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Results: 1 - 15 of 5500
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
2015-06-19 11:40 [p.15348]
Mr. Speaker, today marks the end of National Public Service Week. Most Canadians understand that we need a strong public service, one to protect our food and water, to keep our transportation system safe, and to provide services for our elderly, our veterans, and the unemployed.
However, one of the legacies of the pathetic current government will be the profound disrespect it has shown for our public servants. I ask the government, in its dying days, for a deathbed conversion. Will the Conservatives finally respect the work our public servants do, respect their rights, and bargain in good faith?
View Mark Eyking Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mark Eyking Profile
2015-06-19 11:54 [p.15351]
Mr. Speaker, it is now the end of June and here is another year lost in infrastructure for Cape Breton. Whether it is road works on the north side of New Waterford, police and firemen structures, waste water treatment and development of Sydney Harbour, or fresh drinking water for northern Cape Breton, everything is on hold again.
Are the Conservatives so arrogant that they actually think they can fool Canadians into voting for them by making a series of desperate, phony, last-minute announcements on infrastructure just before the election?
View Scott Armstrong Profile
CPC (NS)
Mr. Speaker, our plan will help 100% of Canadians with children by expanding the universal child care benefit and implementing the family tax cut. Conversely, the Liberal Party's plan is to take away the universal child care benefit and the family tax cut.
The Liberal leader wrote his plan on the back of a napkin. He does not know the devastating consequences that it would have for Canadian families with children. The Liberal leader just is not ready to become prime minister of Canada.
View Gerald Keddy Profile
CPC (NS)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question. Of course, I will not thank him for the last part of it, which I frankly disagree with.
It is worth noting that it was our government that reopened the food fishery in Newfoundland in 2007. We did that based on the precautionary principle.
Certainly the minister is looking at all options to make sure that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the opportunity to get their cod fish for the winter.
View Megan Leslie Profile
NDP (NS)
View Megan Leslie Profile
2015-06-18 14:17 [p.15290]
Mr. Speaker, today Pope Francis issued a wake-up call. Climate change is a threat, and the world's poorest people will suffer the most. This is not just an environmental issue; it is a moral issue. Canada must cut emissions and ensure that less-developed countries have the financing they need to tackle climate change. Only the NDP has a plan to tackle climate change and put a price on carbon.
Did the Prime Minister's short 10 minutes with the Pope make it obvious that nobody believes the current government's talking points?
View Megan Leslie Profile
NDP (NS)
View Megan Leslie Profile
2015-06-18 14:19 [p.15290]
Mr. Speaker, all members of the House are condemning General Lawson's unacceptable remarks. However, just condemning these remarks is not enough for the countless victims of sexual assault and harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces. A change in culture is absolutely necessary.
When will this government show some leadership and ensure that Justice Deschamps' recommendations are implemented immediately?
View Megan Leslie Profile
NDP (NS)
View Megan Leslie Profile
2015-06-18 14:20 [p.15290]
Mr. Speaker, the facts are well known, and women across Canada live the reality of gender-based violence every single day. However, indigenous women face the starkest reality. They are more than three times more likely to be victims of violence and seven times more likely to be murdered.
In order to end this violence, we need to come to grips with the factors that cause it. Why is the government refusing to listen to indigenous women who are calling for an inquiry to do just that?
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2015-06-18 14:28 [p.15291]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
The reality is that in fact a full 70% of the cases that are litigated in the country involving the federal government are won by the federal government, and 85% of those cases originate outside of the federal government.
With respect to their constitutionality, we have very talented people at the Department of Justice. I have full confidence in their assessments. We never bring bills before the House that do not meet that constitutional charter test.
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2015-06-18 14:30 [p.15292]
Mr. Speaker, my question for the hon. lady is this. What does she have against facts and what does she have against keeping Canadians safe?
We have passed some 30 justice bills in the life of this Parliament and since we have taken office designed specifically to keep Canadians safe and to ensure that Canadians can have confidence in their justice system and security forces. Every step of the way, my hon. friend and her colleagues have chosen to oppose those efforts.
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2015-06-18 14:39 [p.15293]
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. gentleman will know, the Canadian Human Rights Act and several of its provincial counterparts, as well as the Criminal Code itself already recognize that discrimination on the basis of transsexualism, gender identity or expression is a form of sex discrimination. Section 718 of the Criminal Code specifically provides a non-exhaustive list of aggravating factors used to increase sentences, which includes sex, sexual orientation and/or any other similar factors.
