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Results: 1 - 15 of 36
View Sheri Benson Profile
View Sheri Benson Profile
2018-12-03 19:24 [p.24358]
Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Transport directly about the withdrawal of Greyhound from western Canada. The minister made time to appear before the transport committee, and I was grateful to have had the chance to tell him in person about how serious the lack of safe, affordable transportation is in Saskatchewan.
While the minister was gracious in giving his time to the members at the transport committee, unfortunately, many questions still remain, including my question in the House of last September directed to the lone Saskatchewan minister.
Since the shutdown of the STC, many women fleeing domestic violence have had to hitchhike or turn to Kijiji to get a ride to a shelter. It is unconscionable for a feminist government to know this and do nothing.
Last January, the Minister of Innovation told the House that his government would work with me to look for meaningful solutions to this crisis. To this day, I have heard absolutely nothing.
I suggested I ask the lone Saskatchewan minister this time what he would do to ensure people in Saskatchewan have safe, reliable public transportation. The answer I received that day was from the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, who said that his government would always be there for the people of Saskatchewan, and that there would be good news coming. He also said that I could come and see him or the Minister of Public Safety and his colleagues.
I have reached out to that minister, as well as the lone minister from Saskatchewan, to no avail, To date, I have not heard anything back from either minister, which leads me to believe that the government is very good at talking a good line, but when it comes to delivering on solutions, not so much. Take, for example, the recent announcement in response to Greyhound's withdrawal. For a full year after the cancellation of the STC, the government did nothing. It took the withdrawal of a private company for it to actually take notice of the growing transportation crisis in western Canada.
Fortunately for British Columbia and Alberta, those provinces have progressive NDP governments, which have already stepped up to mitigate the serious gaps in public transportation in their respective provinces.
Unfortunately for my province, Saskatchewan's provincial government decided to shut down the STC. The silence from the Saskatchewan Conservative MPs on this issue is deafening. It is unfortunate that when it comes to standing up for safe, affordable transportation, it appears politics trumps the needs of communities and constituents.
Have we actually heard anything from the Minister of Public Safety, who is from Saskatchewan? Sadly, no. The safety of women and children fleeing domestic violence must be made a priority by the Minister of Public Safety.
People in my province relied on STC to get them to medical appointments, to work and to school, to run their businesses and to connect them to friends and family in other parts of the province and Canada. People in northern, rural and remote areas especially need this safe, affordable mode of transportation. Surely, there is a role for the federal government's leadership and real investment when such a serious gap exists.
View Sheri Benson Profile
View Sheri Benson Profile
2018-12-03 19:30 [p.24359]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for outlining all the ways in which the federal government has partnered on public transportation in cities and larger communities in Saskatchewan.
My question was about the fact that there is no inter-city bus service in Saskatchewan anymore and that Greyhound's pulling out reduced that even more. The federal government stated that it does have a role in investing in that. Otherwise, if the provincial government says a city or municipality does not need a provincial bus service and the federal government says it is not its responsibility, we are leaving many people in Saskatchewan high and dry, especially the many who are vulnerable in rural and remote communities.
I am asking for the government to step up and provide that leadership and to give us the details that we did not get from the Minister of Transport at committee last week. I am asking this of the federal government, which can play a role in this area. It is not just a provincial government responsibility.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to have an opportunity tonight to address the attacks on religious liberty and freedom of conscience that we see from the current government. The Liberals have altered the Canada summer jobs program to require that any applicants check a box indicating their agreement with certain propositions. That affirmation is about the private convictions of those groups, not about their activities or their willingness to comply with the law.
Governments always make determinations about what activities they wish to fund, but it is unconscionable in a free society to say that people should be denied the ability to access government services or programs on an equal basis simply because of their private convictions. However, that is the contention of the Liberal government, that faith-based and secular organizations alike should be denied access to public services on the basis of their wish not to positively state their agreement with certain propositions that happen to be important to the government.
This policy responds to no problem or need. It is a mean-spirited attack on the private convictions and liberties of organizations that do excellent work helping the most vulnerable across this country. We are seeing the impact of this policy. Over 1,000 organizations were denied funding this year, with at least one secular not-for-profit organization announcing that it will close its doors as a result of funding lost through this policy.
