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Results: 1 - 15 of 96
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
View Richard Bragdon Profile
2020-02-26 15:37 [p.1615]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-228, an act to establish a federal framework to reduce recidivism.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today on behalf of the people and organizations I have deliberated with to introduce a bill that would improve the lives of thousands of Canadians. The bill would aim to shut the revolving door that plagues our prison system.
Thousands of lives and hundreds of communities across Canada are negatively impacted by the revolving door within the prison system. Nearly one in four people leaving the prison system will reoffend and find themselves back in prison within two years. That number is higher for indigenous and black Canadians.
An act to establish a federal framework is about calling on the Minister of Public Safety to establish effective partnerships across multiple sectors to develop a through-the-gate support structure. I believe that the establishment of effective partnerships with provinces, indigenous groups and NGOs as well as non-profit, faith-based and community organizations, is the crucible and centre for lasting societal change. This approach has been successful in reducing recidivism in other countries such as the U.K., the United States and other jurisdictions.
As the former lieutenant governor, the first of indigenous Maliseet descent, and as a retired provincial court judge, the hon. Graydon Nicholas has said that this bill is a step toward helping the walking wounded in our society. It is time for a creative initiative to tackle the devastating and persistent harms that are both the cause and the effect of recidivism.
I hope the members from all parties recognize the importance of this bill and that we will begin working together to ensure people leaving the prison system become contributing members of our society.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-26 15:57 [p.1618]
Madam Speaker, the petitioners call on the House of Commons to recognize that violence against women remains a critical problem in Canada and disproportionately impacts indigenous women. They also note that striving for pay equity and equal participation for women in leadership roles must be political priorities for all members of Parliament and that shifting cultural attitudes toward women and gender minorities in our society requires structural changes to education and socialization.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-26 16:29 [p.1623]
Madam Speaker, I would like to seek unanimous consent to split my time with the hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-26 16:29 [p.1623]
Madam Speaker, it is a great pleasure today to rise as the shadow minister of justice for the official opposition to speak to the government's Bill C-7. As I rise to speak on this bill, I do so with concern over some of the contents within it and even over the way it was presented to the House this week when, unfortunately, many of us read about the contents of the bill in the media, rather than seeing it first in this House.
The bill was intended to be a response to the Quebec Superior Court decision that was made on September 11, 2019. The decision stated that the law as it stood was too restrictive around the requirement for death to be reasonably foreseeable. The official opposition called on the government at the time to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada in order for Parliament to receive clarity about the parameters in which we would legislate, but the bill was introduced without that clarity.
Not only was the bill introduced without that clarity, but it goes far beyond what was required to meet the Quebec Superior Court's decision. I believe that is an affront to this Parliament, because when the previous bill, Bill C-14, was passed in the 42nd Parliament, the wisdom of this Parliament required that there be a statutory review of our assisted dying regime in Canada. That statutory review was and is to take place in June of this year.
It is in that review period that parliamentarians would be able to go more into depth on how the government's legislation has worked over the past several years and on how best to proceed. Rather than wait for that review, as it should have done, the government has decided to start making amendments to the legislation now, avoiding the in-depth review that is to take place shortly.
The reality is that when we are talking about this legislation, we are literally talking about the matter of life and death. This is an incredibly sensitive issue. Members on all sides of the house have diverse opinions on it, and it is because of this diversity of opinions and because of the sensitivity of this issue that the Quebec Superior Court decision should have been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada for further clarity. However, as the government has now opened this legislation up, it is upon us as legislators to now highlight other matters that should be addressed and included.
My office has heard plenty from concerned Canadians about the lack of protection for conscience rights for health care professionals. This is particularly important now that the government is broadening medical assistance in dying to include individuals whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. Expanding medical assistance in dying to more patients could in fact diminish the number of medical professionals willing to take part in the process. The fact is that this expanded access could result in a heavy emotional burden on those health care providers.
