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Results: 1 - 15 of 222
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am back to talk about the Canada-China relationship, which, as we saw earlier today, the government has no interest in discussing in this chamber, shamefully, after giving no speeches during our special debate on the situation in Hong Kong. There have been no speeches from Liberal members, no speeches from NDP members. Both of those parties voted unanimously not to allow the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations to meet and do its work. They voted against allowing this committee to meet and do its important work during this time. That is shameful. It is a disgrace that the Liberals and the NDP refused to be involved in that conversation, and they worked together to shut down that possibility from happening. I know their constituents will hold them accountable for the shameful disregard for what is happening in Hong Kong, the disregard for the terrible human rights record of the Chinese government.
The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader said that we are not supposed to be talking about this issue and that we should be talking, instead, about COVID-19. Let me say a couple of things about that.
First, the parliamentary secretary should know that various authoritarian countries around the world, in particular the Government of China, are using precisely these circumstances to crack down on fundamental human rights and violate international law. If we ignore the vital need to stand up for the international rules-based order during this time, things are going to be a heck of a lot worse after this crisis is over. If we put our heads in the sand and pretend things are not happening, things are going to be a lot worse when this is over.
Second, the government needs to understand that we have a global pandemic precisely because of the suppression of information that took place in Wuhan and in China more broadly as a result of the authoritarian politics of that system. If this had happened in a democratic country, there would have immediately been discussion, debate and questions, openly, but the Chinese government intentionally suppressed information and discussion about the outbreak of COVID-19. This is what has allowed the global pandemic to unroll in the way that it has.
At a time when information is coming out about the suppression of information related to COVID-19, at a time when there are important questions to be asked of the World Health Organization about the way it is beholden to the Government of China, it is vitally important that we ask questions about the actions of the Government of China. However, the government does not want those questions to be asked, because every time the opportunity comes up, it gives a weak statement. It refuses to condemn the violation of fundamental human rights that is happening in Hong Kong. It refused to support an investigation into the actions of the World Health Organization that includes meaningful investigation into what is going on, including what is happening on the ground in China.
At committee, Ambassador Dominic Barton praised the Chinese government's response to COVID-19. The question that I asked earlier of the government on this issue was about whether it has confidence in Ambassador Barton, who praised the Chinese government's response to COVID-19, led a corporate retreat in Kashgar four miles from a Uighur concentration camp, and led McKinsey work to improve the image of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych.
These are important questions about Ambassador Barton. These are questions that the government does not want to answer, because after giving no speeches, the Liberals voted not to allow the parliamentary committee on Canada-China relations to meet virtually and investigate these questions.
Why is the government refusing to answer questions and refusing to allow debates at committee on the Canada-China relationship?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-05-25 18:35 [p.2393]
Mr. Speaker, I was here earlier for the vote, and it was not just the government, but there were opposition members from two other political parties who agreed with what the government is saying on the issue.
It have been interesting to see the issue evolving over the last number of years. When Stephen Harper was the prime minister, he made reference to China on a number of different occasions. In fact, he flew to China, came back from China, and talked about how wonderful things were. He got a commitment from China to bring over a couple of panda bears. That is when I bought my panda bear necktie. I can recall it quite vividly. There were trade agreements of sorts that were signed off on but never debated here inside the House, agreements between the Harper Conservative government and China. Now, in opposition, the Conservatives seem to have taken a complete 180° turn in their approach to China.
We do not need to be lectured by the Conservatives on the importance of expressions of freedoms and rights, including to be able to speak freely. We are the party that came up with the Charter of Rights, which was presented by Pierre Elliott Trudeau back in the 1980s. The Charter of Rights is now a part of our Canadian values and we are very proud of it. We look at our values here in Canada and try to share them wherever we can throughout the world, trying to play a strong leadership role. I find it very interesting how the Conservatives continue to want to push that 180° turn, their road to Damascus approach, with respect to China.
There are some difficult situations that have to be overcome, just as there were when Stephen Harper was the prime minister. Yes, there has been a special committee. There have been numerous discussions. At the committee stage, there was a report. That report was adopted and concurred in by the House. No, the member did not get what he wanted specifically; there were both government and opposition members who said that there was no need.
