Interventions in the House of Commons
RSS feed based on search criteria Export search results - CSV (plain text) Export search results - XML
Add search criteria
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-06 10:50 [p.28666]
Mr. Speaker, it is really appropriate to be splitting my time with the member for Surrey--Newton, because he is on one coast of Canada and I am on the other, and just like this budget, we cover the country from coast to coast.
It gives me great pleasure to speak to Bill C-97. This bill does what we set out to do in 2015, building on our series of budgets to grow the economy, so needed after the disastrous decade of the Harper years. The measures in Bill C-97, to be implemented by the budget implementation act, would do what Liberals do best: investing wisely and working with the private sector, the provinces and communities to strengthen the social and economic fabric of this country.
The prudent investments in this bill build on the fall economic statement, which I think could have been called a business budget. Part 1 of the budget implementation act relates to that fall economic statement.
The fall economic statement strengthened the very core of the business community's ability to compete by challenging head-on the U.S. tax reforms. It did many things, but I will name three: one, allowing businesses to immediately write off for tax purposes the full cost of machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing and processing of goods; two, implementing a new accelerated investment incentive, an accelerated capital cost allowance across all sectors of the economy; three, launching an export diversification strategy. That really assists our businesses in terms of being able to retain capital, attract investment, invest in new equipment, machinery and technology and be competitive in export markets. That just touches on three of the points in the fall economic statement.
From strengthening business opportunities in the fall economic statement, this bill seeks to give greater opportunity to Canadians and communities. In fact, I think this section of the bill could be called “the people's budget”. For my province, Prince Edward Island, over a four-year term in government, major federal transfers of equalization, the Canada health transfer and the Canada social transfer, have increased by $93.4 million to $647 million.
Of course, colleagues know from the smiles they see on people's faces in their communities and their ridings that the legacy program of the Canada child benefit has made a huge difference for families all across the country. Nine out of 10 families are better off. On Prince Edward Island, for families with children, the Canada child benefit has meant $100 million over the last year tax-free to those families. That is investing where the money needs to be invested. The money that goes into those families' pockets is spent in the local economy. It assists their children in child care and education, and it makes a much more progressive economy. Money is actually then spent in the community.
However, this Liberal government did not stop there. We know that early learning and child care are critical to give children the best start in life. Therefore, the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island have signed an agreement that allows for the transfer of $10.6 million over three years for regulated early learning and child care, to give children their best start in life.
Let me turn to the other end of the age spectrum, to seniors, who have been so instrumental in building this country we are so fortunate to call home.
The budget provides additional funding, increasing the funding for the new horizons for seniors program by $20 million per year. It is an excellent program. It works in every riding. I encourage seniors groups and others to apply for that funding, because not only is it an expenditure spent in the local economy, but also it assists seniors with the programs they need. This program has a solid record of improving the quality of life of seniors and promoting their participation in communities and the workforce.
The budget implementation act goes further and proposes a series of measures to help Canadian seniors keep more money in their pockets by ensuring they receive the Canada pension plan benefits they are entitled to and stay active and be a valuable asset in their community. This builds on the concrete steps we have taken to improve the retirement security of Canadians.
I will turn to the budget. I know there are members on the other side who love to read this almost daily.
With respect to retirement security, page 62 lists measures that will really help seniors.
The government is enhancing the Canada Pension Plan, which will raise the maximum CPP retirement benefit by up to 50% over time. It is restoring the eligibility age for OAS and GIS benefits to 65. It is increasing guaranteed income supplement top-up payments by up to $947 per year for single seniors, and introducing legislative changes so that couples who receive GIS and allowance benefits and have to live apart for reasons beyond their control can receive higher benefits based on their individual incomes.
Investing in the lives of seniors has been the focus of this government's emphasis, with the Prime Minister appointing a minister of seniors to ensure that programs and services are designed to respond to the needs of seniors.
I will quote from page 70 of the budget document itself, for those who wish to refer to the page.
