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Results: 1 - 15 of 1111
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 10:13 [p.15256]
seconded by Mr. Rathgeber, moved for leave to introduce Bill C-699, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act (scientific research).
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour. I want to thank my colleague from Edmonton—St. Albert for seconding the bill.
This is a bill that deals with an issue that has been very much of concern to Canadians, that scientific research conducted within the Government of Canada has not been as accessible as it used to be.
The act to amend the Access to Information Act for scientific research, the short title of which will be the public access to science act, references that access and the pursuit of scientific knowledge and information is a pillar of a healthy democracy, that public policy, as developed within this house and throughout the Government of Canada must rest on evidence, and that evidence comes through scientific research.
The effect of the bill would be very straightforward. With the passage of the bill, all publicly funded science in Canada must be made public, must be made public expeditiously, and must be accessible to all Canadians.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 10:17 [p.15257]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today and hope for unanimous consent to table only those portions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report that have been fully translated into both official languages. This includes calls to action and the testimony of survivors.
We have had the important work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission accepted at Rideau Hall by the Governor General; and in this place seven years ago, the Prime Minister made a really significant and historically meaningful apology for the residential school legacy.
It is an important move, as we close this Parliament, to accept those portions of the report that have been fully translated so that the matter of truth and reconciliation is taken up in the House of Commons, accepting the documents, though not necessarily endorsing the recommendations.
I ask for unanimous consent.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 10:27 [p.15259]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present three petitions, all of which are from constituents within Saanich—Gulf Islands.
The first petition calls for an aggressive climate strategy. The petitioners have set out the goals that were once accepted in a piece of legislation passed under the name of my colleague, the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, calling for a reduction by 2050 of 80% of carbon dioxide levels below those of 1990.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
The second petition, Mr. Speaker, calls upon the Government of Canada to act on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The petitioners compel the oil and gas companies to disclose all the chemicals that they are currently using and to conduct a comprehensive environmental review, among other measures.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 10:28 [p.15259]
Mr. Speaker, the last petition is very timely given that the Supreme Court of Canada has given one year's notice to deal with the issue of end-of-life decisions.
The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to respect the will of Canadians and enact legislation with clear guidelines to physicians to allow competent, fully informed and terminally ill patients the option of physician-assisted death.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 11:17 [p.15265]
Mr. Speaker, I certainly would never mention to that colleague that she did not make sense. I find she makes very good sense.
I am very concerned by the incorporation of regulations by reference. It is fine for the Conservatives to say that it has been done in the past in other laws, but the increasing and sweeping use of incorporation of regulations by reference does reduce public accessibility. It reduces our knowledge of what is moving through the Canada Gazette. It reduces the opportunity for Canadians to know what regulations they have to meet. I have seen it referred to in the media as a “sleeper law”, something that appears so dry that it does not gain public attention, but which does have deeply anti-democratic implications.
Would my hon. colleague like to expand on why she believes she continues to make sense?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 15:06 [p.15298]
Mr. Speaker, it has been referenced a few times in the House during question period that His Holiness Pope Francis has issued an extraordinarily powerful encyclical, a rare event from the Vatican, and I want to quote in part what he said:
We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels — especially coal... — needs to be progressively replaced without delay.
Given the Prime Minister's acceptance of the G7 language for decarbonization, he appears to agree, except for the part “without delay”.
Given that the Prime Minister believes this can happen in 85 years, can the minister tell us if it can happen by mid-century?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 18:44 [p.15328]
Mr. Speaker, what a surprising honour it is for me at this moment to realize that I am one of the last speakers you will hear from that chair. I am not supposed to address the Speaker and I am sure it will be removed from Hansard, but I extend my best wishes for your future and for your big move.
I raised this question some time ago in relation to the question of climate targets. The question was asked in May, before the hon. Minister of the Environment tabled the targets, which at that point had been overdue.
In the UN negotiating process in the Conference of the Parties for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, it was determined at the 2012 negotiations in Warsaw, where I was present, that in order to ensure that all countries were prepared to commit to a binding, comprehensive climate treaty at this December's meeting in 2014, all countries would submit their targets within the first quarter of 2015. That was repeated again in Lima in 2014. At the time I asked the question, we had not seen Canada's targets.
Subsequently the targets were tabled. They happened to be the weakest in the G7. The target that was announced by our hon. Minister of the Environment on the Friday afternoon of a long May weekend was that Canada would commit to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That target was substantially weaker than those of all other countries. In Copenhagen, of course, we had tied our target to that of the U.S., but since the U.S. has met the target that it selected in 2009 in Copenhagen, Canada has fallen off that level of ambition and is even weaker now.
The response I received from the hon. minister included a claim that is repeated so often and I thought I would like to try to lay it to rest in this late show this evening. It is this. She said: “Our Conservative government is the first government in Canadian history that has reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”
It is true that during the time that the Prime Minister has been in office, greenhouse gas levels did drop. They dropped for one reason only. They dropped between 2008 and 2009 because of the global financial collapse. I do not believe the current Prime Minister wishes to take credit for personally engineering a global financial collapse, nor do I think anyone would believe him if he tried to claim credit for it, but that is the one and only reason our greenhouse gas levels dropped. They dropped from a level of around 724 or 725 megatonnes to about 692 or 693, if memory serves. That is when they dropped.
