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Results: 1 - 15 of 358
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, people in my riding, Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, have questions for the Prime Minister.
They want to know why he never shows any interest in security-related issues. Since 2017, they have watched him welcome thousands of illegal immigrants with open arms. His government welcomes them every day and does nothing to put a stop to the problem.
It is clear to the people I represent that the Liberal government does not understand the concept of borders. Right now, anyone can circumvent the immigration system, while those who apply in accordance with the law are forced to wait even longer.
In the past month, my constituents have watched this government let criminals block rail lines and derail the economy. Many Canadians lost their jobs, and Canadians' safety and security were at risk. My constituents want to know why.
They are also concerned about the government's failure to make a decision about banning Huawei from the 5G network. They know that the communist Chinese regime spies on us and regularly steals Canadian intellectual property, but they do not see the government doing anything to protect them.
They feel abandoned, and they want to know why.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2020-02-28 11:51 [p.1746]
Madam Speaker, in January, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers for justice and public safety met in Victoria and agreed to examine the impacts of rural crime and how to reduce it through a pan-Canadian working group on rural crime. It has been over a month and we have not heard a peep from the Minister of Justice.
Crime is ravaging rural communities. People do not feel safe in their homes. They are losing faith in the justice system.
When will the minister announce the details of this pan-Canadian working group?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, this subject did come up at our last meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of justice. I have committed to working with that group moving forward. We have assigned our deputy ministers the task of moving forward. Indeed, I have committed to my counterpart in Alberta to visit rural parts of northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan in order to see it first-hand.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I know the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons was hoping this was an unlimited time slot. I want to share with him that the House can do whatever it wants by unanimous consent, so he can reflect on that opportunity. I want him to know that I am always prepared if he wants to hear more of what I have to say on an important subject. However, as I get into it, I wonder if he may be less interested in hearing what I have to say, quite frankly, but it is still important for him.
We are talking about Bill C-3 that deals with the work, in part, of the Canada Border Services Agency. This is timely because, especially today, many people are talking and thinking about the challenges in import and export and the transportation of goods. This is an area where the opportunity for public complaints and review is very important. Indeed, I hear many public complaints already out there about problems with regard to our ability to transport goods.
We are in the middle of a national crisis, where various protesters, a relatively small number, are openly trying to shut down Canada. They are blocking access to a border point and standing in the middle of train tracks. This is causing massive problems, and those problems are only going to continue. During discussions about this national crisis, members are raising fears about escalation and talking about the need for de-escalation.
All of us would like to ensure the situation does not get any worse, but inaction by the government is creating escalation, with more and more people thinking that they can ignore the law and protest illegally, and growing fears of Canadians that these blockades will result in long-term economic damage and the inability of people to access essential goods. I have been hearing from colleagues in the Maritimes and other parts of the country concerned about propane shortages and the impact it will have on people's ability to heat their homes and provide for their basic needs.
This bill speaks to accountability of our Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP. It is ironic that the government is putting forward measures aimed at making other agencies more accountable when it is failing to be accountable itself for the real problems in our economy as a result of decisions it has made to not act or show leadership in the midst of this national crisis. It is important to underline why we are facing this national crisis. There is a very small number, a minority, of hereditary chiefs, not the elected representatives, who oppose a particular development project on Wet'suwet'en territory, but all of the affected band councils are in favour of this. Overwhelmingly, the people are in favour of this and a majority of hereditary chiefs are in favour of this.
I draw the attention of members of the House to this issue in this context. If every single time a development project happens for which there is a small amount of opposition with the result of shutting down national infrastructure, then it is going to be very difficult for us to ever move goods in this country in the future because there are always going to be controversial projects. Those of us on this side of the House have been raising the warning that this really is a warm-up act for larger, more controversial projects in the future.
If the government, instead of dialoguing with the elected leadership of communities, feels that it can negotiate with other people who are not connected to those communities in the resolution of these issues, then we are going to have a problem where the government is always negotiating with the wrong people and people not connected to these projects can claim the right to speak on behalf of communities. It is going to be very difficult for us to ever find agreement on moving forward on projects.
