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Results: 136 - 150 of 1102
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-02-07 15:56 [p.25414]
Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to stand today and speak on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people. I know that if Algonquin Elder Commanda were here today, as she was on the day when she opened our new chamber, she, too, would be happy to speak to a bill that speaks to preserving the languages of Canada's indigenous people. Many indigenous people across Canada are happy to see it.
In my own language, the language of my ancestors, the Inuit language, Inuktitut, I say nakurmiik or “thank you” for allowing me the opportunity to serve in this place and to speak to the bill today, and to speak in strong support of it.
Bill C-91 , the indigenous languages act, is aimed at supporting indigenous people all across our country and for doing what they have been trying to do for a long time in the absence of government, which is continuing to carry forward the language and culture they had been accustomed to and were born into.
In particular, it is appropriate that we are providing this language bill in Canada at this time, simply because it is the year of languages for the United Nations. If we go back in time and look to see when people started advocating for the bill, it was in 1995.
In 1995, Canada was moving in that direction. UNESCO had found that many languages within the world were disappearing. Canada, like other nations around the world, was called upon to preserve language and to preserve the language of indigenous people in particular.
Over that period of time, very little attention was being paid to what was happening. In fact, no action was taken whatsoever.
Also in 1995, the royal commission called upon Canada to begin working, right away, with indigenous people across the country; to start revitalizing language; to start establishing a foundation on which we could support indigenous efforts that were already taking place to preserve language within the country. However, no action was taken.
A colleague across the House asked why it took so long to get where we were. It is a question best asked to that side. In 2005, there was an indigenous-led task force on aboriginal languages. It recommended, very clearly, to the Conservative government of the day that it include initiatives to do just that. It would include legislation, such as what we have brought forward today, that recognized the Constitutional status of indigenous languages in the country, that would be funded, that official languages would also have a national council to coordinate their efforts and that a full strategy be designed, whose only goal was to ensure that indigenous language was revitalized and carried on in the country.
It is 25 years since the time those things happened. Nevertheless, we are here today. We are here because we have listened to what indigenous people have said to us. They have said quite clearly that the Government of Canada needs to do more to preserve indigenous languages in our country.
Over the last two years, in particular, we worked very hard with indigenous groups, first nations, Inuit and Métis, to ensure we would get this right, that we would bring to the House of Commons the very first bill to preserve indigenous languages in Canada and do those things that they had asked. I am very proud today to be part of a government that is acting and doing just that.
I think my colleague from the Northwest Territories probably said it best when he talked about why the languages of indigenous peoples had disappeared over the years.
I come from a region of the country where we are very proud of our indigenous and northern roots. In Labrador, we have two very distinct indigenous languages, Inuktitut and Innu-aimun. A lot of work has been done on preserving those languages, by communities, by the people who live there, by the elders, by generations of people. Over the last couple of years, we have been able to help them by investing in the tools they need, by investing in preserving the language within their schools and after school programs and by helping them prepare the products they need to continue to teach and carry on in that way. It is very difficult.
The area I come from, while I grew up not knowing the language of my ancestors, many others grew up in communities where people continued to speak the language on a very small scale. However, there are huge generational gaps between those who speak it as their mother tongue and those who are just starting to learn the language again. The gap is under 14 and over 65. That is basically where we see the language gap in most of the indigenous languages in my region. In other parts of the country, people do not even have that. Even that has disappeared. Therefore, so many people out there are really starting with the basics.
They lost their language as a result of assimilation and the residential schools, which we have talked about and have heard about in that unfortunate chapter of history that affected so many indigenous people. They lost their language because they were never permitted to speak it, as my colleague from the Northwest Territories said. That opportunity was removed from them, and not throughout just one or two decades but throughout many decades of our history.
Canada will never allow that to happen again. That is why we support bills like Bill C-91 before us today to ensure it does not happen again.
When we look back, we know that three times over the past 25 years the issue has come to the attention of government at certain points in time without action. The last call was through truth and reconciliation. When the prime minister of the day made his commitment on behalf of the government and to all Canadians that we would honour the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this was one of the very things he committed to do.
