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Results: 31 - 45 of 376
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 21:41 [p.28553]
Mr. Speaker, for people watching, I just want to make a point about pardons and expungement in Canada.
If a person has a record in the United States, it does not really matter what Canada does, expunge or pardon, they still have a record. The Americans do not often erase that. Expungement, in some cases, could actually hurt a Canadian. When Americans call Canada to say that this person had a record and ask whether it is still a problem, and Canada says that we cannot find any records of it, because it was expunged, the Americans may say that person has committed a crime and there is no evidence that it is not a problem.
If the crime is pardoned, Canada can then say that it was pardoned and it is not a problem for us anymore. That may help the person who has had a problem with the United States records, which they can keep forever. They might be better off.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 14:57 [p.28413]
Mr. Speaker, I know that the Minister of Finance has been very generous in the past to the north and the Arctic, with record increases in funding for northern allowance rates; northern infrastructure and trade corridors; child care; mental health; home care; addictions; indigenous languages, post-secondary education; sports, tourism and training; Arctic renewable energy; housing and homelessness; opioids; seniors and veterans services; doubling the summer student jobs; a 777-kilometre new Internet line; and the arts, but what has the minister done for us lately?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 15:30 [p.28420]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 95th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 95th report later this day.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 15:31 [p.28420]
Well spotted, Mr. Speaker, but no, we changed the numbers. The 96th report will be presented soon, but not today.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 15:34 [p.28420]
Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 95th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented in the House earlier today, be concurred in.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-27 15:53 [p.28066]
Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 94th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to its study of the main estimates 2019-20.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 10:04 [p.27547]
Pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 93rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House, and I would like to move concurrence in the report now.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 11:57 [p.27563]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate all members who spoke in an indigenous language to this historic legislation in this very exciting debate, which is taking place on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.
To set the scene and give a bit of background on the bill before I get into the bill itself, I note that now members can speak their languages here. Today the first speech was in Cree, and it had simultaneous interpretation.
The procedure and House affairs committee, which I chair, did a study earlier this year about having aboriginal languages in the House. It brought recommendations to the House, and all members in the House agreed to them, which was very exciting. For the first time in history, MPs who can speak an aboriginal language have the right to speak it in the House and at committee, with simultaneous interpretation.
We can imagine indigenous youths sitting at home in an urban area, in a village or on a reserve seeing that they can use their language in the highest democratic institution in the land. We can imagine how much strength it gives them, how much hope it gives them and how much support it gives them for their languages.
That is a very exciting achievement of this particular Parliament. It was initiated by the actions of the member for Winnipeg Centre, who spoke first in the debate today. He spoke totally in Cree, as did some other members.
I want to tell members a story. We put a lot of emphasis on youth. As members know, the Prime Minister has a youth council, and many MPs have youth councils. I was at a youth meeting, which I think was convened by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. A young indigenous woman from the Yukon, who I think has spoken before the United Nations, made the point that people always say that if people get jobs, make good progress in their lives and get strong, they can bring forward their culture and language and that it will benefit all of us to see that creative, exciting diversity. She made the point that this is all wrong. It puts the cart before the horse. She said that what we need first is the language and culture and confidence in the language and culture, because that is what gives people the strength to succeed in school and in life. When they have confidence in themselves, they know where they come from and are very proud of themselves through their language. Of course, language is the basis of culture.
As was mentioned in the debate earlier, language is more than just translating a word, because languages express how we live. For instance, in Inuktut, there are a number of different words for snow, whereas in English, there are not very many. Language portrays a culture, so it is very important to one's way of life.
Statistics show that indigenous people around the world who have pride in themselves, understand their language and have pride in their culture are more successful than those who do not.
This is a great move today in the House of Commons and there is a lot of support here. It is very exciting what the House of Commons is doing.
This is a great step in reconciliation, partly to fix a wrong that we were a big part of creating. Not only did foreigners coming to Canada overwhelm in numbers the first peoples here, but sadly, we took steps to diminish their languages through residential schools, the sixties scoop and relocation.
That is why Bill C-91, an act respecting indigenous languages, is so exciting. First, it would ensure the language rights included under the rights referred to in section 35 of the Constitution, such as the right of indigenous people to develop and preserve their languages. Second, the bill would ensure adequate, stable funding for languages. I will talk about that in more detail later, because funding has been brought up before. Third is the revitalization and strengthening of indigenous languages. To ensure that all these things are implemented, a commissioner would be established.
