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Results: 1 - 15 of 441
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-19 15:11 [p.29393]
Mr. Speaker, right now in Cape Breton we are seeing a story as old as time. The Liberals are taking $18 million from taxpayers to fund a private airport at the elite Cabot Links golf resort for their millionaire friends to park their private jets. This Liberal decision is decimating the Allan J. MacEachen Port Hawkesbury Airport and small businesses like Celtic Air Services.
Will the Prime Minister put small businesses ahead of his millionaire Liberal golf buddies and stop any funding for a competing private airport in Inverness?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-13 15:08 [p.29068]
Mr. Speaker, a Toronto-area organization lost its charitable status and was fined $550,000 for funding militants in Pakistan, but it was given a Liberal Canada summer job grant worth more than $25,000. Meanwhile, 1,500 groups were denied summer jobs funding, and summer camps in Ontario and Nova Scotia are in court fighting the Prime Minister over the Liberals' values test.
Will the Prime Minister commit to revoking this grant to assure Canadians that their tax dollars are not being used to fund terrorist organizations?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-13 18:33 [p.29096]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this incredible disrespect for Canadians across the country, that the Liberals would shut down debate on probably one of the most controversial pieces of legislation that the Liberal government has put forward.
Six premiers have signed a letter, stating that the legislation would devastate their natural resources development and economic opportunities. The Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change have said that the letter from these premiers, who were duly elected by their constituents, by a vast majority I may add, is pandering to a small and disgruntled portion of the population. These premiers represent about 60% of Canada's population, more than 60% of our GDP. It is absolutely disrespectful for the Prime Minister and the parliamentary secretary to say that they are pandering and are a challenge to national unity.
Then, as a response to that, the Liberals have come here this evening and have shut down debate on the consideration of 187 amendments from the Senate, of which they have thrown aside the majority. This is an incredible disservice. The Liberals said that they would be doing government differently, that they were going to be open and transparent and that there were going to be sunny ways.
The Senate went across the country and listened to thousands of stakeholders. The majority of those stakeholders brought forward very real concerns about what the legislation would do to their economic opportunities not only in their provinces but in their communities. I am talking about nine different provinces, and the premiers have voiced concerns with the legislation.
It is not just Conservative premiers. The NDP former premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley, the former Liberal premier of B.C., Christy Clark, and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador have all voiced concerns.
How, in good conscience, can the minister shut down debate on legislation that nine premiers and tens of thousands of Canadians have said would be devastating, without even listening or having any regard for their input on the legislation? How, in good conscience, can she ignore the feelings of Canadians?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-12 17:50 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate that my colleague from Niagara Centre brought this motion forward.
If this was such a huge issue for him and his constituents and certainly for his region, earlier this year the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville brought up a similar motion to study the skilled labour shortage in the greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. At that time, Conservative members of the committee asked why we would not expand this study to include a Canada-wide study into the skilled labour shortage, and the Liberals at that time refused that amendment.
If it is important now, why was it not just as important then? We could have started this study in committee in this session, had the Liberals supported that amendment.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-12 17:53 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, it is great to stand and speak about a very important issue tonight, and that is the lack of access or inability for some regions of this country to access the very important skilled labour they need to ensure that their businesses are successful and that Canada can build the important infrastructure it needs.
I know I asked this question of my hon. colleague in the question and answer portion, but I want to highlight the frustration of Conservative and NDP colleagues at committee when, earlier this year, we were debating Motion No. 190, looking at labour shortages in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area. We asked the sponsor of that motion, the Liberal member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, whether he would be open to an amendment to the motion that the HUMA committee study labour shortages and imbalances, especially in the skilled trades, not just in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, but in the entire country. I was really surprised that the Liberals continue to talk, and again tonight, about how critical this issue is, but at that time, the Liberal members of the committee and the sponsor of that motion said that the Liberal Party was not going to support that amendment, and it was refused.
Had that amendment been approved at that time, we very likely could have had this study completed by the end of this session. Unfortunately, since my colleague from Niagara Centre has brought up this motion so late in this Parliament, it is very unlikely that any work will be done on this study. I am disappointed that something as important as this will not get addressed in this Parliament because his colleagues refused to expand on an earlier study at committee, which is truly unfortunate.
