Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
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2017-10-30 17:37 [p.14703]
Madam Speaker, why can my hon. colleague not support the excellent measures proposed in the bill?
The bill would allow foreign vessels to reposition their containers between locations in Canada. This would make Canadian trade corridors more attractive to global logistical companies. It would also allow Canadian port authorities to have access to the Canadian Infrastructure Bank. That would enable them to make critical investments in port infrastructure.
The bill would liberalize the ownership of air carriers, from 35% to 49%, while ensuring that no single foreign entity or group of airlines could own more than 25% of the airline stake. At the same time, it would ensure that speciality air carriers, like firefighting air carriers or aerial photography air carriers, would have no change in foreign ownership. It would still be limited to 25%.
Why can the member not support these excellent measures?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-10-30 18:05 [p.14707]
Madam Speaker, the hon. member mentioned joint ventures. Talking about air carriers, the bill would allow the liberalization of the ownership of airlines from 25% to 49%, while actually making sure that no single entity, no single individual, or no two carriers would have more than 25% stake on any Canadian carrier. Also, the bill would not not allow ownership of specialty air services like firefighting, aerial logging, and aerial photography to rise above the current 25%.
Would this increase competition in the Canadian air sector, increase the choice available for Canadians, and increase the creation of jobs?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-09-26 21:22 [p.13594]
Madam Speaker, Canada is gravely concerned by the continuing crisis in Myanmar and its impact on neighbouring Bangladesh. Since the August 25 attacks by domestic militants on security outposts, almost 480,000 Rohingya have fled the northern Rakhine State to seek safety in neighbouring Bangladesh, adding to the hundreds of thousands who have made the crossing over recent decades. Arrivals over the past few weeks have largely comprised women and children, including pregnant women. As many as 1,500 children have been born during the last 20 days in the Rohingya camps.
With the help of the international community, including Canada, the Government of Bangladesh is temporarily hosting the tidal wave of displaced persons from what is called “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar and the violence propagated by anti-Rohingya sentiment in the Rakhine State. I have personally received countless emails and calls from my constituents and from people all across Ottawa and Canada voicing their concerns about the violence in Myanmar.
I would like to highlight two organizations that have shown support for the Rohingya people. Human Concern International and the South Nepean Muslim Community, SNMC, in my riding have been working to raise awareness and funds for managing the ongoing crisis. Additionally, a protest on October 1 is being organized on Parliament Hill by several organizations in Ottawa.
One of my constituents, Mr. Richard Harmston of South Asia Partnership Canada, sent me a long list of civil society organizations that have delivered a very important message on this pressing issue of the Rohingya refugees and the plight of the Rohingya in Burma, now Myanmar. These organizations include the Burmese Muslim Association, the Canada Tibet Committee, the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada, the National Union of Public and General Employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada's Social Justice Fund, the Rohingya Association of Canada, the Unifor Social Justice Fund, USC Canada, and World University Service of Canada.
As of September 25, the new arrivals are being accommodated in makeshift settlements or camps in host communities and in spontaneous new sites springing up mainly in and around Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. All of them are in urgent need of food, water, shelter, sanitation, medication, and other basic necessities of life. Lack of hygiene is a great challenge needing prompt attention, lest it contribute to disease, including an outbreak of cholera that is threatening. Substantial relief efforts are under way by the international community, including NGOs and the Government of Bangladesh, to help these vulnerable people.
Imagine for a moment having to look after the population of Halifax showing up in the span of just four weeks. Without all hands working together, this humanitarian crisis has the potential of becoming a major disaster. Bangladesh's hospitality is laudable, especially when one considers that this country is one of the most densely populated nations in the world, with more than 161 million people on a land mass about twice the size of New Brunswick. It is a least-developed country, with approximately 30 million people living on just $1.90 U.S. per day. The majority of people live in rural areas and the countryside is prone to natural disasters, such as cyclones and severe flooding.
Canada has been active during this time of great need in Bangladesh, a country it was among the first to recognize at independence in 1971. Moved by the scale of the current catastrophe and the imperative that countries should not face a crisis of this magnitude alone, Canada has stood by Bangladesh in its pursuit of a peaceful resolution of the violent situation and as it provides succour to the displaced Rohingya.