These further investments amount to $40 billion for the 10-year national housing strategy, which will help ensure that vulnerable Canadians, including low-income seniors, have access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford; $6 billion over 10 years for home care, to allow provinces and territories to improve access to home, community and palliative care services; $77 million in additional funding for the enabling accessibility fund, to improve the safety and accessibility of community spaces; making it easier to apply for employment insurance caregiving benefits, and introducing a new employment insurance caregiving benefit of up to 15 weeks to support individuals who are providing care to adult family members. That is important to do.
For communities directly, this budget tops up the federal gas tax refund by $2.2 billion. It doubles the amount for most communities, large and small, and is money they can invest in infrastructure, business and to make their communities more economically sustainable. In P.E.I., that amounts to $16.5 million in added investments for communities.
Basically, Bill C-97 touches all segments of the economy, as well as people and tax measures that allow our businesses to be more competitive. It challenges, head on, the tax reform in the United States.
This is a budget implementation act that is building on the foundation we have already put in place as a government and putting our country in a place where it can be prosperous and successful in the years to come.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-06 11:02 [p.28667]
Mr. Speaker, it was indeed a great pleasure to be on the finance committee and travel the country with the member. We were in his hometown in Alberta at one point, where people talked about many of the issues that the member raised.
The fall economic statement is where the measures were put forth in terms of the accelerated capital cost allowance and being able to expense investments in new equipment for manufacturing and processing. That is where we see the measures in place that will keep the business community competitive even given the kinds of tax reforms that have taken place in the United States.
In terms of the other measures that the member mentioned, employment insurance payroll deductions have in fact declined. That is one thing this government has done on a consistent basis. The CPP is an investment in retirement. It should ensure that employees will have some security. They know they will have more security in their retirement years.
All the measures we put together are good for the business community, and I am proud of that. On productivity, yes, we need to do more.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-06 11:05 [p.28668]
Mr. Speaker, that question relates to a critical issue, but we have obligations. When people cross the border, they are immediately arrested and checked to ensure they are asylum seekers, and that is important to do. We meet our international human rights obligations as a government, and we enhance that in this particular budget by making clear what the rules are. We have also increased the funding to enable border agents and the RCMP to take the measures they need to in order to ensure that our country is secure and that the human rights of those entering the country are protected.
View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2019-06-06 15:49 [p.28711]
Madam Speaker, I find it quite fascinating to hear the member for Yellowhead say that Bill C-93 does not go far enough, that it should include some minor offences and that processes should be free and easier to get at.
I invite him to comment on the measures taken by the previous Conservative government, a government of which he was a member. It jacked up application fees, increased the waiting time to the point where the backlog is substantial, as is the hardship for many of the people in the very situations he described. That is the record of the Conservative government.
How does he square that with the position he has taken on this bill?
View Robert Morrissey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Robert Morrissey Profile
2018-12-12 18:15 [p.24795]
Mr. Speaker, I rise briefly to speak to the bill and indicate that this particular piece of legislation has strong support from the minister and all members in the House.
We support the bill and will not be putting forward any more speakers to speak to it as an indication of the support coming from this side of the House.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2018-11-08 17:42 [p.23490]
Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the hon. member's efforts in this regard. This would recognize farmers and producers for what they do, not only for their own local areas but for the economy generally.
I have always found it strange that often we will be producing food in one area of the country and they will be producing it in another. Two trucks will be passing each other on the road, going in different directions, because of the brand that is on the label, so that one of the chain stores can sell that particular product. I know of situations where people could not buy Nova Scotia corn in Nova Scotia, because the chain stores had a contract to bring in Ontario corn. What sense does that make?
This would not only recognize farmers but also, if we could have people buy local more often, actually lessen the trucking and help the environment. It would do any number of other things. It would recognize farmers locally for what they do. It would show people in the local area the quality of products they can get from their local farmers, and that is all to the better.