There are labour shortages in the skilled trades that are more in demand, certainly as our population ages. I think all of us here would agree, and we know from meetings with stakeholders across the country, that our aging population is going to be putting a very real stress on our labour situation. From the numbers we have heard, over 400,000 jobs in Canada are unfilled. That is why I was really proud to see the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, bring forward a policy or a platform that we are going to be undertaking a government-wide initiative on addressing labour shortages, and a big part of that will be appointing a minister of internal trade.
The focus of that will be to remove interprovincial trade barriers, which are really holding back our economy and our ability to grow our economy in Canada. From the statistics we have seen, this is costing our Canadian economy $130 billion in lost GDP, but it is also impacting the ability of skilled tradespeople to move from one province to another when their certifications are not recognized from one province to another. There have certainly been some issues with labour mobility that we also could have addressed as part of a study on a nationwide strategy.
The idea of having a dedicated minister of internal trade also builds on the work of previous Conservative governments, which brought forward the apprenticeship incentive grant in 2009 and the apprenticeship completion grant, also in 2009. We provided funding for more than 530,000 apprenticeship grants, totalling almost $700 million, to ensure that Canadians could complete their training.
I was really proud, in 2014, to be part of a government that created the Canada apprentice loan. I remember distinctly that at that time, as we were having the discussion in the House, we heard that more than 50% of Canadians who start an apprenticeship program never complete it. That was a huge void that we saw under our Conservative government, and we tried to address it by initiating the Canada apprentice loan program. It was there to provide Canadians with the opportunities to finish their programs.
As my colleague mentioned in his intervention as well, we should not have more welders or pipefitters in Alberta right now. There is a surplus of these very skilled tradespeople. Earlier this year, I was in a training facility for the boilermakers and pipefitters union in Edmonton, and 70% of their members are out of work. I could discuss why that is the case, and certainly Bill C-69 and the tanker ban are very distinct reasons for why that is the case. Cancelling the northern gateway pipeline, bungling the Trans Mountain expansion and regulating energy east out of existence are three very big reasons why we are facing this job crunch in Alberta.
That being the case, having these skilled tradespeople unemployed and not working in Alberta when they are desperately needed in other parts of the country, it just goes to show that we have some issues we should be addressing.
I wonder if my colleague from Niagara Centre would be open to amending his motion. I do not want to read the entire motion, as we have a minimal amount of time, but I would like to add the word “imbalances” to his first bullet point so that it would read, “regional labour imbalances in the skilled trades”.
I would also like to add a fourth section to his motion. I hope he would be amenable to approving this amendment. I would like to add:
(iv) how interprovincial harmonization of professional and trades certifications and training could assist unemployed and underemployed workers in the skilled trades find work in other regions by encouraging greater labour mobility and portability of qualifications in Canada.
I think that something all of us in this House could agree we have heard from many of our stakeholders is the inability to have the certifications of trades workers recognized from one province to another. The encouragement of labour mobility is a huge issue that I would like to see us try to address. We could have addressed it had we been able to do a study earlier, which is unfortunate.
This goes to a larger narrative with the current Liberal government when it comes to doing what it says and saying what it does. To bring this up so late in this Parliament almost ensures there is not going to be any significant work done on it.
However, it also brought out the Canada skilled training program. I was really interested to ask the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour about this program when she was at committee. One of the stipulations of this program, which is supposed to be part of the skilled trades strategy, is that it does not proceed unless there is an agreement with all the other provinces. The provinces would have to amend their leave provisions in their own labour code to ensure that the skilled training program would even work. When I asked the minister if she had these agreements in place, she could not answer that question. I asked the officials and they said they had not started those negotiations. Therefore, this pillar of the 2019 budget, which is supposed to address the skilled trades shortage across the country, very likely will not happen.
Certainly, the discussions we have heard from the premiers over the last two days, and their relationship with the current Liberal government and the Prime Minister, is that he is calling them out as a threat to Canadian unity and confederation. I am very confident that a lot of these premiers are not going to be in a big rush to sign an agreement on a Liberal labour initiative when they have to change their own labour code. There is a lot of window dressing and things that come out that the Liberals want to try to address, but when it comes to the actual work of governing, they fall woefully short.
In saying that, I want to assure my colleague from Niagara Centre, who has brought this motion forward, that even if he does not support the amendment I have proposed, we will be supporting this motion because I believe that addressing the issue of a lack of skilled trades is important.
