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Results: 1 - 15 of 223
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-11 12:12 [p.28897]
Mr. Speaker, my Liberal colleague asked my colleague, the critic in this area and shadow cabinet minister in opposition regarding trade, about all the things he liked in the agreement. Of course, he mentioned chapter 19.
However, the government has failed to mention another very important area, which is softwood lumber. There is still not an agreement in that area. I wonder if the member could comment on that.
View Ted Falk Profile
View Ted Falk Profile
2019-06-11 12:55 [p.28903]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member across the way for demonstrating his passion and commitment and for recognizing the importance of the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement.
There was talk in the last minute or so of agreements needing improvements every once in a while, but we gave up on the auto sector, we gave up on pharmaceuticals, we gave up on supply management. We did not get a softwood lumber agreement and we did not get a steel and aluminum tariff removal as part of the package.
Is there any area where we actually benefited in trade capacity from the previous agreement, and could the member tell me what the might be?
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-06 12:47 [p.28683]
Mr. Speaker, I would ask my colleague to go back to the mitigation that he was speaking about. I have a situation in which small businesses in the recreation area have had to purchase inventory for the coming season because winter is over, but the steel tariffs have increased the cost of carrying an inventory of recreation vehicles, boats, campers and that sort of thing. In this one case that I am looking at, it may not be as much as the greater steel industry, but $35,000 to one small business is a lot of money. I would like the member to expand on what he thinks we could do.
In his speech and in answers to questions, he mentioned the $2 billion that the government has obtained from the tariffs that it imposed, but I want to follow up on it again with regard to mitigation and how we could best convince the government to make it part of an amendment and move it forward before we pass this legislation.
View Ted Falk Profile
View Ted Falk Profile
2019-04-11 10:54 [p.26981]
Mr. Speaker, I know of individuals who, in their early years of life, made the mistake of using marijuana and were charged with the offence of possession. In order to save court costs and save themselves money in legal fees, they pleaded guilty. Outside of that charge, they have a completely unblemished record. Individuals like this are justly considered for a pardon.
However, an RCMP officer spoke to me about situations in which a plea bargain was reached with individuals who had committed much more serious offences, like trafficking and the use of different substances, and had agreed to settle for a lesser conviction of simple possession of marijuana. If we are offering a pardon to those types of individuals, I have grave concern as do many other individuals. The problem is that the records indicating the original charge are difficult to ascertain.
Does the minister have any idea how the Parole Board will filter out those two different scenarios?
View Robert Sopuck Profile
Mr. Speaker, I will give the House a bit of personal history.
Back when I was a young biologist, I spent time in the Mackenzie Valley doing some of the initial environmental impact assessment work. I stayed in the community of Norman Wells, which has been producing oil since the Second World War with zero environmental impact. I also lived in the community of Fort Simpson for a while, so for a southerner, I know the area somewhat, and I can guarantee that any project proposed there is done under the most strict environmental standards. In fact, the standards that were in place back in 1973 were world-class even then.
I would like to quote a couple of newspaper articles for the House.
On June 5, 2018, the Edmonton Journal writes, “Investor flight from energy sector is a national embarrassment”.
The CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada said, “Our competitiveness is challenged. Our capacity to grow and advance the economy is stalling.”
The C.D. Howe Institute writes, “C.D. Howe blames Canada’s sclerotic regulatory regime for the killed and stalled projects and the flight of investment capital.”
Can my friend and colleague comment on the downward spiral of the Canadian economy as a result of the sclerotic regulatory regime that the government has implemented?
View Robert Sopuck Profile
Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague's speech. I was shocked at the very beginning of his speech when he implied that sound environmental technology is just a recent thing. As someone who has been in the business since 1973, and part of the Mackenzie valley pipeline assessment, I can tell him that we have had 40 years of continuous environmental improvement.
I want to talk about what is happening to the Canadian economy because of what the Liberal government is doing. Interestingly, in March of this year, the United States economy added 196,000 jobs, while in the same month, employment in Canada fell by 7,200. Back in the day, the Canadian and American economies were in lockstep. If the U.S. grew 200,000 jobs, we would grow 20,000. Now our economies are starting to diverge, strictly because of the regulatory regime that the Liberal government has put in place.