I am really pleased that we are able to bring this legislation forward. I am also pleased that in so many regions in the country, many people still speak their mother tongue, like the people of Nunavut. Of over 33,000 people in that territory, most still speak their mother tongue, their language of Inuktitut. They are an example for all of us to live up to. However, we also know it will take early intervention and support to make this happen.
Today, as I conclude my comments, I want to thank all of those who had a hand in making this happen. I want to thank all indigenous people in Canada for not giving up and having the resilience to carry on. I want to acknowledge that this is certainly a great step forward in what has been a long journey for indigenous people.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-02-07 16:07 [p.25415]
Madam Speaker, I certainly commit to work with all people in the House of Commons to do what is right for Canadians and to see this legislation pass. I always believe that through committee, there are opportunities to strengthen legislation to ensure we are capturing the voices of all those who are concerned. I have confidence in members at the committee to do just that.
I look forward to the day when we can stand in the House of Commons and proudly vote for the legislation.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-02-07 16:09 [p.25415]
Madam Speaker, I am getting some help from my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary for Languages, but I have been reassured and I am happy to assure the member that in clause 5 of the bill, in the last paragraph, it certainly speaks to the United Nations declaration. It says that the act will help “advance the achievement of the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as it relates to Indigenous languages.” Therein lies our commitment.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-02-07 16:11 [p.25415]
Madam Speaker, I never thought I would get the opportunity to stand in the House and compliment my colleague, my friend and a fantastic indigenous leader in the country. She represents western Canada very well, but also represents indigenous people at the cabinet table in a way we have not seen in a long time.
Out of all the indigenous people I have come to know and respect in my life, this individual, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, for Canada today, stands tallest among them all. No position at the table of the Government of Canada stands for the citizens of the country that is either higher or lower with respect to our contribution. The ability to sit at the table and to have that say is fundamentally important, and I applaud her for her work.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-02-07 16:26 [p.25417]
Madam Speaker, the bill is really about preserving and revitalizing indigenous languages in the country. I want to make sure we are maintaining that focus, because we have been everywhere from the food guide to firearms under this debate.
Does the member opposite not agree that a large part of reconciliation with indigenous people in our country is ensuring that we revitalize indigenous languages and give them the full support of the laws of the country to preserve their language for themselves and generations to come?
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-05 13:05 [p.25265]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Calgary Rocky Ridge for his comments.
One thing that is not noted explicitly in the motion that the Conservatives brought forward today, but which is implicit, is the fact that Quebec is obviously asking that it be the organization that would administer the tax. In a way, it is either a decentralization or a capitulation of federal sovereignty and oversight over certain aspects of tax law from the Government of Canada to Quebec, which I am sure would be of interest in Calgary Rocky Ridge.
It really comes to a head in two particular points with respect to the tax. The first point is that single tax return administered by Quebec could be an obstacle to compliance with Canada's legal obligations internationally under tax agreements if we were to do what the member is asking for, which is to hand over the reins to Quebec.
The second point is that Quebec, like all other provinces and territories, does not have collection powers outside its territory. Of course, collecting federal tax is a national enterprise and Quebec does not have the authority.
Therefore, it seems to me that at least in his jurisdiction it would cause problems for tax filers with operations in both Calgary Rocky Ridge and Quebec City, for instance, to get the full tax due. If the member can explain his plan to remedy that, I am sure that would help satisfy me with respect to his argument.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-05 13:49 [p.25272]
Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to hear the speech from the member opposite. I sat on a committee with him a year ago. It was really interesting. I enjoy his passion. I will ask the same question that I asked the member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.
As a Liberal from Newfoundland, I do not oppose the wish to decentralize government when doing so makes sense. We are willing to put the power where it belongs, close to the people most affected by what we want to do.
However, there are two things for which there has not been a good answer this morning. The first is the fact that a single tax administration managed by Quebec could be an obstacle to Canada’s compliance with its legal obligations under international tax agreements. The second is the fact that Quebec, like the other provinces and territories, does not have the authority to recover funds outside its jurisdiction. Can his proposal address these two issues?