As somebody said earlier today, our Chinese heritage community in Canada predates our Confederation. Our Chinese heritage community was here before Canada was even a country as we know it today, so when things take place in China, Hong Kong and Asia, Canada is concerned. When I say “Canada”, I am talking of people in Canada, even people who are not of Chinese heritage. We have all sorts of human rights advocates. Winnipeg is home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, one of the jewels of our city.
There are many parliamentarians who have been strong advocates of humanitarian rights and freedoms and are trying to ensure that Canada maintains its strong international leadership. Over the last number of years, with this Prime Minister and this government, we have continued to promote Canadian values throughout the world.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, that was a lot of bafflegab, with no response to the question. I am glad to know that the member comes from the city where Canada's human rights museum is. I suggest he visit it sometime; he might learn something.
We had a choice and had an opportunity today to support a return of the Canada-China special committee. That would have allowed for hearings to happen online, just as other hearings are happening online. It would have allowed for hearings to actually get to the bottom of what is happening, and also put pressure on the government to take a stronger stance, because its stance so far on what is happening in Hong Kong has been very weak. If we compare it with the past, with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives' strong response to the Russian invasion of Crimea, the response by the current government to the violation of international law in the case of Hong Kong is not remotely comparable. That is why the Liberals do not want to have these conversations.
Why did the Liberals, along with their allies in the NDP, refuse to allow the committee to do its work to stand up for human rights?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-05-25 18:40 [p.2394]
Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak for the New Democratic Party. Nor can I speak for the Green Party member who I understand also voted not to proceed, as the member has suggested.
What I can say is that the Liberal members have been very strong advocates for human rights. We have been very strong. We have not been selective, but the Conservatives choose to be selective. We recognize many injustices take place all over the world. Even at a time when Canadians have been dealing with the situation of coronavirus and this government has been focused on helping them, that issue and other human rights violations have not been lost to us.
We have a caucus that is diverse, caring and wanting to ensure that the values we have in Canada are shared among the world, and we will continue to advocate for that.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
Mr. Speaker, I speak as the member of Parliament for the riding for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, home to Garrison Petawawa, training ground of the warriors, Canada's largest army base.
I am honoured to rise in this place on behalf of the women and men who serve in uniform in the Canadian Armed Forces. I appreciate the trust I have earned from our women and men in the forces. They know whenever I rise in this place to question the government, I have their backs.
During question period on March 9, two days before the pandemic was declared, I asked the Minister of National Defence when the military hospital at Garrison Petawawa would finally be operational. Canadians were disappointed to hear the minister of defence refuse to own up to the most recent $247 million cut from military infrastructure funding by the Prime Minister. In the case of health services, the health and safety of our troops is at risk at the worst possible time.
Again, what is the minister doing about the unfinished military hospital at a time when we need it most?
I am pleased to recognize the nearly 1,700 soldiers, including those from 1 Canadian Field Hospital stationed at Garrison Petawawa, who are deployed on Operation Laser. To meet the unprecedented challenge caused by the pandemic, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been supporting a request from civilian authorities in Quebec since April 20 and Ontario since April 28. In Operation Laser, Canadian soldiers have been deployed to long-term care facilities to maintain staffing and help with infection control and infection prevention. They are at 25 long-term care facilities in Quebec and five homes in Ontario. Those numbers of deployed soldiers fluctuate as circumstances dictate.
Canadians expect our soldiers to be equipped with the latest in protective gear, with the proper training and with what Canadians expect is medical-grade protective equipment. It would appear that training and equipment has not prevented 28 soldiers serving on the front line of the pandemic from contracting the respiratory illness. Our prayers are with each and every soldier to fully recover.
The women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces put their lives on the line to protect us every day. At the time I asked my question, before Canada was placed in lockdown, I warned the minister of defence our soldiers would be at a heightened risk of getting sick. I warned the Prime Minister.
Our soldiers need to know we have their backs with the proper resources, like a full operational hospital. In the case of the construction on the hospital in Garrison Petawawa, it must be behind by two years. The Prime Minister is such a big fan of China. China built two hospitals in less than two weeks.
