobacco products. According to Quebec law, a package had to include at least 10 units of a tobacco product and had to be priced above $5. As of June 1, that went up to $10. In Quebec, tobacco products are now out of sight of consumers, so when minors go into convenience stores, they will not see tobacco products that they might be tempted to buy.
    However, I want to emphasize that, if we want to win the war on tobacco use among young people, we have to be much more open in our interpretation and enforcement of the measures we want to implement. If the per-unit cost is a factor for young people, then which currently available products will they buy? They will buy contraband cigarettes.

  (1710)  

    Everyone knows these cigarettes are easy to get and inexpensive. They are not, however, monitored in any way as far as ingredients or contents are concerned. What is more, they are not monitored for their ignition potential, either. If there is no clear, effective, vigilant and concerted attack on contraband tobacco, thanks to Bill C-32, young people will no longer be able to get cigarillos or flavoured tobacco products but they will be able nonetheless to turn to other products, such as contraband cigarettes.
    Any one of us can look around near a high school to look at the ground where the kids hang out and find a number of butts. We will of course find some cigarillo butts, but we will also find a lot of butts from contraband cigarettes. If the legislator's clearly stated desire is to restrict the marketing of tobacco products to young people, and their access to those products, it is vital to attack contraband tobacco products in a vigorous and clear manner.
    To date we have had no clear sense that the government is firmly committed to attacking this problem. I am certain that all the stakeholders will very definitely be in favour of much stronger and more effective measures against contraband. The survival of many businesses depends on it, of course, but it is also important to remember that all governments are increasingly concerned about tax leakage due to contraband. In addition, as I said earlier, it is impossible to analyze the content of the contraband products in circulation.
    Another slight contradiction in the bill concerns the flavours covered by the bill. Why are menthol products still allowed? The bill puts them in a separate category, and manufacturers will still be able to make and sell menthol products, even though products flavoured with raspberry, vanilla, cherry, wild blueberry, peach, strawberry, cinnamon, honey, black cherry and rum are prohibited. Menthol is being kept because it is apparently not a flavour young people appreciate. But how do we know which of the flavours I listed young people like better than others? In my opinion, menthol should not be excluded.
    Moreover, many new products will come on the market, and the government does not even make provision for them in the current version of the bill.

  (1715)  

    This is a flaw I noticed. It will be important to know why. When cigarillos came on the market, they were not very popular at all, just like other new products, but look how popular they are now.
    In conclusion, I call on my colleagues to refer this bill to committee.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I think the bill is certainly a good step forward.
     Over the years we have found that scaring people with warnings on cigarette packages and so on has had an effect, but people are still managing to smoke. We tried raising the prices, and we raised them so high we saw increased smuggling efforts with contraband cigarettes showing up on the market. Some people did stop smoking, but still we have a problem here.
    I would like to know whether the member agrees that at some point the government will perhaps have to look at providing financial incentives to existing smokers to stop smoking. Perhaps we could look at administering that through the medical profession. I am not sure what mechanism could be used, but there has to be a way to work out a program with doctors so that if people stop smoking the government would provide an incentive. To the extent that this would work, I think we should take a look at exploring that avenue as well.
    I would like to know what the member thinks of that idea.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very pertinent question. As I mentioned earlier, people try to find ways to quit smoking because they do realize that cigarettes are harmful to their health. Without naming him, I would like to congratulate one of my colleagues in this House, who has decided to stop smoking because it is important for his health.
    It is important that, collectively, we try to find effective means of allowing our fellow citizens to make choices about their health even though we know it is difficult to stop smoking.

  (1720)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-32, which is a very important piece of legislation, particularly as it affects public health.
     What is Bill C-32? This enactment amends the Tobacco Act to provide additional protection for youth from tobacco marketing. It repeals the exemption that permits tobacco advertising in publications with an adult readership of not less than 85%. It prohibits the packaging, importation for sale, distribution and sale of little cigars and blunt wraps unless they are in a package that contains at least 20. It also prohibits the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that contain the additives set out in a new schedule to that act as well as the packaging of those products in a manner that suggests they contain a prohibited additive.
    This is a really important piece of legislation, and I have a particular bias on this.
     When we look at legislation affecting tobacco, the first thing we have to accept is that tobacco has no redeeming qualities. One could argue that for people who smoke the taste is a redeeming quality, but there are no redeeming qualities. It is dangerous, it is addictive and it shortens life.
    Tobacco abuse is sometimes compared to alcohol abuse, but there are some significant differences. One difference is that alcohol can be used responsibly in moderation. Some research even indicates that there are health benefits to certain types of alcohol. We often hear about red wine. Even the beer distributors have evidence indicating that beer used in moderation can be helpful. It has not helped me very much, but I accept the argument. Whether one believes it or not, it can be argued that alcohol does not automatically shorten life. Of course the abuse of alcohol can have dramatic impacts: early death, drinking under the influence, et cetera. But we have laws that pertain in those circumstances.
    Tobacco has no health benefits. It is very important that we ensure young Canadians do not fall into this trap and become addicted to tobacco. The bill is important for that reason, and for me it has a historical importance as well. From 1991 to 2004, I was very involved as a volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Nova Scotia and in Canada. I was the president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Nova Scotia for three or four years, and I served on the national board for a number of years.
    I had the opportunity to work with some great health advocates who worked very hard in the anti-tobacco strategies. Joan Fraser was a mentor to me in Nova Scotia, and Jane Farquharson was a pioneer in healthy living. Mary Elizabeth Harriman, who works with the Heart and Stroke Foundation nationally, and is now the executive vice-president, was involved in health promotion when I worked with her on a number of these issues. Sally Brown is now the executive director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and she has been for a number of years. People in Nova Scotia, like Tanya Willis, Rollie Jameson, Grant Morash, George Buckell, are business leaders who became presidents of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and advocated for many issues, including but not specifically restricted to the battle against tobacco.
    The Heart and Stroke Foundation has done a great deal of work on the anti-tobacco strategy. The key was when the organizations with a common interest in promoting healthy living, particularly as it pertained to tobacco but also on other things like obesity and other issues, started working together. The health charities round table in Canada had great success. They have done a lot of great work. We know the work that the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Lung Association, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, the CMA and other organizations do. Those organizations have been active on this for a long time.
    We have come a long way in the battle against tobacco, but it was not always easy. I can recall 30 years ago that my now mother-in-law told people that if they were going to smoke in her house they should leave. That was radical in those days. People thought she was crazy. They thought she was hypersensitive to tobacco smoke to actually ask someone to leave her house to smoke. That was only three decades ago. They thought it was just an inconvenience. They did not understand the health detriment of second-hand smoke. That is not that many years ago.
     We have come a long way, but it has not always been easy. At times success came incrementally, in small steps, and the tobacco advocates, who were well financed and well resourced, fought back every step of the way. But success has come to some degree. It has not come all the way, but it has come, and we have reduced the incidence of smoking. It has taken a lot of hard work.