As a number of members have mentioned at various stages of this debate, it is critical to move quickly on this bill, because indigenous languages are disappearing. Thank goodness many indigenous leaders and elders in my area and other areas have taken to recording their languages so that they will always be there and can be revitalized and renewed by the youth. In my area, I think I saw the passing of the last elder who spoke fluently in Tagish. If he was not the last, there are not many left, so this is critical.
When Europeans first came to North America, there were over 90 indigenous languages. There are still over 70, but some have very few speakers, as the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs found out when we were studying this. It is very important that this bill be implemented as soon as possible to make sure that we halt the diminishment of these languages, promote and restore them and build them up among the youth. This bill would also fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action 13, 14 and 15 and would set the stage for articles 11 to 16 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This legislation was co-developed with first nations, which is why a number of the clauses and principles were very thoughtfully created.
I want to mention a bit about funding. To implement, preserve and restore languages requires funding. This government has made sure that this is taken care of. In the last budget, $330 million over five years was allocated for this, with $117 million after that. Before the bill even comes into effect, all sorts of projects are happening across the country. There have been large increases in funding. Back in 2017, there might have been $5 million, so there has been a huge increase in the funding necessary to move ahead.
This government has taken care of funding for the next five years. However, that does not preclude the possibility of a future government wanting to stop funding this. Therefore, included in this bill, in paragraph 5(d), is a statutory requirement that all future governments would have to fund the required activities, which I am sure the commissioner would monitor. It does not happen very often that there is such a clause in a bill, but we have put one in this one.
Paragraph 5(d) reads:
establish measures to facilitate the provision of adequate, sustainable and long-term funding for the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages;
That preserves the funding. As I said, we have provided it now, but that preserves it into the future, regardless of what political party happens to be in power.
This is such a unique endeavour. It has been a great education for MPs, who have been hearing indigenous MPs and other MPs provide us with information related to their particular areas. I also want to provide some interesting facts about my particular area.
My riding covers the whole of Yukon and the traditional territories of 14 first nations therein. Some Europeans think that any one indigenous person in North America is the same as another—that they speak the same language, have the same culture, dance the same dances. That of course is not true.
My particular area makes up one one-thousandth of Canada's population, but there are eight language groups: the Gwich’in, the Northern Tutchone, there is a bit of Upper Tanana, Southern Tutchone, Tagish combined with Tlingit, a tiny bit of Tahltan and Kaska. Each of these groups has a different culture and a different history. Their languages are different. To the north of us there are a few Inuvialuit people as well.
I am going to describe the eight first nations in Yukon so that people will have some information about these language groups that they would not otherwise have.
Traditional knowledge is very important. It is a unique type of knowledge passed down orally, generation after generation. According to oral tradition, Yukon first nation peoples have lived in this land since Crow, a mythological creature of the time, made the world and set it in order. Archeologists calculate that the first humans inhabited the Yukon more than 10,000 years ago, crossing the Bering land bridge from Asia or travelling the waters alongside.
Today, first nations people belong to the Athapaskan or Tlingit language groups. I will briefly talk about what the eight specific groups within them are like.
Let me deal with Gwich'in first. The Gwich'in people are our most northerly group in the Yukon. They inhabit a huge area of land in which there are four different dialects. Most familiar to Yukoners are the Vuntut Gwitchin, who reside in Old Crow. Then there are the Tetlit Gwich'in in the Northwest Territories, the Tukudh Gwich'in in the Blackstone area, and the Alaska Gwich'in.
The Vuntut Gwitchin first nation is the modern-day political organization of the Yukon Gwich'in. The Vuntut Gwitchin signed its Yukon first nation final agreement in May 1993. The people live along the Porcupine River and follow annual cycles of subsistence. Right at the centre of their life is the Porcupine caribou herd.
I will digress for a moment to mention the critical struggle going on to protect the Porcupine caribou herd. If that herd becomes extinct, it will result in cultural genocide for the Gwich'in people of Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, because their whole life revolves around that herd. Their clothes—including vests similar to what I am wearing today—and their food are dependent on the caribou herd. When I have been there, I have seen them eat caribou three times a day. The caribou is really the heart of their culture. It is absolutely fundamental that this herd not be diminished.
Mr. Trump and the Republicans have passed legislation to allow drilling on the caribou calving grounds. Calving, of course, is a very sensitive part of the caribou life cycle, and this drilling could endanger the herd, which currently numbers roughly 130,000. The Gwich'in people have fought for decades to protect that area, along with the Canadian embassy in Washington. I have been involved for a couple of decades in fighting against any drilling in the Arctic national wildlife refuge area. Canada has a responsibility to do this. We have an agreement with the United States to protect the Porcupine caribou herd.
