Hansard
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 959
View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
Mr. Speaker, first nations in northern Manitoba are scared of the impact of COVID-19 on their communities. People in the Island Lake region are sounding the alarm. There is no running water, overcrowded housing, no hospital and nowhere to self-isolate and get treatment. Meanwhile, the government is talking conference calls, hand sanitizer and testing tents. These are first world responses to a third world reality.
The government needs to get real about what first nations are facing on the ground. These communities need urgent infrastructure now and before the winter road season shuts down. What will the government do to take COVID-19's impact on first nations seriously now?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we recognize that despite historic investments in housing, there are deeply concerning conditions of housing infrastructure that many indigenous communities face. We are continuing to work toward a long-term solution.
In light of COVID-19, we are exploring all options to address these challenges, including providing temporary isolation facilities and additional health staff for communities, as needed. These supports for indigenous communities are absolutely not limited by financial capacity.
We continue to work closely with communities to coordinate resources. They are and will be there.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-03-12 14:47 [p.2019]
Mr. Speaker, if PowerPoint decks could stop a pandemic, the government could be the world champion in preventive health. I am not saying that to be flippant, but two months into this crisis, isolated first nations are waiting for the basics, like hand sanitizer, gloves and masks, let alone ventilators.
If COVID-19 hits a community like Bearskin Lake or Kashechewan, we are in a nightmare scenario because how do people self-isolate in a home of 21 people full of mould? The minister's plan is to bring in tents. In James Bay in March? That is not going to cut it.
When are we going to see a sense of urgency to protect the lives of first nation people?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for attending the technical briefing this morning with my staff. The funding announced yesterday as part of the budget 2019 emergency investments is a start that enables us to take immediate action in communities to reduce the risk of spread as well as respond should cases arrive on reserve.
The reinforcement support for indigenous communities is not limited by financial capacities, and we are working closely to coordinate those resources with communities. We are providing supplies such as bottled water, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment to communities as needed.
We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that indigenous communities are prepared to respond to COVID-19 and will continue to adapt our plan as needed.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-03-11 14:47 [p.1933]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Minister of Indigenous Services when his government would stop breaking the law and honour the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling to immediately stop discriminating against first nations children. This was followed by 10 seconds of silence and then story time. The same silence was heard about a plan for COVID-19 on reserves.
When will the minister follow the rule of law, honour the tribunal ruling and stop discriminating against first nations children?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-03-11 14:48 [p.1933]
Mr. Speaker, we strongly agree that we must compensate indigenous children harmed by past government policies. It must be done in a way that is both fair and timely to further healing.
We have worked closely with the parties and found consensus on a number of key areas. We have demonstrated our commitment to addressing long-standing child and family service needs of first nations, Inuit and Métis children.
We will continue working with our partners to ensure indigenous children are supported and cared for in the right way, with connection to community and culture.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-03-11 14:49 [p.1933]
Really, Mr. Speaker. This past week a little child from Attawapiskat had to be flown to Kingston, because of the damage tap water is doing to her body, and a little boy in Kashechewan suffered horrific burns. The only thing the medical clinic could do was send him home. That is the face of third world health in the north.
Therefore, when the Prime Minister does not even bother to give a permanent seat to his indigenous services minister at his COVID-19 table, indigenous people know they are going to get a third world response.
Does the Prime Minister have any clue what COVID-19 is going to do when it hits the overcrowded reserves in northern Canada?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-03-11 14:49 [p.1933]
Mr. Speaker, the federal government is responsible for delivering health care to indigenous communities and to the Canadian Armed Forces.
I can assure the member that all necessary authorities are involved in all discussions about how to ensure we keep Canadians safe, including indigenous Canadians, who, as the member well pointed out, are in much more vulnerable situations quite often. That is why we are focusing very much on what we can do to make sure that the coronavirus and its potential impacts do not devastate indigenous communities.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to join my colleagues today as we deal with Bill C-4, which is extremely important for us. We call it the CUSMA, or the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement.
