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Results: 1 - 30 of 1556
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-08-12 12:23 [p.2747]
Mr. Speaker, like many people, we were devastated by the images we saw out of Beirut and Lebanon a few days ago. On behalf of all New Democrats and all Canadians, we send our love to the Lebanese people and to those affected around the world and here at home by this terrible explosion.
As has already been said, sending our love is simply not enough. We need to send support, we need to send relief and we need concrete commitments to supporting the rebuilding efforts. The initial amount proposed by the government was insufficient. When we talk about Canada being back, this is an opportunity to show that Canada is back by actually building and delivering the support that the people of Lebanon need at this moment.
The Lebanese community has been a vibrant part of Canada. It has helped build up this country. We need to be allies in this moment and truly contribute.
Like many people in Canada and around the world, we were devastated by the tragedy that struck Beirut, Lebanon, a few days ago.
Our thoughts go out to the Lebanese people and everyone affected by this terrible explosion. Our thoughts, however, are not enough. We need to help the victims and assist with reconstruction efforts.
People across the country and around the world have been reaching out to help the people of Lebanon, who were already struggling under political instability, the threat of economic collapse and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, the people of Lebanon will require significant international support, and Canada must be there to help. By assisting with immediate food, medical and other needs, the federal government must take concrete action to assist the international community's long-term humanitarian efforts. We have to be true partners and offer support in a way that is proportional to the rest of the international community's response.
I am happy to see the Government of Canada heeded our calls for increased humanitarian support, but the government must now commit to a robust long-term plan to provide support to Lebanon and to help rebuild Beirut and the country. This plan must include support for democratic reform, food security and poverty alleviation. Together, in this difficult time, we can support the people who need our help the most. They are counting on us, and on Canadians, to be there for them.
On behalf of all New Democrats, we express our deepest condolences. We want to send the message to the people of Lebanon and to all Lebanese Canadians that we will be there for them and will fight for them, as they deserve nothing less.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-08-12 12:27 [p.2748]
Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and, if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
I move:
That the House recognize that reopening businesses and the economy entails taking far more action to support parents, especially women, who are worried about going back to work without knowing their kids will be safely cared for in child care and school, and therefore call on the government to increase its transfer to provinces and territories for affordable child care by $2 billion, transfer funding to provinces and territories to support a safe return to school, and work with all provinces and territories to ensure all federal funds are dedicated to the health and safety of children across the country, while ensuring the transfers to Quebec are unconditional.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-08-12 12:30 [p.2748]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order that was raised on July 21 by the MP for Barrie—Innisfil concerning the fifth and seventh reports of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The member quoted the NDP's supplementary report, at page 95 of the seventh report, where it said:
...the NDP believes that the scope of this report wavered beyond its boundaries. The committee was tasked with finding solutions for remote participation of members specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some recommendations were outside of those lines, and while the NDP doesn’t disagree with the idea of exploring other options and preparing for the future, it does not consider those to be part of the work the committee was asked to do by the House of Commons.
We would like to clarify the intent of this specific quotation. The House of Commons tasks the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs with finding solutions for the remote participation of members. The seventh report included recommendations related to in-person voting options, which the committee did not oppose, although this was outside of the committee's mandate. It was the inclusion of these in-person options that we were referencing in the supplementary report and that we consider outside of the mandate assigned to the committee by the House.
We believe that all members of Parliament need to be included in the work of the House, including those who are immunocompromised or have loved ones at risk for COVID-19. In-person options do not take the travel that would be required for MPs who live farther from Ottawa into account when considering the risks associated with COVID-19. All members, regardless of where they live, have the right to have their voices, and through them those of their constituents, heard in Parliament. That is why the NDP supports the development of virtual tools so that we can all continue our important work of getting Canadians the help they need.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-08-12 12:44 [p.2751]
Mr. Speaker, we have two scandals the government is embroiled in: one is the WE scandal and the second is about a mortgage company in which one of the executives is the husband of the chief of staff. In both of these scandals we are seeing Liberals helping themselves instead of helping people. While people are worried about what is going to happen when the CERB ends in August, the Liberal government seems to be too busy helping itself.
When will Canadians know what is going to happen at the end of August to those who are relying on the CERB?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-08-12 12:46 [p.2751]
Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Liberal government is too busy helping themselves to help people.
