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Results: 1 - 15 of 1714
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-15 11:48 [p.21169]
Madam Speaker, this morning is my first opportunity to take part in this debate.
I have heard a few comments from people who think the Government of Canada is going to have a hand in murdering Canadians.
I know it has come up in a point of order. We are stuck, but it does not mean that anyone wants to murder any Canadians.
I think we need to be concerned, with a choice and a debate this deeply personal and moral, and with such complicated questions. Given the constraints of Supreme Court decisions and the work of the Senate, how do we keep the focus here not on the partisanship of this place but on making and passing good laws?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-15 15:09 [p.21202]
Mr. Speaker, on Monday, February 26, the 13th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization will open in Abu Dhabi. Amazingly, just eight weeks ago, that same country closed on an ambitious climate agenda from COP28, referred to as the United Arab Emirates consensus.
Will the government use that synchronicity, get in there and make sure that the 13th trade ministerial is a climate ministerial that makes the WTO back off from the climate deals and let us do the work to deliver on our Paris commitments?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-15 16:12 [p.21210]
Mr. Speaker, as we debate here and keep hearing the words, which we are now getting used to, “medical assistance in dying”, in the context of Bill C-62, I wonder whether we can create something different, like “societal assistance in living”.
We desperately need things like a guaranteed livable income. We need better access to social supports, mental health provisions, addictions counselling and a panoply of things that would make us feel more confident that no one would opt for medical assistance in dying. If Canada, if we as neighbours and friends to the family of all Canadians, said that we are there for them and that they can count on something, a guarantee, social assistance in living, would the hon. member think that is a good idea?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-14 16:35 [p.21124]
Madam Speaker, a source of deep concern from constituents in Saanich—Gulf Islands is the critical shortage of family doctors and health care practitioners. Statistics Canada states that approximately 4.8 million Canadians do not have what we think of as a family doctor, primary health care practitioner, nurse practitioner or others.
The concerned citizens and residents who signed this petition call on the House of Commons to work with provinces and territories to come to a holistic and fair solution to the critical and deeply concerning shortage of doctors.
View Mike Morrice Profile
GP (ON)
View Mike Morrice Profile
2024-02-14 16:38 [p.21125]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise to present a petition that, first of all, notes that housing is a human right.
The petitioners go on to note that both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada have consistently failed to adequately fund social housing. They say that research, specific to the housing first model, notes housing formerly unsheltered folks consistently improves their health and quality of life, even to the point where these improved life outcomes lead to a reduction in costs in other areas of government. They also note a Scotiabank report found that even if Canada were to double its social housing stock, we would still be around the peer average for social housing in the OECD.
The petitioners go on to note that the lack of action by one level of government should not excuse the lack of action by another. As a result, the petitioners are calling on both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to work together to double the current social housing stock in Ontario.
View Mike Morrice Profile
GP (ON)
View Mike Morrice Profile
2024-02-14 19:34 [p.21150]
Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago I rose to press the Prime Minister on placing an embargo on military exports to Israel, and tonight I rise again, as the situation has only become more dire.
Let me restate where we are. Since October 7, over 28,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 10,000 children. As the siege has continued, back in January the International Court of Justice published a decision calling on the state of Israel to take six steps to prevent genocide in its siege on Gaza. Canada is a signatory to the genocide convention, so we are bound by this ICJ decision. In the meantime, Canada has continued to export military equipment to the state of Israel.
When I first asked the question, I shared that in the most recent year we have records for, 2022, Canada permitted sales of more than $20 million of military equipment to Israel, which followed a record high of $26 million in 2021. In the time since, an access to information and privacy request by The Maple to Global Affairs has revealed that the government authorized at least $28.5 million of new permits for military exports to Israel during the first two months of this siege on Gaza.
Various ministers have denied in the media that this is the case, so I wonder if it might be the wording they are speaking about. As an example, Israel has used F-35 fighter jets in its bombing of Gaza, and Project Ploughshares, on January 18, warned that some Canadian-made military components, including those found in F-35s, are first shipped to the U.S. and then ultimately supplied to the Israeli military. They are destined for Israel all the same, even if it is through other countries.
Now, we have our own laws that forbid these permits. Section 7.3 of our own Export and Import Permits Act forbids these sales if there is a substantial risk they could be used to violate international humanitarian or human rights law, or for serious acts of violence against women and children.
