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Results: 1 - 15 of 29
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-23 16:39 [p.2260]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that the House of Commons, where this debate is based today, sits on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin Anishinabe.
As my hon. colleagues have noted, indigenous peoples have played a fundamental role in Canada's past and continue to do so today. Canada must continue to stand up for the values that define this country, whether it is in welcoming newcomers, celebrating with pride the contributions of the LGBTQ2 communities or embracing two official languages.
To walk the road of reconciliation, there is still much work to be done, such as the need to address systemic racism and its impact on all communities, including indigenous communities. However, as we have indicated, Canada is firmly committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. The Government of Canada has made significant efforts to implement the calls to action, and these proposed changes regarding the oath of citizenship demonstrate our firm commitment to achieving this goal.
Our goal is to renew the relationship between the Crown and indigenous peoples. To move forward together, we need to be true partners in this Confederation. Advancing reconciliation remains a Canadian imperative, and it will take partners at all levels to make real progress. We know there is more to do, and we will continue to work together.
One of the most important ways we demonstrate this support is to highlight it at citizenship ceremonies throughout this country, whether they are the virtual ceremonies that have taken place in recent months or the traditional in-person events. Recognizing the role that indigenous peoples have played in this country is a fundamental part of our citizenship ceremony.
To this end, at our in-person ceremonies, judges and those presiding over the ceremonies have traditionally acknowledged the indigenous territory on which the ceremony takes place, and also speak of the history of indigenous peoples in Canada in their welcome remarks to new Canadians. The stories of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples are the stories of Canada itself, and indigenous peoples will continue to play a critical role in Canada's development as we go forward.
During these ceremonies, participants accept the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by taking the oath of citizenship. The oath of citizenship is a public declaration that someone is joining the Canadian family and is committed to Canadian values and traditions.
For this declaration to be truthful and inclusive, it must include the recognition of indigenous peoples in Canada. Bill C-8, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94), proposes to change Canada's oath of citizenship to recognize and affirm the aboriginal and treaty rights of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, as referenced in the Constitution.
The proposed amendment to the oath demonstrates the Canadian government's commitment to responding to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also signals a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
Reconciliation is an important thing to all people in Canada. The proposed changes to the oath would help advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples in Canada. This would demonstrate support for the diversity that people of all origins contribute to Canada and our country's history, fabric and identity.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-23 16:45 [p.2261]
Mr. Speaker, the member's question reminds me of something my father always reminded me to do: Act in haste and repent at leisure. This reconciliation needs to have a process that engages all parties, so it is important that we carefully consider the perspectives of the individuals we are working with and build on a partnership that everybody supports. That, unfortunately, does take time. There are a lot of things we would like to go forward with far more quickly, which we heard about earlier, but we need to be very careful that we engage all parties, are sensitive to what is important to them and try to build a collaboration that is long-lasting and not fraught with peril and conflict in the future.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-23 16:46 [p.2261]
Mr. Speaker, I do not believe these things need to be mutually exclusive. Both initiatives are important, so we should be moving forward on the UNDRIP commitments as well. I agree with the member.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-23 16:48 [p.2261]
Mr. Speaker, to the extent it is possible, I think that is a great recommendation. My daughter teaches in an Ontario school and has actively engaged in many of those experiences. I went through the Canadian citizenship oath with my parents, with 11 kids in tow, and I know how important that ceremony is.
To the extent we are able to do that, it is a great recommendation, and I thank the member for his suggestion.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-23 16:50 [p.2262]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure there is a question, but if the statement is that we should be committed to and go forward with the commitments from the Crown to indigenous peoples, I fully agree with him.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-19 14:03 [p.2126]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House to recognize small businesses, which are the backbone of our local economy, especially in my community of Newmarket—Aurora. During COVID-19, small business owners have demonstrated an exceptional resilience by innovating and adapting their business models and finding ways to support our community. I am proud to support them every chance I get, especially when it is my turn to cook dinner.