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, one of the projects that interested me for quite some time was, of course, energy east, and I know her party supports energy east. If Quebeckers come out and say they do not want pipelines through their backyards, as the expression goes, would she fight against energy east?
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-01 10:06 [p.25137]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be in our new House of Commons today. I used to sit to the left of the Speaker, but since this chamber is a little bigger, I now get to sit to his right.
I am excited to see the wooden mace here today, because it brings things full circle with respect to the old and the new within this place.
I am pleased to speak on the subject of Bill C-64, an act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations, legislation that will help protect and preserve Canada's marine ecosystems and make our waterways safer.
A year ago, the proposed bill was carefully studied by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. The committee heard from over 20 witnesses from the marine industry, indigenous groups, civil society, as well as other orders of government. The government has the goal of working in partnership with these key stakeholders to support the implementation of measures contained within the act.
I am delighted with the committee's work and collaboration in adopting six amendments, including an amendment put forward by a member of the opposition. Several important amendments were made to protect and preserve the rights of owners of found wrecks, as well as the rights of salvors. For example, one of the elements of Bill C-64 would require that a public notice be posted for a minimum of 30 days to indicate that a wreck has been reported. The receiver of wreck would have to wait out the notification period before taking any action on a wreck. Should other efforts to identify or contact the owner fail, the public notice increases the chance of finding the rightful owner and ensures the owner has an opportunity to come forward and claim his or her wreck.
I am also grateful for the work undertaken by the transport and communications committee in the other place. Before us today is the amendment proposed in the other place, which is meant to ensure that heritage wreck regulation-making powers extend to the wrecks of Canadian and foreign military vessels and aircraft, non-commercial governmental vessels and mineral rights exploration vessels. This was an important addition, and one that will add to the core reason for the bill's existence, namely, to protect and preserve Canada's marine ecosystems and make our waterways safer.
The bill underwent meticulous study by way of debate in both chambers. I would like to thank the members of each for their diligence and thoroughness.
While the vast majority of vessel owners in Canada act responsibly and dispose of their vessels properly, some owners see abandonment as a low-cost, low-risk option for dilapidated vessels. This creates a serious problem for our waterways, posing safety, environmental, economic and social risks.
Proper remediation of these vessels can be complex and costly. Up to now, the financial burden has often fallen to Canadian taxpayers. With this legislation, the federal government will have more authority to prevent the hazards caused by abandoned and wrecked vessels, rather than the job of dealing with the risks that these vessels pose after an incident has already occurred.
Bill C-64 addresses the issue of abandoned, wrecked and hazardous vessels in a comprehensive way and seeks to fill the gaps in the existing federal legislative framework.
The federal government has had limited authority to address problem vessels for far too long. Until now, authorities were limited in addressing many of the harmful impacts of problem vessels, such as pollution discharge and obstruction to navigation. The legislation addresses the vessel itself and would increase the government's ability to take proactive action. In short, the legislation actually has some teeth. The federal government will be able to direct owners to fix problems with their dilapidated or hazardous vessels. If they do not, the federal government will do so, making owners liable for costs and expenses.
The bill would prohibit not only abandonment but also leaving the vessel adrift for more than 48 hours without working to secure it, or leaving vessels in very poor condition in the same area for more than 60 consecutive days without consent.
Bill C-64 would put in place an enforcement framework, establishing strong regulatory offences and penalties to punish non-compliance.
Enforcement of this new legislation will be shared between the Department of Transport, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. To support the effective implementation of the legislation, the Canadian Coast Guard is developing a national inventory and a risk-assessment methodology to allow us to understand the extent of the issue nationally and to help prioritize a response to problem vessels based on the risks they pose. This builds on the strengths and distinct roles, mandates and capacities already existing within each department.
Bill C-64 also consolidates existing provisions that deal with wrecks and salvage into a single act by incorporating the existing Canada Shipping Act, 2001, provisions that pertain to the International Convention on Salvage in 1989 as well as the functional role of the receiver of wreck. Owners of vessels that are 300 gross tons or larger would also now be required to have wreck insurance or other financial banking to cover the cost related to their removal if they become a hazardous wreck.