Right now, people do not know what the plan is, and they are worried. EI only covers about 40% of Canadians. When will the government make it really clear? When will the Liberal government make sure Canadians know that every Canadian worker will be supported and that no one will be left behind? When will we know the details?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-08-12 12:47 [p.2751]
Mr. Speaker, the unanimous motion passed today shows that the will of the House is that we need to help parents get back to work by ensuring there is affordable and quality child care and that schools have the funding they need. When can we expect that?
When will the Prime Minister make sure that kids are safe to go back to school and that parents can count on reliable, affordable child care? When will the government make these commitments by supporting provinces to deliver the child care and the education that will keep kids safe?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-08-12 12:48 [p.2751]
Mr. Speaker, we know the figures required, and what the government is proposing right now is wholly inadequate. It is simply not enough to provide the child care and the educational funding supports that provinces need.
When will this Liberal government commit to the adequate funding, the sufficient funding, to make sure parents will know that their kids will be safe in school?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-08-12 12:49 [p.2752]
Mr. Speaker, the minister should know that all the experts have made it really clear that, if we are talking about child care for everyone who needs it, and if we are talking about supports for education in all the provinces and territories, it is simply not enough money. It is not enough, and it shows that the government is not committed.
Will the Liberal government commit to the appropriate level of funding to make sure parents have child care and adequate supports in education so that their kids are safe and people can go back to work?
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2020-08-12 13:33 [p.2759]
Mr. Chair, please know that I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg Centre.
Right now, there are millions of Canadian families sitting down at their kitchen tables who have been depending on CERB while they are out of work due to the pandemic. They are concerned about their finances for September. At the same time, they are concerned about what going back to school will look like for their kids. They are concerned about getting child care for their family. They are concerned about how to return to work safely, and for many of them there is still no job to return to.
Earlier, in response to the NDP leader's question, the minister said that the government has a plan, but the problem is that Canadians do not know what it is, so they cannot make their own financial plans for September. When exactly is the government going to announce its plan for the end of the month, since it has said already that it is going to be wrapping up CERB?
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2020-08-12 13:35 [p.2760]
Mr. Chair, how can Canadians expect to plan for that when they are getting less than two weeks' notice? The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has estimated that people transitioning from CERB to EI, on average, will be receiving about $750 less per month. Maybe that is not the case, maybe the government has a plan, but how can Canadians be expected to plan for September? We are talking two weeks away and they do not know what the government will provide with respect to income support come September.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-08-12 13:37 [p.2760]
Mr. Chair, the lack of affordable and accessible child care is keeping women with young children out of the workforce. Thousands of families, many that are single-parent households led by women, are struggling to make ends meet during COVID-19. We need a universal child care now more than ever.
Why is the government refusing to help Canadian families and invest in a universal child care for all?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-08-12 13:38 [p.2760]
Mr. Chair, first nations have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe during the pandemic. With school starting soon, the government must ensure children are safe. Instead, the government is playing jurisdictional games and telling on-reserve first nations schools to talk to provincial governments about their health guidelines.
Could the Minister of Indigenous Services explain why first nations are not getting the support they need from the government?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-08-12 13:39 [p.2760]
Mr. Chair, two days ago I attended a vigil of a young man in my riding, the latest murder in Winnipeg Centre. As the pandemic goes on, individuals are becoming increasingly financially strained and mental health is rapidly declining.
When will the government stop financing its corporate friends and increase its investments into accessible, affordable social housing and front-line organizations?
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-08-12 14:10 [p.2766]
Mr. Chair, I will be splitting my time with the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
The minister said earlier today that he is proud of the emergency commercial rent assistance program, but it is only helping one in 10 of Canada's small businesses. Is that what the Liberals consider a success? Was the goal to make the Prime Minister's chief of staff's husband's company millions of dollars, but not actually help small businesses?
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-08-12 14:11 [p.2766]
Mr. Chair, it is a mess that does not reflect the facts on the ground. The CECRA was advertised as a program intended to help small business owners pay their rent, but it was designed to target and provide full control to the landlords. In the beginning, only landlords carrying a mortgage were eligible to apply.
Why did the Liberals privatize a program that should have been tenant-driven in the first place and hand it to a mortgage company instead of actually helping Canadians?