Today, I would like to thank the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce for their outstanding support for local businesses, especially over the last eight months. From hosting virtual networking sessions to creating learning opportunities to hosting town halls, including a recent one held with the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, there is no doubt that our local chambers have gone above and beyond.
It has not been an easy year, but I want to assure small businesses that we will continue to do whatever it takes to support them. We will get through this together.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-19 16:29 [p.2149]
Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by acknowledging this House sits on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin Anishinabe.
Canadians are enthusiastic early adopters of technology. Time and time again they have readily embraced the wide variety of broadcasting services available to them, foreign and domestic. These broadcasting services empower consumers with the ability to watch what they want whenever they want it and however they want it. The same goes for listening to music and hearing the news. Bill C-10 will not limit the ability of Canadians to access the programming platforms of their preference; rather, it will ensure the Canadian broadcasting system continues to meet the needs of Canadian consumers.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is the independent regulator of Canada's broadcasting systems. It requires television and radio stations and cable and satellite distributors to support the creation and display of Canadian stories and Canadian music. These are requirements that have been in place for decades and have resulted in greater investment and promotion of Canadian content and talent, including high-quality journalism, groundbreaking musical artists and compelling and acclaimed programming.
However, in the current regulatory framework, online broadcasters are exempt from most broadcasting regulations. In other words, they are not required to contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system as is required of the traditional broadcasters. This is because the last time major changes were made to our Broadcasting Act was in 1991, before we experienced the new digital age and its challenges. We are well into the digital age now and it is time for our legislation to join us. It is time for online broadcasters to be treated the same as traditional broadcasters.
Bill C-10 would create a level playing field where all broadcasters have a fair chance to compete by ensuring that online broadcasters are subject to the same regulatory framework. Most importantly, it ensures that both traditional and online broadcasters contribute to a healthy and vibrant Canadian broadcasting system. For Canadian artists, this means securing sustainable funding that will allow them to continue telling stories and making music from a uniquely Canadian perspective. For most consumers this means the ability to access more content that will allow Canadians to see themselves, their communities and their stories reflected through different points of view. For Canada it means a stronger cultural unity, a shared national identity and a more inclusive society.
By presenting the content that is representative of different cultures, communities and languages from across Canada, broadcasting provides a window into the diverse experiences of Canadians. Made in Canada content is considered personally important to 78% of Canadians. It is clear that Canadians see value in seeing their stories on the screen and in hearing Canadian artists on the radio.
I am proud to say that the interest in Canadian content exists far beyond our borders. The hit show Schitt's Creek recently brought home nine Emmys, the film Indian Horse won an award at the 2018 San Diego International Film Festival and Quebec native Céline Dion is one of the best worldwide selling artists of all time. The list goes on. Including online broadcasters in the broadcasting regulatory framework could result in online broadcasters being requested to invest more than $800 million in our creators, music and stories by 2023. It could result in more Canadian successes being enjoyed and recognized abroad.
Whether getting traffic and weather updates or learning about the day's events from prime-time broadcasts, the broadcasting system is an important source of news for Canadians. Traditional broadcasters have long supported journalism and the delivery of local, regional and national news. By including a new policy objective that promotes the provision of news, including that produced by Canadians and reflecting Canadian perspectives from a variety of sources, we are strengthening the role of news in the broadcasting system.
Recognizing that a free and independent press is the cornerstone of our democracy, the bill would not contemplate the licensing of news organizations. However, the bill does create an equitable framework for broadcasting that will help safeguard news production. This way, traditional broadcasters who are important sources of news, and particularly local news, would be better able to compete with online broadcasting services.
The bill was also crafted to keep both online and traditional broadcasting services affordable for Canadians. We understand that, every day, Canadians are making difficult choices on how to spend their hard-earned dollars. This is especially true during these trying times.
Bill C-10 provides the CRTC with the ability to tailor regulatory requirements to specific business models. For example, the CRTC could impose mandatory Canadian programming expenditures on services that are already in the business of commissioning and producing content. Requiring services, such as Netflix and Crave, to spend a certain amount of money each year on Canadian content will help us move the needle on directing investments toward programming that is created and produced by Canadians, for Canadians. This will help the CRTC avoid imposing undue regulatory burdens on a particular service that would then result in raised prices for consumers.
