Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:20 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for my colleague, but I find it interesting that he is doubling down on the old TPP. I find it interesting that he has taken the side of the Saudi Arabian government over the Chinese government. I find it interesting that he is saying that we should not be upholding our own laws or values. I am really—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:21 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, when we are defending Canadian interests and values around the world, my hon. colleague should support us in that effort. Yes, we have disagreements domestically, but I wish he would not take the side of the Saudis or the Chinese government's side.
Our government has proven that we will continue to defend Canadians' interests. We will continue to defend the interests of the middle class. All of our trade negotiation results have proven that. We have a million jobs to speak for that, we have the lowest poverty rate in Canada's history to speak for those results and I am very proud of our government's record.
View Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Profile
NDP (QC)
View Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Profile
2019-06-19 17:22 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, for some time now, the NDP has been calling on the government to establish a national pharmacare program that would cover everything.
However, the agreement we are currently discussing, and that the government wants to get signed quickly, includes patent extensions that would make pharmacare even harder and more expensive to implement.
Does my colleague not think that this kind of clause in the agreement with the United States and Mexico will hinder the implementation of a pharmacare program?
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:23 [p.29417]
No, Madam Speaker, I disagree with my hon. colleague. We have seen this before. Twenty-five or 30 years ago, the New Democrats were dead set against the original NAFTA. They said the sky was going to fall and that we were going to lose so many jobs. It has been proven that free trade is good for Canadians. Today, once again, they are trying to scare Canadians, again claim that the sky is going to fall and that drugs are going to be so expensive. It is not true. The short answer to her question is no.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2019-06-19 17:23 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, I want to ask the same question my colleague asked. He was quite right.
I am going to read from an article by Bill Curry on November 19, 2015. This was 13 or 14 months before Mr. Trump was even sworn in. Mr. Obama was in Manila and stated, “We are both soon to be signatories of the TPP agreement.” In other words, as my colleague said, we would not have had these problems if the Liberals had actually moved ahead on it. Mr. Obama was the most progressive president around and now, by doing this, there seems to be no leverage for the outstanding issues, like my colleague said, on steel, softwood lumber and the Buy American clause.
Could the parliamentary secretary please let us know how he is going to resolve those issues now that he has given away this leverage?
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:24 [p.29417]
Once again, Madam Speaker, I find it strange. Regardless of what Conservatives think of the TPP, and I disagree with him, the U.S. pulled out of the TPP. The claim is that if we had ratified the TPP, it would have solved so many problems, but the U.S. pulled out the TPP.
To answer his question, I can point to our record. Our Prime Minister, the Minister of International Trade Diversification, the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have proven that we will stand firm to defend Canadian interests and Canadian jobs.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 17:25 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to stand here today and engage in the debate on NAFTA.
Many of my constituents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith will know that I am very passionate about trade issues and concerned about international trade and investment agreements.
First of all, I want to say that the Green Party of Canada supports trade. We think it is a vital part of our economy. However, what we want to see in trade agreements is respect for environmental regulations, labour standards, health and safety standards, and consumer protections. These things should be increased in trade agreements, the way that the European Union does. Countries that enter the European Union must increase their standards and regulations to meet the highest standards in the union. We think that those kinds of approaches to international trade are important.
About 15 years ago, I was focused on a lot of local issues and worked on films about local water. Somebody had asked me if I knew anything about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the SPP, and I did not. Therefore, I went off to Ottawa to go to the people summit and learn about the SPP.
I went to Montebello to document the protests that were happening there, and I happened to videotape three police officers who were dressed as radicals with masks on who were attacking their own riot squad. They were unmasked in the process, and all of their boots matched with those of the riot squad. This raised questions for me about why the police would be involved in this kind of incitement, and I have footage of them banging rocks into shields, etc. I wondered why they would be involved in this kind of incitement at a peaceful protest, and they were later proven to be police officers.
