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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-06-21 14:54 [p.29473]
I have the honour to inform the House that when this House did attend Her Excellency this day in the Senate chamber, Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the royal assent to the following bills:
C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms—Chapter 9.
C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada—Chapter 10.
S-203, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (ending the captivity of whales and dolphins)—Chapter 11.
C-82, An Act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting—Chapter 12.
C-59, An Act respecting national security matters—Chapter 13.
C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence—Chapter 14.
C-77, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 15.
C-78, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act—Chapter 16.
C-84, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bestiality and animal fighting)—Chapter 17.
C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 18.
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—Chapter 19.
C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis—Chapter 20.
C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020—Chapter 21.
C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act—Chapter 22.
C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages—Chapter 23.
C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families—Chapter 24.
C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 25.
C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast—Chapter 26.
C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act—Chapter 27.
C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 28.
C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures—Chapter 29.
It being 2:55 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).
(The House adjourned at 2:55 p.m.)
The 42nd Parliament was dissolved by Royal Proclamation on September 11, 2019.
Aboriginal languagesAboriginal peoplesAccess for disabled peopleAccess to informationAdjournmentAgriculture, environment and natural res ...British ColumbiaBudget 2019 (March 19, 2019)C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tarif ...C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majest ...C-48, An Act respecting the regulation o ...
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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 Celina Caesar-Chavannes Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Celina Caesar-Chavannes Profile
2019-06-20 10:13 [p.29464]
, seconded by the member for Vancouver Granville, moved for leave to introduce Bill C-468, An Act to amend the Employment Equity Act.
She said: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great honour to present this bill in what will be my last act as a member of Parliament.
I would first like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Mark Warawa, and the community of Langley—Aldergrove. His last speech in this place will be remembered as one of my favourites.
I want to thank the member for Vancouver Granville, a woman I am very proud of and will always continue to stand with.
I want to thank the members of the Liberal government and the NDP for supporting this bill from the outset, and particularly the members for Portage—Lisgar and Oshawa who helped and guided me through this process to get this bill here today. I want to thank Jacqueline Yost, legislative counsel; and the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel for all of their help in getting me here.
I came to this place to be a voice for all the people I represent, to raise awareness on issues, to move the status quo and to remove barriers.
This bill represents the voices of those both past and present in the federal system. It is my hope that it will examine and help remove the barriers that prevent them, especially those from the black community, from achieving success and promotion within the system. Their voices are reflected in this bill, and it is my honour to bring their voices to this place.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2019-06-19 15:59 [p.29400]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-463, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (orders of prohibition and orders restricting publication).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce Bill C-463, putting victims first. While the Criminal Code guides our justice system, sometimes it does not necessarily put victims at the heart of it.
With this bill, we would like to change section 161 to protect children up to age 17. Currently, it only protects them to age 15.
We would also like to establish a method to allow a victim to remove the publication ban on his or her own name. I am thinking in particular of the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, a young girl from the east coast who committed suicide and was subsequently the subject of an investigation. Later on, after it was cleared up, her family was unable to speak about the case because there was a publication ban. The bill would allow her family to lift the publication ban without having to go to court.
The last piece of the bill would put a reverse onus bail restriction on people who have trafficked other people.
I think all three proposals are common sense. I look forward to reintroducing the bill in the upcoming Parliament and to seeing it pass forthwith.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-06-19 16:07 [p.29401]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-466, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (disclosure of information to victims).
She said: Mr. Speaker, this is the first time in 11 years I have had the honour of being able to table a private member's bill in this place. I thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to do so.
Today I am introducing a private member's bill because very often, victims of crime, such as Lisa Freeman and her family in Oshawa, Ontario, are caught off guard when they are notified that an offender is eligible for forms of parole before the 25 years indicated on the certificate of conviction.
I believe that it is the responsibility of government to ensure that victims of crime are treated with the utmost respect and dignity. This legislation would require that information regarding review and eligibility for all forms of parole be communicated, in writing, to the offender's victims. The written documentation would also require an explanation of how those dates had been determined.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2019-06-17 15:52 [p.29195]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-461, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Judges Act (trafficking in persons).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the many advocates and community partners that helped us in the creation of this bill. The issue was brought to my attention by a constituent of mine, Darla, who, as a survivor of human trafficking herself, notes how dire the situation is. As my colleague, the member for Peace River—Westlock, has stated before, human trafficking is happening within 10 blocks of where one lives.
This private member's bill is a product of meaningful consultation with many of our community partners from Oshawa, including the Durham Region Human Trafficking Coalition, Durham Regional Police and its human trafficking unit, Victim Services of Durham Region and many more.
