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Results: 46 - 60 of 111
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-27 22:22 [p.17094]
Mr. Speaker, one of the important aspects of this bill is that it takes into consideration the role of the victims.
To go through an ordeal as a victim is a huge challenge, but to then have this memory revisited by potentially having the person who was convicted in your small town or place of work and not know about it would be harrowing. That is why this bill takes the rights of the victims into consideration and involves them in the process by giving them advance notice and the ability to have conditions placed upon the release.
It is the right balance. The bill recognizes the role of the victims. I applaud the minister and the team for putting that in Bill C-54.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-27 22:24 [p.17094]
Mr. Speaker, on the issue of cost, I would note that this government has invested a lot in mental health. Since 2006, the government has invested nearly $90 million in mental health for prisoners.
In terms of transfer payments and the costs the provinces accrue, the provinces have received transfer payments that this year now total $62 million. That is nearly a 50% increase since 2006. This government has been very generous with the provinces.
What it comes down to is making sure that we have balance and fairness in our justice system. If there is a cost associated with protecting and being aware of the rights of victims in the process of ensuring public safety in our communities, then that is certainly the right decision to be made.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-27 22:26 [p.17095]
Mr. Speaker, obviously I do not know the details of the specific case raised by the member.
This legislation is important, because it would do three things. It would enhance victims rights. It would put public safety first, and it would create a very important high-risk designation. I want to speak directly to the high-risk designation.
The legislation would create a new designation to protect the public from a high-risk, not criminally responsible accused. Upon this high-risk designation by a court, a not criminally responsible accused would have to be held in custody and could not be considered for release by a review board until his or her designation was revoked by a court.
This is important for our communities. If the member is asking what the point of the bill is, it is about protecting public safety. Obviously, there is a lot of support for this in the country. Any of us who have constituents who have heard about these reforms know that there is a lot of support for it. I am glad that this government is putting victims first and is protecting public safety across the country.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-07 14:06 [p.16413]
Mr. Speaker, this Thursday I will attending a special dinner held by Barrie's local reserve infantry regiment, the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, to raise funds to support events in appreciation of the visit by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne this fall to Canadian Forces Base Borden, and for a special ceremony at which the regiment will receive its official new colours for the first time in 30 years.
As one of the guest speakers for the evening, I will have the honour of being joined by Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army, and Honorary Colonels Jamie Massie and Barry Peacock.
I am proud to support our infantry reservists from the Grey and Simcoe Counties who have served with distinction in this institution so proudly steeped in history.
I would like to recognize all members of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, past and present, for their outstanding service and commitment to peace and security. I congratulate them on their excellent fundraising event. I know it will be an excellent success this Thursday.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-02 13:12 [p.16204]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to show my support for economic action plan 2013, the budget implementation act. I am pleased to see our government continue to invest in the programs and services that are most important to Canadians.
The impact of Canada's economic health is vital to all Canadians. The economic action plan was initially designed to lead Canada out of the worst recession in generations. The temporary stimulus measures of the economic action plan had their intended effect. The projects created jobs at a time of recession while making investments in local infrastructure that would benefit our communities for years to come, leaving a lasting legacy.
Our agenda has kept Canada's economy on the right path. For instance, we are increasing skills and training support by introducing the new Canada job grant to help more Canadians get high-quality, well-paying jobs. We are also helping businesses succeed by extending the accelerated capital cost allowance to encourage manufacturers to invest in new equipment, extending the hiring credit for small businesses, and making strategic investments in world-class research and innovation.
Through the strong leadership of our Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Canada has created over 950,000 net new jobs since July 2009. I am pleased to report that the vast majority are full-time, private sector jobs. That is the best record in the G7.
We have seen Canada maintain its Triple-A credit rating through this period of difficult economic instability and uncertainty. We continue to see Canada with the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7. Moreover, the IMF and the OECD have forecast that Canada is on track to stay near the top of the G7 in economic growth in the years ahead.
I would like to take a closer look at some of the initiatives in the budget and share with the House some information on how this budget would benefit the people of the city of Barrie, whom I have the honour to represent.
Set around Lake Simcoe, Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie's waterfront is one of the most beautiful natural assets we have. It is a major boost to tourism across Simcoe County and all around the province. There is no doubt that the health of Lake Simcoe is vital to our region and to the people who live in the city of Barrie. Unfortunately, in recent years, the presence of zebra mussels has become an increasingly large threat to the lake's well-being. The growing presence of invasive species has continually posed a problem in Lake Simcoe's waters.
