Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
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2019-02-08 10:47 [p.25445]
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague proudly mentioned that the Stephen Harper government cut its entire funding to the United Nations agency for relief for Palestine refugees. Currently, U.S. President Donald Trump, a friend of Conservatives, also cut funding to the same agency. I am so proud that our government has restored funding to UNRWA, with specific help directed toward refugee women and children.
I ask the hon. member why he is so against funding for refugee women and children.
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Lib. (ON)
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2018-10-05 10:28 [p.22264]
Mr. Speaker, Canada is a trading nation. Our prosperity continues to be dependent on the trade we have with other countries in the world. To ensure our seniors continue to enjoy the high standard of living they have, to ensure our children also have the same benefits and high standard of living and to support our middle class, these sort of trade agreements are required.
Could my hon. colleague explain in more detail the need to diversify Canadian trade beyond North America and how this trade agreement helps increase the $27 billion in exports we have currently with 11 countries that are part of the CPTPP?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-12-01 10:19 [p.15851]
Mr. Speaker, today the job numbers are out. The Canadian economy created 80,000 jobs, bringing down the unemployment rate to 5.9%, the lowest since February 2008. It is the 12th straight month of positive job creation, the best since March 2007. It is the 12th month of full-time job creation and the best in 18 years.
Did this excellent news happen due to the income tax cuts for the middle class, or the investments we made in infrastructure, or the investments we made in innovation and skills training?
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-12-01 12:59 [p.15879]
Mr. Speaker, today's job numbers show a 5.9% unemployment rate, the best since February, 2008. This is the twelfth straight month of positive job creation and the best 12 months of full-time job creation in 18 years. TD senior economist James Marpel has noted that in the last 40 years, only one other month, December 2007, had an unemployment rate of less than 5.9%. Could my hon. colleague explain the reasons for this?
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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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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-03 19:12 [p.10724]
Mr. Speaker, this bill, as I mentioned earlier, expands the definition of property, and goes beyond places of worship, such as churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques, and cemeteries. The bill includes schools, community centres, cultural centres, and seniors residences which are predominantly used by identifiable groups. Through that, it would provide protection to the community at large.
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Lib. (ON)
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2017-05-03 19:54 [p.10730]
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my hon. colleague from Brampton South for her support throughout the process. I would also like to thank the hon. member for Mount Royal, the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and all committee members who worked hard and delivered a bill that is more robust.
I am honoured to have received support from many religious and community organizations all across the country, organizations representing the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith, Sikhs, Hindus, and Christian faiths. They were all supportive. LGBTQ groups have also been a strong supporter, and it is my hope that this bill will soon become law and bring some peace of mind. In particular, I would like to recognize the support I received from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which worked hard to generate support from various stakeholders.
The consequences of hate crimes are considerable. A manual issued by the Attorney General of Ontario lists the impact of hate crimes on individuals, target groups, vulnerable minority groups, and the community as a whole. It says, on the impact on the community as a whole:
This, perhaps, is the greatest evil of hate crime. Hate crime can end up dividing people in society. In a multicultural society like Canada, where all groups are to live together in harmony and equality, hate crime is an anathema. Any occurrence of hate crime is a negation of the fundamental values of Canada.
Bill C-305 would codify the intent of this House into law. It would send a strong message to all Canadians that we stand united against hate crimes.
Once again, I would like to thank every member of the House who has, so far, unanimously supported this bill.
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