I want to introduce this to my fellow colleagues as an non-partisan issue. Many ridings along the border and our highways are facing a rise in human trafficking. This is an issue on which we all agree we can do better as a country. Human trafficking does not discriminate, and as a father, I want to ensure that our country is a safer place for our children.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-14 12:19 [p.29132]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-458, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing principles – remote emergency medical or police services).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Red Deer—Mountain View for seconding my bill.
My bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code by providing for changes that evidence that an offence was directed at a person or property that was vulnerable because of the remoteness from emergency or medical or police services be a factor when considering sentencing. Rural Canadians are particularly vulnerable right now. Statistics Canada, police reports, all the information points to the fact that rural Canadians are specifically being targeted by criminals.
If my bill is passed it would ensure that criminals will face longer times in jail for purposely targeting rural areas, contrary to Bill C-75, which would just speed up the revolving door, which is a hot button issue in my riding and for all rural Canadians, many of whom are tired of being repeat victims.
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
CPC (ON)
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2019-06-13 17:31 [p.29087]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to Bill C-331, which was brought forward by the member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
I will talk about the bill and what it purports to do, and then I want to talk about the state of the nation in terms of the Federal Court system, because this bill proposes to make changes there.
The bill's intent is “[to amend] the Federal Courts Act to provide for the jurisdiction of the Federal Court over civil claims brought by non-Canadians in respect of alleged violations outside Canada of international law or a treaty to which Canada is party.”
The intent of the member who brought forward this private member's business was to address instances where, for example, Canadian companies operating in other jurisdictions are not being good corporate citizens and are violating in some way the human rights of individuals there.
In the member's speech, which I reviewed, he had a number of examples of companies. A lot of them were mining companies, such a Nevsun Resources, which had a gold, zinc and copper mine in Eritrea, where there were allegations of forced labour, slavery and torture of workers. Another case was the one of Hudbay Minerals in Guatemala, where people were shot and killed. The intent of this bill is to allow people who may not be Canadians and who have had things happen to them outside of Canada to come and use the Canadian Federal Court system to pursue civil actions.
The issue I have with that, first of all, is that the Federal Court system, as it is today, under the current Liberal government, is in tatters. The former justice minister did not appoint a sufficient number of judges, so court cases were backed up and there was a huge logjam. As a result of that, many murder cases and rape cases were being tossed out of court because they had been in the queue for more than two years, and according to Jordan's principle, these people, guilty of heinous crimes, have gone free.
The government has continually eroded the execution of justice in Canada with a weakening of the rules. The government introduced legislation such as C-75, which took some very serious crimes, such as the forcible confinement of a minor, and reduced them to summary convictions, which means a penalty of less than two years or a fine. There was a whole list of charges in that bill that took serious crimes and brought them back to something that was minor in nature. I would argue that a fine for the forcible confinement of a minor is like a slap on the wrist for something that I think all Canadians would agree is heinous.
We also saw the situation with Tori Stafford's killer, Terri-Lynne McClintic, who, even though she viciously participated in the murder of a child, was allowed to go to a healing lodge, where there was no security and she was in the presence of parents who had their children with them when they came to work.
I am concerned that we need to strengthen our Federal Court system as it stands today, not weaken it, and the Liberal government has not done that. I am concerned that if we open it up to non-Canadians in other countries, they would come and bring an extra caseload of court cases to a court system that is arguably already under stress and not delivering. There are Canadian crimes that we are not able to adequately prosecute on time. That is a real difficulty.
Within the bill, there are 17 different types of cases that could be brought forward. I will go through a few of these and talk about incidents that have occurred during the 42nd Parliament, to give members an idea of the volume of these cases that could come before the Federal Court.
First on the list is “genocide”, which everyone knows is a very serious crime. If we think about some of the genocides that have happened during this Parliament, the Yazidis come to mind. Yazidi women were brought to Canada after the genocide where those people were exterminated by ISIS terrorists. That is one. There are still outstanding actions to be taken on Rwanda. That is another genocide that could come our way.
Another item on the list is “slavery or slave trading”. Human trafficking of someone under 18 is also on the list. Human trafficking is a huge issue in Canada. In my riding of Sarnia—Lambton, which is a border city, we see a huge amount of human trafficking happening. There is an actual network between Sarnia and Toronto that couriers people, and not just people from out of the country. Young Canadian boys and girls are lured into this and trapped in that lifestyle for years. There is no doubt that it is a heinous crime, but when I think about the number of these cases in Canada today and the fact that we do not have the resources to adequately prosecute our own, I am concerned about opening that up to the rest of the world.
