Hansard
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 100 of 256
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-20 10:11 [p.29464]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-467, An Act to establish Royal Canadian Mounted Police Day.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to have the opportunity to present this private member's bill today, seconded by my good friend and colleague, the member for Yellowhead. This initiative was started by a small group of constituents in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap and the support has grown exponentially across the region, the province and now the country.
February 1, 2020, will mark the 100th anniversary of the forming of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For almost a century, they have been defending the law, “Maintiens le droit”. This bill would designate February 1 each year as Royal Canadian Mounted Police day. I recognize that it is the end of this 42nd Parliament, but I look forward to returning in the 43rd Parliament to ensure our national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, are recognized for their 100th anniversary.
I want to thank members in my riding, Martin von Holst and Guy Bailey, for their incredible work on this and I look forward to moving this forward when we return in the fall.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-18 22:02 [p.29364]
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Davenport for her valiant attempt to defend something that is indefensible. She talked for 20 minutes trying to extol the virtues of this agreement, yet in that 20 minutes she never once mentioned the softwood lumber agreement.
In March 2016, her Prime Minister and her trade minister promised to have a deal framework within 100 days. We are now years past that 100 days and nothing has ever been done by the government on the softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U.S.
Currently, in my home province, British Columbia, and in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, we have mills shutting down because of the difficulties in the market, because there is no certainty created for them out of this trade deal whatsoever. The Liberals have completely abandoned the softwood lumber agreement and left those mills in limbo.
Could the member explain why she did not even mention that in her 20-minute intervention?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-17 12:27 [p.29166]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to pose a couple of questions to the minister on this time allocation motion.
He has stated numerous times in the last few minutes of debate that there will be another five hours of debate.
I would like to ask the minister this. Has he confirmed with his government House leader that there will be no closure declared on that debate, similar to what the government did on Bill C-69 last week? It closed off debate on that. It closed off discussion on Bill C-69 at the committee stage when there were hundreds of amendments, hundreds even from their own Liberal Party on their own poorly drafted bill. The government closed off debate. It does it time and time again, because it simply does not want to hear the truth.
Will the minister confirm again that there will be no closure and there will be five hours of debate on this bill?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-17 13:42 [p.29173]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary why his government has chosen to cause a division across the country. The bill does not ban the transit of tankers, as the government would like the headlines to read. It really just bans the loading and unloading of those tankers in Canadian waters, which limits our western oil producers from getting their product to market. It is basically regional discrimination against one region of the country over another. Why would his government choose to divide the country in the way it has?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 10:25 [p.29111]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Cariboo—Prince George for his speech on this topic, the Senate amendments to Bill C-68. We have sat together on the fisheries committee for years now. We have seen a government that has totally ignored the restoration of fish stocks across the country. Time and again, recommendations from our committee have called on the current government to take action. It failed to do so.
I also want to speak briefly on comments I got from a fisheries officer, who said that the changes we made in 2012 made it much easier for fisheries officers to do their job. Rather than having to gather incredible amounts of evidence, convince Crown prosecutors and then take cases to court, which would take years to prosecute, with the changes made in 2012 fisheries officers are able to immediately demand restoration where damage has been done. There has been no indication that habitat has been lost or damaged in any of the evidence ever produced by the government or in testimony at committee.
I would like the member to comment further on why the government fails to do anything to restore fish stocks, whether Atlantic salmon or salmon on the west coast, and why it continues to push this ill-conceived bill through the House.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 10:43 [p.29114]
Mr. Speaker, I will forgive the member for falling off topic here. What we are debating today are the Senate amendments to Bill C-68, and he did not touch on those, not that I can pick out, at any point during his intervention. Therefore, I would like to bring him back to that. I forgive the member for it, because he has only been part-time on this committee over the past three and a half, four years.
Why would the Liberal government reject sensible amendments from a Senate committee that would actually see a net gain in fish habitat and fish habitat values, from the third party habitat banking? The Liberal government seems to refuse to do anything that would increase or improve fish habitat. That is the amendments that the government is kicking aside.
The member for Courtenay—Alberni seems to have ignored all of that in his intervention. Why?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 11:12 [p.29119]
Mr. Speaker, Alberta is starting to see some relief, with the lowest fuel prices in the country, because it no longer has a carbon tax.
Meanwhile, in B.C., we are hammered with a carbon tax, driving fuel prices so high that people are actually burning more fuel. They are driving longer distances to cross the border, often idling at long border-crossing lineups just to buy cheaper U.S. gas, and at the same time are creating a safety hazard by filling up jerry cans and putting them in the backs of passenger vehicles, basically converting SUVs into fuel tankers. This is all to avoid paying into the Liberals' carbon tax plan.
Now the Parliamentary Budget Officer reports that the carbon tax would need to increase in some provinces by five times the current punishing rate, to over $100 per tonne, driving up fuel prices another 23¢ per litre.
When will the Prime Minister and his environment minister stop punishing Canadians for just trying to get to work and admit that they do not have an environmental plan but they only have a tax plan?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 11:41 [p.29125]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal attack on the energy sector has crippled Alberta and is impacting B.C. After 50 years, a houseboat company in Sicamous has announced it is shutting down, affecting 150 employees.
The mayor of Sicamous has blamed the downturn in the Alberta economy and the pipeline dispute for having taken a toll on the community.
Today, the Liberals are announcing a western economic growth strategy, as if they have not done enough damage already.
When will the Liberals end their attack on the west?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 12:25 [p.29133]
Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting two petitions from constituents in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap. Both petitions are calling on the government to withdraw Bill C-27, an act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 12:44 [p.29138]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the hon. member.
I would like to ask the member how he feels about the recommendations that have come from the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, known as FOPO within these walls. There have been continuous recommendations from that committee on how we could have already started to rebuild Canada's fish stocks. We did studies early on in this parliamentary session on the northern Atlantic cod, on the Atlantic salmon. There were many recommendations, unanimous recommendations that were agreed to by every member on that committee, no matter which political party members came from.
However, the Liberal Party, his minister and the department have absolutely refused to take steps on any of those measures to restore the endangered or declining fish stocks.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 12:48 [p.29139]
Mr. Speaker, when I questioned him earlier, the member talked about our needing to undertake new measures to restore our fish stocks. New measures are proposed in these amendments from the Senate through this third party habitat banking that could immediately be put to use to restore fish stocks, which is badly needed across the country from coast to coast to coast.
Why is his government refusing to adopt these amendments from the Senate that could be the new tools that we need?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 12:49 [p.29139]
Mr. Speaker, we all want to see healthy fish stocks, prosperous fisheries and a thriving economy, and I believe all those are possible at the same time. We can achieve that by using Canadian technology, Canadian ingenuity and Canadian investment. We can do all that and rebuild our declining fish stocks.
We have national conservation organizations, like Ducks Unlimited, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, local fishing game clubs and stream keeper organizations ready to create and improve fish habitat. Using Canadian technology, Canadian ingenuity and Canadian investment in proactive ways that would actually see fish habitat increased and improved in advance of projects would ensure prosperous fisheries and a thriving economy. This could all be made possible under the third-party habitat banking amendments being put forward by the Senate.
Before the Senate had even voted on sending these amendments to Bill C-68 back to this House of Parliament, the fisheries minister basically gave a directive to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, FOPO, to do a study on third party habitat banking. Imagine that. I say it was a directive, because although the parliamentary committees are supposed to be free to set their own agenda, that committee has a majority of Liberal members who would dare not deny a request from their own minister.
Therefore, on June 10, as a directive from the fisheries minister, we began a study of third party habitat banking. Also on June 10, we finished a study on third party habitat banking. We started and finished in one day, in two hours. It was an abomination of a study, with no mention of a report back to the minister and no report to the House of Commons. It was of almost of no use at all other than perhaps being able to say “we consulted”, part of the fake consultation I have seen with the government time and again over the past three and a half years.
However, I say almost nothing out of that study, except what we heard from witnesses that day. They spoke about third party habitat banking, saying that it would be a good thing to incorporate, that the difficult details around third party habitat banking could be worked out through the regulations and orders in council. The regulations need not be fully ironed out in order for Bill C-68 to be amended and passed. We also heard testimony from multiple witnesses that third party habitat banking could create net gains to habitat. Imagine, conservation organizations and local angling clubs being able to work proactively to create an enhanced fish habitat.
It should be the dream and goal of any fisheries minister to increase and improve fisheries habitat. However, as we have seen so many times over the past three and a half years, Liberal fisheries ministers fail to do what is right and instead give deals to their buddies and relatives, getting caught up in scandal. They fail to deliver and fund restoring fish stocks.
We also heard in testimony during that short “but we can say we consulted” meeting on June 10, that during the Senate study of Bill C-68, the only witnesses who spoke against third party habitat banking were the minister and DFO staff, undoubtedly under the direction of the fisheries minister.
Why would every other witness support third party habitat banking and the minister's department oppose it? Why would a minister not want to see net gains to fish habitat? Why would a minister ignore and cast aside testimony, ideas and proposals that would be good for fish, fisheries and the economy?
I can only surmise that it is because the fisheries minister, like his Liberal predecessors, are out of touch with Canadian fisheries and the Canadian way.
I also want to point out the fake and disingenuous consultations by the former fisheries minister from Beauséjour undertaken during his tenure. I do wish to send best wishes to the former fisheries minister regarding his health.
While he was minister, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, FOPO, undertook a study on changes to the Fisheries Act. While that study was on the book, three different news releases went out on the consultation process, three conflicting news releases under that minister's watch.
The first one, on October 16, 2016, stated that all briefs received during the consultations would be provided to the committee for its study. The next one, on November 16, 2016, again stated the feedback heard would be shared with the committee for its study. However, that feedback never reached the committee in time.
After multiple requests from indigenous groups and committee members to extend the timeline of the study, the Liberal members refused to extend that time so we could incorporate the briefs solicited and paid for with taxpayer dollars.
In the end, over $2 million was spent for indigenous groups to provide briefs to the committee for study. Over $1.2 million of those briefs for consultation and input for the review were not received before the Liberals closed off the study. Those taxpayer dollars were not received by the committee in time for the study. Imagine what $1.2 million could have done for fish habitat in the hands of conservation groups and organizations.
I can imagine that because my background is in conservation. My first interest in this was with fish and game clubs, putting boots on and getting in the streams creating spawning habitat. What our clubs could have done with $1.2 million, which the Liberal government wasted because it could not get that information to the committee on time.
Now here we are up against time. The government has called time allocation on debate on these Senate amendments after minimum time back in the House. It has taken the government three and a half years to get the bill this far and it is still not right.
Dozens of amendments came from the Senate on Bill C-68, most of them tossed aside by the Liberal government, amendments that really could make a difference in the streams, creating more fish habitat, creating more fish, creating more opportunities for fishermen and creating a strong and vibrant economy.
It is really disappointing to have debate cut short. Ten minutes for me to speak to this is really less than half the time I would have liked in a full speaking time of 20 minutes.
I have talked about how the FOPO study was denied extensions. We have talked about briefs being received after the report deadline. We have heard testimony many times that there was no proof of any harm to fish habitat from the 2012 changes to the Fisheries Act.
One of the first things I did in this parliamentary session was to put in an Order Paper question asking for any proof of harm or loss of habitat as a result of the 2012 changes to the Fisheries Act. More than three years later, not one piece of evidence has been provided. Therefore, the fisheries minister and the current government are being deceitful, if I can use that word, to the Canadian public and this Parliament. I have lost respect for them because of that.
I thank the House for the time to be able to discuss these amendments, and I will welcome questions.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 13:01 [p.29140]
Mr. Speaker, as I stated, my background is in conservation. I see what conservation organizations can do with a few dollars provided and the many hours of volunteer time that they put in at the streams to create fish habitat and to improve hatcheries to make sure we have fish in the streams. A lot of the time, it is not for their own benefit. They do not get to fish for those fish. They do not get to catch anything or reap any harvest from it. They simply are doing it because it is the right thing to do.
That is what these amendments from the Senate were aimed to do. It was to increase the ability of non-profit organizations, including fish and game clubs and conservation organizations, to get into the streams and do some work proactively and create and improve fish habitat. Here we have a government that is scrapping these amendments from the Senate and blocking the possibility for that to happen.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-14 13:04 [p.29141]
Mr. Speaker, not being part of the previous government, I will not comment on that. However, I will comment on the government that I have been in opposition to since I arrived here in this House.
What I have seen is a government that claims to be doing everything for the science and the fisheries, and yet it continues to ignore that science. When we take a look at what is happening on the west coast with our west coast salmon fisheries, we see it is shutting down the recreational fisheries, blocking or destroying the jobs of hundreds of west coast fishermen, fish guides and angling tackle shops with no regard to what the science really says.
We know there are bigger issues out there, but the government refuses to look at the science and where it could make the biggest difference in increasing the number of chinook stocks on the west coast. Rather, it is punishing the fishermen who make the smallest impact.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-13 10:55 [p.29038]
Mr. Speaker, I sat in on all of the debates in the House and at committee on the House side. Time and time again, there were requests from first nations and from our side for extended consultations and study time, yet the government members at committee shut them down. It is just like the fake consultation they are doing here.
I hope the minister will set aside his talking points and actually speak about what we heard, especially yesterday at committee when we studied the Senate amendments to Bill C-68. We heard that the only people opposed to third party habitat banking were DFO staff, as directed by the fisheries minister.
Why is it that the fisheries minister and his staff are the only ones opposed to the third party habitat banking amendments? Why can the minister not accept that we could create net habitat gains through third party habitat banking? Here he is, trying to shut down debate on it.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-13 11:01 [p.29039]
Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister to step away from his talking points. He talked about 39 days. Many of those days the committee was studying the bill for only a few hours. We heard time and again from first nations that they wanted to provide briefs. Over $2 million were provided for first nations to provide briefs to the committee on the study of the Fisheries Act back in 2016. However, $1.2 million were paid out for a compilation of the briefs received by the committee after the study date and the committee had made recommendations on the bill, because Liberal members on that committee would not extend the study.
Why is the minister again shutting down debate on an important bill?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-13 11:13 [p.29041]
Mr. Speaker, again, the minister is misleading the House and misleading Canadians. He claims 39 days, but those days were not full days by any means. Many times, even the debate at the committee stage and even though it was only partial hours, those debates were interrupted by votes in the House, similar to this, where the minister is shutting down debate again.
We have asked the minister multiple times to provide any proof of any harm, alteration or destruction of fish habitat resulting from the 2012 changes to the act, and the government has provided absolutely none. Again, the minister is misleading the House and misleading Canadians by claiming the loss of protection. Those claims are absolutely false. I would ask the minister to apologize, not just to the House but to Canadians, for misleading them with such false information.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-13 18:58 [p.29099]
Mr. Speaker, it is really disappointing to be here tonight. I happened to sit in on the committee when Bill C-69 was being studied clause by clause. I sat in that night until the late hours of the evening and watched the government decide to lump all of the amendments together and vote on them as an entire group, with no discussion on each amendment, clause by clause. It was absolutely disgusting. There were over 600 amendments proposed at that stage. Over 300 of them came from the government's own Liberal Party. It is truly a bill that was so poorly drafted it should have been thrown out at that time.