I am pleased with the work we did at committee on this particular issue. My committee colleagues from all parties showed their dedication to their constituents and their country while we did this study. Every member made it clear to me that it was their sincerest intent to collaborate, co-operate and come together as a committee to make sure that we did the job we were elected to do and worked in a non-partisan way on something that is critically important to Canada.
With our intensified schedule, our committee analyzed this bill for a total of 38.5 hours. The hard work that took place at committee ensured that Bill C-4 was returned in a timely fashion. Over 117 witnesses were invited, and we heard from a large range of individuals, organizations and businesses.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the hard work of the staff of the House of Commons who were present during these extended meetings. None of this could have been possible without the work of our committee clerks, analysts, translators and the House of Commons staff, who carried out their duties with utmost professionalism. A huge thanks goes out to everyone involved.
This new agreement will help reinforce strong economic ties between Canada, the United States and Mexico. It will improve North America's ability to compete on the global stage. This agreement will also bring back predictability and stability to the economic relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, which we heard a lot about from various businesses and presenters.
We have seen several actions from the U.S. on trade that had contributed to economic instability for Canadian businesses and their workers, and they were clearly concerned. Canada was confronted with the option of either renegotiating NAFTA or facing the possibility of the United States withdrawing from the agreement. I am pleased that we now have a modern trilateral agreement that turns the page and focuses on the three pillars that make our economic relationship so successful: stability, economic integration and clear, transparent and enforceable rules.
From the start of the negotiations, Canada set out to achieve key priority outcomes: preserve important NAFTA provisions and market access into the U.S. and Mexico, modernize and improve the agreement, and reinforce the security and stability of market access into the U.S. and Mexico for Canadian businesses. We are proud of the fact that we have achieved all three of those objectives.
It is particularly important to note that the preferential tariff treatment under NAFTA is preserved in this new agreement. Canada's preferential access to the U.S. and Mexican markets is vital to the continuing prosperity of Canadian workers whose livelihoods rely on this trade. During consultations with stakeholders, we heard repeatedly about the importance of preserving the benefits of NAFTA and the integrity of North American supply chains. We understand how vital they are to Canadian companies and exporters.
As an annual average from 2016 to 2018, Canada exported 412.2 billion dollars' worth of goods to the United States, Canada's top export market. Over the same period, Canada exported an annual average of 9.2 billion dollars' worth of goods to Mexico, Canada's fifth-largest trading partner. These are very significant numbers, and the new NAFTA ensures continued preferential access to these key export destinations.
The new agreement preserves the market access outcomes that were achieved in the original NAFTA. This means that NAFTA's duty-free access for all non-agricultural goods will be maintained. For agricultural goods, Canadian exports will also continue to benefit from duty-free access for nearly 89% of U.S. agricultural tariff lines and 91% of Mexican tariff lines. The new NAFTA will help farmers to be more competitive and will make it easier for them to export their products and continue to feed North America and the rest of the world.
Maintaining these tariff outcomes provides Canadians with an advantage over those in countries without a preferential trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. It also ensures predictability and continued secure market access for Canadian exporters to our largest trading partners. The preserved tariff-free environment also safeguards the integrity of the integrated North American supply chains. Other key elements of the original NAFTA have also been preserved, including the chapter 19 binational panel dispute settlement, a state-to-state dispute settlement, the cultural exception and temporary entry for business persons.
The new NAFTA also helps open new market access opportunities in the U.S. for Canadian companies and improves existing market access. The new modernized agreement includes new customs and trade facilitation measures that will make it easier for companies to move goods across the border, including by eliminating paper processes and providing a single portal for traders to submit import documentation electronically. In particular, the new agreement moves away from the traditional certificate of origin to a new certificate of origin that allows companies to use existing documents in their business process to certify origin.
The new NAFTA includes a new stand-alone chapter on rules of origin and origin procedures for textiles and apparel goods that will support Canada's textile and apparel sector. The agreement preserves the existing market access that Canada has under NAFTA to the U.S. and Mexican markets in these sectors and ensures that the benefits of the agreement go primarily to producers located in North America. The new agreement provides greater flexibility for producers to use small amounts of materials from outside the region without losing their preference.