Therefore, sufficient protection exists, as it should. I respect what the hon. member is attempting to do, but the reality is that the protections are there now.
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2015-06-18 14:48 [p.15295]
Mr. Speaker, like my friend from Calgary, I have spoken to many victims and heard their concerns. It is why we have passed over 30 justice bills in this place, including the victims bill of rights. Our proposed bill would help ensure that the worst of the worst offenders, those who kill police officers, prison guards, who kill during a sexual assault, kidnapping or act of terrorism face severe consequences, including the potential of imprisonment for life without parole.
Only this Conservative government can be counted on to give victims a voice and to protect our families and communities from violent criminals.
To you, Mr. Speaker, and all of my colleagues, I say goodbye, Godspeed, and enjoy the summer.
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2015-06-18 16:04 [p.15307]
moved that Bill C-53, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
View Mark Eyking Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mark Eyking Profile
2015-06-18 18:04 [p.15322]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise today to speak on Bill C-661, introduced by the member for Joliette.
I must first state that the Conservatives were speaking about how much they were supporting agriculture, but what we have seen over the last few months is pretty bad.
Two things that they have done are pretty bad. First, we have seen members from that party speaking against supply management, which is one of the pillars for agriculture in this country. Second, there are big cuts in the budget to business risk management, the tools that farmers need when they have bad years. That has been cut by hundreds of millions of dollars. It is very disappointing to see the Conservative government do that.
In speaking on this bill, I will be basing my remarks on my personal experience as a farmer and on the importance of maintaining family businesses. In the context of this bill, the main objective is to treat siblings like any other family members by exempting them from the anti-tax avoidance measures by amending the Income Tax Act. We are supporting that.
The reality is that even if farmers have the opportunity to give part of their farm value to their children or grandchildren without income tax consequences under the Income Tax Act of Canada, they still need to maintain sufficient investment income to ensure a healthy retirement. This is also necessary if a farmer wants to provide for their other children who are not actively involved in the operation, and the same goes for fishing families on the east coast, the west coast, and in central Canada.
Even though Canadian agriculture has changed so much, the family business is the cornerstone of the industry. Canada's agri-food sector accounts for 7% of Canada's GDP and over two million jobs. That is one job in eight. While primary agriculture accounts for a small share of the total economy, about 2%, it is at the heart of the agriculture and agri-food system and has grown over 1.5% per year since 1997.
Agriculture and fishing have drastically changed, and we need to make sure that legislation governing these industries is able to keep up with the rapid pace. In 1991, there were 280,000 farms in Canada. In 2011, that number had fallen to 206,000. However, the average size of Canadian farms has grown tremendously, from an average of 200 acres to 800 acres. In that same time period, the average age of a Canadian farm operator has risen quite dramatically, going from 48 years of age to 54. It varies across the country, but that is the average.
Urbanization, an aging population, globalization of the economy, and consolidation throughout the agri-food chain have brought fundamental structural changes at the farm level. More specifically, the need to develop new markets and to comply with consumer demands has required an adaptation of production structure and practices within the agriculture sector. Although this adaptation creates new opportunities, it poses many challenges to our young farmers and fishers.
Over the next decade, we are going to be seeing a lot of these family businesses being passed down from one generation to the next. Given the extremely harsh economic context, this bill being debated today is crucial to helping ease those transfers to other family members. Between 1991 and 2011, the number of farmers under the age of 55 fell 42%, from 265,000 to 150,000. In that time, the number of older operators increased, as I said before.
Quite simply, the Canadian farming and fishing population is aging. That does not mean there are not a lot of young people who want to get into it, but the road map there is very difficult. There are now fewer and fewer young people to replace these retiring farmers and fishers. This situation is worrisome, as young farmers guarantee the future of agriculture and play a key role in rural economic development. Many other activities in rural communities depend on the agricultural sector, including fishing, milling, hardware, processing products, and even transporting. Many of the people we see driving down the highways every day are people involved in the whole agri-food sector.
The federal government has an important obligation to improve its programs and policies to keep young farmers in the industry. By supporting the bill, we are trying to ensure that the Income Tax Act does not discourage the best-qualified person in the family from taking over the business because of tax implications.