The second group of people I will talk about is the Hän people. The Hän people live where the Yukon and Klondike Rivers merge. They lived through the greatest impact of change when the Klondike gold rush marked their lives with great social upheaval and displacement.
The chief at that time, Chief Isaac, was very forward-thinking and took their songs and their dances to a community in Alaska, where he asked that they be preserved. He did not want to lose them with the massive influx of people. Dawson City was the biggest city west of Chicago or Winnipeg at the time of the gold rush.
They took their songs away, with a dance stick, and entrusted them to them. The dance stick was called a gänhäk. Then they brought them back, and now they are revitalizing their culture.
The next group is Upper Tanana. There are just a few people on the Yukon side; most are in Alaska. That is near Beaver Creek. A lot of the first nations moved around, depending on the time of year and where game could be found, so they were not on the existing locations where the Alaska Highway is. The effect of that highway on these first nations is an entire speech in itself, and I will not get into it at this time.
I am going through these groups faster than I would like, but I still do not have enough time to give more details.
The next large group is Northern Tutchone. They inhabit the central part of Yukon, often referred to as the heart of Yukon. There are three first nations there, within the Northern Tutchone Tribal Council: the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, the Selkirk First Nation and the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. The small villages of Fort Selkirk and Minto were home to the people of this area prior to the building of the Klondike Highway, or as we old-timers call it, the Mayo Road.
The next group, the fifth, is the Southern Tutchone, as we have done Gwich'In, Hän, Upper Tanana, Northern Tutchone.
The Southern Tutchone occupy areas of southwest Yukon. Many traditional areas and village sites were once the centres of trading activity for these nomadic people. While many of these locations were gradually abandoned with the building of the Alaska Highway, they are still regarded with reverence as the homelands of the Southern Tutchone people.
The school there is where my 10-year-old daughter has her favourite class, and it is also where my six-year-old son had his highest mark. That is probably a tribute to the great Southern Tutchone teachers they have. It is also a French immersion school.
The Kluane First Nation, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council and the Kwanlin Dun are also in that area. The Champagne and Aishihik First Nation have started maybe the first immersion day care in Canada. The immersion is in the Southern Tutchone language.
It was at the Calgary Olympics that a Yukon first nation person sang the national anthem in Tutchone.
The next group, as I mentioned earlier, may be functionally extinct. If not, there are not many speakers at the moment. I am referring to the Tagish language. The point about the Tagish people near the Carcross area is that this first nation people had great co-operation with the people in the gold rush, unlike what happened in some areas in North America. They helped people come in and were guides for them. They came in from the ocean over what were called “grease trails” because of the eulachon fish grease that indigenous people had carried on them for trade over the years.
Kate Carmack, whose brother was the famous Skookum Jim, recently received the great honour of being the first indigenous woman to be put in the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame for her role in the discovery that led to the greatest gold rush in the world.
As I said, there was great co-operation from the Tagish, and the inland Tlingit people as well, who traded over these grease trails. A number of generations ago, some of them moved inland from the coast to the Teslin and Carcross and Atlin areas.
The Kaska people are found in the southwest corner of Yukon, which they share with Ross River Dena Council and Liard First Nation and a number of people in northern B.C. and other communities. They have friends in the Dene people in NWT.
[Member spoke in Gwich’in as follows:]
[Gwich'in text translated as follows:]
Thank you very much for your comments.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:18 [p.27566]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the member was here for my whole speech, but because this concern had been brought up by a previous speaker, I outlined the specifics of the funding. However, I will repeat them.
The funding is already taken care of in the most recent budget with a massive increase of $330 million over the next five years and $117 million after that.
However, after the next five years, a future government could emasculate the program and the effectiveness of the bill by not providing funding. Therefore—and this does not happen often—we put a statutory requirement in the bill, paragraph 5(d), which reads, “establish measures to facilitate the provision of adequate, sustainable and long-term funding for the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages”.
Therefore, by law, all future governments would have to continue the funding that is necessary to implement this bill.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:20 [p.27566]
Mr. Speaker, I did want to mention the people in the Yukon more in depth, and I thank the member for allowing me this opportunity.