I really appreciate and want to congratulate the member on his efforts.
View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2017-12-12 11:05 [p.16292]
Madam Speaker, I heard my colleague's speech, in which he, in a way, criticizes the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and I just wanted to defend the minister.
I very much appreciate the member and his party's new-found interest in our regions. Perhaps it would have been a good idea for the Conservatives to take such an interest when they were in power.
My colleague opposite seems to have a problem with the minister for ACOA being from Mississauga. In the province of Prince Edward Island, after 10 long, lean years, we now have a subsea cable to New Brunswick that will substantially aid our economic development. We now have substantial investments at the University of Prince Edward Island. We now have waste water systems being built in Prince Edward Island that will substantially aid our future. We now have substantial investments in incubators, which we never, ever saw under the previous government.
From his perch in Quebec, would the member like to reconsider his critique of the value of the Minister of Innovation to Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada?
View Robert Morrissey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Robert Morrissey Profile
2017-12-11 11:12 [p.16216]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak in support of Bill S-236 that was introduced by my colleague, the member of Parliament for Malpeque. It was interesting to listen to my colleague, the opposition member, speak about the recognition that indeed Charlottetown is birthplace of Confederation and of this wonderful country we call Canada.
Why I want to speak in support of the bill today is because my political career began in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island. I will be the only member voting in support of this piece of legislation who has sat in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, with the hope that the House will recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of this wonderful country. In that, I have a great deal of honour in having sat in that assembly and now being in the House of Commons when this bill is being debated.
The history of how the meeting came about has been well documented. It was a meeting organized by maritime colonies to consider a union among the colonies. The Upper Canadian colonies invited themselves, literally, to attend the conference. From that, it is documented in history that, through that conference, a shared vision was created of a union of the British North American colonies and the creation of this new country.
When we look at Canada today as being a beacon in the world for people fleeing oppression, war, and various other atrocities occurring across the world, we can look at the creation of this country. What I am particularly proud of, as a parliamentarian sitting today in the House of Commons, is the diversity of the backgrounds of the people sitting in the House of Commons representing this country.
In my own case, on my father's side, my ancestry is Irish. We all know that the Irish fled Ireland during the Great Famine to come to a new world for new opportunities, and they found it in Canada, on Prince Edward Island. On my mother's side, my ancestry is French Acadian. My ancestors fled Grand-Pré in Nova Scotia. They were fleeing strife and war, and found a welcoming environment in Prince Edward Island. To this day, this country still reaches out to people fleeing oppression, war, and a number of atrocities across the world. That is what Canada is all about, and that is why I am proud to be a parliamentarian standing for those freedoms and rights.
We cannot forget that it was the indigenous people who welcomed us. Regardless of our cultural backgrounds, they welcomed us here. It was the Mi'kmaq of Prince Edward Island who welcomed the Acadians as they were being expelled by the British from Grand-Pré in Nova Scotia. They also welcomed the Irish who were forced to flee Ireland due to famine.
Today, having the opportunity to speak in support of Bill S-236 that would recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation, is indeed an honour for me, as I indicated, having served in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island for 18 years. I can recall the first time that I took my seat in that legislative assembly. I looked around and, although small, I recognized the history of that chamber.
From that meeting, in that chamber, this wonderful country, this great nation called Canada, came about. We it owe our forefathers, who had the vision at that time, to recognize that we had to overcome a number of obstacles and disagreements to come up with a shared vision. That shared vision continues. It is debated from time to time, and each new Parliament adds dimension to that vision as Canada evolves as a nation on the world stage.
From where we are today, it all began in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. That is why I am pleased to speak in the House of Commons here today, now as a member of Parliament from Prince Edward Island, in support of Bill S-236 that will recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2017-12-11 11:20 [p.16217]
Madam Speaker, this is the moment we have been waiting for, and I will conclude with many thanks to all colleagues who have contributed to the debate and discussion of Bill S-236, an act to recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation, including especially those who took the time during third reading to express their vision for Canada's future.