Now we see 229 amendments from the Senate. Most of them have been thrown out by the Liberal government. We have six premiers, representing over 60% of Canadians, who are opposed to this bill saying it should be thrown out. How can the minister stand there and say that the government has truly consulted with Canadians and actually listened to them when 60% are saying it should be thrown out?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-11 15:59 [p.28932]
Madam Speaker, I would like to waylay some of the comments made by the hon. minister.
Early in this parliamentary session, I could see that the Fisheries Act was going to be up for possible review and debate, so I put in an Order Paper question, No. 626. I asked the government for any proof of harm or habitat destruction, any loss that might have been created through the 2012 changes in the the Fisheries Act. The answer we received back on that Order Paper question was basically zero: no proof of harm whatsoever.
How can the minister mislead the Canadian public by saying there was a loss of protection when the government cannot prove it when asked to do so in an Order Paper question? It is an absolute farce, and he should correct his statement.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-11 21:10 [p.28964]
Madam Speaker, I have to stand today and say that never has a government spent so much and achieved so little. That is why we end up with this logjam of legislation that the Liberals have not been able to get through in the three and a half years that they have been stumbling along on this.
Talking about consultation, the minister says that the Liberals have done adequate consultation on this. I have to reflect back to the consultation that the government supposedly did on Bill C-68, which we are also debating today, with the Fisheries Act. The Liberals spent over a million dollars providing first nations with the ability to provide briefs to the committee on the review of the Fisheries Act. Those briefs were never provided to the committee for its study on the act.
How can the minister stand there and say that the Liberals have done adequate consultation, when that is an example of how they have not done so?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-10 13:27 [p.28798]
Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola on his background knowledge on this.
I want to provide a little background. I had a small business in my community of Salmon Arm in the North Okanagan—Shuswap, which is semi-rural community. I worked with a rural internet provider who would actually tap into my fibre optic plan, because we had good access. He would beam it out through a radio signal on the roof, bounce it off another antenna and hit a remote community. He was trying to address the needs of about 20 rural homes that were simply out of range. However, because of data hogs, he had to put caps on the amount of usage. The motion asks for abolishing data caps on broadband internet, but that was one example where it had to be put in place, because of one data hog who simply put all of the others off-line.
I would like the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola to respond to that.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-04 17:05 [p.28517]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-97, an honour but also a concern.
It is also an honour and a privilege to bring the concerns of my constituents of North Okanagan—Shuswap to this House and debate them as their member of Parliament. Perhaps the greatest honour I have ever known, aside from being blessed with a loving wife and becoming a parent, is to represent the people who have entrusted me to carry their issues and best interests forward, on their behalf and for the good of Canada.
We all come to this place with the intention of representing our ridings and the great people in them, and some of us are very successful at it. What I have seen over the last three and a half years is a government and a Prime Minister who have strayed away from representing the people. The Liberals have put in place a bureaucracy and a larger government with priorities far ahead of what the average Canadian's needs are. The most glaring example of that is the government's out-of-control spending, the lavish sense of entitlement of the Prime Minister and the ballooning budgets that we see year after year after year.
Bill C-97 is an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019. It is 396 pages, which is not a massive omnibus bill, but it is massive in its own right. This budget adds almost another $20 billion in deficit. This has been happening for multiple years now, with the government and its out-of-control spending.
Most people have difficulty envisioning what $20 billion would look like; a big $20-billion pile is very hard to envision. Most average Canadians cannot quite put that picture together. When I am talking to the good people in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, I explain to them that the $20-billion increase to debt that the government seems to be putting forward every year works out to about $540 for every man, woman, child, veteran, senior and grandparent. It is another $540 per year, year after year after year, that the government is taking out of their pockets.
Then I ask people if they can envision what those dollars would look like in their hands and what they could do with that money in their pockets. That is when they start to get really angry, as they realize they could do far better with the dollars in their pockets rather than sending them to an out-of-control government with out-of-control spending habits. Then I also explain to them, especially those in the workforce, that they are actually on the hook for double that amount. It is over $1,000 for every working person, because only 50% of Canadians are employed full time and might be able to pay back some of this debt the government is piling on. That is when they get really upset and ask what we can do, and ask that we do everything we can to eliminate the out-of-control government and its out-of-control spending.
Average Canadians must base their lives on what they can earn, borrow and pay back within their working years. Average Canadians understand these principles. They strive to pay off their debts and provide a starter investment for their children or leave a bit of inheritance for their children or grandchildren, whatever that may be.
In contrast, we currently have a Liberal government that thinks nothing of spending beyond not just its means but the taxpayers' means. What it really comes down to is a government that is spending beyond the taxpayers' means right now and adding debt year after year after year.
This is a government that does not believe in setting aside anything for a rainy day. Instead of leaving something in the bank for future generations, it is passing on a massive debt load that current and future taxpayers will have to pay back.
On top of this increasing debt load the government is passing on, it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars offshore. Upon joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the government committed Canada to a roughly 1% share of the bank, worth about $256 million. This will all be spent over the next five years.
When I explain this to the good people back home in North Okanagan—Shuswap, they start to envision what that kind of money could have done back home. When I talk to people there, they think of the projects we talked about in the pre-budget consultations I do every year. I go around to every community, every first nation and the chambers of commerce to meet with their boards and ask what they would like to see in the budget. I compile all that information in a condensed, concise version and provide it in a letter to the finance minister well in advance of the annual budget each year. Unfortunately, what we see in return is not reflective of what average Canadians need.
The dollars being spent offshore in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are going to build pipelines in China. They are going to build major projects overseas, but no Canadian operations will be involved in those projects. All that funding will simply go offshore rather than being used to put Canadians to work.
That really upsets the people back home when I tell them. They have requested funding and support for youth space in their small communities, such as in the village of Chase, so that their youth can have a place to be active rather than out on the street. The Sicamous community has put forward the idea of a joint project involving the community and the local first nation band, the Splatsin. They can see what these projects can do for the community and they can see the revenue generation it could create. However, those funds are not there, partly because the government has decided to send them offshore.
I have seen requests from communities asking for help in purchasing emergency equipment or in upgrading their fire halls. Again, that funding is not available, because it has been sent offshore or has been spent to service the increasing debt, as we have heard in some of the speeches this afternoon. These are debt service costs from the increasing deficit the government continues to pile on.
I have also heard communities ask for a bit of a kick-start in developing economic plans. First nations bands and small communities have asked me about this. They want to know how they could possibly get some assistance and guidance in putting an economic plan together. Again, the money is not available, because it was spent elsewhere.
We have heard much talk about the mortgage stress test. I hear a lot back home about the shortage of affordable housing. I use the term “housing that is affordable”. The term “affordable housing” rings to most people as low-income, income-assisted or payment-assisted housing. However, it is housing that is affordable at all levels that we need. I believe that it is not just in my community but right across the country. For every chance we have to move someone into a first home or into a retirement home or into a rental home, an opportunity is opened up for someone else.
Those are the kinds of things I see average Canadians in my riding asking for.
They are asking for things like highway improvements. They are asking for things like electrification for the small community of Seymour Arm, which is currently off the grid and using diesel generation to power the community. These kinds of things would really help small communities move forward and get together, but the funds are not available, because the current government is deciding to use them on lavish vacations or offshore spending or for servicing the debt.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-04 17:17 [p.28518]
Mr. Speaker, on those types of big projects, infrastructure projects here in Canada, I cannot disagree that they are worthwhile projects. However, when we have a government that is sending money offshore, building pipelines in China and spending $4.8 billion on a pipeline here in Canada but is refusing to move forward on the investment to expand that pipeline to build our Canadian economy, I say that we have a government that has failed.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-04 17:18 [p.28518]
Mr. Speaker, the member is referring to some projects the Liberals have actually managed to get off the ground in Canada. However, the bigger project, the one that would really benefit western Canada, which seems to be ignored or just kicked down the road further and further, is the Trans Mountain pipeline.
When I did a survey of my constituents in my riding, I asked if they felt that projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline should move forward in the best interest of Canada. The response I got back was almost 80% supportive. I believe that 79.4% were supportive of that project, yet we have a government that has been here for almost four years and has failed to move that project one inch closer to the goal line.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-04 17:20 [p.28519]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague on this side of the House for putting forward a question that is really relevant to what is happening here, which is increasing debt.
I come from a small business background, which many of the people in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap are from. They understand that small businesses can invest when times are good but need to put something away for those rainy days when times are not so good.
We know about global economic cycles, especially the North American economic cycle we go through about every eight to 12 years. Indications are that we are now coming to a cycle where we could be looking at a major slowdown. All the current government has done over the past four years of moderate economic growth is pile up so much debt that the cost, in a few years' time, if we have a slowdown, is going to be an increasing burden, and we are going to have no choice: We can either push the country further into debt, which is the absolute worst thing we can do, or try to find efficiencies in the way we manage government. The way the government is operating, it is harder—
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-27 13:27 [p.28041]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, there is getting to be quite a rumble. I am sitting quite close to our House leader and trying to listen very closely. This motion is very important. There is getting to be quite a rumble in the surrounding halls here.
Could we possibly ask you, Mr. Speaker, to quiet things down?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-16 13:08 [p.27933]
Madam Speaker, I would ask the member for Chilliwack—Hope to explain a little more about the situation that exists in B.C. because of the extremely high gas prices, which the Prime Minister says are exactly what he wants.
In his experience, are people driving less or more? I have seen newspaper articles explaining how people in B.C. are driving further so they can get across the border to the U.S. to purchase fuel there, burning more fuel in total but doing it at less cost by purchasing it in the U.S.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-13 13:44 [p.27673]
Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister claims that the new consultation process under the bill would be improved and satisfactory. However, I would like him to answer to the protests that have been taking place in front of his offices and outside the meetings that he has been holding over the past few weeks.
I believe he was in Nova Scotia over the past week and there was a large protest outside of the meeting he was holding there because consultation had not taken place. Fishermen were extremely upset about what was taking place and about the decisions that were being made under the fisheries minister. Again, this happened in front of his office in B.C. over the past couple of weeks.
Fishermen's views are out of line with the direction the fisheries minister is claiming to take regarding adequate consultation. That consultation is not there, and I would like him to answer to that. Why does he think it is?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 10:31 [p.27620]
Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary stated that the bill did not take shortcuts. That is absolutely and categorically not true. I have sat in the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans since the beginning of this Parliament. In fact, before Bill C-55 was brought to the House, I put forward a motion in committee that we study the process of establishing MPAs in Canada to ensure the process was open, accountable and effective.
This bill would take some shortcuts. It would enable the minister, without consultation, to establish areas of interest, not marine protected areas but areas of interest, that would allow the minister to absolutely shut down these areas for any activity other than what may have been taking place in the last 12 months, without any consultation and without any accountability whatsoever.
I would like the parliamentary secretary to explain how that is not a shortcut.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 10:33 [p.27621]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to these proposed amendments from the Senate and the government amendment to those amendments.
I believe all Canadians, myself included, want to see protection for the special areas and species we have in our marine systems, special features like sea mountains, hydrothermal vents, deep-sea gorges and the creatures and species that live in those places. They hold incredible examples of sea life, some of which I have seen as life-size replications at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia. Some of those species and replicas are so bizarre and unbelievable looking. They look like they are creatures out of a horror movie, but they live in some of the deep-sea gorges off our maritime coasts.
Those are certainly aspects that we need to consider protecting, but there are other aspects of the bill that have been equally or more concerning, and that is our coastal communities. Our country has been built on our fisheries. The cod fisheries off Newfoundland certainly helped establish that great area of the country and then it became a part of this greater country in 1949. Fisheries on our west coast helped build the province of British Columbia into the strong province it is today. The fisheries continue to be a strong part of the economies there.
Over the past number of months, since the current government came into power, we continually have heard concerns from local communities, not just the fishermen in those communities but the businesses, the people, the schools and the churches, which all rely on the livelihoods of the people who make their living off the sea. We have seen protests in front of the minister's constituency office in the past week by people who are concerned about fisheries closures on the west coast. We saw protests on the east coast when the minister visited there. Lobster fishermen are concerned they will be shut out of areas due to marine protection. We have heard concerns from coast to coast to coast.
However, we did not see that kind of protest and concern in the north, and there was a reason for that. The marine protected areas there were proposed by the local communities, the local indigenous peoples and the local Inuit. They recognized the special features of the areas and the special cultural activities that took place in those areas.
We had an incredible opportunity as members of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to do a study on the implementation process for marine protected areas in Canada. I put forward a motion in 2016 that the committee study the process to ensure it was efficient and equitable and that it considered all the processes in place, and possibly being put in place, to establish marine protected areas. I put forward that motion long before the government introduced Bill C-55. That particular study had to be set aside while we did the committee work on the study of Bill C-55. We integrated a lot of the testimony we heard both on the study put forward at committee and the committee study of Bill C-55.
In those processes, we saw the absolute importance of consultation in the process. That is the main thrust of the amendments put forward by the Senate, which are being watered down by the government amendment. The Senate looked at the bill and said there needed to be accountability, openness and transparency, which the government seems to lack. It has a record over the past three and a half years of a lack of accountability and transparency, which is very evident and clear to the Canadian public.
Bill C-55 was put forward with great intentions. It was meant to help the government achieve targets, targets that were set by the previous Conservative government, to achieve a 10% protection of our marine protected areas by 2020. We are getting very close to that, but it is because of the great work and the unequivocal consultation process that have taken place. Yes, sometimes it took five to seven years, or maybe 10 years, to establish a marine protected area, but the ones that have been put in place have been accepted by the local communities for reasons that they saw were important.
In fact, with the ones I talked about in the north, what the local communities up there saw as most important was to try to keep the outside world out of their cultural practices, the way they need to harvest beluga whales to maintain their way of life. It was interesting talking to one of the chiefs up there. He does some travel to represent his community, and he is an incredibly amazing fellow. He talked about how, when he comes to the southern parts of Canada for consultation meetings or meetings with the government, he has to move away from his traditional diet of muktuk, whale, and seal. He said that he could eat three hamburgers for dinner and still feel hungry, and it is not until he gets back home and has a feed of muktuk that he actually feels full and satisfied again. That part of life is so important up there.
That is why the creation of MPAs was put forward in the Tuktoyaktuk and Paulatuk areas of the Arctic coast. The communities saw the values, and the government agreed with those values. The government went through a strong consultation process of including those communities in deciding what the criteria should be, what areas should be protected and what the results for the local community would be as far as activities are concerned, such as what harvest would be allowed in those areas. Those are examples of what was taking place under the previous rules and the previous government: strong consultation, strong input and strong collaboration with the local communities.
