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Results: 1 - 15 of 3255
View Rachel Blaney Profile
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member so much for his speech. It was better the second time because it was not interrupted.
I am also grateful to be a part of the House as we look at this important legislation. I recognize this bill will not fix the historic wounds of conversion therapy, nor will it fix the homophobia and transphobia we still see in so many of our communities. I wonder if the member could talk about what the Liberal government will do to build capacity within the SOGIE community so that these challenges can be addressed by the community.
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2021-04-16 10:37 [p.5734]
Madam Speaker, I want to build upon what the member said about this being one step.
During COVID, a lot of the supports in our communities have been greatly impacted. Could she talk about future steps going forward regarding what monies and supports will be provided by the government to our communities to ensure we go that step beyond and to ensure we fully incorporate and encompass the support she talked about in her speech?
View Jack Harris Profile
View Jack Harris Profile
2021-04-16 10:52 [p.5736]
Madam Speaker, I hear the hon. member profess that he agrees that conversion therapy should be banned and banned criminally, yet he is concerning himself with the definitions about what counselling might mean. Leading lawyers and other people involved, including the Canadian Association of Social Workers and others, have said that good-faith counselling sessions and good-faith therapy would not be covered by this ban.
Is the hon. member just looking for an excuse to fail to pass this bill at third reading?
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2021-04-16 11:03 [p.5738]
Madam Speaker, the pandemic has hit everybody hard, and small businesses are no exception. These are the businesses that drive employment and provide the real basis of our economy.
Last week, I hosted a virtual town hall meeting for Elmwood—Transcona small business owners. I heard from Gary, the owner of a company that provides trips for people with mobility challenges. He received the Canada emergency business account loan, but slow business means paying it off next year. It is completely unrealistic. Roger is a self-employed massage therapist whose business has been devastated by the pandemic. While CERB helped early on, rules for the new benefits disqualify him because he continues to earn some income.
While big banks benefited from huge gifts of liquidity and large firms were allowed to keep wage subsidy money while paying bonuses and dividends, small businesses continue to wait for word on whether they will get an extension on the CEBA or see income support that does not penalize them for making what money they can.
Once again, New Democrats are speaking up for the little guys when we say that small business owners deserve to know what support they can bank on in the years to come.
View Matthew Green Profile
View Matthew Green Profile
2021-04-16 11:13 [p.5740]
Madam Speaker, one of the most haunting aspects of my work in Hamilton Centre is receiving a call from a resident facing imminent eviction. I think about the countless renters in our city who are being forced out onto the streets each month by greedy landlords using “renovictions” and other dubious means to simply bring in new tenants and jack up the rent.
I think of Trish, a widow, who had to sell her home to pay off her debts, only to have her already-meagre ODSP cut.
I think of Justin, a hard-working father of four, with a well-paying job, who makes too much income to qualify for government support and yet not enough to qualify for a mortgage. He has now been forced to pack up his family and leave the city he loves and grew up in, hoping to find more affordable housing elsewhere.
The housing crisis that is happening in Hamilton exists across Canada and it needs to end. If the current Liberal government truly believes that housing is a human right, then actions must be taken to stop catering to foreign investors, speculators and land hoarders and finally end the gross profiteering off one of our society's most basic necessities of life: housing.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
Madam Speaker, the immigration backlog in this country is reaching ridiculous levels.
In Quebec alone, the average wait time is 27 months. A 27-month wait time shows a blatant lack of respect for the applicants.
The Liberals are yet again refusing to step up and are instead passing the buck to the provinces. It is the same old story.
Will the minister finally pull up his socks and speed up immigration processing to give hope to these people and at the same time support our businesses, which need workers during this labour shortage?
View Gord Johns Profile
View Gord Johns Profile
2021-04-16 11:27 [p.5743]
Madam Speaker, small businesses have been on the front line of the pandemic, and many are not able to weather further restrictions without more help from the government. These entrepreneurs want assurances that next week's budget will provide them with the support they desperately need. New Democrats are listening to small business owners, and they have been clear that the Liberal government needs to further expand the CEBA loan to help more struggling businesses, extend the program to get them through this next wave and give businesses until 2025 to repay what they owe.
