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Results: 1 - 15 of 173
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-07-08 12:38 [p.2540]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
It is hard not to feel disappointed in one's government when every day there is a new scandal. Does the Prime Minister believe it was ethical to award a near $1-billion exclusive contract to his friends at WE Charity, yes or no?
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-07-08 12:39 [p.2540]
Mr. Speaker, I think it would be inappropriate to continue involvement with an investigation ongoing by the Ethics Commissioner, but at the very least, will the Prime Minister confirm he will not invoke cabinet confidence on this matter, commit to full transparency and allow the Ethics Commissioner to complete his investigation free from interference, yes or no?
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2020-07-08 13:12 [p.2546]
Madam Chair, I am going to be splitting my time with the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam.
We are pleased to see that Canada is beginning to reopen. However, that means that Canadians need access to government services beyond COVID. Many constituents have expressed to me their concern and frustration that they are not able to access these important services. For example, my province of Manitoba has seen very few COVID cases and, yet, the CRA tax centre in Winnipeg remains closed indefinitely, severely impacting both employers and taxpayers.
What is the Liberal government's plan to safely restore CRA services?
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2020-07-08 13:13 [p.2546]
Madam Chair, during the past few months Canadian front-line and essential workers such as truck drivers, bus drivers, manufacturers, farmers, restaurant workers, store clerks, gas station attendants, construction workers, bankers, mechanics and even the media have found ways to work safely.
Can the Prime Minister or the minister explain why so many Canadian workers have found ways to do their jobs safely and the Liberal government cannot figure out a way to restore the public service to Canadians?
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2020-07-08 13:15 [p.2546]
Madam Chair, that was not an answer.
The Auditor General has revealed a troubling failure of the public safety minister in her latest report. Under the Liberal government, tens of thousands of individuals who are subject to removal orders are in Canada, including some with criminal ties. This unacceptable failure risks further undermining the integrity of our immigration system and public safety.
Instead of wasting his time attacking law-abiding firearm owners with legislation and regulations, could the public safety minister do his job and enforce removal orders?
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-06-17 16:31 [p.2503]
Madam Chair, I will be using my time to make a five-minute statement today and splitting it with the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola and the member for Regina—Lewvan.
It's an honour to be back in the House representing my Kildonan—St. Paul constituents on the very last day of the parliamentary session. Although the Liberal government has decided to shut down Parliament during the worst crisis Canadians have faced in living memory, I will do my best to speak and advocate on their behalf with the little time we have remaining.
Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has only allowed parliamentarians four hours to debate and approve $87 billion in spending, or roughly $362 million every minute, which may be a record in the history of the Canadian Parliament.
If the member opposite were listening, he might learn something.
This is truly unprecedented. The very purpose of Parliament is to provide checks and balances on government power. If we do not have the opportunity to question the government. to study emerging issues at committee, or to put forward alternative solutions, how are we supposed to do our job and be that check on power if we are not sitting?
In effect, the government is telling Canadians that they have nothing to worry about, but that they just to trust the government, that there is no need for Parliament to meet or to provide oversight on the massive spending that's been going on for three months. Unfortunately, between the Liberals power grabs and long history of ethics violations, to say that opposition parties are skeptical would be an understatement. In fact, there has not been this great a need for parliamentary oversight since the Second World War.
The last few months have not been easy for anyone. Some have been far more severely impacted than others. Thus far, three million people have lost their jobs and 13% of the working population remains unemployed. We know that women have been impacted to a greater degree than men and that rates of human trafficking and spousal abuse have reportedly gone up. Eight thousand people have lost their lives to COVID-19, and the well-being of countless others has been impacted from the thousands of delayed surgeries and the severe mental health impacts that isolation has had on the nation.