In light of this, last month a coalition of legal advocates warned that it may bring a legal challenge against the federal government if it fails to halt military sales to Israel. Last week, a coalition of civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Mennonite Central Committee Canada and The United Church of Canada, called on the government to stop military exports to Israel, warning, “There is substantial concern that some of these weapons could be enabling Israel’s operation in Gaza.”
As we speak tonight, Netanyahu has vowed an offensive in Rafah, the last refuge for displaced Palestinians in southern Gaza. A WHO representative for Gaza and the West Bank said an assault on Rafah would be “an unfathomable catastrophe…and would even further expand the humanitarian disaster beyond imagination”.
In the midst of all this, Canada must be clear. Greens have called for the government to unequivocally call for a lasting ceasefire, for a release of all hostages, for funding to be renewed to UNRWA and for an end to all permitting of military equipment destined for Israel.
I ask again tonight, at a time when we know Canada has permitted more than $28 million of military equipment destined for Israel in recent months, when the ICJ has ordered Israel to take steps to prevent genocide and when our own laws forbids these sales if the equipment could be used to break international law, will the government put in place an embargo on military exports destined for Israel?
View Mike Morrice Profile
GP (ON)
View Mike Morrice Profile
2024-02-14 19:42 [p.21151]
Mr. Speaker, as the parliamentary secretary knows, there is no agreed-upon definition of the term “non-lethal equipment”. However, I can share what Global Affairs shared with The Maple on its ATIP request during the first two months of the war in Gaza. GAC issued permits worth a total of $18.4 million that covered military items categorized as electronic equipment, $9.2 million more for aircraft, lighter-than-air aircraft. The list goes on and on.
If we can have a reasonable conversation to be clear that these are the permits that GAC has made clear have been issued, if that is the case, and it is the case, in light of the ICJ decision, in light of our own Export and Import Permits Act, when will the Liberal government, along with other important calls that it has made, as has been shared this evening, end all permits for military equipment to the State of Israel?
View Mike Morrice Profile
GP (ON)
View Mike Morrice Profile
2024-02-13 10:03 [p.21005]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to present a petition that notes we are in the middle of both a climate crisis and a cost-of-living crisis. Petitioners note that folks across the country are struggling to afford housing and food, while also dealing with unprecedented climate disasters that will only continue to worsen if urgent action is not taken.
They note that while this is happening, fossil fuel companies made record profits last year, with the five largest fossil fuel companies operating in Canada alone making annual profits of over $38 billion. They note that a significant portion of these profits were made as a result of price gouging at the pump, in 2022, costing Canadians an additional 18¢ per litre, more than their previous profit margins on fuel and far more than the 2¢ per litre that carbon pricing went up in the same period last year. They also note the similar taxes on excess profiteering on those oil and gas companies has been instituted in Canada in other sectors already, as well as on oil and gas companies in the U.K. and Europe.
They then call on the Government of Canada to immediately apply a 15% windfall profit tax on the excess profits of oil and gas companies operating over the past three years and to reallocate the revenues that would be generated from that to proven climate solutions as well as to efforts to make life more affordable for Canadians, including investments in public transit, in retrofitting buildings and in greening the grid.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 10:06 [p.21005]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and present a petition from constituents in Saanich—Gulf Islands who are concerned about the nexus between the climate crisis and the health of humanity. The petitioners note that the World Health Organization has determined that, “Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.”
The health impacts from climate change include lung disease; heat-related illness and death; the spread of infectious diseases, and we note, in Canada, the spread of lyme disease related to climate change; displacement; famine; droughts; and mental health impacts, which are already being felt in Canada and abroad, and they are expected to accelerate.
Petitioners are, and I want to underline this, a particular class of knowledgeable individuals. The petitioners are described as physician mothers of Canada. They are people who are mothers and also speak with concern for our children, as many of us do, but with the added lens of the knowledge that they bring as physicians.
They call on the government and the House of Commons to act on the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment's calls to action on climate change and health, prioritize the reduction of emissions as quickly as possible, implement a national carbon pricing strategy and commit to the rapid elimination of fossil fuels from our economy.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 10:16 [p.21007]
Mr. Speaker, I thank hon. Minister of Justice for sharing these comments with other members of the cabinet, particularly the Minister of Health.
This is perhaps the most difficult issue any of us will ever deal with as members of Parliament. Strangely enough, I will just add that, had she been alive when I was a member of Parliament, Sue Rodriguez, who went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada for the right to die with dignity, would have been my constituent. She lived in North Saanich.
