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Results: 1 - 15 of 98
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-25 10:30 [p.9249]
Mr. Speaker, the strength of the country we love is our people, but it is also the principles and practices of our democracy. People have worked for, fought for and have died for our democracy and our country. Now the government has broken the basic rules of democracy, and that is being expressed in the vote of contempt of Parliament that is happening today in the House of Commons.
Would the Leader of the Official Opposition tell us how the government's abuses of power and contempt of Parliament affect the very character of Canada? How do they affect the daily lives of people in their homes and communities in Canada?
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-23 18:40 [p.9162]
Mr. Speaker, I am here to talk about the environment.
One of the most difficult and disappointing parts of being a member of Parliament is to see what the current Conservative government has done in presenting a piecemeal, ad hoc, visionless approach, which has taken us backwards on climate change.
Compare that to where Canada was five years ago under a Liberal government. We were poised to have a comprehensive regulatory approach. We were poised to have a price on carbon. Businesses were on board. Funding was in place for programs to help citizens reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. That has all been blown away by the Conservative government's approach.
Clearly, putting a price on carbon allows businesses to plan. It is efficient and the most effective way to go. However, the government has just tabled a budget where almost half of the funding for the clean air agenda is about regulations.
Supposedly the government wants to cut red tape, but instead it has added red tape and wrapped it around the business community. It is as though the government is replacing the windshield wipers and waxing the car when the transmission and the engine are shot and the trunk is full of cement blocks. That is the Conservative government on climate change.
The Liberal Party has a vision in which Canada would accept its responsibility to reduce carbon pollution that is in line with other developed countries with a 1990 baseline. We would create a cap and trade system that would be verifiable and binding with hard caps leading to absolute reductions. Then the market could do the work and bring greenhouse gases down in the most efficient and effective way.
A Liberal government would make the most significant investments in clean energy and energy efficiency in our nation's history. We would become leaders and could export those technologies to other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, the Conservative government has rested its plan on obstructing and trying to undermine the actions that other countries have taken, while rubbing the wax on its car and trying to show it off as action on climate change. It has been disappointing and undermines the efforts that companies want to make.
Today is the 22nd anniversary of an environmental event, which is the running aground of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska 22 years ago today.
I want to mention another piecemeal, ad hoc, visionless, backward approach, and that is the government's approach on the oceans. The government has disabled and discarded the long-term moratorium defending our oceans from supertankers.
On the contrary, a Liberal government would take a position of global leadership in protecting our shared ocean heritage and vital coastal communities and their jobs so these kinds of ecological disasters would never harm our shores.
The government is in contempt of Parliament, it has contempt for Canadians and it has contempt for the environment. No wonder parliamentarians can no longer express confidence in the government.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-23 18:47 [p.9163]
Mr. Speaker, I always love the reminder of the Victoria waste management project, which I was proud to increase the testing and the science of those waters. That led to the commitment very shortly after to build a sewage treatment plant. That is one of my successes as an environment minister. I thank the member for bringing that up once again.
Also, the member talked about the Conservative government's pride in signing the Copenhagen accord. I do not believe the member opposite was there. However, I was. Canada was rejected from being among the dozens of countries that worked on this for a few days at the conference. It was approximately a five-page agreement. Canada was not allowed to participate in drafting it because of its woeful reputation for obstructing efforts on climate change. It is not legally binding and the members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change did not ratify this agreement.
That is what the member is claiming pride in.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-08 12:30 [p.8771]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Ajax—Pickering.
A worrying trend has emerged in Ottawa. There is a gradual and unprecedented undermining of our electoral and parliamentary processes. The current Conservative government's slow, insidious assault on our democracy is lowering the bar on the time-honoured way that politics is done in Canada. This is being accomplished by overriding and circumventing the rules of fair play and accountability, and slowly, bit by bit, changing the standards and expectations of our democracy.
This process is not unlike the cautionary tale of the frog placed in a pot of water sitting on the stove top. The hapless frog does not notice the slow incremental rise in temperature of the water until it is much too late. The result is inevitable. The frog gets cooked.
Canada's very identity is tied to our democratic form of electing representatives, our form of government and the role of Parliament in representing citizens. This has been the result of a centuries long and determined struggle by many people.
Our democratic principles of openness and accountability, of civility and fair play have made us who and what we are as a country. Over time these have made Canada the envy of the world, an inclusive, prosperous and peaceful nation where we recognize the fairness of basic rights and equality of all Canadians regardless of their worldwide origins.