That is the context in which we find ourselves. That is the national crisis that our country is facing. I think all of our constituents would want us to speak about these issues, highlight them and call on the government to finally show leadership and allow us to move forward by supporting the rule of law and, at the very least, verbalizing the importance of enforcing the law and respecting the will of the elected representatives of indigenous people.
Now I will move to the specific provisions in Bill C-3. This is a bill that “amends the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to, among other things, rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the Public Complaints and Review Commission.”
We know how seriously the government takes naming things. Sometimes it does not always know what those names mean. Sometimes it likes to rename things as a way of claiming credit for a policy.
Under the Conservatives we had something called the universal child care benefit, and the Liberals renamed it the Canada child benefit. Then they declared it to have been a great social policy innovation, a brand new idea, without remembering that the Liberals actually ran against the Canada child care benefit in 2006. It was a Liberal strategist who said that parents would just use this child benefit money for beer and popcorn. The Liberals evolved, and it was progress. They evolved from opposing support for parents to saying that they were going to rename the benefit and claim it. Maybe when Conservatives come back to government, we will rename it again. It was all our idea after all. We brought in the Canada child care benefit in 2006.
This legislation has some element of renaming, but it is a little more substantive than that. “It also amends the Canada Border Services Agency Act to, among other things, grant to that Commission powers, duties and functions in relation to the Canada Border Services Agency.”
Essentially what this bill does, under what had previously been a review commission just for the RCMP, is bring the CBSA under that civilian review mechanism.
As my colleagues have said, this is a principle that we are supportive of. Conservatives will be supporting the movement of this legislation through to committee where, no doubt, it will be further analyzed and studied by our excellent public safety team.
There is some progress in this legislation. It is not, as we have seen in some other cases, purely a name without meaning. Unlike the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, we actually know what the words mean to a greater extent, in the case of this piece of legislation.
I will just say, again, the irony here is the government is bringing in greater accountability for our border services agencies and yet we have seen a lack of willingness by the government to account for its own actions. We have seen so many instances of weak leadership.
Another area of a lack of accountability we have seen from the government is that it is already signalling, through things that private members have been putting out, that it is not supportive of the Teck project in Alberta. This is a critical project for the interests of Alberta, for the interests of our national economy. The government needs to approve it, and yet we are already seeing backbench members of the government putting out petitions encouraging people not to support it. That is fuelling further frustration in my province.
View Adam van Koeverden Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam van Koeverden Profile
2020-02-21 10:12 [p.1368]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from my colleague opposite, because I love standing up to talk about the Canada child benefit.
As everybody in the House knows, the origins go way back to the baby bonus in the 1940s, following the Second World War. Again, the Progressive Conservative government in 1992 modernized that, but it was in 2015, when we got elected, that we changed it, made it non-taxable and made it available for more people. We reduced child poverty in Canada by an unbelievable margin.
Prior to that, the Harper government increased poverty and increased child poverty. Poverty was at an untenable rate in 2014. With this measure, my riding in particular has received over $97 million, back into the pockets of families to help their kids. That money is not earmarked for any one thing, like sports or the arts. It is for absolutely whatever families need. It is a fantastic program that people in my riding are incredibly appreciative of.
I thank the member for bringing up, because it is a fantastically successful program for everybody in Canada.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, that member has a lot of talent at floating delicately on the water when he is trying to make a point, but I think he is going to sink on this one.
The reality is this is a program, and of course there were other iterations of similar types of program, but the universal child care benefit was brought in by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It was opposed by Liberals who said, “No, no. We should just give money to provinces and bureaucrats, and it should be a one-size-fits-all approach to child care.” Conservatives said, “No, we should give parents choice in child care. We should give them resources and let them decide.”
Then, it took a conversion on that topic before the Liberals could ever make it back to power. They realized that they would have to sell out to this Conservative principle that they did not really believe in to get back into power. They decided to rename it and take credit for it. They were going to tinker with some details, make it available to fewer people—
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-02-21 10:14 [p.1368]
Mr. Speaker, my question is relevant to the bill that is being discussed here today in the House of Commons.