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-08-12 14:12 [p.2766]
Mr. Chair, one out of 10 is not a success. The Prime Minister's chief of staff's husband's company had a service fee of $84 million. That is 14% of the money that has gone out the door, with a 90% failure rate.
Why did the Liberals not just simply get the qualified, non-partisan public service to do this work?
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Chair, in another one of his rash moves, President Trump has decided to impose tariffs on aluminum, putting 30,000 good jobs in Quebec in jeopardy. The government will impose retaliatory tariffs, but that is not a long-term solution.
Will the Liberals listen to the United Steelworkers and ensure that the revenues from these retaliatory measures go to support jobs in this industry?
Will they work on a climate adjustment system so that Quebec's aluminum, the most environmentally friendly aluminum there is, can finally have a competitive edge?
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Chair, that is interesting, but the aluminum produced in Quebec is the greenest and cleanest. It should have an advantage when it is imported.
Regarding another sector, yesterday, in a devastating surprise announcement, the Minister of Canadian Heritage told thousands of artists and artisans that there would be no recovery plan for the cultural sector until 2021. What are all these creators supposed to do in the meantime? Will they have to light a candle and hope they qualify for employment insurance?
Is that the Liberal government's only answer for the cultural sector?
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-08-12 14:45 [p.2771]
Mr. Chair, what really needs to be pointed out is the incredible social solidarity Canadians from coast to coast to coast have shown in response to the unprecedented economic and medical catastrophe that has befallen us. It is really important to also state that we are not out of the first phase yet. We could be plunged back into a crisis. If we are plunged back in, it will be a catastrophe for families who have already suffered enormous economic losses, for small businesses and for students who have had their lives upended.
We are just over two weeks away from CERB's ending. Many people in my riding have no jobs to go back to, or they are only going back to partial or insecure work. We need to be there for them to get them through this crisis. If we leave people behind at this time, it will take years for our nation to recover economically and socially.
I would like to ask the member about the efforts that need to be taken between now and the beginning of September to make sure that we have a plan to get us through what may be a very difficult fall and a very difficult winter, particularly if COVID hits us again the way people expect it may.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Chair, my friend from British Columbia very clearly brought forward the concerns that many of us have heard, particularly the uncertainty that many Canadians are facing going forward. The member's riding, Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, is a very beautiful part of our province. In a previous life, I was a tree planter and spent many years around the Merritt area and Princeton.
When we are thinking about the uncertainty, I think of the uncertainty that many applicants have had with the Canada summer jobs program. Unfortunately, many worthwhile organizations were cut off because the funding ran out. We juxtapose that with the student grants program that has now imploded because of the Liberals' mismanagement, which they tried to blame on the opposition, but the blame is entirely at their feet. I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on how that program, which was already in existence and already amended to suit the times we are in, could have been used to help many worthwhile organizations hire students, who could be working right now as we speak.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Chair, the leader of the Bloc mentioned supply management. As my party's agriculture critic, that is a very important thing. I would agree that this self-imposed crisis that the Liberals have brought on themselves has sucked the political oxygen out of the room, and as a result we are spending so much time on this when we could be spending time on other things.
We have heard radio silence from the Minister of Agriculture, particularly on compensation for our chicken, egg and turkey farmers for the CPTPP and now the upcoming agreement with the United States. When those trade deals come into force, we are going to see massive amounts of poultry and eggs flooding our market, and still we have no word on what the compensation is going to be. We have no word from the Minister of Agriculture on who is going to be on the advisory council to help implement the national food policy.
I would like to hear from the leader of the Bloc on this because I know that supply management is very important in the province of Quebec. Perhaps he could tell the House what the farmers in Quebec are saying, because I am pretty sure that is being echoed right across the country.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Chair, it is good to be here in person in the chamber representing my constituents, the wonderful people of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.
Looking back, I do not think any of us, when we were making our New Year's resolutions back in January, could have predicted how this year would turn out. It has certainly been a year of great upheaval, a year of great uncertainty and a year of great anxiety. We are here to reflect accurately the struggles that many small businesses and individuals have had to endure during a very tumultuous time. The same goes for the people in my riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, who are still dealing with the economic and social consequences of COVID-19.
