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Results: 1 - 13 of 13
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2018-06-18 15:44 [p.21155]
Mr. Speaker, the next petition is signed by hundreds of Canadians from Alberta, B.C. and Yukon.
These Canadians are concerned that Canada is the only nation in the world without laws that protect preborn children. They note that Canada's Supreme Court has said it is Parliament's responsibility to enact legislation and protect fetal interests.
The petitioners call on Parliament to speedily enact legislation that would bring Canada's abortion regulations into line with those of other developed nations.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2018-06-14 10:21 [p.20906]
Mr. Speaker, I have in my hands a petition sent to me by numerous constituents in my riding who are calling on the government to condemn the act of sex-selective abortion.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the approach we took as Conservatives when we were in government was that our foreign aid should be something that brings Canadians together, something all Canadians could agree was a good idea and that was not divisive for Canadians. I think we were successful in promoting programs, like the maternal and child health program, which provided basic access to medicines and health support for people who needed it around the world.
Let us focus on those things that bring Canadians together, that bring the world together. That should be our priority, and that should be where we invest our resources, because there is so much need in that area in terms of basic medicine and basic nutrition. Why would we not focus on those kinds of things?
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
2018-03-01 12:34 [p.17525]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to provide our government's perspective on an issue that is at the heart of our employment objectives for our young people, which is the issue of access to good-quality jobs.
Canada summer jobs has been a very successful Government of Canada program that has offered thousands of youth job opportunities since it was first created. The program has been reaching its objectives to give young people the opportunity to acquire work and life experience while supporting community-based initiatives. Fundamentally, this is about jobs for kids.
These are simple objectives. The spirit of the program is to open doors for young people and give them a good start to their working careers.
It has been my honour as a member of Parliament to approve this list for hundreds of young people in our community and to ensure that at every point in every year I was able to make those kinds of calls, no discrimination was taking place.
In this context, the organizations that provide quality employment to young people through the Canada summer jobs program are as varied as the economic sectors in the country. The CSJ program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers, and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees. The range of activities is therefore almost unlimited.
There are, and have been, a number of eligibility criteria that employers must meet, but there is one key requirement that underpins eligibility, and that criterion is respect.
This program, which has certainly already proven itself, provides subsidies to employers so that they can create valuable summer jobs for students enrolled in secondary or post-secondary studies. This can include employers in the public sector, private companies with fewer than 50 employees, and non-profit organizations. Religious and faith-based organizations are of course eligible for program funding, as in past years, and we strongly encourage them to submit an application.
However, it is important to remember that one of the fundamental principles our government believes in is upholding the rights of Canadians, especially the rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is why, after we learned that funding through this program had been used to undermine the rights of some Canadians, we took the necessary steps to ensure that it never happens again. As the government, we had a duty to consider the fact that some organizations were not allowing young people from the LGBTQ2 community to attend their summer camps or they were distributing images of aborted fetuses. That is why we had to ask organizations to clarify their mandate and their primary activities before giving them funding under the Canada summer jobs program.
Our government and members of the government have been clear and vocal about our basic values over the course of our two-year time in government, values like inclusion, compassion, respect, and no discrimination. We have been trying to integrate those values into our policies and programs, like our progressive trade agenda and the inclusion of human factors in environmental assessments.
This year, the CSJ program includes an element whereby applicants are required to attest that both the job and the organization's core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. We know there were comments and conversations about this and that there were constructive conversations between reasonable people. The Prime Minister spoke with the cardinal of Montreal, and the cardinal encouraged all Catholic parishes to apply to the fund. That is a fantastic example of constructive dialogue between government and faith organizations.
There is an old line that my uncle would use when we would all get together at Christmastime. He would tell all sorts of hilarious jokes and wild stories. If anybody ever questioned him about the details of his jokes, he would say, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” I have to compliment the opposition members today for bringing me back to those Christmas dinners, because they obviously feel they have a great storyline but the truth has nothing to do with it.
The arguments of the Conservative Party have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual content of the attestation or our government's policy on the Canada summer jobs grant. The attestation makes it crystal clear that it has nothing to do with an individual's personal beliefs, but everything to do with the nature of the jobs that organization is hiring for and the nature of the organization's core mandate, the core mandate not their personal beliefs.
The motion talks about organizations whose mandate is to feed the homeless. There is nothing in the attestation talking about core mandates of feeding the homeless. I want to see an end to homelessness. I want to ensure that all homeless people are fed, and so does our government.
