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View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Just before we vote on clause 18, I want to say that I understand that amendment BQ‑16 is null and void because the committee decided to reject the idea of making the progress report an annual report, even though the government receives the data on greenhouse gas emissions in Canada each year.
It would have been possible to do so. However, I understand that the amendment is null and void. I just want to say that I agree with what Mr. Albas stated earlier. I find it deplorable that the government is voting against all the Bloc Québécois and Green Party amendments, which are there to improve Bill C‑12. The government said that it was open to the idea of working with the opposition members. We understand that this isn't the case.
I gather that the same thing will happen with amendment BQ‑17. We'll see when we get to the other clause.
View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm taking note of the fact that the same logic applies.
I want to tell you that, starting from clause 20, my colleague Ms. Pauzé will be taking over.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Yes, Mr. Chair.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
If I remember correctly, last week, I decided not to move amendment BQ‑10 in an effort to support amendment BQ‑11. I dropped it. However, I don't recall that we needed unanimous consent.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Yes, that's right.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
First, I want to thank Ms. May, who did everything in her power to try to convince everyone in order to speed things up in the committee. Unfortunately, it didn't work. However, I want to thank her. I feel compelled to do so because she prepared a number of arguments and amendments, but they won't be taken into account.
With respect to amendment BQ‑18, we're proposing to change “advisory body” to “an independent expert committee.” Perhaps this was the difference between our amendment and the Green Party's amendment. Also, the change that we were proposing to line 15 no longer applies. By voting for amendment G‑3, you decided that there wouldn't be any target.
We want to replace “advisory body” with “independent expert committee” in order to clearly establish the committee's role, which basically isn't to conduct consultations, but to advise the minister. This must be included in the legislation.
For us, it wasn't just about the net‑zero emissions issue. We're saying that the committee should advise the minister on how to reach the 2030 target, which still hasn't been quantified, and not just the 2050 target.
I want to remind you that the United Kingdom is an example to follow in terms of climate governance. Corinne Le Quéré was among the experts from the United Kingdom who appeared before the committee. She told us that the United Kingdom had been the most successful country in terms of reaching climate targets and that it had the best established climate governance. The United Kingdom has seen its emissions fall by 28% since 2010, while Canada's emissions have risen.
Another example is France. Ms. Le Quéré also told us about the High Council on Climate and other similar independent bodies that provide a mechanism to ensure that the voices of experts in the field are heard. They provide the rationale and the legitimacy to propose ambitious measures, since they're experts. As Ms. Le Quéré said, strong climate governance, in France and in other places, helps the government to achieve its goals.
The experts in the United Kingdom consider that five elements are key to the success of any climate legislation and that together they provide several benefits to democracy. The first is the full independence of a committee made up primarily of experts. This is what the witnesses came to tell us. If we were listening, we understood this. This prevents confusion between the role of expert and the job of consulting everyone. This condition is met in just about any successful climate legislation.
The word “experts” is covered in more detail in an amendment that I'll move later. However, it would be good to see the committee in the bill as having this key characteristic. When the independence of the committee is ensured, a balance is achieved. On the one hand, there's an ongoing policy generated through the co‑operation of the highest levels of science, economics, applied policy, and decision‑making. On the other hand, there's respect for the political reality on the ground.
In short, based on what the witnesses came to tell us, we know that they recommended an independent expert committee.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Yes, Mr. Moffet just sort of answered Mr. Redekopp's question. The amendments form a whole. We are proposing amendments, but there will be follow‑up to those amendments. A little further on, we will see what the role of the independent expert committee is.
Where I disagree less with Mr. Moffet is on the difference. He doesn't think it makes a big difference, but it makes a big difference for us because the bill talks about an advisory body. This organization will consult with the general public, organizations and industry members. However, for us, it isn't just about consultations. The expert panel will consult, but then it will analyze them and advise the minister. The two roles are very different.
This is what the witnesses told us; you have to distinguish between the two roles, the advisory role to the minister and the consultation role. That's what the amendment is intended to do, and I think it adds a lot to clause 20 and really strengthens it.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
What we need to look at is the link to amendment BQ‑23.
Amendment BQ‑23 will make it possible to determine the areas of expertise of the experts who will serve on the committee.