This pandemic has very much laid bare the inadequacies of our social safety net, and it has also made us realize the dependence we have on essential workers who are doing that front-line work, putting themselves and their loved ones at risk, often for low wages. There are several tiers of workers in this country, and those who make the least and struggle with multiple hours a week are often the ones putting themselves in danger. We also have been forced to confront the systemic inequality, poverty and, indeed, racism, that has very much come to the fore in 2020.
The NDP's goal throughout this pandemic has been to get more help to more people, more quickly. When the government rolled out its programs, they were, in many cases, inadequate at first blush. Based on the feedback that the opposition gave, we were able to make them better. Yes, there are still gaps that exist, but I believe that if we look at what was on offer in late March and early April, we have made measurable successes and improvements, and that is a testament to the hard work of members of the opposition. It is also a testament to the constituents who informed us, as their members of Parliament, of what was working and what was not, and a testament to the fact that we were able to bring those voices to this place and get the changes that were sorely needed.
Unfortunately, in these last few weeks, we have had this scandal erupt with the WE Charity. It is a scandal that has taken all of the political oxygen out of the room. This is a time when Canadians expect us to be focusing on them and focusing on the recovery efforts, and unfortunately we have a Minister of Finance and a Prime Minister who are suffering, yet again, from self-inflicted wounds.
The most important document any cabinet minister should be reading when he or she takes office is the Conflict of Interest Act. It very clearly states that one should recuse oneself when dealing with a situation that could involve benefit to oneself, family members or friends, and that ministers should not accept free travel when carrying out their duties, especially with an organization that has the potential to benefit from government contracts and services. Unfortunately, because of the Liberals' ability to step on every ethical rake on the lawn, we are dealing with that situation when we could very well be dealing with the important matters that face our constituents.
Specifically, many small businesses in my riding, and across Canada, are suffering very much. If we look at the statistics from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, most businesses that were surveyed were reporting a decline in income that resulted in the loss of employees. Each one of those employees was another person who was unable to provide for his or her family, and who had to find a way to make home finances work. It was a very significant and disconcerting event for many people.
There are two particular examples in my riding. I will highlight V2V Black Hops Brewing, which is in Langford. It is sort of a social enterprise brewery that donates some of its profits to helping veterans, particularly homeless veterans. It is a very noble cause, because even though the government has been given the money by Parliament to try to address veterans' issues, unfortunately, we still have a big problem with providing adequate veteran services and benefits.
This great program, run by V2V Black Hops Brewing, exists in Langford. Unfortunately, the company was unable to qualify for the Canadian emergency wage subsidy and also had problems with the commercial rental assistance subsidy because of problems with the CRA. My office has repeatedly tried to get assistance from the Minister of National Revenue on this, but so far there has been radio silence.
I also think of the retailer Sports Traders Duncan, which has been owned and operated by Richard and Maureen Ellis since 1995. Of course, they saw a precipitous drop in their business because there have not been any team sports happening. No one is coming in to buy sports equipment, so they saw a huge drop in their revenues. It was a calamitous drop for a business that has existed in my community for about 25 years. They were in a situation where their landlord did not want to participate in the commercial rental assistance program. Unfortunately, the Liberals designed the program so that it required buy-in by the landlord.
What does a business do when it has an uncooperative landlord? There was no other route to take, even though I brought this to the attention of several ministers. Unfortunately, this business, which has been a pillar of our community for so many years, is now facing bankruptcy. We are probably going to lose it, although it is owned by two outstanding members of the community, and it will probably never be seen again.
I want to highlight the efforts that have been made by two individuals in our caucus: the member for New Westminster—Burnaby, who is our finance critic, and the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, our critic for small business and tourism. Both of whom have repeatedly called on the government to make improvements to this program. Unfortunately, they were met with inaction.
Those are the things that we need to address. I know that small businesses continue to look to their elected leaders here in the House to find ways to make sure they are going to recover as we move into later stages of dealing with this pandemic.
Coming from British Columbia, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the ongoing opioid crisis. The opioid crisis continues to ravage my communities. In British Columbia in the last couple of months, we saw a record number of deaths. Unfortunately, because of a toxic street supply of drugs, we are continuing to see these overdose death rates.