  (1725)  

    I can recall a time, probably about 10 years or so ago, when the Liberal government of the day was cracking down on tobacco companies being able to sponsor events. The tobacco companies, to their credit, were very involved in things like the artistic community.
    I remember arriving at my office one day and receiving calls from two organizations with which I was involved. One was from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia asking if I would write a letter encouraging the government, in the piece of legislation that it was pursuing, so that tobacco companies could not sponsor events and take advantage of that sponsorship to leverage people to become addicted to smoking. That was fine.
    I was also on the board of Neptune Theatre, probably the finest theatre company in Canada, with the possible exception of Eastern Front Theatre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and perhaps the St. Peters Playhouse. The one in Charlottetown is not half bad, I must say, thanks to Anne of Green Gables and a number of other fine productions.
    When I was on the board of Neptune Theatre I was asked to write a letter opposing the legislation because Neptune Theatre was the beneficiary, largely of du Maurier but other companies that provided sponsorship. It was a difficult position. Tobacco companies knew that governments had been reducing their role in the artistic and cultural communities and that they had an opportunity. To their credit, they stepped in.
    I wrote the letter for the Heart & Stroke Foundation, which was the right thing to do. The Heart & Stroke Foundation has been a great advocate on a number of things.
    We have had discussions in the House on things like trans fats. The Heart & Stroke Foundation has led on Health Check, where it identifies products that are healthy for people and puts a check mark on them so that when people go to grocery stores they will know what is healthy and what is not because consumers still have an awful lot of trouble identifying what is actually good for them and do not understand all the ramifications and differences in products, such as polyunsaturates, trans fats and everything else.
    My bias on this bill is the work that I did with the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the people I met, including the many people who had become addicted to tobacco. Quite honestly, in my parents' generation it was a pretty easy thing to do. It seemed everybody smoked and, before they knew it, they were hooked on tobacco. Thank heaven, today my own children face probably more pressure if they do smoke than if they do not, although there are some areas where that is not always the case.
    We have had great champions in Nova Scotia. I recall Ron Stewart, who was the minister of health in Nova Scotia in my father's government in the 1990s. He postulated at one point in time that we should not have things like the candy licorice pipes. I am sure members have had those before and probably in recent years. I have been known to enjoy them myself. However, the idea was that maybe we should not have them because it makes it easy for kids to become accustomed to pretending that they smoke and eventually they do. He was pilloried. People thought he was crazy. I think he was ahead of his time, as Ron Stewart always is.
    Dave MacLean is with Heart Health Nova Scotia. I am very proud of the fact that in Nova Scotia, when I was involved in the Heart & Stroke Foundation, we had an organization that pulled together a number of advocates in public health, largely on smoking, headed by Dr. Dave MacLean, who was a champion on this issue. He is now at Simon Fraser University. Both he and his wife have teaching positions there. He was a pioneer.
    Anne Cogdon in the city of Dartmouth was very involved in the healthy communities project.
    Those are people who understand that people should not smoke. There was a day when people said that we were taking away their freedom. It was like seat belts and a number of other things but there is a role for the state in ensuring we provide opportunities, and not dangerous ones, for all citizens, but particularly for children.
    I was always proud of the fact that Nova Scotia, under the Progressive Conservative government of Dr. John Hamm, back maybe five, six or seven years ago, was the first province in Canada to have a health promotion department. I give Dr. Hamm and people like Scott Logan, who worked there, a lot of credit. They were very active in ensuring people knew the facts about smoking, gambling, alcohol abuse and a whole bunch of other issues. I am proud of the fact that Nova Scotia, under Dr. Hamm's leadership, was the first province to bring in a health promotion department.
    I have had the opportunity to speak to a number of my not-for-profit friends about this bill, organizations like Heart & Stroke, the Cancer Society, the Canadian Medical Association, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the Lung Association. They want this bill passed. It may not be perfect and, in fact, I would argue that it is not. A number of things need to be looked at and adapted in the health committee but we need to get this through the House, which is what people are calling for.
    I would like to quote Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society. He stated:
    The Canadian Cancer Society strongly supports this bill as it will lead to fewer Canadians starting to smoke and encourage more to quit.... By working together to quickly pass this bill, federal MPs will send a clear message that the health of their constituents and all Canadians comes first. Cancer is a non-partisan issue.

  (1730)  