Any “extrajudicial killing or the enforced disappearance of a person” is on the list. Let us think about the Saudi Arabian journalist who was exterminated. Let us think about the two Canadian men who were killed in the Philippines.
Also on the list is “systemic discrimination”. This opens it way up. When I was the chair of the status of women committee, we had visits of people from countries all over the world where women were being systematically discriminated against. They came to see what we were doing here in Canada. Some would argue that we are still seeing systemic discrimination within our own country. LGBTQ is another group that sees a lot of systemic discrimination across the world. If all of those cases came and flooded our courts, we would be very busy indeed.
The human rights violations that we are seeing right now in Hong Kong come to mind. There are 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, and the Chinese government is trying to bring in extradition rules that would allow it to take anyone from Hong Kong and bring him or her to China. I am very concerned that if this bill came into force, there might be a lot of non-Canadians who would want to take advantage of the Canadian court system to pursue some civil charges there as well.
Child soldiers are another item on the list. We know that in every battle we are seeing from ISIS, child soldiers are being raised up. We see that in a bunch of the wars that are happening in Africa and similar places. That would open it up to a huge number of people, as well, who may want to take action and get some civil reward from the Canadian court.
“Rape” is also on the list. Rape is rampant in Canada. The data says that one in three Canadian women will experience sexual violence during her life. When we think about how many cases we have, and how many of those are being kicked out of court, we really do not have the capacity to take others on.
“Forced abortion” and “forced sterilization” are on the list. We heard testimony today at the health committee about forced sterilization and the thousands of women in Canada who are undergoing this. It is horrible, but, once again, there are lots of cases of our own to take care of.
Issues like pollution have been put on the list. Let us think about plastics pollution by non-Canadians. We know that 95% of ocean pollution is happening from eight rivers in Asia and two in Africa. Again, that is a huge volume of complaints that could be brought forward.
“Environmental emergency” has been added. That could be like the climate emergency that the Liberals brought in debate. The debate was never brought back, so it must have been a non-urgent emergency. Climate emergencies and environmental emergencies like that could also make the list.
I know the member was well-intentioned in bringing the bill forward and wanting to address those Canadian corporations, for example, but the bill needs to be narrower in scope, and I do not think we have the capacity in the Federal Court system. I would encourage the government of the day, or, on October 21, the Conservative government, to restore the federal justice system.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Rob Nicholson Profile
2019-06-10 11:16 [p.28781]
Mr. Speaker, I am rising in the House to speak to Bill S-203. Despite good intentions, this legislation is flawed in its current form. It should come as no surprise that there are many issues with this bill. In the short time it has been before the House for consideration, one of the major problems identified is an English-French language conflict in the text of the bill.
As we all know, Canada is a bilingual country. Our two official languages are French and English, and all legislation drafted and passed in Parliament reflects this. Anyone who has ever read these documents knows that the English text is on the left side, while the French text is on the right. We also know that Canadian laws and legislation must be applied in the same manner for all Canadians, regardless of language. This is fundamental for ensuring a fair justice system, which is key to our democracy. Otherwise, it would be grossly unfair and inhumane for a state to subject its citizens to different laws and penalties based on the language they speak. I hope in this place, and across Canada, we can all agree on that.
That is why I believe the mistake in Bill S-203 was an unfortunate oversight made by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Issues like this are more likely to happen when legislation is rushed through the process without being subject to a thorough study. As members may know, Bill S-203 was given only two meetings before it was pushed ahead without amendment.
It began on March 18, 2019. In a meeting of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, the government member from Miramichi—Grand Lake identified an important and significant language conflict in the text of Bill S-203. The following is a quote from the Evidence, as the member questioned a department official on this issue:
Another thing that would need to be clarified for me is clause 4 of Bill S-203 to prohibit the importation to Canada of living cetaceans as well as cetacean tissue or embryos, subject to a special permit. Apparently the English text of the clause refers to permits issued pursuant to proposed subsection 10(1.1) of WAPPRIITA [the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act] while the French version of the text is silent on the type of importation permit required. That sounds very odd. I wouldn't know of any other piece of legislation in which the French version would be different from the English version.
The departmental official replied, “I am not completely sure about the two clauses you are referencing. I haven't done a comparison of the English to the French so I don't have a response for you on that.” In response, the member asked, “Do you think we should clarify that?” The departmental official replied, “It would be important to make sure that the intent in both the English and the French is the same.”
Interestingly, it was a member of the current government, from a bilingual province, who flagged this critical language concern. It is also interesting how the department official stressed the importance of getting the language right.