Bill C-64 is but one piece of a national strategy to address abandoned and wrecked vessels. Other measures of this strategy include two short-term funding programs to support communities in assessing and removing abandoned or wrecked vessels, the establishment of long-term owner finance funds to address problem vessels, the enhancement of owner identification, as well as initiatives to increase awareness of the new legislation and of vessel recycling and design.
By ensuring that vessel owners are held liable for locating, marking and, if necessary, removing any wreck that poses a hazard resulting from a marine casualty, Canada would meet its obligations under the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007, once it becomes a party to that convention. When a car reaches the end of its useful life, we do not accept owners leaving it by the side of the road for someone else to deal with, and so it should not be acceptable with vessels on water.
I will conclude by reiterating that the broader strategy aims to ensure that all causes and pathways of irresponsible vessel management are addressed. Our coasts and waterways are symbolic of Canadian life and culture, which is certainly no more true than in my province of Newfoundland. The measures contained within the proposed wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels act would help prevent and reduce the number of abandoned, dilapidated and wrecked vessels in Canadian waters for the benefit of future generations.
Our waterways should not and cannot be treated as junkyards for vessels that have reached their end of life or have been abandoned by irresponsible owners. Our coasts and waterways are the common heritage of all Canadians, and they are crucially important to our environment, communities, economy and our way of life. Therefore, I encourage all members to support Bill C-64, which will go a long way in protecting these resources.
With respect to my own riding of St. John's East, I do have a number of small craft harbours and a number former ports within the riding. Certainly, this issue of abandoned vessels has been a problem. I receive complaints almost every winter about people leaving their vessels unattended in the small craft harbour of Tappers Cove in Torbay.
As well, our government has been instrumental in helping the small craft harbour in Bauline remove a number of dilapidated and abandoned vessels that accumulated on its slipway. This is extremely dangerous to the infrastructure. It is dangerous to people who also use the slipways in the small craft harbour port facilities for their own recreational or commercial use.
Also, it is expensive to the small craft harbours, which are often staffed in my end of the world by volunteers. These are people who give their time to make their communities safer and more economically vibrant. They do not necessarily have the wherewithal or financial means to address the port's problems regarding wrecked or abandoned vessels themselves. However, we are very encouraged by what has already been done. The small craft harbour port authorities in my riding are very happy with our taking this additional step.
I would like to thank and congratulate one of my colleagues from Nova Scotia who is now the Minister of Rural Economic Development. She has really been a champion on this issue, pushing to make sure that the issue of abandoned vessels is addressed not only in her neck of the woods in rural Nova Scotia but throughout the waterways of our country, because it has become a real and substantial problem.
In addition to the two ports that I mentioned, there are also issues in Flatrock, Pouch Cove, Portugal Cove—St. Philip's, and when it was within the framework of the federal review and federal authority, the small craft harbour Quidi Vidi. However, this proposed legislation would even help in situations like the small craft harbour in Quidi Vidi. Even though it is not a federally designated port, the vessels that are moored, tied and used there would still be governed by the legislation. Therefore, there will be an opportunity for the non-federally funded small craft harbours to help us in making sure that those ports are not burdened by derelict and abandoned vessels.
Again, I would encourage all members of the House to support the twice-amended bill and to see it enacted so that our waterways can be safer in the 2019 shipping, fishing and recreational use seasons.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-01 10:18 [p.25139]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Courtenay—Alberni for bringing the concerns of his party, his region and also those of Ms. Malcolmson to the House.
I would like to thank Ms. Malcolmson for all the wonderful work she did here, including at transport committee. It was very thorough work. She proposed a number of amendments. One was accepted and 12 were not. I am sure, now that she is a member of the governing party in British Columbia, she will see that there are difficulties associated with governing. It is much easier to propose things and claim that they will be workable, but once on the government side, a member has to make sure that the interests of all stakeholders, not just hers, are taken into account.
In this particular instance, the government has listened. Amendments from the Senate have been accepted. Amendments from parties at transport committee were accepted, including one from Ms. Malcolmson. The bill is sound. It addresses the problems in a structured way that aligns with the strategy that has been proposed. I highlighted a number of other strategic measures that have been taken in connection with abandoned and dilapidated vessels that address the points in a comprehensive way. That is not to say that better is not always possible.
