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Results: 1 - 15 of 154
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-06-13 14:47 [p.18301]
Mr. Speaker, I and many of my colleagues in the Conservative caucus have served in law enforcement across this entire nation. We went into this line of business because of our deep commitment to defending the rule of law. We on this side of the House know first-hand that our men and women in uniform face difficulties in ensuring our common security, yet it seems that not all members of the House respect the rule of law nor follow it.
Could the Minister of International Cooperation, a former Ontario police chief, please tell the House why it is important for all members to not just stand for law enforcement but stand with our men and women who enforce the law?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-06-12 14:18 [p.18170]
Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party is in away over his head. Every statement he makes about the Senate is more outrageous than the last.
To summarize, for those who may not already know, the Liberal leader started out by completely ignoring Senator Pana Merchant's reported $1.7-million offshore account, and the Liberal senator is still part of the Liberal caucus to this day.
Then the Liberal leader forgets that when we speak to one region in the country, modern technology ensures that the rest of the country will hear what we say. To the shock of all Canadians, he said that he “believes the Senate should stay exactly the way it is because it benefits us”, while talking to Quebec reporters.
Finally, media are now reporting that Liberal senator, Mac Harb, owes up to $200,000 in ineligible housing claims. The Liberal leader however thinks that Mac Harb should absolutely be part of the Liberal caucus.
When it comes to the Senate and his reaction, the Liberal leader is in over his head.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-22 16:10 [p.16809]
Mr. Speaker, my constituents want to make sure that our government is focused on the economy, and they want to make sure that their representatives here in Ottawa are focused on the economy. Could the House leader assure our constituents that with this important motion being put forward in the House today, we are going to use the extra time we are asking for to focus on what matters to Canadians, which is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-22 21:54 [p.16841]
Mr. Speaker, I would just say, in defence of my colleague, that I think I baited him into making a direct comment to me. For that, I apologize both to the House and my hon. colleague across the way.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-21 22:23 [p.16781]
Mr. Chair, I am pleased to rise tonight to speak during this debate. It is 10:30 p.m. here in Ottawa but it is only 7:30 back in Yukon so I hold out hope that a number of my constituents will be tuning in to watch this and it will not just be my mother. All of them will be watching, not just my mom.
I am pleased to participate in this committee of the whole debate and would like to start my comments specifically with our government's most recent budget, economic action plan 2013.
Canada has a well-earned reputation for excellence in economic and financial management and we intend to return to balanced budgets by 2015. Economic action plan 2013 builds on our economic record by taking concrete steps to position Canada for success in the 21st century global economy. Specifically, it would help Canadians obtain the skills and qualifications they need to get jobs in high demand fields; it would help manufacturers and businesses succeed in the global economy by enhancing the conditions for creating and growing business; it introduces a new building Canada plan that would lead to better roads, bridges and public transit in cities and communities all across our great nation; and it would invest in world-class research and innovation to help ensure that new ideas are developed and transferred from the lab to the marketplace.
Of course our nation does have challenges to welcome. Despite the fact that Canadian workers are among the highest educated and the best trained in the world, Canada is facing shortages of skilled labour for the coming years. For example, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified Canada's skill shortages as the number one issue facing its membership. Canada's resource industries are also facing the same problem with skilled labour and trades.
To help address these issues, economic action plan 2013 sets out a practical three-point plan.
First, to ensure that Canadians are acquiring the skills that employers are seeking, the plan introduces the new Canada jobs grant that would provide $15,000 more per person, including a maximum federal contribution of $5,000 to be matched by provincial and territorial governments and employers. Just this past week I was pleased to host an open house consultation in my riding to speak about the jobs grant and how employers and governments can partner and shape this plan into our future so that it works to meet the needs of industry in those skill shortages.
Second, the plan would create opportunities for apprentices by working with the provinces and territories and by introducing measures that would support the use of apprentices through federal construction and maintenance contracts.
Finally, economic action plan 2013 would provide support to groups that are under-represented in the job market, such as persons with disabilities, youth, aboriginal peoples and newcomers to our country.