The story does not end there. It continues.
On March 26, 2019, the Honourable J.C. Major, a former Supreme Court justice, penned a letter to all members of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. He, too, identified the same language conflict as the member did. However, rather than merely stating his concern, he elevated the issue to be a constitutional matter. In addition to that, he informed the committee that this part requires amendment.
This is what the Honourable J.C. Major wrote to the members of the committee in his letter:
I have reviewed the proposed Section 7.1 which is scheduled as an amendment to Bill S-203 of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection Regulation of International and lnterprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).
In addition I have reviewed the French to English and English to French review certified by...ABCO International which on review concludes that the wording of Section 7.1 between the French and English version is starkly different. The question raised is whether the difference is so material that compliance is affected. In my opinion the differences are material and confusion is inevitable and an amendment is the only remedy that will clarify the intent and purpose of Section 7.1.
Canada, by virtue of the Federal Government's legislation, confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada and evidenced by the Charter of Rights, is officially bilingual. In addition, under S.18 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Part 1 of the Constitution Act 1982), both English and French are made equally authoritative.
Given that both languages are authoritative and that differences between the French and English drafting of Section 7.1 are materially different, it is apparent that revisions by way of amendment of that section would by its uniformity confirm Parliament's intention as the section would then be clear to parties affected by it and invaluable to the judiciary.
The latter consideration is important as explained below as case law is replete with decisions evidencing the difficulty the courts in all provinces have from time to time reconciling statutory conflicts and either succeeded in doing so or entering an acquittal.
Section 7.1 of Bill S-203 is an enforcement provision under the Act. Given the conflict in the English and French versions of the proposed legislation its passage without a clarification amendment would, in the event of an illegal violation and subsequent prosecution, present a dilemma to the court. An obvious example being that an application under the English version would be required to meet the conditions set out in s. 10(1.1) whereas an application adhering to the French version would not. In the result the same law would be different depending on the site of the application. Should a charge be laid under the proposed Section 7.1 the difficulty described would be left to the court then to attempt a reconciliation of the conflict in the language and if not possible to strike down the section and order an acquittal.
The foregoing is a brief response to the difficulties that are inevitable if there is no amendment clarifying the intent of the legislation.
It is of value to consider the unequivocal recommendation number 35 of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada which concluded “the English and French versions of a bilingual Act must be identical in substance”.
My observation is that the member and the former Supreme Court justice both share the same concern: There is a language conflict in the bill's text. That common ground should be encouraging. However, what happened next in the committee at clause-by-clause was anything but. My party brought forward two amendments. One would make the English text read the same as the French, and the other would make the French text read the same as the English. Both amendments were rejected by the government, and Justice Major's legal opinion was ignored.
My second observation at committee was about the four government amendments that the member for Miramichi—Grand Lake suddenly withdrew at clause-by-clause. The withdrawals came as a surprise to the opposition members, because they were sensible amendments. Their intent was largely to coordinate Bill S-203 with the Liberals' own Bill C-68, which I can understand. Both bills share overlapping objectives, and if both were to pass, their implementation could clash or create confusion. In short, it made little sense for the member to make those withdrawals, especially when the changes were responsible ones that the Conservatives were prepared to support.
Here we are then. This is the second hour of third reading of Bill S-203. This bill is flawed. A former Supreme Court justice was called in. Bill S-203 is a constitutional challenge in waiting, and the scariest thing is that this bill is about to come into force.
This is as good a time as any to remind all members of the House that it is our responsibility as parliamentarians to ensure that the bills we pass are constitutional and legally sound.
Given the government's majority position, this decision ultimately weighs on the Liberal government to do what is right. It must act in the best interests of Canadians. That action is passing legally sound and constitutional legislation.
So here we are, at the second hour of third reading debate. The bill, in its current form, is flawed. A former Supreme Court justice has weighed in on the constitutionality, and those changes needed to be made. Now is a good time to remind all members of the House that it is our responsibility as parliamentarians to ensure that all laws we pass are constitutional and legally sound.
Given these reasons, I hope the government reconsiders its position on Bill S-203.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-10 11:35 [p.28783]
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that I rise today to speak to Bill S-203, which on its surface seems to be popular and appeals to the emotional drives behind it. Like many Canadians, I have seen cetaceans in captivity at places like SeaWorld and the Vancouver Aquarium; and at places like Marineland, where personally I have never been. I just want to put this in context.
This bill is designed to shut down one business in Canada. There is only one business in Canada actively pursuing or using cetaceans right now for the purpose of entertainment. That is what I want to talk about in this bill.