Furthermore, the agreement expands a provision from NAFTA to set out a special procedure to more easily establish the origin of the indigenous textiles and apparel. Under this provision, a textile or apparel item that the parties agree is an indigenous handcrafted good will be eligible for duty-free treatment, even if the good does not satisfy the applicable product-specific rule of origin.
Given the importance of predictability and transparency in international trade, the new NAFTA includes provisions that will provide added assurance for exporters that their goods will not be delayed by unjustified or unclear measures at the borders. Companies will have enough time to adjust to new regulations and other requirements. The agreement also ensures Canada's agricultural and processed food exports can rely on sanitary and phytosanitary measures that are risk-based and that increase predictability of market access so that products make it to market in a reasonable amount of time.
The section 232 side letter on autos and auto parts achieved as part of the overall outcome provides added security and stability for Canadian automotive and parts companies that export to the U.S. market. It will reaffirm Canada's attractiveness as an investment destination for this sector.
On trade and indigenous people, for the first time in a Canadian free trade agreement, the new NAFTA incorporates a general exception that clearly confirms that the government can adopt or maintain measures it deems necessary to fulfill its legal obligations to indigenous peoples. An indigenous working group was established to further the dialogue between the government and indigenous peoples, share ideas and work collaboratively on solutions.
We are pleased to have concluded an agreement that incorporates new and modernized provisions that seek to address 21st century trade issues and support opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers. This includes bringing obligations on labour and environment into the agreement and subjecting them to dispute settlement. It also includes important outcomes toward inclusive trade, including with respect to gender and the interests of indigenous peoples.
In particular, the new labour chapter includes commitments to protect and promote internationally recognized labour rights and principles in North America. It also includes unprecedented protections against violence and against gender-based discrimination with regard to sexual orientation, sexual harassment, gender identity, caregiving responsibilities and wage discrimination.
View Patricia Lattanzio Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Surrey Centre.
I am pleased to rise in the House today in support of Bill C-4.
Over the generations, Canada, Mexico and the United States have established an economic relationship that is a model for the entire world. Since 1993, trade between Canada, the United States and Mexico has more than quadrupled and was valued at $1.2 billion U.S. in 2018.
In 1994, NAFTA created the largest free trade zone in the world. The continental North American economy, which is currently estimated to be worth $23 billion U.S., encompasses a regional market of nearly 490 million consumers.
Under this proven, rules-based free trade system, key sectors of the North American economy have developed into integrated production platforms that strengthen the innovative and competitive economic backbone of North America.
The new agreement will enhance the strong economic ties between the three countries and improve North America's ability to remain competitive globally. This agreement also restores the predictability and stability of economic relations between Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The U.S. took several trade actions that contributed to economic instability for Canadian businesses and their workers. Canada had to choose between either renegotiating NAFTA or seeing the United States withdraw from the agreement. I am pleased that we now have a modern trilateral agreement that turns the page and focuses on the three pillars that make our economic relationship so successful: stability, economic integration, and clear, transparent and enforceable rules.
From the start of the negotiations, Canada set out to achieve key priority outcomes: preserve important NAFTA provisions and market access into the U.S. and Mexico, modernize and improve the agreement as much as possible, and reinforce the security and stability of market access into the U.S. and Mexico for Canadian businesses. We are proud that we achieved those objectives.
It is particularly important to note that the preferential tariff treatment under NAFTA is preserved in CUSMA, which helps consolidate our most important trade relationship. Canada's preferential access to the U.S. and Mexican markets is vital to the continuing prosperity of Canadian workers whose livelihoods rely on this trade.
During consultations with stakeholders, we heard repeatedly about the importance of preserving the benefits of NAFTA and the integrity of North American supply chains. We understand how vital it is to Canadian companies and exporters.
As an annual average from 2016 to 2018, Canada exported $412.2 billion worth of goods to the United States, our top export market. Over the same period, Canada exported an annual average of $9.2 billion worth of goods to Mexico, our fifth-largest trading partner. The new NAFTA ensures continued preferential access to these key export destinations.
