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Results: 1 - 15 of 394
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to be here continuing the debate on Bill C-3, a bill that the Conservatives are cautiously optimistic about, as it would provide some degree of oversight to CBSA.
One of the pressing issues with the CBSA, and one on which I think there will be a need for a great deal of oversight, is the challenge that has grown up under the Liberal government of people crossing the border illegally. It has put a strain our system, especially as many refugees in other parts of the world have to wait a very long time.
Given that this is one of the issues raised in terms of the CBSA and oversight, I wonder if the member could give the House an update on what is actually happening in terms of that challenge.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for Mississauga—Streetsville for sharing his profound passion on this topic with the House and for the work he put into preparing those detailed remarks he gave to the House on Bill C-3 today.
Further to what the member said, does he think that this oversight body might take up the issue of increased illegal border crossing, if questions come to the oversight body related to that? I did not really hear an answer from the previous member. What is the government doing about this challenge of the growing flows across our border from the United States?
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-02-07 10:38 [p.1078]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Lévis—Lotbinière for sharing his time with me so I could add my comments on the bill.
I want to also thank my constituents for sending me here for a second term and for the trust they placed in me in the past election.
Bill C-3 was in the last Parliament. I was a member of Parliament at that time and I remember the debates on the subject. Much of the content of the legislation being proposed before us is similar. The fact that this happens to be one of the government's earliest bills, when we have so many urgent, more critical issues to deal with, just calls into question the judgment of the government in pushing this forward at this time.
I support the contents of the bill. I support making a complaints body. I support greater oversight over the civil service and in other situations as well. I spent the better part of the last Parliament on two different committees, foreign affairs and finance, calling exactly for that greater oversight. Our role as parliamentarians is to ensure the oversight of the Government of Canada's spending, but also the oversight over the civil service and what it does.
I know, Madam Speaker, that you sat on a committee in the previous Parliament, the OGGO as we call it, operations and government estimates.
Again, there are so many other things with which we could be dealing.
I often have heard members say, for example ,this is a good, or, for example, this legislation has this concept or, for example, these are the types of problems this legislation will solve.
This will bring me to my Yiddish proverb, one that says, “for example” is not the same as proof, proof of why we should be pursuing this legislation at this time with this expediency. There are so many other issues.
I will use, for example, there are other issues we should have brought forward and dealt with immediately. These issues are of number one concern to people in Alberta, people in my constituency and people all across Canada.
I will mention, for example, the first time homebuyers incentive program. Just last week, the Government of Canada, to a question I asked on the Order Paper, gave us an answer on the $1.25 billion of spending on a program that had helped fewer than 3,000 people. I called it an election gimmick many months ago when the program came out.
I chased down the Department of Finance officials. I chased down Evan Siddall, the CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the minister and many others at different committees to get answers before the House. Now we see from the results that the program has failed. It would be much more interesting for the House to do a deep dive into this program more closely.
The Government of Canada has said that 2,700 approvals happened, but as my colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge mentioned to me, industry standards say that only about 50% of the people actually went through with it.
We have put aside $1.25 billion, and probably have helped 1,300 people achieve their dream of home ownership, which is an abysmal failure for a government program, a program pushed forward by the Minister of Finance and the minister for families and social development. The program was highly defended by Department of Finance officials and CMHC officials who did not like my chasing down answers on behalf of constituents. People in my riding are very worried about that.
That is a bill we could be reviewing right now, a piece of legislation to review the program and maybe eliminate it. It would save some money, time and look into why we failed as an oversight body to stop this election gimmick. That is my first example.
Originally the Government of Canada said that 100,000 people would be helped by the program. After 99 days, in the data provided in the House, we know that only about 32,000 people would be helped over a four-year time span. When I originally asked the question at committee about where the government got the number of 100,000 people, the Department of Finance officials told me that CMHC gave them the numbers and CMHC officials told me that the Department of Finance gave them the numbers. I am sure, Madam Speaker, that has been your experience in the past on different parliamentary committees, where department officials disagree about who gave whom what numbers. That would be a worthy enterprise for the House, to look into why this program so massively failed.
I know that in this next budget, potentially we could be expanding the reach of the program to $789,000 homes. I am very worried that the expansion of this program would not meet any of its goals.