    Speaking of cigarillos, which I will speak to in a second, which come in fruit flavours and things like that, he says:
    There is the risk that these flavoured products would be a starter product for kids who would never otherwise start smoking,
    There is a concerning rate of cigarillo smoking among young Canadians. The Heart & Stroke Foundation, the aforementioned Sally Brown is doing a wonderful job with the Heart & Stroke Foundation. I am proud to say that I was part of the search committee that recommended her. She said:
    Protecting children from harmful tobacco industry products such as candy-flavoured cigarillos and their associated marketing is critical to ensure that children do not get hooked on tobacco. This is crucial because long-term tobacco users, half of whom die from their tobacco use, more often than not begin their addiction in their youth. This initiative is critical to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
    I would also mention Paul Thomey, the chair of tobacco policy for the Canadian Lung Association, who was quoted as saying:
    These are positive steps forward in the fight against tobacco. Strong measures such as these not only will protect Canada 's children from the harmful effects of smoking, but will also serve to curtail industry tactics aimed at marketing their products to the youth of this country.
    The president of the CMA said, “Closing loopholes is a huge step forward in protecting our children from a deadly addiction to tobacco”. This is a very serious issue for many people.
     I have spoken to my friends at the Heart & Stroke who have suggested that we should pass the bill and get it to committee and perhaps the health committee would amend the bill to address smokeless tobacco products: oral, chew, spit tobacco, et cetera. Some of these products contain flavourings that are meant to appeal to youth. We think that should be dealt with at the committee level.
    Other speakers have probably referred to this, but how could we believe anything other than the fact that producers of tobacco products are trying to get children addicted to their products when chewing tobacco comes in flavours that appeal to kids? We should think about that. These are flavoured products that are meant to appeal to children and that needs to be changed.
    We should think about how deliberate these strategies are, and this is for both smoking and for smokeless products. Little cigars, the cigarillos, whose sales have exploded in recent years, come in these flavours: grape, peach, tropical punch, chocolate and bubble gum. These are not the boys in the fishing camps sitting around having some bubble gum flavoured chewing tobacco that they are appealing to. These are my kids, other members' kids and grandkids and other children across the country. It is really abhorrent. They are not breaking the law right now. We need to change the law so that if they do it, they do break the law because our grandchildren are too important to the future of this country. Who are these intended for? It is pretty clear.
    Bill C-32 would deal with what I think is a rotten marketing practice. We are told that more than 400 million little cigars were sold in Canada in 2007 and that must stop. The bill would deal with that. It also would deal with the practice of selling cigarillos in small quantities. That is the other thing. Flavoured products are sold in ones or twos. It is a lot easier for kids at recess or kids at lunchtime to get one or two than if they are mandated to come in a pack of 20 or more. We dealt with this with cigarettes. We cannot buy one or two cigarettes but we can buy one or two root beer flavoured cigarillos or tropical punch. This needs to be changed.
    It should never be easy for children to buy tobacco. As a father, the thought of my children becoming addicted to these products is frightening. Any one of us would hope that would never be the case.
    Another issue that my colleague from St. Paul's has spoken to quite passionately and very effectively to is the issue of contraband tobacco. In 2008, three billion more contraband cigars were sold than in 2007. That is $2 billion in lost government revenue. Officials estimate that 200 small cigars cost $8 to $15 and not what it should be, which is in the range of $55 to $80. That is a huge problem that needs to be dealt with. It is a huge percentage of the issue that we have to deal with here.

  (1735)  

    I now want to talk about advertising. We thought we had dealt with this issue because the law was that companies could not advertise tobacco except in publications where at least 85% of the readership were adults. However, there has been a strong resurgence of advertising recently. Who knows where a lot of these publications that carry these ads go. There is no way of knowing if children are getting them and reading them, finding them on the street or if the publications are being distributed for free. Therefore, that exemption for publications where at least 85% of the readership are adults, needs to be dealt with. We really cannot regulate the distribution of advertising in today's society.
    We have made some good strides. I will read an article which states:
    A recent resurgence of tobacco advertising--over 400 ads nationwide--between November 2007 and December 2008--has exposed young audiences to tobacco sales pitches.
    Full colour tobacco ads have been appearing....
    Between November 2007 and December 2008, tobacco companies spent approximately $4.47 million dollars to place nationwide ads....
    That also would be dealt with by this bill.
    We have made some great strides on the issue of dealing with tobacco and the dangers that it can cause. A lot of credit goes to organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, public health agencies across the country, municipal public health organizations, doctors, nurses, teachers, and many others who have brought this message forward for us. I think young people are much more aware of the dangers of smoking than they used to be, certainly more than when I was a child when it was kind of cool to smoke. I do not think that is the case any more. When I talk to my children, they do not think smoking is cool at all, and I want to keep it that way. It is good that we are headed in the right direction but it is nowhere good enough.
    Good public education is in fact the key, as it always is, but so is good public policy. The government has a role in ensuring that we provide safe and healthy communities for all of us, but particularly for our children.
    There have been a number of champions in this House. I think of former health ministers. like Dave Dingwall and Allan Rock, who did a lot of work on this issue. I think of my NDP colleague from Winnipeg North. I know this is an issue that she takes very seriously and it is an issue that she has championed in private member's bills. She deserves credit. I am sure she is very happy that this bill has come to pass and that she would want to get it into committee.
     I also think of my colleague from St. Paul's, the former and first minister of public health in Canada, the originator of the Public Health Agency of Canada. We recognize that the Public Health Agency of Canada, when it was set up, was set up largely in reaction to the issues like SARS and was to deal with things like West Nile virus, but also that there are chronic health disease issues in Canada that are taking a huge toll on our health system and on our citizens.
    The biggest issue we face in managing our health care costs today is chronic disease. Tobacco has no positive health benefits. It is designed and produced to be detrimental to health. It is highly addictive. For years, led by public health champions, Canadians have resisted the tobacco lobby and made progress against smoking. We have moved forward. Smoking is now severely restricted in public places, for example; advertising and promotion is curtailed; packaging has been legislated.
    My colleague from Scarborough—Guildwood passed a private member's bill a few years ago that affected the burn rate of cigarettes. Again, he faced opposition.
    Progress has come but this is now the new battle for our children. We must not allow our children to be easily led down a very dangerous path: a path of addiction to tobacco.
    This bill is a very good start and I encourage all members to support the bill and get it into committee where we can make it even better.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased that in his excellent speech the member recognized all the work that my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North, has done on this file. She introduced a bill in the spring of 2008 on this very subject in an effort to pressure the government to act. It has taken a while, but the government has finally brought in a bill. We support the bill.
    I asked the member for St. Paul's yesterday when she made her speech about the possibility of going beyond where we are in this area. We have scared people with warnings. We have raised the price of cigarettes to reduce smoking. Does the member think that at some time in the future, and maybe not so far in the future, we will have to look at providing some sort of financial incentive to people to get them to stop smoking? A program like that could probably be administered through the medical system. For example, a patient who was addicted to cigarettes would get involved in a program run by a doctor, and upon completion of the program and upon stopping smoking, would get some sort of financial reward from the federal government.
    Doctors could be much more aggressive than they have been in encouraging people to improve their health. We should be mandating the medical system in our country to be more aggressive in trying to get people to live more healthy lifestyles.
    I would like the member's comments.