Maintaining these tariff outcomes provides Canadians with an advantage over countries without a preferential trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. The agreement ensures predictability and continued secure market access for Canadian exporters to our largest trading partner.
The preserved tariff-free environment also safeguards the integrity of integrated North American supply chains. Other key elements of the original NAFTA have been preserved, including the chapter 19 binational panel dispute settlement mechanism, the state-to-state dispute settlement process, the cultural exemption and temporary entry for business persons.
The new NAFTA also helps open new market access opportunities in the United States for Canadian companies and improves access to existing markets. The new modernized agreement includes new customs measures and will also make it easier for companies to move goods across the border by reducing paper processes and providing a single portal for submitting import documentation electronically.
In particular, the new agreement moves away from the traditional certificate of origin to a new certificate of origin that allows companies to use existing documents in their business process, such as an invoice, to certify origin.
The new NAFTA also includes a new stand-alone chapter on rules of origin and origin procedures for textiles and apparel goods that will support Canada's textile and apparel sector. The agreement preserves the existing market access that Canada has under NAFTA to the U.S. and Mexican markets in these sectors and ensures that the benefits of the agreement go primarily to producers located in North America.
Furthermore, the agreement expands a provision from NAFTA to set out a special procedure to more easily establish the origin of indigenous textiles and apparel. Under this provision, a textile or apparel item that the parties agree is an indigenous handcrafted good will be eligible for duty-free treatment, even if the good does not satisfy the applicable product-specific rule of origin.
The new NAFTA includes provisions that will provide added assurance for exporters that their goods will not be delayed by unjustified or unclear measures at the borders. The section 232 side letter provides added security and stability for Canadian automotive and parts companies that export to the U.S. market and will reaffirm Canada's attractiveness as an investment destination for this sector.
With respect to trade and indigenous peoples, and for the first time in a Canadian free trade agreement, the new NAFTA includes a general exception that clearly confirms that the government can adopt or maintain measures it deems necessary to fulfill its legal obligations to indigenous people. An indigenous working group was established to further the dialogue between the government and indigenous people, to share ideas and work collaboratively on solutions.
We are pleased to have concluded an agreement that incorporates new and modernized provisions that seek to address 21st century trade issues and support opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers. This includes bringing obligations on labour and environment into the agreement and subjecting them to dispute settlement.
It also includes important outcomes for inclusive trade, including with respect to gender equality and the interests of indigenous people. In particular, the new labour chapter includes commitments to protect and promote internationally-recognized labour rights and principles in North America.
This chapter also includes unprecedented protections against violence and gender-based discrimination with regard to sexual orientation, sexual harassment, gender identity, caregiving responsibilities and wage discrimination. It is worth noting that the new chapter also includes a non-derogation clause that prevents the parties from weakening their labour laws to encourage trade or investment.
To address labour violations related to collective bargaining and freedom of association in a timely manner, the agreement also includes new mechanisms for rapid response between Canada and Mexico and between the United States and Mexico.
In the event that, in a state-to-state dispute settlement, one party is found to have violated its obligations with regard to child labour, the other party could trigger the rapid response mechanism to remedy the violation of the child labour obligations.
The full environment chapter, which is subject to the dispute settlement mechanism, includes measures for implementing the parties' obligations under multilateral environmental agreements and responding to global environmental problems, such as illegal wildlife trade, illegal fishing, conservation of species at risk, protection of biodiversity, ozone-depleting substances and marine pollution.
This modernized agreement is good for Canadians because it provides the predictability and stability that businesses and workers sorely need.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2020-03-10 13:19 [p.1872]
Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I am here to discuss the benefits that the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement will bring to Canadians.
Over the last few weeks, my colleagues and I on the international trade committee had the opportunity to hear from over 100 witnesses from across industries and from across the country as part of our study on Bill C-4. We presented the report back to the House on February 27 without amendments.