I want to go back to the mention of the protests we have heard about. As the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, we travelled to all coasts of this great country. We started on the east coast, in the Maritimes, and travelled to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We talked to the people on the ground. They were all concerned for their communities, not because of closures but because of how the closures might be done. They wanted input. They know the local features and the local values of what is important.
After we finished touring the Maritimes, we toured the west coast and the north. We talked to fishermen on the west coast, and again, they wanted input. There was talk of closures of areas off the Pacific coast. There was one area that was referred to locally as “the kitchen”, because that was where the local fishermen went to catch the greatest portion of their total allowable catch for halibut. The halibut were there in such high numbers that the fishermen could go out safely in good weather, catch their quotas and come back. That area has been fished continuously for decades. It is highly productive and highly sustainable, and yet they feared it was being considered as a marine protected area. This would have meant that, rather than going out for just a short time in a highly productive area, they would have had to travel further distances to unknown territories, where the catch was uncertain, and possibly spend more days out there through more inclement weather, putting their crews, boats, livelihoods and lives at risk, all because they had not been consulted.
That is the continuous testimony that we heard, time and time again, both in the study that I put forward at the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and in the committee's study on Bill C-55.
Again, all Canadians want to see the special areas protected, but they want to have some input on what those special areas are and how they are protected. They also want to know what is being protected. That was part of what was in the Senate amendment, that the areas and the habitat and species that were in those proposed areas be identified before the closures are put in place.
Going back to the way Bill C-55 is worded with regard to areas of interest, certainly the parliamentary secretary talked about MPAs, which would still have the full consultation process in place, but areas of interest would not. The full consultation process happens only after those areas of interest are established.
Areas of interest also include closures and restrictions, whether it is shipping restrictions, fishing restrictions, boating restrictions, bottom use, and oil and gas exploration and development. All of those restrictions can be in place almost instantly with an area of interest designation.
For the parliamentary secretary to say that there are no shortcuts being taken with Bill C-55 is absolutely preposterous.
The weeks, months and sometimes years required to make sure that the multiple, complex and intricately connected pieces of MPA puzzles are put together properly are so important. It is not something that can be rushed, just so we can meet an international goal, to be in the spotlight on the international stage. Canada has led the way in this in many ways. As I have said, we have almost reached the 10% target. We reached the 5% by 2017 quite comfortably by identifying other protective measures that come into place that actually protect the features of an area.
Rockfish closures off the coast of B.C. were put in place long ago, because those areas were recognized as special spawning and rearing habitat for the core values of those populations. By allowing those rockfish closure areas to be established and reducing the amount of harvest in those key productive areas, the spill-off from those areas goes into many other areas of the ocean around the area, allowing other fisheries to continue outside of those local areas. Those are the types of things that really work.
What we have seen from the government is empty consultation, time and time again. Last year, we saw examples of how it had consulted for weeks and months, I believe, on the snow crab closures off the Atlantic coast. It established a process working with the crab fishermen to determine when the openings would take place, all in the aspect of protecting the right whale from the entanglements that were taking place. Nobody wants to see any of those deaths occurring from fishing ropes or from equipment that is in the water. Those measures were strongly valued and respected, because consultation took place.
At the same time, lobster fishermen had not been consulted. They had closures slapped on them with no notice. Basically, they were ready to go out on the water and set their traps, and they were told no, there are closures. They were frustrated by the lack of consultation by the government, by the fisheries minister and by his staff.
As recently as last year, we saw fisheries closures on the west coast to protect the southern resident killer whales. That is something we all value. We see the world value in protecting that population of southern resident killer whales.
There was strong consultation supposedly taking place with the fishing communities on the south coast of B.C., on Vancouver Island, and input supposedly being received by the department staff on where the proposed closures should be, on what time frame those closures should be and on the type of gear restrictions. All of that process seemed to be working, but then, when the fishing season was upon us, lo and behold, the fisheries minister announced totally different closures, totally different boundaries, focusing fishing pressure in a small area. Rather than spreading out the fishermen and their access over a slightly larger area, which had been proposed by the fishermen, all of a sudden everyone was constrained in a very tight area, and all the fish were coming past that very tight area.
In fact, I had the opportunity to be out there and experience this. The person I went out with said that we were lucky to be there after a long weekend. When we were there, there were about 25 or 30 boats all hemmed up against an invisible line in the ocean, drawn by the fisheries minister to protect the area north of it. There were the boats, side by side, all crammed into one small area, rather than being dispersed throughout a much broader area. However, on that day, there were only 25 to 30 boats. Apparently, on the long weekend prior to that, there were 200 boats in that same area. I cannot imagine the impact that this type of concentrated pressure would have. I have seen this in my work with fish and wildlife management. I have seen fishing and hunting pressure, shortened seasons, condensed pressure into shorter and shorter time periods. Instead of dispersing it over wider areas, it has been concentrated into a very short time frame, making the harvest that much higher. The concentration in that short period of time is so intense that it is just not workable.
We do not want to see that with marine protected areas, just to meet a target number for areas that need to be covered to meet international and not necessarily Canadian standards. Again, as I mentioned, the government seems to be in a big rush to get the spotlight on the world stage by meeting these targets by a set deadline, rather than doing it through a consultative and considered way with local communities that have a desire to meet those standards. The cases of conservation that I have talked about, the compression of seasons and the compression of areas, the intense pressure, are simply not good for fisheries or wildlife management or for the protection of our areas.
I want to get back to why the Senate brought this amendment back to the House. I credit the Senate for taking the time to study this, to see the potential risks that were there and to actually try to hold the government to accountability standards, which the parliamentary secretary seems to claim is redundant. Well, redundancy is not necessarily a bad thing. Redundancy can actually be a good thing. We see it in safety mechanisms all over the world. Redundancy means accountability and safety: safety for our communities that rely on our fisheries and access to the oceans, safety for shipping lanes that may need to go through or near an area, safety for the future economy of the country.
I cannot let the government go sliding through with this amendment it wants to put forward and really water down the Senate amendment.
There were a series of recommendations out of the parliamentary study that I put forward at the fisheries committee.
Recommendation 1 states:
That, when identifying new areas of interest for marine protected areas, the Government of Canada evaluate net economic and social values and responsibilities, including cost of patrol and enforcement in Canada, particularly for remote marine areas.
While some of this is in the bill, very much of it is left to regulations that will come out of the bill. We had big concerns with how some of these marine protected areas are going to be patrolled. That was another part of the consultation process we heard in the communities. The communities felt that often the fishermen or local guardians might be best suited to do the patrols and enforcement of those areas. Local lobster and crab fishermen might be best able to identify that a boat does not belong out there and question why it is there. They could be the reporting mechanism for that and could move it forward to the proper authorities for investigation and possibly enforcement.
Recommendation 2 of the report states:
That areas of interest and marine protected areas not be considered in isolation from sustainable fishery management practices.
That really gets back to the rockfish closure areas that I was referring to on the west coast. Those rockfish closures are considered a protective measure to increase the actual square kilometres of areas that are considered protected under the targets of 5% and 10%.
Recommendation 3 states:
That the Government of Canada acknowledge any negative impacts on people who directly depend on the resources of a marine protected area and the Minister use his or her discretionary powers to consider providing offsetting measures in consultation with the fishing industry where loss or harm is proven.
Again, the strong consultation piece is what is measured here. The consultation piece is what is missing in Bill C-55 and what the Senate is trying to put back in through its Senate amendment. Because of that, I am going to be suggesting that we oppose the government's amendment and approve the Senate amendment, because the Senate amendment will place much more accountability on the government.
Recommendation 4 from the standing committee's report states that the minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard should table an annual report to Parliament that includes a list of Oceans Act marine protected areas designated during that year and information on whether or not each established marine protected area is meeting its conservation objectives.
That has been one area where we have consistently seen the minister's department fail time and time again. The commissioner of the environment and sustainable development has issued a couple of reports over the past year and a half, very damning reports, against the fisheries minister's department. One came out last fall, I believe it was, showing there is a very low level of accountability within the department.
In fact, one of the things in a previous report from the commissioner, dating back over a year ago, was that when the department was audited on whether it had established integrated fisheries management plans for 155 major fish stocks in Canada, which it had committed to do in 1995, it was found that in 2005, 10 years later, the department had only recommitted to developing those integrated fisheries management plans.
The report that came out in, I believe, 2016, which was 10 years after the second commitment and 20 years after the first commitment, identified that the department had still not updated a large number of the integrated fisheries management plans. This was simply to develop integrated fisheries management plans for 155 fish stocks in Canada.
The department's response to the audit showing that it had failed time and time again was to develop a plan to develop those plans. It is absolutely unbelievable. The department failed to develop a plan after committing twice to do so, but it has committed to developing a plan to develop those plans. That is the type of unbelievable accountability that has happened under this fisheries minister and under this government time and time again.
Madam Speaker, I see we are getting close to question period. Do I have a couple of minutes left?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:01 [p.27636]
Madam Speaker, Liberal fisheries ministers continue to fail Pacific salmon and the Canadians who rely on them. Evidence of this failure is another layer of fishing restrictions that will put hundreds of British Columbians out of work. Instead of working against fishermen and coastal communities, the government should work with them to restore Pacific salmon stocks.
B.C. fishers and conservationists know how to put more salmon back in our streams and oceans, so when will the fisheries minister start working with the fishermen instead of just shutting them out of their fisheries?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:14 [p.27638]
Madam Speaker, I as well have a petition today from residents across Canada who call on the Parliament of Canada and the government to move quickly on the proposed legislation to ban trafficking of human organs around the world. The act would prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs removed without consent or as a result of financial transaction and to render inadmissible to Canada any and all permanent residents or foreign nationals who have participated in this abhorrent trade in human organs.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:15 [p.27638]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise again. It is always awkward when we have our speeches interrupted by question period, but it is an honour to continue with my debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-55, an act to amend the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
This bill went through the House. It went through the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, which I sit on, and was studied at great length. There were a number of amendments put forward on this bill when it came through the House and the standing committee. Unfortunately, the majority of the amendments that would have provided openness, transparency, accountability and some assurance for the local communities that could be affected were rejected.
That is why I believe it went to the Senate. They have taken a look at it and have seen that it needs to have an increased level of accountability. It is simply not there.
In our opinion, the bill was not correctly drafted. That is just a continuation of what we have seen in draft legislation from the government. It seems to happen again and again. We get a bill before the House, it makes it through first and second reading here and goes to committee, and then a flood of amendments comes in.
Just recently, I remember the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo speaking about some of the indigenous-related bills that have been before the House, drafted by a government that is high on virtue and low on substance. It actually table-dropped a dozen or more amendments on top of an already long list of amendments that were actually submitted late, after the deadline. It was amendment after amendment coming from the very government that actually drafted the legislation in the first place.
It seems to be a continuation of ineptness on the government's part in seeing what needs to be in place in a piece of legislation. We have seen that multiple times. I actually had the opportunity to sub in at the environment committee when it was studying Bill C-69. That bill was rushed through this House and rushed through the process. I could not believe the rushed process when the committee was studying that bill, especially at the clause-by-clause stage.
I actually happened to sub in the day the committee was doing the clause-by-clause study of that bill and considering all of the amendments that were put forward on that bill. I believe that over 600 draft amendments were proposed. What is even more unbelievable is that over 300 of them came from the government side. There were 300-plus amendments from a government that originally drafted the bill. To me, that is unconscionable. How can it possibly be?
It is an example of how the government was very inept in getting any legislation moving in the early stages of its tenure, and now it is pushing and pushing to move things through at a faster pace as it comes closer to the end of its tenure. I certainly hope the end of that tenure happens in October. We are certainly working hard to restore the trust and faith that people in Canada and people around the world have in Canada. It was lost by the current government.
The government is simply trying to rush legislation through, but it is trying to do this through a lack of accountability, a lack of transparency and absolute power that is being bestowed on the ministers or the councils that operate under their purview. We see that in this bill.
The government does not want to be held accountable for the reasons that it may have within its secret place for establishing areas of interest or marine protected areas. It does not want to be held accountable for any part. If feels that it knows best.
It seems to be the drive of the current government to have the government manage everything. Pay it the taxes, and it will manage everything better. We know that it is not the right way to go. We know that the people on the ground, the people in the communities, know how to manage our fish and wildlife species, resources and access to those resources far better than a government centred here in Ottawa does.
The consultation process is a huge part of what is missing in Bill C-55. I will go back to my experience travelling across this great country, from the east Atlantic coast to our west Pacific coast to our North Atlantic coast, with the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
We met with fishermen, with communities and with business owners in those communities. They wanted to provide input on where a marine protected area, MPA, may be instituted, how it may be instituted and what type of restrictions may be in place. Fishermen brought us maps with the proposed protected areas sketched out. They showed us areas where they would fish and set out their trap lines, fishing lines and long lines in a certain pattern so that they had room to work together as they fished and would not cross over each other's lines or get entanglements. They could fish in a progressive and orderly manner. However, what was happening with some of the proposed marine protected areas was that they had not been consulted on the no-take zones within those areas. They were being squeezed tighter and tighter. They were anticipating conflict on the seas, which is certainly not what we want to see, nor do we want to see people put at risk because they have to travel further or spend more time on the water to catch their harvest. However, it is that consultation that is missing in the bill, which is what the Senate was trying to put in there.
I will talk a little about my understanding of conservation versus preservation and conservatism versus socialism, which really came to light for me after I came to the House and participated in a number of debates here.
I come from a conservation background, where we use natural resources in a sustainable way. We take something out of those resources that gives value so that we have something tangible to put back in. Sometimes that can be as simple as a volunteer angler or hunter willing to put his hours back into habitat restoration, whether that be stream restoration for trout, salmon and species that might spawn in those streams or forest restoration for elk and deer. That is how they put something back, and they feel the need to put something back, because they have taken something from it. To me, that is true conservation, and I put that up against the preservation side any day.
The preservation side wants to lock everything up. There is no take. There is no consumption. There is no value received by anyone from locking it up. There may be some views or a little travel through that area, but basically, it is no touch and no take. Nothing is taken from it. What do we have to do to maintain that? We have to take from somewhere else. We need revenue to patrol, enforce and manage the piece that is preserved. To me, when we have to take from somewhere over here to support something over there, it is too much toward socialism, and I certainly hope we are not going to have to go that way.
There are other pieces in the bill that are really troubling. I want to quote from part of it:
The Governor in Council and the Minister shall not use lack of scientific certainty regarding the risks posed by any activity that may be carried out in certain areas of the sea as a reason to postpone or refrain from exercising their powers or performing their duties and functions under subsection 35(3) or 35.1(2).
For a government that claims to be investing billions in science, this paragraph jumped out at me when I first reviewed Bill C-55. That the Governor in Council and the minister shall not use the lack of scientific certainty in doing anything presents to me that they can use any reason they see fit, whether science supports it or not, to make a decision, which is simply unconscionable. I cannot support that type of power and authority being given to ministers of the Crown or their councils. The greatest part of that concern comes from foreign influence in those decisions. We see this continuously.