C.D. Howe reports that during this time investment in the Canadian oil and gas sector fell from $125 billion in 2014, under the watch of the great former prime minister Stephen Harper, to $75 billion in 2018. This was during a period when global investments in oil and gas have increased, especially in the U.S., which had a 50% rise in oil and gas sector investment in 2017.
How can the member defend this shabby record?
View James Bezan Profile
View James Bezan Profile
2019-02-05 17:37 [p.25306]
moved that Bill C-266, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (increasing parole ineligibility), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise to speak to Bill C-266, an act respecting families of murdered and brutalized persons. This bill would amend section 745 of the Criminal Code.
This bill has been before the House before. To quote one of my previous speeches in the House, from 2014, in this bill I want to empower our courts “with the ability to increase parole ineligibility when sentencing individuals who have abducted, sexually assaulted and killed our innocent and often most vulnerable Canadians from the current 25 years up to a maximum of 40 years.”
The bill is not about creating stiffer penalties for sadistic murderers. These depraved convicts do not qualify for parole. My bill is about saving the families of the victims from having to go through the agony of attending unnecessary and traumatic parole hearings.
Let us be perfectly clear. Bill C-266 is not about mandatory minimum sentencing. The bill is in compliance with section 12 of the Charter of Rights. It is based on the discretion of the presiding judge through a recommendation to the jury. A judge could set parole ineligibility of between 25 and 40 years. It would not be prescribed where in there it would fall. The judge would have the discretionary power to make it anywhere from 25 years of parole ineligibility to 40 years.
This legislation is modelled after a bill brought forward in a previous Parliament, Bill C-48, the protecting Canadians by ending sentence discounts for multiple murders act, which we are seeing in use today at the McArthur trial as well as for the murderer who committed the mosque massacre in Quebec. That piece of legislation affords judges the opportunity to make the parole ineligibility periods for multiple murderers consecutive rather than concurrent. Most of those convicted of these multiple murders or these heinous crimes of abducting, sexually assaulting and murdering our loved ones never get parole. Therefore, why do we continue to put families through unnecessary Parole Board hearings? There is absolutely no need to re-victimize those families.
As I mentioned, I brought the bill forward in a previous Parliament. It was introduced on February 27, 2013, as Bill C-478. The bill made it as far as the committee stage, when I was appointed parliamentary secretary, so I had to withdraw the bill. Colin Mayes, our former colleague from B.C., then picked it up as Bill C-587. That bill made it through committee and came back to the House at report stage and third reading on June 2, 2015. Of course, it never made it to the final vote before the House recessed and the election took place.
This legislation would amend section 745 of the Criminal Code, as I have previously said. Increasing parole ineligibility from 25 years to 40 years would save families from having to go through the process of attending unnecessary Parole Board hearings and making victim impact statements, which are traumatic, to say the least, and heart-wrenching for those families. The bill would eliminate eight unnecessary Parole Board hearings families would have to attend.
Sadistic murderers often apply for parole every two years, starting at year 23, for the sole purpose of toying with the families, of revictimizing them and making them relive the gruesome killings that were committed.
The bill would change a number of subsections under section 745. It would be based upon the recommendation of a jury. The bill says that a judge would ask a jury at the time of sentencing if it wished “to make any recommendation with respect to the number of years that the accused must serve before the accused is eligible for release on parole”. When the jury was passing judgment, it could also recommend what the parole ineligibility could be. The judge would have discretion as to whether to accept that, and he or she could set it at a level he or she found appropriate. Judges on the board, when determining parole ineligibility, must have regard for “the character of the offender, the nature of the offences and the circumstances surrounding their commission”.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of people on the legislation, along with Colin Mayes, the former member of Parliament from B.C. In the other place, Senator Boisvenu was a big help on this over the years. He founded an organization called Murdered or Missing Persons' Families' Association. This is something that he is incredibly passionate about.