The Conservative government's pattern of deceit gnaws at democracy's edges. A minister wrongly blamed bureaucrats for her decision to cut funding to the church-backed charity KAIROS, doctoring documents and misleading the House of Commons. The Prime Minister prorogued Parliament to hide information on Afghan detainee torture. Cabinet ministers have refused to reveal how many billions of taxpayer dollars will be needed to pay for their crime bills and their prison expansion plans. Civil servants are muzzled. Independent officers of Parliament are fired when they disagree with government ideology. NGOs are punished. Now, top Conservative officials are facing criminal charges for election fraud in the 2006 campaign.
Each of those examples is important, but the pattern as a whole of the undermining of democracy is what I am most concerned about.
The members of this institution over time have a long history of fighting for what is right. That is what I was elected by the citizens of Vancouver Quadra to do. I hope that is what the members opposite were elected to do, to fight for what is right, to protect others, to protect the environment. I think of: David Anderson and the Species at Risk Act; Judy LaMarsh, the first Liberal woman cabinet minister, who fought for women's equality; MPs who fought for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, health care, pensions, seniors, children, poverty.
What we have here, and what is so egregious, is Conservative members and ministers are fighting to defend what is wrong. They are fighting to defend their abuse of power day after day after day. This in and out election fraud is wrong. It may be proven to be illegal. If the Director of Public Prosecutions is filing charges, that means there is a substantial chance of conviction.
What is being alleged? I would say it is $2 million in pure electoral fraud: $1.2 million in spending over the legal limit, that is $1.2 million in illegal advertising by the Conservative Party in the 2006 election; forging fake invoices to cover the tracks; and then another fraudulent acquisition of $800,000 in ill-gotten gains by bilking taxpayers.
For me the term “money laundering”, another dirty, illegal activity, comes to mind. What is money laundering? One, it is placement, cash introduced into a financial system, illicit cash. That would be the $1.2 million. Two, it is layering, such as, complex transactions to camouflage the illegal source. That would be the doctored invoices and the ridings being asked to be complicit in this. Three, it is integration, acquiring wealth generated by the transaction of the illicit funds. That would be the $800,000 to be paid by taxpayers back to those ridings. This sure smells a lot like money laundering.
In British Columbia there are a number of MPs and executive council who are implicit in this, including the President of the Treasury Board and the former government whip. Seventy ridings were implicated, a dozen in British Columbia alone. This is a critical issue at the heart of our democracy.
I want to talk about what may seem like a sidetrack and that is Darwin's theory of evolution. It is no longer a theory. There is no scientific refuting of this understanding of species evolution. One of the understandings is that individuals in a species co-operate and they also compete. They compete within their group, but if they do not co-operate enough, then their group will lose in the competition to another group. Whether it is dictyostelium amoebae, ants, wolves or humans, we all compete and co-operate.
What stops us from competing or undermining those in our own group to the detriment of the group and our evolutionary survival? It could be called a “cheater detection system”, which is exactly what we are talking about with all of these abuses of power of the Conservative government. It is cheating and undermining the cheater detection systems of our parliamentary and electoral processes. The direction in which Canada is going under the government is bad for Canadians. I will give a few examples.
Not only are the Conservatives systematically cheating and breaking the law, we have a Prime Minister who is alleged to have bribed a dying MP or had been implicit in bribing a dying MP for his vote. The immigration minister was recently caught having developed a strategy on fundraising for targeting ethnic Canadians through his ministry, through public funds. We have ministers who have signed-off on multi-million dollar--
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-08 12:38 [p.8772]
Mr. Speaker, with regard to that point of order, I clearly used the word “alleged”. There were allegations and they are in print.
Not only is the government systematically cheating, or alleged to be cheating, it is also undermining the cheater detector systems that have been built into our democracy that are part of the fabric and character of Canada.
There is a list of examples and I will give just a few.
Peter Tinsley, the chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, had his tenure ended over the Afghan detainee controversy. His office is a cheater detector system and he was calling out the government.
Robert Marleau, Information Commissioner, eventually resigned because of government blockage of relevant documents regarding the public interest. The government's systematic secrecy around documents is also undermining an important cheater detection system, which is the transparency of information.
Dr. Arthur Carty, National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, was dismissed after advocating for an evidentiary science policy. A scientific basis for decision-making is a good cheater detection and the government does not like it.