I want to quote a member from each of the parties. The member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, with the official opposition, said:
This bill gives us the wonderful opportunity to remember and honour our national history, to recall the humble beginnings and soaring dreams of the first of our leaders, who dreamed of a united Canada.
I cannot think of a better way or better time for us to celebrate our accomplishments, both at home and around the world, than by passing a bill like this in our sesquicentennial year.
The member for Victoria, with the third party, said:
Being proud of a country's heritage and commemorating important historical events is worthwhile for most countries, but I think it is especially so for Canada. We should feel proud of our accomplishments. We are a country comprising remarkably diverse regions and remarkably diverse people.
As Canada moves forward to the next 150 years of nationhood, I hope we can strive to be more inclusive of other voices and cultural narratives so that they might also be celebrated and acknowledged.
The member for Charlottetown said:
As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we can see the evolution of our country, our democracy, and our values. Our very roots, as evidenced by what took place in Charlottetown, were not about conflict or war: They were about finding mutual ground and working out our differences.
Those three quotes, from different parties in this House, sum up to a great extent what Canada is all about. The passing of this bill means a great deal to Prince Edward Island and to our provincial legislature, which passed an unanimous motion encouraging the support of parliamentarians, and to the Atlantic region as we share and develop the Confederation story. For Canada, this has been a chance to recognize and honour Confederation, and reflect on important ways in which we must work to shape the future of our country.
To close, it is the character of Canada, that vision founded in 1864, some of the things coming out of that meeting, that we are a country that works by negotiation. We are seen on the world stage in that light as well. It is that idea of coming together in common cause that has shaped our history since its founding.
The Charlottetown Conference certainly may be viewed as the watershed moment in the story of Confederation, the point at which Confederation turned from idea into prospect. This is what Bill S-236 is all about, recognition of Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.
My colleagues and I humbly ask for this House's support in this year of Canada's 150 celebration. It seems quite appropriate to do it at this time. Simply put, I ask the House to get it done and pass Bill S-236.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2017-12-04 11:05 [p.15893]
moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise again to speak to Bill S-236, an act to recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.
It has been a privilege to be a part of and to witness the debate and discussions surrounding the bill in both the other place and within the House.
At the legal and constitutional affairs committee in the other place, four amendments were made to the bill. One was a correction in translation and the other three improved the context and clarified the content of the bill. That debate brought renewed interest in the story of our great nation's founding and improved the bill.
Let me once again reiterate the bill's fundamental objectives: to affirm Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation; to complement provincial efforts; and, to build on the designation of Charlottetown as the birthplace of our country in order to honour, celebrate, share, and educate.
In the spirit of building on this designation, it is important to acknowledge once again a point that was raised throughout the examination of the bill, that being the lack of inclusive discussions at the Charlottetown Conference in 1864. Those were indeed different times. No indigenous people were involved and no women participated.
Dr. Ed MacDonald of the University of Prince Edward Island made an important point before the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs, “Confederation is not Canada, and it is not the story of Canada. It is one of the stories of Canada.”
I would like to fully read into the record, as was done in the other place, the statement issued by the Mi'kmaq Confederacy when consulted by my hon. colleague Senator Diane Griffin:
While the chiefs are generally supportive of the concept of Charlottetown being recognized as the birthplace of Confederation, they note that Prince Edward Island has been the home of the Mi'kmaq people for over 12,000 years, yet they were not invited to the Charlottetown Conference. In creating this legislative recognition, the chiefs believe that moving forward, the Government of Canada must include the indigenous peoples of this land on a nation-to-nation basis in all matters. This would also involve honouring the historic peace and friendship treaties with the Mi'kmaq.
Though we cannot rewrite history we can move forward with the lessons that we have learned over time and recognize and value the importance of an inclusive society, one that respects diversity in all of its forms and the value that it brings. In my view, the Charlottetown Conference was a beginning and in each of the 153 years since that time, we have built on that vision and we will build further on that vision going forward.