Sharon Rosenfeldt's son Daryn was murdered by the notorious Clifford Olson and her organization is Victims of Violence. Susan Ashley is the sister of Linda Bright, who was killed by Donald Armstrong. Terri Prioriello's sister Darlene, also called Dolly, was murdered by David James Dobson. The organization Canadian Parents of Murdered Children has provided input over the years. This goes back some time.
I was interested in doing something for families. At the end of 2009-10, members will remember the terrible abduction, rape and murder of Tori Stafford. Terri-Lynne McClintic was arrested and prosecuted in 2010 and Michael Rafferty in 2012. During that time, while my heart was breaking listening to the Tori Stafford story, Clifford Olson was dying from cancer in prison and Sharon Rosenfeldt talked on the radio about how this killer had impacted her family over the years. He sent letters describing how he murdered her son Daryn. Because of that type of sadistic behaviour, tormenting families and using Parole Board hearings to feed his own sick appetite, it became clear to me that we needed to do something for families.
I knew full well that both murderers of Tori Stafford, Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic, will be applying for parole in the year 2023 after the murder in 2009. I think all Canadians would consider it unacceptable that families have to go through this ongoing saga of Parole Board hearing after Parole Board hearing.
We need to make sure the legislation targets the most depraved of society, the sadistic murderers out there who often prey on children and the most vulnerable, those who abduct, sexually assault and murder, often in a very gruesome manner. We are talking about people like Robert Pickton, Russell Williams, Michael Rafferty, Clifford Olson, Paul Bernardo, David James Dobson, Donald Armstrong, Luka Magnotta and we are watching the McArthur case unfold now in Toronto. This would apply to those individuals, particularly those who do not get consecutive life sentences. They could be given a 40-year sentence before they could apply for parole.
It is important that we talk about some of these families, like the family of Linda Bright, who was just 16 when she was abducted by Donald Armstrong in Kingston back in 1978. He has applied for parole numerous times. I have been talking to Susan Ashley, Linda's sister, and she said about the Parole Board hearings in the past, “My heart breaks having to live through this again. My heart breaks having to watch my Mom and Dad drag up their thoughts and pain from that deep place inside them where they tuck their hurt away”.
Linda's mother, Margaret, said during her victim impact statement, “This is not fair. We should not have to relive our tragedy. When I remember my daughter, let me remember her as a little girl. Don't make me think about the other awful time in 1978.... Let me tell you this has been the most difficult thing I have had to do in the last twenty years.”
Gary Rosenfeldt, who was Johnsrude's stepfather, has now passed away. His wife is Sharon Rosenfeldt. He said publicly, after going through a number of Parole Board hearings in 2006 and 2010, and even back in 1997, when there was still the faint hope clause, “What's really horrendous about this is this is only the beginning. We're going to have to do this every two years as long as Olson lives, and this is a very painful experience for myself, my family.”
It should be noted that Clifford Olson died in prison. He was never paroled. These individuals do not get parole.
Darlene Prioriello was abducted, raped, mutilated and murdered by David James Dobson in 1982. He is at the Bath Institution. Darlene's sister Terri has said this about having to go through these painful, repetitive and unnecessary Parole Board hearings: “Families have already been victimized once. They shouldn't have to be victimized every two years. Having to face a loved one's killer and to read what he did to her and how her death has affected our lives is something nobody should ever have to do once, never mind twice.” Unfortunately, that goes on.
We have had the Library of Parliament research how these murderers have been treated in prison and whether or not they have ever received parole. The best we can find is that some of them have been given day parole or temporary leave. They have never, ever been released back into the public on full parole. They are serving life sentences, and they will continue to do that.
A lot of people wonder how I came up with the 15 extra years in the 25 plus 15. Murder is 25 years without parole, abduction is a maximum of 10 years without parole, and sexual assault is a maximum of 4.6 years without parole. Added together, we get 40 years.
Let us be clear that I am not saying we are setting mandatory minimums, taking it up to 40 years. It is anywhere in between. The judge and the jury decide where the parole and eligibility should be set. It could be 25 years, 30 years, 35 years or 40 years. It is up to the judge and the jury to make those decisions. By respecting the independence of the court we are in compliance with chapter 12 of the charter.