I toured the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and its new new construction campus and petroleum engineering campus last week. It is an incredible facility. It just shows the opportunities we have and that the training facilities are there. We just have to ensure Canadians understand that these are opportunities that are well paid. Going into the skilled trades is not a demeaning career choice. This is an outstanding career choice with incredible opportunities and very high incomes. We just have to ensure we change some of those misperceptions about what goes on there.
One of the areas where we do have a real opportunity is in attracting more women into the skilled trades. One of the more interesting studies I have done here as a parliamentarian, when we were in government, was at the status of women committee on encouraging women to get into the skilled trades. I have read through that study. It had some outstanding testimony and recommendations from our stakeholders. Less than 5% of the participation in many of these skilled trades is by women. We have seen in northern Alberta where heavy-duty mechanics and the people driving that large equipment are women. Therefore, I think we have some great opportunities there.
I wish we could have done this study and found some resolution to this.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-11 14:09 [p.28914]
Mr. Speaker, dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge. These are the five Ds of dodgeball.
However, a group of meddlesome academics has now said that dodgeball is a tool of oppression. This is a game as old and storied as recess itself. Who here among us does not remember the sting of a well-placed shot, the thrill of that critical catch, or the shame of crossing the centre line?
Dodgeball was an important part of phys ed, summer camp and recess, but now dodgeball in particular and fun in general are under attack. These ultra-woke busybodies are trying to throw a wrench in our fun.
In the immortal words of Patches O'Houlihan, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” At Balgonie Elementary, I could dodge a wrench.
Dodgeball is not a tool of oppression. It is not part of some secret plot to reinforce gender identity or to abuse students. This is a game, and it is fun. To the fun police, we say, “Keep your hands off our dodgeballs.”
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-10 14:42 [p.28810]
Mr. Speaker, experts agree the Liberals are not getting it right. Their tanker ban and their no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69, are sinking Canada's energy industry, and the Liberals' energy ineptitude is continuing with these delays to the Trans Mountain expansion. The Liberals are going to announce next week, once again, approval for this project, but it means absolutely nothing unless there is an actual plan to get it built.
The construction season is half over. What is the Prime Minister willing to do to ensure that construction begins in Burnaby this summer?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-05 14:39 [p.28579]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has failed miserably when it comes to free trade between provinces. In fact, he has fought against it in court. Half the Liberals' Canada free trade agreement is a list of exemptions for things that cannot be traded. This is not free trade. In fact, much like the Prime Minister, his no-trade agreement is not as advertised.
Interprovincial trade barriers are costing the Canadian economy $130 billion. When will the Prime Minister get out of the way and allow free trade between provinces?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-03 16:21 [p.28428]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable.
I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak to this opposition motion today, because, as my colleagues know, I was a journalist for more than two decades. I spent the bulk of my time working for community newspapers across southern Alberta, so I think I can speak with a lot of insight into how journalists across the country feel, not necessarily about the media bailout but certainly about certain groups that have been added to this panel to decide who is going to be getting funding, who is going to be left out, and what the criteria will be for how these funds are going to be rolled out to various media groups.
From the beginning of my career as a journalist to near the end, I could see a stark difference in how Canadians viewed journalists across the country. There is no question, for various reasons, be it the growth of social media, cable news or other avenues, that there has been a very clear erosion of trust in journalists across this country, and certainly across North America.
Our motion today is not questioning Canadian journalists and the importance of the media in strengthening our democracy and holding government and politicians to account. That is not stated anywhere in the motion we are putting forward. What we are questioning is the inclusion of a group like Unifor on this panel. Our motion clearly states that it is important that we have a free and independent press, which is an integral pillar of our democracy. That is the first comment in our motion. However, my argument today is that including a group like Unifor, which has been outwardly partisan, has called itself the resistance and is once again going to be actively campaigning against a specific political party in the upcoming election, erodes the integrity of this entire process. We have heard this from journalists across the country, not just members of the opposition.
Andrew Potter, a CBC contributor, said, “This is actually worse than anyone could have imagined. An 'independent body' staffed entirely by unions and industry lobbyists. What a disaster.”
Andrew Coyne, a columnist with the National Post, said, “It is quite clear now, if it was not already: this is the most serious threat to the independence of the press in this country in decades.”
These are trusted journalists who are speaking out against the decision made by the Liberal government to include a partisan group association as part of this panel. That is the essence of what our motion here speaks about today. In no way are we questioning the integrity and importance of journalists.
I was very proud last week, when the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association held its annual awards ceremony, to see that I had numerous community newspapers in my riding win awards. I would like to take this opportunity to read out some of the award winners.
