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Results: 16 - 30 of 444
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I will focus on the second part of the member's comment, so that my answer is as constructive as possible.
In the second part of his comment, the member asked me what we would recommend. First, we would recommend that the government take things seriously and acknowledge that information promotes a better democracy. Such a fundamental issue should have been tackled much earlier. It would have been preferable not to wait until the last minute, as the government did with a number of very important bills. It also should have done some research and not thought it was so superior that it was above criticism.
Obviously, it is going to be a bit controversial when the government chooses a union that has very much taken a side in the debate and when it makes the announcement at the last second, right before the election. Nevertheless, the Conservatives should not be surprised. They are hated by almost everyone in the news and communications sector. The Conservatives hung us out to dry for 10, or even 14, years, because they were threatening the government.
As for the first part of your comment, you claim to have done things. The Canada Council for the Arts budget was doubled four years ago. Stop saying that; you have not done a thing since.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
That will not be easy, Madam Speaker.
I thank my colleague. I know he means well, and I appreciate his province taking the lead.
He is absolutely right. This definitely demonstrates how pathetic it is that this government does not to have the guts to do the obvious and just apply the GST to a service like this. He is right that we all need to work together. As a result of the government's inability to show federal leadership and persuade the telecom giants to join the comprehensive review, the stakeholders are left to watch as the system falls to pieces. They are petrified of being swallowed up by Big Brother, Google, GAFA and others.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his important speech, particularly since, in his riding, the Franco-Ontarian fact is, of course, very vulnerable and must always be promoted and protected.
I would like to know where small newspapers and local weeklies stand. Did the people who run them feel reassured by the government's announcements? If the member has any time left, I would like him to tell me why the Liberals took so long to present solutions that were looked into two years ago in a number of reports submitted to the government.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech and excellent work at committee, where we discussed these issues at length.
I will not ask her why we had to wait until the last minute because I have already asked that question many times today. A lot of people are wondering if they are going to pack up next weekend because the parliamentary session is almost over. It cannot believe that we are tackling this issue today, but the Conservatives wanted to raise it.
Is my colleague surprised by the Conservative belief that choosing a union such as Unifor to represent the views of workers and others is some kind of a game?
I find it appalling that they waited until the last minute, just before the election, to introduce such a highly debatable motion.
Is she surprised by the Conservative belief that unions do not look favourably on the Conservatives and do not believe them to be on their side?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my colleague works with me on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, where we talked about this issue many times.
Does he not find it shameful that the Liberals once again waited until the last minute, when they could have been much more effective in helping our media outlets make more money? For example, the government could have amended the exemption in section 19 of the Income Tax Act so that Internet ads are considered expenses for income tax purposes just as magazine ads are.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I agree with him. There is a lot wrong with this situation. A few days from the end of this Parliament, it is very awkward and negligent of this government to be making so many proposals and appointments that could cause confusion, when we do not have the means to do an analysis. Our news industry and our media are not doing well.
I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the information I found indicating that Canada subsidizes the media to the tune of $2 per capita. In Quebec, with its current formula, it is about $3 per capita. Compare that to $5.83 in the United States, $18.17 in the United Kingdom and $30 in France. Of course, Sweden, Norway and Finland, which are fantastic countries, provide significantly more help to the media, with support ranging from $57 to $90 per capita. That is a huge amount compared to Canada's $2 per capita.
Does my colleague agree with the idea that the state must provide better support for newspapers, in a non-partisan manner of course?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, who serves with me on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Clearly, we cannot oppose a good thing, even if it being proposed late in the game. When a union that represents thousands of workers is disparaged, there may be some comments that people would like to take back.
However, as everyone has said today, it is obvious that this is a temporary measure while we wait for something better. That is the issue. Why did we wait all this time to solve the fundamental problem afflicting our media, namely the loss of advertising revenue? What is the cause of these losses? I wonder if my colleague can answer that. Section 19 is overused with respect to online advertising, as though the ads were being placed in Canadian media.
Why has this loophole not been closed? Why is GST not charged on ads purchased on these platforms? If the reason is that these are U.S. platforms, it is not a good reason.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to hear that. I will ask the member to slow down a bit and to find an answer to my question. Why is the government not closing the section 19 loophole?
Allow me to explain. Under section 19, a Canadian advertiser can advertise in an American magazine, but this expense will not count as an operating expense for advertising come tax time. This expense is not allowed because the advertiser is not advertising in Canadian media. However, section 19 does not currently specify that these ads must be bought on Canadian online media in order to be considered an eligible expense.