We have seen this type of approach being taken with previous legislation. This judicial discretion is incredibly important, because the judge will take that recommendation, along with the regard he has to have for the character of the offender, the nature of the offences and the circumstances surrounding their commission. If the jury chooses, it can provide input as well.
I am looking forward to hearing the position of the government on this, as well as that of the NDP, but I am appealing to all members of the House to support the bill.
It should be noted that in the previous Parliament, all Liberals voted yes at second reading for this legislation. Many of them sit on the benches today, and are still here.
I want to make sure people understand that these depraved murderers, these brutal and sadistic members of society, will never be released back into society. They are not going to be released. The Parole Board of Canada continues to hold them in institutions, knowing they are dangerous offenders who potentially could reoffend, because so often they are psychopaths. Therefore, let us ensure we are not revictimizing those families by having them go to all these unnecessary Parole Board hearings and relive the murder and brutal details of how their loved ones were killed, all to the gratification of those incarcerated psychopaths.
I ask that everyone support this legislation. Let us get it to committee and let us hear from the victims organizations, the families who have been impacted and the families who are calling for this. Let us give them some peace. Let us respect their wishes and their lives so they do not have to go on and on living this nightmare.
As Yvonne Harvey of the Canadian Parents of Murdered Children said, “Although I have not personally faced the ordeal of a parole hearing, I have spoken to many individuals who have. I am certain that the primary intent of this bill, to spare the families of victims from having to attend unnecessary parole hearings, would be most welcomed.”
View James Bezan Profile
View James Bezan Profile
2019-02-05 17:53 [p.25308]
Madam Speaker, in the previous Parliament, I discussed this with the Department of Justice, along with the judicial team at the Library of Parliament, to ensure this was in compliance. It falls along the same suit of Bill C-48 from that Parliament, which is still in use today and is in compliance with the charter. This is not about anything that is considered cruel and unusual punishment. This legislation would provide full flexibility and independence to the courts to make those decisions.
View James Bezan Profile
View James Bezan Profile
2019-02-05 17:54 [p.25308]
Madam Speaker, the legislation I tabled in February 2013 was given second reading June 5, 2013, because that is when it came up in the draw. It was reinstated after the recess. It was already through second reading and referred to committee. I was then appointed parliamentary secretary and as parliamentary secretary, I was not allowed to carry any Private Members' Business.
Therefore, it was picked up by colleague, Colin Mayes, who then brought it back in April 2014. It was then given second reading around that time and referred to committee, after the summer break, on September 24. It came though committee, and if I recall, the committee was jammed up with a number of pieces of legislation. However, it was reported back on April 1, 2015, with report stage on June 2 and third reading at the same time.
Therefore, it came through the normal process of private members' bills. As the member fully knows, often we are lower in priority and have only an hour a day in the House for these types of debates. Government business takes precedence at committee over private members' bills.
I am hoping we can get everyone onside and move the bill through quicker, knowing the time frame we have in front of us, recessing at the end of June.
View James Bezan Profile
View James Bezan Profile
2019-02-05 17:57 [p.25308]
Madam Speaker, Susan Ashley and Sharon Rosenfeldt were there. It was heart-wrenching for them to be there to talk about how their loved ones had been murdered and how important this legislation was. I hope we can get the bill back to committee as quickly as possible.
However, to go back to the point raised in the previous question, the reason the bill is only coming forward now is because this is when my name came up in the draw. This is why it has been sitting around for three years since I tabled it at first, and we are only getting to second reading now.
View Robert Sopuck Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on Bill S-203.
I am opposed to this bill. The bill is fundamentally flawed. I was interested to hear the previous two speakers conflate this particular bill with environmental conservation and the conservation of whales. This has nothing to do with conservation or the environment.
Any population ecologist worth their salt only considers the numbers of individuals who are in the population. With this particular bill, even though the previous speakers tried to conflate it with environmental protection, the only thing that counts are the numbers of cetaceans that are out there, the population size.
This bill will do nothing for the conservation of cetaceans or, indeed, the understanding of the natural world. This particular bill, in my view, is an emotional reaction to a problem that simply does not exist.