Will the government support our call to immediately increase CEBA by another $20,000, and make sure small businesses can get back on their feet?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-04-16 11:41 [p.5746]
Madam Speaker, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation sent a letter to the Minister of Northern Affairs asking him to ensure a swift conclusion to the NIRB 's environmental and social assessment of the mine's proposed expansion. The minister has refused to meet with the Nuluujaat Land Guardians after multiple requests.
Reconciliation requires meaningful interaction with Inuit. Instead, the Liberals are ignoring requests to provide transparency and fulfill their obligations. Has the minister or his staff met with the Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation in the last six months?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
Madam Speaker, Canadians have been waiting for over a year for Air Canada to return their hard-earned money for cancelled trips. While the Liberals stood by, thousands of jobs have been lost across the air sector. It should never have taken over a year to get help to airline workers or to make families whole by providing refunds.
After months of pushing the government to do the right thing, it finally had come to an agreement. However, without a real enforcement mechanism, the government is left relying on Air Canada.
While the minister take an active role in resolving disputes and ensuring Canadians are properly refunded?
View Richard Cannings Profile
Madam Speaker, a report from Environmental Defence concludes the Liberals gave at least $18 billion to the fossil fuel industry last year, despite their stated goal to move the country to a post-carbon economy. The Minister of Natural Resources has pointed out in this House that the majority of Canadians voted for serious action on climate change. When will the Liberals listen to those Canadians, and take urgent and bold action on climate change instead of throwing billions of dollars at the fossil fuel sector?
View Rachel Blaney Profile
Madam Speaker, I rise to present petition e-2738, which received over 2,000 signatures.
The petitioners are asking the Minister of Health to hear that many Canadians oppose herbicides being used by the forestry industry that prevent the natural return of forest biodiversity, and ask that the minister take leadership and ban the commercial use of herbicides in the forestry industry in Canada with the exception of addressing invasive species.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the remarks of my hon. colleague. I agree with so much that he presented around ways to strengthen this accountability legislation.
I wonder if he could provide the House with a change that he feels would go the furthest and would be the highest priority amendment to this legislation to improve accountability and strengthen the bill. Is there one idea that he feels stands out?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
Mr. Speaker, there are times when we are called on to do big, hard, important things. I believe tackling the climate crisis is one of those things, and I know many in this place agree.
It is such an important thing that I feel both compelled to speak and afraid that my words will not measure up to the hopes of my daughters’ generation, rather, that they will be added to the decades-long soundtrack of political platitudes, which, taken all together, have added up to so little. I first became concerned about climate change as a teenager; now I have teenagers of my own, and yet so little progress has been made.
Today we are debating Bill C-12, Canada’s much-awaited climate accountability legislation. I would like to focus my remarks on a gaping hole it contains, which is the lack of any climate targets until 2030, at the very end of the decade that we know will be the most critical in turning things around. In some ways, the once slow-moving train wreck of climate change would seem the perfect candidate for incrementalism. If we had acted in a measured and determined fashion decades ago, making modest but significant reductions each and every year, we would be in a very different place right now, but of course we did not.
In 2004, Rick Mercer merrily called on Canadians to commit to the one-tonne challenge. Canada’s emissions back then were 742 million tonnes. Fifteen years later, in the inventory just released for 2019, they were 730 million tonnes, only 1.6% lower. Along the way, we made all sorts of commitments, in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, and we fulfilled none of them.
It is startling that the Minister of Environment was quoted as saying recently that it was “really good news” that Canada’s emissions went up by one megatonne. I am all for positive vibes and sunny ways, but on what planet is it “really good news” when things the government said it would make go down go up instead?
The government has adopted Stephen Harper’s 2030 target of reducing emissions by 30% compared to 2005 levels, and has promised to raise this ambition in line with the Paris accord. This is well and good, because we know we need to do more than 30% if we are going to do our part in avoiding the worst ravages of climate change.
However, a lot of Canadians would appreciate a government that gives them the unvarnished truth, that we have been losing badly. We have blown through every single climate target we have set as a country and, like a kid who puts off studying until the night before the exam, the timeline has collapsed on us. We are very nearly out of time altogether. We can no longer claim with a straight face that modest incrementalism is going to get us to where we need to be within the time still left on the clock.
As the IPCC has stated, this decade matters most. In each and every year leading up to 2030, we need to make progress that is not just measurable, but indeed quite dramatic.
Given this dire situation, this climate emergency, I cannot understand why the government is so resistant to the idea of telling the public about where it plans for Canada to be, where we need to be, in 2025. Why would it resist such basic transparency?