The new NAFTA, or CUSMA as it is also called, marks a new milestone in the mutually beneficial trade relationship between Canada, the United States and Mexico. We understood from the start that this achievement would not have been possible without the support, contribution and dedication of Canadians across the country.
Before the negotiations started, we began speaking with Canadians across the country. We listened to their views on the original agreement's benefits and challenges, and what could be done to improve Canada's trading relationship with the United States and Mexico.
Guided by Canada's inclusive approach to trade, we worked very hard from the beginning of the negotiations to secure outcomes that would advance the interests of provinces and territories, indigenous peoples, business and business associations, labour organizations, civil society organizations, women and youth, among others.
From February 2017 to December 2019, the government engaged with over 1,300 stakeholders through nearly 1,100 interactions on NAFTA modernization. Over the same period, we received over 47,000 submissions from Canadians on NAFTA modernization. Canadian stakeholders have been largely supportive of the new agreement and have underlined the importance of securing stability and predictability in our commercial relationship with the United States and Mexico. Their views informed Canada's negotiating positions in this modernization process.
From the outset, the government worked closely with the provincial and territorial governments. Their representatives were invited to travel to the location of each negotiation round and received daily debriefs from the chief negotiator and the members of the negotiating team. We also worked very closely with representatives of indigenous people. In fact, an indigenous working group was formed to work collaboratively on elements of importance to indigenous people in the NAFTA modernization process. In total, the Government of Canada met with representatives of 49 different indigenous groups, including self-governing nations, tribal organizations, national organizations, development corporations, business and lending organizations, legal advisers and policy experts.
We sought and received input and insight from across party lines. We reached out to current and former politicians, premiers, mayors, and community and indigenous leaders for help not only in shaping Canada's priorities, but in championing them. We created a NAFTA advisory council that included representatives of other political parties, as well as business, labour and indigenous leaders. All contributions and advice helped guide our way forward.
Since early 2017, fellow federal, provincial and territorial ministerial colleagues and their teams have cumulatively undertaken over 530 visits to the United States, including parliamentarians here who engaged on similar bilaterals with congressmen and governors in the United States. Others, including many members, have contributed to these efforts. Together, team Canada has collectively engaged with over 750 influencers and decision-makers across the United States.
The new agreement was made possible because we acted together and we acted with resolve at the negotiating table to uphold the interests and values of Canadians in seeking a workable and progressive trade agreement. We sought and obtained consensus on the key issues at home. That helped us prioritize Canada's interests and develop Canada's negotiating positions. In spite of the many hurdles, we worked tirelessly and remained steadfast in our principles and objectives in reaching agreement with the United States and Mexico.
The benefits of the new agreement for Canadians are concrete and considerable. They reflect Canadians' views expressed in the engagement process. Most Canadians viewed the modernization process as an opportunity to preserve key elements of the original NAFTA, modernize and improve the agreement where possible, and ensure the stability and predictability of the North American market. We delivered on these key priorities.
The new agreement preserves key elements of the original NAFTA, allowing for our continued regional prosperity and stability. It reinforces the strong economic ties between Canada, Mexico and the United States, while also recognizing the importance of progressive and inclusive trade by including key components in areas such as labour and environment, as well as language on gender and the rights of indigenous peoples.
In particular, Canada was successful in preserving the NAFTA chapter 19 binational panel dispute settlement mechanism for anti-dumping and countervailing duties, the cultural exemption, NAFTA duty-free access into the U.S. and Mexican markets, and the provision of temporary entry of business persons.
We preserved Canada's system of supply management, despite U.S. attempts to dismantle it.
We modernized and improved the agreement to address the modern-day trade realities and enhanced business opportunities in North America.
CUSMA has nine chapters, including chapters on digital trade, anti-corruption, and small and medium-sized enterprises.
We eliminated the investor-state dispute settlement and the energy proportionality clause. We brought the labour and environmental chapters into the agreement and subjected them to a more effective and efficient dispute settlement procedure.
CUSMA improves the dispute settlement mechanism in a manner that strengthens enforcement, including the areas of labour and environment. This is an outstanding achievement for Canada.
