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Results: 31 - 45 of 444
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
I am not an expert in these matters, but, like everyone else, I am very worried about global warming.
How can we even think of allowing oil and gas exploration in marine protected areas?
We would never dream of putting an oil well or a tar sands development in a national park. There is even talk of asking Alberta to slow production or clean up the process so it pollutes less. I think the whole idea is preposterous.
Why are we still talking about this?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, the Quebec City tramway would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a quality service to residents.
A recent survey showed that most residents of Quebec City hope the tramway will be added to their public transit offering. Obviously, in public, the Liberal government says that it hopes the project will begin this summer. However, it is not answering the Quebec government's call for help to make up the $800-million shortfall for the tramway. This is not the first time infrastructure funding has been slow to make its way down the pipe.
Speaking of pipes, rather than buying an old pipeline, why does the government not switch to solution mode and fund the tramway that Quebec City residents want?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his testimony.
He may have given a speech, but he was also testifying to what he experienced at this committee, when he saw the amendments being rejected and this government showing its paternalistic approach. I regret that a member has to wonder whether he is naive for thinking that committee members should normally be able to make independent decisions without being controlled by the government.
Does he think that the government is rushing a bit at the end of its term to do something significant, after realizing that it did nothing for four years about something that was supposedly important to its mandate? Does he think the government figures that even if the bill is not perfect, it is good enough?
What does my colleague think about that?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona. I will try to stay constructive and positive, but I have to say that this government's holier-than-thou attitude annoys me to no end. It is exasperating. The Liberals seem to believe they are above all comments and constructive feedback. They think they know everything, and that is incredibly irritating. We can always sense it in their tone. I have never felt this way before. In the last Parliament, under the Conservatives, I never sensed this level of arrogance. “We know best”, the Liberals say. It is so infuriating.
I sit on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, and this is an issue that is close to my heart. I have here 17 NDP amendments, which obviously were not adopted, and I can confirm that the amendment my colleague mentioned earlier was extremely constructive and opened up doors. Unfortunately, the Liberals think they have all the answers when it comes to drafting bills. They were like that with the SNC-Lavalin affair as well, when they added that little line to the omnibus bill. That was an inspired move. The Liberals must be kicking themselves, because all of Quebec is now complaining about it.
I cannot talk about Bill C-91 without talking about my experience as a member of this House. I represent the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, so of course I want to stand up for the interests of my constituents, for aerospace and for our social fabric. More importantly, I want to find solutions to address the fact that one-third of the children in Longueuil—Saint-Hubert are living in poverty. It is a shocking figure, and no one ever talks about it.
I want to talk about my election in 2011. When I was elected, I was an ordinary citizen from Longueuil who did not have a clear understanding of the issues facing first nations. When I arrived here, my main concerns were defending Quebec's distinct culture and fighting climate change. Quite frankly, first nations were not on my list of priorities. On top of that, I did not know very much about the topic.
Many will recall the leadership race that happened so quickly following Jack Layton's death, and my colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, was one of the candidates. At that point, many people in Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, including myself, discovered an ambassador for the Cree Nation. Today that member is one of the people scratching their heads, wondering whether this bill on indigenous languages lives up to the expectations.
When I became acquainted with the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, I saw how hard he had worked, especially on the peace of the braves agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I saw how diligently he had to work to solve such issues. I also realized that what was needed was a compassionate approach, not a theoretical one.
This man, whom I consider a friend, taught me that this privileged relationship, as the Liberal Party often calls it, needs to be cultivated. Every time we deal with indigenous languages in committee, I am struck by the heart-wrenching testimony that shows this goes well beyond a theory that language is important. We saw people who were suffering because their past and their roots had been erased, and their personalities and cultures had been bleached white by a centralizing government.
As the representative for the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, I was shocked to see just how many open wounds the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was trying to heal. The commission attempted to set out a path for reconciliation.
We came to committee with this in mind, with the goal of working together congenially and collaboratively.
I mentioned the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou today because his outstanding bill seeking to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Bill C-262, has stalled in the Senate. This is a very important bill because it would redefine our relationship with indigenous peoples, with those who are at the very core of this country, but partisan politics are holding it up in the Senate.
I will not call out those involved in the Senate, but it is quite shameful. Things need to get moving. They could use a little nudge to get things going and see them through. This bill would ensure that the government respects the rights of our indigenous peoples and that these rights would be enshrined in all of our bills.