There is tremendous public support in my area for medical assistance in dying being available to Canadians. However, I have to say, when it came to Bill C-14 and extending it to where mental illness was the only underlying cause, I voted for that bill only because there was a time delay, and we should be ready before it comes into effect.
I support what the Minister of Justice just said. We know the provinces have spoken with one voice. I am very concerned that access to treatments for mental health are still not available and might push people toward seeking MAID because they cannot get access to something like psilocybin that could deal with their underlying causes.
I very much object to using time allocation. I do not think I have ever voted for time allocation in this place, but now I must because the court deadline is approaching; March 17 is soon. We need to make sure that we do not leave Canadians in this awful gap where we do not have anything in place, as a Parliament, to deal with the current crisis.
I offer those comments just to say that I will be voting differently from the way I typically have, but I still vigorously object to time allocation being used routinely.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 12:04 [p.21018]
Madam Speaker, this has become an issue, because it was inserted in the legislation at Bill C-14 by the Senate. Does the hon. member have any knowledge of what attitude the Senate is going to take?
We are operating under the gun here. We have to do something before March 17. Do we have any indication of whether the Senate will, once the House dispatches this matter, take it up quickly?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 12:34 [p.21023]
Madam Speaker, my friend, the member for Kelowna—Lake Country, and I share many of the concerns expressed today. This is one of those issues on which I would beg everyone in this place not to seek partisan advantage.
The divide we have here is really the most non-partisan thing of all: the structure of our Parliament, the Westminister system, whereby we still have the equivalent of the House of Lords; that is, the Senate. The Senate put in Bill C-14 that medical assistance in dying be available to those whose underlying medical condition is a mental health condition only. Everyone here, regardless of partisanship, is struggling to make sure Canadians do not seek access to medical assistance in dying if there is another option that allows them to continue to live. It is not partisan.
I would like comments from my hon. friend.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 12:51 [p.21026]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this. Having been in this place for all the debates we have had, I have been trying to figure out the best way to explain to Canadians, if there is an argument here, why it is not between Liberals and Conservatives, or between Greens and NDP and Conservatives and the Bloc. It has actually been, from the very beginning, a struggle for Parliament to actually deal with an issue we have been kicking down the road for too long.
I mentioned earlier in debate, as the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, the quiet and extraordinary courage of a single woman, Sue Rodriguez, who took her irremediable medical condition of suffering all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and was denied the opportunity for what is generally called death with dignity. She had the procedure illegally. Those who were with her at the time would have been subject to criminal penalty as well, including my friend Svend Robinson, who at the time was member of Parliament in a different party from a different place.
It was a very fraught time, and the issue of medical assistance in dying kept coming back to me from constituents who were heartbroken that their parents or loved ones had to go through suffering. Quite often people would say to me they would not let a family pet go through this kind of suffering so why do we allow our moms and our dads to go through this when there is no prospect they are going to recover.
This finally went back to the Supreme Court of Canada for a different decision that came out of the Carter case. The Carter case, back in 2015, said that refusing to allow someone the legal option to seek medical assistance from their doctor in a situation where their illness is terminal is really a violation of section 7 charter rights. I only mention this because that was also with a deadline. We have to take action on this; we cannot just leave the matter. The Supreme Court of Canada has said that this provision of the Criminal Code is actually a charter violation. That means one cannot let it just sit there anymore.
It would take too much time, and my colleagues will be relieved to know I will not go through this chapter and verse, but it is a tough, tough issue for parliamentarians. At the time, as we started debating the first iteration of allowing for death with dignity, in Bill C-14, our first Minister of Justice to deal with this was the very honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould. She had to struggle with this. Our Minister of Health at the time, also very honourable, Jane Philpott, was struggling with this.
It occurred to me as the debate went on that what we had in Canada on this issue was essentially a professional dispute. The lawyers in Canada wanted to make sure that the charter was respected. The doctors in Canada said they did not want to be asked to figure out what “irremediable” meant and were not exactly ready for that. Therefore, subsequent revisions kept happening because, after all, in our first attempt to get medical assistance in dying right, we did not allow for advance directives. Therefore, we had subsequent court cases where people who had terminal cancer could not access MAID because they decided they better ask for it now, which was maybe months before death would occur naturally and months before a doctor could say, “Okay, you're ready now. Nod.” One had to be able to physically sign; the day of, one had to confirm one's procedure.