  (1740)  

    Madam Speaker, the member's comment makes sense on many levels.
    Physicians and nurses in Canada have played a big role in reducing smoking. Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the CMA have been active on this file.
    There is no question that if we look at the health costs of tobacco use, the money could be much better used at the front end in terms of health promotion so that we could actually do more to prevent people from smoking. The money could also be used for a smoking cessation program.
    I am pleased the government has brought the bill forward, but on the other hand, I am disappointed that the government cancelled the smoking cessation program for aboriginals.
    There are a number of things we should be putting money into now that would encourage people to stop smoking, but even before that we need education policies to encourage young Canadians not to start in the first place.
    The economic case for what my colleague is talking about is pretty clear.
    Madam Speaker, I want to compliment my colleague on his intervention with respect to the health issues associated with smoking and the abandonment of smoking.
    There are two issues I wish to raise, and I hope there will be enough time for him to address them. He alluded to one of them and that is the issue of contraband cigarettes and all that they impose on the system. The other issue is enforcement.
    My colleague has already acknowledged that the bill has a considerable amount in it that needs to be addressed and reviewed. Imposing fines such as $50,000 for infractions is a very important issue, but most people who are involved in anti-smoking strategies admit that enforcement of these measures is more important.
    Other governments in the past have discovered that the most common measure for promoting anti-smoking has been to increase the price of legitimate cigarettes. What has happened is that those cigarettes have been replaced by ones from less legitimate manufacturers and retailers, in the process criminalizing a lot of people who engage in the manufacture, sale and distribution of illegitimate cigarettes. There is nothing in the bill that addresses a mechanism to ensure that contraband distributors and sellers of the product are put in the target area. Today there are a lot of people who will actually deliver contraband cigarettes to the home. They will arrange meetings. They have phone numbers. They hand out business cards.
    I know my colleague is going to look at this in committee, but I wonder if he would comment on this a bit further because the bill deserves to be supported if it includes all the dimensions of an anti-smoking strategy.

  (1745)  

    Madam Speaker, my colleague is entirely right that this issue demands more attention in committee on the regulation and enforcement of what is happening in the contraband market. I can recall when my father was premier of Nova Scotia and the price of cigarettes went up back in the 1990s. There was a huge problem with contraband product.
    We have to get very serious about this. We are looking at a price difference of between $8 and $15 versus $55 and $80. Unless we do something about that contraband market, we cannot make the impact we need to make across the board. I absolutely agree with his comments.
     His comments are much more learned than anything I could add to that particular topic. I think it has to be looked at in committee, but it is really important that we get this bill through and get something done about this. This is a step in the right direction.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to compliment my friend on being an advocate on behalf of his constituents and Canadians on issues that matter, such as this one, and of course on employment insurance reforms which are desperately needed in Canada right now.
    In terms of this particular topic, my friend mentioned in his speech that historically, tobacco advocates have always fought back, and they are doing it again with respect to this legislation. Many arguments have been used. One of them is that if this legislation passes, there will be an increase in smuggling and related contraband.
    I would like the member's views on that topic and the advocates, and whether this bill should be passed in that light.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague from Brampton West is a very knowledgeable and well-informed person.
    Let me read a comment that came from a representative of one of the tobacco companies in speaking about this bill. He said that his company “does not target minors in any of its marketing and advertisement efforts, the focus is really towards adults”.
    Bubble gum, tropical punch, chocolate, grape, peach and whatever else, these are not flavours typically geared toward the adult market. I understand people are in business. They are legitimate business people. I do not want to suggest that anybody is criminal in what they are doing. That is not what I am saying.
    What I am saying is that the government has a role to stand up for the rights, the safety and the future of our children. When it comes to tobacco, this bill is a step in that direction. We have to do more on this. We have always had fights with the tobacco lobby when it has come to making changes and improving public health safety in this country, and we are going to have to do it again. The good news is that we have been steadily winning, but we cannot slip back with things like smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco and these cigarillos that are marketed to children.
    This bill is a step in the right direction.
    The hon. member for Eglinton--Lawrence has time for a very short question. We have one minute left.
    Madam Speaker, I will cede the floor to my colleague who made an intervention on health prevention that I think merits expansion.
    He talked about the ways we would be proactive in terms of delivering the message of a smoke-free society. I am wondering if he would comment on that, given that he also has some experience with many of the enterprises that initially objected to those kinds of measures and strategies in the retail industry, whether they were in the entertainment business or the food business.
    Madam Speaker, the future of our health care system is in advocating for population health, public health, promoting healthy living among all citizens but particularly among kids, making sure that they do not smoke tobacco, making sure they lead a healthy lifestyle, making sure there is physical education in the schools, and making sure they have safe foods.
    I hope that the Public Health Agency of Canada models itself on the vision of the former public health agency minister, the member for St. Paul's. It was a very strong model which I think we may have gotten away from just a little bit.
     We should and can have a public health care system that is publicly delivered and publicly funded, but we have to do everything we can to get out in front of sickness instead of waiting for it to happen.

  (1750)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, before anything else, I would like to congratulate my colleague from the Liberal Party on his fine speech.
    I will pick up on his final comment, that indeed any campaign against smoking encompasses not just a battle against cigarettes but also an overall approach to the causes of tobacco addiction. A large part of this will involve education. Major advances have already been made on the educational level to raise public awareness, among young people in particular, in order to make sure they do not start smoking at that age, and then be stuck with it for the rest of their lives. There is therefore far more to be done than just to take concrete actions on today's smokers or the tobacco companies. There is also the whole educational approach to the diet and physical fitness of our young people, long before any direct attack on cigarettes.
    The Bloc Québécois is in principle in favour of Bill C-32, although it is not of great use to Quebec, where the Government of Quebec has already enacted stricter control over cigarillos. I would like to take just a minute to show you that, once again, Quebec has been proactive rather than reactive like the federal government. Quebec has had an anti-smoking strategy for ages. For about three years now, there has been legislation in place banning smoking in bars and restaurants. Before that, there were segregated areas. but now smoking in public places is completely banned.
    I must admit that this measure has made considerable strides toward reducing smoking, because smokers really have nowhere left to smoke except at home and outside. Even outside, it has to be nine metres away from a building. So it can be seen that Quebec has already taken great steps toward reducing smoking. Now too, corner stores have to store cigarettes in a closed cabinet so that young people who come into the store are not attracted by the packages of cigarettes.
    I would like to come back to cigarillos. There is a problem: young people are smoking more and more, and start with cigarillos before gradually making the move to cigarettes. As my colleague said earlier, although tobacco companies are legitimate—we have nothing against the companies themselves—I have a problem with their ethics when they launch a vigorous marketing campaign targeted at young people and the most vulnerable people in society.
    As a member of the Standing Committee on Health, I have heard from a huge number of representatives from anti-tobacco lobbies, including Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, which the Liberal member is very familiar with. This group showed us the new packaging and tobacco products. I must admit that it is very scary. I am not afraid of the box itself, but of the way things are being done. There are advertisements with bright colours targeted directly at young people. Tobacco companies are trying to make it attractive and get young people interested in smoking. Everyone knows that the products in cigarettes and cigarillos are extremely toxic and addictive. They will make young people want to smoke. That is what is so great about their strategy. I am being sarcastic, of course.
    Young people start with a little cigarette or cigarillo. The companies try to encourage them to buy just one or two. They make small packages of five cigarillos so that young people buy only a package, and thus do not consider themselves real smokers. Unfortunately, they start with a small package of five cigarillos, which gradually leads them to cigarettes, and maybe even worse. We can see that these companies have a marketing strategy to find young people on high school grounds or in CEGEPs, so that they gradually develop a dependence on cigarettes or cigarillos, and eventually become smokers—heavy smokers at that.