I am not against the notion that, if Canadians are by and large against having cetaceans in captivity, we can have that conversation. Of course we can have that conversation. It is the approach that this piece of legislation is taking that concerns me. It concerns me because I am a hunter and an angler. I am a guy who grew up on a farm and used animals every day at every stage and walk in my life. I am a guy who represents two areas of my constituency. One area hosts the Ponoka Stampede and one area hosts the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer.
I am also a conservationist. I have a zoology degree. I am pretty sure the guys who are laughing at me right now probably do not. I am going to ask that they just sit and think about this for one second. Many scientists appeared before the committee in the Senate and the committee in the House of Commons. They were people with not just bachelor of science degrees in zoology but with Ph.D.s. They were very concerned by the precedent that this piece of legislation would set. I asked the question in the committee whether we could end cetacean captivity in Canada in a simpler way, such as by just ending the permits of this particular business. We could do that by making a small change to the Fisheries Act and to the plant and animal transfer act.
However, this bill would change three things. It would change the Criminal Code of Canada and would do some interesting things. The bill is not about how humans handle animals or about the welfare or treatment of animals in people's care. The bill would, for the first time ever, make it a criminal act in Canada to keep an animal in captivity. That is the first time in our legislation anywhere that having an animal in captivity would be considered an illegal act. It would be illegal in the Criminal Code of Canada to breed animals, and these particular cetaceans—
An hon. member: Oh, oh!
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-10 11:38 [p.28784]
Mr. Speaker, all I am asking for is the same respect I granted the speakers from other political parties while I sat and listened to them.
The problem, as I and the people I represent see it, is with the Criminal Code amendments as well as the follow-through and execution of this piece of legislation, which creates a framework and structure whereby anybody can add onto that by simply adding a comma into the legislation and saying that horses can no longer be kept or used for breeding or for purposes of entertainment. I am not saying that is going to happen, but the structure is actually there in the legislation to do it. One has to ask the question why this would need to be done. Why do we need this sledgehammer in legislation to effect the change we are looking for?
We are known by the company we keep. If we look at the organizations that are publicly and vocally expressing support for this bill, we see they call for the end of things like rodeos, fishing, eating animals and raising animals on a farm. These organizations, like Animal Justice and some SPCAs, call for these kinds of things. This is the company that this piece of legislation is keeping.
As I said, I am actually okay with it. I understand the science behind cetaceans and that not all cetaceans do well in captivity, but we also have to be logical. We have to think with our heads too about whether this is the right way to go. I will give an example. Dr. Laura Graham, who has a Ph.D., testified at committee and said there is no actual definition of cruel anywhere in this bill. As I said, it would create new definitions. For the very first time, it would make it illegal and criminalize the breeding of animals. This is something that is a very dangerous precedent for anybody involved in animal husbandry or any of these industries.
Dr. Laura Graham says that the definition of cruel is not anywhere in this bill, and as a scientist, she finds the lack of objective assessment troubling. She has also observed that the people pushing this bill are dismissing the importance of zoos and aquariums in educating the public and eliciting a concern for conservation and saving the planet.
As a matter of fact, she highlighted a very specific case about Vaquita dolphins down in the Gulf of Mexico, of which there are about 10 left; that is all that is left. If we were to use the facilities in Vancouver, Marineland and various SeaWorld installations as something other than entertainment, but rather as a conservation tool, through captive breeding programs we could potentially some day get to the point where we could release a viable population of Vaquita dolphins back into the wild.
I will get back to Dr. Graham in a second. When I was talking to Senator Sinclair at committee, I asked him about this notion of going to a national park, for example. Where I live in Alberta, there is a park called Elk Island National Park, which is not the typical national park that people think of when they go to national parks in their neighbourhoods. Elk Island National Park is a completely fenced-in enclosure. It is a captive facility for the purpose of breeding and population enhancement. People buy a park pass and go in there for the purpose of seeing that wildlife. They may have other purposes, but make no doubt about it, they go there to see the elk and the bison. There has just been a relatively successful, depending on the standards one wants to measure it by, reintroduction of bison into Yukon. There has been reintroduction of bison into Banff National Park, which would not have happened without the captive facility and the breeding program that went with it to re-establish this population.
The whole argument behind getting rid of cetacean captivity is an emotional one. I get it. Look, I have those same convictions when I look at animals in captivity as well. As a guy who goes hunting and fishing and sees all kinds of things in the wild, I get those same heartstring tugs that everybody else gets. I am not some cold and cruel individual. I get the arguments. However, as a conservationist, I also know that we need to make use of every tool available to us in order to help reintroduce wildlife lost through bad practices or mismanagement. Not everybody in the world does things as well as Canada, and we do not do some things all that well either.