The Claresholm Local Press, published by Roxanne Thompson and editor Rob Vogt, won best overall in Class B. The High River Times won third-best overall in Class D. The Rocky Mountain Outlook, published by Jason Lyon, won best overall in Class E. It won the Excellence in Education Writing award, the Best Habitat Conservation Story award and the Arts and Culture Writing award.
The Okotoks Western Wheel, where I worked for 17 years, I was very proud to see, won best overall in Class F, beating our rival, the St. Albert Gazette. My colleague will owe me a beer for that one. It also won the Best Local News Story award, the Best Habitat Conservative Story award and the Sports Writing award. I congratulate Bruce Campbell, the editor, and Remy Greer, Krista Conrad and Tammy Rollie, who are some of the reporters there.
However there are two that really stand out to me, and I think this goes to the misinformation from our colleagues across the floor in saying that this funding is going to be available for any journalist across Canada. One of the newspapers, which is an historic newspaper in Alberta, is owned and operated by Frank and Emily McTighe, who are certainly one of my mentors in the newspaper and print industry in Alberta.
The Macleod Gazette is more than 100 years old. It won as the best overall newspaper in its class in Alberta. It won the Healthy Communities Journalism Award and the Best Feature Story by a Local Writer award, and editor and publisher Frank McTighe was honoured with the Gordon Scott Memorial Award for the best feature column. That is a very prestigious award in Alberta's newspaper industry. As well, Shootin' the Breeze, which is owned and operated by Shannon Robison, in Pincher Creek, won two writing awards, for environmental writing and best local editorial.
These two newspapers are among the most popular in my riding of Foothills in southwest Alberta, but neither of these newspapers will be eligible for any of the funding, because they are owner operated. These are not big conglomerates that have highly paid lobbyists who can lobby the Liberal government and this panel to ensure that they benefit from this program. These are small community newspapers, the lifeblood of these communities, that ensure that they are hyper-local and that their residents know everything that is going on in their communities.
Our Liberal colleagues across the floor are saying that the Conservatives are attacking journalism and that all media outlets across the country, which are so important to our democracy, are going to be eligible for these funds. Bloggers, online newspapers and some of these critical community newspapers are not going to be eligible for this funding. They are going to be struggling. I would argue that these newspapers are the most important ones we have. These are the ones that are tied tightly to their communities and do such important work, and I know that they do it with the most minimal of resources. I am sure that they would love to be eligible to access this media fund, but they are not going to be able to. This is going to be exclusively for the large corporations that have expensive lobbyists who will be lobbying the Liberal government to access these funds.
The Conservatives' argument on this motion today is not necessarily who is eligible and who is not. I want to take the opportunity to highlight the misinformation that is being rolled out by the Liberal government on who is going to be able to access these funds, because it is simply not the case.
I want to focus on the fact that making Unifor part of this panel is explicitly inappropriate. The Liberals' attack on us and this motion has been that we are fighting journalists and that we do not believe in a free press or the independence of journalists across Canada, and that is simply not the case. Conservatives understand as well as anyone, especially those of us who come from rural constituencies and represent rural ridings, how important community newspapers are to the success and health of communities. What we are questioning is how the Liberal government, by putting Unifor on the panel, which has campaigned, advertized and been very vocal, calling itself the resistance fighting against the Conservatives in the upcoming election, can possibly believe and claim that this is a non-partisan panel that will be making choices that are free from any influence from the Liberal government.
Jerry Dias might as well be a member of Parliament representing the Liberal Party and sitting in this House. He was a key part of the Liberals' negotiating team on NAFTA. He is now on the media bailout panel. There is no question that this goes way too far. We are asking that the panel stay as it is but that Unifor be removed from that panel to ensure the integrity of this process and not further erode trust in Canadian journalism.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-03 16:32 [p.28429]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's very long question.
To answer his first statement, I was very clear in my comments that this program will not benefit most local media. Those operations that are owner-operated or are small start-ups or are independents will not be eligible for this program.
To the Liberals who continually ask why we are fighting against the ability of local journalism to benefit from this program, the answer is that they will not benefit from this program because they are not eligible. It just goes to show that the Liberals are not reading their own legislation and that they do not understand that these groups will not benefit from this program because they do not qualify.