  (1755)  

    In spite of everything, the number of smokers has gone down over the years. My colleague to my left stopped smoking three months ago, and I want to congratulate him, because it is a very brave thing to do. He deserves a round of applause. He has tried to stop smoking for three months, and I encourage him to keep at it.
    The number of smokers is going down from one year to the next. We have come a long way since the 1950s, when physicians said that cigarettes were good for your health and had studies to back their claims. I do not know whether hon. members remember this. Unfortunately, I had not yet been born in 1950, but the cigarette companies, with the help of the medical profession, sold their products without too much difficulty. People still did not know about all the problems cigarettes caused. Education has played a prominent role in the decrease in the smoking rate.
    It is therefore important to raise awareness, especially among children. Public awareness of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking has caused this huge decrease from one year to the next. Certainly, there is still a lot of work to be done, but the bill is a step in the right direction and a way to continue bringing down the number of smokers.
    Needless to say, there are some things missing from the bill. First, it should have more teeth, particularly to combat contraband cigarettes. I will come back to this. Bill C-32 lacks teeth, but it is a step in the right direction, and we will be able to study it in the Standing Committee on Health, which is what I am going to do, and do thoroughly, have no fear.
    Reworking this bill in committee will give us the chance to make certain amendments so that the bill has more teeth. Of course, we will have to consult groups such as Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada to find out what sort of amendments they would like to see made to this bill.
    The Bloc Québécois believes that cigarillos and all other tobacco products should be subject to the same prohibitions as cigarettes. Efforts to reduce the visibility and consumption of cigarettes must not be thwarted by the emergence of other equally harmful products.
    The Bloc Québécois is asking that, as for cigarettes, it be prohibited to advertise tobacco products to children under 18, that all products display warnings about the dangers of smoking and that these products be hidden from public view.
    As I was rereading my notes to prepare for the debate on Bill C-32, I got to thinking about the little labels on cigarette packages that show pictures of gingivitis and say that smoking too many cigarettes can cause impotence. Those messages turn young people off of smoking. Of course, we still have a lot to do.
    It would be unfortunate if some young people began to ignore these messages because they have seen them over and over. We will have to work hard to educate them. We also have to make sure that cigarillo packages carry the same messages as cigarette packages. That is extremely important. We have to show young people that cigarillos are just as dangerous as cigarettes.
    Unfortunately, young people tend to replace one with the other, and it would be really unfortunate if cigarillo packaging did not have to follow the same rules as cigarette packaging. That is covered in part in Bill C-32.

  (1800)  

    Nevertheless, it is clear that Bill C-32 will not put an end to tobacco use among minors, as I said earlier, and that tougher measures, particularly with respect to contraband cigarettes, will have to be enforced to minimize minors' access to illegal tobacco products.
    Not so very long ago, I was in high school and at CEGEP. At the time, I was not a smoker. I was stunned to see 15 and 16 year olds smoking on high school property without a care in the world. On the one hand, we prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors, but on the other, we let them smoke on public property in full view of everyone else. That was a major contradiction. But it is not the only contradiction we will ever see. As I was saying earlier to my colleagues, democracy is all about managing contradictions.
    The Bloc Québécois is calling on the federal government to use every legal means possible to put an end to the explosion of smuggling, including for example, seizing smugglers' vehicles. Quebec has had many problems with cigarette smuggling. Many of the cigarettes sold to our young people, and some not so young, do not come from legal sources, but rather are smuggled. If we raise taxes on cigarettes, the sale of legal cigarettes will go down and smuggling activities will increase. Since smuggled cigarettes will be cheaper, there will be much greater demand for them. That is the law of supply and demand. So if we raise the taxes on packs of cigarettes too much and do nothing else, this will have a completely negative effect, since smuggling will increase.
    The government must take decisive action and ensure that cigarette smuggling is eradicated in very specific regions of Quebec and Canada. That is the problem, since we know where the smugglers are. We know who they are, but unfortunately, it seems as though there is some sort of political fear around taking steps to limit cigarette smuggling. Until something is done, there will always be problems with tobacco. We can do all the publicity campaigns and educating we like, but if one day we reach the critical point at which we cannot get the rate of smokers below 20%, then we will have to implement other strategies, such as eradicating smuggling rings, as I was saying earlier.
    At the same time, we believe that although police action is crucial, certain regulations must also be amended in order to discourage smugglers. That is key. Eliminating the source, the supplier, is still the best way to prevent smuggling.
    My very honourable colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, a former minister of public safety, did extraordinary work with respect to both cigarette and drug smuggling. At the time, the Parti Québécois government—which was not afraid to assume its responsibilities—took concrete action to eliminate these smugglers. He sent the police and enacted extraordinary measures in an attempt to eliminate networks of cigarette smugglers that were often criminal organizations. To tell the truth, they are all criminal organizations.
    The following are some of the measures that should be implemented: prohibit unlicensed manufacturers from purchasing raw materials and equipment used to manufacture cigarettes; revoke tobacco licences from manufacturers who break the law; establish an effective marking system for cigarette packages—a marking and tracing system—that would allow for close monitoring of tobacco deliveries; and lobby the U.S. government to shut down illegal manufacturers located on the American side of the border. This is not just a Canadian problem.