However, we have an opportunity to ask ourselves if this bill is actually going to do more harm than good in the long run. It is the same emotional tug that wants us to end the captivity of whales and dolphins that never would have created these facilities in the first place. The City of Vancouver made the choice to end cetacean captivity for the purposes of entertainment without needing this big piece of legislation to do it, yet that facility is still used for rescue and rehabilitation of cetaceans.
It could just as easily use that facility to save a population of belugas, such as the population of belugas in the St. Lawrence Seaway. We know from the experience at Marineland that belugas are actually breeding quite well there. This legislation would be for the express purpose of making that breeding impossible or illegal, actually to the point that someone could go to jail for it. What is that going to do? It is going to split up that family pod at Marineland. It is going to separate the males from the females, and it is going to create the exact same issue that others are arguing captivity is causing in the first place. It is going to create divisiveness and stress in those families.
We know that belugas in captivity are quite successful at breeding. They have a very high success rate. They have a very high birth rate and a very high survival rate. We have populations of belugas right now in the world that are in trouble. If we do not get the environmental conditions right in nature, in the wild, before those populations are actually gone for good, we would have an opportunity to save those genetics. We could actually use the revenue from letting people come and watch them to help the science and research and help that captive breeding program do more good than harm in this particular case.
That is what I am asking my friends in the House to consider. Yes, it is going to be very popular to vote in favour of this bill. We have Free Willy and Blackfish and others movies that create the desire to do what we think is right.
Dr. Laura Graham talked about Dr. Jane Goodall. She had the same feeling about keeping chimpanzees in captivity, and then she changed her mind. As the habitat was encroaching on the natural range of these chimpanzees, as she saw how zoos and other captive facilities were treating these animals and as research and knowledge expanded, she changed her mind. I am simply asking my colleagues to at least consider that before passing this flawed legislation.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-455, An Act to amend the Competition Act and the Bank Act (reduction of administrative burden—credit unions).
He said: Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour to rise on behalf of the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola who, coincidentally, every time I stand to talk about the credit union movement in this country, are very happy with that.
As they know, Canadians benefit from a strong, competitive and vibrant financial sector. Currently, we have a challenge where federally regulated credit unions are subject to both federal and provincial regulations. This situation creates regulatory duplicity in having a second layer of often redundant administrative burden to comply with. In fact, as credit unions seek to merge and grow to better serve their members, it actually acts as an extremely costly disincentive to do so. There are also provisions in the Bank Act that create unique challenges for financial institutions that use a co-operative structure versus those of a bank. That is why the credit unions themselves, along with the Canadian Credit Union Association, have asked for many of these changes.
It is a great honour, on behalf of Canadian credit unions, to present this bill to support these requested changes, and I thank the member for Provencher, who is a small business owner and also served on a credit union in his area. We both know the value that credit unions bring to this great country, and we would ask for all members in this place to support this legislation and bills like it.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 13:54 [p.28773]
Madam Speaker, I am honoured to give a speech on this bill. I would also like to thank the member for Manicouagan for her bill on this very important topic.
Retirement security is a very important issue. Seniors' overall financial security is an even more important issue for Conservatives.
I agree that there is a problem with our pensions at the moment, but I do not agree with the solution put forward in this bill.
I do not support this bill because it will create more problems for businesses in financial crisis.
Last year, I introduced Bill C-405, which deals with this issue. Neither the Bloc Québécois nor the other parties supported my bill, which is a shame because my bill did not create problems for small businesses.
There were fewer problems with Bill C-405, which I introduced, because while we can agree that there is a problem with underfunded pension liabilities for pension plans, not the contribution-based plans but the defined benefit plans, when the pension is underfunded, we know it is a problem if there is insolvency of a company.
If we changed the bankruptcy laws to a point where we caused more companies at risk to become insolvent, to liquidate, the solution being proposed by the Bloc would actually be worse than what they are trying to cure, even though we are in agreement.
My bill tried to address the issue of underfunded pension liabilities without the impact that changing the bankruptcy laws for Canada and the insolvency laws in the CCAA would do.
My bill would have ended the unfairness of excessive payments that exacerbate pension shortfalls. It would have helped protect workers wanting to retire by giving administrators options to protect and improve the pension funds.
Furthermore, my bill would have increased transparency and accountability by improving the national reports on the solvency of pension plans. It proposed a lot of solutions, without any of the problems caused by Bill C-372.