Bill C-91 is by all accounts fundamental and extremely important to the reconciliation process. I understand perfectly just how valuable language is, and how culture is primarily carried through language. It is essential to everything. The situation looks precarious. During one of my visits to Kahnawake, Mr. Norton told me that the Mohawk language is in jeopardy. He said that he was committed to supporting the process. He wants to encourage people to take interest in this issue. Teaching people who are interested in learning these languages again will take several months or years. I therefore understand how important this is.
Also, I was very pleased that my colleagues from Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou and Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River supported me during the work on this bill and the study in committee. It is a sensitive topic that requires careful consideration. These are not routine laws. These laws have emotional consequences and will shape our relationship with these nations and the preservation of their culture.
People on the ground obviously saw and grasped the importance of this bill. They understood that public officials had tried to draft legislation that would meet their needs. I will try not to use provocative language. I will try not to make us out to be saintly know-it-alls. I just did it, but I apologize. I will try to put this delicately. If this bill is so important to the Liberal government, why are we only talking about it with five weeks left in the parliamentary session? Why is that? Is there a valid reason to explain why this bill was delayed until the very end of the parliamentary session?
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is busy. The committee constantly deals with issues related to the cultural resilience of Quebec, first nations or the Innu people. Let me use a metaphor to describe what is going on here. The Liberals were thinking about where they stood. They realized that the parliamentary session was drawing to a close, and they decided that, given their meagre legislative agenda, they were not too busy to introduce some new bills. They figured it would be nice to do something about this issue. They thought they would look really stupid if they went four years without doing anything about it, so they threw a bill together at the last minute.
As my colleague rightly said, a major player, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, says it is not satisfied and was not consulted. This bill is being shoved down their throats. It is tragic to see this holier-than-thou government pretending it has not just been sitting on its hands this whole time. Sadly, that is what happened.
This is critically important bill. It is unfortunate that it had to be rammed through since it still has many flaws and is far from perfect.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his appreciation for everything one discovers about indigenous, Innu and Métis issues when one becomes a member of Parliament. That having been said, I certainly do not want to understate the complexity of the task. It is true that it is very complex.
However, the fact remains that it is very frustrating for the members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to all of a sudden be told that this is a government priority that is way behind schedule and that the committee needs to conduct a pre-study of the bill. We did that with as open an attitude as possible, but the government did not really co-operate.
I understand that this is a complex issue. There is no doubt about that. That being said, we need to all work together. The Liberals may have tried to work as much as possible with all those involved, but they certainly did not try to work with us.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.
I admire the fact that he is able to speak the language of some of his constituents. It is a language that is all the more important because it is on the verge of extinction.
He is absolutely right. I should even have talked about how no money has been set aside to ensure the sustainability of such a program. Members will also recall that many people are rightly opposed to the fact that the commissioner in question is not required, by definition, to come from an indigenous community. My colleague is right to point out how important that is, since there are only 50 people left who speak the language. That is outrageous, and it is all happening right before our eyes.
We have a number of institutes that deal with archeology and studying the past, but if we do not want our indigenous languages to become a thing of the past, then we need to ensure their survival.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am sincerely grateful to my colleague from Bow River for his speech and his contributions to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, particularly in the case of this study. Unlike me, he has a direct connection to these people and their reality. He has often spoken on behalf of communities affected by this bill.
I second what he said about the importance of this bill. I share his disappointment in the Liberals' grand consultation, which was supposed to take care of everything and happened a lot faster than expected.
For years, our wonderful Liberal government sat back and did nothing. Now, all of a sudden, right before the election, the government thinks it is time to take meaningful action. Does my colleague not find that despicable? The government says everything is as it should be and wants us all to support the bill.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Quebec's culture and communications minister wrote to our Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism to share his concerns about the crisis at Telefilm Canada.
As a side note, I hope that the minister will allow the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to support my motion today to call Telefilm Canada before the committee.
Since last week, CTVM.info and all major media outlets have been reporting about how much the cultural community needs a strong, tuned-in Telefilm Canada. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism promised to act this week.
It is already Thursday, so does he have some good news to announce about our cultural scene, for once?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I think you will find the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion: that the House of Commons (a) acknowledge the concerns of the Government of Quebec about the budget situation at Telefilm Canada; (b) recognize, as La Presse noted yesterday, that without Telefilm and its operating budget, Quebec cinema and artists such as Xavier Dolan would not have had as much international success; (c) note the outrage of the film industry over the dismissal of some of the leadership at Telefilm; (d) call on the government to resolve the crisis, act swiftly to secure funding for francophone cinema for 2019-20, and ensure that films in production in the coming months are not jeopardized.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the crisis at Telefilm Canada and the abrupt dismissal of Michel Pradier, Roxane Girard and Denis Pion are causing dismay in the film industry, especially in Quebec.