  (1805)  

    We can pass the best laws in Canada to prevent the sale of cigarettes and cigarillos to youth and to attempt to prevent cigarette smuggling but it will still be futile if the American government does not help us out with our tobacco control strategy. It is extremely difficult to wage this war against these criminals all by oneself. I am not afraid to call them that because they are poisoning our youth.
    We would like to see the fee for a federal licence to manufacture tobacco products raised to a minimum of $5 million, rather than the paltry $5,000 required today.
    Madam Speaker, do you not think it is ridiculous that licences are only $5,000? Some colleagues are telling me that they are convinced that you believe it is ridiculous that these licences cost only $5,000.
    Any one of us here and perhaps even most of those watching on television could afford it. Between you and me, this amount is a pittance for tobacco companies, which make billions of dollars in profit every year. It is a paltry $5 million.
    An hon. member: $5,000.
    Mr. Nicolas Dufour: Rather, a paltry $5,000. We want to increase it to $5 million. I believe $5 million should be the minimum. Perhaps we could make it more than that.
    This is impossible if all the stakeholders work independently. The federal government absolutely must coordinate the effort of the various organizations and departments because only one concerted effort will be able to address all the different aspects of tobacco addiction: prevention, education or even repressive measures against suppliers of contraband.
    As I have said, there must be an overall approach to smoking. We cannot just go after the tobacco smugglers or raise the price of cigarettes. We really must have a concerted overall approach to all stakeholders to ensure that there are prevention activities in the schools, to go after the smugglers, and to use even more vigorous advertising to discourage young people from starting to smoke.
    Mainly, we must try to discourage these manufacturers of harmful, dangerous products from advertising them with attractive campaigns to woo young smokers. They encourage young people to “try it, just a little”. They smoke a cigarillo or two, and the next thing they know they are smokers for life.
    Finally, the Bloc Québécois believes that all measures focused on contraband cigarettes and cigarette smuggling on the reserves must be taken in conjunction with the aboriginal authorities. Cooperation in this area is vital, in order to identify and target the criminal organizations.
    The purpose of Bill C-32 is a praiseworthy one: to discourage young people from smoking by limiting the availability of tobacco products and reducing the types of products available. The bill is also intended to correct some of the present shortcomings of the Tobacco Act, particularly the exception that permits tobacco advertising in publications with an adult readership of not less than 85%. This has led to the situation of such ads being placed in free newspapers or magazines that are readily accessible to young people.
    To draw a parallel with what I was just saying a few minutes ago—and I will be brief because I am getting the one minute sign—I want to address the fact that young people are allowed to smoke in the school yard. So there are really some major shortcomings in the Tobacco Act and a concerted effort is needed to try and reduce smoking among young people. That is why the Bloc Québécois supports Bill C-32, despite the presence of certain points that perhaps need looking at in committee. We—my colleague from Verchères—Les Patriotes, who has done an excellent job on the Standing Committee on Health, and I—will make it our duty to try to wipe out tobacco addiction among young people.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member who just spoke not only about smoking, but also about the problems the federal and provincial governments have preventing tobacco use and the criminal activities linked to tobacco. He spoke briefly about strategies, which he thinks are not yet comprehensive enough, and I agree, and about how to make them much more effective.
    I would like him to take a few more minutes to explain and give more details on the strategy needed to target organized crime groups and organizations that, as he mentioned, are often found in predominantly aboriginal areas, as well as tobacco imported from the United States.
    Does he have detailed strategies? The government is not at all interested in this subject. In fact, I see that no government members want to speak on this topic.

  (1810)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my Liberal Party colleague's knowledge of the issue. So far, his questions have been very precise. I can see that he wants to crack down on contraband. Unfortunately, I do not know his riding very well; perhaps he will have a chance to show me around someday. I do not know if he has problems with cigarette smugglers. I would also like to thank him for differentiating between provincial and municipal levels and aboriginal reserves.
    With respect to smugglers, key public safety players absolutely have to work together. In Quebec, a number of operations have been undertaken involving collaboration between Peacekeepers on reserves and the SQ or the RCMP, and sometimes even the Carcajou squad, which used to focus on drugs and sometimes infiltrated smuggling networks. In many cases, cigarette smugglers are not just smuggling cigarettes. We have to face the fact that they sometimes traffic in other drugs, and that is much more dangerous.
    We need our police forces to work together to improve communication, which does not happen often enough. We have to respect jurisdiction, but sometimes on reserves, where there are lot of cigarette smugglers, Peacekeepers have a role to play because they know the community. All the same, they have to have good communication with the SQ and the RCMP to carry out coordinated raids to break up these networks.
    Madam Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Repentigny for his kind words about me. I could also say that I am extremely pleased with all of his efforts and his work in this House, particularly his work on the Standing Committee on Health, where I am pleased to serve with him.
    The bill seems to completely disregard a number of new tobacco products that can be used by young people. Clearly, if we eliminate the market for flavoured cigarillos, manufacturers will try to find other ways to target young people to turn them into smokers.
    Should the bill not contain more significant measures regarding the elimination of smokeless tobacco products? I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that. Does he not believe, as I do, that all the members of this House should do everything in their power to make the government yield on this?

  (1815)  