The minister stated in the media that he is confident Canada is on track to achieve year-over-year emissions reductions from here onward. Yet every year since the government came to power, emissions have gone up, and every year the minister has claimed we are on track. It begs the question what the phrase “on track” even means.
The analogy that comes to mind is that of training for a marathon. There are certain milestones one needs to reach along the way. If the race is in two weeks and people are not yet running 10 kilometres comfortably, they are certainly not going to be ready for 42 kilometres. Canada’s government has paid the entry fee and jogged to the start line of many climate races, but we do not train and we do not finish. We just commit to running new races and jog up to the start line, again and again, high-fiving our friends and smiling for the cameras. Worse yet, these past six years we have taken to bragging that we are going to run with the best of them, but our actions, our results, have yet to add up to any of our ambitions.
This is a race we cannot lose. We need a different approach, and that is exactly what the NDP, the Bloc and the Green Party are calling for, an approach that is transparent, honest, collaborative: what my late friend Bruce Hill once called a “show, don’t tell” approach.
Of course, a near-term milestone puts our policy choices into stark focus. There is much less room for contradictions, trade-offs or half measures, and no time for clichés about the environment and the economy going hand in hand. It means the decision-makers around the table today are likely to be the same people held accountable in just four years’ time.
In addition to targets, we also need to strengthen Bill C-12's enforcement mechanisms to ensure real accountability. The bill tasks the Environment Commissioner with assessing progress, but we know that office does not even have adequate resources for its current mandate. The arm’s-length advisory committee needs to be given an active role in setting targets and reviewing progress. We are ready to work constructively with the government to improve this bill and give real teeth to independent, empowered bodies that can enforce the government’s targets. It is the kind of approach that worked for the U.K.
The U.K. climate change act is seen as the gold standard of climate accountability. Central to the U.K. approach are five-year carbon budgets. These are legally binding with regular reporting to Parliament. The first five-year carbon budget covering the period of 2008 to 2012 was not enacted until 2009, yet the country met that milestone with room to spare. It exceeded its second carbon budget too, and today is well on its way to meeting its third. The U.K.’s arm's-length advisory body, the committee on climate change, helps set targets and publicly reports on whether those targets are being met. Since 1990, the U.K.'s emissions have fallen 44%. The Brits are not just finishing the race: They are on the podium. It feels funny describing all this because, of course, the government is perfectly familiar with the U.K. example, yet it has tabled a bill that falls far short.
It is not that there are not aspects of Bill C-12 that we support. For the first time, the government is codifying the basic principle of accountability on the climate. Targets will be enshrined into law, and the government acknowledges that we must limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. Although the language could be much stronger, it is positive to see reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. However, this bill’s basic purpose is to ensure we hit our 2030 and 2050 targets. In that regard, the lack of a near-term milestone and stronger enforcement mechanisms are glaring flaws.
Canadians elected not just a minority parliament, but a minority in which over 60% of MPs elected belong to parties that prioritize climate action. The promise of a minority is that we will work together in the spirit of collaboration to strengthen legislation and serve our country in the best way possible. With the NDP, Bloc and Greens all calling for the same basic amendments to Bill C-12, this is the Liberals’ opportunity to show they can lead alongside others.
Who knows? With the Leader of the Opposition’s recent revelation that carbon pricing is a thing, even in a weird way that rewards people who burn more fossil fuels, we may yet see the Conservatives graduate from climate curious to climate sincere. First he will have to convince his party that climate change is real, but hope springs eternal. Imagine a House united against this common threat, as it has been only a few times in our history. If there is a challenge worthy of such unity, the climate crisis is that challenge. Let us show Canadians we are equal to it.
In closing, I was reminded recently that my predecessor, the inimitable Jim Fulton, stood in the House 30 years ago and called delay on climate action “a crime no future generation would forgive.” He was right, and we have delayed far too long. Let us improve this bill, hold our government to account and maybe we can get things pointed in the right direction at long last.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
Madam Speaker, I do not disagree with anything that my hon. colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands has said. The challenge in front of us is to take what we have been presented and to work as hard as we can to make it better, to have the courage to work together, to hold each other to account and to try to come out with something that is better than what we have had for the past 30 or 40 years. That is a challenge that I certainly hope we are equal to.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
Madam Speaker, to answer very briefly, standing up for the environment is not a special interest.
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