To be a member of Parliament during this unprecedented time has been an unforgettable experience with many challenges and difficult days. Speaking with hundreds of constituents and small businesses in my community who have been deeply and negatively impacted by the pandemic has been very heartbreaking, but they will not be forgotten by the Conservative team. We are all working tirelessly on their behalf and we will represent every Canadian left behind by the government's inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The possibility of a second wave of the pandemic is of great concern to me and the constituents of Kildonan—St. Paul, and the Liberal government, frankly, has provided very little to Canadians to give them confidence that we will be prepared and financially equipped to handle a second wave, since we barely made it through the first one. We are seeing this first-hand in the Prime Minister's refusal to provide an economic and fiscal update during this sitting, despite the Parliamentary Budget Officer's call for one.
It is critical that Canadians know whether we have any financial flexibility to extend programs before they are indeed extended. That is key. Otherwise, we are just guessing and hoping that it will all work out and that the country does not go bankrupt, which is really not a great strategy.
As one of 338 MPs and one of only 121 official opposition MPs in Canada, I ask the Liberal government with all sincerity to use its three-month hiatus from oversight and accountability to prepare tirelessly for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: to prepare PPE, testing, contact tracing capacity, and whatever is necessary to give Canadians the confidence that the government can actually do this job. Beyond that, it needs to acknowledge that Canadian small businesses and the millions of Canadian workers they employ cannot afford to go back into isolation, neither financially nor for their mental health. Moreover, neither can the taxpayer afford to subsidize the pandemic response effort of nearly $100 billion per month without serious tax increases and financial consequences at the family kitchen table.
The Liberal government has the responsibility to present a plan and to communicate it effectively to Canadians, so they can prepare in the coming months. Canadians deserve answers on how prepared we are and what the financial outlook for Canada is, so I implore the government to be transparent, honest and accountable. It is its duty to Canadians.
To conclude, I sincerely thank the front-line workers in every industry in Kildonan—St. Paul, from health care workers to grocery store clerks and gas station attendants, for quickly adapting to the first wave of this pandemic and and physical distancing requirements, and even organizations that, despite being forced to drastically change their daily routines, rose to the occasion in service of our community. Churches, gurdwaras, synagogues, elder care homes, grocery stores, schools and hundreds of small businesses in Kildonan—St. Paul rallied with a true Canadian spirit of resilience and innovation to get the community through the first wave of the pandemic.
That honestly gives me real hope for the second wave and whatever comes after that. I do believe we will get through this together.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-05-26 10:06 [p.2399]
Mr. Speaker, can I have clarification? My interpretation said Standing Orders 7 and 8, but I believe it should be Standing Orders 15 and 17. Could the House leader clarify?
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.
I am glad to be back in the House. I love being in the chamber. One of my friends in the media calls the day that he puts the newspaper together with the stories and the pictures “magic day”, and this is where magic happens for us as politicians, right here in the chamber. It is the only place, I think, where we can get the real feel of how Parliament is meant to work.
I appreciate that a number of colleagues are giving shout outs to their staff, and I would like to do the same. My staff works so diligently and hard on behalf of our constituents who have been struggling during this outbreak. I want to give a big thanks to Dana, Lisa, Laura, Lindsay, Megan and Gianfranco. The service they provide to our constituents is bar none, and I am proud of each and every one of them. I know the incredible amount of effort and skill they apply to each case that has come to our attention through the mailbox, by email or by phone. Even though we are not yet allowing visitors in our office, we are working to put in place the proper safety protocol so that we can start meeting with our constituents again when a phone call is just not enough.
Meeting here and having these discussions is something that is fundamental to democracy. As Conservatives, we have been saying that Parliament needs to meet, as we are doing here today, and it needs to do so consistently. Now, we are not saying that we need all 338 members here. We can use a hybrid system, which we are going to try out going forward with the special committee of the whole on COVID-19. There are ways for us to do that, as well as to vote. We are looking for a compromise where we can have Parliament function and deal with the business of the day.
Our municipalities are meeting. Our town councils and municipal councils are meeting every month dealing with things on behalf their ratepayers. Every provincial legislature is still meeting. They are acknowledging the need for social distancing while still doing the business of the day to ensure that they are on top of the COVID-19 crisis, and also dealing with all of the issues that government is charged with.