    Madam Speaker, what else can I say, after my colleague asks me such a great question. As we can see, smoking-related problems are very important to him, and so is defending our young people.
    The hon. member for Verchères—Les Patriotes has in fact been our health critic for years now. He is therefore very knowledgeable about the issues and concerns of this debate. As always, he will do an excellent job. I just used an English word, “issues”. The proper word in French is “dossiers”. I thank my colleague from Sherbrooke.
    Flavoured products are a serious problem. They are what encourage young people to smoke. So in committee, my hon. colleague from Verchères—Les Patriotes and I must challenge the government and propose amendments that will give this bill more teeth.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to see this legislation advance in the House. I am particularly pleased that this follows the hard work of my colleague, the hon. member for Winnipeg North.
    I come from British Columbia, where we have one of the lowest rates of smoking in the country, one of the most health conscious populations in the country.
    When I came to Parliament Hill and was met by people from the Canadian Medical Association, who showed me these products in tubes, flavoured cigarettes and flavoured rolling papers with flavours like peanut butter and jelly and cookie dough, I was absolutely appalled, shocked and disgusted.
    Our country should not allow these products for sale because they are clearly geared at addicting our young people to one of the most carcinogenic and unhealthy products in the country.
    Will my friend and his party be supporting the bill and doing everything they can to help make the bill law as soon as possible so we can protect the children of our country immediately?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will answer his question directly, which does not happen often in the House of Commons. Yes, we will be doing that. It is extremely important.
    My colleague spoke of an interesting problem, which I only had the chance to touch on even though I spoke for about twenty minutes. As a parliamentarian, I like to talk. I would like to talk about new tobacco products. Let us look at new tobacco products, how they are advertised and the casings used. Take cigarillos, for example. I challenge all MPs to do an eyeball survey. I did it. Cigarillo smokers are mostly youths; they are not people in their forties or fifties. These products truly target young people by using attractive packaging, design and flavours in order to get them to start smoking.
    When young people see a peach-flavoured cigar, they may not realize the health hazards of this cigarillo, which looks quite harmless. A small peach-flavoured cigar is really cute. Unfortunately, it is extremely harmful and is just as bad, if not more so, than a conventional cigarette.
    Madam Speaker, it is all well and good to want to pass laws here in Ottawa, just as laws have been passed in Quebec, but there cannot be one law for whites and one law for aboriginal people. There cannot be a double standard either.
    We can tighten laws, make it harder to get cigarettes, raise taxes and try to discourage young people from smoking, but if the only way young people can smoke is to get cheap cigarettes, they are going to go to aboriginal communities.
    It is too bad when a small corner store owner, who has a hard time making ends meet and depends on his clients and his environment, is charged because a young person with a false ID bought a pack of cigarettes. The store owner is fined $5,000, yet people can buy cigarettes near certain aboriginal reserves.
    The aboriginal police, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP go by these businesses every day, but no one controls contraband cigarettes. They are all afraid to shoulder their responsibilities. That is what gives rise to contraband. I was a smoker, and I was asked whether I smoked Indian cigarettes. I did not smoke Indian cigarettes, I smoked real cigarettes.

  (1820)  

    The member for Repentigny has 15 seconds.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to congratulate my colleague. Members will see that the Bloc Québécois has a talent for summing thing up. I wanted to say that I agree with him completely.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act. Even though we on this side of the House support the legislation in principle, I am disturbed by its implications. Despite the government's assertions, the bill does nothing to protect the rights of the child, especially those children under 18 years of age.
    I will like to quote from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that:
    States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.
    The government is not upholding its obligations under that convention when, as my colleague from St. Paul's, Ontario point out yesterday in responding to a question, that rolling back the taxes increases the buying power of cigarettes for children, which is what the government has done. If we do not want children and youth to be a target of the tobacco industry, we must not decrease the taxes on cigarettes. What we have done with the decrease of taxes on tobacco has taken $12 billion out of the treasury.

[Translation]

    I would like to say a few words about a phenomenon which has not, to my knowledge, been addressed sufficiently by my colleagues, although two or three of them have just spoken of it. I want to speak of the extent of the role of smuggling in the trade and sale of tobacco products.
    The Canadian government's decision on smuggling is not the best one. The 1999 report by the World Bank makes the point that even when there is a considerable amount of contraband, higher taxes increase government revenues and reduce smoking. Price hikes encourage smokers to quit, stop others from starting, and reduce the number of former smokers who start up again.
    It is also difficult to understand the statement by the Minister of National Revenue reported in the Gazette on April 2, 2009. According to him, the federal government has issued 14 permits to Quebec companies out of a total of 38 across Canada, or 37%. This is in marked contradiction with the stated objective of the government to protect children and youth from the tobacco industry's marketing tactics.
    Moreover, 11 of these cigarette manufacturers are located on the Mohawk reserve, where organized crime seems to have infiltrated the tobacco industry. Clearly, contraband is a growth industry. I am not the only one who says so. Other members from other parties have talked about this. It seems to me that it is more prevalent in Quebec than in the other provinces, because the members from the other provinces have not talked about it.
    It is estimated that 30% to 40% of the cigarettes sold in Quebec are contraband. The shortfall for the province is in the order of $300 million. Although the government clearly does not have the means at present to effectively monitor the industry and make sure that manufacturers comply with their licences, which would require them to collect taxes on what is sold, this bill will not prevent children and young people from being able to buy tobacco from the lucrative illegal industry. The bill is weak and ineffective, even though it prohibits the packaging, importation for sale, distribution and sale of little cigars and blunt wraps unless they are in a package that contains at least 20 little cigars or blunt wraps.

  (1825)  

[English]

    According to a letter I received from Casa Cubana/Spike Marks Inc. of Montreal dated May 26, 2009, it said: “The government's proposed ban will not in the least address minors' access to tobacco issues. As importantly, the government's proposal will come to further fuel the contraband trade in tobacco by providing exclusive market rights to these products to Native manufacturers and criminal groups”.
    The illegal industry will find a way to circumvent the laws if the kind of public education demanded under article 42 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is to make the convention widely known to adults and children, is not carried out. Article 44.6 of the convention also requires Canada to make the reports on child rights widely available to the public and to have the public actively engage in children's rights.
    For example, 71% of Canadians who participated in an Ipsos Reid study undertaken for Save the Children Canada in 2004, only five short years ago, gave Canada a C or lower in fulfilling its obligations to improve the lives of Canadian children. At the same time, only 33% of adults who were interviewed answered questions accurately when it came to Canadian children living with HIV, in poverty, with abuse or other social conditions as a result of the increasing marginalization of their parents.
    The government has not only failed in its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to educate the public but it is also derelict in those obligations by failing to put in place the necessary legislative policies with effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to curb the lucrative contraband trade.
    Here is what is fascinating about this entire approach. According to Luc Martial of Casa Cubana, he was surprised to learn during his meeting with Health Canada officials that the government had little or no actual relevant research on flavoured tobacco products, their market or the industry.
    More precisely, Health Canada had no comprehensive understanding as to who exactly is consuming these products; what products are actually being consumed: little cigars or cigarillos, plain or flavoured and in what quantities and frequencies; where and how these products are actually being accessed, whether through friends, family, peers, legal channels or contraband; why consumers were beginning to access these products as opposed to other traditional cigars or cigarettes; and how the use of flavours actually impacts a consumer's decision to start or continue smoking. That seems to be an extremely important point, considering what other colleagues have said earlier.
    I find all of that strange to understand because, according to the Canadian Cancer Society's website, findings from a 2006-07 youth smoking survey released on June 23, 2008, and funded by Health Canada, say:
--teenagers in Grades 10-12 use cigars and cigarillos the most. Thirty-five per cent said they had tried cigars, cigarillos and little cigars (39.5% were boys and 30% were girls), while 48% had tried cigarettes.
    The Cancer Society's press release says:
    Teenagers are very vulnerable to trying tobacco products. There is a risk that cigarillos, which can be just as addictive as cigarettes, could be a starter product for kids who would never start smoking.
    The press release also says:
    Cigarillos can be cheaper to buy than cigarettes because they come in smaller quantities and are easier to obtain because they are not regulated in the same way.
    It would appear that the Conservative Minister of Health, even though she might fund surveys or, and I am giving her a lot of credit here, know what her own department's reports indicate, sales have grown in cigarillos over the last five years. There is obviously no plan in place to protect the most vulnerable. In 2001 about 50,000 cigarillos were sold and 80 million were sold in 2006. What an increase.