Politically, Canada has been unequivocal and seeks a voluntary return of the displaced Rohingya population to their rightful homes. We have called for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Myanmar and have urged the military and civilian authorities to fulfill their responsibilities to protect civilians and respond to their basic needs. We have also called for immediate access to Rakhine State for humanitarian actors and the timely implementation of the “Final Report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State”, chaired by Kofi Annan, in order to address the root causes of this current crisis.
Given the scale of humanitarian need in southern Bangladesh, the Government of Canada was quick to respond with an initial allocation to help meet the life-saving needs of the newly arrived asylum seekers. This includes $3.35 million to our humanitarian partners in Bangladesh to address the most pressing needs of those affected by the crisis, including access to nutrition, shelter, water, and sanitation. This brings Canada's 2017 humanitarian assistance response to crisis-affected people, including the Rohingya, to a total of $9.18 million in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Our assistance is aimed at helping all those in need in accordance with the local context, regardless of ethnic or religious identity. Canada stands ready to respond further, as is appropriate and possible in light of changing conditions on the ground.
Canada has had a long-standing development relationship with Bangladesh. The country is one of our most important development partners, with Canadian contributions amounting to over $4 billion to date. Bangladesh has made important development gains with Canada's and other donors' assistance. The incidence of poverty has steadily declined, and the gross domestic product growth rate has averaged a healthy 6% per year.
Bangladesh has further made considerable progress in health and education, and it is a top performer in reducing maternal and under-five mortality.
Canada's development assistance in Bangladesh has focused on strengthening the delivery of health and education systems and promoting governance and human rights. Our efforts have also supported reducing child, early, and forced marriage; addressing climate change; and food security-themed programming.
Major Canadian non-governmental organizations have been working in Bangladesh for many years and have established long-standing partnerships that will continue to serve us well beyond the support we have already provided, addressing violence against women, needs of the disabled, civil society and democratic participation, community development, agriculture and food security, higher education, and microfinance.
In conclusion, Canada firmly believes that a modern state must promote, protect, and serve the interests of all of its nationals and build societies that respect human rights, religious freedoms, and inclusive governance. We will continue to work with the Government of Bangladesh and international donors to help ensure that the shock of this most recent humanitarian crisis will not derail the progress to which Bangladesh has committed itself in terms of providing prosperity and democratic freedoms for all of its people, of achieving middle-income status in short order, and of asserting its role as a progressive force in the community of nations.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-09-26 21:34 [p.13596]
Madam Speaker, the aid that Canada gives should of course go to the intended recipients.
Whether it is Myanmar, Bangladesh, or any other countries that receive aid, we have to ensure that it goes to the people it is intended for. We are working to ensure that this happens.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-09-26 21:35 [p.13596]
Madam Speaker, of course it is a timely reminder that tomorrow is a very important day with the Holocaust memorial inauguration.
At this juncture, we have to recognize that what is happening in Myanmar should not turn out to be a much greater tragedy than what it is already. We have to ensure that this is stopped, and that the people affected are taken care of at the earliest opportunity.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-09-22 11:09 [p.13395]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an organization in my riding that encourages creativity.
Artists of Stonebridge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increased awareness, appreciation, and promotion of original art in the communities of Stonebridge, Barrhaven, and Nepean. It provides local artists with the opportunity to interact, learn, and form their own art exhibits.
Since I took office, Artists of Stonebridge have provided my constituency and parliamentary offices with fantastic pieces of art. I would like to thank Sylvia Langlois, Nicole Parent, Tony Mihok, and Richard Pell for their ongoing generosity.
I invite all residents of Nepean and Ottawa to attend the Artists of Stonebridge's eighth annual art show on November 4 and 5, at the Stonebridge Golf Club in Nepean.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-06-09 11:01 [p.12405]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a large group of volunteers that donated its time and energy for a good cause in my riding of Nepean this past weekend.
On Saturday, seven churches across Nepean and Barrhaven took part in the “Big Give”, a city-wide garage sale where all items were free. Hundreds of volunteers came together to spread kindness and generosity in a unified day of giving.