We are seeing perverse outcomes. We have an organization openly advocating hate against minority groups that did receive the money and organizations that do uncontroversial good work being denied the money. Those who are genuinely hateful apparently do not have a problem lying when they check the box. The only effect of this policy, then, is to screen out the genuinely good and honest who refuse to violate their convictions for 30 pieces of silver.
What is striking to me about this debate, as well, is that we have a government in this country that finds the very idea of conscience to be baffling. The Liberals have said, and the parliamentary secretary, I suspect, will say again in response to my question, something to the effect that faith-based organizations are eligible, and many have received funding, and by the way, there is more money in the program than ever before. The Liberals genuinely do not understand that people of conscience will not check a box that contradicts their convictions, even if they are told that it is meaningless and to check it anyway.
The many Catholic organizations, in particular, that provide help to refugees, prisoners, the sick, the elderly, and children honour St. Thomas More, who preferred execution to signing an attestation that violated his conscience. More's friends tried to persuade him to change his views or cede to compromise, but at least they understood the idea of conscience that informed his actions.
The government, as it is about to reveal in response to this question, has so lost its moral ground that the members cannot conceive of people refusing to sign something they do not agree with to get some money. The Liberals not only lack the constraints of conscience in this case, they fundamentally fail to understand what conscience is. The problem is not one of immorality but of amorality. The idea of firm, unrelenting convictions exceeding self-interest is simply not part of their comprehension.
This has, I believe, wider consequences beyond the particulars of this issue. It is not a surprise to me that the first prime minister in Canadian history to have broken ethics laws while in office is also one who seems so confounded by the notion of conscience.
Whether groups are theoretically eligible, the demand that they sign a form attesting to things they do not believe is an unavoidable impediment to groups that disagree with the particulars of this attestation. Free societies do not demand to know what my private convictions are before I receive public services, and it does not matter how much money is in the program. It matters that the government is hell-bent on discriminating against people of conscience and conviction.
In 2019, we will give Canadians a better option, a party made up of people who disagree with each other on a range of different issues but who fundamentally respect the section 2 guarantees in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; who respect freedom of conscience; and who believe that great societies are those in which people are free to disagree, to countenance unpopular opinions, and to stand on their convictions.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my friend across the way, I think the refutation that I am about to give is probably unnecessary since it is obvious from what he said that he does not fundamentally understand the question. He said not to worry because the Liberals are spending more money on the program. It is a program that they have structured in a way that discriminates. He said that faith groups are still eligible. They are only eligible if they check a box that attests to particular propositions that many faith groups and other organizations may either not agree with or simply not see wading into as part of their mandate.
My friend across the way I think clearly misdescribes what this attestation does. The wording of the attestation is clear. In order to get the funding, people have to check a box stating their particular doctrinal agreement with certain particular propositions. It does not speak to the way they will treat people in their interactions with them. Rather, it speaks to their particular—
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, we are learning today that the fisheries committee will no longer be able to benefit from the able service and chairmanship of the Liberal member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame. Indeed, that member was the only Liberal MP who had the courage to listen to his constituents, stand up, and vote for the opposition motion that would have protected the fundamental freedoms of charitable organizations to do the good work that they do and collaborate with the government through the Canada summer jobs program without facing the kind of arbitrary discrimination proposed by the government.
Earlier I asked the government a question as to why it will not support our motion, a motion that would have said that those groups involved in non-political, non-activist work should be able to access the Canada summer jobs program regardless of their private convictions. This motion called the government's bluff, because the government told us that all it was trying to do was deal with the activities. It was not at all interested in persecuting organizations on the basis of their private convictions. It was only interested in activities.
Thus, we wrote a motion that said that groups that do not engage in activities that the government finds objectionable should not be prohibited from accessing this funding on the basis of their private convictions. However, clearly showing their hand, members of the government—all of them, except one—decided to oppose our motion, and because of that opposition, charitable organizations, as well as other organizations that would otherwise have benefited from this funding, whose work has nothing to do with controversial social or political issues, will still be denied funding this summer. Students will be denied summer jobs on the basis of their private convictions.
The member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame had the courage to listen to his constituents, to listen to what I know many other Liberal MPs were hearing, and actually had the courage to act on it. This is interesting, because there was one member of the NDP who had similar courage. He was initially disciplined, but thankfully the NDP thought better of it and restored him to his position on the procedure and House affairs committee.