Our government has been very committed to making sure that the lake is as healthy as possible. It all started in 2007 when we announced a historic $30 million cleanup fund, which is a five-year fund from 2007 to 2012. It was going to deal with some of the concerns over rising phosphorus levels, which result in excessive weed growth and a reduction of marine habitat. This fund was very successful in working with stakeholders at reducing the phosphorus levels. In 2013, this fund was extended for another five years with an additional $29 million.
I would note that, historically, the health of Lake Simcoe has been left to local governments. It took a Conservative government to finally invest in cleaning up the lake. I have to say that it was very well received in our region. The fact that we continue to fund that cleanup has been absolutely terrific.
However, it is not just cleaning up the lake; this budget also deals with the concern of invasive species, as I mentioned. It allocates an additional $4 million over three years to continue this battle against zebra mussels through the continued enforcement and monitoring of ballast water regulations.
Our government's commitment to protect our natural environment is commendable on many levels. I am pleased to note that younger generations in our region can be confident that they will be able to enjoy Lake Simcoe for years to come.
In furthering this commitment to protect and sustain our precious waters, our government has paid close attention to the depleting water levels, particularly in the upper Great Lakes, including Georgian Bay. I have heard from many of my constituents in and around Barrie that this is a major concern, especially for cottagers. It is not just people living along Georgian Bay; an incredible number of people use the water area. Therefore, I was pleased to see this budget address the concern of lower water levels.
In March 2012 the International Joint Commission received the results of the water levels study. It is great to see that this budget commits to working with the IJC on resolutions and recommendations to deal with this growing concern.
There are also a few more highlights for Barrie in the budget.
We have seen the importance of infrastructure, such as transportation, community centres and water treatment facilities, in our communities. Our government's investment in infrastructure in the Barrie area alone has totalled well over $100 million since we were elected in 2006. It makes the city much stronger, a much better place to attract business and a healthier place to live. It is great to see that this current economic action plan would enhance that commitment to infrastructure.
The budget would deliver the new building Canada plan, which is a combination of other measures in the budget. It actually is the largest infrastructure program in Canadian history. The building Canada plan would provide stable funding for 10 years and help keep our communities moving with investments in roads, bridges, commuter rail and other aspects of transit. Over the next two years alone we would be investing close to $10 billion. That is more than the previous government's entire 13 years in office. This plan's three main components include the community improvement fund, the new building Canada fund and the renewed P3 Canada fund to include in total over $70 billion in federal infrastructure funding, which is just incredible.
The gas tax, a temporary program by the previous government that we have enhanced and made permanent, has a tangible benefit for every community in the country. It means $7.8 million on an annual basis to the city of Barrie.
Let me speak of some other positive aspects of the budget.
In order to promote the culture of giving in Canada, the 2013 economic action plan proudly increases the federal charitable donations tax credit and introduces a new temporary first-time donor super credit for first-time claimants. I am particularly impressed with this aspect of the budget as it creates an appeal for young Canadians to donate to charity. There are many huge capital campaigns in my community where that is exactly what they are working on, finding new first-time donors, whether it is the hospital expansion, the Georgian College expansion, the new Gilda's building or Hospice Simcoe. This is another great initiative that our Minister of Finance has illustrated.
As Barrie is a growing community, one of our ongoing concerns is jobs, and I think this is pretty common across the country. I very much recognize that this is a budget that focuses on jobs.
Economic action plan 2013 continues to support education and training, helping Canadians be prepared for good, high quality jobs. That is why our government is introducing the Canada job grant. This grant aims to transform the labour market by providing funds for the skills training that many Canadians need. In doing so, it encourages employers to recognize these skills and qualifications in order to fill the jobs of Canada's high demand fields.
In building upon this commitment to job growth, economic action plan 2013 also focuses on creating opportunities for apprentices. Canada is currently facing a shortage of skilled tradespeople that is expected to grow in the future as the population ages. Georgian College in Barrie offers 10 valuable apprenticeship programs alone. Our government responded to the shortage of new tradespeople by creating important new opportunities for apprentices. This would be done through the implementation of various grants and tax credits that would open the doors for apprentices at every stage in their career. I am confident this plan would promote accessibility to the training that Canadians need to find employment.
I realize I am running short on time. I just want to highlight two other aspects of the budget, the first being the importance of the Southern Ontario Economic Development Agency. This agency alone has been absolutely fantastic for job creation; IBM located in Barrie because of it. We have seen expansions to Southmedic Inc., the moving of the plant from China to Barrie, the expansion of TNR Doors and the expansion of Wolf Steel Ltd.
In my final 30 seconds there is another aspect of the budget that I want to emphasize. We continue to keep our ironclad investment to universal health care in support for the provinces for health care. We are reaching record levels in funding of the Canada health transfer. It will be nearing $40 billion by the end of the decade, which is just an astronomical commitment to something that Canadians tremendously value.
