Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-11-21 17:44 [p.15400]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for mentioning it is a program, and not just a law. During the previous administration, 10 years of doing nothing made it much easier for our kids to buy cannabis than a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer.
Could my hon. colleague expand on how it is good to have a combination of legislation and education on this particular issue?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-11-09 15:28 [p.15226]
Madam Speaker, I would like to know if the member realizes that doing nothing is not an option anymore? Cannabis has been banned up to this time, but consumption of it has increased. Today it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than to buy a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer. Putting our heads in the sand, assuming everything is all right, is not an option.
Stakeholders such as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Police Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Assembly of First Nations, the Canadian Medical Association, and the Canadian Nurses Association have come out in support in this.
Does the member not realize that it is best to regulate and educate in order to have healthy growth rather than ban it outright?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-11-09 17:29 [p.15243]
Mr. Speaker, it was quite interesting to listen to my hon. friend on the other side. On one hand he said this is not going to raise a lot of money, but on the other hand he talked about the Asian infrastructure bank, Bombardier, Airbus, the oil industry, agriculture, and a hockey rink. He did not even mention some of the negative aspects of cannabis consumption. Does he think the option of not doing anything is the only option, like the Conservatives did in their 10 years? Does he not recognize that a judicious use of legislation and education is required to protect our youth from the negative aspects of cannabis consumption? I would like him to speak about that.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-11-09 17:49 [p.15245]
Mr. Speaker, I heard the member mention the negative aspects of cannabis consumption, but he did not mention any solution. He did not offer anything.
The fact is that five or ten years ago when his party was in government, it did nothing. He would know their solution was often nothing. At least our government is taking steps to legislate and to invest in education. We are investing $46 million in public education and awareness. We are also investing $274 million to support law enforcement and border officials.
I request the member to address these issues also.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-10-30 16:10 [p.14691]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned a small town in her riding that has five rail crossings. Like her riding, there are six railway crossings in my riding of Nepean. For them to have grade separation, the total budget required is in the range of $500 million.
She mentioned that the budget requirement in her riding is about $5 million. Is the member aware of the rail safety improvement program that is currently available for improving rail crossings?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
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2017-10-30 16:35 [p.14695]
Mr. Speaker, this bill has very important changes that have been made, for example, allowing foreign vessels to reposition the empty containers between various locations in Canada. This would make Canadian trade more attractive to global logistics companies.
As well, enabling Canadian port authorities to have access to the new Canada infrastructure bank would help critical investment that is absolutely required.
More importantly, the liberalization of international investments in air carriers from 25% to 49% is quite significant. However, I understand that the bill does not provide for any single foreign entity to monopolize the entire 49%.
I ask the hon. member to explain the restrictions that would continue on any single foreign entity from owning 49% of the Canadian air carriers.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-10-30 16:51 [p.14697]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my hon. colleague about the important things the bill has brought forward. One is allowing foreign vessels to reposition their empty containers within Canada. This will make Canadian trade corridors very attractive to foreign logistics companies.
Second, the bill would enable the port authorities to have access to Canada's infrastructure bank, will result in very critical investments being made in port infrastructure.
Third, the bill liberalizes the ownership of Canadian air carriers by increasing the foreign ownership limits from 25% to 49%, at the same time as ensuring that no single foreign entity will have the control at 49%.
Finally, the bill would provide the much needed air passengers' bill of rights.
Why does my colleague not support these excellent measures?
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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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2016-11-29 12:22 [p.7363]
Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour and privilege to speak to Bill C-26, which I agree is one of the most important bills of this government, not just for the people of my generation but also for the next generation.
There are 11 million working Canadians without a workplace pension plan. As well, if we talk to people in the food banks today, they will report that a lot of working families are availing the help of the food banks.
When we combine the fact that 11 million working Canadians are without a workplace pension plan and a lot of working families are going to food banks for help, we know that when these families retire, they will retire in poverty.
We already have a lot of issues with the growing number of seniors. Just to give one example, in eastern Ontario, 2.5% of the patients account for close to 35% of the total hospital expenses. In this 2.5% of patients, close to 50% of them are seniors. The issues related to seniors are already costing us a lot. We have to take adequate steps so the seniors of the future years are well covered.