I am calling on the government to, first of all, respect fundamental freedoms in this country in terms of their approach to the Canada summer jobs program, and second, to allow the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame to do his job, to represent his constituents, and not be deprived of the opportunity to continue to serve as chair to lead on the fisheries committee.
When the government punishes one of its members for simply doing his job, doing the job that he was sent here to do, which is to listen to charitable organizations and other groups in his constituency, and when the government disciplines him for doing his job by listening to his constituents, I submit that it goes against everything the Prime Minister talked about in the last election in terms of actually listening to Canadians and in terms of free votes. That really jeopardizes the position of many MPs, who I know were quietly saying to stakeholders in their ridings in many cases that they did not like what was going on here but did not have a choice. Well, they did have a choice.
Unfortunately, the way the Prime Minister runs the government is that when a member like the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame stands up, listens to his constituents, and does the right thing to support allowing groups engaged in non-political, non-activist work to access funding, he is kicked off the fisheries committee. He is no longer able to do the work that he has the experience and the knowledge to do very well.
Will the parliamentary secretary stand up and explain to us why a Liberal member should be deprived of the ability to do his job simply because he had the courage to stand up for stakeholder groups in his riding that the Prime Minister refuses to listen to?
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, clearly my friend across the way wants to be the parliamentary historian as well as the poet laureate here.
Let us review some actual history. There is a big difference between voting against one's own government on a budget and voting in favour of an opposition motion. The member who has been here for 17 years should understand the difference in terms of the implications for the confidence convention.
There is nothing that would have stopped the government from operating or denying confidence, if more members had been given the freedom and the respect to listen to their constituents, as the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame had the courage to do. The member said that this member was out of line. It is too bad that the Liberals will be deprived of his contribution. They have shown a great deal of disrespect to someone who knows a great deal.
The Liberals think they can solve every problem with more money. The Canada summer jobs issue is about fundamental freedoms. It is about the right of organizations to provide services, regardless of their private convictions, without being asked to check a box. Frankly, if an employer asked those questions, it would violate human rights codes in most provinces.
It is not about money. It is about fundamental freedoms. When will the government start showing respect for the fundamental freedoms of Canadian organizations, start listening to their own members, and stop running roughshod over organizations that do important charitable work in this country?
View Jim Eglinski Profile
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2017-11-09 19:04 [p.15255]
Mr. Speaker, on November 3, I asked the following question in the House:
I rise in the House once again to ask the Minister of Natural Resources about his plans to stop the pine beetle from attacking our [Canadian] forests.
Last year alone, the beetle increased tenfold. Even though science and research has been done, the beetle has moved from Jasper Park into central Alberta and is heading east. All of Canada's pine forests are at risk. We need financial assistance to cull the trees.
What is the Liberal government doing to stop this infestation?
Again, I am going to ask a similar question. When is the Liberal government going to step up to the plate? Last week we received an answer that it was doing science and research. I rise again to say that science and research are not applicable at this time. Why is that? We know all about the pine beetle. Science and research have been done for many years. I was there when the pine beetle was first spotted in western British Columbia in the late 1970s. If proper action had been taken then, and the trees culled or burned, I probably would not be asking the question again today.
Our boreal forests are at risk. What is needed from the minister is financial aid. Even the former Liberal government, in 2005, recognized the problem and gave $100 million to fight the pine beetle when it was still in British Columbia. Did science and research stop it? No, they did not. Did we stop the pine beetle? No, we did not.
The Government of Alberta has spent over $85 million to fight the infestation, and that funding helped slow the pine beetle, until this year. This is a drop in the bucket compared to $9 billion in damages, fighting costs, and loss of production that the fire in Fort McMurray caused, or the untold millions that it cost to fight the B.C. fires this year. Those fires were fed by dead pine forests, due to the pine beetle.
Our previous Conservative government gave $10 million in 2009 to fight the pine beetle in northwestern Alberta. The Fort McMurray fire last year helped destroy a large amount of the northern pine beetle, but unfortunately, it destroyed a lot more than that. We all saw that on the news.
I remember going to a pine beetle seminar where scientists told me the pine beetles would never get across the Rocky Mountains. They have gone way across.
During adjournment debate on October 26, I once again called on the federal government to assist Alberta in the fight against the mountain pine beetle. Companies like Weyerhaeuser, Millar Western, and West Fraser have spent millions of dollars of their own money to combat the pine beetle.