None of us here can fully appreciate the burden put on those health care providers currently working in the system and providing medical assistance in dying. The fact is that there is nothing about ensuring proper support to health care professionals who provide this service and there continue to be no penalties for pressuring a medical professional into providing medical assistance in dying, nor are there penalties for punishing or penalizing a medical professional who does not participate in medical assistance in dying. This means there continues to be no real protection for conscience rights for health care professionals.
The issue of advance directives, now rebranded as a “waiver of final consent” by this government, is a complex one that poses questions of ethics and safety and issues with oversight. The fact that the legislation legalizing this is half a page of a bill shows a lack of care given to this issue. This issue rightly should have been discussed as part of the parliamentary review to take place this summer.
The process for the creation and execution of this agreement remains ambiguous. Further, there is a lack of clarity on the process for proceeding with an advance directive agreement upon the date selected. The process will only be stopped if a patient expresses a form of resistance, but we do not know what that looks like. What if they are simply confused or groggy at the time? Under the legislation, unless they resist, the process will still proceed.
The bill also removes the 10-day waiting requirement when a person's death is reasonably foreseeable. When I read in media reports before the bill was tabled that this would be included, I, like many of many of my colleagues and parliamentarians, questioned as to what prompted its removal. I still remain incredibly concerned as to why this was included. This is particularly true because there was already the ability to remove the 10-day waiting period if a person's death or loss of capacity to consent was imminent, so why proceed with the removal of a safeguard that Parliament saw fit to include in the previous legislation?
It is also confusing that Bill C-7 requires a 90-day waiting period when a patient's death is not reasonably foreseeable. Why add an extended wait period for one, but remove the wait period entirely for the other?
On the issue of whether a death is reasonably foreseeable or not reasonably foreseeable, there is no clarification or guidance for health care professionals. As a result, it is not up to them to make the determination as to what category to put a patient under. That determination will decide whether a patient can access medical assistance in dying immediately or if they will require a 90-day waiting period. This is an extraordinary amount of pressure that the government is putting on health care professionals across this country.
The changing of witness requirements under this legislation has also been mentioned. The law requires only one independent witness, which is down from two.
All of these changes lead to an expansion of the law in Canada far beyond what was addressed in the Quebec court decision, an expansion that should have required deeper reflection through the study that is to take place this summer.
For a moment, let us speak to a point that seems to be lost in this conversation: palliative care services in this country.
The reality is if the choice is between a lack of quality palliative care and medically assisted dying, that really is no choice at all. Unfortunately, over the past number of years there have been instances of patients feeling they were forced to choose death because of a lack of palliative care.
The story of Archie Rolland comes to mind. Archie was a Montreal landscape architect who chose to end his life rather than continue suffering at a long-term care facility that was failing to provide him adequate care.
He had ALS and had his life upended when he was forced to move from a Montreal hospital that specialized in treating patients with severe respiratory ailments to a long-term care facility for geriatric patients. Mr. Rolland did not want to go, but he was transferred against his wishes. He called the system “inhuman”. He felt he was not getting adequate care, so he chose death.
I do not think that this is any real choice at all. We must have the discussion in this country about palliative care because people must not feel forced into a decision on medically assisted death. Mr. Rolland's story makes it clear that there was a failure of the system to provide him with adequate care. We risk medically assisted death being seen as some sort of bureaucratic solution for people who require an extra level of care. In a country like Canada, that is simply not acceptable. The government risks expanding a culture of not valuing life, and we should all agree in this place that we must place value on human life.
In closing, the bill disrespects Parliament and the parliamentary process. With Bill C-14, parliamentarians did a significant amount of work in the House and committee in an attempt to build consensus. The work was challenged by the Quebec Superior Court, but rather than defending the will of elected representatives in court, the Liberals immediately backed down.
Now the Liberals are responding not just to that decision but are also undoing the work of the joint committee on Bill C-14 by adding new measures.