Why is the government not doing this?
Everyone knows that this is a big problem. Everyone also knows that if the government closed this loophole, Canadian advertisers would probably spend less on American platforms and more on Canadian ones. It is not complicated. This would obviously bring in more money for the government.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague opposite why the NDP's position is drawing so much ridicule today.
The fact is, the people we are talking about today are the ones who are being unfairly penalized. Our position was that their criminal records should be expunged. The Liberal government told us it wanted to make marijuana legal in Canada. What was the result? The Liberals will never get me to believe they cared about the situation of the people we are talking about today. All they wanted to do was please the general public, which does not face excessive criminalization, and above all pander to their investor friends and help them make lots of money.
Today, it is clear that the offence of simple possession of cannabis will come back to haunt someone if they commit another offence. Was this a simple oversight or do you just not give a damn?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Longueuil is two kilometres away from Montreal. If a person from Longueuil needs to take public transit to Montreal for a job interview or a doctor's appointment, for example, it will cost them $13 to get there and back. It makes no sense to pay $13 to travel two kilometres. If people have to make the trip regularly, they can buy a monthly pass for $138. At these prices, it is not surprising that there is always so much traffic on the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
That is why the NDP opposed the Liberal government's decision to do away with the public transit tax credit. That is why the government should invest in extending the yellow line. Extending that line would attract 70,000 users a day. That is why RTL Longueuil needs a partner to extend the yellow line and money to renovate and expand the garages for its new electric fleet.
We need a government that will stand firm. In Quebec, 43% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, with on-road vehicles accounting for 34%. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, and that is why we need governments to make major investments in efficient, reliable and affordable public transit so that we can build our cities while addressing the climate crisis.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, this morning I heard the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan talk about the importance of caring for the most vulnerable members of our society as well. Unfortunately, disabilities often contribute to this very economic vulnerability.
My colleague was a member of the previous government, which created a disability savings plan. I wonder if he could tell us a little more about that program.
Did that program produce the desired results?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, for four years, the media industry has been floundering. Thousands of journalism jobs have been lost. Our information and democracy are in jeopardy.
Last week, the Conservative leader basically announced that he will do nothing to address the media crisis. Come to think of it, nothing is exactly what the Liberals are doing. After four years of studies and committees, last week, the Liberals came up with the half-baked idea to set up yet another controversial committee that will not release its findings until just after the House rises for the summer.
Why did the government wait four years, a full term in office, before finally coming to its senses about the crisis? Are the Liberals that afraid of the Conservatives?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, it is not without a certain bitterness that I join the debate on this bill.
Of course, we can tout the merits of Canada's two official languages. I rise in the House with all due respect for francophone minority communities outside Quebec and anglophone minority communities in Quebec. There is no denying, however, that, over the past few years, there has been an effort to relegate the sovereignty issue to the dustbin of history and to downplay the importance of acknowledging Quebeckers' quiet nationalism, which concerns me greatly. I have observed firsthand that the French language is at the heart of culture.
Last week, we debated the bill on indigenous languages. We heard from several people who stated just how important indigenous languages are to the indigenous identity and culture, and how it is very important to preserve them. The situation in Quebec is obviously not the same because Quebeckers have had the opportunity to take strong positions and to implement measures such as Bill 101. It was highly controversial at the time but it ultimately played an important, structural role in Quebec culture, and is a critical part of French's resilience in Quebec.
I am talking about our national question being turned into a bit of folklore, because, I would remind hon. members, Quebec is a distinct nation. I immediately think of simple things like the fact that our parliament is not called a legislature, but a national assembly, like in France, to reflect the fact that we adhere to the Civil Code instead of common law. We have a republican-like way of thinking, a way of seeing society that is more reflective of France, but includes a healthy mix of our status as Canadians and North Americans in the Westminister system.
My general impression when it comes to defending the interests of Quebec is that there are not too many Quebec MPs who want to talk about quiet nationalism, an expression that I quite liked and adopted. It was coined by Alain Dubuc, and economics columnist at La Presse. This is a nod to the Quiet Revolution and a characterization of our nationalism. In Quebec today, in 2019, this is a consensual nationalism, in the vast majority of cases.
Some hon. members represent largely anglophone communities where people are not inclined to be open to this idea. I forgive those members for not rising often enough to stand up for the quiet nationalism we are seeing in Quebec. As for the other MPs, I honestly have to say that I am very frustrated. For four years now, I have been front and centre at all times. My party, the NDP, gives me room to talk about how vital culture is to our television and popular music industries. Quebec's cultural industries are thriving. Every time we talk about a Canadian filmmaker doing well internationally we are proud of that, but often that filmmaker is from Quebec. We are so proud we might as well be talking about an Olympic champion. However, this does not come from nothing.