I have held meetings and round table discussions with park officials, CFS officials, as well as representatives from forestry and local communities. Parks Canada kept telling us it was going to try to cull the trees. Very little was done.
What do we need? The minister of forestry and agriculture for the Province of Alberta told me 10 days ago that they need financial help. We need need financial assistance now to cull the trees. The beetles killed 40,000 trees last year while we were holding them at bay, between the industry and the province, but it has increased tenfold to more than 500,000 this year. The pine beetle is out of control.
Again, what is the Minister of Natural Resources going to do to stop the pine beetle from attacking our forests? We have moved and must move faster than the pine beetle before it is too late for all of Canada.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2017-11-09 19:11 [p.15256]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her reply, but I think it is a lot of bull.
Science and technology has not stopped the beetle. If the government is looking for integrity of our parks, it should just take a drive through Jasper Park and look at all the brown, dead trees from the B.C. border through to the Alberta border. Your science and technology could not even stop it within a confined area of the park, and you are saying you are doing a lot.
The government needs to put up some money to help the Province of Alberta fight the pine beetle situation. Your previous government gave $100 million. Alberta needs help right now. It cannot afford to do it on its own. Science has not stopped the pine beetle. Actual culling or burning will stop the pine beetle. We are asking you for financial assistance to stop it before it gets further east.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2017-11-09 19:13 [p.15256]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to address a question I asked on October 17. In that question, I ask the government to support Alberta, not Alabama.
Things in Alberta are quite dire. Our economy is growing at one of the lowest rates in the country. Our oil patch is under significant distress. The logging industry has significant challenges from all angles, especially when it comes to accessing wood fibre. Our farmers are increasingly struggling to get their crops off in time due to either a really wet year or a dry year, depending in which part of the province they are. We are looking to the federal government for support for Alberta particularly and support for Canada overall.
My question was about Bombardier and the millions of dollars that had been given to it to prop it up. I understand this was due to the fact the Liberals had promised not to expand the airport in Toronto, which therefore did not allow for the sale of the C Series jet to a particular airplane company, which made that C Series jet unprofitable. Therefore, to allow for that promise to be kept, the Liberals had to pay off Bombardier. In turn, that led to a large tariff being placed on the C Series jet, which was to the detriment of Canada overall.
Going forward, we now are looking at a situation where in order for the C Series jet to be sold in the United States, it has to be produced in the United States. Airbus has come along and taken a share in Bombardier, which is now leading to Bombardier planes being built in Alabama. My question was why we were supporting Alabama and not Alberta. That was the main gist of it. We know the tax dollars have been put into Bombardier, but the planes will be built in Alabama.
If these airplanes are to be built in Alabama, will Canadian taxpayers be reimbursed for all the money that was put into Bombardier? That is the essence of the question.
When it comes to support for Alberta, we have seen major pipeline projects get cancelled or are no longer approved after they have been approved. Major pipelines that have been approved do not look like they will be built or still have significant hurdles to get past. There does not seem to be any support from the government in Ottawa to get these projects built.
Will the government support Alberta and work hard to get the taxpayer dollars that were spent on Bombardier back so those dollars can be used to support hard-working Albertans who are under duress at this point, hard-working Albertans who work in the oil patch, forestry sector, and in the farming sector? We support the aerospace industry. We are purely looking for similar support for the industries that make Alberta thrive.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2017-11-09 19:20 [p.15257]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his impassioned speech in defence of and protection of the aerospace industry. However, what we are asking for is the same kind of enthusiasm and protection for the proponents of the industries in Alberta.
The main thrust of my question was: Will the taxpayer be repaid their portion that they put into the Bombardier deal?
The C Series jet is now owned by a foreign entity, which is what this deal is all about. When the government gave the money to Bombardier, it was to prop up jobs here in Canada. Why would we now be allowing Bombardier to be sold off to foreign companies so that Canadian taxpayer money can be supporting companies that are not in Canada? We have seen similar things with this infrastructure bank. Will the taxpayer be repaid?
View Erin Weir Profile
View Erin Weir Profile
2017-11-01 19:25 [p.14840]
Madam Speaker, one month ago, I asked whether the Liberal government would make some of the public transit infrastructure fund available to restore needed bus service between Saskatchewan communities. The context for this question is that five months ago the provincial Sask Party government eliminated the Saskatchewan Transportation Company in hopes that private enterprise would fill the void, but there is still no bus service, even between Saskatchewan's largest cities, Regina and Saskatoon. This lack of bus service has caused many problems.