These groups were well represented during the consultations that took place in Yukon. They had valuable input and feedback that we are looking forward to receiving and reviewing as we move forward.
Members of the House well know that Canada's abundant natural resources are pillars of our economic strength. When we take the direct and indirect impact into account, the natural resource sector represents about 20% of Canada's GDP and employs 1.6 million Canadians. The resource sector also pays more than $30 billion per year to government coffers through taxes and royalties, which helps pay for health care, education, pensions and other critical social programs.
In the case of the energy sector, many analysts say that it has become the new engine of Canada's economy. The oil sands alone are responsible for some 275,000 direct and indirect jobs in skilled trades, manufacturing, high technology and financial services in every single region of Canada. According to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, projected increases in oil sands production could support close to 630,000 jobs on average between now and 2035. The institute also forecasts that the oil sands could contribute more than $2.8 trillion to Canada's GDP, an annual average of $113 billion during that same period.
This is great news for all Canadian workers and their families, but while our resources are great and many, unless we can ensure that they will reach foreign markets and obtain world prices, we will not meet our full potential as a nation.
Those who think that pipelines are an Alberta issue should think again. Getting pipelines built west, south and east to send our oil and natural gas to the United States, to Asia and to other world markets is a national priority for this government. Few countries are generating natural resource products on the scale or pace of Canada. As many as 600 major resource projects worth more than $650 billion are under way or planned over the next decade, with the potential to create enormous prosperity for Canada, realizing the potential of our natural resources industries is critical to our government's goals of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. That is why our government is so focused on creating the right conditions for success.
Through our plan for responsible resource development, we have set firm beginning to end timelines for project reviews. We are also eliminating duplication in the review process where provincial reviews meet our stringent environmental standards.
In Yukon, natural resources development projects have seen the benefit of regulatory reform through devolution. The 2003 Yukon Northern Affairs program devolution agreement brought management and the administration of all the lands and resources under the control of the government of the Yukon. The Hon. Michael Miltenberger referred to Yukon as a prime example of how timelines and the responsiveness of project reviews improved because of this important regulatory reform.
In addition, the former president of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Babcock, had reported to the Natural Resources committee that Yukon's cap of $3 million in resource revenue sharing needed to be increased so the territorial government received a greater share of its resource royalties.
The Government of Canada listened. Last summer, during the northern tour, the Prime Minister announced a new resource revenue sharing agreement, doubling the cap to $6 million. Recently, the premier of Yukon, Darrell Pasloski, outlined that this made for an additional sharing of $2.7 million to the territory.
However, our plan is not just about developing resources efficiently; it is about developing them responsibly. Our government is committed to developing our natural resources in a responsible way, which includes strengthening environmental protection. We reject the notion that we cannot do both at the same time. Through our actions, including tough new fines for companies that break our environmental laws and new measures to ensure world-class pipeline and marine safety regimes, we are proving we can.
Our government is also making every effort to ensure that aboriginal people and first nations people can share in the tremendous benefits that natural resources development offers in the years ahead. Earlier this month, Natural Resources Canada funded $500,000 to a consortium led by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to pursue the study of a potential power generation plant fed by biomass in Haines Junction. This project was included among 56 new innovative clean energy projects announced by the Prime Minister, representing an investment of $86 million through the Government of Canada's eco-energy innovation initiative. This program was created to invest in new clean energy technologies that would create jobs, generate economic opportunities and help protect the environment.
I was certainly pleased to be in Yukon to make that very important funding announcement and I can assure members that it was exceptionally well received by the people of the territory and the first nation of the Champagne and Aishihik in that community.
The significance of the resource sector's economic impact cannot be understated. In 2012, 32,000 aboriginal people, or 8.3% of the working aboriginal population, were employed in the natural resources industries of forestry, energy and mining. Aboriginal people make up 7.5% of the workforce in Canada's mining sector.