The CBSA is the only major law enforcement agency in Canada without an independent review mechanism for the bulk for its activity and this is a major gap. It has not been addressed despite our calls dating back to the Harper government. It provides an accountability system that will increase public trust at the border and a review system that can provide CBSA officers with more clarity and confidence over policy questions when they are asked something about what they are supposed to be doing.
We are heartened to see this legislation come forward. We are disappointed that the Liberals tabled it with just weeks to go in the last Parliament. This clearly was not a priority of theirs, so we are happy to see this here today.
Will the Conservatives be supporting this legislation and allow better oversight of our public safety institutions and increased public confidence at our borders?
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Speaker, in my colleague's eight-minute speech, he covered a lot of ground with not too much focus on the actual conversation on the table. He said the Conservative Party is supporting the border crossing and I would like him to expand why he thinks it is important for his party to support this new legislation.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, a larger proportion of my speech was on topic than the previous question from the Liberal member, so we are a little ahead there.
It is important to note the things that Canadians are talking about today with respect to the CBSA. I know the member would want us to reflect the priorities and concerns of Canadians.
I believe in the principle of civilian oversight for our security agencies. It is interesting that, in the context of the blockades, the government seems to be criticizing the principle of civilian oversight and civilian policy direction when it comes to the police. That is an interesting sidebar. In principle, we support this legislation. We want to see it go to committee and we look forward to the study that will happen there.
View Steven Blaney Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege for me to rise today, as we face this national crisis. This crisis is the result of the Canadian government's lax approach in two of its most important roles: ensuring the security and integrity of our borders, and ensuring respect for law and order. Unfortunately, as we are seeing right now, the government has failed miserably on both accounts. That is why we are calling for immediate action.
One major role our police forces play is ensuring respect for law and order. The Canada Border Services Agency, or CBSA, meanwhile, must ensure respect for and the integrity of our borders. It is important to remember that the CBSA is an organization with nearly 14,000 border services officers and other staff working at over 1,200 ports of entry in 39 countries. Over the years, this agency has become an important part of our system for keeping Canadians safe. Obviously, given the volume of claims processed by the CBSA, there may be times when people who use its services or have dealings with the agency are less than satisfied with their interactions. That is why there was a complaints system in place, one that was to some degree overseen by the agency.
The purpose of this bill is to establish a new independent body, the public complaints and review commission, tasked with reviewing public complaints regarding the agency. This will also build on the efforts made since the agency was created in 2003 to make it a law enforcement agency and give dissatisfied people the option to file a complaint.
Were there complaints in the past? Indeed, there were. In 2018, 100 complaints were deemed to be founded by the CBSA's complaints review department. This work will now be done by an independent entity. The number of complaints may seem high, but it is important to remember that 95 million travellers deal with the Canada Border Services Agency, and five million of those interactions involve commercial vehicles. The number of complainants is therefore quite small relative to the huge flow of people who deal with the CBSA. Nevertheless, these complaints must be properly addressed and that is why we are in favour of creating this complaints commission.
That is where we are. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the remarkable work of our border services officers and decry the fact that the current government ended the televised series Border Security: Canada's Front Line, which allowed Canadians to learn more about the work of these officers. The series did not cost the government anything and it helped showcase the remarkable work done by border services officers.
As my NDP colleague mentioned, we have to wonder why the government waited until the end of the last session of Parliament to propose creating the public complaints and review commission, even though it made that commitment in 2015. It is about time that the government moved forward, but we have to wonder why the Liberals were so complacent with respect to the implementation of this measure.
Moreover, the national president of the Customs and Immigration Union, Jean-Pierre Fortin, has said that he was not consulted. The Liberals should have consulted him because he stated that he was in favour of this measure. The Liberals missed yet another opportunity to demonstrate that this is a worthwhile project that has the approval of the public and to showcase the excellent work of border services officers.