With the Liberals' lack of leadership on the web giant issue already creating serious concerns, we certainly do not need them taking dangerously rash actions like this one. This will further undermine our industry, which is more vulnerable than ever right now.
Will the minister commit to releasing emergency financial support to defuse this crisis, which has left many projects in limbo?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise. I really want to say what a privilege it was to work with my colleague during the committee's study of this bill.
As the member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, I came to Ottawa with certain beliefs and goals with respect to various issues. I discovered just how dysfunctional the relationship with indigenous peoples is. Major changes are needed.
I noticed how irritated my colleague was that the government again chose a regrettably paternalistic approach in the lead-up to passing a consequential bill, not to mention the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's calls to action. Parliamentarians must look to the wisdom and experience of this leader and her community, for they are intimately familiar with the reality of these people. That is why I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on this.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, this morning, the government released its youth policy, which astonishingly announces that “[y]outh are conscious of the negative impacts climate change has” and that they “want to see further immediate action”. It is about time the government noticed, seeing as 150,000 young people have taken to the streets of Montreal demanding action.
In London, the U.K. Parliament wasted no time declaring a climate emergency earlier this week. Canada is asleep at the switch. It is true.
Six months ago, I urged all the parties to come together to implement emergency climate measures without further delay.
Now that their own report says it is important to listen to youth, will the Liberal Party finally sit down with all the other parties so we can work together to fight climate change?
This is urgent. Let's go.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention back to the question posed by my colleague from Kitchener. He was absolutely right to bring up SNC-Lavalin.
This kind of procedure will rush the bill through the House of Commons. However, the government has presented a budget and an omnibus bill that includes everything but the kitchen sink. When the government tries to pass measures without anyone knowing, it thinks it knows better than everyone, that it knows all the answers. The government came up with a haphazard solution to the SNC-Lavalin problem. The Liberals figured that they would tinker with the legislation a little and it would work. It did not work considering the mess that you and those who live in Quebec are now dealing with.
The government is coming up with solutions in secret and is not presenting them to the 338 members of the House in order to take advantage of their expertise in finding solutions.
I would like to know whether the Minister of Finance will answer my colleague from Kitchener.
Can the government assure us that there will not be any more mistakes, aberrations, serious errors and serious consequences for all Canadians and for you as a government like we saw with the improvised line regarding SNC-Lavalin?
The government is irresponsibly improvising because it thinks it knows everything.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
I cannot help but respond when I hear the member for Winnipeg North say that Canadians chose to put an end to austerity. There is a huge difference between austerity and the deficit-palooza we have been experiencing ever since. It is pathetic and completely irresponsible. I agree with my colleague from Durham on that.
Obviously, I understand that he is concerned about workers at the GM plant in Oshawa. There is no long-term vision to try to keep those big plants here in Canada, to open more plants, and to manufacture models of the future rather than models that are going to be discontinued. Could we build vehicles of the future that would sell well and ensure that jobs are not lost in this industry?
I would like to ask my colleague whether he noticed any hidden or dangerous measures when he pored over this bill. That is the challenge that we, as parliamentarians, have to face. We need to go over this phone-book-sized bill with a fine-tooth comb to make sure we do not miss anything, but we do not have time for that. As a result, the last omnibus bill contained a ridiculous, half-baked measure on SNC-Lavalin and now we are seeing the terrible impact that is having on Quebec, jobs and engineering in Canada. It also created a huge scandal that is going to hurt the Liberals in the next election. It serves them right.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change often talks about how high a priority this is for him. However, when we look at the current situation, the budget or just the headlines, it is clear that there is a disconnect, from a financial point of view. It is valid to bring up deficits, but the most urgent issue is climate warming. One province, Alberta, has based its economy on oil production. What is the government going to do to come up with some kind of social licence, and what efforts will be made to limit greenhouse gas emissions? These things will not happen overnight. Oil is to Alberta what potatoes are to Prince Edward Island. I can see why they are scratching their heads, saying they cannot stop production because it would bring their economy to a halt.
How does the government plan to convince Albertans to accept help from across Canada in order to migrate to some other basis for their economy? What is it suggesting? It sounds like it is going to take 200 years to meet our targets. That is pathetic.
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