However, the minerals and metal sector is not the only sector offering opportunities for aboriginal people. Ten per cent of the oil sands workforce is aboriginal. Many aboriginal companies are also thriving in Alberta's oil patch. The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business estimates that oil sand companies do $1.3 billion worth of business each year, with a wide range of aboriginal companies, including parts suppliers, mechanical contractors and camp caterers.
Given the scope of aboriginal business activities and employment, the council has named the oil sands as the largest single non-governmental source of aboriginal income in Canada. This degree of participation in Canada's resource economy is a substantial achievement and one that our government wishes to expand on across the country.
To that end, we are committed to working in concert with aboriginal communities to ensure they continue to share the rewards of natural resources development in Canada.
The committee on natural resources recommended this past year that the Government of Canada increase its support to mining training initiatives for first nation and Inuit communities in order to help develop the labour force required to support mining projects in northern Canada. Their contributions are vital to the mining sector, and these recommendations seek to further their impact. As members know, economic growth, job creation and prosperity for all Canadians is our government's top priority.
In conclusion, our government has designed and implemented policies aimed at driving the economy to its full potential for the benefit of all Canadians. Together the initiatives in economic action plan 2013 build on previous government actions to reinforce the fundamental strengths of the Canadian economy. By staying the course, the Government of Canada will continue to promote economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.
I would now like to ask the minister, along the vein of much of my discussion today, about the benefits for aboriginal and first nation communities in resource development, specifically in my riding of Yukon. Because we know that northerners, including our aboriginal people, first nations and Inuit, are an integral part of resource development in the north, I would like to ask what our government is doing to ensure that they are able to benefit from the opportunities that resource development provides.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-21 22:36 [p.16783]
Mr. Chair, the north has been a particular focus for our government since taking power, and it can be argued that there has not been as much emphasis on the north and our great territory since the Diefenbaker government, which is something my constituents are very grateful for. Whether it is Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut, we have certainly been investing in infrastructure and in responsible development of our resources.
Can the minister talk a bit about the strong support that our government has shown, as well as the economic potential for the north?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-10 11:45 [p.16655]
Mr. Speaker, in a remote aboriginal community, when it is the middle of the night and it is 30° below zero and a woman has been violently assaulted, it is absolutely necessary for her to receive the same protection as all other Canadians.
That is exactly why our government introduced Bill S-2, which would allow the enforcement of emergency protection orders.
Shamefully, however, the Liberal leader whipped his caucus to vote against that bill.
Would the parliamentary secretary please update the House on our position versus their position?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-10 12:18 [p.16660]
Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure today to present three petitions in the House. The first one is from growers of organic foods and farmers in my riding, calling on the Government of Canada to impose a moratorium on the release of genetically modified alfalfa in order to allow for a proper review of the impact on farmers in Canada.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-10 12:20 [p.16660]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls on the Government of Canada to deal with the underlying regimes of the Communist Party of China and prevent the systematic murdering of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs, and to publicly call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-10 12:20 [p.16660]
Mr. Speaker, the final petition is from citizens of Nunavut and across Canada who are calling on parliamentarians to recognize the right of law-abiding seal hunters to participate in the Canadian seal hunt. The hunt provides subsistence and economic opportunities to coastal and indigenous communities across Canada. Therefore, they call upon Parliament to reject the European Union's application for observer status on the Arctic Council until such time as the European Union recognizes the right of Canadian seal hunters to participate in a lawful industry by completely lifting the seal product ban currently in place.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-09 18:37 [p.16611]
Mr. Chair, I will be using the first 10 minutes of my time to speak and the last 5 minutes to pose questions for the minister.
Before I begin, I would like to congratulate the minister on his position. As a northern member of Parliament, I have had numerous opportunities to speak directly with the minister and I thank him for his availability to his northern MPs and for his willingness to work on northern issues directly with me and my other colleagues.
I also appreciate this opportunity to take part in today's debate. I would like to discuss Canada's northern strategy, its achievements and its benefits to residents of our north.