The bill talks about an advisory body that provides advice on meeting targets, but also conducts consultations. We don't want that. We want the committee to consult, to make up its mind, and then say: here is my advice to the minister. Amendment BQ‑23 will determine who the experts will be. As for amendment BQ‑20, if I'm not mistaken, it will determine the role of the expert committee.
What's difficult is not seeing this as a whole.
A little further on, the role of the independent expert committee is defined, and a little more further on, there is a definition of who the experts are. Of course, as long as we don't have a definition, it's a bit complicated to do.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
I wanted to respond to Mr. Albas.
I'm not presenting part (b) because when we adopted amendment G‑3, we decided that there would be no numerical target in the legislation, despite the commitments of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and despite the commitments of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, when he appeared before the committee to introduce Bill C‑12.
Despite all that, the alliance of the Liberal Party and the NDP ensured that there was no numerical target. As a result, part (b) of amendment BQ‑18, which deals with the target established under subsection 7(2), becomes obsolete, since there is no target.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Yes, Mr. Chair.
Basically, I'm presenting only part (a), for the reasons I mentioned, namely, that part (b) cannot mention a target when the committee has chosen not to ask for a numerical target.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
My analysis is sort of similar to that of Mr. Albas. However, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this amendment.
Mr. Chair, you said earlier that I usually found errors in French. I will therefore mention the following passage from the NDP amendment:la mission est de fournir au ministre des conseils indépendants
This has nothing to do with independent experts. It's a play on words.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
I would be tempted to ask Mr. Bachrach, jokingly, to try to insert the word “experts” in there.
I think it was Mr. Moffet who said that this amendment highlights what's already there. We don't think it moves things forward. It doesn't make it more binding. It just highlights what's already there in the bill.
That is why we will vote in favour of the amendment. However, I want to reiterate that independent advisors are not independent experts, and providing advice is not making recommendations. That's different.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Amendment BQ‑19 would be consistent with what we were talking about earlier about the independent expert committee. I would remind you that it's important for us to get the role, mission and make‑up of the committee right. Right now, we're using the government's definitions, which haven't changed.
I won't propose the amendment because it would ultimately serve no purpose.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
I'm going to ask to change “comité d'experts indépendant”, which was not adopted, to “comité consultatif”, since that's the term that was chosen. Unless NDP‑4 has changed that a bit.
In any event, it is the “Groupe consultatif pour la carbonneutralité”. That's what should be changed in amendment BQ‑20.
May I present my amendment, Mr. Chair?
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
As I said when I introduced amendment BQ‑18, there is a whole. Here, we are talking about the mandate of the famous advisory committee. We are adding important clarifications about the mandate of this committee, details that are essential and complementary to the mandate that would be given by the minister.
It was agreed that the mandate in Bill C‑12 are quite imprecise and changeable at will.
That's why we want to add some important clarifications. We want to make clear that the committee must have access to the information and analytical resources of the federal government. We need to make it easier for it to do its job and to access data and information so that it can be efficient and function optimally.
I told you earlier about the five elements that experts in the United Kingdom consider critical to the success of any climate legislation. Earlier, you voted against one of those elements, but I'm trying again with others.
Together, these elements are beneficial to the exercise. We are talking about the full independence of the committee, which you don't want. We're talking about the fact that the committee has to have a consistent budget that flows from its mission; it has to produce an annual report on the status of the targets. It's a question of democracy. Citizens need to know where we're going.
Other elements mentioned by the U.K. experts include the fact that the committee must receive a mandatory response from the government for each report it tables. It has to be involved in setting the carbon budget. So we're talking about targets that are set well in advance. Finally, it must also provide advice, and providing advice is not the same as making recommendations. I said this earlier about amendment NDP‑4.
We see how important words are. The “interim ... objective”, as the NDP called for, is not a target. A “summary of [the] ... most recent ... inventory” is not a report. These are words that weaken the bill, but they are the ones that were chosen.
Our amendment clearly sets out what is expected of this committee. Currently, clause 20 is worded far too flexibly. The minister has an entire department at his disposal and several competent officials to advise him. However, the committee in question must be—I repeat—independent. It isn't being asked to provide independent advice, but rather to be independent. It must have a mission and mandate that is directly applicable to the purpose of Bill C‑12. Every element of this amendment supports that need.