Canadians have learned that 28 Canadian Armed Forces members have tested positive for the coronavirus after being deployed to long-term care homes, with 12 positives in Ontario and 16 in Quebec. That is a jump in soldiers testing positive for the virus from five last week to 28 this week. How many more years will it take the Liberal government to build just one hospital?
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
2020-05-25 18:46 [p.2395]
Mr. Speaker, in times of crisis, the Canadian Armed Forces has always been there for Canadians. At this time, Canadians and members of the forces are mourning the tragic losses from the Cyclone helicopter and Snowbirds accidents. While these losses are painful, those who serve are continuing to step up for Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our government continues to make the necessary investments to ensure that the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces are well supported.
We know that there is no greater risk to Canadians right now than COVID-19.
Our medical personnel were critical in repatriating about 650 Canadians from China and Japan when COVID-19 first began to spread.
The health and protection of all Canadians are the top priorities of the Canadian Armed Forces during this pandemic. That is why the Canadian Rangers are supporting the First Nations community health authorities and providing their help to vulnerable populations in indigenous communities, remote communities and northern communities from coast to coast to coast.
The Canadian Armed Forces is also assisting the Public Health Agency of Canada with warehouse management of personal protective equipment and with contact tracing. Through the Canadian Armed Forces' response to COVID-19 called Operation Laser, we have deployed over 1,600 members to support long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario. As of May 24, 36 military personnel who were providing support in facilities in Quebec and Ontario have tested positive for COVID-19. They are putting their lives on the line. Because of that, the chief of the defence staff has stated, “To recognize this uniquely hazardous environment...I have tasked my staff to pursue Hazard Allowance for those directly engaged inside the facilities.”
I want to assure my colleagues that prior to going in, all Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been trained in assisting long-term care residents and have been provided with personal protective equipment. Conditions at these facilities and others across the country are constantly being monitored.
That said, we also have to make sure that the women and men who serve and who are protecting us and our most vulnerable have the necessary critical health infrastructure to support them. This includes investments to modernize existing military infrastructure and to build new health care facilities at bases and wings across the country. That is why we continue to advance the construction of the health services centre at CFB Petawawa. While the project has faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to the completion of this centre in September.
What is more, we are still on track to start building a new military family resource centre at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in order to support our soldiers and their families.
In addition to the ongoing work at CFB Petawawa, we have also completed jetty upgrades. We have a new armoury at the Saint-Hubert Garrison, a sports centre at the Saint-Jean Garrison, and we continue to modernize existing infrastructure. These investments help to ensure that the men and women in uniform have access to safe and modern facilities in which to work, train, live and receive care.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
Mr. Speaker, the health of the Canadian Armed Forces is a matter of national security. When will the government start to realize that Canadians cannot wait until 2037, until the end of the 20-year time frame set by the government, to properly fund our armed forces?
That includes funds to complete the hospital at Garrison Petawawa, started by our Conservative government. In January, the Liberals said it would be open in June. Now they are saying September, and it is already two years behind as of January. This hospital needs to get open. Why will the Liberals not do what is necessary to make it operational?
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
2020-05-25 18:51 [p.2395]
Mr. Speaker, we continue to ensure that military members are supported, both physically and mentally, and have access to safe and modern health care facilities. Our government continues to build new health care facilities at bases and wings all across the country, including at CFB Petawawa.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also taking new, unprecedented measures to protect our members.
Members who are supporting essential operations have made social distancing and sanitization part of their routine, while non-essential tasks are paused.
We have also interrupted certain training and other exercises and moved personnel both at home and abroad to ensure their ongoing safety.
Throughout this period, we have maintained health care services for our brave men and women in uniform. This includes mental health support services and maintaining operations for all 37 primary health care clinics for Canadian Armed Forces members.
View Steven Blaney Profile
Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure those listening to us that we have one of the toughest and most effective firearms registration systems in the world. It includes two specific measures.