I became interested in the Security and Prosperity Partnership and started to dig in. What I found was that in this process there was a deep integration of Canada, the United States and Mexico as part of a fortress North America after 9/11. It also included integration of our regulatory standards. I looked into who was negotiating on behalf of Canada for these regulatory standards. There were 20 corporations for each of three countries, Mexico, the United States and Canada. There were some great Canadian corporations representing Canada in this negotiation process, such as Home Depot Canada, Walmart Canada, Chevron Canada and Ford Canada.
I started to study trade agreements a little more and found that there really was no involvement of civil society in these agreements. These were corporate agreements. Therefore, I really appreciate in this new version of NAFTA that the government has involved labour organizations and environmental organizations as part of the negotiating process, and I see that as progress. This is what we need to be doing in our negotiations on international trade and investment. They cannot just be secretive processes where only the corporations and the bureaucrats are involved. We need people who represent consumers, workers and environmentalists so that we have a fair process that can look at all aspects of trade and make sure that our regulations and standards are protected.
One of the others things I learned working on this film was about investor-state dispute settlements. Chapter 11 in NAFTA was the first time that a developed country had signed on to this process. It was something that the Europeans had used with their former colonial states to kind of keep corporate control over mineral extraction, etc. However, when I looked into Chapter 11, there were cases such as Ethyl Corporation, which got $5 million when Canada blocked the use of MMT, an additive that was a neurotoxin in gasoline. Ethyl Corporation said that it was an unfair trade practice to ban it. There are also things in these investment chapters such as indirect expropriation, and we all know what expropriation is; national treatment; as well as most favoured nation status. These are all things that are used by corporations to challenge our laws and policies. Therefore, I was really happy to see that the investor-state dispute settlement was taken out of the new NAFTA.
Let us look at cases like Bilcon, where a foreign corporation is challenging our environmental assessment process and getting $7 million for doing nothing. It is not a process that makes sense. We see this used as a big stick by mining companies to get developed countries to accept mining and extraction projects.
We need to do something about softwood lumber. That is an important issue in my community.
I am also concerned about the extension of patents for pharmaceuticals from eight years to 10 years for biologics and how that will affect the cost of drugs. We see many people, seniors in particular, who are having to make decisions about what they spend their money on: rent, food or pharmaceuticals.
Article 22, the state-owned chapter, has a carve-out for the Trans Mountain expansion project. That is a concern for me as well.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-19 18:32 [p.29426]
Mr. Speaker, in relation to the consideration of the Senate amendments to Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, I move:
That debate be not further adjourned.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 18:33 [p.29426]
Mr. Speaker, I am very alarmed that here we go again with the Liberal government, through an omnibus bill, Bill C-75, watering down criminal penalties for serious crimes. What really irks me terribly is that impaired driving causes bodily harm.
Statistics in Canada today state that impaired driving offences are going up. Impaired driving is a leading cause of death in Canada, whether from consuming alcohol or drugs, and here is that government trying to include a softening of the sentences for it through Bill C-75.
I wonder if the government could answer this. What is it really trying to do here? Statistics are going up and penalties are going to be reduced. How is that going to help make Canada safer for people driving on the roads?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, let me say at the outset that I am going to miss the hon. member. He is now my neighbour. I have always enjoyed working with him, particularly during our time on the industry committee.
That is not our intention at all in this piece of legislation. While there is a hybridization of certain offences in this legislation, serious crimes where the facts are serious will always be taken seriously, both in terms of the sentence sought and in terms of the procedure used if it goes by way of indictable offence.
Sometimes, under the same alleged offence, there are facts that point to a less serious situation, and here we give the prosecution service across Canada the option to proceed by way of summary offence, which is quick and efficient, making more resources available within the judicial system for the treatment of serious crimes, and they will always be treated seriously.
View Randall Garrison Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, here we are on one of the last sitting days of this Parliament, and it is passing strange that the Liberals appear to be going for a very strange record.