My original question highlighted the difficulty seniors were having getting to medical appointments. Just today the media reported on a message from Saskatchewan's deputy minister of health, which stated, “Do we co-ordinate medical taxis or other transportation with federal [government] that mitigates STC loss...?” It would be interesting to know how much the Government of Canada has had to spend on medical taxis in Saskatchewan since the closure of STC. Would that money not be better spent sustaining bus service?
This brings me to the public transit infrastructure fund. Of course, this fund is mostly about public transit in urban areas. However, when the Liberal government unveiled this program, it included a lot of language about meeting the unique infrastructure needs of rural and remote communities. This leads me to believe that some of this money should be available to support intercity bus service in Saskatchewan to connect our communities.
This year's budget provided $20 billion to the public transit infrastructure fund and allocated it between provinces according to a formula of 30% population and 70% existing transit ridership. Saskatchewan has more than 3% of Canada's population, but we have less than 1% of Canada's existing transit ridership. According to this formula, we receive only about 1.5% of federal transit funding, in other words only about half of our per capita share of the money. Most federal transfer programs to provinces are allocated on a purely per capita basis.
Therefore, the good news is that Saskatchewan will receive about $320 million from the public transit infrastructure fund. The bad news is that according to our population, we should be receiving more like $640 million. However, at the end of the day, both of those numbers vastly exceed the $85 million that the Sask Party says it will save by getting rid of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company.
Therefore, it should be possible for Saskatchewan to receive our fair share of the public transit infrastructure fund and to use a portion of that money to sustain and restore needed bus service between our communities.
View Erin Weir Profile
View Erin Weir Profile
2017-11-01 19:32 [p.14841]
Madam Speaker, when I asked my question about federal funding for bus service a month ago, the parliamentary secretary responded by speaking in very general terms about federal infrastructure funding in Saskatchewan. Given a month to further study the issue, I am somewhat disappointed I am getting the same level of response this evening.
What I would like to get a clear answer on is, if the Government of Saskatchewan were to request funding from the public transit infrastructure fund to provide bus service between communities, is that something that the Government of Canada would provide?
I certainly take the point that it was the provincial government that decided to get rid of STC, and it is the provincial government that would have to define its priorities, but if the province were to request money for the purpose of intercity transport, would the Government of Canada provide it?
View Jim Eglinski Profile
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2017-10-26 18:21 [p.14610]
Mr. Speaker, in the mid-1970s when I was an RCMP officer, I was stationed in Fort St. James and saw the outbreak of the pine beetle in one of the provincial parks in British Columbia. I remember that some of the people I knew said to forestry personnel that we should burn that portion of the park to try to destroy the pine beetle before it spread.
Because it was a park, that was not allowed and over the 35 years that I lived and worked in British Columbia, I watched the pine beetle spread right across that province, destroying close to 16 million hectares of B.C. forests. The pine beetle is an epidemic. I then watched this summer as B.C. burnt up because of the dead forests caused by the pine beetle. It was sad to see a place where I spent so many years of my life and worked from one corner to the other burn up.
Now, over the last three years since I was in government, I have watched the pine beetle move from British Columbia into Jasper National Park. I was very concerned when I heard they were in the park, and I watched them defile Mount Robson. Within a year they slowly moved toward the town site of Jasper. Within the next year I saw them move past the town site toward the eastern entrance of the park. I have brought this to the attention of a number of different officials within the current government, and when we were in government.
Jasper Park has turned brown from one end to the other. The trees are dead or dying. The people who work in Jasper Park, lodge owners, and townspeople fear for the safety of their community because of the dead pine trees all around the town of Jasper. There are roads that are maybe 25 feet wide with high and dead pine trees near some of the lodges. If a fire started, people would not be able to get out of there.
For two years I have called on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to develop an action plan to stop the spread of pine beetles in the park. We are still waiting for a response.
We saw in the last couple of years the pine beetle moving from Jasper Park into the forest sector of Alberta's foothills, and it is spreading. We have been keeping them under control. The forestry companies and the Province of Alberta's forestry department have been working feverishly, culling the trees infested by the pine beetle. However, the pine beetles are rampant. We treated about 40,000 trees last year and this year there are over 540,000 trees with pine beetles, and they are spreading rapidly.