This bill, an act to amend Canada pension plan, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act, and the Income Tax Act, as I mentioned earlier, is the most important thing. Let us summarize what the bill would do.
The bill proposes to amend the Canada pension plan to increase the amount of the retirement pension as well as survivors and disability pensions and the post-retirement benefit, subject to the amount of additional contributions made and the number of years for which those contributions are made; increase the maximum level of pensionable earnings by 14% as of 2025; provide for the making of additional contributions beginning in 2019; provide for the creation of additional Canada pension plan accounts and the accounting of funds in relation to it; and, finally, include the additional contributions and increased benefits in the financial review provisions of the act, and authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations in relation to those provisions.
I know this on its own cannot operate and deliver the results, so there are other related acts that need to be amended. Therefore, part 2 of the bill seeks amendments to the Income Tax Act to increase the working income tax benefit and to provide a deduction for additional employee contributions.
The first part of the act also proposes to amend addition Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act to provide for the transfer of funds between the Investment Board and the additional Canada pension plan account, and to provide for the interpretation of financial statements in relation to amounts managed by the Investment Board in relation to the additional contributions and increased benefits.
As I mentioned earlier, middle-class Canadians are working harder than ever, but many are worried they will not have enough money for their retirement. A lot of working Canadians have no workplace pension plan. Each year, fewer and fewer Canadians have workplace pension plans on which to fall back. For this reason, we made a commitment to Canadians to strengthen the Canada pension plan to help them achieve their goal of a strong, secure and stable retirement.
Earlier this year, Canada's Minister of Finance released a historic agreement to make meaningful changes to the CPP, an example of federalism at its best.
The more than one quarter of Canadian families nearing retirement, about 1.1 million families, who are facing a drop in their standard of living will be able to retire in dignity as a result of this enhancement. This deal will boost how much Canadians will get from their pensions, from one quarter of their earnings now to nearly one third, which in my opinion is quite significant and is a necessary change we need to address.
To make sure these changes are affordable, we will phase them in slowly over seven years, from 2019 to 2025, so the impact is small and gradual. Every Canadian deserves a secure and dignified retirement after a lifetime of hard work. Through this announcement, we have taken a powerful step to help make that happen.
There are certain facilities that are available to plan for retirement. One is the RRSP account, which is available to every Canadian. We note that there is a huge gap. A lot of Canadians are eligible to make contributions to those accounts but are unable to make contributions because of the cost of living.
One of the ideas a friend from the opposite side of the House pointed to is financial literacy. While I agree that financial literacy is an important component in achieving this result, we also need reasonable, tangible ways and means to make this possible.
To conclude, I repeat, there are 11 million working Canadians without a workplace pension plan. A lot of food banks are seeing working Canadians. Keeping that in mind, I think we should all support Bill C-26.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
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2016-11-29 12:30 [p.7364]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member opposite brought up the issue of jobs. We are making historic investments in infrastructure in this country. All the investments we make will go toward creating new quality jobs.
Here is a fact. There is something on the job front taking place. Many Canadians have to manage with not just one job but more than one job simultaneously. This is going to continue in the future. We have to take steps today so that when young and middle-age Canadians retire, they will have an adequate pension to retire on.
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Lib. (ON)
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2016-11-29 12:32 [p.7365]
Mr. Speaker, I recognize that the bill can always be improved, and I hope that the finance minister, in his next meeting with his provincial counterparts, will look into some of the shortcomings of the bill and that they will be addressed in the future.
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Lib. (ON)
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2016-11-29 12:34 [p.7365]
Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member forgot the number of problems faced by seniors today. The hon. member seems to indicate that everything is so good that we do not need this bill. I have to completely disagree with him.
Today, in Ottawa alone, there are 10,000 people on the waiting list for affordable housing. We understand that a lot of seniors today face problems in maintaining their day-to-day living. Seniors of tomorrow, as I mentioned, will have a much bigger problem.
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