Many of these issues should be dealt with in the summer when we have our scheduled parliamentary review. This is a complex matter that requires proper scrutiny and debate.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-26 16:40 [p.1625]
Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his question. He covered a lot of ground.
If the government agreed with the decision, and that is the basis for not appealing it, then why was that not in the original legislation to begin with?
All too often we see on the other side of the House a willingness to let the courts do the work that is rightly the work of Parliament, and we are seeing that again here. One court decision is made in one province, and then the government will hide behind that decision rather than appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada as it should.
Now the government has brought in legislation that goes far beyond what this court was dealing with, which is reasonable foreseeability of death. That again should have been dealt with in the review that is coming up this summer, when all parliamentarians can get input from their constituents and from experts on this issue.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-26 16:42 [p.1625]
Madam Speaker, in Bill C-14 from the previous Parliament, the decision was made not to include advance directives, meaning that someone would have to give consent at the time of medically assisted death. That is why, in the previous legislation, someone would have to consent and then give a further consent at the time of medically assisted death.
The bill before us would change that. This is a major expansion of Canada's laws on assisted dying. It was done under the premise of a response to an unrelated court decision in Quebec.
There is a reason parliamentarians and the House put in place a statutory review of this regime: so that we can consider new measures and look at what is working and see what is not working. This is why the whole discussion on this aspect of consent should have been done in the course of the statutory review.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-26 18:11 [p.1637]
Mr. Speaker, specifically on the 10-day cooling off period, does the parliamentary secretary acknowledge that under the current legislation, if necessary, those 10 days could be waived? That was a safeguard put in place by this Parliament and has been taken out in haste.
I would like the parliamentary secretary to comment on a couple of facts that deal with this Parliament. First, a two-week online consultation is not a parliamentary review. Bill C-14 called for a parliamentary review that was to take place this summer before we expand our regime in Canada around medically assisted dying. The Liberal government has jumped ahead with a vast expansion of the legislation without the benefit of that review.
Does the parliamentary secretary see a two-week online consultation having some equivalency with a parliamentary review?
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2020-02-26 18:30 [p.1640]
Mr. Speaker, I have had many calls regarding MAID, and many of my constituents are in favour of it. Some are concerned that this could be risky for people who might be vulnerable in their hours of pain. What safeguards would the member say we have in place that guarantee, whether for religious beliefs or other reasons, people are not coerced or pushed into making a decision they may not be in the right state to make?
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-25 14:00 [p.1504]
Madam Speaker, in light of the recent tensions in this House, I wish to call attention to a bright patch in the Canadian record, something we can all be proud of. Today, I want to honour and congratulate the Translation Bureau.
The Translation Bureau's staff support the Government of Canada in its efforts to serve Canadians by communicating in both official languages, but their efforts go far above and beyond that mandate. I was touched to learn how incredibly inclusive, respectful and committed their work is.
A fine example of their efforts is the new gender and sexual diversity glossary, a free glossary that lists the English and French equivalents of 193 concepts on gender and sexual diversity.
The Bureau also offers translation for international languages, sign language and five indigenous languages and counting, including recent work to include Wolastoqey latuwewakon, a language with only a few hundred speakers in my home riding.
[Member spoke in Wolastoqey and provided the following text:]
Wolasuweltomuwakon, Nuhkomossok naka nmuhsumsok, Woliwon ciw latuwewakon, Kisi monuwehkiyeq ‘ciw nilun, nilun oc tokec nuleyutomonen, ciw weckuwapasihtit. Nit leyic.
[Member provided the following translation:]
Maliseet language honour code, grandmothers and grandfathers, thank you for our language that you have saved for us. It is now our turn to save it for the ones who are not born yet, may that be the truth.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
View Richard Bragdon Profile
2020-02-25 14:11 [p.1507]
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the immense contribution of black Canadians as part of our month-long celebration of Black History Month.
The great riding of Tobique—Mactaquac is home to the northernmost route of the underground railway. Brave men and women fleeing slavery found their way to Fort Fairfield, Maine, where they were given refuge in places such as Friends Church.