Overall, this is a terrific budget for Canadians. I applaud our Minister of Finance for such a fine job.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-02 13:24 [p.16205]
Mr. Speaker, I believe this budget supports workers. It supports workers by creating jobs. What workers value and appreciate is an economy that is vibrant with jobs. It would do that through the many investments in apprentices, in innovation and technology. In terms of the connection to free trade, New Democrats have a record of fighting free trade at every stage. In 1988, they said free trade with the U.S. would be horrible. It turns out that it has been a huge net benefit to Canada where we have gained because of that free trade agreement. New Democrats campaigned against NAFTA. It turns out that there has been a huge benefit to Canada.
The NDP does not seem to appreciate the fact that free trade means cheaper goods for consumers and more jobs for Canadians because we have an industrious workforce that is able to compete with the best abroad. I am glad that this is a government that recognizes the value of free trade and how it benefits Canada. History is on our side because every trade agreement that we have signed, and every study complements this, has resulted in a net benefit to Canada.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-02 13:26 [p.16206]
Mr. Speaker, this has been the latest argument by the Liberal Party of Canada—that, yes, the Government of Canada should subsidize countries like China and subsidize its goods. Certainly that is not an approach that is in the best interests of Canadians.
In terms of the tariff relief that is offered in the budget, it is a focus on an industry that really does not exist in Canada. That is why we saw the tariff reductions on those goods that represent $76 million, on items like baby clothing and certain sports and athletic equipment. This would result in lower prices for Canadian families on those specific goods.
I would also say about the budget that because we would not be using large sums of money to subsidize competitors in China as the Liberal Party has suggested, we would be able to invest in things that greatly help Canadians. The budget initiative put $3 million into the CNIB to help it have a new digital hub to help Canadians who have lost their vision. This budget has so many little investments like that, which would have an enormous local impact. Overall, this is a very measured and very prudent Canadian budget.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-04-30 14:57 [p.16103]
Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be a world leader in global health, especially in the fight against polio. Last week, at the global vaccine summit, the Minister of International Cooperation announced Canada's continued commitment to polio eradication.
Bill Gates said, “Canada's increased support over the next six years will help ensure we can end polio and build the infrastructure needed to help all children live healthy and productive lives”.
Could the Minister of International Cooperation please update the House on Canada's latest efforts to eradicate polio?
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-03-26 14:11 [p.15223]
Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise today and stand in support of Purple Day. It is wonderful to see so many of my colleagues in the House wearing purple ribbons today. We are all touched by epilepsy, whether of a family member, a co-worker, a friend or a neighbour. Those living with epilepsy face challenges, discrimination and often a lower quality of life. Sadly, 300,000 Canadians live with epilepsy.
Although there is no cure for epilepsy, we can all play a more active role by helping others understand what it is like to live with epilepsy and by helping affected Canadians reach their full potential. There are many citizen advocates in my riding of Barrie, Ontario who are dedicated to increasing awareness of epilepsy by providing education for people with epilepsy and their families, friends and employers, as well as the greater community.
I pay tribute to Melanie Money, Jeffrey White and David Lowe for their sustained and dedicated commitment to this important cause in Simcoe County.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-02-06 14:20 [p.13780]
Mr. Speaker, seven years ago today, with the faith and trust of Canadians, we took our spot as the Government of Canada. We promised to stand up for Canada, to cut taxes, crack down on crime and offer families support. That is exactly what we have done. We have cut the GST, not once but twice, introduced measures to keep Canada's streets and communities safe and created a national child care benefit. We have also put an end to the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry and brought marketing freedom to farmers.
Our government took swift action to protect the economy through one of the worst recessions the world has ever seen. With the creation of over 900,000 net new jobs, countries now look to Canada as a strong economic model.
We will strive to make Canada the strongest, most prosperous and united nation by focusing on priorities Canadians care most about, family, safety, pride in their citizenship and the economy.
Our government will continue to stand up for Canada.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-02-05 14:09 [p.13697]
Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, I hosted my seventh annual Chilifest in Barrie, with the help of many generous volunteers. Each year, residents join me at the Royal Canadian Legion hall for warm bowls of homemade chili in support of two local charities, thanks to Lawrence Vindum and The Butcher Shop and their culinary talents.
This year's Chilifest supported the CNIB and the Bill Wilkins scholarship fund. CNIB helps thousands of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. The Bill Wilkins scholarship was established in 2003, in memory of Bill Wilkins, who lost his life in the line of duty with Barrie Fire. Each year, it enables two exceptional students to enrol at the pre-service firefighter program at Georgian College.