As the official opposition, we use every parliamentary tool available to stop these abuses of power, these offences, and to raise the alarm. The Conservatives' secrecy, deceit and excessive control will only breed cynicism and apathy in the public, corroding Canada's national sense of civility and civil engagement.
An eight-year-old constituent came to Parliament to meet me and he was in awe of Parliament and our institutions. We need to protect and maintain them for his generation.
Like the hapless frog sitting in the pot of ever-hotter water, the results of inattention or passivity toward the health of Canada's democracy and the government's abuses will be very hard to undo. Fortunately, Canadians are beginning to notice: prorogation, cut to the census, information secrecy, KAIROS and now the in-and-out scam, alleged election fraud.
Thankfully, Canadians are feeling the heat and that is important because the very character of Canada is at stake.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-08 12:42 [p.8773]
Mr. Speaker, the member is quite correct in his observations. The Conservative government's pattern is not one of mistakes nor of well-intentioned ministers with staff who are doing the wrong thing. This is actually the pattern of a government and a party that believes that the end justifies any means and will undertake any means if it thinks it can get away with them. Now, some of these means that are unethical and possibly illegal are being uncovered and light is being shed on this approach, this very undermining of democracy that I have been describing.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-08 12:44 [p.8773]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that partisan attack. In fact, the Gomery inquiry, after extensive investigation, exonerated all members and all parliamentarians of the Liberal Party from any involvement in that situation. That is the opposite of what we have here when we have a minister of immigration whose own department appears to be complicit in partisan electoral analysis and fundraising, and when we have a party that has perpetrated partisan attacks through potential electoral fraud to gain more funds for its ridings and to overspend the budget in order to buy more partisan attack ads and steal the 2006 election.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-08 14:32 [p.8788]
Mr. Speaker, the in and out election fraud scheme was widespread. The 67 ridings involved included a dozen in British Columbia alone. The former government whip's riding funnelled $15,000 in and out. The President of the Treasury Board's riding did the same, laundering almost $10,000. Not only was it Canada-wide, it also reached deep into the Prime Minister's inner circle, including his current chief of staff. Nigel Wright was the secretary for Conservative fundraising during the 2006 election. What did he know about this scam?
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-02-14 14:15 [p.8105]
Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government continues to diminish Canada's stellar reputation on the world stage, fortunately Canadians are doing just the opposite.
This past weekend, Canadians from across the country proved to the world that Canada is a leading nation on many fronts.
In music, indie pop sensation Arcade Fire made Montrealers and all Canadians proud last night when they took home the coveted Album of the Year award at the Grammies, while Neil Young proved he is still “rockin' in the free world” with his Best Rock Song win.
In sport, Ontario tennis champ, Milos Raonic yesterday became the first Canadian in 16 years to capture an ATP Tour title at the SAP Open in San Jose, California.
And Érik Guay won gold at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Germany.
Whether on stage, on the courts or on the slopes, this weekend was Canada's.
On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, I would like to congratulate all of this weekend's winners.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-02-11 11:14 [p.8060]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party is proud to support all Canadian athletes. In the next two weeks, thousands of young athletes from across Canada will be competing in the hope of reaching the podium at the Canada Games.
As the largest multi-sport competition in Canada for young athletes, these games represent an important step on the road to becoming future Canadian Olympic champions. These talented athletes, who have dedicated themselves to their sport for years, are role models for all young Canadians and an inspiration to everyone.
They certainly deserve our support. However, the Conservatives have frozen the athletes assistance program fund for top competitors at 2004 levels. That means these young people are less and less able to manage the costs of training and competition. They have asked the government to close this growing support gap, to no avail.
Canadian athletes are struggling while large profitable corporations are getting yet another tax holiday. Please give our future champions a break.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-02-09 15:02 [p.7940]
Mr. Speaker, Canadian authorities have no reliable way of tracking American oil tankers in the out-of-bounds exclusion zone off B.C.'s coast. In December, the Transport Minister incorrectly told the House that the zone is “closely monitored and strictly enforced”.
Not so. On average, an Alaskan tanker enters these prohibited waters every single day.
They have abandoned the 40-year policy banning tankers from B.C.'s northern inland waters and they are failing to defend the exclusion zone as well.
Why is the government putting B.C.'s coast at risk?
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-01-31 11:37 [p.7403]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be back in the House today and would like to welcome all members back to this first day of the 2011 session.
