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Results: 1 - 15 of 765
View Lenore Zann Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lenore Zann Profile
2021-04-16 11:08 [p.5739]
Madam Speaker, one year ago, on the morning of Sunday, April 19, we the citizens of Cumberland—Colchester, awoke to discover a devastating tragedy had ripped through our normally tranquil corner of the world.
Words cannot express my sorrow for the families and friends who lost loved ones and the RCMP who lost a beloved colleague here in the line of duty. I thank all first responders who risked their own lives trying to save others.
We are Nova Scotians. When we continue to support one another with kindness and generosity, we prove that love wins the day and that violence does not and will never define us.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-16 11:21 [p.5742]
Madam Speaker, it is curious to me that the Conservative Party, at every opportunity, seems to register complaints about the cost of our pandemic response without reflecting, as well, on the cost of inaction.
We know that the pandemic created immense costs for Canadian households and businesses. That is why we put forward programs, like the Canada emergency response benefit, to keep food on the table for nine million Canadians. It is why we advanced the wage subsidy, to keep five million workers on the payroll.
Canadians can rest assured that when we table the budget, we will continue to focus on measures that will protect their health and well-being, and support—
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-16 11:22 [p.5742]
Madam Speaker, the Conservatives do not seem to be willing to contemplate the true cost of inaction. I would point the hon. member to a recent report of the IMF. It indicates that, had the government not taken action, the scale of the federal deficit would have been roughly similar, but the Canadian economy would have suffered enormous job losses. This would have created economic scarring that would have prevented Canada from recovering when the time came to do so.
We will continue to invest in supports for households and businesses to help them weather this storm and to ensure that we set the stage for the economy to come roaring back. In particular, I would point the member to the recent jobs numbers, which show over—
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-16 11:28 [p.5743]
Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his continued advocacy for small businesses since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning of this public health emergency, our approach has been to support households and businesses to help them weather the storm, so they can contribute to the economic recovery on the back end of COVID-19. That included measures such as the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the Canada emergency business account.
I will not spoil announcements that will be included in Monday's budget, but the hon. member can rest assured our approach to continuing our support for small businesses will be part of the recovery strategy for Canada.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-16 11:35 [p.5745]
Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. I will apologize in advance, because I am not familiar with the very specific issue he has raised around pyrrhotite. I would be happy to take more detail from him on the back end of question period, should he wish.
However, I will note, in particular, that we have made significant investments, including the ability to repair and retrofit affordable housing units, to ensure that every Canadian, no matter their level of income, has a dignified place to call home.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-16 11:49 [p.5748]
Madam Speaker, that demonstrates the Conservatives' lack of willingness to recognize the cost of not taking action to support Canadian households and businesses through this pandemic. I point the hon. member to the testimony of a representative from the OECD at the finance committee just yesterday, where he indicated that Canada's healthy fiscal position put us in a great position to respond to the costs of this pandemic, but also to set the course for the recovery.
On our side of the House, we will not be afraid to invest to ensure households can keep food on the table and that workers can remain on the payroll. We will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to see Canadians through this emergency.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-15 14:18 [p.5675]
Mr. Speaker, with great respect, all members of the House, regardless of party, appreciate the nature of the immense tragedy that has fallen across Canada and impacted families and communities from coast to coast to coast.
When we look forward to what may come out of this pandemic, we have the opportunity to make investments to cure some of the social deficits that we have been living with for generations. From the very outset of this pandemic, we made a decision to support households and businesses and to invest, most important, to protect the health and well-being of Canadians.
We will continue to do so until this pandemic is over, no matter what it takes.
View Andy Fillmore Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Andy Fillmore Profile
2021-04-15 14:40 [p.5679]
Mr. Speaker, thanks to this project, Canada has an opportunity to export clean power, helping to reduce emissions, maximizing clean power use and making electricity more affordable for Canadians. The Canadian Infrastructure Bank's investments in the Lake Erie Connector will give Ontario direct access to North American's largest electricity market, 13 states, and the District of Columbia. It will reduce overall GHG emissions by giving those jurisdictions access to Ontario's clean energy.
The Lake Erie Connector also gives the province of Ontario the ability to import more clean energy to meet periods of exceptionally high demand rather than firing up an additional gas plant within the province. This is part of our infrastructure plan to create jobs across the country, tackle climate change—
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-15 15:03 [p.5683]
Mr. Speaker, since the hon. member mentioned our plan to put a price on pollution, I congratulate his party on finally embracing the need to price carbon as well. Unfortunately, the Conservative plan is actually going to cost Canadian households more and do less for our environment.
When it comes to the fiscal track Canada is on, I would remind the hon. member that the COVID-19 pandemic created immense costs, and our government was there to support households and businesses to weather the storm. When the budget is tabled on Monday, he will see a suite of measures that will continue to protect Canadians' health and well-being; support households and businesses through this pandemic; and set the course for an economic recovery that is inclusive, prosperous and green.
View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Jaime Battiste Profile
2021-04-15 17:07 [p.5702]
Mr. Speaker, today, I speak from the Mi'kmaq traditional territory of Unama'ki in the Eskasoni First Nation.
It has been over 400 years since my Mi'kmaq ancestors met European travellers on the shores of Mi'kma'ki. This moment thrust generations of transformation and struggle that led to the conflicts, diplomacy and eventually treaties that have shaped Canada and its Constitution. That struggle and those relations continue to this day across Canada.
Today's debate is the next step on this journey and the generational struggle of indigenous peoples in Canada. With Bill C-15, we turned a page on colonial narratives entrenched within the Indian Act and moved on to a new chapter founded on the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous People.
This past week Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild reminded me that indigenous leaders have been fighting for recognition of their basic human rights entrenched within UNDRIP for over 40 years. The fact that this government act is in Parliament today is an achievement of the possible in the realm of the improbable.