In the last Parliament, I took a photo of myself standing next to a pile of bills on which the Conservative government had introduced time allocation. It was nearly half a metre tall. If we stacked up the bills that the Liberal government has used time allocation on, the pile would be of similar size. Even though the Liberals have not quite reached the 100 record for time allocation that the Conservatives established, they have used some kind of time allocation or closure on a greater percentage of their bills than the Harper government ever did.
Lately, we have had closure motions like this one. One of those motions restricted debate to a government speaker only, with no questions allowed. One of them occurred after four minutes of debate. This one occurs after less than two hours of debate.
Could the Minister of Justice tell us if the Liberals are going for a new record? I always like it when Conservatives and Liberals compete to be the worst.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I believe that in the current Parliament, closure has been used 10 times. I coached soccer for a number of years, and the number 10 was always a lucky number. Many of the best players in the world wear the number 10. For a soccer fan, that is a good thing.
In all seriousness, this bill was introduced in March 2018. It has been debated in the House for a total of 22 hours and 10 minutes. It has been with the Senate since December. The Senate has proposed 14 amendments and we have accepted 13. There has been a lot of back and forth, a lot of study by both committees. I can go through the number of speeches and the time spent on those speeches, as well as the witnesses in front of either the justice committee in the House or the justice committee in the other place.
It is simply time. It is an important bill. We have had time to look at it. A lot of House time has been dedicated to it. It is time to move on.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2019-06-19 18:38 [p.29427]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's being in the House and the opportunity to question him.
I tabled a bill recently in regard to human trafficking. I know we all think this is a very serious offence. I would like the minister's honest opinion here.
He mentioned the hybridization of offences: in other words, taking things that were indictable offences and turning them into summary convictions. For example, in some cases of human trafficking, it would be taking it from a high level down to two years less a day or a $5,000 fine.
The reason I want him to answer is that, in Oshawa and Durham Region, human trafficking has actually doubled. I know the minister's intention, but there is a reality here. Two years less a day or a $5,000 fine is very lenient when a person who traffics one individual can make $300,000 a year. That is only for one person, but many of these guys are trafficking 10 to 20 young girls in our communities. The challenge is that Canada is becoming a country where this crime is being perpetrated because the system here is so lenient. Two years minus a day or a $5,000 fine is just the price of doing business for these guys.
Does the minister think that two years minus a day or a $5,000 fine for a serious crime like human trafficking is going to stop somebody from victimizing our young people, especially young women for sex trafficking and things like that? Could he please comment? I do not think it is realistic, and advocates think this is ridiculous.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the first thing I would point out is that we rolled what used to be Bill C-38 into this bill, which deals with human trafficking and presents improvements to prosecuting human trafficking in the justice system.
The answer to his question is the same as the previous, which is that in the serious kinds of facts that he describes, it would be quite unfathomable for a prosecutor to proceed by way of summary offence. It would proceed by way of indictable offence and that is the way it would go. I would point out that across Canada, provinces are widely in favour of this bill. We worked closely with our provincial and territorial counterparts in putting this legislation together, and they are widely supportive of this bill, particularly on the side of the Crown. This is evidence that this is the way it is going.
View Pierre-Luc Dusseault Profile
NDP (QC)
View Pierre-Luc Dusseault Profile
2019-06-19 18:41 [p.29428]
Mr. Speaker, I am slightly disappointed that the Minister of Justice moved a closure motion today. Yet another minister rises today to limit the number of hours of debate in the House by using a procedure that is supposed to be extraordinary but that has become commonplace under the Liberal government. When the Liberals were on this side of this House, they spoke out every time this procedure was used. Now, they are joking around about this being their 10th closure motion. They are making jokes as if this were all a game. They are laughing at Canadians who are watching today and who are seeing a government invoking closure for the 10th time. They seem to be taking this lightly, as if it were no big deal, just another regular procedure, but it is supposed to be an extraordinary procedure.
How can my colleague defend this today? How can the Minister of Justice, who is supposed to defend our rights and justice in Canada, rise in this democratic chamber to defend the use of a procedure that is supposed to be extraordinary? The situation is rather ordinary and does not call for the use of a procedure to shut down debate and rush this bill into law.
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