Since the government's 2007 Speech from the Throne, we announced Canada's northern strategy, which outlined an overarching vision for the north. It focused on four priority areas: strengthening Canada's sovereignty, protecting our environmental heritage, promoting economic and social development and improving and developing governance.
The north is a special and iconic place for Canadians, majestic in its vast geography and magnificent in its wildlife. It is a homeland for many aboriginal people and possesses world-class natural resource wealth.
Northerners are at the heart of the northern strategy. Our government is committed to ensuring that a strong and prosperous north helps shape the future of our nation. Every Canadian can take pride in the progress we continue to make on issues of importance for people living in the north and for the future of our country.
Since 2007, Canada has made significant investments to improve social and economic development in the north, one of the key pillars of the northern strategy. Today I will touch on a few of the significant achievements that allow us to achieve our full potential.
The northern jobs and growth act would contribute to the Government of Canada's plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity by making improvements to the review process for major resource projects. The overly complex regulatory environment in the north has been repeatedly identified as a major source of frustration for those invested in our resources. Northern regulatory processes have often resulted in delayed regulatory decisions. These delays have discouraged new investors and undermined the economic viability of major projects. To be globally competitive, northern regulatory processes need to provide for timely, efficient and effective project reviews. At the same time, these processes also need to ensure strengthened environmental protection and respect aboriginal consultation obligations.
For residents of Nunavut, the northern jobs and growth act would mean improvement to the regulatory regime, which would provide a highly efficient single-entry system and would enshrine the concept of a one project, one review approach for major project proposals. These improvements would add clarity and predictability to the land use planning and environmental assessment process in Nunavut.
In the Northwest Territories, the northern jobs and growth act would mean a new Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board. It would have jurisdiction throughout the Northwest Territories to resolve disputes over the terms and conditions and over compensation for access to land when an agreement cannot be reached by the parties through negotiation or mediation, thereby providing predictable conclusions to reaching those agreements.
The northern jobs and growth act would also respond to the call for action from resource companies and Canadians asking for better coordination and clearly defined time periods for project reviews, more streamlined and predictable review processes, and improved regulatory approvals. Bill C-47 would help make these a reality and in turn would contribute to resource wealth and create economic opportunities for individuals and communities that would benefit not only northerners but all Canadians. Our government's aim is a northern regulatory regime that would be more effective and predictable, while safeguarding the environmental health and heritage of the region and including meaningful aboriginal consultation.
The northern jobs and growth act is an important part of moving forward with the Government of Canada's northern strategy. It would support social and economic development, it would protect the north's sensitive environment, and it would uphold Canada's responsibilities under modern land claim and self-government agreements. With an improved regulatory regime, northerners would have an efficient and effective system now and for future generations.
I would now like to touch on the important work being done by CanNor, the economic development agency for Canada's north. It is also supporting the social and economic pillar of the northern strategy. CanNor works with its many partners to develop a diversified, sustainable and dynamic economy for northerners and aboriginal people across Canada's three territories. It does this by delivering programs, building partnerships and incorporating the activities of other federal departments, particularly as they relate to resource development in the north.
Our government is also continuing its important work under the Arctic science and technology pillar of the northern strategy by demonstrating leadership in Arctic science. As part of his northern tour, the Prime Minister, visited Cambridge Bay, site of the Canadian high Arctic research station, and remarked:
The north is a fundamental part of Canada's heritage, future and identity, and we must continue to assert our sovereignty over Canada's Arctic. This new station will undertake science and technology (S&T) research that will support the responsible development of Canada's North, inform environmental stewardship, and enhance the quality of life of Northerners and all Canadians.
It is estimated that the construction of the station will generate up to 150 jobs locally, across the north and in more specialized sectors in other parts of Canada.
As a part of the governance pillar of the northern strategy, our work in the Northwest Territories over the course of the last year has resulted in the successful negotiation of a consensus agreement on the terms for the devolution of lands and resource management from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories.
The Prime Minister said:
Our Government recognizes that Northerners are best placed to make the important decisions about how to run their economies and how to maximize use of their resources. Once finalized, this historic agreement will provide the Northwest Territories (NWT) with greater decision-making powers over a range of new responsibilities which will lead to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity across the Territory.