I would like to thank Jon Griffiths, Anne McGregor, Mark Scarr, Ryan Dawson, Dan Guther, Daniel Tjoe-A-Long, and the congregations of The Metropolitan Bible Church, Woodvale Pentecostal Church, Good Shepherd Barrhaven, Longfields Community Church, Sequoia Community Church, Cedarview Alliance Church, and Bibleway Ministries for giving back to our communities and making the Big Give a success once again this year.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-06-02 11:04 [p.11938]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the hard work of the Barrhaven Food Cupboard, which has been an important community group in my riding of Nepean for almost 50 years. This vital service is available because of the continued efforts of the Barrhaven United Church and the hard work of volunteers like David Rattray, David Sereda, and their team. I would like to thank them for all their hard work.
Since 2009, there has been a 150% increase in the number of families who use the Food Cupboard every month. This increasing demand for its support has outgrown its current space, and today the Food Cupboard volunteers are working hard on plans to build their own facility in Barrhaven. I call on the government to make the construction of food banks and other similar organizations eligible to apply for the infrastructure investments we are making.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-29 14:45 [p.11536]
Mr. Speaker, global economies are focusing increasingly on new markets and innovative industries, and now is the time to invest in Canadians.
In many sectors, we have both the talent and the economic capacity to lead, to take full advantage of changing global priorities, to create the jobs of the future now and to build the foundation for the next generation Canadian economy.
Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development explain what steps this government is taking to invest in Canada?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-09 12:44 [p.10946]
Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in the recent Ontario economic outlook report that was published in February, pointed out that the major concern for small, medium, and large businesses in Ontario is recruiting staff. The top seven concerns included infrastructure investments and training of the workforce, among other things. We have invested quite a bit of money in innovation, which is going to replace some of the industrial jobs that we have lost in the past, but we will invest more in innovation and advanced manufacturing in this country. What is the member's comment on that?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-03 19:00 [p.10722]
moved that Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief), be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking all members of this House. They unanimously supported this bill at second reading. Bill C-305 seeks to amend a subsection of the Criminal Code which deals with damages to property due to crime motivated by hate based on religion, race, colour, and national or ethnic origin. The bill proposes to expand this to include motivation by hate based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
In its present form, subsection 430(4.1) of the Criminal Code creates an offence for hate-motivated mischief relating to religious property. Bill C-305 proposes to amend this section by expanding the scope of buildings to which this subsection applies. The proposed amendments add hate-motivated mischief directed at a building primarily used as an educational institution or for administrative, social, cultural, or sports events, or as a residence for seniors. These are in addition to the places of worship, such as temples, mosques, synagogues, and churches. The unanimous support for this bill, as received today, sends a strong message to all Canadians that we stand united against hate crimes.
Bill C-305 would expand the scope of motivating grounds on which the offence may be based. The current law only provides protection for crimes motivated by hate based on religion, race, colour, and national or ethnic origin. The proposed amendments would add the grounds of hate, sex, sexual orientation, and mental or physical disability.
The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has proposed amendments—
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-03 19:00 [p.10723]
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has proposed amendments which I humbly accept. It is my understanding that the government will support the amendments to Bill C-305 that were passed as the proposed changes are consistent with our government's stated commitment to diversity and inclusion. The amendments would protect additional groups and ensure consistency with other provisions of the Criminal Code, and address over-breadth.
I am honoured to have received support from many religious and community organizations all across the country. Organizations representing the Jewish faith, the Islam faith, Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians have overwhelmingly supported Bill C-305. LGBTQ2 groups have also been strong supporters of this bill. It is my hope that this bill and, optimistically, soon a law can bring some peace of mind by acting as a strong deterrent against these acts of hatred.
Hate crimes happen in small towns and large cities. They involve everything from simple graffiti to brutal murders. They may be called hate crimes, bias crimes, civil rights crimes, or ethnic intimidation. All these crimes are committed because of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or against other recognized groups.
Canada is an inclusive nation. We welcome people from all over the world, irrespective of race, religion, colour, or creed. Regardless of where people are from, what nationality they are, or what they believe, they will be treated with respect in Canada.