For instance, when people want to acquire a firearm in this country, they must follow mandatory training to possess what is called a non-restricted firearm. If they want to acquire a handgun or a more sophisticated gun, they have to take additional training. I should know, because this measure was introduced in 2014 by the Conservative government of the day, and I was the minister of public safety at the time.
We have a registration system that is simple and safe, complete with many guidelines and procedures. It would take too long to explain it all this evening, as the training takes several hours. What I can tell Canadians, however, is that people who own legal firearms in Canada have a lot of rules they must obey. Before taking that training myself, I was a total neophyte. I was very surprised to learn how law-abiding gun owners are. They know that a firearm must be used very carefully. These are often people who enjoy hunting or sport shooting, the two main categories of gun enthusiasts.
As I was saying, the system is very simple. There are unrestricted weapons, restricted weapons and prohibited weapons. For the average Canadian, prohibited weapons are automatic weapons, or machine guns. These machine guns include what are known as military assault-type weapons, which have been prohibited in this country since 1979. Canadians can rest assured that in the legal firearms world, automatic weapons and military assault-type weapons are prohibited. No one can own one, in any way, shape or form.
This is what led the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, a credible public safety agency, to declare that Canada has adequate laws and that it is perfectly legitimate to own firearms. Furthermore, the former commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Chris Lewis, who can be seen on English TV and who is an analyst on CTV, said that instead of targeting law-abiding gun owners, the government should deal effectively with the criminals who do not obey our existing laws.
I mentioned two police organizations during my four-minute speech because the current Liberal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is a former top cop. That makes me wonder why he did not heed the advice of his fellow officers.
Last week, he randomly and arbitrarily classified 1,600 firearms based on purely subjective criteria. One of my colleagues put it this way: Adding a skirt and spoiler combo to a Honda Civic does not make it a Formula 1 car. That is kind of what the minister is trying to do. He is using aesthetic and subjective criteria to classify firearms, and that is penalizing hundreds of thousands of honest citizens. He says he plans to buy back those firearms, which could cost a fortune and penalize what is clearly a highly legitimate industry, the recreation and tourism industry.
Why is the government not heeding the police's advice to go after illegal weapons, criminals and street gangs? Why is it going after scrupulously law-abiding people who are even more safety-oriented than the general population?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-05-25 18:56 [p.2396]
Mr. Speaker, the issue of firearms has been hotly debated for many years in the House of Commons. In the early nineties I was a member of the Manitoba legislative assembly, and Ottawa was debating the issue of firearms. The Conservative approach is to talk about law-abiding firearms owners. If the Government of Canada, or Liberals, New Democrats, Green Party and possibly the Bloc, propose anything that deals with any form of controls or red flags, Conservatives say the government is attacking those law-abiding firearms owners. It is unfortunate.
I have had many discussions over the years with individuals who are law-abiding firearms owners. I do not believe that what the government is advocating is irresponsible in any fashion. We have demonstrated a willingness to work with other jurisdictions, particularly municipalities. We are having discussions at different levels of government, listening to the different stakeholders and, for a majority of the political entities inside the House of Commons, we are moving forward on a very important issue.
The Conservative Party seems to want to take a hard-right approach by saying any change is bad. I was pleased when the member made reference to the fact that, while he was a minister, the Conservatives brought in some legislation. That is something that Conservative MPs do not talk about very much. I was pleased that the member made reference to the legislation, because those mandatory training programs are critically important. A good number of law-abiding firearms owners support having progressive actions taken on the issue of firearms.
I spoke with a law enforcement officer, and he talked about toy guns. Some toy guns that look like assault-type weapons have an orange cap identifying them as toys. The officer said it would be possible to spray paint these caps black and have them look very convincing.
The actions the government is taking are not on a whim. They are working and listening to what Canadians want the government to do. They want to see some action on this important file. It is about safety. It is about making our communities a better place. It is about working with others.
I would invite the Conservative Party to get on board and be part of the broader coalition that is looking to make our communities better places while still respecting law-abiding firearms owners.
View Steven Blaney Profile
Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague that we should make our communities safer. That was our slogan in 2006.
I agree with him that firearms owners, whether they are sport shooters or hunters, are law-abiding citizens.