I thank the member for his comments. They are interesting and thought-provoking. I think at this point, the government has done an excellent job finding the right balance between the interests of all stakeholders in a workable fashion.
If Ms. Malcolmson is interested in doing something in British Columbia, she now has the opportunity with the government there.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-01 10:20 [p.25139]
Mr. Speaker, I also had a round table in my riding regarding small craft harbours. About 140 people brought their concerns not only with respect to abandoned and derelict vessels but with respect to port safety in general. It is a serious issue and concern.
As I previously said, people are happy that we are taking this issue head on. We are providing the means and teeth and authority while also respecting the interests of vessel owners to receive adequate notice so that they can protect their interests. In general, it is our sense that this legislation has been well received, notwithstanding some of the comments that may have been made by the other side that other things should have been in the legislation. We also believe in Newfoundland and Labrador that the legislation meets the needs of Canadians in coastal communities.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-01 10:22 [p.25140]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, the leader of the Green Party, for her very thoughtful consideration of this topic.
As we have heard now from two opposition parties, they are keen to see more in the bill than what we have, but they also want to see that it gets through the House and is enacted and implemented. There are provisions in the bill, perhaps not as strong as the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands would like to see, regarding insurance. I know that in the mining industry, the requirement that people have bonds for any future environmental impact of their work is an extremely important aspect of any improvement for the development of those mines. However, we still have historical mining operations throughout the country, including in Newfoundland and Labrador, certainly in Labrador, where proper financial protections and bonds associated with future cleanups are not as strong as they could be.
This gets us to a good place, I believe, with respect to abandoned vessels. Could it be stronger? Certainly the enforcement mechanisms and the financing available to small craft harbours and other ports for the removal of vessels probably could always be a little bit more, but this is something that really goes into budget considerations and budget asks at budget time.
I know that we were successful in a previous budget in getting an extra $250 million to small craft harbours. It was not A-based funding. I am sure that would have been the preference of the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, but it was funding that allowed for the cleanup of these ports, making them safer, improving the infrastructure, and in certain cases, having the removal of vessels. We would obviously like to see more of that ourselves.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-02-01 10:25 [p.25140]
Mr. Speaker, of course, when we talk about coast to coast to coast in Newfoundland, sometimes we think that they are just the three coasts on the island. There is another coast for Labrador. We have coasts all the way along our navigable waters in the St. Lawrence. We have coasts in Winnipeg, on the west coast and in the Arctic. This legislation makes sure that there is a mechanism to make sure that all the navigable waters are protected with regard to abandoned and derelict vessels.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and congratulate the athletes from my riding, many from very small communities, who will be competing in the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta, from February 15 to March 3: from Bonavista, Sara Diamond; from Clarenville, Deidre Patey, Jillian Coates, Rachel Dean, Tyler Green and Susan Dean; from Glovertown, Heidi Simpson; from Musgrave Harbour, Roger Head; from New Harbour, Jennifer Pollett; from Northern Bay, Nancy Oliver; from Port Union, Garry Blackmore; and from Red Harbour, Kathy Senior.
They will be competing, coaching and managing our athletes in hockey, cross-country skiing, figure skating, table tennis, badminton, wheelchair basketball and biathlon. I want to express the immense pride of all of our communities. We cannot wait for them to bring home the gold.
On behalf of all of the residents of Bonavista—Burin—Trinity and my entire province, I offer best wishes to Team Newfoundland and Labrador in Red Deer, Alberta.
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, we are making significant investments in Nunavut in conjunction with our indigenous partners. For instance, we have invested some $27.5 million over five years to eliminate tuberculosis by 2030. We are working with our partners. We have invested $189 million over 10 years in a Nunavut wellness agreement, as well as $8.4 million this year alone for mental health support for Nunavut.
We understand, too, that significant investments require accountability. I will continue to work with the hon. member and with local partners to make sure that we have that accountability for his constituents and for the people of Nunavut.
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