I mentioned earlier in my speech the consultations that took place on the closure of chinook fishing off the west coast of Vancouver Island. At the time, fishing organizations and local conservationists felt that they were having a reasonably good consultation process with the department about what closures there should be. They were working co-operatively. They were working with the department and the government on what they saw as viable solutions. They put forward their proposals, which they felt would be accepted. What they found out afterward was that there was a strong backdoor lobbying effort by environmental NGOs that wanted to see all fishing completely shut down. That pressure was behind the scenes, behind closed doors. No one knows what it was, because it was all done through ministerial confidence.
Foreign influence could affect the decisions that could be made through that clause saying that the minister does not need scientific evidence. All he needs is pressure from a foreign NGO. That is where I see huge risks in this bill. We had hoped to see more accountability in the reasoning, location and jurisdictional decisions the minister makes on establishing these MPAs.
Earlier today we heard the parliamentary secretary basically denounce the proposed amendments from the Senate, saying that they were redundant and not necessary. I would like to come to that. If they are redundant, they would be easy to step over to go to the next phase. If they showed that one phase of the consultation or assessment process covered off the concerns, when they got to the next phase, which might bring up those concerns again, they could point out, in the individual instances and cases, how those concerns were addressed. I really have a hard time agreeing with the parliamentary secretary's statements about the redundancy and the lack of the need for accountability. Everyone needs accountability from their government. I think that is why people send us here to Ottawa, to this great place. We are held accountable by our constituents back home.
I want to get back to an early draft of the legislation. The process in Bill C-55 is an attempt to speed up the government's ability to reach targets that were set by our government as targets, not hard-set goals but targets. We were working toward achieving those targets through a process of consultation and input from the local communities.
I talked about the marine protected areas that had been established in the north. I will have to apologize to the Inuit people for not being able to speak their language the way they do. There is the Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam marine closed area in the Arctic Ocean. There is the Tarium Niryutait closure also in the Arctic. Those marine closed areas were put in place because the communities wanted them. They saw what was there. They saw the value. However, they only protect against certain things. They protect against cruise ships coming in. They still allow the local harvest to take place for salmon, beluga whales and whatever the local Inuit had traditionally harvested out of those areas. It was a very co-operative process.
We travelled there and met with the chiefs and the band members. They were very proud of what they had achieved, a total opposite to what we have seen take place over the last three and a half years under the federal Liberal government. We saw a spirit of co-operation in the north, a recognition of those indigenous and Inuit values for the establishment of those MPAs. They were very specific about what they were protecting because they had consulted with the local people. The government understood what needed to be protected, what needed to be preserved, how big the area needed to be and what the risks were.
Another big part of what has taken place here is that for some of this, the moving forward with areas of interest and proposals for marine protected areas, there has not been a full identification of risks. There has not even been a basic identification of those risks. One of the things that came forward in the Senate amendments was that there would be an identification of the risks, the features and the species that might be involved in the marine protected areas.
Over the past couple of years, the fisheries minister has been questioned about MPAs, their enforcement, implementation and so on. One of the things that came out of the study we did, which was basically a unanimous report, was:
That, when identifying new areas of interest for marine protected areas, the Government of Canada evaluate net economic and social values and responsibilities, including cost of patrol and enforcement in Canada, particularly for remote marine areas.
The minister's response to this recommendation merely acknowledged that enforcement was an expense.
Last September, the minister's own national advisory panel, established to give advice on establishing marine protected areas, also recommended “That the government identify long-term, permanent, and stable funding for marine protected areas”. The minister's response to the advisory panel failed to even mention funding or resources for marine protected areas. It is unbelievable. It was mentioned in the committee report and in his own advisory panel's report and the minister did not even acknowledge it in his response.
DFO's 2019-20 departmental plan states that the department will provide enforcement in MPAs through the National Fisheries Intelligence Service, NFIS. However, the purpose of the NFIS, according to DFO, is large-scale fisheries offences, not habitat protection for pollution offences. The minister, through his department, is handing off patrol and enforcement of MPAs to the National Fisheries Intelligence Service that has no mandate to protect habitat or pollution.
There was no mention of MPA enforcement activities in the federal budgets or supplementary estimates since the fisheries committee and the minister's advisory panel told the government that enforcement activities needed to be funded. The minister knew there needed to be funding around enforcement. He was told that by the committee and by his own appointed panel, yet we saw nothing in the budget for enforcement of MPAs.
In the discussion earlier, I mentioned that local communities felt, in many cases, that they might be the best to patrol and enforce because they were on the water. They are out there anyway, performing their activities, at no real additional cost to the government. Therefore, they could spot the bad guys, the infractions, point out who was doing what at no expense. However, we have seen no program platform put forward, no ideas on how to enforce and increase the patrol of these upcoming MPAs.
It is another area where the government is simply putting out ideas and has no plan on how to follow through and complete those ideas. Without a funding plan for enforcement, the creation of marine protected areas is little more than government announcements and lines on a map. Out on the ocean, on the high seas, it may mean very little.
What is the government's funding plan for enforcement activities in marine protected areas?
I believe there were 24 recommendations from the standing committee's study on marine protected areas. The majority of those were around the consultation process that was needed, the consultation process with fishermen, with indigenous people, the Inuit and with people right across the country, on how it would affect them. I also do not want to forget the consultation that needs to take place with the shipping industry. All of those pieces need to be put together into a very intricate puzzle.
Recommendation 15 states:
That the creation of a marine protected area be founded on clear objectives, the best available science or, in urgent situations, the application of the precautionary principle, all informed by traditional knowledge contributed by the local indigenous communities and fishers that have traditionally operated in the area.
All of these pieces need to be put together. It is simply again the consultation process that needs to take place through the best available science. The recommendation is very clear, except for in an urgent situation, but still through the knowledge of the locals.
The bill has been through the House, the Senate, and amendments were proposed in the House and at committee. Unfortunately, a lot of those amendments were ignored by the government. We now have amendments from the Senate. Obviously, it saw problems with the bill. In that, we can see the bill is flawed. It needs to be improved. How the government intends to do it, I am not sure. The Liberals will probably try to push it through.
Rather than a page and a half of detailed points that the Senate made in its amendment that needed to be corrected, the government's response was to take a butcher's knife to it, send it back to the Senate, with three small bullet points saying that it needed to get this done so it could say that had achieved something, because the Liberals have achieved very little in their three and a half years.
I will conclude by thanking members for being here on a Friday to listen. It is has been an important process. I want to thank the Senate for its study and its committee that put the work into the study.
As I mentioned, even before the government introduced Bill C-55, in fact, months before, I moved the motion that the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans take a look into how marine protected areas were established, the process and procedure for establishing those to ensure the science and consultation was done. The committee did some great work on that. Unfortunately, I do not believe the government has actually followed through on the process.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:43 [p.27641]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's disagreement with what I am saying, but I certainly disagree with what the Liberals are trying to say. They have seemingly been taken over by organizations that want to shut down any development whatsoever.
As I have mentioned many times through my intervention, consultation is key on closures. However, we have heard comments from the premier of the Northwest Territories that the government, without consultation, shut down the entire northern shelf for any development, negatively impacting an entire territory and the economic benefit it could have had through that.
We have seen the benefit when oil and gas was found off the coast of Newfoundland and how it was developed safely. There has not been a blowout. Nor has there been a problem. The wealth that came into the province of Newfoundland over the past decades was mostly driven by the safe development of oil and gas off those coasts. However, the government is hell-bent on shutting down any type of resource development anywhere in the country.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:46 [p.27642]
Madam Speaker, I hope the member will accept that I will not be able to respond to him in his native language, French. I would hate to butcher it in an attempt, so I will respond in English.
The targets that were set are targets. They are not a hardline deadline that one has to meet or one would get a failing grade and get kicked out of class. That is certainly not the case. Those targets could have been met without a bill like Bill C-55. All Bill C-55 does is allow a lazy government to move forward without accountability and transparency to meet a foreign body's influence on what we should do as Canadians. To me, that is terribly wrong. We have the greatest country in the world. As Canadians, we know how to protect it, how to conserve it and how to preserve what needs to be preserved. We should not have to push through a bill that would take away the transparency and accountability of any body in order to meet international targets.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:48 [p.27642]
Madam Speaker, there was a lengthy list of amendments. I do not have them all in front of me here, but I believe there were probably 25 or 30 amendments put forward at the standing committee during the study of the bill. There were 23 or 24 recommendations from the study motion that I put forward at committee, all geared toward consultation with the local communities, the local people and indigenous nations right across the country. That was the one message we heard time and time again, not to rush this. The process that was in place, where sometimes it would take five to seven years to establish an MPA, was supported by the communities out there. That is what the recommendations were about. The amendments that were not accepted would have helped to address some of that consultation process, but unfortunately the government pushed it through without those amendments being accepted.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 12:50 [p.27642]
Madam Speaker, as the member for Calgary Shepard probably knows, his province and his constituents probably have much greater interest in this bill than they would suspect. Parts of this bill would allow the minister to set up marine protected areas or areas of interest that could ban shipping over the entire area, the shipping of products from all over Canada, and in particular the product of the petroleum resource industry in Alberta, in Calgary.
Constituents right across the country benefit from the shipment of those resources. That is the crux of this bill. It is about the unbelievable power that is given to the minister to absolutely and arbitrarily draw a line on a map and say, “That is it, no ships going though there, anywhere.” Those are the kinds of things that my colleague's constituents in Calgary Shepard and my constituents in North Okanagan—Shuswap are extremely concerned about, that the government is giving unfettered power to its ministers to shut down industry.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-10 13:54 [p.27651]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to Bill S-203, an act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts, ending the captivity of whales and dolphins.
The proposed bill amends the Criminal Code to create offences respecting cetaceans in captivity. It also amends the Fisheries Act to prohibit the taking of cetaceans into captivity and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act to require a permit for the import of a cetacean into Canada and the export of a cetacean from Canada.
The bill seems to be falling under the same umbrella, the same mode of operation of the government. It is being rushed through the House.
I was not able to attend the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans the day the bill was debated clause by clause, where amendments might be considered and brought back to the House. It is my understanding that even the Liberal government drafted and put forward four amendments to the bill. The Liberals could see the bill was flawed. They drafted corrections to a bill that had been out there for a lengthy period of time. However, when it came time to debate those amendments, the Liberals drew them back. It was speculated that they did that because of pressure from outside groups behind closed doors, under cabinet confidence, something the public cannot have access to, to withdraw those amendments.
That is a concerning factor for me. As the deputy shadow minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and a member of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, we seem to see a trend recurring over and over again. The government promises consultation and claims to consult with locals and the people who are affected by changes to laws or regulations, the businesses, the aquariums, the fishermen. After the Liberals have done all that supposed consultation, they go behind closed doors where they appear to be lobbied by foreign interest groups, special interest groups. That lobbying seems to have more effect than the open and transparent consultation process that should take place with an open and transparent government, which, unfortunately, seems to be lacking right now.
Bill S-203 has been rushed through the House of Commons, without study. In the short time members of Parliament have had the bill, many issues have been flagged. These issues range from constitutional concerns to practical considerations that have been simply overlooked. This happens when legislation is rushed through and not carefully considered. Had the members been given more time to review and study the bill, many of these problems could have been solved with simple amendments. These amendments would benefit cetaceans, Canadians and stakeholders alike.
Another major issue was flagged recently in Bill S-203, which could impact hundreds of thousands of Canadians and their vacation plans over time. As it currently reads, Bill S-203 could negatively impact Canadian travel and tourist industry. More specifically, Bill S-203 could negatively impact travel agencies and Canadian vacationers who travel abroad and visit captive cetaceans in other countries. It has been argued that this is not the case, but the legal advice cannot irrefutably dissolve this. They cannot say for certain that this is not the case. It will take a court decision to say whether it is the case.
I have a letter from Marineland that raises the concerns in great detail and I will quote from that letter:
There was considerable discussion at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans with respect to the prohibition on using cetaceans in performances for entertainment purposes and the broadness of the legislation. The section reads:
“(4) Every one commits an offence who promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive cetaceans are used for performance for entertainment purposes unless such performance is authorized pursuant to a licence issued by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of a province or by such other person or authority in the province as may be specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.”
A plain reading of the legislation offers no ambiguity. 'Every one' means every human being in Canada commits an offence when they do any of the following “promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in.”
Travel agents in Canada promote and receive money for selling such excursions to constituents of yours who then 'take part in' and many end up 'promoting' the experience on their own social media in Canada.
The exemption that is proposed in the section will not apply to the shows that today travel agents in your communities are actively promoting and receiving money from, nor will it apply to your constituents who take part in these shows and may promote it by encouraging others on social media to participate in similar shows in the future.
Department of Justice lawyers were not able to refute Marineland of Canada's contention that travel agents who 'promote' and 'receive money from' selling tickets to such shows occurring outside of Canada will not be criminally charged for doing so.
While Marineland of Canada is not concerned about this clause of the legislation impacting our facility, as we simply will not offer such a show for entertainment purposes, we believe this clause highlights the perils of using Private Members' legislation originating in the Senate to amend the Criminal Code of Canada.
We've reviewed travel agency offerings throughout Canada and have found that there are travel agents in every single Canadian province that promote and sell tickets to, and therefore receive money from, captive swim with the dolphin experiences and captive cetacean shows that will be covered by S-203.
The Department of Justice lawyer suggesting it is unlikely these people, or Canadians who urge their friends on Facebook to swim with the dolphins on their next trip, will not be prosecuted does not go far enough in addressing what is clearly a flaw in S-203.
Every single Canadian has a positive obligation to comply with all relevant sections of the Criminal Code at all times, and simply stating that while an act might be illegal, because the person breaking the law is unlikely to be prosecuted, is not OK.
If members pass S-203 with the current wording contained in the 'entertainment prohibition', you will be criminalizing the actions of vacationers from your riding who head south and participate in these lawful activities and the travel agents in your riding and Province who sell these excursions.
Is it truly the intention to leave Canadians in a position where posting about their lawful experience in another country can become a criminal offence if they encourage others to swim with dolphins when they go on vacation?
Is it truly the intention to criminally charge travel agents in your riding for selling vacations to Hawaii, Mexico, Cuba, the Bahamas and including an excursion that involves swimming with dolphins or a captive cetacean show?
As it is currently written, that is what the legislation would do and what members would be endorsing if they voted in favour of it. It will certainly be of interest—
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-07 16:04 [p.27490]
Mr. Speaker, getting back to some of the conversation over the last couple of minutes regarding B.C. and greenhouse gas emissions, B.C. is in a unique situation because of its ability to generate hydroelectric power. There have been incredible investments made by BC Hydro to improve the production of hydroelectric power through the hydro generating stations there. Revelstoke Dam is one example. Improvements were made in the flow systems and the turbines in multiple situations there. That is where we can find reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It is not going to come from a carbon tax. Everyone in B.C. still needs to drive to get to work, although there are a few in certain areas who have access to public transit.