I will commend both the federal government and the B.C. government for starting pilot projects under the substance use and addictions program to try to deal with this, and get a safe supply of drugs to users so that they will not be exposed to that toxic supply. However, it is time for the next bold step from the federal government. I need the federal government to step up to the plate and join the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, several medical health officers from across the country and the premier of British Columbia to finally institute the decriminalization measures that we need to see. The biggest roadblock that we still have is the stigma of ongoing criminality for possession of a small amount of drugs. We need to find a way to make people come forward with the problems they have, so that they are not afraid that the criminal justice system is going to pounce on them if they try to get the help they need.
I'm not talking about legalizing drugs. I still believe that we need to have penalties in place for people who traffic and deal drugs, but for those who are suffering under the curse of addiction, we need to get the criminal justice system out of the way. We need a social and health approach to this very deep and ongoing problem.
Just in the last minute I have, we are at a moment in time when it seems like a giant pause button has been pressed on our society. I think we have collectively been given the time and space to think about where we have been, where we are now and where we want to go in the future. It is quite obvious that we cannot return to the way things were, not only because of the inadequacies of the social safety net, the fault lines that exist and the deep inequalities. This is a time for us to really think about the kinds of measures that we can put in place, not just shovel-ready projects but shovel-worthy projects, really making sure we are looking after people, giving them an adequate income to live on, and making sure that we are investing in energy and infrastructure projects that truly meet the needs of a 21st-century Canada.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Chair, I would like to remind the parliamentary secretary that what the government first put on offer at the end of March was not the CERB. It was a result of the NDP pushing the Liberals that we finally got the CERB. If the hon. member remembers, right from the get-go the NDP was calling for $2,000 per month for every person in Canada, a sort of universal basic income to make sure no one was falling through the cracks. It was a simple program that would ensure that everyone had enough income to adequately deal with the acute phase of the crisis.
While the CERB was a partial answer to that, unfortunately a lot of the other programs became overly bureaucratic and had a lot of hoops to jump through. We were forced to make little band-aid patches along the way.
Going forward, I think it is incumbent upon the government to adequately explain what its plans are as we transition from CERB to EI. How much are people going to earn? What kinds of qualifications are going to be needed in order to transfer to EI?
We know that with the employment insurance program, as it existed pre-pandemic, there were still a lot of workers who were not covered, and EI required a certain number of hours, which was also a disqualifier. Yes, I understand this transition is coming, but we have to remember that there are still so many people suffering through this crisis who work in industries that have not seen the jobs return. We need to have a plan in place to make sure those people are looked after.
Just in ending, I am happy to report that one of our members, the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre, has brought forward a motion in the House. I believe it is Motion No. 46. I would encourage the government to look at that and the ideas the NDP is bringing forward and make sure we are looking after everyone equally.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, going back in time, it was unfortunate that we did see a delay by the government in bringing forward these disability supports. I know it likes to place the blame on the opposition, but I find in this Parliament that the Liberals are still having a tough time coming to terms with the fact that they do not have a majority government anymore and that they are going to require the co-operation of the opposition to get things done. Our views are valid. We are bringing forward the concerns of our constituents, including those who live with disabilities.
It is great to see that the criteria for the disability tax credit have been expanded to include those who are on CPP disability and veterans, but we are concerned about how long it took to get to this and, yes, I do share the member's concerns. Any time a person with a disability, who is already very marginalized in society, has to jump through more hoops, which could include a trip to the doctor and more dealings with the bureaucracy, I am concerned that it will present more impediments to a segment of our society that cannot afford to deal with any more delays to their financial well-being.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-08-12 15:50 [p.2781]
Mr. Speaker, there are two pandemics in the country right now. We have COVID and an opioid pandemic. The opioid pandemic is very similar to COVID, in cutting across all sectors of society: rural, urban, rich and poor. I want to ask my hon. colleague about what he has seen in his community.
We know that in our Far North, the communities in Treaty 9 are so desperate to stop the opioids that they have people at the airports trying to stop the drugs from coming in because they have no other supports. In the city of Timmins, the police are working with mental health workers on the streets, trying to deal with this because they recognize that this is beyond criminal. This is a massive mental health crisis and we are seeing deaths, suffering and families being broken apart from the devastation from these drugs. We really want to be able to stop the pushers who are making these drugs, particularly fentanyl and its destructive nature, but we need to have measures of support to get people out of the nightmare of opioid addictions.