We could, for example, have looked at the approval of Teck Frontier and the legislation governing it. The Teck Frontier project is a $20.6 billion investment in northern Alberta: 10,000 jobs, 7,500 construction and 2,500 operating jobs annually for four years. It is wholly within the territory of Alberta. It is wholly within the jurisdiction of Alberta. We control our natural resources.
As an Albertan, I do not want a handout. The people of my constituency do not want a handout. We do not want a just transition directed from Ottawa to the people of Alberta. We simply want to be given the respect and dignity to continue creating wealth. We are fine if a portion of the equalization and transfer payments are redistributed to our friends in rest of Canada.
However, Teck Frontier would be an important issue to be debated before the House. It must be approved.
As I asked yesterday in the House, I am wondering if the Government of Canada is afraid to say “yes” to prime minister Jason Kenney—Premier Jason Kenney. I was thinking in French. It would be an interesting one to look at that.
Albertans will say that if this project is not approved, they will know they are not respected within the Confederation. That is a drastic change to how the Confederation is supposed to work. I want the Confederation of 1867, the way the Fathers of Confederation intended it to be, truly autonomous provinces, able to develop their resources, able to do the best things for the people of their province. Provincial governments are elected to do that.
I know the people of Quebec understand this and have fought for this for decades now, just like all provincial residents should do. They should be looking to the provincial governments. It would be worthy, for example, of the House to look at, to ensure the Government of Canada is making the right decisions on behalf of Canadians and on behalf of Albertans.
We could be looking at the Trans Mountain pipeline, its construction and the series of missteps, dithering and failures of the Government of Canada that led to point where a business, Kinder Morgan, opted out. Northern gateway was cancelled, energy east was cancelled, TMX was expropriated.
As my colleague, the member for Carleton likes to say, “All our exes are in Texas.” All those companies moved their money to Texas, and are now building thousands of kilometres of pipeline in Texas for product that will compete at the Oklahoma hub with Alberta product. That situation is an absolutely travesty. For example, that would be something we could have considered instead of doing Bill C-3 immediately.
Bill C-3 could have been cobbled with other matters before the House.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-02-07 10:46 [p.1079]
Madam Speaker, as I was just saying, going back to Bill C-3 and the oversight propositions in the bill, and back to the Yiddish proverb, “for example” is not proof that this legislation needs to be before us at this very moment. It could have been cobbled and combined with other matters that the Government of Canada considered needed to be done to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Again, we have seen a predilection of the government to institute and include all types of things in omnibus budget bills that do not belong there. I should remind the House that in the last Parliament, the Speaker decided to exclude certain portions of previous omnibus budget bills.
When I talk to my constituents, when I ask them what is critical to their day to day, what are the most important issues to them and what touches their daily life, none of them have told me it is Bill C-3. None of them have told me it is the oversight of the CBSA. It is their jobs, their livelihoods and the prosperity of Alberta families.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2020-02-07 10:48 [p.1079]
Madam Speaker, my colleague ended his speech with a comment about no one in his constituency having asked about Bill C-3.
One of the problems we have with the bill is that no one in the government has asked the workers in CBSA about Bill C-3. Maybe what they should have asked is a follow-up on the employee survey, where 63%, almost two out of every three workers in CBSA, said senior management was not to be trusted. They could not bring issues of ethics or concerns forward to senior management without fear of reprisal.
We have seen the Liberal government go after any whistle-blower, whether it is the former justice minister or whether it is a lady complaining about the Prime Minister's blackface. They fired her, and threatened to send anyone similar to re-education camps.
Would my colleague care to comment on the fact that 63% of CBSA staff do not trust the government, do not trust their managers for any issue without fear of reprisal? Maybe that should be looked at before Liberals jam Bill C-3 through.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-02-07 10:49 [p.1080]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Edmonton West for bringing to the attention of the House the fact that so many rank and file members of CBSA do not feel comfortable going to their managers.
This is something I have consistently seen, going into my second Parliament. Often, departmental plans are ignored by the ministers responsible. They are an absolute wealth of information when it comes to the priorities that should be found in bills like this: technical pieces of legislation that are looking after oversight bodies.
Often, there are departmental plans where we find a failure of government administration and oversight to both provide services to Canadians and also provide a work environment for employees that is the expected standard.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, my colleague said prime minister Jason Kenney. This leadership race just keeps changing every day, and I hope the member for Calgary Shepard will consider his own future in that context after such an excellent speech in defence of things that are all so important to us.