Agriculture is more and more capital intensive. Producers have to invest in buildings, machinery, and other equipment to become more efficient and to satisfy consumer demand for low produce prices. We also see many times that in many farming operations it is not just for maintaining prices but is for food safety.
I have been travelling across the country visiting farms over the last year. It is amazing how modern these farms are, how they have HAACP in place and cleanliness and tracking of everything they are doing on the farm. This all costs money.
Market conditions also contribute to increasing the value of assets, such as land and quotas. This can cause some challenges for young farmers, as the rise in asset values are not always covered by sufficient income. It is one of the lowest returns when we look at the amount of capital spent on a farm. Many times these young farmers are operating an enterprise to put food on the table with a fairly low return.
Some agriculture sectors are doing a little better, especially with supply management, which the Liberals brought in many years ago and which we are going to stand behind 150%.
Thanks to the supply management policy governing agriculture production in Canada, farmers enjoy an environment of stable and predictable milk prices and poultry prices with the formula they have in place. The supply-managed industries collectively generate $25 billion in GDP, $5 billion in tax revenues, and over 300,000 jobs. That is just in supply management alone.
Despite these favourable conditions, under this system intergenerational transfer is difficult. When there is a need to plan for succession, numerous cases have been reported of farmers not being able to find the right arrangement to meet the expectations of the exiting farmers or of the new entrants.
I think if there was a return, a lot of people would probably think it was a good occupation and an interesting occupation and would be inclined to pursue it.
The best way to keep young farmers in the industry is to make it profitable. Farming is a lifestyle, not just an occupation, but at the end of the day, farmers still need to make money. We do not expect our health professionals and many other people in our society to work for free, and we cannot expect the producers of our food to do so either. Young farmers are not going to invest millions of dollars in something if they do not know if it is going to produce a return. Supply management provides that to them and gives them stability. As I mentioned before, business risk management is very important.
I think we can all agree that there seems to be a growing disconnect between the general population and agriculture.
Young farmers also know perfectly well that agriculture faces numerous challenges related to the increasing cost of products, as I mentioned before, reduced margins, trade and marketing issues, et cetera.
I commend groups such as the Canadian Young Farmers' Forum and the Canadian 4-H Council for their efforts to educate, energize, and empower the next generation of Canadian farmers and agriculture leaders. However, these groups need a comprehensive federal policy targeting young or new farmers to make it feasible.
That is not to say that this shift in the agricultural sector should diminish the importance of maintaining smaller operations. There are also many small successful farms, and the government should be doing more to help those operations as well. Small operations as well as big ones can contribute and can work together.
I am very much in favour of the motion. It would be another tool in the tool box to help farmers get through. For those farmers who work so hard and put so much into their farms, many of them 60 and 70 years old, the only return they can get will be through the implementation of this bill.
This is the last half a minute of what is probably my last speech in the House. I am glad I am doing it on agriculture. I am a farmer from Cape Breton, and our family has a farming business.
I would like to thank all my colleagues, and I wish them well through the summer and in their future endeavours. I thank all the staff here who have done so much for us and have kept the place going, the staff in our whip's office, who keep us here all the time, and of course, my colleagues here tonight who stayed with us for the last shift.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity.
View Scott Armstrong Profile
CPC (NS)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak on how our Conservative government's national shipbuilding procurement strategy is creating literally thousands of high-paying jobs for Nova Scotians.
This week hundreds of prospective employees lined up at an Irving shipyards job fair in Dartmouth, looking for someone to say yes when they applied for a job.
This opportunity was provided to them by our Conservative government's investments at Irving. However, if the Liberals and the NDP have their way, these investments will stop and those thousands of jobs would disappear. High taxes lead to job cuts.
Our Conservative government will never let that happen. We will continue to focus on jobs, long-term prosperity, and economic growth.
Good luck to the people applying at Irving. Many more jobs are coming.
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2015-06-17 15:04 [p.15210]
Mr. Speaker, the member has been an outspoken advocate on this issue for many years.
Impaired drivers pose a significant risk to Canadians. It is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada.
To make offenders more accountable for their crimes, we have introduced legislation to increase mandatory minimum penalties for many transportation offences, including impaired driving involving bodily harm or death. This would also increase efficiency for police officers to investigate impaired driving and for the prosecution to go forward with these serious cases.
I encourage all members of this House to support this important bill, which targets the scourge of impaired driving that is causing carnage on Canadian highways.
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