There is a way to tackle the public policy challenges of underfunded defined contribution pension plans without causing harm to businesses that are in financial distress, which will not be able to receive financing if they have an underfunded pension, because they will not be loaned money by creditors. I agree with the MP's public policy issue here, but we have to have a solution that does not cause disruptions in her province, in my province and across the country.
One interesting point the member may not know is that Ontario has a pension benefits guarantee fund. We have talked a lot about Sears employees. Some of the Sears employees, in Ontario at least, will get assistance from the pension benefits guarantee fund. Other provinces do not have that, so it would be unfair to Ontario, which funds and backstops a pension benefits guarantee fund, to change national insolvency legislation.
I worked as a lawyer on the insolvency and the protection process for Air Canada, which I know that member thinks highly of as our national carrier, based in Montreal. I was at the law firm Stikeman Elliott, which represented Air Canada in its restructuring, and it successfully restructured, as many MPs will know when they take Air Canada back to their provinces later today.
CCAA puts a focus on restructuring, not on liquidating. Restructuring a company saves all the jobs; saves the pension by keeping it a going concern; makes all the suppliers whole, for the most part, or tries to; and keeps that business operating. In the case of Air Canada, restructuring kept it in place to provide an important service that a lot of Canadians use. Therefore, our focus when companies are in trouble must be to help the company survive.
If the company survives, the pension fund is fine. If the company does not survive, then the liquidation will take place, and even if we applied superpriority to pensions, with most companies it would still only amount to pennies on the dollar or a much-reduced pension outcome. My bill, Bill C-405, tried to give pension administrators the ability to keep that fund going within another fund so that the pensioners who were stranded could get the upside of an existing fund through the pooling of resources and the ability for their returns to go up.
In an insolvency, all the pension administrator can do is buy an annuity. As a result, those pensioners will be locked into a far lower annuity payment amount, because that annuity has to be purchased at a time when the markets are likely bad, and it will basically guarantee a bad outcome for pensioners.
What is the solution? It is to keep companies operating. CCAA's focus is on maintaining those companies as going concerns, as well as their pensions and their employees.
Let us take out some of the abuse. Bill C-405 proposed to take out some of the abuse occurring through key employee retention plan payments, whereby companies give large executive payments that seem to drain the company of resources while the pension was underfunded. Bill C-405 also tried to work with provincial securities regulators to make sure that there was a national health report on pensions each year. Canada already produces one, but it does not collaborate with the provinces, where most of these pensions are administered. The federal government can change insolvency legislation, but these are actually, in many cases, provincial pension funds.
Sears Canada had its assets hollowed out by its main shareholder in the United States, thereby stripping out resources that could have been used for the pension. In cases like Sears, some of those actions could be prevented by securities laws and securities regulation, so my approach was also to have a report in which all levels of government and security commissions would look at ways to prevent the stripping out of resources.
A lot of people out there, including great people at the Canadian Federation of Pensioners, CARP and others, see changing our bankruptcy and insolvency laws as a magic bullet. It is not. I do not think anyone wants to see more companies driven into liquidation. We want to see them survive, but how can we backstop and preserve payments to these pensioners?
I think there is a way to do it without the negative consequences of superpriority, as it is called. Why do I know that this approach is better? It is because multiple governments at multiple levels have never fulfilled on pension superpriority, and even bills here in this Parliament are coming late in the session, because the studies have shown that more companies will go under as a result. We want the companies to survive so that the jobs and the pensions are preserved, which is what CCAA and restructuring legislation are about.
I want to thank the member for her bill and thank her for the opportunity to speak to the elements of the issue that I agree with her is an issue we have to tackle.
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2019-06-06 17:42 [p.28727]
Madam Speaker, there are two people I want to thank. First, I want to thank the Leader of the Government for her apology. I understand very well that things can move quickly in such an intense period. I accept her apology, although it was not necessary. I want to thank her.
Next I want to thank my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment, who spoke before me. I asked him some questions earlier, but unfortunately I found his replies unsatisfactory. It is important to acknowledge the situation in order to take action. The Liberals have not wanted to tell Canadians the truth regarding the Paris targets, which Canada will not meet under the Liberals' current plan.
I rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-438, an act to enact the Canadian environmental bill of rights and to make related amendments to other acts. First reading of this bill was on April 5, 2019, and I am pleased to contribute to this debate.
I thank my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona for being so passionate about the environment. I was sad to learn that I will not have the opportunity to work with this wonderful, passionate, sensitive and kind woman during the next Parliament, if the people of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier put their trust in me, of course. Dear colleague, I truly appreciated working on this with you. I am a bit emotional because there are some colleagues, regardless of political stripe or beliefs, who are extraordinary people. I wanted to say that publicly.