  (1830)  

[Translation]

    What a disaster for our youth. The Canadian Cancer Society also says that the steady decline in smoking observed in recent years among young Canadians aged 10 to 14, in grades 5 to 9, could very well have stopped.
    The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of this government. The Conservatives' actions have led to an increase in the risk of mouth, throat, larynx, lung and esophagus cancer.
    When will the government shoulder its responsibilities by putting policies and practices where they are really needed?
    I support this bill even though it is weak and ineffective. I support it because I recommend referring this bill to committee so that the members can make the necessary amendments to it and turn it into a bill that really addresses the situation facing our young people.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for Laval—Les Îles for her rather enlightening speech.
    I would also like to ask her a question about the government's responsibility. She noted that ironically, the government had not yet targeted the real problem.

[English]

    That real problem is associated not only with price point but with the consequences of that price point. She has noted that as taxes go up in order to increase the price of cigarettes, there is a consequent diminution of smoking, but there is as well there is an equally significant and troubling consequence, and that is the emergence of the contraband trade and those who are best equipped to address contraband, not only manufacturing but distribution. They are, by and large, associated with criminal elements who manufacture and distribute other equally noxious products.

[Translation]

    French uses “noxious“ to talk about harmful products, but it is not the same in English.

[English]

    My colleague used the language that is employed in the drug trade in reference to them.
    The reason I say that this is ironic is because this is a government that has come forward on getting tough on crime, doing the right thing on criminal issues. As the member has indicated and other colleagues from the Bloc as well have noted, the contraband trade is worth at least $3 billion per annum in cigarette distribution.
    There is a loss of $2 billion to the federal and provincial treasuries but not a penny has gone, at least through this bill, toward putting together a strategy for enforcement, for going to the root of the manufacturing and distribution systems, for putting in place a methodology and system to arrest, charge, and then incarcerate or otherwise punish those who would go against the intent of the legislation and the convention, which is, as my colleague has said, the health of young people initially and obviously their continued health as they get on in life.
    I wonder if she would comment on this absolute abdication of responsibility, when it comes to doing the right thing from criminal activities and the imposition of the right laws to prevent criminal activity.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague raised an important, yet sensitive question.
    It is true that the Conservative government, the Government of Canada, has huge responsibilities with respect to this issue, since some of these criminal elements come from reserves. There is no denying it. That does not mean that the reserves are criminal, and I want to make that clear, but we all know that there are criminal elements here and there.
    Thus, the Conservative government has the responsibility to eliminate these criminal elements that work on both sides of the border, on the American side and the Canadian side.
    Now, if the Conservative government were more understanding and fair towards aboriginal communities across Canada, these communities would perhaps be in a better position themselves to fight these criminal elements in their own communities. These aboriginal communities see the problem, but they often have no way of tackling it.

  (1835)  

    Madam Speaker, we are supposed to find ways to eliminate smuggling. I have a question for the member for Laval—Les Îles. Instead of having retailers charge the sales tax on tobacco products, could the government not pass legislation to tax the manufacturers of tobacco products? This way, if aboriginal communities or organized crime groups that smuggle cigarettes want to get supplies from companies that produce cigarettes or cigars, they would be taxed directly at the source, and the tax would be charged to the company producing the tobacco products, instead of to the retailers, who then pass that along to consumers.
    Madam Speaker, we have to consider every step in the process that gets tobacco from the seed to a minor's lips. This is a big problem because the entire industry is going to have to disappear. Our country's political and psychological atmosphere discourages tobacco use. We have seen it, and members on both sides of the House have talked about it.
    The tobacco industry is going out of style, much like how horses began to disappear as bicycles and cars became commonplace. People who raised horses found themselves in an industry, a trade that was no longer working for them. In my humble opinion, the tobacco industry is about to experience difficulties that will have an increasingly negative effect on both growers and cigarette manufacturers. We must not only consider the whole process; we must eliminate it.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I find that my colleague is a lot more learned on this debate than any member of the government side has been prepared to demonstrate and so, I am going to ask her, because she took great pains to make distinctions between correct activity and that which contravenes the law. Now, one of the problems that we have had in fighting smoking and tobacco usage, of course, is getting the appropriate partners.
    Some would argue, as I know she would, that some of the legitimate retailers, mom and pop shops, in some of the major cities, have been our greatest allies in deterring young people from purchasing because they refuse to sell. In fact, those proprietors of those stores are already under great surveillance and they do the very best they can to discourage the use of cigarettes, cigarillos and other tobacco products.
     What has happened with the emergence of the great contraband trade is that we no longer have a distribution system that is willing to be compliant with the law and, in fact, is in a position where it can be surveyed by law enforcement officers. I am talking about that illegal distribution system. I know she would want to take a moment to point out that legitimate retail operations have been our allies and we are losing them because this act does not address that distinction.

  (1840)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague put it so well that I am hesitant to repeat what he said, but he is absolutely right. Legitimate retailers are disappearing and the illegal trade is gaining strength. That is why I said at the end of