Once they were able to make their final journey to freedom, they would set out through the woods until they reached Tomlinson Lake in Carlingford, New Brunswick. Once there, they knew they were safe and began their new lives in Canada as free people. They overcame many challenges and contributed immensely to a better Canada.
Passionate and tireless volunteers have worked to preserve these stories and valuable parts of our history. They hold an annual hike in the fall where families can walk the trails and learn the stories. I would encourage all members to learn more about this part of Canadian history at tomlinsonlakehiketofreedom.ca.
Although freedom was reached at Tomlinson Lake, the journey to true equality and recognition continues.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-25 15:10 [p.1518]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege today concerning the premature disclosure of the contents of Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding medical assistance in dying, introduced yesterday.
As you know, it is a well-established practice in the House that, when a bill is on notice for introduction, the House has the first right to the contents of that legislation.
In a report circulated prior to question period, and hours before Bill C-7 was read a first time in the House, the Canadian Press published an article that detailed specific information contained in Bill C-7.
In the article it states:
The bill [would] scrap a provision in the law that allows only those already near death to receive medical assistance in dying—as ordered by a Quebec court last fall....
Sources say it will drop the requirement that a person must wait 10 days after being approved for an assisted death before receiving the procedure. And it will drop the requirement that a person must be able to give consent a second time immediately prior to receiving the procedure.
The reporter gives credence to the fact that contempt has occurred by revealing later in the article:
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal details of the bill prior to its tabling in the House of Commons this afternoon.
After the sources indicated to the reporter that they were aware of their guilty actions, they boldly and defiantly continued their affront to Parliament by providing even more detail of the bill.
I quote again from the article, which states:
Sources say today's bill will not deal with broader issues that were excluded in the new law and that must be considered as part of a parliamentary review of the law that is to begin this summer.
Those issues include whether mature minors and those suffering only from mental [illness] should be eligible and whether people who fear losing mental capacity due to conditions like dementia should be able to make advance requests for medical assistance in dying.
It will, however, propose a measure intended to deal with a situation in which a person is given consent and who has been approved for an assisted death loses the mental capacity to give consent a second time immediately prior to receiving the procedure.
After carefully reviewing the contents of Bill C-7 following its introduction in the House, when I and other members of Parliament got to see the bill for the very first time, the details reported by the Canadian Press hours earlier were indeed contained in Bill C-7.
Ironically, my first precedent to present to you is from the last Parliament, brought to the Speaker's attention on April 14, 2016. It was with respect to Bill C-14, an act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other acts regarding medical assistance in dying.
It would appear that the Liberal justice team just has not learned any lessons as it was pointed out on April 14, 2016, as I am pointing out today on Bill C-7, that specific and detailed information contained in Bill C-14 was reported in a newspaper article and elsewhere in the media before the bill had been introduced in the House.
On April 19, 2016, the Speaker found that there was in fact a prima facie case of privilege regarding Bill C-14. He stated:
As honourable members know, one of my most important responsibilities as Speaker is to safeguard the rights and privileges of members, individually and collectively. Central to the matter before us today is the fact that, due to its pre-eminent role in the legislative process, the House cannot allow precise legislative information to be distributed to others before it has been made accessible to all members. Previous Speakers have regularly upheld not only this fundamental right, but also expectation, of the House.
The Speaker's concluding remark on April 19, 2016, was as follows:
In this instance, the chair must conclude that the House's right of first access to legislative information was not respected. The chair appreciates the chief government whip's assertion that no one in the government was authorized to publicly release the specific details of the bill before its introduction. Still, it did happen, and these kinds of incidents cause grave concern among hon. members. I believe it is a good reason why extra care should be taken to ensure that matters that ought properly to be brought to the House first do not in any way get out in the public domain prematurely.
On October 4, 2010, on page 4711 of the House of Commons Debates, Speaker Milliken noted:
It is indisputable that it is a well-established practice and accepted convention that this House has the right of first access to the text of bills that it will consider.