Last Friday, I brought this issue up for the fourth time in two years in question period. That does not include the other times I have brought it up in debates both here and while I was a member of the environment committee. I have also written letters to the Minister of Environment. In May 2016, the parliamentary secretary said he would be willing to sit down with me to discuss this issue. That has never happened.
In June this year, the minister said in the House that she looked forward to discussing it further, but I have continued to repeatedly bring up the pine beetle issue because there has been no talk and no action. Our environment is at stake and tens of thousands of jobs are at risk.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2017-10-26 18:29 [p.14611]
Mr. Speaker, companies like Weyerhauser, Millar Western, and West Fraser, which are lumber companies in my riding, spent millions of dollars trying to combat the pine beetle as it slowly crept in from the park.
We tried to work with the park for the last two years. We have had meetings. I have held meetings and round table discussions. We had park officials, CFS officials, as well as representatives of Alberta forestry attend. Parks Canada continually told us it was going to try to cull the trees and do some burns within Jasper National Park. I was just there a few weeks ago and nothing had been done yet.
We need help. The province of Alberta cannot do this on its own. We cannot be on the ground, doing science. Now is the time to combat the influx of the bugs. We have to get rid of them, either by burning or cutting the trees. The province of Alberta does not have the money. The forest companies are strapped, financially—
View Mike Lake Profile
View Mike Lake Profile
2017-06-19 20:36 [p.12954]
Mr. Speaker, as we have done the previous four times with these late shows on the Canadian autism partnership, we are broadcasting this one via Facebook Live again, which is an interesting opportunity for Canadians to hear yet the same answers over and over again. We have had five opportunities now to do this, this being our fifth.
Interestingly, this is our fifth different parliamentary secretary. We have had the parliamentary secretary for health and the parliamentary secretary for persons with disabilities and sport. Interestingly, we have had the parliamentary secretary for revenue. We have had the parliamentary secretary for defence, who did not do a very good job defending the Liberal position on this.
Interestingly, we now have the parliamentary secretary for transport answering a question about a Canadian autism partnership. Maybe that is fitting, given the number of Canadians who travel from jurisdiction to jurisdiction to get evidence-based treatment in this country.
I will provide a bit of history of the Canadian autism partnership for those who have not been following along.
In 2015, our government established an expert working group of 12 prominent Canadian experts on autism to put together a plan for a Canadian autism partnership. This working group worked with a team of seven incredible self-advocates who worked alongside it. They worked with families. They listened to almost 5,000 submissions. They met with provincial and territorial governments across the country, every single province and territory in Canada, to get input into the business plan that they brought forward in the fall of 2016. They brought that business plan forward with an ask for $19 million over five years, just $3.8 million a year. That is a dime per Canadian per year.
The Canadian autism partnership would bring these experts together to work with families, with stakeholders, with self-advocates, and with some of the top researchers in the world right here in Canada. It would advise governments in their jurisdictions on the real challenges facing families and individuals living with autism in Canada in the areas of, for example, education, early intervention, housing, vocation, a lot of the difficult transitions that people with autism have across their lifespan, and maybe mental health issues in some places, and provide absolute, solid, evidence-based advice, the best advice gathered from jurisdictions around the world to serve Canadians living with autism.
Unbelievably, although half of the Liberal caucus signed support letters in support of the Canadian autism partnership, it did not find its way into the budget, into a budget that ran a deficit of $25 billion a year. The government could not find $3.8 million to fund the Canadian autism partnership, which was years in the making, with thousands of people weighing in.
What we will probably hear from the parliamentary secretary is what we have heard 15 times in question period and four times during the late show. She will probably list off measures that the previous Conservative government funded, measures like ready, willing, and able, community works, the autism surveillance program, or $39 million in research. We have talked time and again about what those researchers want. Four of them were on the Canadian autism partnership working group. What they want more than anything else is for their research to actually be used to benefit Canadians in areas like early intervention, education, housing, vocation, and other things.
Though I will not hold my breath, what I am hoping we will hear from the parliamentary secretary is a reason why, while every Conservative, New Democrat, and Green member of Parliament voted yes to the Canadian autism partnership, every single Liberal voted no except for one.
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