This raises an important point, and that is the government's responsibility to ensure the integrity of the border and the enforcement of law and order. As I mentioned, the government has failed miserably on both fronts.
Before this government and the misguided tweets of the Prime Minister, the integrity of our border was assured. The Prime Minister's tweet undermined our border system. I am obviously referring to the situation at Roxham Road, which is a threat to our territorial security, since people are illegally entering the country. We should remember that entering by Roxham Road is illegal. We are tolerating a shortcut that allows individuals to bypass our immigration system.
Unfortunately, in recent weeks, we have been focusing mainly on the blockades, which is quite understandable. However, we have seen an upsurge in illegal entries at Roxham Road. That is due to the government's lack of leadership with respect to its responsibility to ensure the integrity of our borders.
With regard to law and order, a lack of leadership creates situations like the one my colleague mentioned, where the government, to some extent, is interfering in the RCMP's operations by stipulating that it cannot intervene or use force to resolve the conflict. The problem is that this interference undermines the moral authority of our police, just as the Prime Minister's tweet undermined the Canada Border Services Agency's authority in ensuring respect for our borders. The Liberals restricted the police's and the border authorities' ability to intervene, with disastrous results.
Our businesses are currently in a critical situation. I was talking about that earlier with my colleague from Beauce. This morning, I met with a business owner from my riding whose American competitors are quite happy about the fact that his merchandise is stuck in our trains. What are his clients doing? They are turning to American suppliers. He told me that he is losing close to $65,000 in sales and, on top of that, he is going to have to pay an additional $7,500 to redirect his containers. That is a loss of $72,500 for just one business owner. This is one of dozens of examples in my riding and hundreds across the country. Our businesses and our workers are being affected by the government's lack of leadership and moral authority.
We can provide support, but we expect the government to refrain from interfering in the operations of the Canada Border Services Agency and police forces. What we are currently seeing is that, by insisting on a peaceful resolution, the Liberals are violating the moral authority of police forces, to a certain extent. Law enforcement then cannot establish a balance of power and are unable to intervene and enforce law and order.
The consequences here are many. First, this undermines the moral authority of our police forces and the Canada Border Services Agency. This crisis has caused gridlock across the country, and we are seeing financial losses, enormous costs and repercussions. As my colleague mentioned, the long-term damage here is that this situation is normalizing non-compliance, disrupting order and disregarding the integrity of our borders.
For this reason, we are calling on the government to not only advance this bill, but also to restore moral authority for our police forces and border services. It must not interfere with their operations by insisting on using political solutions to address law-and-order problems.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his speech.
Given that my colleague once served as public safety minister, I should think he would be better informed than other MPs, myself included.
I wonder if he still believes in what he said on May 13, 2015:
“I have full confidence in the judgment of the RCMP. While respecting the operational independence of the RCMP...”
Does he still believe in those words today, as the current Minister of Public Safety does now?
View Steven Blaney Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that great question. I will tell him exactly what I said in 2015, which is that I have full and total confidence in the RCMP.
However, I would never, ever do what the Minister of Public Safety and Prime Minister are doing now. They are hindering and restricting the RCMP's operational response capability by directing it to resolve the conflict a certain way. They are undeniably preventing the RCMP from using the tools at its disposal to resolve the conflict. The current Prime Minister is stripping the police of their deterrence capacity by taking away their coercive tool, namely their ability to intervene.
I urge the government to follow the example I set in 2015 and let the RCMP do its job. The government needs to stop tying the RCMP's hands and telling it not to act.
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, my riding has five border crossings. It is probably one of the most border crossing rich ridings in the country.
Constituents come to my office occasionally with concerns about how they have been treated at the border, both leaving and coming back. What are the member's thoughts on the fact that the bill retains the provision that ex-RCMP members cannot sit on the commission so there is no conflict of interest, but it does not do the same for CBSA members? Could he comment on that concern?
View Steven Blaney Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my answer is yes. We need a third party to look into the complaints and address the disservice. The application of the law should apply equally to the RCMP and the CBSA.
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