Getting back to my point about the Liberal justice team not learning any lessons, there was a similar case from March 19, 2001, regarding the Department of Justice briefing the media on a bill before members of Parliament. In that reading, Speaker Milliken said, at page 1840 of the House of Commons Debates:
In preparing legislation, the government may wish to hold extensive consultations and such consultations may be held entirely at the government's discretion. However, with respect to material to be placed before parliament, the House must take precedence. Once a bill has been placed on notice, whether it has been presented in a different form to a different session of parliament has no bearing and the bill is considered a new matter. The convention of the confidentiality of bills on notice is necessary, not only so that members themselves [will] be well informed, but also because of the pre-eminent [role] which the House plays and must play in the legislative affairs of the nation.
The Speaker found another case of contempt on October 15, 2001, after the Department of Justice again briefed the media on the contents of a bill prior to the legislation being introduced in the House.
Maybe, in this minority House, members can finally take these characters in the Minister of Justice's office to task for their continuous disrespect of this Parliament. Given the facts presented and the clear precedents on this matter, I believe, Mr. Speaker, you should have no trouble in finding a prima facie case of privilege. In that event, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for his very thoughtful comments today and also for his tremendous work as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.
My colleague comes from Atlantic Canada. When knocking on doors last summer, one of the number one items I heard at the door, and I am assuming he did as well, was access to health care services in Atlantic Canada and how we can improve health care services within our region and all across the country.
I wonder if my colleague could elaborate on the importance of the investment of $11 billion that we have made when it comes to home care and mental health services, and how that has really benefited Canadians across the country.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her questions. I always appreciate her comments.
I do not agree with one of the statements that she has made, indicating that our government has punted pharmacare down the road. If I look back over the past four years, our government has done extensive work to move this file forward. We have taken steps, including making changes to the pan-Canadian pharmaceutical review board. We have also joined provinces and territories to make sure that we can bulk-purchase medications together. Furthermore, in budget 2019, we invested $35 million for the creation of the Canadian drug agency. Work is under way.
I have a specific question for my colleague. Does she agree that putting together a national pharmacare program, and also a dental care program, is going to require the collaboration of the provinces and territories? If we want to move forward with this, we absolutely have to work with all levels of government. I would like to hear the member's comments about that.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
View John Williamson Profile
2020-02-25 20:47 [p.1570]
Madam Speaker, earlier tonight we heard a Liberal member of Parliament tell this chamber that the government's goal in Canada is to produce the cleanest oil in the world. However, this is not true. We know what the Prime Minister told Canadians some years ago: The goal is actually to “phase out” the industry.
I can say this with some certainty because Canada is already an environmental leader when it comes to refining and producing its petroleum products. It is one of the cleanest producers in the world. If that is the goal, the government could say it is mission accomplished. It could get on with creating jobs and opportunity in Canada and exporting this technology and our clean ethical products around the world.
We know the decision that came down from Teck is a result of a market failure, which is produced by policy uncertainty. The result is fewer jobs, higher energy prices and less of Canada's ethical oil being consumed at home and around the world.
Teck's decision is a blow to Canada. It is devastating to Alberta's economy. It is also problematic and hurtful and is raising questions in Alberta about its place in Confederation in Canada. Jobs have been lost, opportunities have left, tax dollars are evaporating, and we now hear voices in western Canada wondering what Alberta's place is in the federation. This is a realistic question we hear, as people who look to Ottawa see a government trying to turn off this industry.
This is not the first time we have seen these actions from a federal government that is focused elsewhere. In my home province, energy east was killed. The government tried to say this too was a market decision, but energy east was following all the rules that were laid out by the Government of Canada. Those rules were changed midstream, something we never see. The company engaged in good faith in the Canadian regulatory process. It spent $1 billion trying to go through that process. Then the government changed the rules. The Prime Minister was not willing to spend a nickel of his political capital in Quebec, so the company walked away. It was another lost opportunity for Canada, an opportunity to bring the real eastern Canada, Atlantic Canada, into this nation building.