I would, of course, expect government members to keep their word about their repeated desire to improve the bill and, as Mr. Albas and Ms. May have noted, to work with “the” opposition parties. Collaborative approaches may speed up the process, but I want to remind NDP members of their strong positions, repeated in the House and before our committee by Ms. Collins.
We must be consistent in our political action. The government has been criticized for saying one thing and the opposite. I am asking the committee member, who no doubt recognizes himself, to support this amendment, which is consistent with what his party has said it wants in this bill. He has said it to his constituents, he has said it to the public, and he has said it in speeches in the House. I would like to know that this member isn't repeating the behaviour that he himself has criticized the government for.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Yes, because the term “independent expert committee” wasn't used. I don't know if the term “advisory body” in Bill C‑12 or the “Net‑Zero Advisory Body”, in NDP‑4, were chosen.
Is “Net‑Zero Advisory Group” the new name for this committee? What will it be called? I know that the name “independent expert committee” wasn't chosen. I'm sure of that.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Excuse me, Mr. Chair.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, but that wasn't what I wanted to talk about.
I think there are going to be five votes on Wednesday. Can we plan to start at 4:30 p.m. and finish three hours later, as we did last Wednesday?
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
Perfect. Thank you.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:14
Mr. Chair—
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:14
Mr. Chair, my hand is up.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:14
I'm letting you know my hand is up.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:17
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I support and applaud what my fellow member Ms. Dabrusin just said in relation to the Conservative member's recent comments in the Lethbridge Herald about her party's position on the situation of artists. Frankly, I was very concerned by the party's view of the cultural sector as well as its read on Bill C‑10, which I think is completely wrong. No doubt, we'll have a chance to revisit the matter later.
I want to speak to Ms. McPherson's motion. As everyone knows, the party leaders are in the midst of negotiating next steps regarding a summer schedule. The committee can't decide to sit in hybrid format until the powers that be have come to an agreement.
In light of that, I think we would do well to propose an amendment to Ms. McPherson's motion, specifying that the motion is conditional on the outcome of the discussions between the party leaders.
I am not suggesting Ms. McPherson's motion has no merit, but I do think we should take into account the talks under way, which will certainly override some of the committee's decisions.
I therefore move that the motion be amended by adding wording to the effect that it is conditional on the outcome of the discussions between the party leaders.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:19
Yes, precisely.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:23
I am proposing that Ms. McPherson's motion be amended at the end to specify the motion is conditional on the outcome of the talks between the party leaders.
I don't know what the exact wording should be. Perhaps one of the legislative clerks could help with that. I am no expert on legislative wording, but I would just say something to the effect of “all conditional on the outcome of the party leaders' discussions”.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:32
I had my hand up, Mr. Chair.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-07 11:33
When someone moves an amendment to a motion, a debate is obviously supposed to follow.
Fundamentally, I'm somewhat resistant to the idea of doing things out of order. I am of the mind that we should discuss Bill C‑10 as long as possible because I firmly believe that we should pass it. Obviously, my first choice is not to extend into the summer, but if we must, let's do it.
I put forward an amendment to ensure that, if Ms. McPherson's motion was adopted, the discussions under way between the party leaders would not interfere with the decisions we made here, in committee. I simply wanted to make sure we were going to do things in an orderly way.
That said, as was pointed out earlier, there is no point holding additional meetings if we are going to spend them dragging things out, filibustering and preventing Bill C‑10 from ever seeing the light of day, because there are groups who are strongly opposed.
I wanted to make clear my intention, which is essentially to give us some peace of mind in light of the discussions between the party leaders, should Ms. McPherson's motion be adopted.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
This is Sébastien Lemire from the Bloc Québécois standing in for Martin Champoux, so the Bloc Québécois has a representative on the committee.
Thank you.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-04 13:33
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-04 13:33
It is me, Mr. Chair. As you can see, I'm back. I would like to thank my fellow member Mr. Lemire for holding down the fort for a few minutes.
I want to flag something, Mr. Chair. When a vote is taking place in the House of Commons, members have to participate through one of the means available to them, in‑person participation being the main one. As you know, the committee's proceedings are deemed to be suspended until the members are back in the committee room or ready to participate virtually, as the case may be.
