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Results: 91 - 105 of 40658
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'd like to begin, Justice Kirby, if I may, not only by commending you for your testimony today and your comprehensive report, but really also for a lifetime of commitment to human rights and the rule of law.
In your commission's final report, in which you document the wide array of crimes against humanity, you conclude by saying that the gravity, scale, and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.
Now this is, as you pointed out clearly, an R2P situation, but if it is an R2P situation, the question arises how can the international community now on the 10th anniversary of R2P best give expression to this imperative in the case of North Korea.
Of course, a reference by the UN Security Council to the ICC would be the best example, and it's always possible this may happen, but I'm not unmindful of the fact that with regard to Syria we were prevented from invoking the R2P there because China and Russia again and again exercised their veto.
My question is what can the international community do either to persuade China and Russia, or if that does not work, other initiatives that we might take, and in particular how may Canadian parliamentarians assist in this regard?
View Marc-André Morin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for joining us, Mr. Kirby.
I don't know whether you have a lot of information on the situation in North Korea, on what is happening inside the country. I believe that repression always contains an economic aspect. For instance, it is easy to see that in the example of the Holocaust, when Germany's entire economy was tied in with the concentration camp activities. Moreover, the mass murder of millions of Jews in Europe was a source of revenue and funded their own repression.
According to what I have heard, in North Korea, there is a new privileged class of North Koreans who work in factories on the border that are often controlled by large international companies. The people who work there have absolutely amazing lifestyles compared to ordinary North Koreans who are starving. The source of the regime's collapse is probably the creation of a privileged class of North Koreans who are exploiting their peers. In addition, the funding mostly comes from factories operated by South Korean or Chinese companies.
What are your thoughts on that?
View Marc-André Morin Profile
NDP (QC)
A question came to me while you were talking.
If we see that there are indeed sources that supply the regime with capital, shouldn't we take some measures—for example, when we sign agreements with countries—to ensure that Canada is not doing business with companies that use slavery, in one way or another?
Shouldn't we impose penalties against companies or countries that take advantage of people working in slave labour conditions? Could that not be a way to deal with it?
View Hélène LeBlanc Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would also like to thank the witnesses for their presentations and for the extremely important initiatives they discussed with us.
Ms. Patterson, you said that a partner was missing for all of these initiatives, that they were often of rather short duration, and that there were no long-term incentives.
Mr. Zilberbrant, you gave the example of a park in which you used a rather innovative type of concrete, if I understood correctly.
Do you think that in the long term, the federal government could see to it that the population and entrepreneurs are made more aware of these materials that are particularly adapted to climate change, since they contribute to reducing greenhouse gases?
Do you think the federal government could do something in that respect?
View Hélène LeBlanc Profile
NDP (QC)
You talked about incentives, but how could the federal government provide those?
I'm not talking here about a brief program or project that would disappear after two or three years, but about a more official initiative centred on this type of product. If I understand correctly, this could reduce the risk of flooding, or the overflow of municipal wastewaters. If there were a certification or an incentive, this could encourage entrepreneurs to use the product.
View Hélène LeBlanc Profile
NDP (QC)
That is a very good idea. The federal government has an enormous number of buildings, enormous infrastructure. It could as you said be one of the first users. It could lead by example by adopting this type of technology, which is really focused on adapting to climate change. I think that is interesting.
In addition, there is the Quebec Fonds vert, the Green Fund. That plan provides funds to companies and industries. It applies to industries at this time. Could you tell me how the Green Fund allows companies to innovate while lowering their energy costs and costs of production? How could a bill, or a program like the Quebec Green Fund, be an incentive for companies to innovate, in partnership with government?
View Hélène LeBlanc Profile
NDP (QC)
Very well, thank you very much.
Ms. Patterson...
Is that all?
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I also want to commend the witnesses for their informed and graphic testimony on matters relating to the assault on fundamental freedoms, on trade union rights, and not only political prisoners but also the plight of those who are political prisoners in terms of torture, forced confessions, and the like.
As was mentioned as well, you've characterized the Vietnam government as being a totalitarian government, as being a dictatorial regime, which leads to my question then. How can international pressure be effective on a totalitarian regime using, for example, the fundamental freedoms issue that you mentioned, freedom of speech, press, assembly and association?
And I have a specific question I would put to Dieu Cay and that is how can that be effective in securing the release from prison of your colleague, Ta Phong Tan, who is now, as you mentioned, on a hunger strike? Those are my two questions.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
View Tyrone Benskin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, and please let me add my voice welcoming you back.
Thank you, Mr. Dieu Cay, for your very in-depth and moving testimony. My question is for you. We have heard a number of witnesses speaking to the hunger strikes that are either ongoing now or that people engaged in before, you and a gentleman that we had for previous testimony, your friend who is undergoing a hunger strike at this moment. To me, it seems a very internal thing, because we don't hear about it unless individuals like you come to us.
I guess that's where the bloggers come in. Is there an estimate of how many bloggers are dedicated to the human rights situation in Vietnam and how many of those might be in Vietnam at this point?
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
I just wanted to say that we introduced an opposition day motion in February seeking the exact measures proposed here. So we're very glad that the government has finally listened to reason and taken the necessary steps to help small businesses.
We are pleased with the direction the government has taken and proud of our efforts to get to this point.
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We support the principle behind TFSAs. We've made that clear numerous times in the past.
But raising the limit to nearly double is a problem because it does not adequately address a number of issues. Mr. Brison just described one of them. Mr. Jovanovic, you've read the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report on the matter.
Something else in the report was also raised in other studies. The purpose of a TFSA is to encourage people to save, a bit like an RRSP. But the TFSA isn't really leading to any new savings. Small investors are using the vehicle a bit like they would an RRSP. But, by and large, those who are maxing out their contributions aren't putting away additional savings. They are merely moving their savings. The TFSA actually provides a more favourable tax environment in terms of protecting savings in the future and ensuring growth.
Have you considered the points raised by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, among others, and looked at how the TFSA has affected people's saving habits? Similarly, have you considered the impact of raising the limit from $5,500 to $10,000?
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
The benefits you just listed are the very reasons why we don't oppose the principle behind TFSAs. You talked about optimal conditions, but the issue is where should the limit be to ensure that optimal performance.
At what point does the TFSA stop being an instrument that allows for maximum benefit and the optimal use of resources? At what point does it become an appealing tax shelter vehicle? And when I say tax shelter, I'm not referring to savings but, rather, the transfer of savings. That's what we are concerned about.
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We are coming to the oft-discussed matter of income splitting, which the Conservatives have renamed the family tax cut credit, as a marketing ploy.
The measure has been widely documented as a tax benefit that will help very few people, just 15% of Canadian households. The other 85% will get nothing out of it. Of the multitude of measures the government is introducing, it's obviously important to distinguish between income splitting and the enhanced universal child care benefit.
They are two separate benefits and the government should have treated them as such. For its own vote-getting reasons, in my opinion, the government opted to group them together and to try to convince Canadians that we were against the whole set of measures, which is not at all the case.
I'm not quite sure what else we can possibly ask you about income splitting, as this division has probably been the most studied. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that we will stick to our previously held position and vote against this measure.
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