I would like to ask the member for Barrie—Innisfil if he feels it would make much more sense to get fuel to our markets and keep our prices low so that we can be competitive and also drive those incentives for lower emissions through hydro generation and so on.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-07 16:51 [p.27496]
Mr. Speaker, I was really glad to hear the parliamentary secretary bring up the gift to Loblaws to upgrade its refrigerators. This company makes billions in profit, yet the Liberal government is giving it a handout to upgrade its refrigerators. Meanwhile, people at home in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap have approached me to ask how the government could be so arrogant and ridiculous to provide this company with millions of dollars to upgrade its fridges, when they are struggling to get by with the new taxes that have been put on by the government.
In the latest budget book, entitled “Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada's Economy”, a couple of pages describe what I believe is the carbon tax. The Liberals have hidden the tax under “fuel charge proceeds”, and they start out at about $2.1 billion this year. However, on the expenditures page, there is a matching line noting $2.1 billion going out. With respect to projections down the road, the number reaches about $5.6 billion coming in, in these fuel charges, and there are $5.6 billion going out.
How can the government possibly imagine that it can manage $5.6 billion, give out more to the public than it is taking in and still balance the books? The budget is simply not as advertised.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-02 13:46 [p.27291]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-91, an act respecting indigenous languages.
There are over 70 indigenous languages spoken in Canada. Over a quarter of a million first nations, Métis and Inuit speak their indigenous languages well enough to carry on a conversation. The most spoken languages are Cree, with almost 100,000 people speaking it; Inuktitut, with almost 40,000; Ojibwa, with almost 30,000; Ojibwa-Cree, with almost 16,000; and Dene, with 13,000. While these numbers are significant, there are languages that have been lost or are at risk of being lost unless something significant is done to retain the cultures and understanding of the languages of the indigenous peoples.
I am happy to say that in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, something significant is being done to preserve the indigenous languages of the Secwepemc and Splatsin Okanagan nations. One example of this language restoration and preservation is the Shihiya School, which is operated by the Splatsin band near the border of the Shuswap and Okanagan territories. It offers preschool to grade 6. It basically follows the provincial curriculum, but it is also integrating the Splatsin language and culture into its programs.
Another example, one I have more experience with because I have had the opportunity to visit it, is the Chief Atahm School, which is an indigenous immersion school at the western end of the Shuswap Lake area. This school was established through the vision of parents and leaders of the Adams Lake Indian Band, the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band and the Neskonlith Indian Band, which are all part of the Shuswap territory.
I have had the privilege of touring the Chief Atahm School, and have seen some of the work that has been taken up by the parents and elders of the area. The work being done is inspiring and amazing, and it is largely being done on a voluntary basis. The school has highly skilled educators working collaboratively with parents, former students, elders and technicians to put together the curriculum. The entire teaching process, page by page, image by image, illustration by illustration and story by story is being put together from scratch.
The people involved have learned how to do this, and from what I saw, they are doing an incredibly good job of it. There are elders who show up almost daily to help out. These are elders who are in their nineties, and are the few remaining people who can speak and understand the language fluently. They are working on computers side by side with technicians and illustrators. These elders could never have imagined the technology being used now to retain the language they learned, which was passed on generation after generation through stories, dance, drumming and through some incredible means. Now they are able to tell those stories and pass them on digitally, which is something they would have never imagined, as well as in written and illustrated form in booklets. These are truly amazing pieces.
The school also takes the students out to the fields and streams, which is an immense part of learning and understanding the language and the culture. When I was there, I asked if the languages were similar to Roman or French languages. They are not. The languages are based on experiences, places and geographical areas. They are often based on different times of the year. One word or sound in one language may not mean exactly the same thing in the language of a neighbouring band. It may be similar, but slightly different.
We learned that with the renaming of the Tsútswecw Provincial Park, formerly the Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, on Shuswap Lake. Apparently, in one language “Shuswap” means a place of many waters but another neighbouring area thought it referred to a place of many fish. There are such subtle differences being discovered by the recording, digitization and restoration of this language into modern forms and it is really interesting to see how that is done.
When the school takes the students out to the fields and streams it is also teaching them to harvest off the land. The students are harvesting fish, plants and wildlife. In fact, a deer is brought onto the school grounds and the students are taught how to process all of the meat and the goods off the deer. A smokehouse was also built. The students learn what the language really means when they talk about preserving their food for their future and how that is preserving their culture.
The Chief Atahm School has indigenous and non-indigenous instructors. It has brought people in from the communities outside of the bands themselves to educate the students. As I said, I was very fortunate to be able to visit the school. I was first there last year. I went back again in March of this year.
The school is doing so well and is so well supported by the community that it will be undergoing a large structural expansion. It is going to expand its inner space and teaching area so that, hopefully, it can include higher grades and all of the age levels potentially right up to university level and beyond. It will all be done through an immersion process. Many of us have heard about French immersion, but this is indigenous immersion into the Shuswap language, which is truly an incredible component. I looked at the books the school has. The students are taught the sounds by the instructors, but the words are written with our English phonetic alphabet. Some of the pronunciations were a real challenge for me. It was interesting to learn how to place one's tongue and how one's voice rolls through one's throat. All of this is part of those subtle differences of all those different languages.
I look forward to Bill C-91 making some difference on the ground for students and people in general so they can retain languages like the Shuswap language elsewhere in the country. We are at risk of losing those languages, which will be even more challenging as those members age.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-02 13:56 [p.27292]
Mr. Speaker, it really is interesting to see what takes place in this indigenous immersion school. The language is much more than written words on a page or spoken words in a story. The instructors actually take the students out into the field to experience the culture and the processes the languages describe.
We will be going into question period shortly. We have a few minutes left for questions and answers, so rather than make it awkward and stretch this over question period and into another day, I will wrap it up here, and I will take questions and comments until question period starts.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-05-02 13:58 [p.27293]
Mr. Speaker, the involvement of the community in the development of the curriculum and the illustrations of the books showed how important it was to include communities. This school was driven by the parents of the students. They wanted their children to learn their cultural languages. Involving those communities that way is incredible.
The bill begins to address that part of it, but there is a lot missing. The bill was brought in two years after it was promised. Then, at the last minute, over two dozen revisions were table dropped. It obviously was not well prepared, which is typical of the government, and there was a lack of consultation.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-30 11:07 [p.27157]
Mr. Speaker, just a few minutes ago, the finance minister mentioned the commitment to the budget bill containing only issues that are pertinent to the budget. Other members today have said that there are issues in the bill that should be in separate bills.
We have seen this in the past with the issues around the SNC-Lavalin case. There were instruments in the 2017 budget that caused all the problems the Liberal government is facing, but they were hidden in that massive omnibus budget bill that did not get time for proper debate in the House. Some of the issues were identified, but they were not debated in the House.
Here we are again with the government calling time allocation on another omnibus budget bill. The minister says that the government committed to it containing no issues but budget issues. Can the minister assure the House that there are no other issues in the bill that are not simply budget issues, because other members here this morning have said that there are?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-09 10:45 [p.26849]
Madam Speaker, here we go again with the government shutting down debate, just as it has done for the last number of days when we have tried to ask for an emergency debate on the canola issue in the Prairies.
This is an emergency situation for these farmers. They are trying to decide what they can plant or should plant and what their livelihoods or potential future could be. However, the government continues to throw out these delay tactics, moving to Orders of the Day so that we cannot introduce these requests. Today the government refused to allow an emergency debate when it was asked for, when we finally had the opportunity to ask.
Again and again the government throws up roadblocks to any reasonable debate and discussion in this House.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-09 16:11 [p.26896]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
I say it is an honour, but I really question that when I take a look at what this bill is proposing to do. I say “proposing” because I hope we can make changes to it. What we see in this bill is what we have seen in other bills and in actions by the government. Basically, they are anti-resource actions.
The first action we saw on this was in November 2015, barely a month into the government's hopefully very short reign, when the Prime Minister decided to shut down the northern gateway project that would have taken oil resources from northern Alberta to tidewater. Rather than working with the challenges that were identified in that project, the Prime Minister decided, basically unilaterally, without debate in the House and without any criticism of his actions, to shut that down.
People in the north were looking forward to those jobs. People in ports and people right across the country could have benefited from those jobs. However, the Prime Minister made the decision almost single-handedly. Was it single-handedly, or was it a decision by his senior advisers? There was certainly very little input or debate in this House on that decision.
Next was the energy east pipeline, which would have taken high-quality Canadian products, produced and refined in Canada, to meet the fuel needs of eastern Canada. However, instead of allowing that project to proceed, the Prime Minister canned it as well.
Where are we now? We are still bringing in billions of dollars' worth of foreign oil. This foreign oil is produced in countries with lower environmental standards than we have in Canada, with lower human rights standards than we have in Canada and with lower technologies than we have in Canada.
That is the type of choice the Prime Minister and the government have been making. They have been penalizing Canadian resource workers and the companies and businesses that supply the resource sector from right across the country.
A lot of people think that the only jobs affected are those in Alberta or those in the oil sands projects, but those jobs stretch far further than that. I live in the North Okanagan—Shuswap, the south central part of British Columbia, a long way from the Alberta oil sands, but it is very close for some of the businesses and workers in my communities. I visited a machine shop that builds the highest-quality parts and pieces for the oil sector, everything from pipefittings to brackets and attachments used in the oil sector.
When I visited that machine shop and talked to the managers and people there, the pride they took in the quality of products they built, because of the technology that is developed out of the resource sector in Canada, was second to none. They manufacture and machine to a higher quality than anywhere else in the world, and it is because of one thing. It is because we have a strong resource sector in Canada.
They have seen their technology work. They have continuously improved on it. They have decided to go into a niche market of only looking at that top-end, high-quality, high environmental standard, high safety standard product, because there are people and businesses all over the world competing for the 20-year-old technology that is used in some of those countries I just referred to, which have lower environmental standards, lower human rights standards and lower worker safety standards.
The government continues to penalize Canadians for being innovative, for being creative and for taking the risk. They sometimes risk millions of dollars, their personal investments and their family homes to build a business or an industry that is reliant on the Canadian resource sector.
This bill is another step in that direction. The government is taking what we had done in a previous government in reducing the size of bureaucracy, making it easier for projects to move forward still with our the same high environmental standards. Now the Liberals are splitting it up, making it so that a major project like the Mackenzie Valley pipeline would have to go through multiple individual steps all the way through. The bill would do that kind of thing. As I mentioned, Bill C-88 is similar to many other bills in some other ways.
I am very familiar with Bill C-55, the Oceans Act, and the unilateral power that that bill would give to the minister, the unilateral power to shut down activities in an area, regardless of whether there would be scientific evidence as to the effects or not. Bill C-68 does much the same thing.
Bill C-69, which has been referred to as the “never do anything ever again” bill, is now in the Senate, I believe.
Those bills would give unprecedented unilateral power to ministers to make a decision to shut down activities without it being based on science, without it being based on debate.
The other one, which we saw for the first time, was in Bill C-68, the Fisheries Act. There is a paragraph in there that says that the minister on making decisions on a project must consider the intersection of sex and gender into his decision-making process. We saw that clause and it baffled us. What does that mean in a Fisheries Act bill? We also have to wonder what it means in a resource act bill.
The briefing that we received, to summarize and really simplify it, meant that any project moving forward had to look at the impact of outside workers coming into a community, for example, the impact of growth in the community, the impact of, as I said, sex and gender in the project. That did not seem too bad, all in itself, until the Prime Minister actually was questioned on it and started referring to resource and construction workers as a threat to communities. I believe he called them “dangerous” and said that they could present a danger to those communities. We heard the outcry from people in communities where they had seen the benefits of those projects. They absolutely could not believe those construction workers could be considered a threat.
We see this trend continuing, with the government attempting to shut down anything that resembles a major resource project. Those projects are going to be needed if Canada is to continue to prosper and thrive as we move forward. We know countries with strong economies create the best environmental conditions and protect their environments better than others. However, the government seems to want to take away anything that would allow benefits and prosperity in our country. We have seen it in the government's previous budgets, in which it attempted to attack small business or attack family farms and the succession planning of small business to pass their family businesses and farms on to their family members. It would cost them as much as four times higher to sell the family farm to a family member than to a total stranger or a foreign entity. It is an absolutely atrocious attack on small business and family farms.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-09 16:23 [p.26897]
Madam Speaker, the member's question relates to the changes to the Fisheries Act. Before that bill came before the House, I had foreseen that there would be questions around the changes that were made in the 2012-14 period to the Fisheries Act. I posed an Order Paper question to the government to identify anywhere that changes made to the Fisheries Act actually had negative impact or any harm caused.
The answer from the government was “absolutely none”. The false assumption that the changes by the previous government to the Fisheries Act had decimated the protection of fish and fish habitat was an absolute farce and a manufactured untruth.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-09 16:25 [p.26898]
Madam Speaker, the references were to how the government had continuously shut down any resource or oil and gas development. The Prime Minister basically shut down any oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea and very much angered the premier of the north for not even consulting with northern premiers on that shutdown. We have seen it time and time again.
I did not get to it in my speech about how the Liberals basically shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline. Earlier in this parliamentary session, the Prime Minister stood in the House day after day and said “the pipeline will be built”. We are almost through this session and the pipeline has not even been started, let alone built. I really doubt whether it will ever be built under the Liberal government.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-09 16:27 [p.26898]
Madam Speaker, the Harper government completed four pipelines. When there was a change in government, there were three major pipelines in the works. Right now, we stand at the big zero.
I thank the parliamentary secretary very much for giving me the opportunity to correct the record.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-04-08 14:06 [p.26805]
Mr. Speaker, it has been a stretch of bad news for Canadians, all brought on by the Prime Minister and his tax-and-spend government that has delivered another $20-billion deficit.
This deficit will push each and every Canadian, every senior, every newborn, every veteran and every student over $500 further in debt. Now the government has doubled down with a punitive carbon tax, a tax that will hit hardest on seniors with fixed incomes and young families that are struggling to balance their household budgets.
It is a tax that will take money out of people's pockets but will do nothing to take pollution out of the air. I have heard from the people in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, and 90% of them are opposed to this carbon tax grab.
It is time for a Conservative government that will end the carbon tax, a Conservative government led by a responsible leader who respects hard-working Canadians, a Conservative government that will let Canadians keep more of their money in their pockets.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-03-21 1:58 [p.26269]
Mr. Chair, I moved seats between the votes, and I believe I voted twice in error. I apologize, and I would like the vote corrected.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-03-21 3:17 [p.26274]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Numerous times since we started the votes at about 5:30 or 6 p.m. last evening, it has been brought to the attention of the members that we are not permitted to eat in the House. I would like to point out that the Minister of Environment has been munching on something, maybe rainbow Skittles or something like that. However, she should be reminded again of the rules.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-03-19 10:55 [p.26115]
Mr. Speaker, I will try to keep this on the Champlain Bridge report, but the member opposite, the parliamentary secretary, has superfluous verbiage on this topic. Ten minutes of questions and answers on his 20-minute speech are not enough to cover the topics that he brought up during his intervention, and I hope other members here get a chance to question him on this.