I was in the House a short time ago for the vote, and the committee was in a rush to get started even though the results of the vote had yet to be announced. I was forced to ask a colleague on the spur of the moment to replace me on the committee, which is in the midst of some very important discussions.
I won't belabour the point, but it really bothered and concerned me. I would even go so far as to call it a lack of respect for the parliamentary procedure we are supposed to follow.
Thank you.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-04 13:58
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
With all due respect, Mr. Rayes is talking about amendments that the committee has not yet looked at, amendments that could be subject to subamendments.
I don't know how the senior officials are supposed to give us a reliable answer to a question that pertains to amendments the committee has yet to discuss and vote on.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-04 14:39
I have a technical point of order, Mr. Chair.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2021-06-04 14:46
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
As you know, I'm loath to interrupt Ms. Harder, but I think we were listening to Mr. Housefather talk about the amendment before us. It seems as though Ms. Harder is doing the exact same thing. She appears to be debating the amendment and giving her views on it, rather than raising a point of order. What's more, Mr. Housefather had the floor.
I will leave it to you to judge the relevance of what's being said, Mr. Chair.
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses.
My question is for Ms. Dupuis‑Blanchard, president of the National Seniors Council, whom I welcome.
At the beginning of your remarks, you reminded us of the objective of the National Seniors Council. I'm looking at it myself right now: your role is to engage seniors, stakeholders, and experts in order to advise the government.
When it comes to engaging seniors, in what ways do you consult them?
I am asking you this because in Quebec, the mobilization of seniors has been very strong with regard to the impoverishment of seniors and their financial situation. Yes, the pandemic has hit hard, but it has also highlighted the impoverishment of our seniors. Yes, health and mental health issues must be considered, but the financial issue is also important.
In your recommendations and advice to government, do you address the issue of the impoverishment of seniors?
If so, do you recognize that seniors can find themselves in very precarious financial situations as early as age 65?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Ms. Dupuis‑Blanchard.
You know that the government decided to increase the old age security pension for people aged 75 and over, even though this pension is available to Canadian seniors starting at the age of 65. However, no evidence has been provided to explain why seniors aged 60 to 74 are excluded. As you just said, poverty has no age limit.
As part of your health care and financial studies, have you collected data by age group? For example, do you have data on seniors aged 60 to 70 and seniors aged 70 and over?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Dupuis‑Blanchard, a Coalition pour la dignité des aînés representative who met with us on Tuesday spoke about a possible solution for seniors. We know that seniors want to stay in their homes longer. This was true even before the pandemic. He told us that one way for the federal government to help directly would be to provide additional support to adapt homes or living quarters so that people can live more independently and remain in their homes.
Do you think that this would be a good solution?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Quebec has passed legislation on the abuse of seniors and vulnerable adults. I had the pleasure of participating in the parliamentary commission on this issue. This legislation is quite [Technical difficulty—Editor]. I don't know whether this exists in the other provinces.
How can the federal government address these issues?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Do you think that the federal government could improve or strengthen some current programs, rather than creating new ones?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Our committee's work seeks to paint a picture of the situation of seniors and vulnerable people. We want to know how they fared during the crisis. However, we're also thinking a great deal about the recovery.
In terms of isolation, we're hoping that the lifting of the lockdown and the vaccinations will help restore some normalcy. We're trying to determine how things look for the future and how we can directly help seniors navigate through life.
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I thank the witnesses. Engaged individuals have provided us with good testimony with a lot of depth. That really helps us in our work.
My question is for the Réseau FADOQ representatives, Ms. Tassé‑Goodman or Mr. Prud'homme.
As everyone knows, you have been putting in a lot of effort, especially in the public arena. You also participated in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance, following the recent federal budget announcement concerning the old age security pension increase, which will be available to people aged 75 and over starting in 2022. Like you, we feel that this will create two classes of seniors. I have even said that it would be a first, as the old age security pension applies once people turn 65.
I would like you to explain the impact of this measure, which will create two groups of seniors.
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
In the recent budget, the government presented a number of assistance measures to support the provinces. I think that is tantamount to interference in provincial matters, but I am not asking you to comment on this. I am thinking of considerations such as home care and the imposing of national health standards. However, that care comes under provincial jurisdiction.