If we look around the world, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia and even China are meeting. I am sure that the Prime Minister, with his admiration for the “basic dictatorship” in China, is watching closely as the National People's Congress of China is meeting shoulder-to-shoulder. If members watched them on the news, they are all wearing masks, but they are sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in their chamber. It is important that parliaments gather. We exchange ideas and have rigorous debate, which is not possible through Zoom with the technological problems, the inability to hear each other and the cutting in and out.
I am sure that the member for Timmins—James Bay will be glad that I am going to give a Winston Churchill quote, as follows:
It is difficult to explain this to those who do not know our ways. They cannot easily be made to understand why we consider that the intensity, passion, intimacy, informality and spontaneity of our Debates constitute the personality of the House of Commons and endow it at once with its focus and its strength.
That is the best way to describe why we need to be in here carrying out these debates, including the heckles. It is where we have an opportunity to have an exchange of ideas and to see the reactions and to be able to feed off each other's emotions to some degree, as long as it does not escalate too much. It is the role of parliamentarians in the House of Commons to have these discussions. Although the government motion refers to having a 95-minute question time during the committee of the whole with five minutes of back and forth, it still does not replace what we do in here via conversations and discussions on the bills of the day, which is something that we are not dealing with at all while we are in this special parliamentary committee format. For instance, we are not dealing with a budget, and I will get to that later.
Professor Christian Leuprecht from Queen's University has said:
Ultimately the underlying primary constitutional principle here is the principle of responsible government. It is about ministerial responsibility, first and foremost, during a crisis and an emergency...
Especially during a time of crisis, Parliament has a supreme duty to hold the executive to account. Canadians need continuous parliamentary audit of the executive and the bureaucracy's judgment.
This is the role of the opposition and the backbench of the government in the House, that we ask the tough questions. Our Constitution, our Westminster parliamentary system, is built upon that ministerial accountability and that is not happening when we are working off Zoom.
There are concerns in my riding. When I am here I can have my 10-minute speech and I can have my time in question period and I can have time at committee to raise concerns from my constituents. I want to raise a few of those right now.
One of the small business owners in my riding owns a couple of businesses and said she had to shut down because of the types of businesses she operates and is having trouble paying her rent. Unfortunately, her landlord refuses to participate in the Canada emergency commercial rent assistance and so she is going to be forced to leave and he is going to have to chase after her for the lease payments that are left. It is going to end up in court and could actually affect her other businesses because she is financially strapped now.
If I get a chance through the special committee and the 95 minutes of questions and answers maybe I will get the chance to get these answers from the minister, but if we are here all day long, I have a greater opportunity to raise these issues directly with the minister.
On the agriculture side, farmers are really struggling. The Interlake area I represent has gone through drought after drought. Before that there was BSE and flooding along Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, so a lot of farmers have been hit hard. They are trying to get crops in the ground and cattle fed through the winter, having enough pasture. On top of that, as we already heard, and I thank my colleague from Battle River—Crowfoot for the great job he does as the shadow minister of agriculture, we are seeing meat prices go up because there is less beef being processed in our meat packing plants because the slaughter facilities are being impacted by COVID and workers cannot get to work and, ultimately, prices on the retail side are going up.
The opposite is happening because of oversupply in our feed lots and among our cattle calf operators. One of my constituents lost $600 per head on the calves he held over the winter, as he always does. He sold them in the spring and received $600 less than he did the year before. Most operators will not be able to sustain that. That is over a $60,000 loss for that one single farmer.
There is also a commercial fishery in my riding, and it has raised many concerns. The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation has quit buying pickerel from Lake Winnipeg and will not even try to market it because all the restaurants they sell to have shut down and there is an oversupply sitting in storage. Fishermen and their families have to go out onto the lakes and are not able to catch anything of value, like pickerel and whitefish, to sell.