Although bigotry may be as old as humanity itself, the term “hate crime” is a new one, as is the idea of special treatment of these offences. The term “hate crime” came into common use during the 1980s, but the term is often used retrospectively in order to describe events which occurred prior to that era. From the Roman persecution of Christians to the Nazi slaughter of Jews, hate crimes were committed by both individuals and governments long before the term was commonly used.
We had certain dark episodes in our country: the Chinese head tax; the internment of Ukrainian, Japanese, and Italian Canadians during the First and the Second World Wars; our turning away boats of Jewish and Punjabi refugees; our own history of slavery; “No Irish need apply”; “We don't speak French here, so speak white”; the discrimination faced by Greek and Portuguese Canadians in Toronto and other places.
The same rhetoric that led to a “none is too many” immigration policy toward Jews in the 1930s and 1940s is being used to raise fears against Muslims today. There has been discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for a very long time. The Criminal Code once described gay men as “criminal sexual psychopaths” and “dangerous sexual offenders”.
In the 1960s, we deployed the RCMP to investigate suspected homosexuals. This discrimination still exists in Canadian society today.
While Bill C-305 would not solve every issue related to racism and discrimination, it would take important small steps in protecting those most vulnerable, strengthening the Criminal Code, and acting as a strong deterrent.
In my speech today, I will refer to an excerpt from the book Hate Crimes: Causes, Controls, and Controversies, by Phyllis Gerstenfeld. She writes that the birth of hate crimes in the United States was in 1977 when a neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America wished to hold a demonstration in front of the village hall in Skokie, Illinois, which had a huge, large Jewish population, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. One organization that paid special attention to this was the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a group that combats anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. Alarmed by increasing anti-Semitism and frustrated with existing federal and state laws, it drafted a model ethnic intimidation statute in 1981.
Together with allies, such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, it began lobbying states to pass the statute. When it was passed, the model statute contained four provisions. The first of these is institutional vandalism, aimed primarily at people who targeted cemeteries, community centres, and places of worship. Bill C-305 would also deal with this provision, with proposed amendments to the Criminal Code.
Hate-based mischief can have a long lasting impact on the community. A recent study by the Department of Justice stated that the commission of a hate crime is against not only the individual but the entire community. It quoted David Matas who said that people live in community, their Rights are exercised in community. The study further stated:
With victims of hate crime, it is important to consider that the impact on the community is particularly devastating, as hate crimes are “message crimes in that the perpetrator is sending a message to the members of a certain group that they are despised, devalued, or unwelcome in a particular neighbourhood, community, school, or workplace”.
As well, it is important to consider that the impact on the individual victim may result in the victim rejecting the aspect of themselves that was the target of the attack or associating a core part of their identity with fear, loss, and vulnerability.
Since introducing this bill eight months ago, there have been a considerable number of high profile hate-related incidents. Right here in Ottawa, hate-based motivated acts were committed against synagogues, a Jewish community centre, a rabbi's private home, mosques, and a church. Then there was the horrific shooting at a mosque in Quebec. Whenever these things happen, it is important for each and every one of us to stand up united to condemn these acts.
The intent of the bill is consistent with our commitment to ensure equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination, in keeping with the charter. It is also consistent with a clear message that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Canada. Bill C-305 would take a strong step in making our neighbourhoods and communities a safer place to live. Think of the strong message we would be sending to all Canadians that not only select people but all people in Canada can feel safer knowing that Parliament has taken concrete and strong measures to protect them.
Once again, I would like to thank all members for their continued support of Bill C-305.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-03 19:09 [p.10724]
Mr. Speaker, Bill C-305 proposes to amend a subsection of the Criminal Code which deals with hate crimes against religious property. With the proposed amendments passed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, that subsection would include hate crimes against religious properties and other buildings as well. The existing motivations have been expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-03 19:10 [p.10724]
Mr. Speaker, under the current subsection of the Criminal Code, vandalism against the Jewish Community Centre is not covered.
Under Bill C-305, with the amendments that have been passed by the Standing Committee on Justice, vandalism against the Jewish Community Centre would be covered.
That was a major focus of this bill, to expand the definition of property to beyond places of worship. The current subsection in the Criminal Code is limited to places of worship only, but with this new bill it would be expanded to include schools, community centres, cultural centres, and those used mainly by these identifiable groups.
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