The motion talks about organizations that help refugees. There is nothing in the attestation about having a core mandate to help refugees.
The opposition is pulling its hair out over a problem that simply does not exist. I sympathize with pulling one's hair out because I do not have much left to pull out. However, the Conservative Party is looking for headlines. The Conservatives see an opportunity to scare Canadians into thinking the government is coming for them and their private beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with the freedom to worship in our country.
Let us talk about what is in the attestation. In particular, I want to talk about a key aspect of the attestation that has not received much attention in this discussion. It is the requirement to attest that the job and the organization will respect the right to be from discrimination on the grounds protected by the Canada Human Rights Act, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
Some 15 months ago, the House passed Bill C-16 to protect Canadians from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity or gender expression. It explicitly protects transgender and non-binary Canadians from being discriminated against in employment. Bill C-16, as members well know, is now law, and it passed the House with the support of members from all parties, including the mover of today's motion. Perhaps those members can explain why they voted for a law that protects gender-diverse Canadians from discrimination in employment, but are now angry that the Government of Canada will not fund organizations that want to discriminate in employment against these very gender-diverse Canadians.
Individuals are entitled to their personal beliefs. However, it is a reality that there are organizations that hold LGBTQ2 people like me with contempt and believe they are entitled to discriminate against me and others because of who we love or how we express our gender. That is why governments have passed laws to protect me and members of my community from that discrimination. Yet, it seems, from the arguments I hear today, that there is a belief that these organisations are not only entitled to discriminate, but they deserve a big government effort and government financing to help them fund that effort.
Our government has taken a stand that if an organization's mandate is to turn back the clock and take away the rights and human dignity of LGBTQ2 Canadians, or women, or indigenous people, or people with disabilities or people of visible minority background, it has the right to do so but it does not have the right to expect LGBTQ2 Canadians and other taxpayers to pay it to do it.
The other piece of this discussion is with respect to abortion. Once again, individuals are entitled to have different views on this issue. For 10 years, the previous government refused to fund international organizations that performed abortion services overseas. The Conservatives had said that if an organization was involved in abortion, it did not get Government of Canada funding. I remember those days. I do not remember a single member opposite speaking out about it. The members seemed perfectly fine to deny needed medical services to women based on a viewpoint on abortion. However, our government refuses to pay organizations to hire individuals to protest outside of an abortion clinic to scare or abuse women, or pay organizations to hand out grotesque pamphlets on the streets. We have a problem with that.
Again, people are absolutely entitled to their own points of view in our country. They are entitled to hold those views and apply for or receive a summer job grant. However, if they choose to discriminate in their employment or want to hire people for no other job than to turn back the clock on women's rights, on LGBTQ2 rights, on the rights of persons with disabilities, on indigenous rights, then this government will decline their requests for such a cheque.
Who is supporting us in this matter? Abortion Support Services Atlantic, Alberta Pro-Choice Coalition, Shelter House Thunder Bay, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, as well as the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.
Is it too much to ask that a Government of Canada program respect the individual rights and values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? That all seems reasonable to our government as well as to major stakeholders, including the National Association of Women and the Law. I hope all members in the House will come to the same conclusion.
We are forging ahead with our goal of strengthening the middle class and creating a level playing field where everyone has the chance to succeed. That is our vision. That is our commitment.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2018-03-01 16:37 [p.17562]
Mr. Speaker, I have no hesitation talking about what this attestation says, which includes a core mandate respecting reproductive rights. In a free and democratic society, there can be no religious or values test, and that is precisely what the government is trying to impose upon churches and faith-based organizations. The hon. member knows full well that many churches and faith-based organizations cannot, in good conscience, sign on to that, because at the end of the day, that is not part of their core mandate.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2017-06-09 12:14 [p.12419]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition deals with people's disdain for the fact that once the gender of a baby in the womb is known, abortions are still allowed to be performed. The petitioners are calling on the government to end the practice of sex-selection abortions.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2017-06-09 12:14 [p.12419]
Mr. Speaker, the third petition deals with the overall issue of abortion.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2016-05-02 11:42 [p.2626]
Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today to speak in support of Bill C-225. At the outset, I want to congratulate my colleague, the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville for bringing forward this important and much-needed legislation to protect women and close a glaring void in justice under the Criminal Code.