In terms of cetaceans, I know that the government is always pointing out the problem populations, and quite rightly so, the southern killer whale, the Atlantic right whale, the belugas in the St. Lawrence. I am pleased to say that in Manitoba, off the Churchill estuary, we have a population of beluga whales of 55,000 individual animals. Studies have shown that population is stable and/or increasing.
Obviously, interacting with cetaceans in the wild is desirable, but many Canadians simply do not have the opportunity to do so. I was interested in the parliamentary secretary's comments about the Arctic and narwhals. I think I am one of the few people in this House, apart from the member for Nunavut, who has actually seen narwhals and experienced their beauty in the wild. It is something that very few people will see. They are remarkable creatures.
Many Canadians, however, do not have the opportunities that people like myself or those in the science community have had. Viewing cetaceans in captivity may be the only opportunity for many to understand cetaceans. Again, if the only place a person from an urban area who does not have a chance to get out in the wild and view cetaceans can learn about cetaceans is in captivity, obviously there are communication tools that various facilities will use to inform the visitors about cetaceans, cetacean conservation and the issue of the endangered species, for example. These are very important communications tools.
Regarding Ontario, I have been advised that there was a lengthy public debate in Ontario, which included the creation of an independent and international scientific advisory panel. They produced a very comprehensive report. There was the creation of a technical advisory group, composed of stakeholders from across the country. There were public hearings. I have been advised that provincial legislation has been passed that expressly permits keeping marine mammals in humane care, and creates and implements stringent regulations regarding the care and treatment of marine mammals.
The member for Saanich—Gulf Islands talked about the issues of animal cruelty and so on, and it reminds me of the debate we had on Bill C-246. The slippery slope is alive and well when it comes to this type of legislation. Who knows where it will lead, to rodeos or medical research? Who knows where this will lead once a bill like this is passed?
In terms of Marineland, again the founder of Marineland, John Holer, who is sadly now deceased, spoke to the Senate committee on May 16, 2017. Some of the takeaways from his testimony were that Marineland employs over 100 people year round and 700 during the operation season; Marineland has employed over 50,000 people in its 56 years of successful operation; Marineland does not seek or rely upon any public funding; Marineland annually commits approximately $4 million a year to advertising, reaching more than 15 million people across Canada and the U.S.; and Marineland attracts close to a million visitors yearly to the Niagara region.
Obviously, the entire regional economy benefits from this tourism opportunity. Also of tremendous importance, thousands of special needs children, at least 3,500 per year, visit Marineland through special programs, including events like Autism Day.
What is important is looking at the population of cetaceans. I go back to the point that this particular bill has nothing to do with environmental conservation. Nobody should be led to believe that it does.
However, the humane holding of cetaceans in captivity, following veterinary-approved codes of practice, is a conservation tool that can be used to educate Canadians about cetaceans.
I recall, for example, the great debates that we had on Bill C-246, the animal rights bill, a private member's bill that a Liberal member of Parliament tabled. Thankfully, a number of people in the government caucus voted against that bill, despite the protestations of the member who introduced the bill that it would not affect any of the animal-use communities.
The animal rights movement is clever in how it pushes forward legislation or policy change. The process is to start with something that seems innocent and then keep going and going, and pretty soon who knows what will be banned? For example, once we ban cetaceans from captivity, what is next? Let us look at beluga whales for example.
There are 55,000 beluga whales in the Churchill River estuary during the summer months. They are hunted by Inuit people from Arviat further north. Taking a few and putting them in captivity would mean nothing to the population of beluga.
Right now, however, polar bears are allowed to be held in captivity. Winnipeg has a world-famous, multimillion dollar polar bear exhibit. The number of polar bears is less than half that of beluga whales. What is next? This can go on and on.
Some people have a real antipathy towards zoos in general or animals in captivity, but this is how these campaigns start and this is the reason I will be actively opposing this legislation.