Do you think those one-time payments, which we do not underestimate, are pushing aside money that could be permanent, a real health transfer covering 35% of the spending?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Shime, you said something important in your testimony concerning assistance for community support. You were saying that assistance should be provided according to organizations' missions, their autonomy and their needs. As far as I understand your testimony, support programs should be very flexible, so that they could be adapted to all organizations, which can differ from one another.
Did I understand correctly?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
I thank my colleague Ms. Dzerowicz for her courtesy.
Mr. Julian, thank you for your proposed amendments. Indeed, the seniors and groups that came to the committee to testify about Bill C-30 told us that it was unacceptable to create two classes of seniors and that it was discrimination. The president of the FADOQ network, the Quebec golden age federation, reminded us that seniors aged 65 to 74 often have additional expenses. For example, these people, often women, do not have a private pension plan and are caregivers. They have to take care of their spouse, or even their parents or relatives. As a result, they sometimes have to go to the hospital, which results in additional expenses.
The statistics that senior officials have provided clearly demonstrate the importance of not creating two classes of seniors. I fully understand the opportunity for the committee to vote on these motions. Then the government can table a notice of ways and means motion based on that. So I fully support the motions that have been put forward. They are good motions.
However, I would like more clarification on amendment NDP-15. I would like Mr. Julian to explain in more detail what his amendment 15 is actually trying to do.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
It's NDP-15.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
If I am not mistaken, amendment BQ-7 is exactly the same as amendment NPD-18. So I assume that Mr. Julian will be able to say more about that.
In contrast to the CERB, the Canada Recovery Benefit requires claimants to conduct a job search. This is the equivalent of what is required of employment insurance recipients. Only those who are unable to find a job continue to receive it.
In our view, therefore, there is no need to decrease the amount paid by the program. We ask that it remain at $500 per week after July.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to speak to amendment BQ-8, and I will return to amendment BQ-9 later.
They are both along the same lines and complement what was suggested to us by the Conseil national des chômeurs et chômeuses, who testified before the committee.
For the period beginning September 27, 2021, Mr. Serré had reminded us of the two blind spots in this legislation. In particular, this amendment is designed to ensure that the benefit period is 50 weeks. As we know, the old version of employment insurance did not work well. It needs to be revised and it will be. In the meantime, the pandemic is still with us and the economy is still at risk. This motion ensures that EI benefits will last 50 weeks, in part to ensure that seasonal workers are not adversely affected.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
I would remind you that representatives of the Comité national des chômeurs et chômeuses appeared before the committee to tell us about the two blind spots in Bill C-30. This is the second blind spot. In accordance with the representatives' recommendation,the amendment seeks to use the single denominator of 14 instead of denominators of up to 21 in some cases. The amount that seasonal workers will receive each week will be greatly reduced because of this blind spot in Bill C-30. It is, therefore, an important amendment.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
I am against the motion, Mr. Chair.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
I am against the motion.
You said we needed unanimous consent; I am going to vote against the motion. We've spent a long time debating it. I think I'm making an informed choice, not a random one.
Thank you.
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I thank Mr. Lulashnyk and Ms. Garner for being with us today.
I want to emphasize that, if not a lasting peace in the region, the conclusion of the peace agreement with a number of Arab countries is certainly most positive. However, to state things plainly, the agreement is essentially an acknowledgement of the normalization of the relations that have been established over the years.
The latest clashes have made it clear that as long as there is no peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, these countries will live in a permanent state of war. To use an oft-cited formulation, peace in Israel and Palestine, under the circumstances, is merely an absence of war pending new confrontations.
We feel each new confrontation with great pain. So I can hardly imagine how painful it must be for the Israelis and Palestinians who experience the clashes on the ground.
I therefore call for a lasting peace agreement between the two peoples as soon as possible to end the ongoing state of war in these countries.
In this regard, is it reasonable to believe that the political instability on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides is detrimental to the resumption of negotiations between the parties?
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Lulashnyk. You answered my question very well.
I want to come back to the issue of the elections in Palestine. I was surprised to see the Government of Canada speak out publicly and in some respects admonish the Palestinian Authority for suspending the elections. I have two concerns in this regard.