We look west and to central Canada and see jobs, growth and opportunity. We say in New Brunswick that we would like a piece of that. Instead of sending our best and brightest to work in this industry, this vital Canadian industry, we would like to see a piece of that in Atlantic Canada. However, the Prime Minister and the Liberal Party have other ideas. They want to shut it down. They wanted to shut it down in the east and now want to shut it down in western Canada.
Tonight I had the good fortune of hosting Preston Manning here on the Hill. Mr. Manning was in town promoting his new book about political involvement and engagement, entitled Do Something! I have known Preston Manning for 25 years now. When he sat in the House, his mantra was “the west wants in”. Thirty years ago he was championing western Canadians to come to Ottawa, roll up their sleeves and work with fellow Canadians.
Teck abandoned its project, not because of the market but because of policy failure and policy uncertainty, just like TransCanada did on energy east, just like Kinder Morgan did by bailing out of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which was purchased by the federal government, because things were falling apart so quickly, because of policy and regulatory uncertainty. Today what do we hear in western Canada? Not that the west wants in, but maybe, just maybe, that the west wants out. This is deeply concerning and should raise alarm bells at the highest level of the federal government. We do not want to see this happening.
Our country is strong because of western Canada. It is strong because of all parts of this country. If we have a region or province that feels shut out of the corridors of power and feels its concerns are being ignored, this is a problem, almost a crisis. I hope the government will reconsider its position.
Some say this decision by Teck was made because of a downturn in prices or they say that Teck is just hitting the pause button and will return. Some are even saying that in a way Alberta deserves this because it is not saving enough of its resource. However, there is no downturn in the industry. It is a made-in-Canada problem, a made-in-Canada downturn.
One only needs to look at the United States of America. It is booming. It is being called a blue-collar jobs boom. Jobs are being created, wealth is being created and opportunities are being created. At the same time, America last year, under President Donald Trump, believe or not, was the world's largest net CO2 reducer in the world. America has figured out that one can be prosperous, can cut CO2 and can create jobs.
To the idea that Teck will return, Teck is not going to return as long as the current government is in office under these policies. In fact, dare I say this is probably the last large-scale project we are going to see come to our shores. Why would a company come here? Project after project after project has been either cancelled, abandoned or killed by the government.
As for the notion that Alberta deserves this because it is just not saving enough compared to some European countries, those countries are not part of grand federations. Alberta has shared its wealth. It has shared the wealth with this federal government and it shares its wealth every single year with provinces across this country.
My province of New Brunswick receives a third of its budget every year from transfers from the federal government, generous transfers I know Albertans and other western Canadians are proud to pitch in to help. In the past, they have been allowed to do what they do best, which is to create jobs and opportunity and to share that wealth. They have grown mightily and we have seen a population boom in western Canada.
To my western friends, when the Liberals come to them and say not to worry and they will help with more transfers and EI, I say to run to the hills. We have that in Atlantic Canada. Life is pretty good, but that is not how one creates a growing economy that is going to see families grow, people move in and economies prosper. We are fortunate and thankful to have those transfers, but that is not the road a country follows to grow itself.
Today Canada is poorer because of this decision that is a direct result of the federal government. Indigenous communities that had agreed to it and were looking to participate are poorer. The provinces are going to be poorer over the long run as well. The government is destroying reliable energy, affordable energy and Canada's ethical energy industry. For that I say shame, because increasingly we are finding energy is cheaper outside of this country than good old made-in-Canada energy, and I decry that.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
View John Williamson Profile
2020-02-25 20:57 [p.1571]
Madam Speaker, we heard the same arguments when the the energy east pipeline was cancelled. We were told it was a market-related decision. Clearly, the federal government is responsible for this decision in Alberta, just as it was responsible for the energy east decision. The Liberals did nothing. They created obstacles and then said it was not their fault. It is their fault.
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