I would like to give special thanks to Leila Verheyen from the CNIB, Kirk Mason for preparing the chili and the students enrolled in the pre-service firefighter program at Georgian College, in Barrie, for all their hard work in making this event another success.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-12-10 14:47 [p.13074]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians, particularly children, are spending more and more time sitting on the couch watching television or playing on the computer, as opposed to playing outside or getting involved in sport. Being active and participating in sport are essential parts of building healthier and stronger communities and a healthier Canada.
One way we are doing this is through our support for not-for-profit organizations, like ParticipACTION, that work so hard to promote sports and physical activity in Canada.
Can the Minister of State for Sport please tell the House how our government is supporting ParticipACTION's motto, “Let's get moving”?
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-12-06 13:59 [p.12965]
Mr. Speaker, I was troubled to learn of the recent attack in Sri Lanka on the editor of the Tamil-language daily newspaper in the northern city of Jaffna. After being severely beaten with iron bars, this man is now fighting for his life in an intensive care unit.
Tragically, there have been four murders of journalists in Sri Lanka since 2008. Media reports now highlight that Sri Lanka's chief justice is being forced out of her position for not bowing to the wishes of the Sri Lankan government. The consistent erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka and the ongoing reports of human rights abuses are particularly alarming.
Ever since the Sureshkumar family of Barrie shared with me their concerns a few years ago, I have been particularly concerned about the plight of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka.
I am very proud of our government's unwavering support of human rights, peace and freedom in Sri Lanka. I hope that the international community responds to the latest tragic developments in Sri Lanka.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-11-27 14:11 [p.12523]
Mr. Speaker, as chair of the all-party juvenile diabetes caucus, I am proud to rise today on behalf of the over three million Canadians living with diabetes.
National Diabetes Awareness Month is celebrated every November to raise awareness of all forms of diabetes and to gain support for critical research toward preventing, treating and curing all forms of this disease.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. More than 300,000 Canadians are affected by type 1 diabetes.
This morning I was honoured to meet with an eight-year old, Noah Stock, a resident of Barrie, who presented me with a scrapbook he created showcasing his life as a child with type 1 diabetes.
I ask that every member of Parliament join me in welcoming to Ottawa JDRF and the 40 children from across Canada who are raising our awareness of Canadians living with type 1 diabetes.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-10-30 12:13 [p.11650]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to show my support for Bill C-45, Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 and I am pleased to see our government continue to focus so squarely on the economic challenges facing our citizens, our communities and our country. Bill C-45 would implement key measures from the economic action plan 2012, to help grow Canada's economy, fuel job creation and secure Canada's long-term prosperity.
Throughout the year, I had the pleasure of hosting budget consultations in Barrie with a variety of stakeholders. The one common theme throughout has always been a focus on job creation and economic growth as being something fundamentally important to people from all different sectors in my community.
Each stakeholder has provided insightful contributions from the different aspects of our city, but they all shared the same concerns, as do most Canadians: ensuring good jobs are available, keeping taxes low and continuing the sensible investments being made to achieve our common goals of long-term growth and prosperity.
Through the steady leadership of our Prime Minister and our Minister of Finance, we have seen Canada's economy expand in 11 of the last 12 quarters, since mid-2009. We have seen Canada create more than 820,000 net new jobs over the same period, and Canada has had by far the best rate of job creation in the entire G7 since 2006. We have seen Canada maintain its triple A credit rating through the period of economic downturn and uncertainty, and we continue to see Canada with the lowest net debt to GDP ratio and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7.
Both the independent International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecast that Canada will be at the head of the pack for economic growth in the G7 in the years ahead. I am particularly proud to share with the House what the head of the International Monetary Fund thinks of our government's handling of the economy since the global economic crisis hit in 2008. These comments came out just this week.
The IMF's Christine Lagarde declares that Canada's economy should be a model for the countries trying to fix their own financial systems. Just last week she said that Canada has been a leader in creating policies intended to rein in the buildup of household debt. She went on to say that Canada is identified around the globe by our values of coordination and consensus building, which have given our country what she called “influence beyond its years”.
Ms. Lagarde also applauded the decision of our finance minister to boost down payments on new mortgages for home buyers, as an example of household debt restraint that others should follow. She said:
All of these new reforms comprise the tools so far that will help us shape the future financial system. We must shape the system so it cannot again hold us ransom to the consequences of its failings.
A well-capitalized financial sector and a sound regulatory and supervisory system meant that financial institutions in Canada were better able to weather the 2008 global financial crisis than those in other countries. Indeed, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the soundest in the world for five straight years. Our government is committed to maintaining this Canadian advantage.