In terms of cetaceans, and as someone who has been to the Churchill River estuary and seen beluga whales, I have also been fortunate enough to see narwhals, which are incredible creatures. I can certainly understand the attachment people have to these beautiful creatures. Again, we admire them because we are taught about the beauty of nature and wildlife in facilities that are responsible and effective. However, without these facilities, many Canadians would never see such creatures.
The parliamentary secretary talked about the conservation of cetaceans. I want to tell him and the government caucus about the devastating effect that the new marine mammal regulations will have on the community of Churchill.
As I said, in the estuary in the summertime beluga whales are there in the thousands. As soon as a boat is launched, they swim up to it and there is nothing that can be done about it. These ridiculous marine mammal regulations that the government is insisting on enforcing would potentially kill this $10 million industry.
I made a statement about Churchill earlier in the House today. Ecotourism is a $10 million a year industry, employing 300 people. But the community of Churchill is on the ropes economically, and the whale and polar bear watching industries are the lifeblood of that particular community.
In the new marine mammal regulations, there is a minimum distance requirement of 50 metres. In the Churchill River estuary, which is not a very large area, there could be 30,000 beluga whales. How can they be avoided? Interestingly enough, the marine mammal regulations do not apply to large vessels that may be plowing up and down the estuary. They can plow through belugas willy-nilly, pardon the pun.
In terms of the ecotourism industry in the Churchill area, the very gentle environmental “use” this industry makes of the Churchill River estuary is the ultimate in sustainability, yet the government is promulgating marine mammal regulations that could potentially put that industry out of business.
I heard about the situation with humpback whales in Conception Bay. The operators there offer people the opportunity to slip into the water and swim with the whales. That would be completely banned under the new regulations. I have been told that the operator in Conception Bay lost $60,000 in business.
None of these regulations will have any positive impact on cetacean populations whatsoever. I guarantee there has been no scientific proof that these marine mammal regulations will improve the situation of cetaceans in Canada. All they will do, as the Liberal government has done over and over again, is to hurt remote rural communities. I find that unacceptable.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2018-11-07 17:43 [p.23409]
Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague about a number of the new initiatives in the bill. This was a Conservative-initiated project that took place as a result of the bill we signed in 2014. Part of that bill was a memorandum of understanding to renegotiate it at this time. I am pleased to see that and a number of new chapters on labour, environment, trade, gender, small and medium enterprises. I wonder if he could elaborate on the importance of those.
View Ted Falk Profile
View Ted Falk Profile
2018-11-06 13:01 [p.23319]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge talked a lot about the accumulating debt and how there is no plan to even return to a balanced budget for the foreseeable future. I am wondering if the member could tell us what impact that is going to have on our children and grandchildren in years to come.
View Ted Falk Profile
View Ted Falk Profile
2018-11-06 17:14 [p.23357]
Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the member for Winnipeg North. He talked about fooling Canadians.
I remember, back in 2015, Liberals boasted about real change coming to Parliament. I remember, in my first term here in Parliament, when that member was part of the third party at that time, sitting in the wee corners of this wonderful House of Commons, how he railed against omnibus bills and how undemocratic they were.
The 2015 Liberal platform talked about real change. This is what it says:
Stephen Harper has also used omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating his proposals. We will change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to this undemocratic practice.
An 850-page omnibus budget implementation bill is unheard of. Is that the real change Liberals were talking about?
View Robert Sopuck Profile
Mr. Speaker, to my friend from Winnipeg North, I had the honour of working in the oil sands prior to my time in Parliament, and it was just a hive of economic activity. I have heard now that the camps in the region I was working in are all closed and employment is way down.
I was on the environment committee when Bill C-69 was debated, and I thank my hon. colleague for bringing up the regulatory process. In fact, that bill is shutting down the Canadian economy right now. The resource industry is 20% of the Canadian economy and a big part of most pension funds. That is what the people across the way forget. Senior citizens, pensioners, investment funds all rely on the oil sands and the energy industry.
In the testimony in Bill C-69, Chris Bloomer from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said that Canada has a “toxic regulatory environment”, and that is why investment in this country is declining.
Can my friend from Calgary Forest Lawn talk about the effects of the regulatory environment on the Alberta energy industry and the ripple effect across the country?
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