The member talked about distraction and the attempts of this opposition party to distract from today's budget bill. I would suggest that perhaps today's budget is, hopefully, a distraction for the Liberals so that they can get away from the SNC-Lavalin issue that this member mentioned so much in his intervention. With the challenges that the government faces, over the past few weeks the Liberals have been continuously throwing out issue after issue, hoping that the public will pick up on these other issues and be distracted away from the corruption that seems to be apparent in the SNC-Lavalin issue.
The member talked about infrastructure. We have heard numerous times from across the country that the infrastructure money that is promised, such as for this Champlain Bridge project, has not been flowing, because the government has not made it possible. It has thrown roadblocks in the way and it does not have the program up and running. I question where the parliamentary secretary is going with the distractions and tactics that he has been using in his long intervention here, when this opposition party is actually holding the government to account for its failures.
Does the parliamentary secretary feel confident in his Prime Minister when the rest of Canada and all Canadians are saying that they have lost trust in the current government and the Prime Minister?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-03-19 15:29 [p.26154]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. Her riding is next to mine. We share borders, and we also share overlapping territories with the indigenous people in the area. I certainly know how well she has worked with the people of the Tk’emlúps nation and the people around the riding, indigenous and non-indigenous.
The member has pointed out a number of things. We did not get a chance to discuss the legislation at caucus. The Liberals dropped it last Thursday, before we went on a constituency two-week stretch, so we have not had a chance to discuss it.
She also brought up some serious issues with draft legislation or legislation we have seen brought to the House by the government. I turn to Bill C-69. I believe that there were over 300 amendments presented by the governing party. The party that drafted the bill had to submit 300 amendments to Bill C-69.
The member mentioned the amendments to the indigenous languages bill, amendments from the government that drafted the legislation in the first place. They just cannot seem to get it right.
I would like to ask the member if she has questions about this bill or if she would like to have a little more time to actually look at it before endorsing it or not.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-03-01 11:54 [p.26021]
Mr. Speaker, testimony that the former attorney general gave about the political interference of the Prime Minister in an ongoing criminal trial was nothing short of shocking. She said, “On January 7 I received a call from the [PM] and was informed I was being shuffled.... I will say that I stated I believed [it] was because of the SNC matter.” Her testimony was backed up by credible evidence.
Clearly, the Prime Minister has lost his moral authority to govern our great country. He must resign. When will he do so?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-02-28 22:08 [p.25986]
Mr. Speaker, what is truly disturbing tonight is seeing Liberal members across the way stand up, one after another, to defend corruption and political interference. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are watching tonight. I know, because I have messages from members of my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, and they are absolutely appalled.
I want to ask this. How can these Liberal members stand up in this House of honour and clearly admit that they support putting jobs ahead of justice? Justice is what we are here for. That is what this House is about: justice in this country.
Can they defend that, or have they been too whipped themselves and are afraid they might suffer the same fate as the former attorney general?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-02-28 23:52 [p.26001]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the intervention from the member for Elmwood—Transcona tonight, and also the intervention, previously, from the member for Spadina—Fort York.
I want to combine the two of them actually, because the member for Spadina—Fort York initially started his intervention giving quite a bit of praise to the former attorney general, her credibility and the work she had done, and believed in what she had done. Then he also stated that he supported his Prime Minister. Then we turn to the member for Elmwood—Transcona, and he is talking about things being unbelievable here tonight.
I want to combine those two interventions, and ask the member for Elmwood—Transcona who is to be believed here. Is it the former attorney general or is it the Prime Minister who denies everything that she said in her testimony, very calmly, very collectively, with credibility and with backup? Who does the member think we should believe?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-02-08 11:14 [p.25450]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not understand the damage being caused by his mistakes. He cannot or will not balance the budget. He cannot or will not follow his own ethics rules. Now he has increased taxes and created new taxes so Canadians pay more for his mistakes.
The Prime Minister now says that low-income Canadians do not benefit from tax cuts, because they do not pay taxes. Under the failing Prime Minister, they are paying higher payroll taxes and a new carbon tax that is making life less affordable at a time when Canadians can least afford it.
Our leader understands the struggles Canadians face. He has faced them himself. He has earned everything he has. He cares about Canadians getting ahead and not just getting by.
It is time for a Conservative government that manages spending properly and lowers taxes. Rather than pay for a Liberal failure, Canadians can choose a Conservative government and leadership to get ahead.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-02-08 11:43 [p.25456]
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary still has not answered the question. I want to quote the former attorney general. She stated that “it has always been my view that the attorney-general of Canada must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principles that are the basis of decisions, and, in this respect, always willing to speak truth to power.” Shockingly, now it appears the Prime Minister fired the former attorney general for speaking truth to power.
In December, Gerald Butts discussed a special deal for SNC-Lavalin with the former attorney general. A month later, she was fired. What was said in that meeting?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-02-07 13:33 [p.25391]
Madam Speaker, the member for Chilliwack—Hope was being pressured about getting the bill through the House quickly, and I want to reflect on some of the consultation that I did in the riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap. I toured an indigenous immersion school. The school is having to develop its own books and curriculum and all of its program, but it does not have the funding to do that. That is going to be a big piece of this bill and why we want to take a bit of time to look at it and the costs that could be involved.
I want to have a comment from the member on why we want to really look at the bill.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-12-11 10:53 [p.24696]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to question the Minister of Public Safety. A few moments ago, he said that most of this issue had been discussed, that Bill C-21 had been debated previously and there is only one amendment coming from the Senate. Why does he not simply let the debate continue as it should in this House so that all members who wish to speak would have the opportunity? If it has been thoroughly discussed, surely no further members would stand to speak to it. Obviously, there are more members who have concerns and want to speak.
The government does not want to hear the concerns from the opposition, so it has imposed time allocation. Why not let the debate unfold and collapse when members have had their chance to speak?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-28 23:18 [p.24165]
Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the speech from the member for Calgary Centre. I cannot believe how he can actually stand behind the Prime Minister, who has failed this country so badly with regard to Canada's energy resources and Alberta's energy resources, in particular.
We have heard speeches from across the country from hon. members this evening. I will speak as a member from B.C. about the impact it has had out there. There are manufacturers and machine shop people who work in B.C. in my area, who had been working out in the energy sector in Alberta. Now, they cannot.
The member for Calgary Centre talked about the new capital cost allowance structure. That sounds great on paper. The fact is that they have scared away business investment so badly from this country that nobody is going to take that offer. They are not going to spend money on equipment in this sector unless we get rid of the government and put a government in place that is going to put energy resources at the forefront again.
How can the member defend that?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 10:33 [p.24002]
Madam Speaker, I rise today again on time allocation called on a budget bill of over 800 pages. Should we be surprised by this? Unfortunately, no. We have a government that promised not to introduce omnibus bills, yet we have a bill that is almost 900 pages long.
The Liberals campaigned on multiple things, such as deficits of no more than $10 billion. They have broken that promise. They promised decreasing deficits over their term. They have broken that promise. They promised to return to a balanced budget in 2019. They have broken that promise. What they are really breaking is their responsibility to future generations.
We heard one minister talk about how the government is building for future generations. I would like the Minister of Finance to explain how he feels he is doing the right thing, when what he is really doing is passing on increasing debt to these future Canadians. A deficit of nearly $20 billion for each of three years is $600 of debt for every man, woman and child. Every man, woman and child is $600 further in debt every year because of the government. This is the debt load it is building.
Here the Liberals are today trying to stop debate on the bill so that we cannot point out the flaws in their omnibus bill. I would like the minister to answer. Why are they doing that?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 11:35 [p.24006]
Madam Speaker, when the member was knocking on those doors, did he mention that the government would pass on a debt to every many, woman and child in his riding of at least $600 per year? If he even mentioned that to them, what sort of reaction might the member have gotten?
It is abysmal that the government keeps passing on this massive debt to future generations who will have to pay it back.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 12:22 [p.24012]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-86, the budget implementation act. I feel fortunate that I will get to speak on this bill, but because of time allocation on this bill and multiple others by the government, many of my colleagues are not going to have the opportunity to debate it. I feel fortunate that I at least get to debate the bill and question the government.
It has been pointed out many times that the government made numerous promises in its election campaign that it has no intention of upholding. When I make a promise, I vow to uphold it, but the government seems to have no respect for that whatsoever or for Canadian citizens, which I find simply abhorrent.
Liberals promised not to introduce omnibus bills and yet we have a budget implementation act of over 800 pages, almost 900 pages, in fact. Just the summary of this bill is over 12 pages long. It is a massive bill that deserves full debate in the House, but with time allocation being applied, we will not get that opportunity. I have spoken with my colleagues who wanted parts of this bill taken out and debated separately in committee, but those requests were denied by the Liberals at committee. It is a shame that we cannot properly debate a bill that is so important to every Canadian.
I will go back to the election promises that the government made back in 2015. Liberals claim to have been elected on a mandate of what they said they would do for the Canadian public and a big part of it was to keep the deficit below $10 billion per year. That is a promise broken. Another part of the 2015 election campaign was that deficits would decrease annually as Liberals moved through their mandate. That is a promise broken. Liberals promised to reach a balanced budget by 2019. That is a promise broken. They promised to be open and transparent in their government. We have seen multiple times how that promise has been broken and we have another example of it again today with time allocation being applied to debate on this bill so that we cannot fully expose this bill for what it is to the Canadian public.
When I return to my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, increasingly people approach me and ask what we can do to stop this out-of-control spending by the government and the debt that it is passing on to future generations. That truly concerns me. There are a lot of young entrepreneurs in my riding looking to a brighter future, but we see what the government is doing with these continual deficits of nearly $20 billion year after year. Most people cannot visualize what that $20 billion would look like in a project in the town or community they live in or a project at home.
That $20 billion does not translate easily to individuals, but it creates an approximate $600 debt load per person. The government puts every man, woman, child, infant and senior in Canada further in debt by almost $600 every year. In three years, that is $1,800 for every man, woman and child. Imagine what it will cost a family of four people. It is unbelievable when people hear what this really means for families and individuals. When we work into that the percentage of Canadians who are full time in the workforce, it is probably about 25% of Canadians. Therefore, one in four Canadians is paying back the incredible debt that the government is building up.
In 2019, we are working towards electing a Conservative government, led by our leader. We are looking forward to bringing reality back to finances in Canada, so that we can provide hope and prosperity, and a future for those young Canadians.
The only way we are going to be able to do that is to try to keep them out of this incredible debt that the government keeps piling on. I cannot imagine. I have a daughter and son-in-law who have established themselves, but I cannot imagine having teenagers or young children right now and having to tell them that, with the government, they are going to be another $500 or $600 per year further in debt every time the government passes a budget. That is very troubling to me. I cannot imagine passing on that information on the doorstep.
That is what I am hearing from people when I am back home. They do not want that debt passed on to their children. Time and time again, people are asking, “How can we stop this?”
Another of the factors that have popped up in this bill and that have been pointed out is the increase in the debt servicing costs of government. It will not matter whether it is a Liberal, Conservative, coalition or minority government. It will not matter; the increased debt servicing costs could grow by up to 60% under the current government's plan. That is incomprehensible. It will mean that we could end up paying more in debt servicing per year than our current health care transfers to the provinces.
What it means is that what the government is creating in deficits and debt load to future governments is going to be taking away from something else that we should be able to pay for in the future. Whether that is housing, health care or business investment, all of those things are going to be impacted by the debt load that is currently being passed on by the government.
Getting back to some more of the promises that were made by the government and have now been broken, it promised to reduce business taxes. It has done that in some ways, but in other ways it has reached into the back pockets of business people and taken more out than it has actually put in. It did that earlier this year with the implementation of the deferred income taxes.
The government increased taxes on passive income investments. It will be up to 73% that individuals will have to pay on those passive investments. That is absolutely killing corporate investment in avenues other than their core business. Many people who had surplus income in their primary business decided to purchase rental properties, whether it was detached homes or small apartment buildings and so on. They would invest their extra income in purchasing those rental properties to create lower-income rental opportunities for individuals in the community who could not afford to purchase their own home.
I have had those individuals approach me time and time again over the summer and since, and they say they are no longer going to do that. There is no point in investing in a secondary business other than their primary investment. It is no longer feasible because of what the government is doing.
I know my time is running down, so I will try to wrap up. With over 800 pages in this bill, it is really difficult to fit in much detail about the individual pieces in a 10-minute presentation. Again, I want to stress the fact that the government has moved time allocation on the bill which, for most of our members, will remove the opportunity to speak on this bill. Again, it is deplorable that the government keeps doing this. I cannot comprehend how we are going to get past this.
We need to work together, as government and as opposition, on what is good for Canadians, but the government is making it almost impossible. I will wrap up with that statement.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 12:33 [p.24014]
Mr. Speaker, the biggest reason we have had to deal with deficits is that we have taken over from Liberal governments that have spent the cupboards absolutely bare. We come back in when the economy has changed and business investment has left the country because of the tax situations that Liberal governments have created. We come in as Conservative governments and have to put the books back in order, and so we have to take on debt load to try to bring business investment back to Canada to turn around the negative situation the Liberal governments continually put Canada in.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 12:35 [p.24014]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Langley—Aldergrove asked where the money is coming from. It is plain and simple where. It is coming from future Canadians, but they do not realize it yet, unfortunately. We cannot continue to wrack up deficit after deficit after deficit.
I came from a small business. If I ran my business that way, it would be bankrupt. If I ran my household that way, spending more every year than I was bringing in, either I would go bankrupt or I would pass on a huge debt load to my children and grandchildren.
However, that is what the current government seems to think it is okay to do. It boggles my mind how the Liberals think it is okay to pass on huge debt to future generations like they are doing.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 12:37 [p.24014]
Mr. Speaker, deficits arose with the great global recession of 2007-09. We were forced into running deficits to keep Canadians working. In fact, when we were running those deficits, it was the Liberals who kept screaming, from this side of the House at that time. They wanted bigger and bigger deficits, and yet now they want to stand back and criticize us.
Now when times are good, when the economy seems to be relatively stable and there is some surplus income, that is when most prudent businesses and governments try to pay down their debts. They try to put it toward paying off those debts so that when the tough times come, they are not in such a drastic situation, trying to scramble and find out where they can save and cut money to pay back the debt they have built up.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-20 10:33 [p.23586]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to strongly oppose this time allocation, this time limit on this bill. The minister is boasting about how there has been so much consultation and time allowed already. She talked about seven hours of debate. With over 300 members in this chamber, that breaks down to about a minute and 20 seconds per member. We know that the time for debate cannot be broken down that finely, so it will mean that many members will not even have an opportunity to speak on this bill.