These are just some of the ways that Bill C-10 would benefit Canadian consumers, creators and artists. The exemption for digital services was originally put in place to allow for the innovation and development of new online media services. In 2020, when Canadians mostly access programming online, these exemptions no longer make sense.
The inclusion of online broadcasters in the Canadian broadcasting system with regulatory clarity would promote the entrance of new players into the Canadian market. It supports a vibrant and healthy competition in the sector, creating additional pressures to keep costs down. For Canadian consumers, it leads to a wider variety of high-quality content, with a greater diversity of views in which Canadians proudly see themselves and their stories. After nearly 30 years, it is time to modernize our broadcasting system and to safeguard it for the future.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-19 16:38 [p.2150]
Mr. Speaker, first, I do not agree with the terminology of kicking the can down the road. The CRTC is an organization that was established to focus on the industry and to do what is important for the industry in the interests of Canadians. Having the bill directed toward the CRTC and having these corrections in the hands of the CRTC is the appropriate place for them to be. I would liken it to going to see a surgeon when surgery is required, as opposed to going to a general practitioner. We are relying on an organization that has the strength, intelligence and experience to deal with the bill.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-19 16:40 [p.2151]
Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is trying to move this bill forward. There is an opportunity, when this bill goes to committee, to listen to the suggestions that we have here. I am all for collaboration. I would like to see us have the benefit of the member's perspective, but let us do that in committee and let us implement that as we move the bill forward. We want to go ahead. All we need is to have the vote to take it to committee and start getting to work on this. Let us work together on it.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-11-19 16:42 [p.2151]
Mr. Speaker, the member raised some really good points. That is why it is important for us to get into committee, to hear that type of input so that we can build a better bill. The minister has said that he would welcome the other perspectives, we would welcome amendments and we would welcome collaboration so that we can move forward into the 20th century.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-10-26 14:58 [p.1229]
Mr. Speaker, throughout the COVID pandemic, people in York Region have appreciated this government's continued support for public transit. Transit services, like the proposed Yonge North subway extension, are critical to getting people to work and home quickly and safely each day.
Would the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities share with this House the government's ongoing investments in public transit in York Region?
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-10-22 13:01 [p.1100]
Madam Speaker, since the beginning of the pandemic, the Standing Committee on Health has worked long hours to ensure that we heard from stakeholders across Canada on the government's response to the outbreak of COVID-19. I am proud of the work we have accomplished and I am especially proud of the way committee members were able to work together collaboratively to do our jobs and support Canadians.
A lot has changed since then. While claims have been made on intentions to collaborate, there has been no action to prove it. I am frustrated and disappointed in the Conservatives' new approach on the health committee. We did not always agree before, but it was always clear that everyone on the committee had a common goal to be productive rather than play partisan games.
The motion before us today sets out 16 areas of study and six requests for the production of papers, again 16 areas of study. This will prevent the committee from doing a proper study on any of these issues, looking at key issues and hearing from important witnesses across the country.
Earlier this year, in over 34 meetings of the health committee, we heard from 171 witnesses and received 51 informative briefs covering many important issues. However, only one of the 34 meetings that we held over the spring and summer focused on mental health. While it was enough to open our eyes, it was certainly not enough for us to get a better understanding of the situation we were facing relative to the mental health of Canadians.
With this in mind, when we met again on October 9, I introduced a motion to the committee to study the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of Canadians, including recommendations to specifically look at the impacts on indigenous peoples, racialized Canadians and vulnerable populations, the effectiveness and availability of virtual mental health services and how our government could assist the provinces and territories. I was disappointed when my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill moved to adjourn debate on this study, without so much as an opportunity for us to discuss its importance, so her motion could be introduced, but not before saying:
I really do find a lot of encouragement in the spirit of this motion that's on the floor. I try not to put my personal life into the public domain, but as somebody who is separated from her family due to COVID-19 measures, I understand the impact on mental health of some of these measures. Talking to other people who are in situations similar to mine, I know that's tough, and that's just one group of people. There are people who have lost their jobs or who are experiencing domestic violence or mental health breakdowns. It's certainly something that I think is important for our committee to look at.