I am also very pleased to debate this topic again. I spoke to it last in November 2009. Since then there has been considerable work done on Bill C-393, a bill that proposes to amend Canada's access to medicines regime. However, I would like to touch again on the reason this matters.
I was born in South Africa and spent much of my childhood there. I went back in 2002, and visited Soweto and people there knowing full well that 50 per cent of the people in Soweto at that time were infected with the HIV-AIDS virus. That meant that of every child born to an infected mother, one out of two was infected with the AIDS virus, and of every baby born who was infected with the virus, one out of two, or half, would not live past their second birthday. This is also a humanitarian tragedy in Africa.
I visited with a cousin who was a manager in an important industry in South Africa. I asked how the economy was doing, and he said that one of the key challenges was that with the prevalence of AIDS in South Africa, people were being trained to be managers, technicians, professionals, and workers but then leaving and dying early because of the AIDS scourge. Therefore, it is also an economic tragedy in South Africa.
In Africa approximately five million people have access to AIDS treatments comparable to what we have in Canada, but 10 million people in Africa do not. That is why the bill for CAMR was put forward in 2004 by a Liberal government to provide access to such medicines and to enable Canadian companies to export low-cost, generic drug cocktails to help lessen those tragedies.
Although the hope was that there would be a flow of royalties to Canadian companies and a flow of life-giving medication to Africans who required it, that bill just did not work. The legislation was flawed with bureaucratic and institutional barriers that made it unworkable. Essentially, only one contract was signed and implemented under that law. Therefore, Bill C-393 was put forward as a solution to address those problems and make it easier accomplish the objectives of CAMR.
There are members in the House who believe that Bill C-393 is imperfect and does not do enough to address systemic problems in providing access to affordable AIDS medication in Africa. I understand that reasonable people can sometimes disagree on the means to a common end: supporting Canadian businesses and those people in Africa who need medication for AIDS.
To those MPs, I would say that the motion for the one-licence solution that is at the core of the bill must reinstate the latter for Bill C-393 to become meaningful, and that it will help. There have been many credible witnesses before the committee who said that Bill C-393 , while perhaps not being the full solution to AIDS in Africa, would improve access to affordable AIDS medication for people who are dying without it, as well as protecting the interests of the patent owners of those medications. Let us help the Africans and support Bill C-393 and its one-licence solution.
I would like to make a few comments beyond the direct implications of the bill.
Imagine if the 10 million people in Africa currently carrying the HIV-AIDS virus and suffering and dying from AIDS were receiving the drug cocktails that turn this dreadful killer of a disease into a chronic yet manageable one, as we are doing in Canada. Imagine the well-being that would result in Africa and the economic and human implications of doing so.
Another piece that is starting to become clearer is drug cocktails. These medications prevent the transmission of AIDS. This is a very important point and an important underpinning for passing Bill C-393 with the one licence solution intact.
Drug cocktails lower the viral load of an AIDS patient to undetectable levels, which means they do not allow the disease to be transmitted. These cocktails are proving to be an almost 100% prevention mechanism. Treatment equals prevention. With access to these medicines people will no longer suffer the way they do without treatment and transmission of the disease will be prevented. If people who have contracted HIV-AIDS are fully treated, millions of others will be prevented from contracting AIDS each year. It is even more urgent that Canada support making affordable drugs available in Africa.
Unfortunately, the Conservative government is ignoring this prevention aspect of HIV-AIDS treatment. It has provided absolutely no support for pilot projects in Canada. There is a provincially funded pilot project in my province of British Columbia which seeks out AIDS sufferers who are not aware they have contracted the virus, or are incapable of managing their own treatment, so that they can be treated and the transmission of AIDS in Canada can be reduced. Six thousand people a year contract AIDS in Canada unnecessarily. With proper treatment, AIDS would no longer be transferable.
I would urge Conservative MPs to recognize the importance of AIDS medications as being not only treatment but prevention too. I would urge my colleagues to support prevention funding and projects here in Canada and abroad, which is what we are talking about with Bill C-393.
One member referred to Dr. James Orbinski, head of Doctors Without Borders. He has led this organization through some of the worst and most wrenching conflicts in Africa: Somalia, Rwanda and Darfur. Dr. Orbinski received a Nobel Prize on behalf of Doctors Without Borders. He has a great deal of credibility both as a medical professional and as someone who has worked in Africa on this issue. Dr. Orbinski commented that the possible failure of Bill C-393 with its one licence solution reinstated would be as unconscionable as leaving a room full of AIDS patients to die simply because they are poor and African.