What has my hon. colleague seen on the west coast and what steps can we take in this Parliament in the midst of this COVID pandemic to deal with the other pandemic, the opioid crisis?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, that is a really important question. What I like to say is that every single one of those deaths from an overdose was preventable. Those people were sons, daughters, sisters and brothers. They were members of families and are now gone forever because of an epidemic that is ravaging small communities right across the country, particularly in British Columbia and communities like Duncan in my riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.
I am really pleased to announce to the House that the NDP leader, the hon. member for Burnaby South, is coming to my riding this Saturday. I am going to be taking him for a tour through some of the hardest-hit parts of my community, where he is going to have an opportunity to speak with local business owners who have been impacted by the epidemic, and also a chance to speak to front-line workers who have been going through PTSD because of the sheer number of people who are dying from this crisis.
To get to the member's question, it is great to see that we have programs like the substance abuse and addictions program by Health Canada, but that program needs to be expanded much more. It is the toxic street supply of drugs that really needs to be tackled, but the biggest thing we need to do and where we need the most leadership from the federal government is to address the ongoing criminalization of the possession of small amounts. Once we get past that step and get people past the ongoing stigma of criminality, I think they will be encouraged to come forward out of the shadows and get the help they truly need so that we can start taking very affirmative and worthwhile steps to tackle this crisis that is ravaging so many communities.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, like every member of Parliament, I have had examples come through my constituency office of people who do not follow what we call a “traditional” employment model. They sometimes contract out services, and if they have seen their business revenues decline and no longer need those contract services, the person under contract is simply out of luck. We have brought those examples to the government's attention repeatedly and we still need action on them, so I would like to thank my colleague for bringing forward that example.
View Laurel Collins Profile
NDP (BC)
View Laurel Collins Profile
2020-08-12 16:06 [p.2783]
Mr. Speaker, in his speech, the member talked about the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vulnerable populations, but he did not mention the other national health crisis we are facing in Canada. Last week in Victoria, I went to a Moms Stop The Harm event that called for decriminalization and an end to the opiate crisis. I spoke with health care workers, community members and families who have lost loved ones.
The member highlighted the science-based and evidence-based approach that the government has taken to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time for the government to do the right thing, to act with logic, compassion and courage, and take an evidence-based approach to decriminalizing drug use and medically regulating a safe supply.
As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot ignore the staggering death toll from the opiate crisis. When will the government listen to the experts, respect the evidence and treat addiction as a health issue, not a criminal one? These deaths are preventable. A safe supply saves lives.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-08-12 16:30 [p.2787]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for her passion for her constituents and for her province.
I was talking to the CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada yesterday, which we all know does great work, and he does great work, on behalf of indigenous businesses in this country. He was recently informed that the association would be getting a contract for $16 million to deliver to over 600 indigenous businesses, which is much needed as we know, but he was also told that he would not be allowed to use any of the funds for administration or to help deliver the program. In fact, he was told that the association was going to be audited, but we also learned that the WE organization was going to get a $43-million fund for administering its program, and the company of the husband of the Prime Minister's chief of staff was getting $84 million as a commission to administer a program.
Does the member agree that there are two ways that the Liberal government does business? There is one for its friends and then another for those who are not well-connected.
Also, does she agree that there is systemic racism that exists in this country that we can see right now at a time when organizations need support to deliver much-needed support to the people in our country, like indigenous tourism business operators who need help right now?
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-08-12 16:46 [p.2790]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for her extraordinary speech. I have listened to speeches that are good, speeches that are great. I have seen a lot of hand sock puppets, speaking whatever their leaders tell them to. For all the sham and drudgery in this place, the only thing that makes it extraordinary is when members come here who want to make changes. That is why we should be here, to be change-makers.
From her perspective as a parent, mother and teacher, I want to ask my colleague this. When I have talked to young people during this pandemic, a seismic shift is happening. It is a difference between millennials who are being economically crushed at this time, down to generation Z. The world will be changed by generation Z. This generation is not having it. These young people get that we have a pandemic that has upended everything, but for them the crisis is environmental. They see a world that is in a serious crisis, and we need voices.
Therefore, I want to ask my hon. colleague, as a parent and teacher, how she thinks we can use this Parliament to start engaging young people and making them believe we can actually make a better world, rather than just accept the same old, same old.
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