I would have liked to have had a chance to speak on this bill because I lost a brother to a drunk driver. Yes, I lost a brother to a drunk driver, and this bill would cut back on the penalties for drunk driving. I will not have a chance to speak in this House because of her time allocation today. How can one minute and 20 seconds be considered fair debate for a bill of over 300 pages?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-05 14:03 [p.23251]
Mr. Speaker, this morning I had the pleasure of being present at Rideau Hall, where a constituent, Mr. Norman Crerar, received the Meritorious Service Award. Mr. Crerar was recognized for his vision and dedication in creating the Okanagan Military Tattoo.
With the help of numerous enthusiastic volunteers, Norm founded the tattoo, a musical spectacle that brings pipers, drummers and dancers from across the country and abroad to the Okanagan each summer. As a result of his leadership and hundreds of hours of time, the event is a boost for the local economy and a showcase of military and cultural traditions that is unique in Western Canada.
This is not the first trip to Rideau Hall for Mr. Crerar. He was also recognized in 2017, the 50th anniversary of his role in the 1967 voyageur canoe trip across Canada as part of the 1967 Olympics.
I would like to offer my congratulations and thanks to Norman Crerar and to his loving wife Nancy for their dedication to our community and our country.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-10-29 12:27 [p.22916]
Mr. Speaker, I have some serious questions about this legislation. It is going in the right direction but I do not believe it has been completely thought out.
Part of my concern is over the definition of bestiality, where it says that it means any contact for sexual purposes with an animal but it does not say if that sexual purpose is for human purposes or animal purposes.
The minister claims that the bill has been developed to protect animal husbandry and so on but inserting one word into that definition would make it clear that bestiality means any contact for human sexual purposes with an animal. This would eliminate any possible potential impact for artificial insemination within the agricultural community. That is one part of my concern.
The second part of my concern is that the minister claims that the term “for sexual purpose” is well used and well defined in the Criminal Code and in the courts. I have been searching since she said that and I have not been able to find that. I am wondering if the minister could perhaps point that out and also comment on my earlier question with respect to protecting animal husbandry.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-10-29 16:17 [p.22947]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-84. I would first like to mention that I will be sharing my time with the member for Markham—Unionville.
Bill C-84 seems to be another example of the government striking a valiant attempt to make a change, yet it is an incomplete attempt, much like most of the legislation we have seen coming forward from the government. Some of these previous shortcomings include Bill C-45, the cannabis bill, which just came into effect a few days ago. Even though that legislation was debated in the House and passed roughly a year ago, there still remain multiple enforcement agencies, municipalities, regional districts and first nations that agree it simply was not complete or ready. It did not give the provinces or municipalities time to prepare.
After that was Bill C-46, the bill that dealt with impaired driving, which was tied to Bill C-45. We have now heard that because of the way Bill C-46 was drafted, there is no proof that the systems in place and the science and technology around identifying impairment, which was fairly standardized when it came to alcohol, are going to be effective when it comes to drugs. Not only do we have another piece of flawed legislation out there, but we have communities and enforcement agencies trying to scramble to figure out how to deal with that.
The next piece of legislation I am familiar with is Bill C-71, the government's firearms legislation, which, in listening to its rhetoric, is aimed at reducing gun violence, gangs and so on. However, the bill does not mention gangs or gun violence at any point in time. All it talks about is registering firearms and making things worse for law-abiding firearms owners.
The most current is probably Bill C-75, an act to amend the Criminal Code. That is a bill the government introduced to bring modernization to the Criminal Code. That bill has been bantered back and forth many times, but it is now at committee stage. My colleague from St. Albert—Edmonton is currently on the committee studying that bill, and members are looking at stacks and stacks of amendments to another government bill. I experienced the same thing when I sat in on the discussion on Bill C-69, when I happened to be substituting on that committee. I believe there were 600 amendments to that government bill. The bill was 300 pages long, and I believe 300 or 350 of those amendments came from the government side.
I continuously see the government putting forward draft legislation for debate in this House that it has not thought through or consulted on properly, and it just ends up being hashed about at committee. We have seen the Senate return a number of bills to this House with amendments. Worst of all, we see communities, enforcement agencies and the public trying to figure out how they are going to manage or work around this poorly drafted legislation from the government.
Turning back to Bill C-84, an act to amend the Criminal Code with respect to bestiality and animal fighting, I praise the government for bringing forward legislation to deal with this. I agree we need to do what we can, as legislators, to bring in legislation to protect people, protect the innocent and protect animals from the abuses we have seen. Also, to protect them from the ways criminals have been able to skirt the laws through definitions, different interpretations in the courts and so on. On that point, I will give the government credit for at least attempting to do something right.
When I look at this bill, I also see where it comes up short in some cases. I compare it to an insurance policy. I think everyone here has had an insurance policy and has taken a close look at it. Some have possibly made a claim through that insurance policy only to find out that the claim is denied because in the fine print something was excluded.
We may get a chance to amend this bill in committee. Even though it is a short bill and one would not think it needs much amendment, I do not believe it is perfect and I will be talking to committee members about possible amendments going forward.
When I see that the bill includes a phrase that basically bans the fighting or baiting of animals or birds, I question whether that is going to impact our provincial hunting regulations. I have not yet been able to have full discussion with anyone to determine this. In some provinces, it is completely legal and within ethical standards to plant crops to attract wildlife, such as deer and elk, to certain areas for hunting purposes. Those are perfectly accepted standards that continue to this day. In fact, many of those standards actually improve the chances of correct and humane harvest of those animals because they are at a baiting station.
That is why I question the wording in this bill. I will be following through further on this to make sure that this bill, like many other bills the government has put forward, is not flawed after it gets through committee. I want to make sure we are protected in those ways.
Another thing that troubles me with this bill is why it took the government almost a year to introduce its own bill that is identical in most ways to a bill introduced by a member from our side of the House, the member for Calgary Nose Hill. Her bill was introduced in December 2017, and yet the government sat on it and did not move it forward for debate. The government could have had this process done by now and given credit where credit was due, to the person who brought the issue forward.
It seems to be a continuous mantra of the government to not do anything until it is caught not doing anything. We see it when we have witnesses appear at committee to give testimony. We see it in the Auditor General reports. It just seems to be a continuing theme.
In fact, I had the same experience myself. I introduced a private member's bill a couple of years ago to recognize volunteers in search and rescue situations. Just a few weeks later the government announced that it was going to create service medals for search and rescue volunteers. Again, it was not doing anything until it got caught not doing anything.
That is the case here. It is disappointing that the government has to be shown the way forward by members on our side. We see this quite often with the opposition day motions we bring forward. In fact, we had another one just last week. We put forward an opposition day motion that the Liberals could have easily acted on much sooner, but we had to force their hand by forcing the argument and putting it to them to make them step up to the plate. It is just another case of, as I said, not doing anything until they are caught not doing anything. Then they get caught in a bind and have to put out something that is not complete, not well-thought-out and not well-processed.
With that, I am finished my comments. I know I will be receiving questions on this.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-10-05 11:02 [p.22268]
Mr. Speaker, as we approach municipal and regional elections in the North Okanagan Shuswap, this month there will be one name missing from the ballot in Vernon. Through three elections in 10 years, the name Bob Spiers was a popular choice of the voters in Vernon.
I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Spiers on a couple of issues that we took on in the interest our mutual constituents. One was the recognition of our RCMP auxiliary members, The other was the elimination of GST on the carbon tax. His dedication to issues that make a difference to his constituents is something that all elected representatives aspire to.
As we head into this Thanksgiving weekend, I would like to pay a special tribute to Mr. Bob Spiers who passed away shortly after attending a Vernon City Council meeting last summer, and to give thanks to all who put their names on a ballot and do a commendable job of representing their communities.
I wish a happy Thanksgiving to all.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-10-05 14:04 [p.22297]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to get up to speak to this motion by the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake. Since his coming to the House three years ago, we have gotten to know the member and his spouse quite well. He has put this motion forward that mentions multiple sclerosis because that is a condition that has affected his household most closely. However, from getting to know them over the past three years, I know that is not the only focus or intent of this motion. He and his spouse are caring individuals and he has put forward this motion to address the multiple types of episodic disorders that exist, not just the ones that have affected his household. I give the member great credit for that and for recognizing that this is a widespread issue across Canada.
It is a fairly simple motion that asks the standing committee to look at the challenges that are out there and at what can be done to change the regulations. That is our job as legislators, as representatives of individuals right across this country who sometimes suffer severely from these types of episodic disorders.
Before anyone gets the impression that everyone suffers to a great extent, I knew the member and his spouse for a number of months before I realized she had MS. She has had an amazing treatment program in response to her condition, to the point where most people would not recognize there is a challenge for her. Not everyone has that same ability. Not everyone has that same support network. That is what this motion is looking at, bringing it to the standing committee to study it to see what can be done and what can be changed in the regulations, within the health care system, within our disabilities act and within our support systems so that all individuals can lead their lives to the fullest of their abilities.
Oftentimes, we have seen people with disabilities who are set aside. Other times, we see people with disabilities in one area who have an incredible ability in another area. I have a sister who was diagnosed with epilepsy a number of years ago. Through good medication based on good diagnosis, it was under good control. Throughout the years, she led a very productive life as a salesperson, but it was interesting how stress would affect her symptoms and reactions. She learned to manage the stresses. They managed to get her medications under control through proper diagnosis and the proper systems out there. These types of situations are more common that most people realize. There are many people in our communities who have disabilities of some sort, but because they have been able to get the support of family, the health care system, and a proper diagnosis, they are able to lead full and complete lives.
Through our disability tax credits and our recognition of the intermittent nature of these conditions and their effects as episodic disorders, we also need to consider those who do not have that full support. These conditions are not always consistent and are very hard to diagnose. How can we help those people get better diagnoses and better treatment, and better consideration when they are able to contribute to the economy at least part of the time, when they are feeling better and feeling healthy, and recognize that there should not be a light switch that switches them on and off employment insurance or disability insurance and those types of things?
As I mentioned, the member is not directing this bill specifically at any one type of episodic disorder. There are a number of disorders tied into this. For example, there are the symptoms of Parkinson's, epilepsy, and stroke, one of the most common health issues out there. Most people think of a black and white situation when it comes to stroke symptoms, but often people who are able to almost fully recover go back and forth in how well they are able to deal with their daily lives. Again, stress is a big part of reacting to these types of symptoms.
The process of diagnosis and providing support to these people can go to great lengths in relieving stress for those suffering the most and being impacted the most. I truly give credit to the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake for his consideration of this.
The challenges faced are insurmountable. Many of these diseases progress gradually. The symptoms in one day, one week or one year can change totally, either in a short period of time or over decades. It is very difficult for the health care system and the employment insurance system to adjust to the types of symptoms, disabilities and challenges presented to patients.
Putting the motion to this committee would provide the committee with the ability to make recommendations to this House. The members of Parliament in that committee could hear from people who have these types of disorders, from people who treat these types of disorders and from people who care for people with these types of episodic disorders. It is only through that type of process that we, as parliamentarians, can get a full understanding of episodic disorders and make recommendations to government on health care regulations, transfers to the provinces and how our tax system could better accommodate these people better through disability tax credits or employment programs so that those struggling with these disabilities and disorders can lead full lives and reduce the stress in their lives so they can continue to be productive.
I know that my time is running close, and we are getting very close to the end of the day and the end of the session before the Thanksgiving break. Before I close, I would just like to say happy Thanksgiving to you, Mr. Speaker, and to all members in the House, and I especially wish a happy Thanksgiving to the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake and his spouse, who put this forward.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-10-04 11:05 [p.22203]
Mr. Speaker, it is a bit awkward for me to stand to speak to a divorce bill, having enjoyed almost 40 years of a very happy marriage. Although we have had a very happy marriage, we also have a number of friends who have gone through uncomfortable divorces.
One thing that comes up, and has been mentioned as part of this bill, is child support payments. I would like to ask my colleague this. If this bill gets to committee, will he ensure that there are phrases and language in the bill to address some of the ways individuals are avoiding payments, such as by working for cash and not paying income tax so that none of it is reported to Revenue Canada? If it is under the table, it cannot be seen by the courts. I would like to ensure that he can look at wording to address that issue in the bill.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-09-24 16:44 [p.21731]
Mr. Speaker, a couple of things I have noticed in the debate today is that there is all kinds of talk about punishment or penalties for non-compliance.
About two weeks ago I met with a group in my riding, the Independent Living Vernon. It has been helping people with accessibility issues of all sorts, not just physical disabilities. However, what it is focused on is driving incentives within the community so there is an incentive for a business to be more physically accessible, or visually accessible or hearing accessible. It has worked with the city. For example, in Salmon Arm, our city council meetings are now streamed over Bluetooth so people with Bluetooth hearing aids can hear the meetings. Those are the types of incentives that really make a difference in a community.
Does the member for Haldimand—Norfolk feel that type of approach would be more suitable in the bill rather than heavy penalties for non-compliance?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-06-18 16:20 [p.21165]
Mr. Speaker, when I saw this bill, I happened to be sitting in on committee one night when the committee members were voting on over 300 amendments that were put forward, and half of the amendments came from the Liberals on their own bill. I could not believe it.
Does the member feel that the foreign investment and the investment fleeing from Canada is because of the extra regulation that this bill would put in place? Is investment fleeing because of the extra taxation that the Liberal government is putting in place? Is it because of the uncertainty that the Liberal government is putting in place? Is it all of the above? I give you a multiple-choice question; I am sure you will have multiple answers.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-06-18 16:35 [p.21167]
Mr. Speaker, there are a few things the member and I have discussed that he did not bring up in his speech, and I would like him to elaborate on those if he could. He said that the Liberal government is not listening to Canadians. However, it is listening to foreign influence, which is being driven into our coastal communities and our resource sector. We have seen it time and again. It is having an incredibly negative effect on our economy and our resource sector.
Canada was built on our resource sector. We now have a cleaner resource sector than anywhere else in the world, yet the Liberal government is shutting it down due to influence from foreign operations that do not want to see Canada succeed as a resource country. I would like to ask the member if he could elaborate more on that foreign influence.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-06-18 19:16 [p.21189]
Mr. Speaker, I have to say this is my first experience at these late night sittings. I happened to be away last week on fisheries committee travel, and put in almost as many hours there as our colleagues did here. I truly missed attending those late night votes and supporting our colleagues.
I would like to ask my colleague to expound a little more on the silos that would be created with the potential passage of this bill. In much of our work on the fisheries committee, we hear about the silos being created within different government departments, not just fisheries. We have heard multiple times about the bureaucracy and the silos that are created. The member started to touch on this in his speech. Maybe he could expound a little more on the dangers of creating those silos and different enforcement agencies not being able to share information freely.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-06-18 21:58 [p.21212]
Mr. Speaker, there was a bit of outrage on this side of the House a moment ago. I could not believe I heard the words issued by the member opposite saying that there were a lot of mental issues among firearms owners. I hope that phrase gets clipped and put out there among the millions of law-abiding firearms owners in Canada. That is absolutely insane.