Members on all sides of the House have big hearts. We want to see improvements in AIDS treatment in Africa and affordable medicines as part of that. I would urge all members to think about the foundational reasons of the importance that this bill go forward and soon. Lives are at risk every day that we wait.
We cannot let our brothers and sisters in Africa down. We must fix CAMR so these treatments can be provided affordably and soon. Humanity depends on it. I urge all members of Parliament to support Bill C-393 with its one licence solution.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2010-12-14 10:07 [p.7209]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-606, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (prohibition against the transportation of oil by oil tankers on Canada’s Pacific North Coast).
She said: Mr. Speaker, this bill is being seconded by the member for Yukon.
I am very pleased to introduce my private member's bill, which is an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. It is a prohibition against the transportation of oil by oil tankers on Canada’s Pacific north coast.
I want to thank the member for Yukon for his strong support and for seconding this bill. The member is a tireless advocate for the people of the north and for the sustainable economic development and protection of the environment.
This bill is a response to the vast majority of British Columbians who want continued protection of the inland borders around Haida Gwaii. That would be the areas of the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Islands. They want this area protected from the transport of crude oil for export in oil tankers and supertankers.
This very strong desire for protection is democracy at work. This includes municipalities, first nations and residents in British Columbia, including the residents of Vancouver Quadra.
Over the years, we have experienced the Exxon Valdez accident and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It is a reminder that there cannot be a guarantee against an oil spill caused by human error or equipment failure. This law would protect the north coast.
I want to thank my Liberal colleagues, colleagues from other parties in the House and all of the advocates for a protected coast for their support.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2010-12-10 11:43 [p.7082]
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's deceit, inaction and hypocrisy have left Canada shunned at climate conferences like Copenhagen and Cancun. Canadians are furious.
Canada's obstruction at Cancun is so undermining that it has been criticized as ecocide.
Shamefully, our part-time environment minister is publicly blaming Canada's own intransigence on China, a developing country that has already made massive investments to reduce emissions and has committed to a major reduction target.
Is poking China in the eye the government's new climate policy?
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2010-12-09 19:18 [p.7065]
Mr. Speaker, I am rising to talk about a question I asked in the House. The government promised recreational infrastructure then turned down thousands of qualified projects across British Columbia. In B.C. alone, almost half of the proposals were rejected.
The Minister of State for Science and Technology bizarrely responded by saying that I was absolutely incorrect and that there were a number of projects accepted across the country, creating jobs from coast to coast to coast. Yes, there were some accepted, but almost half were rejected. That was my point.
Then the minister of state, again bizarrely, went on to say that I voted against any money for any arena in any part of Canada, which again was completely false, since the Liberal Party supported the government's budget in order to support people during a recession period.
In going over that interaction, I was very disappointed at the hon.minister of state's answer. It is an illustration of the lack of integrity in question period, in terms of answering the question, and it is a lack of respect for Parliament's role, which is to hold the government to account.
I have to wonder whether this lack of transparency by the minister of state has a purpose and serves the government's partisan, self-serving use of public funds. The money for recreational infrastructure was far more targeted at Conservative ridings than the percentage of Conservative ridings itself because 60% of the funds went to Conservative ridings, when only 46% of ridings are Conservative. We have seen this in other programs. We have seen it in the facilities to improve access for the disabled, where 90% of funds went to Conservative ridings.
Another point I made was that every sign for the Conservative's action plan cost money. Whether it is replacing a doorknob or a light bulb, there is a sign. Those signs cost, on average, over $2,000 per sign. This money should be used for recreational infrastructure, for playgrounds, for fitness facilities and senior centres, for field houses, all the things that were turned down by the minister responsible for the recreational infrastructure funding.
Canadians need recreational infrastructure funding for their health, for equality. Community centres in Vancouver Quadra, like Kerrisdale Community Centre, Point Grey and Dunbar, are desperate funds to update aging facilities so they can serve the public. The government, sadly, does not care much about families and their needs for recreational infrastructure. It has wasted money that should be spent on the priorities of families. It has wasted $1 billion with the G8-G20 nonsense that did nothing for Canadians. That funding could have funded every recreational infrastructure project across Canada.
My concern is the government's priorities are misplaced and its funding, using taxpayer dollars, is mismanaged.
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