Devolution in the NWT will mean the transfer of decision-making and administration for land and resource management from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories. The territorial government will become more responsible for the management of onshore lands and the issuance of rights and interests with respect to onshore minerals and oil and gas. It will also give it the power to collect and share in resource revenues generated in the territory.
With the conclusion of negotiations, the Government of Canada has engaged in a second round of consultations to gather input from aboriginal organizations in the NWT that will lead to a final devolution agreement.
At this time, I would like to speak of yet another example of our government's commitment to our northern strategy. The nutrition north program provides northerners with greater access to nutritious perishable food, such as fruits, vegetables, bread, meat, milk and eggs.
Recently the Arctic Co-op Ltd. announced how nutrition north Canada has enabled them to provide direct 767 super freighter service from Winnipeg to Iqaluit. Duane Wilson, vice-president of the merchandising and logistics division at Arctic Co-op, recently noted that this change represents improved efficiency, innovation and collaboration in the supply chain.
Early efficiencies under nutrition north Canada have seen prices in communities fall and stay below where they were under the former program. Nutrition north Canada benefits 103 remote northern communities in Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories. It is more focused and transparent than the outmoded program it replaced.
What is more, northerners have a direct impact on the new program by voicing their opinions and suggestions for improvement in the way it works. I have certainly been advised on some of those, and we have had direct contact and communication with the first nation communities that are working under and with the nutrition north program in my riding.
Nutrition north Canada is also guided by an advisory board, the members of which represent a wide range of northern perspectives and interests. They provide information and advice to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development on the management, direction and activities of the program.
Our government has made the north a top priority, placing it higher on the agenda than it has been in many decades. This government has a clear vision for the north as a healthy, prosperous region within a strong and sovereign nation.
I would like to end by thanking all of our partners who contributed to our significant achievements under the northern strategy. I look forward to continuing our work on jobs and growth across the north.
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-09 18:48 [p.16613]
Mr. Chair, I do. I have a few questions, and I am not sure how much time I have left for those. I have five minutes? Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chair, our Conservative government has just announced a historic agreement for devolution in the Northwest Territories. This is an outstanding achievement. Once finalized, the agreement would provide the Northwest Territories with greater decision-making powers, which would lead to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in the territory and indeed across Canada.
As the member of Parliament for the Yukon, I can speak first-hand to the benefits of devolution. Our government knows that it is northerners who are best placed to make decisions to manage their economy, contrary to the position taken by the member for Western Arctic on the devolution agreement.
I would like to ask the minister this. What do northern regulatory improvement initiatives mean for devolution in the Northwest Territories?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-05-09 18:50 [p.16613]
Mr. Chair, obviously we know no government has done more to advance the interests of Canada's north than we have. I know we will certainly continue to do so. We introduced the northern jobs and growth act to allow northerners to benefit from projects in mining, oil, gas, transportation and other businesses across the north and across Canada.
Could the minister tell us briefly how Bill C-47 fits into the broader northern regulatory initiative and what this means for the future regulatory improvements?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-04-25 12:47 [p.15899]
Mr. Speaker, the member for Western Arctic spoke about the importance of climate change in the north and the realities there. We heard the member for Welland talk about Canada acknowledging that climate change is a significant priority for our government and an issue for the rest of the country.
The question I have for the member for Western Arctic is this. He spoke about the Arctic Council and the role that our government will play in the Arctic Council. The minister has made it clear that climate change is a priority and that there will be discussions on the Arctic Council. Does the member still stand behind his criticism that it was the right decision for our government to put a minister from the Arctic and for the Arctic as chair of the Arctic Council? Instead, the position of the member for Western Arctic is that the chair should have come from the foreign affairs department or be a member from outside that area.
Does the member still stand behind the criticism that it was a wrong decision for Canada to appoint an aboriginal woman as chair of the Arctic Council, where we can get to the root of these issues that he seems to think are so important?
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