However, her own October 19 motion had mental health listed as only one topic of 17 to study, only one out of 17.
In the motion before us today, that number is zero. That is unacceptable, but apparently that is how important my colleague sees mental health to be, not even worthy of mention. While I appreciate the member for Calgary Nose Hill finding encouragement in my motion, I wish I could say the same for the one that was presented in committee and the one that is being debated today. In fact, I am actually discouraged by these motions and their complete disregard for Canadians during these challenging times.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has been one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. Across the country, we are hearing lots of anecdotal evidence about the increased risk that some people may have in terms of depression, psychological distress, substance abuse and PTSD surfacing as a result of the pandemic. Many experts have labelled this mental health situation as a second pandemic, that is how serious it is. However, there is no doubt that mental health needs to be a priority for all of us right now.
We need an informed strategy on mental health going forward and, most important, we need to act while we have time before this crisis becomes worse. I am by no means suggesting that this is the only good idea, much less the only key issue, surfacing from the pandemic. The essence of committee work and of compromise is to work as a team in the best interests of Canadians in setting priorities to study.
What we have found in front of us today is a motion that sets out 16 areas of study and six requests for the production of papers. A general, all-encompassing motion such as this one takes away the opportunity for the committee to properly focus on priority areas like the ones recommended by the 171 witnesses we heard earlier this year. One of the strengths of smaller studies is that we are able to make well-informed, targeted recommendations that will have a real impact on the lives of Canadians. A scope as large as 16 areas of study waters down our ability to do that.
I am genuinely concerned that out of the 16 areas of study before us today, there is not a single mention of looking at the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of Canadians. This is unacceptable. I also do not see a mention of looking at the impacts of the pandemic on high-risk groups, such as indigenous people, racialized Canadians and vulnerable populations. We need to consider these groups so we can develop programs to effectively help them.
As I have said before and will say again, if we have too many priorities, 16 to be exact, we have no priorities at all. Do members want to know what is not a priority in the motion presented today? The mental health of Canadians during these challenging times.
I will not be supporting the motion and I hope my colleagues will follow suit. All members in the House have an opportunity to get ahead of the second pandemic, but what is being proposed today will not get us there. If we do not take the appropriate steps to act now, while we can, the outcome will be on all of us and especially on those who choose to move forward without giving this matter the attention it deserves. This second pandemic cannot be fixed with a vaccine, but we can get ahead of it if we collaborate and focus our work on how we can best support Canadians.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-10-22 13:09 [p.1101]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question, but quite frankly, the member has raised a concern that has been discussed. In fact, there is a dialogue going on to determine what the priorities are. This is about priorities. This is about the committee collaboratively agreeing on studies that we should undertake on a go-forward basis. This is not about going into the forest, turning over logs and looking for slugs and ants. This is about what we can do on a go-forward basis.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-10-22 13:11 [p.1102]
Madam Speaker, my colleague is also a member of the health committee. He knows as well as I do that there are a number of issues the committee thinks should be priorities and should be brought forward. In fact, he himself has brought forward a motion to study two important issues. A member from the NDP has put forward 12 motions that could be dealt with fairly specifically.
The proposal we are considering at this time is that we get together as a team, at the health committee, and establish the priorities of the committee. Once we are able to agree on that, we can go forward and focus our energy, rather than dispersing it to produce no viable results for Canadians.
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Tony Van Bynen Profile
2020-10-22 13:13 [p.1102]
Madam Speaker, an important role of all members is to focus the dialogue and ensure that the energies of a committee are productive and serve the purpose of Canadians. When they see this is not happening, it is our obligation to speak up to make sure that we focus on and build the collaboration we need for moving forward.
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