The legislation is appropriately named after Cassie Durham and her preborn daughter, Molly. Just 10 weeks away from giving birth to Molly, Cassie was brutally murdered. Cassie's killer was appropriately charged with first degree murder. However, what charges did Cassie's killer face for targeting Cassie as a pregnant woman and terminating a perfectly viable pregnancy against the wishes of Cassie? The answer is that no charges were laid, because there were no charges to be laid under the Criminal Code.
In 2005, Olivia Talbot was pregnant with her preborn son, Lane Jr. Like Cassie Durham, Olivia Talbot was brutally murdered. Her killer shot at Olivia three times and by his own admission he specifically targeted Lane Jr., yet no charges could be laid for those crimes.
The victims' families, Olivia Talbot's, Cassie Durham's, and other families, ask where the justice is. Where is the justice when there is no provision in the Criminal Code that would hold criminals who target pregnant women accountable? Where is the justice when there is no provision in the Criminal Code to hold accountable those persons who violently terminate a woman's pregnancy against that woman's choice? The answer to those families who ask, “Where is the justice?” is that there is no justice.
The stories of Cassie Durham and Olivia Talbot are not isolated stories. Indeed, over the last 15 years some 24 reported cases have involved women being attacked or murdered while pregnant.
There are some who say this legislation is not necessary. They say, simply provide that, for those who target pregnant women, that can be an aggravating factor in sentencing. It already is an aggravating factor in sentencing in common law. Bill C-225 would codify the common law and that is a step in the right direction. However, simply providing that targeting a pregnant woman is an aggravating factor at sentencing is not sufficient for justice to be truly done.
An important component of our criminal justice system is that criminals are held accountable for all of the crimes they commit against their victims and not just some of the crimes. However, clearly in the cases of Cassie Durham and Olivia Talbot their killers were only charged and held accountable for some of the crimes, not all of the crimes. That is unjust.
With respect to sentencing, we can take for example someone who knowingly targets a pregnant woman, assaults her, and in the process of the assault terminates her viable pregnancy. What would happen to that individual if targeting a pregnant woman were merely an aggravating factor? It is likely that the individual would be charged with aggravated assault. The maximum penalty for aggravated assault is 14 years, and because it is an aggravating factor, it is more likely that the perpetrator would be sentenced closer to 14 years than less, which is a positive thing.
Let us face the reality that what would have occurred in that situation is something more than aggravated assault. A woman's viable pregnancy would have been terminated against her will, her bodily integrity infringed upon, and her choice as a woman violated.
Bill C-225 recognizes that reality and would give judges the tools they need to hold criminals who commit those kinds of crimes truly accountable by potentially putting those types of criminals away a lot longer than 14 years.
There are some who say, and we have heard it today from several hon. members who spoke, that this is really about reopening the abortion debate. The fact is that, in Canada, abortion is available and lawful for the full nine months of a woman's pregnancy, and Bill C-225 does absolutely nothing to change that fact.
Not only does Bill C-225 do nothing to change that fact, but Bill C-225 expressly provides that a preborn child is not a human being in law, to leave no ambiguity and no confusion: Bill C-225 has absolutely nothing to do with abortion.
What Bill C-225 has a lot to do with, however, is justice. It is justice for women who are targeted because they are pregnant; justice for women who are injured because they are pregnant; justice for women whose rights are violated; and justice for women by ensuring that those who violate the rights of women are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Let us, as a House of Commons, do what is right, what is fair, and what is just. Let us close this glaring loophole in justice under the Criminal Code, and pass Bill C-225.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2016-05-02 15:07 [p.2659]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to present petitions on three separate issues on behalf of my constituents of Red Deer—Mountain View.
The first petition calls upon Parliament to condemn discrimination against sex-selective abortions.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2016-05-02 15:08 [p.2659]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition asks Parliament to enact legislation restricting abortions.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2016-02-26 12:27 [p.1456]
Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to table today. The first two petitions are from residents in central Alberta, who basically outline the fact that Canada is one of the only modern nations in the world that does not have any laws around proscribing abortion nor any policy restricting it. The petitioners call upon this House to enact legislation to address that particular issue.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2016-02-26 12:28 [p.1456]
Mr. Speaker, I have another two petitions signed by many people in central Alberta asking the government and the House of Commons to put legislation in place to prevent sex-selective abortions, which is an atrocious thing that can happen in our nation.
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