Why go after and harass them with costly and ineffective measures instead of examining the real problem of street gangs?
When will the government put in place measures to deal with street gangs and illegal firearms?
We will support the government. We even have proposals, such as strengthening the capacity of the CBSA at the border, putting in place a better information exchange system for police services and establishing harsher sentences for the possession of illegal firearms. We have proposals, but the Liberals' actions are designed to pander to the ill-informed for purely electoral and partisan reasons. They are intent on making hunters second-class citizens.
We will be there to represent and defend them.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-05-25 19:01 [p.2397]
Mr. Speaker, that is just not true. Our government recognizes that the vast majority of firearm owners are conscientious and law-abiding, and we have tremendous respect for them. However, when guns get into the hands of criminals with violent intent, the results can be tragic.
We also intend to take further action to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands by strengthening safe storage laws and continuing to build a national system that will allow for the monitoring of bulk firearm purchases. The issue of gun and gang violence is complex and consistently evolving. It requires collaboration in partnership with all levels of government, law enforcement and community groups to get to the root of the problem and intervening where we know it will make a difference.
That is why the government has made unprecedented investments to support prevention, gang exiting and outreach and awareness programming through initiatives to take action on gun and gang violence. We are investing $327.6 million to give police and prosecutors new resources and tools to fight gang-related violence and address gun smuggling.
I see the time is up, but I have appreciated, as always, the opportunity to say a few words.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-03-12 18:38 [p.2056]
Madam Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House you would find unanimous consent to call it 6:53 p.m.
View Heather McPherson Profile
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-03-12 18:39 [p.2056]
Madam Speaker, it is a great honour to speak in the House. I am honoured to speak on behalf of my constituents in Edmonton Strathcona and on behalf of Albertans.
With each passing day, I ask myself if there is a future for my children in Alberta. For 60 years, Alberta has become gradually and increasingly dependent on a single resource sector, a single resource that has driven the economies of Alberta and Canada in times of boom, but also devastated families and communities in times of bust. It is Albertans who have always paid the price for this dependence. Now Albertans face more than just another devastating bust cycle. Albertans are facing economic collapse.
Forty years of Conservative leadership in Alberta dedicated to rip and ship has cost Albertans dearly. It has meant that the value gained from a single resource and the jobs created declined even as production grew. Now, with the global climate crisis threatening our very existence, the world no longer needs or wants this single resource, a resource that accounts for 30% of Alberta's economy today.
Last week, I asked the government what it was going to do to help ensure a future for Alberta. I noted that unemployment in Edmonton, where I live, is the highest in Canada. I asked for investment in Alberta to create jobs now and investment to help diversify our economy for the future. I asked for our government to stop misleading Albertans, to stop telling us that there was going to be some sort of renewal of oil and gas and that it was coming back to $95 a barrel. I asked why the government is failing on diversification and failing to support Alberta workers. The Prime Minister responded, saying, “That is why we have worked to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion”. This is not good enough. Albertans desperately need this government to work with us to diversify our economy.
Last week Canadian crude was $47 a barrel. Today it was worth less than $20 a barrel. At the moment, it is $17.58. Last week Alberta was in the midst of an economic crisis. This week we are facing economic collapse. However, we do not have to. We can build a better future for Alberta if this government decides to take action.
My riding of Edmonton Strathcona is home to The King's University, the south campus of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and the University of Alberta. There are amazing researchers, inventors and innovators from academia and industry. Since my election, I have been privileged to hear a steady stream of ready-to-implement ideas to lower our greenhouse gas emissions and build our economy. In fact, I am convinced that we have the answers we need to address climate change and diversify our economy if we have the means to implement them.
Translation of research and development into commercialization and practice has always been a challenge for science and innovation. Every great idea or advancement requires funding to come to realization. Some projects, like advanced carbon sequestration practices, do not have access to venture capital because they do not have commercial outcomes. Others, like sulphur removal technologies, may have future commercial appeal but require funding for prototype development now.
Funding for these new ideas is one way to support Alberta. The Liberal government could help Alberta right now by creating an Alberta infrastructure bank for energy and other diversification projects and by targeting investment for—
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