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2019-06-06 17:44 [p.28727]
Madam Speaker, I would like to tell my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona that I truly appreciate her and that I will miss her. She has been here for many years. She was elected in 2008, re-elected in 2011 and again in 2015. She is unfortunately leaving us at the end of this term. She is the NDP's critic for international development and the deputy critic for the environment.
I had the opportunity to work with her on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, and in writing my speech I learned that she had a lot of experience and knowledge about the exciting world of the environment. I am unfortunately discovering this now, but I did notice it when we worked together on the committee.
I want to give an overview of her career. She worked for the Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton, she was an international law consultant, she was chief of enforcement at Environment Canada and she was the assistant deputy minister for renewable resources for the Yukon government. She clearly knows her stuff. Hats off to her, once again. I want to express my heartfelt congratulations and love for her.
With respect to the bill, my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona recently wrote to us about it. She explained that the bill would enshrine the right of all Canadians to a healthy, ecologically balanced environment. She added that, some years ago, Canada accepted the principle endorsed by the World Commission on Environment and Development that all human beings have the fundamental right to an environment adequate for their health and well-being. This principle is reiterated in many environmental conventions and agreements signed and ratified by Canada.
It is important to mention this because I support this principle. In fact, I support this principle as a Conservative member. That is not all. I am also wearing a Blue Dot lapel pin, which I was given on Monday night when I participated in an activity with my colleague and the chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Three members from three different political parties attended this event hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation.
Last fall, Blue Dot asked me to sign a pledge. When they invited me to speak on Monday evening, I was obviously pleased to do so and to say that the Conservatives believe in the environment and will take the necessary steps to meet the Paris targets. Here is the pledge that I signed and proudly hung up in my office:
The Pledge for Environmental Rights responds to the growing movement in Canada and around the world for legal recognition of the human right to a healthy environment.
Environmental rights are based on the simple yet powerful belief that everyone has the right to clean air and water. It is one of the fastest-growing fields of human rights internationally. More than 150 countries now recognize the legal right to a healthy environment, but not Canada.
More than 170 Canadian municipalities have passed resolutions recognizing their citizens' right to a healthy environment, and 9 out of 10 Canadians agree that Canada should recognize environmental rights in law.
I hereby pledge that, as a Member of Parliament, I will support the recognition in law of the right to a healthy environment for all people in Canada.
Members from other parties have also signed this pledge.
Bill C-438 features a number of poorly designed provisions that could very well put a lot of stakeholders in a tough spot. Not to mention that financial adjustments would have to be made. The legislative process will give us the opportunity to fine-tune the bill so that it can pass. However, with the current Parliament coming to an end, I have some doubt as to whether we will be able to get it across the finish line before then; my colleague has certainly been through this before.
That said, I would like her to know that I am committed to doing what needs to be done to effectively represent Canadians and to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the environment.
I understand why the NDP has concerns about the government and cares so much about the environment.
In 2015, when the Liberals were campaigning, they promised to be thorough and respectful, to bring in measures to protect the environment, and to do everything in their power to reduce their carbon footprint.
In 2019, nearly four years later, they have little to show for it. They did take one tangible action when they invested $4.5 billion in an existing pipeline that belonged to Americans. That money went to the country of Uncle Sam. It was supposed to help move another pipeline project forward, but nothing is working. We are not making any progress.
What was the point of investing $4.5 billion in an existing pipeline?
If I were the government, I would have invested $4.5 billion in innovative projects on green technologies. What I am saying is that the government should have invested that $4.5 billion in reducing our footprint and doing research and development. Many businesses that appeared before the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development showed that they had the technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, the Liberal government added a tax. It is using the environment as an excuse to take more money out of the pockets of Canadians. History has already proven in Quebec and British Columbia that this does not work.
This is not a carbon tax or an environmental tax. It is a tax to try to recover some of the money they spent so recklessly.
The Liberals are not telling the truth about the environment. As I said earlier, they refuse to admit that they will not be able to meet the Paris targets. If they cannot even admit that, they cannot bring in a plan to fix the situation.
As far as we are concerned, unfortunately, this is a governance problem on the part of the Liberal government. That said, fortunately for Canadians, it will last only a few more months, until the election on October 21.
There is so much more I would like to say, but I must wind up. I want to assure all Canadians and the people of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, as well as my colleague who is leaving us, that I will be here to take all the necessary steps to protect our environment for us, for our children and for our grandchildren.
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