One thing that is missing in all of this process is a budget from the government. We are spending money this year that could very well see us having a deficit equal to the budget we had last year of $350 billion. We could have a $350-billion deficit with the shrinking economy and the growing government spending in response to COVID-19. We still have not seen a budget from the government and accountability on how it is going to spend this money without crashing the economy, without putting us in such crippling debt that we may never be able to crawl out from underneath it.
It is our job as parliamentarians to look after the taxpayer, and that is not happening because of this special committee.
I can go on and on. Firearms owners in my riding are upset. These issues need to be discussed at committee, but we do not have every committee going. The public safety committee is not going. The national defence committee that I am vice-chair of is not operating. Without having those committees operating, we cannot deal with issues of the day in a timely manner to address the concerns of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I want to use this quote from December 2013. It reads:
We know why the Prime Minister prorogued the session back in September. It was because he did not want to have the House sitting. He avoided the day in and day out accountability in the House, because he was not happy with what was being reported in a sequence of events that portrayed corruption and fraud....
As a result, we lost weeks of debate earlier this fall because the Prime Minister did not want to come back. Why did he not want to come back? He had a very serious problem, and still does, and it is not going to go away.
Do members know who said that? It was the member for Winnipeg North.
He, of course, is failing to recognize that the issue of accountability, our ability as private members to bring forward our private members' bills, is not being enabled through this process. We are not dealing with any legislation. We are not dealing with opposition motions, as he already portrayed. That is part of accountability, and the Liberals are trying to duck out and do government through press conferences in front of the Rideau Cottage.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I am a farmer, and my son in law is just finishing putting soybeans in the ground right now. I can tell you that, knowing how AgriStability and the suite of business risk management programs work, they were never designed to deal with these types of crises.
Whether one is a beef farmer, a grain and oilseeds operator or a supply-managed dairy farmer, there are a lot of problems with the lack of response from the government. The government refuses, first, to recognize the issue and, second, to respond in a meaningful way to ensure that we are food secure and that our rural communities thrive. Without a healthy agricultural society, our rural communities hurt. The government refuses to put in place the proper cash injections to cover off the loss of market share on the international and domestic levels, and recognize the fact that we need to control supply.
Without the government,s putting in place those steps and programs, like the set-aside on slaughter animals, we will not get to a point of viability to survive through the pandemic, for our agriculture producers.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, when the member for Timmins—James Bay and I were first elected, we served on the agriculture committee together. The member is right. We do not have enough regional capacity across this country. Do we have surplus capacity on good days? Yes, we do. When everyone is operating at full steam, we have enough capacity within the country.
However, when we start seeing reductions in shifts, or shutdowns of plants in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, we will ultimately see impacts in other areas of the country. The farther away those facilities are, the harder it is to get animals to market, and the bigger the discounts they will take.
We need to look at our overall food security and how processing, along with production, is part of that. We also need to maintain the ability to export our high-quality food products around the world.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, military members serving in Operation Laser have sounded the alarm on the horrible abuse and neglect of our vulnerable seniors in long-term care homes. The military reported this abuse on May 14, but the minister of defence did nothing with that information until Friday. The Province of Ontario was left in the dark until Sunday because the public safety minister sat on it until then.
Our troops are in harm's way, witnessing blatant disregard for infection control, mistreatment of elderly residents and a level of care described as “horrible”.
Why did the Minister of National Defence sit on these allegations for almost two weeks?
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, that does not answer the question. The question is that this information became available on May 14. The government refused to move on that intelligence and these allegations to go and protect the most vulnerable, our loved ones who are living in long-term care facilities.
The question is quite simple: Why did the Liberals sit on their hands for two weeks and do nothing to protect our loved ones in long-term care homes?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-05-26 14:38 [p.2440]
Mr. Speaker, a relative of one of my constituents is a student who is renting out a room in her home to a foreign student. The student recently informed her that he has found a way to collect the CERB and go back to his home country overseas, and that he would not be paying her rent any longer. He gets to leave Canada, he gets to collect the CERB and she gets shafted. We are hearing more and more stories like this.
Why are the Liberals turning a blind eye to individuals who seem to be purposely trying to scam the system?
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