The first is the situation in East Jerusalem. As you know, Israel prohibits the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem from participating in elections on the Palestinian side. Nor are they allowed to participate in elections on the Israeli side. This was one of the reasons given by the Palestinian Authority for suspending the elections.
My second concern is about the vaccination situation on the Palestinian side, which is not very advanced, which means the pandemic is still virulent on the Palestinian side.
Can we not understand the motives that led the Palestinian Authority to suspend the electoral process?
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to come back very quickly to the fact that Canada still has not recognized the Palestinian state, because it is supposedly not viable.
I should point out, however, that for many years, Israel seems to have been doing everything possible to ensure that the Palestinian state is not viable. When I had the opportunity to visit the country after another confrontation between the two peoples, I found that Israel was essentially surgically targeting the infrastructure of the Palestinian state, such as the police stations, the port and the airport. Since everything is done to destructure the Palestinian state, I wonder if we are not part of the problem by refusing to recognize Palestine.
Be that as it may, I want to come back to the issue of the Palestinian elections and the COVID‑19 pandemic.
Considering that Israel has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and Palestine has one of the lowest rates on the planet, don't you think that as an occupying power, Israel has a responsibility to the populations under its occupation and that Israel should contribute to the vaccination of the Palestinian population?
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
I totally agree. However, since I am running out of time, I will ask you again.
Given the fact that vaccination is, in practice, finished on Israeli territory, do you believe that Israel has a responsibility as an occupying power to provide vaccines to the populations under its occupation?
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Chair, I would like a clarification.
I understand that we are about to end our meeting. Would it not have been possible to continue our exchange with officials on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
I just want to express my disappointment. No one, obviously, is responsible for the situation, but we had the opportunity to see among ourselves how we had so few meetings left before the summer break. So it is unfortunate that we are losing an hour out of the few hours we have left.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
My thanks to the witnesses for taking the time to join us today. We are grateful to them.
Mr. Evans, I will start with you in order to take advantage of your great expertise in the field of biosecurity.
Can you tell us about specific cases of intrusion, where people go on to a farm, for example, to sit next to cattle for a few hours and then leave without doing any damage? What are the impacts of those types of visits and for how long should we be afraid of negative consequences? It's not just about the intrusion, but about the potential contamination.
Do you have any data about that or is it a complete unknown?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
As an expert in animal health, how do you respond to those who are telling us not to pass Bill C‑205 because it will silence whistleblowers, meaning people who suspect mistreatment on a farm?
What processes are in place? How do you respond to them?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
To simplify things in terms of procedure, is there not a way to establish a partnership with local police forces? Basically, Bill C‑205 sees simply being on the premises as an offence.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much.
I would like to hear what Mr. de Graaf, from the Chicken Farmers of Canada, has to say about the previous question. Some are asking us what methods currently exist to register suspicions of mistreatment on a farm. Can you tell us about the methods currently in place?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much.
Ms. Bishop-Spencer, I believe you mentioned earlier that you are seeing an increase in incursions on farms. Could you confirm that for me?
Then can you tell me why current legislation does not seem to be effective in combatting the phenomenon?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Okay.
Basically, Bill C‑205 would be of use to you and would give you an additional inspection tool.
Could you now tell us about the effect that this has on the producers who are victims of these incursions? You say that the number of incursions has increased. How do the producers who are victims of them behave after the incursions? What are the consequences?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My thanks to the witnesses for joining us.
I am particularly glad to see Mr. Ference and Mr. Groleau. We have not seen each other for a long time.
Mr. Groleau, I have asked various witnesses a number of questions about the shortcomings in the current legislation. I was quite pleased to hear you deal with the subject at length in your introduction.
Was it complicated to obtain the permanent injunction that you did obtain? Pursuant to that injunction,what will be the consequences if one of the demonstrators is not in compliance?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
The UPA launched that process and you are a large organization. But is it realistic to think that individuals can protect themselves by applying for the same thing? I don't think so.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Could you talk to us about the processes in place? I am trying to get that clear. Some have told us that, if the bill is passed, people who are concerned about mistreatment on a particular farm will no longer be able to report it. However, there are ways. Can you tell us about them?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
If people had suspicions, could they contact the MAPAQ?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
You brought up mental health a lot in your statement. I would like us to go into it a little further.