Again, I better not go back through all of this, but essentially the professional views of doctors pleading with parliamentarians outweighed the lawyers dealing with parliamentarians to say that we were probably still going to have charter violations, but it is better that we listen to the doctors and that they are ready. All of this ended up taking us back to fixing medical assistance in dying again to try to make it more humane, to try to respond to the concerns of Canadians from coast to coast that they wanted to be able to access an advance directive in a situation that fit the MAID template. This brought us to Bill C-7.
To some of the comments that were made in this place earlier today, the government and Parliament were under a deadline that was court imposed, not politically imposed, to oblige ourselves, as parliamentarians, to meet what the Supreme Court of Canada said the charter required us to do. We had a very tight timeline, and then the Senate did something I do not think anyone in the House expected.
Again, we had a professional dispute going on here. Doctors were saying they were not ready to extend this to people whose sole irremediable condition is mental illness. Public health professionals in addiction and mental health were saying they were not ready. However, with strong pressure and strong professional advice from the psychiatric community, the Senate decided we should extend MAID to those with an underlying condition that is only, and I do not say “only” as if it is a marginal or trivial matter, a crushingly painful and life-ending threat from mental illness.
We are walking this fine line. The line is even finer when we start realizing who is more likely to not be able to access mental health supports; they are the marginalized and the poor. Who is more likely to not be able to imagine continuing on in life with a crushing mental illness? It is again the marginalized communities. The disability community spoke with a loud voice saying not to extend MAID as they were worried enough that it was a slippery slope when Bill C-14 first came in, and now Bill C-7.
Here we are again with a court-imposed deadline. Let us be clear to Canadians watching today. Certainly, the provinces and many doctors and mental health professionals have spoken with one voice. If we do not act quickly to pass this legislation and if the Senate does not act quickly to get it to royal assent come March 17, then as a matter of reality, we are up against March 17, and medical assistance in dying would become available to people where mental illness is the sole underlying condition.
Is it irremediable? We are told by the experts that no one really knows how to answer that question. Yes, some of the psychiatric community says the safeguards are there and if three psychiatrists say that it is irremediable, then that is enough. However, we are all asking where the mental health supports are, particularly for those who are marginalized. Where is the access?
This is one that particularly perturbs me. I have had many people come to me from a community that has experience with using psilocybin, conventionally known as magic mushrooms, as a way to alleviate a mental health condition, which might otherwise be irremediable, with remarkable results. We know that Health Canada is currently accelerating trials on psilocybin. It strikes me as beyond a catch-22 that the authorities would say to those people and to their doctors, who think psilocybin could help them, when the alternative is that they are more likely to commit suicide, or if we do not act by March 17, they will have access to legal medical assistance in dying, and it would be too dangerous to let them try psilocybin, but the alternative is death. It seems to me that any medical risks from psilocybin pale in comparison to the irreversible reality of death. How can we let this happen? We cannot.
I think we need to discuss another thing in this place, which is societal assistance in living. We know what medical assistance in dying looks like, but what does societal assistance in living look like? It means ending poverty and bringing in a guaranteed livable income for all. It means access to mental health services in this country. It means a compassionate and caring approach that says to every Canadian, whether in the disability community, the indigenous communities or the youth who are struggling with addictions, that we hear them and will not fail them. That means, no matter how members feel about it, we have to pass this legislation expeditiously.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 13:04 [p.21027]
Madam Speaker, I must say, I was very disappointed that the hon. leader of the official opposition was not rising to ask me a question. It would have been a first, and I was so looking forward to my response to him.
The hon. member for Châteauguay—Lacolle has asked me a very important question. I am a person of faith. I struggled with this. My constituents convinced me. I spent a lot of time talking to people in Saanich—Gulf Islands, who begged me to support legalizing, removing criminal sanctions for, medical assistance in dying. My view is very personal and a matter of conscience; I do not expect others to agree with me, when they passionately and firmly believe otherwise. I believe all life is sacred, of course. I believe that taking a life, including one's own life, is also a profound matter of deep moral conflict. However, I have no doubt at all that the Christian impulse to compassion is not to allow people to suffer needlessly.
Medical science is now allowing us to extend our lives beyond what my grandparents and their peer groups would have experienced. As we extend our—
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2024-02-13 13:06 [p.21028]
Madam Speaker, I believe access to care really is a key issue. I agree that having a continuum of suffering is unacceptable.
I am not against MAID eligibility for people who are suffering due to a disease and who have shown that their suffering is real. We must act. However, we do not have to act immediately, on March 17.
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