The agreement streamlines customs procedures to facilitate trade, reduce red tape and lessen the administrative burden for Canadian exporters and investors. It also includes outcomes that advance the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises, women and indigenous peoples in line with Canada's inclusive approach to trade.
Overall, CUSMA provides key outcomes for Canadian workers, businesses, communities and families.
In the new agreement, Canada was successful in achieving priority outcomes with respect to indigenous peoples, in line with the government's efforts to advance indigenous rights, prosperity and sustainable development in Canada and around the world.
There are also outcomes that reflect the important role of indigenous peoples regarding the environment, including the conservation of biodiversity.
Canada has made gender equality and women's economic empowerment a key priority in recent trade negotiations, including playing a leadership role to integrate gender-related provisions in the agreement. This is the first international trade deal to recognize the discrimination of gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination. This includes labour obligations regarding the elimination of employment discrimination based on gender, as well as other provisions related to corporate social responsibility and small and medium-sized enterprises.
The inclusion of language on indigenous peoples and gender rights is an important step in our government's commitment to reconciliation and gender equality. What we learned throughout the consultation and negotiation period of this agreement will be beneficial to apply to negotiations for future trade agreements.
With the stability CUSMA brings to Canadian producers and industries, we hope it will help Canada take advantage of our unique position of having free trade agreements with so many other regions around the world, including CETA with Europe and CPTPP with Asia and the Pacific. While the United States is our largest trading partner, Canada has the opportunity to become a hub for trade, being the only North American nation with free trade agreements in so many regions that reach over 1.5 billion people around the world.
It is amusing to hear members from across the aisle critique Prime Minister Trudeau or our government's handling of CUSMA and NAFTA, but what the most experienced expert on this issue said is in stark contrast. To quote someone who is considered the architect or originator of the first free trade deal and the second one with the U.S., former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney said this about our government, “I told Trudeau he did a really good job with this renegotiation—”
View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
Mr. Speaker, today when I called on the Liberals to address the potential crisis of coronavirus on first nations, they tried to shut me down. The government does not get it.
The Liberals advised regular hand washing. How does one do that without running water? They advised self-isolation. That is impossible with a housing crisis of 12 to 20 people living in a home. In places like the Island Lake or Cross Lake regions, there are thousands of people and no hospital in sight. People are worried.
Can a regular member of the Prime Minister's coronavirus committee please stand up and tell us what they are doing to ensure first nations and Inuit communities are supported now?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will remind the member opposite that in budget 2019, way before the coronavirus broke out, we invested $79 million over five years to improve and prepare support for health emergencies and health-related impacts of natural disasters and health disasters on reserves. This includes dedicated support for one health emergency management coordinator in every region and two coordinators in Ontario and Manitoba.
We know that first nations and Inuit are susceptible and more vulnerable to coronavirus. We are prepared as a ministry to engage in surge activities should they be required. Let me say that we are ready to act and we are working closely with those communities in order to augment their capacity.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2020-03-10 18:30 [p.1919]
Mr. Speaker, when I rose to ask the Prime Minister about the failures of his national housing strategy, including the glaring absence of a housing strategy that would be led by indigenous people for rural, urban and northern indigenous people, I received the usual meaningless talking points, despite the Liberals pledge in 2017 with the introduction of the national housing strategy to address the housing crisis for Inuit, Métis and first nations people.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development even said on the public record that the Liberals were committed to a separate national urban indigenous housing strategy by and for urban indigenous people. However, years later there is still no action.
Aboriginal people in Canada are 10 times more likely than non-aboriginal people to become homeless. When I pointed out that 40% of the homeless population in Vancouver was indigenous people, the Prime Minister was busy patting himself on the back with self-congratulatory rhetoric that I do not even think he realized how severe the housing crisis was and how grossly disproportionate it was effecting urban, rural and northern indigenous communities.
Across the country, indigenous peoples are experiencing the highest levels of poverty, with a shocking 25% of indigenous people living in poverty, despite making up only 5% of Canada's population. High poverty rates for indigenous people are part of the continued legacy of colonization. Ignoring the housing crisis they are facing will only result in having these numbers increase and further perpetuate the impact of colonization.