Are people afraid that, at some point, an incident might turn bad? I'm thinking of someone who wakes up in the morning and sees 20 people on his private land and does not handle the situation well. That could have harmful consequences.
I for one am afraid of that, and it's not often mentioned when the issue is being studied.
Have you discussed it in your organization?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Ference, I am glad to be talking to you and seeing you. You referred to an incident where 30 or so people made their way onto a farm. We do not have a lot of time but, quickly, how did that end up? Mr. Groleau has just said that farmers are told not to deal with the situation themselves, but that is what the farmer you were referring to did. He tried to deal with the situation.
How did it end up?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Ference, I would like to go back to the matter of resources. You said earlier that the police will need to be trained, but people from the Canada Food Inspection Agency are telling us that they will not have the resources they need to enforce the act.
If the bill is passed and the police see that an offence has occurred, would it not be enough to communicate the information, so that the procedure can take its course? Could you tell me your views on that?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Groleau, do you want to add anything?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Do you feel that the local force observing the offence would be enough?
According to the wording of the act, it would be.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Okay.
You mentioned your proposed amendment and you have included it in your report. We will look at it very carefully.
Would you have anything else to bring up?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I represent the constituency of Abitibi—Baie‑James—Nunavik—Eeyou, in which Cree and Anishnabe people live. We're all saddened by this terrible discovery last weekend. My thoughts are with the families and communities who are deeply affected by this tragedy. Today, we simply want to understand what happened. Meegwetch.
In the 2019 budget, the government announced an investment of $33.8 million over three years to implement calls to action 72 to 76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
However, it seems that, in reality, most of the money announced hasn't been spent. I'm just trying to understand why. Is the process stalled at the Treasury Board of Canada, or have other projects not been developed?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
The Toronto Star also reported that the research that led to the appalling discovery in Kamloops was funded by provincial, not federal, dollars. Why is this the case?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Last December, I received the response to one of my written questions regarding the implementation of calls to action 81 and 82. The government responded that only 0.5 full‑time equivalent employees were responsible for the implementation of call to action 82. As you may recall, this call to action consists of the construction of a national monument in Ottawa to honour the victims of residential schools.
Don't you think that this isn't enough to implement the call to action?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
I have with me the government's response to my question. I'll read an excerpt: “Designation of a site will be undertaken once subsidies are provided to build this monument. As it is likely that a national monument would be constructed on federal lands in the capital, no purchase of land is envisioned at this time.”
Am I to understand that the government hasn't planned any subsidies for the construction of the monument to honour the victims of residential schools?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Given everything happening right now and the 2019 and current budgets, how do you plan to help the communities affected at this time?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Yesterday, during question period, the Prime Minister said as follows: “In 2019, we invested $33.8 million in this work...” This was for calls to action 72 to 76.
When we look at the 2020‑21 main estimates and the 2020‑21 supplementary estimates (B), all we see is an expenditure of $3.2 million in the supplementary estimates.
Do you agree that a budget and a budget implementation act aren't the same thing? How do you explain that?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Yesterday, the Minister of Crown‑Indigenous Relations made the following statement, which was reported in an article in Le Devoir. Let me quote it for you: “Since we made our commitment, it was a matter of having to explain to the Treasury Board exactly how the money would be distributed. That approval has come and we are now able to urgently distribute it.”
Am I to understand that the $33.8 million basically hasn't been spent? Did the department knock on the Treasury Board's door and get told no? Can you explain that to me, please?
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Sorry, but I don't hear the interpretation.
View Sylvie Bérubé Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Chair, I must first apologize to Mr. Littlechild. I have a great deal of respect and empathy for him and his testimony. I didn't mean to interrupt him earlier. I just wanted to understand his comments, with all due respect, because they were very important. I realize that I didn't handle this well and I apologize again.
I would also like to tell the witnesses that we're all saddened by the terrible news of this discovery. There may be more to come. I'm the Bloc Québécois critic for indigenous affairs and the member of Parliament for Abitibi—Baie‑James—Nunavik—Eeyou, in Quebec, where several indigenous communities are located. Small shoes were placed everywhere in memory of these children who didn't deserve what they experienced. What happened at that time remains incomprehensible.
Your testimonies are so important and touching. Meegwetch. Thank you.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
It is a pleasure to be able to meet in person.