Ever since our economy began to recover after 2009, because of the complete and abject failure of the Prime Minister to put in place any plan to achieve emission reductions, emissions—and this can be checked on the Environment Canada website—emissions have continued to rise. Continuing to rise year on year, by 2020 they are now slated to be slightly below what they were in 2005. They would be above that if it were not for provincial action. The decision by the Province of Ontario to close its coal-fired power plants was important. Unfortunately, the growth in the oil sands overwhelmed the cuts that were made by various provincial governments.
It comes to this in the 30 seconds I have left. We are now a mere month from the negotiations that must achieve a global binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gases. We have been told by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, and now the Vatican that the world must act, and act with more ambition. Canada is now viewed globally as a laggard, and the only way that we will have the kind of treaty the world needs is if Canada once again becomes a leader, which means that in the next few months we must have a new Prime Minister.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-18 18:51 [p.15329]
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to going to COP21 in Paris with a Canadian delegation that will include members of all parties in this place. Perhaps I will be fortunate enough that my friend, the parliamentary secretary, will be on that delegation.
I have now realized, as he has reminded us, that I am down to about 30 seconds in the 41st Parliament to speak in the chamber, where I am honoured to serve the extraordinary constituents of Saanich—Gulf Islands. I am deeply grateful to them.
I also want to express how grateful I am to my colleagues in the House on all sides of the chamber, dear friends who also work hard for their constituents. I want to particularly let my friend, the hon. parliamentary secretary, know how much I appreciated his help, when he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, on the lyme disease bill, which is now law. It would not have happened without my hon. colleague across the way.
God bless everyone, best of luck and best wishes over the coming months. I hope I will be fortunate enough to be back in the chamber in the near future.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
View Bruce Hyer Profile
2015-06-17 16:39 [p.15223]
Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent for the following motion.
I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-61, An Act to amend the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-17 16:48 [p.15224]
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions from people in my riding.
One petition deals with the requirement to have a climate strategy. The petitioners refer back to the targets and timelines that were included in the bill that was passed in this place, Bill C-31, sponsored by the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Superior North.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-17 16:48 [p.15224]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls for the Government of Canada to collaborate with the provinces to put in place a national strategy for extended producer responsibility.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-17 17:49 [p.15238]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend and neighbour from Victoria for an excellent speech.
I also want to pay particular tribute to another member of his caucus, the hon. member for Terrebonne—Blainville, who had put forward, as he mentioned in his speech, an excellent private member's bill, which would have gone much further in dealing with the current issues that this bill fails to grapple with effectively. We missed opportunities here, and I agree that after so many years of inaction it is a shame to pass a bill that could be so efficaciously improved.
I also had amendments before committee in clause-by-clause study that were similar to those put forward by the member for Terrebonne—Blainville, and they were all rejected, so I lament that.
Perhaps my research has not been as exhaustive as the research the hon. member's student is now doing, but I did examine the records of this place for time allocations when they first began to be used routinely. I found seven examples of time allocation between 1920 and 1954. As we all know, in the last four years we have experienced 100 time allocations. I am 99% certain that the Conservative administration in this Parliament has broken all records for shutting down debate by an order of magnitude.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-17 18:04 [p.15240]
Mr. Speaker, I want to say to my hon. colleague for Kingston and the Islands that spontaneous rounds of applause when a colleague stands to give a speech in this place are not common, but I had a feeling that since he is choosing not to run again, perhaps this is my last chance to give him a round of applause. Having a scientist in this place, someone with a Ph.D. in physics, is very helpful. I have always been somewhat in awe of my colleague from Kingston and the Islands.
I want to second his concern about the course of review of legislation in parliamentary committees. I had the great good fortune, although I have only had the honour of serving here since 2011, to serve in the administration of former prime minister Brian Mulroney. I was not a member of his party, but I was fortunate to be working with the minister of the environment and steered many bills through committees. There was non-partisan co-operation. That was the usual approach. Members of all parties within committees listened to witnesses. They never browbeat them. They listened respectfully. They asked questions about things that they thought would serve the committee in finding better public policy. It is new to have parliamentary secretaries sitting in committee holding the Conservative members at committee to whipped votes and often to scripted speeches and questions.
I just want to reinforce what my friend from Kingston and the Islands has said and ask him to expand on how we can ensure that Parliament returns to its true function of non-partisan, thoughtful, evidence-based review of legislation.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-06-16 16:20 [p.15171]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her presentation.
For those who might be looking at the bill for the first time or those who might be observing us from home, the difficulty with the bill is that much of it, in fact 95% of what is in the bill, deals with matters that are already illegal. Canada has never allowed honour killings, because we have never allowed killings. They go in the general category of murder. Similarly, polygamy is already illegal in Canada, and to my knowledge, people who interview refugees coming to Canada would not allow people to come in if they were in a polygamous union in any case. However, my concern is where the bill goes beyond being merely useless and propaganda, where it might actually do some damage.
Members of the criminal bar who testified before the committee testified that there is no example in Canadian history where the defence of provocation has been used in a case such as an honour killing. Provocation by its very nature in law requires a response that is essentially on the spur of the moment, where passions are riled up. For example, if one sees a person who committed violence against one's wife, on the street, unexpectedly, the defence of provocation can move what would have been murder to manslaughter.
In an honour killing situation, provocation does not fit at all and could never be used. However, the change to the defence of provocation in the proposed act, according to the advice from the former head of the criminal bar within the Canadian Bar Association, is that this could do damage to criminal justice in Canada.
I ask my hon. colleague, who is also an hon. friend, if she is not concerned that the bill, which is generally dealing with things that are already illegal, may actually make it so that the defence of provocation for people in genuine instances of being provoked lose access to that defence in Canadian law.
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