The Gwich'in people in the north cover a massive area and are, as I said, dependent on caribou. In the national parks that we have created, there are caribou fences. Because this great tundra is immense, it is difficult to catch the caribou, so these fences were used to entrap them.
As I mentioned, there is quite a difference between the Athapaskan and Tlingit languages. They are within a couple of days' walking distance from each other, can almost see each other over the mountains, but they cannot understand a word of what the other says—yet the Athapaskan people in the Yukon can understand some of the people all the way down as far as New Mexico. The Navaho are there, thousands of miles away. It is because of the migration that totally different people are adjacent to each other, yet they can relate to people thousands of miles away.
We also have, and I must give credit to various people, some very modern dance groups. Most of the first nations, for a long time, did not have a dance group, but now have some very modern dance groups that perform around the world. They are really bringing their culture back, with great credit to such groups as the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and many others.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:22 [p.27567]
Mr. Speaker, we are certainly not planning on excluding any. It will be up to the indigenous people themselves. We are trying to facilitate them because we co-developed this with them.
I am glad the member asked the question, because it reminds me that I forgot to mention something very important. Of course, there were consultations across the country. Previous speeches during this debate outlined the hundreds of meetings that took place, the details of which I do not know off the top of my head.
However, in the Yukon consultation I was at, the chiefs made it very clear that this could not be a one size fits all. Each first nation and indigenous community has not only its own language, but its own way of learning. We have all different types of traditional indigenous governments in Yukon, so one size does not fit all.
Therefore, this bill has been set up flexibly and the funding has to go to those first nations directly so they can implement it the way they know how. This way, with respect to the very important question the member asked, the languages of first nations will not be lost by trying to fit them into this one size fits all. Rather, they can implement their types of traditional learning, governance and societies and can bring back those languages.
As I said earlier, the indigenous people were so forward-thinking that they recorded some languages that for a while were extinct. With the types of funds that have been put into the bill and are statutorily required to remain into the future, they can bring them back to life. However, sadly that would not be the case for the Beothuk people, as a previous member mentioned.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:25 [p.27567]
Mr. Speaker, in my reading of the bill, both the part I quoted and the part the member mentioned, there is a statutory requirement to provide that funding. It would be very difficult for our government to not provide it. Obviously, we are going to provide it. We have already provided it in the budget, before the bill even comes into effect, and hundreds of projects are ongoing.
However, as the member said, it is very important to protect this for future governments. In one particular case, which I will not mention, although it is not directly related to first nations, an entity that helps reform governments signed up and a particular government funded it for one dollar a year, so obviously nothing happened. That is why we are very strongly supporting the bill ensure the funding is referenced and would continue into perpetuity.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 13:47 [p.27577]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the parts of her speech related to indigenous peoples. They were very positive. We really appreciate that.
In reply to her last question, there are all sorts of projects under way in indigenous languages, and there is a large amount of funding for the next five years. The process is already under way. This legislation just means that it will go on into the future.
A previous speaker talked about consultations. Once again, I will refer people back to the second reading votes, when we talked about a huge number of meetings and consultations with first nations, Métis and Inuit.
However, my question is this. One of the amendments that was accepted previously and is in the legislation now was that the legislation must be reviewed every five years. Is the member supportive of that amendment?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 13:59 [p.27579]
Mr. Speaker, I want to add my heartfelt thanks to the afternoon of great tributes in the Yukon legislature, dedicated to the retiring Dr. Floyd McCormick, who served as a clerk of the Yukon Legislative Assembly for more than 18 years.
Clerks in this chamber, who send their best wishes, appreciate that Dr. McCormick was president of the Association of Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada. He represented Canada at the Australia and New Zealand Association of Clerks-at-the-Table Conferences. Clerks from around the Commonwealth value Floyd's significant national and international contributions to the profession.
Yukoners of all stripes applaud Floyd's devotion to and safeguarding of our parliamentary democracy. However, what is not emphasized enough is Dr. McCormick's tremendous contributions to those in our community who are less fortunate. He and his wife, Sheila, would spend countless weeks preparing food for soup kitchens. This is one of the many examples I could give on Floyd's selfless character.
I wish my witty, wise, professional, thoughtful, endearing and compassionate friend a wonderful retirement.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-08 15:21 [p.27524]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 92nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
The committee advises that pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(2), the subcommittee on private members' business met to consider the order for the second reading of a private member's bill originating in the Senate, and the items added to the order of precedence on Thursday, April 11, 2019, and recommended that the items listed herein, which it has determined should not be designated non-votable, be considered by the House.
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