I would like to turn to Mr. St‑Gelais, president of the Comité des retraités de Mines Wabush, from Cliffs.
Mr. St‑Gelais, let me first give you my colleague Marilène Gill's warmest regards and congratulate you on your commitment to pensioners.
Bill C‑253, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (pension plans and group insurance plans), could also have been called the Wabush Mines Pensioners' Committee bill, in our opinion, to highlight your overall contribution to this debate.
First, how does having a bill that is not clear affect pensioners?
Bill C‑253 is intended to protect 1.2 million Canadian workers and pensioners from the impact of corporate bankruptcies on the pension funds of retirees and workers.
Could you tell us what the impact of the Cliffs Natural Resources insolvency has been on workers and pensioners?
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much for the poignant truth in your testimony.
I would also like to quote Dominic Lemieux, from the United Steelworkers, who appeared last Tuesday.
He said that pensioners come after banks in the bill, which is true. Consequently, the banks remain ahead of pensioners in the hierarchy. However, pensioners could come before school boards, for example. In your case, in Sept‑Îles, this would have made it possible to address the shortfall. Is that right?
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
Let me just ask Mr. Docherty a quick question.
Mr. Docherty, what do you feel about the pleas of Mr. St‑Gelais and Mr. Cooper for urgent action? The measures in the bill do not refer to public funds and they maintain the priority given to the banks. However, we are talking about an issue that affects the dignity of our most vulnerable pensioners, who are also your clients.
What do you say to them?
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Clearly, I support my colleague Mr. Baldinelli's motion. Yes, tourism is a priority that must be maintained. We could ask questions about the related approaches. It is important, because we are getting to the end of the COVID‑19 situation and, in the spirit of economic recovery, we must take a close look at those approaches.
I would like to point out that Bill C‑272 has just been brought to our attention. I know we had two free days in our preliminary schedule, but I think we will have to be creative.
Madam Chair, I'm curious to see what plan you come up with.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I'd like to thank the witnesses for being with us today.
My question is for Ms. Morency or Ms. Bouchard.
Ms. Bouchard, I think it was you who mentioned earlier the amount transferred to the provinces, but I didn't take note of it.
What is the amount transferred every year to the provinces to help victims or the families of victims of crime? Can you provide us with that amount?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Okay.
Has that amount varied since 2000, or is the amount the same?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Ms. Bouchard, please excuse me. I don't want to interrupt you and seem impolite, but we don't really have a lot of time.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
If you don't know, just tell me.
To your knowledge, has this amount increased over the years, or has the amount remained the same since 2000?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Ms. Bouchard, has the pandemic had an impact on budgets allocated to help victims or families of victims?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
So you have invested more money over the past year than in previous years. Do I have that correct?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
So you don't know if there was more money invested in helping victims in the last year than in the previous year, for instance.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Ms. Morency.
I'll change the subject. I don't know which one of you would be in a better position to tell me about this, but I'd like to hear about the programs that exist to help victims and their families.
Then, I will ask you to tell me about the evolution of these programs since 2000.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Excuse me, I know that it's not polite to interrupt, but six minutes goes by quickly. There must be less than two minutes left.
I understand there are counselling programs, for example, for victims and their families. There are probably legal aid programs, as was discussed earlier, to advise them.
Would you be able to list the programs that exist to help victims and their families?
If you're unable to do so, please let me know.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
So, Ms. Bouchard, the programs are different from province to province. I understand that your role is more to ensure the transfer of funds to the provinces.
I also understand, Ms. Morency, that you will send us the details of the amounts transferred to the provinces for assistance to victims and victims' families since 2000. The hearings will end next week. Will you be able to do that by early next week?
I think Ms. Morency is having some technical difficulties.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
You're very kind. I see my time is up, so thank you.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I apologize in advance if I'm rude and proceed quickly. As I said, a two‑and‑a‑half‑minute round starts before you even begin.
I would like Ms. Bouchard or Ms. Morency to tell us about the services offered.
I liked Mr. Maloney's question about the families of convicted individuals, but I would add “abroad” to it. For example, would a mother whose son had been charged and convicted in a foreign country and detained there have access to services to help her defend her son and apply for transfers here in Canada?
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