However, the Liberals have no problem putting a very highly partisan union association at the top of the list when it comes to who is going to qualify for this program and who is not.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-03 16:34 [p.28430]
Mr. Speaker, the member for Bow River and I have neighbouring ridings, and they are very similar. I worked at several of the newspapers in his constituency.
The member is right: The papers or journalism or media outlets that we should be assisting are the ones that are not going to be able to access this program.
In essence, the argument today is not about this program; the argument today is that the Liberals have established a very partisan $600-million media bailout program that is going to be directed, or at least partially built, by a union association that has come out publicly against opposition parties. I do not believe that this is in any way non-partisan.
Again, I fundamentally believe what I am hearing from journalists in our communities, which is that this further erodes the trust in Canadian journalism, which is already very precarious.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-03 17:06 [p.28435]
Mr. Speaker, I want to address a couple of things in my colleague's intervention before asking a question. I guess the difference between Conservatives and Liberals is that when journalists do not support the Liberals, they either hire them or get stakeholders to phone them and threaten to sue them. I do not think there is a lot of integrity on that side on how they have treated journalists with whom they do not necessarily agree.
My colleague's presentation was all about protecting journalism and the integrity of journalists. Every journalist I have spoken with since this media bailout program was announced has said that having Unifor as a member of that panel and having a media bailout hurts the integrity of his or her profession. It further erodes the trust in journalists. This is not an attack from the Conservative side on journalists. This is voicing the concerns raised by journalists.
My colleague talked many times about the work of independent journalists, but independent newspapers, media, radio stations will not get funding from this because they will not qualify. Why is the Liberal Party not listening to the journalists who have raised concerns about this program. They do not believe it is fair and it will further erode trust in Canadian journalism?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-05-28 10:29 [p.28111]
Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank the minister and her government for approving or supporting these amendments. However, I would point out that the vast majority of the amendments were brought up at committee by opposition members, Conservative, NDP and Green, who all agreed that these amendments were important to the bill. Unfortunately, the Liberals on that committee refused these amendments. Therefore, I want to give the minister credit for standing up here today and voicing her support for these critical amendments.
The one question I would like to ask the minister, which came up frequently during the discussion at committee, certainly for our stakeholders, is on the issue of exemptions for federal departments. Federal departments would be able to ask for and be granted an exemption from the legislative regulations as part of Bill C-81. I would like to ask the minister if she is going to be diligent to ensure that any requests for exemptions through Bill C-81 would be strictly restricted or followed through to ensure that there was a good, valid reason for those exemptions to be approved.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-05-28 13:13 [p.28131]
Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that it is a good sign that the government and the minister have decided to support the amendments from the Senate. When the bill was at the committee stage, Conservatives, New Democrats and Green Party members put forward dozens of amendments, and all of them, except three, were voted down by the Liberals, including many of the amendments that were brought forward by the Senate.
I want to highlight the fact that a lot of this could have been expedited if the Liberals had supported the amendments that came from stakeholders at the committee stage. One amendment that was not supported, and we have heard about this from stakeholders over and over again, was about the inconsistency that will come from having four different departments looking after complaints, advocacy and removing those barriers, including CTA, CASDO and the other boards.
I understand from the minister that it is a “no wrong door” policy, but what the stakeholders are looking for is the right door. By having four different administrations and four different departments trying to organize the barriers and regulations, there is going to be a lot of confusion. We have heard from stakeholders about consistency in how the complaints are going to be handled and how the restrictions and the new regulations are going to be rolled out.
Does my colleague not agree with stakeholders that having one consistent group, such as CASDO, oversee Bill C-81 would be a better option than establishing four different departments to do the job of one?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-05-28 14:11 [p.28139]
Mr. Speaker, the environment minister recently shared some sage advice with some patrons at a pub that “in the House of Commons, if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it.”
Clearly, the environment minister does not believe that the Liberals have an environment plan. In fact, no matter how many times the Liberals repeat it, the budget did not balance itself, the carbon tax does not reduce emissions and they will not meet their Paris accord targets.
In fact, recent reports by the government show that under the Liberal government, emissions have increased each and every year and will continue to increase and that Canada will miss its targets by 150 megatonnes. All of this despite their job-killing carbon tax, which just goes to prove that the Liberals do not have an environment plan. What they do have is a plan to raise taxes.
The Liberals are a broken record of broken promises and will not meet their Paris accord targets. A Conservative environment plan will not raise taxes, will embrace our natural resource development and will be a clear road map to reaching our destination for the benefit of all Canadians.
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