The Charlottetown Conference may be viewed as the watershed moment in the story of Confederation, the point at which Confederation turned from idea into prospect. However, the importance of the Quebec Conference in 1864 and the London Conference two years later cannot be understated.
During consideration in the other place, the preamble of Bill S-236 was amended in order to acknowledge those important conferences and to recognize Confederation as a process, a result achieved through the participation of many.
Before I became an MP I served for quite a number of years as president of the National Farmers Union. In that capacity I had the opportunity to travel in many of the farming areas of this country and spend the night in people's homes, to live in the communities, and to see the differences in the regions within Canada from coast to coast to coast. That experience showed me the great potential of this country. Canada may be diverse in terms of our regions and our sectors but in that diversity we find strength. I really do believe the founding fathers built better than they knew and we have tremendous potential for progress in the future.
Let me come back to the theme of inclusiveness and relationship building. It is my hope that Bill S-236 will inspire reflection on how we can build on the story of Confederation, and how together we can develop a narrative moving forward. One possibility is to develop the narrative through tourism. As the member for Malpeque, it is my privilege to represent an area that is so rich in culture, history, and beauty. Each year, my province welcomes many Canadians and international visitors from around the world, as do many other areas of Canada. We have some of Canada's most incredible treasures in Prince Edward Island, and we do not take that responsibility for their stewardship lightly. Islanders recognize as well the value of Province House, the last remaining building of the Confederation conferences and the story of Confederation, to boost tourism and serve as an important economic generator for us.
We also recognize the importance of a common vision to promote growth. In the spirit of Sir John A. Macdonald and the Fathers of Confederation, who travelled to New Brunswick and throughout the Maritimes after the conference in Charlottetown, I am confident that together we will find new and innovative ways to attract and educate Canadian and international visitors alike and build on both the rich history of Canada's Atlantic region and the story of Confederation.
It is important to reflect on that foundational time in our history as we near the end of the year-long celebration of our nation's 150th birthday. We look forward to the next 150 years as a progressive, inclusive, and growing country.
I want to thank those who have contributed in important ways to where we find ourselves today with the bill: Senator Diane Griffin, the sponsor in the other place; the member for Charlottetown; former MP George Proud; many other islanders who worked hard toward gaining the bill; Dr. Ed MacDonald; and all my colleagues in this place and the other place whose invaluable contributions to the bill made it better. The debate itself has allowed us to reflect, to honour, and to educate during this important year for Canada.
It is my hope that the next time I walk over the time-worn steps of Province House and stand in the chamber where the Fathers stood that this moment, which is enshrined in history, will also be enshrined in law.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2017-12-04 11:15 [p.15894]
Mr. Speaker, I welcome the member's comments and thank him for his compliments for Prince Edward Island. He, of course, can catch a plane out of Winnipeg, maybe stop in Toronto, and get to Prince Edward Island. We would welcome him a couple of times a year if he would like to come.
That said, islanders do see the senate chamber in Province House as an important place of history in Canada's development. It certainly was a spark or moment in time when a maritime conference was planned and Sir John A. Macdonald and others sailed down there in boats. I understand they had champagne in the hull of their ship as they arrived in Charlottetown. They turned what was to be a maritime conference into what would become the birthplace and vision for Confederation.
To Parks Canada' credit, Province House is being renovated now, and when one walks up the worn steps of Province House one sees the decor. It is not a huge place. However, there is a sense of history when one walks through what was then the senate chamber and see the table where our founding fathers came together and decided on their vision for this great country. Their vision was built on in the Quebec Conference and the London Conference that came afterwards. To a great extent this is why we have the country we have today.