What really troubles me was the member talking about having laws that make sense. We introduced common-sense firearms legislation in the last parliamentary session, and now the government is going to turn it around and create a backdoor gun registry. There is no doubt about that. The bill talks about a registry multiple times, but it never talks about gangs, violence, and illegal use of firearms.
Why is the government in the bill before us not addressing the gang violence issues and the things that really need to be taken care of, instead of attacking law-abiding firearms owners in Canada?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-06-18 23:30 [p.21225]
Mr. Speaker, I have noticed over the last few hours that the questions seem to be coming from our side of the House, and there has been a kind of hush over the Liberal side of the House. I wonder if it is not a reflection on the base that they formerly held in Chicoutimi that went rather silent, seeing a great Conservative win there, adding to our numbers here in the very near future.
I have a question for the member for Bow River. This bill does not seem to address anything dealing with gun crime, gun violence, or gang violence. It does not seem to address any of that. Have we missed something in the bill, or have the Liberals missed something in this bill?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-31 14:51 [p.19988]
Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. The Liberals expropriated 25% of a fishing quota from a company and gave it to the brother of a Liberal MP and a former Liberal MP. They claimed it was for reconciliation, but now they are being sued by a first nation.
The company they awarded the quota to does not even have a boat, so it will not be able to harvest the expropriated quota. Therefore, there is no reconciliation, no harvesting, no jobs.
Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and reverse this unethical expropriation?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-31 14:52 [p.19988]
Mr. Speaker, contrary to Liberal claims, our Conservative government initiated a process to include first nations, and I can send that press release to the member if he wishes. It would increase the total allowable catch, allowing new entrants, without stealing it away from another existing holder.
The minister has made such a botchery and ethical mess of this deal and put at risk the people and jobs in Grand Bank, Newfoundland.
Could the minister confirm that his lucky winner will not even be able to harvest its quota this year?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-24 13:36 [p.19586]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for King—Vaughan for her presentation today, but there are a few things that trouble me. I believe the hon. member's words were that sustainable development is not something one department can work on on its own. I would interject that I do not believe it is anything any department is going to be able to work on now because of the way Bill C-69 was pushed through the House two days ago. I believe there were about 600 pages of amendments. For the last half of those amendments, we could not even have officials in the room to advise the members that were debating the bill. In fact, we were not even able to debate the last half of those amendments.
I will say that there were over 126 amendments from the Liberal Party on their own Liberal government bill. Obviously, the bill came out half-baked, half-finished. As well, we have heard members of the resource sector and some from the energy sector saying that it is the “never do anything again” bill.
How can the hon. member say that all departments are going to have to work together, when the committee she chaired rammed through a bill that is basically going to stop any development of any significant type in Canada in the future?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-10 14:51 [p.19336]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries has made a sham of the surf clam quota allocation process. He unilaterally expropriated 25% of the quota from one holder. The re-awarded quota went to a company owned by a federal Liberal MP's brother, and also benefits a former Liberal MP. Yesterday, we learned that the cousin of the minister's wife will be heading the company that won the bid. With all of these conflicts of interest, is it not time to restart the allocation process?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-08 14:50 [p.19249]
Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister has defended his decision to reward Liberal Party insiders with a quota worth millions of dollars, claiming his patronage was a step in reconciliation. The bidding process was a sham and an insult to reconciliation. It is pitting one first nation against the other and the crown.
Why is the minister putting Liberal insiders ahead of the families in Grand Bank and ahead of reconciliation with indigenous people?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-04 11:31 [p.19121]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister lectured Canadians the other day that they need to make better choices and change their behaviour. Well, that behaviour change should not mean missing a health appointment because they cannot afford the gas to get there, but that is the choice some British Columbians are being forced to make with the Prime Minister's punitive carbon taxes.
Does the Prime Minister believe Canadians should be forced to make the choice between driving to a health appointment or paying for groceries?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-04 12:08 [p.19129]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition today that I received from people in North Okanagan—Shuswap and across B.C.
The petitioners call on Parliament to remove the condition of employers to attest to respecting the reproductive rights of abortion within the Canada summer jobs program.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-03 16:15 [p.19086]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam for his passion on this file. I serve with him on the fisheries committee and I know how dedicated he claims to be toward saving salmon, and so on.
I will not say that he is purposely misleading the House, but I would like to point out a few things.
He talked about a 700-fold increase in tankers. That is a manufactured percentage. He is not taking into account the number of tankers that are actually coming into Canadian ports, bringing foreign oil into the same area that he wants to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline from accessing.
The member also mentioned his swims down the Fraser River. That is a great athletic feat. He also remarked about the pipeline traversing those same areas. While he was swimming down that river, did he happen to count the number of railcars going by on the railway line right beside the Fraser River? They go through the same area. They go through my riding, past the Shuswap, down the Thompson River, down the Illecillewaet that flows into the Columbia system. All of those railcars that he should have counted as they rolled by create more of a risk than any pipeline ever would.
What are his thoughts on blocking pipelines and tankers?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-05-03 16:45 [p.19090]
Mr. Speaker, I have many questions for the member, but I will try to keep my comments short. The member might be able to work around some of these questions.
She talked about the ecotourism that is building in the areas where the pipelines may go through. How do the international ecotourists get there from other countries, from foreign lands? Surely they do not row a boat or pedal a bike. How does the fuel get to the planes that get them there? It is from other countries that produce oil with less environmental safeguards than we have here in Canada, but the Liberals are going to restrict Canadian oil from getting into those planes to get those ecotourists here.
The member did not talk about it, but the Liberal government has said that the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion will be built. It is interesting to see the member try to work around that, and yet say that another pipeline that would serve another portion of the country with greater economic benefits for that portion of the country, and a portion of her province and my province, is being basically punished for where they are. How can the member explain her way out of that conundrum?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-27 11:05 [p.18850]
Madam Speaker, today it is with a sad heart that I rise to honour the life of a friend of the entire community he lived in and served, Marty Bootsma, former mayor of Salmon Arm.
Anyone who got to know Marty appreciated his ability to carry on a respectful conversation with anyone about almost any topic. His wit and humour, along with his ability to tell a joke and take a joke, ensured lots of fun around the meeting rooms and coffee tables.
Marty also had a great sense of responsibility. He became accomplished at a number of occupations in Salmon Arm: construction contractor, baker, realtor, and, most notably, six years as city councillor and another two terms as mayor of Salmon Arm.
Marty's work in service clubs, such as the Rotary, also showed how much he cared about the people around him.
Marty will be missed by his large family, friends, and entire community. However, we can all be grateful for how he made our lives just a little richer. We thank Marty.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-27 11:54 [p.18859]
Madam Speaker, lobster fishermen in Atlantic Canada were blindsided by a decision to close off the Acadian peninsula near their homes despite having no evidence that lobster fishers endanger marine wildlife in the area. The local knowledge of Atlantic fishers is being ignored by the fisheries minister. Lobster season is set to open in three days, and we have not heard a thing from Liberal Atlantic MPs.
Why will Atlantic Liberal MPs not stand up to the Minister of Fisheries and defend the interests of their region?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-25 16:17 [p.18745]
Mr. Speaker, only the Liberals could be this arrogant. Yesterday the minister was at committee talking about how he was going to be open and transparent and how he was going to listen to Canadians. The Liberals are saying that they are doing that here today, yet here they are calling for time allocation, shutting down debate in this House because they are afraid to hear the honest debate about the unprecedented powers that will be given to the fisheries minister through this bill. He and only he would be able decide what areas would be shut down for transport, oil and gas exploration, fishing, and any type of activity in the oceans.
Why do the Minister of Fisheries, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, the Minister of Environment, and the Minister of Transport not have the jam to stand up and answer this question?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-24 15:10 [p.18697]
Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister claims that he stands with the people of Grand Bank. Now that is a whale of a tale if I have ever heard one. The minister is the one killing jobs in Grand Bank, taking away their Arctic surf clam quota and giving it to his Liberal buddies.
The people of Grand Bank have launched grandbankplan.ca to fight for their jobs, because MPs in Newfoundland and Labrador will not.
Will the minister finally put the good people of Grand Bank ahead of his Liberal insiders and support their plan to save Grand Bank jobs?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-23 11:16 [p.18580]
Mr. Speaker, my question for the member would be to ask her if she would consider pressuring her Liberal colleagues to actually take action on some of the things that have been recommended. I sit on the fisheries committee, where we have done a number of studies and reports and provided recommendations to the government, but we have seen very little action.
I would like to know if she is willing to step up and pressure the government to take action on the studies that have already been completed by this committee before we continue another study.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-23 11:21 [p.18581]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for New Brunswick Southwest for her motion and her speech this morning. It is truly a noble cause to try to save the last of any species. As she said, her original thought was to do a study on the endangered right whales. However, she eventually allowed it to encompass beluga and killer whales.
The declining population of the whale species is something we should be concerned with, and I believe we all are. We have inventories of right whales predicted to become functionally extinct within a few decades unless action is taken. We saw 17 dead whales on the Atlantic coast in Canada and the U.S. last year, and so far this year there have been no new calves sighted in those populations.
However, I debate here that this is not time for another study. It is time for action.
Before I get into the reasons for saying that another study is not the answer, I first want to sincerely thank and recognize all of the work that the local groups have put into the conservation of whales and other species.
My path to this House was an unpaved path, working with conservation organizations, where I learned that it is the work on the ground that can accomplish goals beyond anyone's wildest hopes. I applaud the volunteers for all they do—people like Joseph Howlett, who lost his life while saving the life of an entangled whale, and all those who transpose their words into actions. While I also applaud the member for New Brunswick Southwest for the idea of having the standing committee study the issue with the mandate of identifying ways to protect and recover the species, I want to point out some alarming facts.
First, as a member of the current majority government, she has or should have access to the ministers responsible for taking action on protecting and recovering any species needing help. Why has she not been able to get the ear of her ministers? Why is she, as a member of the majority Liberal caucus, forced to ask the House of Commons to support her motion to do what her party's ministers should already be doing? I propose that it is because her Liberal ministers are not as committed to saving the environment as they purport to be. We see much talk from the Liberal government and very little action.
Second, I would like to point out that while she has presented this motion to have the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans undertake a study and present a report, has she looked at her own government's record of acting on that or other committees' report recommendations?
I bring to the attention of the House the report from the committee entitled “Newfoundland and Labrador's Northern Cod Fishery: Charting a New Sustainable Future”, which had 10 recommendations, with almost none acted upon. The report from the same committee entitled “Wild Atlantic Salmon in Eastern Canada” had 17 recommendations, with very few acted upon. These recommendations directly dealt with predation, seal population overabundance, and exploding striped bass populations, which are all impacting the wild Atlantic salmon and the cod stocks in the Atlantic. The committee put a lot of hard work and time into those studies and coming up with those recommendations.
Although the member for New Brunswick Southwest may have good intentions, her efforts and our time in this chamber would be better spent if she were more successful in lobbying her own Liberal colleagues, especially her own Liberal cabinet ministers and the Atlantic Liberal fisheries committee members to have action taken instead of repeating talking points.
The member for New Brunswick Southwest has five Liberal colleagues from the Maritimes on that standing committee. I sit on that standing committee, where the members have invested themselves heavily in providing complete, impartial, detailed reports to this House, and I am frustrated at the inaction and incompetence of the government in responding to the committee's recommendations.
The maritime Liberal members on that committee, five of them, must be either embarrassed or furious, but scared to speak out that their government has ignored the recommendations put forward by the committee. Why have they not spoken out? They are failing to stand up for their constituents. Recommendations that could help recover Canada's northern cod stocks, recommendations that could help recover wild Atlantic salmon, recommendations that could provide economic benefits for Canada's indigenous and non-indigenous peoples were all derived by our hard-working committee members and cast aside by a Liberal government that is becoming exposed as all talk and little action.
Speaking of the hard work on our committee, we are currently in the process of doing three different studies. One of them was approved over 16 months ago and its first meeting was held over one year ago. This motion's deadline would further delay those studies. I hope that the studies we are completing now will come up with recommendations for the government through this House and that those recommendations will be followed. That is why I have caution about what we are doing here. I do not oppose doing a study, but I am opposed to doing a study, making recommendations, and having a government not follow through on those recommendations.
As I have said, we have recommendations in these reports that I want to quote from:
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada support a grey seal harvest program that emphasizes full utilization of the seal to provide economic opportunities with an aim to significantly reduce the seal populations and enhance the recovery of wild Atlantic salmon populations.
We still have yet to see any action on that.
From the report on northern cod, we had another recommendation that we:
Ensure careful management for prey availability, especially capelin, and factor in ecosystem considerations like habitat protection and climate change
and
That, Fisheries and Oceans Canada implement management practices to deliver the greatest value from the resource with the lowest impact on stocks.
These are the types of recommendations that the committee put a lot of hard work into, and I commend all the members on that committee. We truly worked together to come up with significant, respectful recommendations. As we move forward through the debate on this issue, I hope that the government is listening and that the importance of these recommendations and government action on those recommendations comes through, because it is disheartening as a member of Parliament and as a member of the committee to put that hard work in and not have it heeded.
As I said, we are currently working on a number of motions and studies on the fisheries committee. Those studies tend to get waylaid and set aside as other things pop up that seem to be more important or more urgent. I do not know if there is anything more important than protecting a species that is possibly at the brink of no return. Therefore, while I do not oppose this motion, I would like to move that the motion be amended by deleting the words “within four months of the adoption of this motion”. That is so that we can have time to complete these other studies and that we are not set at a deadline for a time to complete this study, because it may take more than four months. I would prefer that we not be limited by a set timeline, so that the committee can continue to do good work and provide good recommendations that will be heeded by the government.
As such, I move that the motion be amended by deleting the words “within four months of the adoption of this motion”.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-23 15:01 [p.18609]
Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister expropriated 25% of the Arctic surf clam quota, and then awarded it to Liberal insiders, insiders with no company, no indigenous partners, no boats and no plan, just Liberal connections.
Since their own MP is not standing up for them, the people of Grand Bank have launched a campaign to save their jobs, at grandbankplan.ca.
Will the government finally put the people of Grand Bank above Liberal insiders and support their plan to save their community?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-04-23 15:21 [p.18612]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition, signed by hundreds of members from my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, stating that the revised application process for the Canada summer jobs program denies citizens rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to remove the condition on employers to attest to reproductive rights and abortion within the 2018 Canada summer jobs program application.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-03-27 12:41 [p.18140]
Mr. Speaker, I cannot help but think this is just an attempt to change the channel by the government. We will not even be allowed one full day of debate on a bill that was just introduced last week.
The public is barely starting to find out about this and realizing that the government is creating a gun registry again. The parliamentary secretary claims not, but how else can the bill refer to a registrar and that transfer authorizations need to be obtained from the registrar? That transfer authorization would have a number attached to it. A record of all the transactions and sales by firearms businesses would need to be kept for 20 years and be available on demand.
How can the parliamentary secretary claim that this is not just a renewed gun registry?
Results: 1 - 100 of 256 | Page: 1 of 3

1
2
3
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data