I want to ask the member to share what he is hearing from people in Alberta. I know, for my constituents, Teck frontier and building pipelines are things that are top of mind. The government discussion we are seeing in the media today is talking about a rescue package. Liberals are talking about giving money to people outside of the context of being able to develop our natural resources.
What I hear from Albertans is that they do not want to become an equalization-receiving province. They want to be a building, contributing province, but the government has to get out of the way in order to allow them to develop our natural resources.
Our desire for every part of the country is that every region, every group of people within this country is able to seize the opportunities that are provided by natural resources instead of being forced into dependency on the federal government by anti-development policies. I would like to hear my colleague's comments on that.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-02-07 10:51 [p.1080]
Madam Speaker, I will begin by saying I am officially not running for the leadership of my party. I am open to caucus chair.
I could repeat that in French if necessary, but I will not.
The member brings up the crux of the issue. When I was door-knocking in the past election the most important matter for my constituents, consistently on every street, was equalization. It did not matter if they were seniors, young people, people who were employed or unemployed. They were bringing up the issue of equalization as an issue of fairness.
Alberta has not collected equalization in any way since 1965. We have been a net contributor of over $600 billion, and Albertans are tired of the situation where we are told we are not allowed to create the wealth that then is expected to be shared. We do not have a problem with sharing, but do not stand in the way of our ability to create the wealth in the first place.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-02-07 10:53 [p.1080]
Madam Speaker, I would be happy to see this bill sent to committee once all members are satisfied that they have represented their constituents in the House on the matter.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
View Pat Kelly Profile
2020-02-07 11:15 [p.1085]
Madam Speaker, media reports say that during Wednesday's caucus meeting, the Prime Minister "heard an earful from his...caucus...passionately urging his cabinet not to approve Teck Resources'...$20-billion...Project in Alberta." Maybe he should do what Richard Nixon did and call in a plumbers unit to plug the leaks. In the meantime, we also now know that the Liberals are planning some kind of aid package as a ridiculous plan B.
Alberta does not want aid. Alberta wants to work. Alberta wants its economy back. Alberta wants the federal government ro stop making things worse.
If the Prime Minister decides to set aside the scientific, evidence-based recommendation to approve this project, which has strong local indigenous support, and instead decides to make a political decision to kill the project in order to placate his backbenchers and the separatist Bloc, who are currently propping up his government, he will provoke a of national unity crisis—
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-07 11:17 [p.1085]
Madam Speaker, apparently the Liberals have been considering aid for Alberta as cover to reject Frontier. Albertans are not refugees or evacuees from a natural disaster. We are inventors, creators, risk-takers, entrepreneurs and innovators. We want free markets and a level playing field, but Liberal government policy is turning Albertans into victims.
Clearly, the Liberals do not get Alberta. Albertans do not want government handouts or bailouts. We just want to work.
When will the Liberals get out of the way and let Alberta do what it does best for the good of Canada and the world?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-07 11:18 [p.1085]
Madam Speaker, the science and evidence are already in, and the experts have already spoken. Teck Frontier is in Canada's public and national interest. It has met every condition.
The only thing left is a political decision, and now the Liberals are trying to move the goalposts again. The Liberals' double standards only ever apply to Alberta, but the actual experts say that not approving Teck will increase global emissions.
Will the Liberals approve Teck Frontier, yes or no?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-07 11:19 [p.1085]
Madam Speaker, the only thing left is a decision by politicians. The experts have already weighed all the factors. Albertans are world leaders in oil and gas innovation for environmental protection for the benefit of all Canadians. A strong Alberta makes a strong Canada.
Albertans want all industries and all provinces to thrive, but Alberta alone is held back and put down by the Liberals. The Liberals are turning a national opportunity into a national unity crisis.
When will the Liberals approve Teck Frontier?
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, recently a Liberal-appointed panel recommended amending the government-run CBC/Radio-Canada mandate to include indigenous content. However, the report failed to acknowledge one key point: that APTN, an indigenous-owned, indigenous-run private network is exclusively devoted to doing just that.
Why is the government formally recommending that it can do a better job of delivering indigenous content than indigenous people?
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I do not think that the minister realizes how incredibly paternalistic the comment that he just made was.
The fact is that this report failed to acknowledge an indigenous-owned and run network, and then said that the Canadian state could do a better job of delivering indigenous content. Then he said he was just going to implement this recommendation right away and sat down. It is crazy. Will he apologize?
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