When I was the president of the NFU, I often mentioned that Canadians need to see more of Canada and the tremendous potential we have as a country, which, in many respects, is second to none compared to others around the world. That vision happened in Charlottetown and we are proud of it as islanders.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2017-12-04 11:17 [p.15895]
Mr. Speaker, as often happened in the early years, whether in the United States or here, there were the leaders who came together. They were certainly there. There were no big crowds in the streets, as we would find today at many such gatherings, but it was mainly the representatives of the people who came together, debated, and discussed. They made the decisions that encapsulated the vision that became Canada.
As I mentioned in my speech, those were different times. Indigenous people were not invited to the conference and neither were women. We do live in different times 153 years later, and that reflects the errors of the ways in those times. However, it is part of our history, and because of that we are now able to build on it as we move forward to be a much more inclusive, all encompassing, and open society.
View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2017-12-04 11:36 [p.15897]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud and honoured to stand in this place to offer my contributions to the debate on Bill S-236. I would like to acknowledge some of the people who have brought it to this stage: the former member of Parliament for Hillsborough, George Proud; Philip Brown, from Charlottetown, and Sharon Larter, both of whom have been tenacious in advancing this private member's legislation through various Parliaments since the early 1990s; Senator Griffin, who introduced it and saw it through the other place; my colleague, the hon. member for Malpeque; and Dr. Ed MacDonald. They all have played key roles in getting us to where we are today. I would also like to thank the members for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek and Victoria for their very thoughtful and insightful remarks here today.
Finally, the proceedings before the heritage committee were particularly instructive and collaborative. In particular, I want to recognize the work and leadership of the member for York—Simcoe and the member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, who also carried forward a similar theme as the member for Victoria with respect to the importance of indigenous voices.
I was extremely proud on November 23 of this year when the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada stood at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, just steps away from Province House, and accepted the Symons Medal and delivered the Symons Medal lecture on the state of Canadian Confederation. It was a particularly poignant moment when in the lead-up to his presentation, there was a Canada 150 signature performance by the Dream Catchers.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts is a permanent memorial to the Fathers of Confederation, and it was no more fitting on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation than to have the Prime Minister deliver remarks on the state of Canadian Confederation and to then accept a wide array of questions from the packed house. It was truly moving.
I am equally moved and honoured to stand in this House at this time on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to speak to Bill S-236. As I indicated, it was put forward by the hon. Senator Griffin. It is quite straightforward and has a simple purpose: to recognize the role of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, along with Quebec and London, in laying the foundation for Confederation, a pivotal moment in Canada's evolution as a country.
History can be a dry topic, but today I would like to paint a picture for members of that meeting in Charlottetown that may perhaps shed some light on how it came about and why it was successful in terms of laying the groundwork for a new nation to emerge in the world. Historian P.B. Waite noted:
Confederation was, in many ways, a startling development. One can add up the causes of Confederation and still not get the sum of it. Like all political achievements, it was a matter of timing, luck and the combination of a certain set of men and events.
What was that certain set of men and events? Our neighbour to the south was in turmoil, tearing itself apart in a dreadful civil war. Citizens living in the British colonies viewed the upheaval with great unease, wondering if it would spill over the border.
At that time, British officials were trying to figure out whether the colonies were more of a liability than an asset. In a day and age when the empire was more interested in trade than in military might, perhaps it was time for British North America to take its destiny into its own hands.
Meanwhile, the Province of Canada, created by the 1840 Act of Union that united what are now known as Quebec and Ontario under one government, had reached a political impasse and was looking for a way out.
The problem was that Canada West, now Ontario, and Canada East, now Quebec, each had 50 seats in Parliament.
This was creating some tension. Canada West's population was much higher than that of Canada East, so more and more voices began clamouring for representation by population.
At the same time, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, also uncomfortable with the American conflict, had begun to talk about creating a maritime union among themselves. The instinct for unity was clearly an early Canadian trait.