Canada has made significant progress in implementing the G20 financial sector reform agenda and will continue to play a leadership role in promoting sound financial sector regulation internationally. Our government appreciates the IMF recognizing these important achievements.
However, in all this good news, the global economy remains fragile. Canada is not immune to the renewed weakness in the global economy, especially in Europe. In particular, Canada has been affected by the lower commodity prices that are dampening government revenue growth. We need to focus even more on jobs and promoting economic growth and realizing savings within government operations to ensure Canada's economic advantage remains strong into the long term.
At the same time, it is just as important that we continue making key investments in innovation and education to help make sure Canada continues to create good jobs and that Canadians are ready to fill them. We are supporting Canadian universities and researchers with a strengthened emphasis on projects that have a commercial potential.
Economic action plan 2012 took significant steps to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and world-class research, with over $1.1 billion in significant investments for research and development, $500 million for venture capital, support for increased public and private research collaboration and much more.
Just last month, I was proud to see this have an effect in my own riding of Barrie, Ontario. I was proud to be on hand officially to open the IBM data and research centre in the south end of Barrie. This new data centre is part of a much larger project.
The federal government's $20 million investment was a catalyst for IBM's $213 million initiative to create a southern Ontario smart computing and innovation platform. Our government's investment targeted the creation of 145 full-time positions, high-skilled, high-paying, in three different cities in southern Ontario, including 45 positions at the Barrie site. These are not job transfers; they are new hires.
Our government's investment is also creating a research and development centre within the IBM site that is going to do research on clean energy, environmental systems and neural mapping. It is state-of-the-art research and it is exciting to see what a private and public partnership can do to create jobs in southern Ontario.
I would like to tell the House of another example of this focus on innovation by our government, which I have seen work first-hand in my riding. This summer, in August, I was on hand to see a company transfer its manufacturing from China back to Barrie. This company had outsourced its production of 18 jobs to China and decided to bring them back. This summer it opened up its manufacturing in Barrie again and with a $900,000 repayable loan from FedDev Ontario it was able to repatriate those jobs. This is an important sector. Southmedic is in the medical device sector, and right now this sector is valued at $6.4 billion in Canada. That is just the tip of the iceberg of what Canada is capable of, to see this sector grow.
These are two great examples of the types of partnerships that government is forging. These are the kinds of partnerships that will create a better future for all Canadians and, most important, new jobs.
Another great partnership that the economic action plan pledged to carry on was that of the continued cleanup of Lake Simcoe. In 2008, members may remember that this government made an unprecedented $30 million investment into the cleanup of Lake Simcoe. It was an extremely welcome initiative because Lake Simcoe and Kempenfelt Bay are certainly jewels that we treasure in Simcoe County. Phosphorous levels were at an all-time high, and we needed action to help reverse that trend because high phosphorous levels mean excessive weed growth. In Lake Simcoe it meant reduced marine habitat. We could not have this happen to what really was a jewel in our community.
The health of our lake is paramount to the future of the city of Barrie and all of Simcoe County and the surrounding areas. Tourism is vital to our local economy, and Lake Simcoe is certainly at the heart of the tourism market. I am happy to report that, since that investment of $30 million, phosphorous levels have gone down every year. We are making tremendous strides on the cleanup of Lake Simcoe, to make sure that future generations in Barrie and Simcoe County will have the same pristine lake that we have been able to enjoy over so many decades.
Economic action plan 2012 continues the commitment to cleanup Lake Simcoe. The five-year cleanup fund had expired, but the budget expressed a commitment to renew this fund and to continue the cleanup of Lake Simcoe. That is tremendously appreciated in our community, and I am so glad that our Minister of Finance had the wisdom to recognize that this was a fund and a partnership that was working. The federal dollars, leveraged with funds from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and all the municipalities in Simcoe County, have made a profound impact on our local environment.
I am also pleased to see that Bill C-45 would extend the hiring credit for small businesses for another year. The credit of up to $1,000 against EI premiums is a great help to encourage more small businesses. Small businesses are the engine for job creation in Canada and are indispensable in their role as job creators. I see that every day in Barrie. Small businesses are at the heart of our community and it is great to see a budget that would help small businesses.
I realize I am limited in time. I want to commend my colleague, the Minister of Finance, on the jobs and growth act, 2012. The bill builds on terrific work laid out in the economic action plan and it meets the economic challenges facing our country head-on. On behalf of my constituents and the various stakeholders in Barrie, I want to sincerely thank the minister and his team for their hard work on what will be an excellent investment and understanding of the Canadian economy.
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