With a staggering 87% of indigenous households not living on reserve lands, we need to have an affordable housing strategy to address the needs of indigenous people living in the rural, urban and northern parts of Canada. It is a matter of urgency requiring immediate action that is consistent with international human rights law.
This strategic approach must be founded upon cultural-based practice and action, led by indigenous people for indigenous people. No more kicking the can down the road. Canadians need to see the allocation of the necessary funds to support the national housing strategy in budget 2020 and action for a urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy led by and for indigenous peoples. The government promised to do better, Canadians expected better and the government must do better.
View Adam Vaughan Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam Vaughan Profile
2020-03-10 18:33 [p.1920]
Mr. Speaker, we all agree. I am very proud to have helped move the motions at committee to start the process of driving forward an urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy to make sure that people that are governed outside the Indian Act, close to 87% in my province but 80% across the country who live outside of the national indigenous organizations governance structures, have their housing needs met. They need to be met now. They needed to have been met years ago.
I am proud to be part of a government that not only passed the national housing strategy, which incorporates the move towards self-directed, self-designed and self-delivered indigenous housing programs in this area but also has started to make profound investments in that very same space.
Our 2016 budget included $564.7 million in new funding over the next three years to address pressing needs in 464 first nations communities. We have also, as part of the 10-year housing strategy and part of the reaching home strategy, for the first time carved out an indigenous stream, which is indigenous-led, indigenous-designed and indigenous-delivered in communities right across this country.
We did something else which is profoundly important. In areas where homelessness is high and the point-in-time counts show a strong indigenous population unfortunately is being over-represented, we have started to convert even the designated communities to indigenous leadership so that indigenous housing providers can provide support for those communities right across the country from coast to coast to coast.
In Vancouver, in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, the community entity that manages the funds for that part of the country and the community advisory board is now being led by indigenous leadership and indigenous housing providers precisely because we recognize their expertise but also their cultural capacity to deliver better services for people that are homeless.
As I said, the government committed in mandate letters to the Minister of Northern Affairs, to the minister that I work for, and also to the minister of indigenous infrastructure to deliver an indigenous-led urban, rural and northen housing strategy. Those dollars will be building upon investments that we have made already as part of the national housing strategy. In fact, $225 million over the last three years has been invested specifically here.
We did one other thing that I am also very proud of and that is we made sure that CMHC stops its practice which it has been conducting over the previous decades of disqualifying indigenous applications as they came forward by saying that the applicant has to go to INAC, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, to get money. All applications, indigenous and non-indigenous, that come forward to serve indigenous communities are now incorporated into the national housing strategy under all of the $55-billion program. We are having real success with that.
We also negotiated accords with the provinces and territories across this country a responsibility for those provincial accords to address indigenous housing in off-reserve areas, including supports to sustain the existing program and existing rental supports that are needed to make and sustain affordable communities for indigenous people. We also made sure that capital dollars were allocated in that area.
The member is correct. This is an area that is going to require this Parliament to act with great deliberation and to make substantial investments.
It is unfortunate that the NDP platform does not mention indigenous housing in urban spaces at all. It also is unfortunate that the three different letters that have been posted by the leader never once mention indigenous housing, not specifically and not intentionally.
I am glad that the member opposite has raised this issue and has driven this issue forward to make sure that her party takes this issue seriously. I look forward to her support at committee and her support of the federal budget and support of the findings that our government will produce to show the way forward.
We can solve this crisis. If we do not solve the crisis of urban, rural and northern homelessness, if we do not have a self-directed fourth pillar in the indigenous housing programs of this country, we will never solve homelessness and we will never achieve reconciliation and we will never achieve the dreams of decolonization that the member talked about.
Our government is committed to achieving this. I am committed to achieving this. I look forward to working with members opposite to make sure the dollars flow, the housing is built and people are cared for.
Results: 1 - 15 of 959 | Page: 1 of 64

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data