Who were the men who made Confederation possible? In the early 1850s, a young lawyer from Kingston by the name of John A. Macdonald and a Montreal-based lawyer, George-Étienne Cartier, were both elected to opposite sides of the House in Parliament. A certain mutual respect developed between the two men, but it was when George Brown of the English-Canadian Reformers crossed the floor and formed an alliance with his archrival, Sir John A. Macdonald, that the logjam was broken.
The Great Coalition of 1864 wanted to build a larger united federation for British North America. Such a confederation would allow Canada West and Canada East to function as separate provinces, able to govern their own affairs within the new dominion. This is likely why Brown was able to align himself with MacDonald.
The Canadians became aware of the maritime union and asked if they might be invited to discuss a union among all the British colonies. The architects of the maritime union were Charles Tupper from Nova Scotia, Leonard Tilley from New Brunswick, and John Hamilton Gray from Prince Edward Island. They agreed.
A conference was arranged for Charlottetown, to run from September 1 to 7, 1864. The Canadian delegates included several senior ministers: Sir John A. Macdonald, George-Étienne Cartier, George Brown, Alexander Galt, the minister of finance, and Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the poet politician.
Through the daily letters of George Brown to his wife Anne, we have the flavour of what happened at Charlottetown. The Canadians travelled in their ship, the Queen Victoria, and stocked it with provisions and gifts, all with an eye to demonstrating their goodwill to their maritime hosts.
I had said that history can sometimes be dry. Well, in addition to the serious discussions, the Charlottetown conference was a social affair with dances, dinners, and by many accounts, lots of champagne.
Interestingly, the Canadians had to sleep on the ship the first day they arrived. The circus was in town and there was not a single hotel available.
On the first day, the maritime delegates told the Canadians they would put Confederation first on the agenda and move the debate on maritime union to later. After this first important decision was made, a state dinner with dancing was held by the governor.
So it went: serious discussions, interspersed by social engagements where the delegates could all get to know and understand each other better. The discussion on Confederation was thoughtfully laid out by Cartier and Macdonald who talked about the benefits and outlined different models of federalism. Alexander Galt presented the financial aspects, including the benefits for the Maritimes. Thomas D'Arcy McGee painted a picture of a bright future together with his words.
During a tour of our beautiful legislature building, Province House, Sir John noticed a visitor's guest book. He signed it and under occupation wrote “cabinet maker”; indeed.
In less than a week, the Maritimers agreed in principle to Confederation and assented to participate in the Quebec conference a month later. The future beckoned.
This certain set of men and events needs to be remembered, shared, and taught to our children, which is why we are seeking to pass Bill S-236. Commemoration is about examining the past so we can move forward into our future with knowledge and understanding of how we got here.
As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we can see the evolution of our country, our democracy, and our values. Our very roots, as evidenced by what took place in Charlottetown, were not about conflict or war: They were about finding mutual ground and working out our differences.
Let us now work hard to ensure that the spirit of working out our differences and the lessons learned in Charlottetown can be applied to our search for reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Let us make sure that the spirit of reconciliation is not just for Canada 150, but will become part of our nation-building and national values. This is the lesson of Charlottetown. Let us keep moving it forward.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2017-06-20 20:01 [p.13038]
Mr. Speaker, I listened to the remarks of the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. The lack of real understanding of what happened in the appointments process was almost dizzying. I really cannot imagine anybody from the Conservative Party of Canada talking about appointments and credibility in the same sentence. It is amazing.
Being from Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, you would understand that if we were to do some research with respect to Peter MacKay's wedding party, we would find not one person in that wedding party who had not been appointed to a position by the previous government. They were all Conservatives and all lacked credibility in those positions.
Does the member not think that the process set up by the current Prime Minister was to make it open and transparent and to ensure there was credibility and understanding with respect to the issues with which the Liberals would deal in regard to the Prime Minister's appointments? This is all about making good appointments. That party over there has absolutely no credibility when it comes to talking about appointments and credibility in the same sentence. Would he not agree?
Results: 1 - 15 of 22 | Page: 1 of 2