In the Olympics, there are programs such as own the podium. In Quebec and Canada, Quebec culture was allowed to thrive in television, film and music. How did we do that? By enforcing regulations; not letting ourselves be colonized and stepped on like doormats; and telling industry stakeholders interested in developing international culture that we had a weakness and that we needed to be a part of the story. If there is foreign content, there will have to be local content. This goes for all Canadian content, and everyone knows it, but it takes on a whole new meaning in Quebec. Both Canadian and Quebec content are hugely successful and have exceptional ratings, and ultimately, they also have a positive impact on society.
I will stop there to return to the bill introduced by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île.
In Quebec, protecting culture means ensuring that the stories we tell reflect peoples' lives. I often give the example of the show Fugueuse, which had great ratings and a profound social impact. Every day after an episode would air, social workers and screenwriters would come to Longueuil station to talk about child prostitution, which is a blight, especially in my constituency. The show is having an impact.
In Quebec, we have invested in this particular way of telling our stories and expressing our love to one another, of greeting the world and welcoming new communities that come here. Last year, at a televised gala, we learned that Fugueuse helped 20 or so young people get out of prostitution after speaking to their parents. How marvellous is that?
Some people might say they are sick of hearing about the bloody Quebec culture and would rather watch Netflix anyway because the content is more relatable and much better. Is it though? I myself obsessively watched 13 Reasons Why, a series about teen suicide, before my daughters watched it, because I wanted to make sure it was appropriate for them. Then I learned that, according to American studies, youth suicide rates rose by 27% after the first few episodes were released. That is a huge increase.
The reason I bring this up is that we need to defend the Quebec nation in a constructive way. That is why we in the NDP strongly objected when this bill was designated as non-votable. Incidentally, I tip my hat to the member for Hamilton Centre, who fought to convince all his colleagues to vote to debate the bill. This bill represents an idea that could be immensely improved by the work of all the legislators in the House. I do not want to hear anyone telling me this bill is silly. If there is one bill that was sloppily cobbled together without constructive input from all members of Parliament, it is the omnibus bill that contained a certain little provision about SNC-Lavalin. We know all about the disastrous consequences for that company, which is Quebec's leading engineering firm, and above all for my dear Liberal colleagues, who really messed up.
The NDP believes this is an important issue because we are acutely conscious of the significant contributions that these new cultures make. They are going to help us build a stronger Quebec. Naturally, teaching French to newcomers is the central issue. We actually adopted a resolution on this topic at the last NDP convention in Trois-Rivières: Whereas immigration is essential to address the labour shortage, which is hurting the economy; whereas the Conservative and now the Liberal governments did nothing to support francophone immigration and make French language classes more accessible—God knows that is true; and whereas francophone immigration is indispensable for ensuring the future of Quebec and francophone communities across Canada outside Quebec; be it resolved that an NDP government will commit to providing adequate funding to increase the required percentage of French-speaking immigrants and will adapt existing immigration programs to Quebec's unique economic, social and labour needs.
That is why the Quebec caucus would surely have voted in favour of this bill at second reading so that it could be sent to committee. We are not getting anywhere by cutting ourselves off and talking past one another. It is shameful and disrespectful for any Quebec MP to ignore the vulnerability and value of Quebeckers' quiet nationalism and to fail to proudly defend Quebec's distinct identity.
In closing, we are very disappointed that we are not able to vote on this bill. This really is a dialogue of the deaf. It seems like members just want to put a lid on this issue and not talk about it. I would urge my dear friends to wake up. There is a quiet nationalism in Quebec, and it is high time we helped it along rather than stand in its way.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, when the government asks regular folks to pay their taxes but gives tax breaks to billion-dollar companies, there is clearly something wrong.
Canada is the only G7 nation that applies sales tax as if the Internet did not exist.
The NDP will shortly be introducing a bill that will finally extend tax compliance to Facebook, Google and Netflix. Multinational web corporations need to follow the same rules as Canadian companies; otherwise, the playing field will not be level.
Will the government finally join the 21st century and support the NDP's bill to adapt our tax laws to the digital economy?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I gather there are many big lakes and waterways in his riding. I am sure this issue hits home for him and his constituents.
I would like to know his thoughts on what a number of members have said about how certain marine protected areas would be excluded from the list under this bill.
Am I mistaken, or does he see that as a good thing?
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