Today, I would like to share a perspective on Bill C-15 that is personal, but also shared by many indigenous people in this country. My father, Sákéj Henderson, one of the original drafters, wrote that UNDRIP is a process whereby, “Thousands of Indigenous peoples participated over thirty years in the development of Indigenous diplomacy.”
Before the 1982 Constitution, long before the recognition in the Supreme Court of Canada, Kji-keptin Alexander Denny and a delegation of Mi'kmaq went to the United Nations to seek justice for Mi'kmaq based on the UN covenants available to them at the time.
There, they met several indigenous leaders from around the world who were all advocating for the right to be recognized as humans and protected by the rights that came from the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. At the time, there was no UN mechanism whereby the rights of indigenous peoples, as humans, could be protected. In fact, the first meeting of the UN working group referred to indigenous populations because of the fear of recognizing them as a people.
Despite the objections and fears, indigenous leaders persevered, and on September 12, 2007, more than 143 countries affirmed the recommendation to extend human rights and fundamental freedoms to indigenous people. Canada voted against that. That decision by the Harper-led Conservative government to deny indigenous people human rights and freedoms brings us to where we are now. Today, we can undo that mistake.
In a divided world, UNDRIP is a global vision. The longest, most comprehensive human rights instrument negotiated at the United Nations, fought and won by thousands of indigenous leaders speaking 100 different languages from all corners of the globe. The 46 articles within UNDRIP give clarity and understanding of the inherent rights recognized in section 35 of our Constitution, also known as aboriginal rights. It addresses what is meant by fair, just and consensual relationships between indigenous people and government.
Our Liberal government has already shown our commitment to implementing the human rights of indigenous peoples, entrenching these principles into our Environmental Assessment Act, the Indigenous Language Acts and the indigenous children, youth and family act.
However, the time has come for all political parties to stand up for the inalienable human rights of indigenous people in this country. Let us be clear: The human rights of indigenous people have been and continue to be denied in Canada. UNDRIP is a vital and necessary part of the remedy to this generational injustice. The 1876 Indian Act codified this injustice and colonial framework stating that the term “person” means an individual other than an Indian unless the context clearly requires another construction.
From the moment Canada legally denied Indians the rights of persons, it became necessary to create this declaration and to confirm the inalienable human rights of indigenous persons. With great humility, I add my name to those who wish to be recognized as persons as well in Canada. I am humbled in the knowledge that so many other indigenous MPs have spoken in this House, advocating for human rights to extend to indigenous people as well.
Let me be clear: Bill C-15 would not create new rights. It affirms rights actively denied to indigenous peoples for generations. Bill C-15 rejects colonialism, racism and injustices of the past. It affirms familiar human rights norms and minimum standards that Canada and Canadians have long supported.
It places two interrelated obligations on the federal government, in consultation and co-operation with indigenous peoples of Canada. The first obligation is to take all measures necessary to ensure the laws of Canada are consistent with the declaration. The second obligation, which is just as important, is to establish an action plan to achieve the objectives of the declaration within three years. These obligations are necessary for establishing a just framework for reconciliation and fulfilled promises, to generate better lives for indigenous peoples.
Critics of Bill C-15 have tried to use words like uncertainty and unintended consequences to slow, stall and create fears of UNDRIP. However, in reality they are doing nothing more than perpetuating colonial notions that for generations have benefited them and exploited indigenous peoples.
Former Justice Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, in response to fears that Bill C-15 would slow down the economy, stated:
It is fearmongering to suggest that somehow the rights of indigenous people will make the Canadian economy not work and to point to British Columbia and say that is particularly laughable and inaccurate.
Bill C-15 is about fair, just and consensual relations among legally recognized people. Bill C-15 is another step to guarantee indigenous people a dignified life and a meaningful economic future. Whether supporter or skeptic, all Canadians will benefit from recognizing and exercising our shared humanity. The passing of this bill into law would require, inspire and enable Canadians to maintain the promises of a better nation.
In closing, I would like to thank Romeo Saganash for his leadership on his private member's bill, Bill C-262. I would also like to thank my father, Sákéj Henderson, and Russel Barsh for their wise counsel and their tireless efforts to help the Mi’kmaq over the years; as well as the many indigenous leaders within the Assembly of First Nations and the Indigenous Bar Association who have advanced my education on UNDRIP over the years; as well as all the indigenous leaders from coast to coast to coast whose tireless efforts have led to government legislation on Bill C-15.
View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Jaime Battiste Profile
2021-04-15 17:17 [p.5703]
Mr. Speaker, indeed, I agree with my colleague's assessment.
The notion that indigenous people are anti-development is wrong. Indigenous people want to see development. They want to see Canada grow. However, what we are in favour of is sustainable development, smart development, development that does not jeopardize our future and that of the next seven generations that we are obligated to protect.
It is an important step moving forward that we realize that when indigenous people succeed in Canada, Canada succeeds.
View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Jaime Battiste Profile
2021-04-15 17:19 [p.5703]
Mr. Speaker, I started off my speech on the premise that it has been 400 years. We can look at the past, and we should look at the past. However, the best time to implement these rights is right now. That is what we have in front of us, the ability to take those strides that no government has taken before.
I ask my learned colleague from the Bloc to join with us in not delaying, for any more time, when indigenous people could have the same human rights as every other Canadian.
View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Jaime Battiste Profile
2021-04-15 17:20 [p.5703]
Mr. Speaker, It is a difficult question, because I want Conservatives to be on board with this. I want Conservatives to want to give indigenous people human rights.
The delays, tactics and talking about vetos; it is baseless. It has been pointed out by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond that it is fearmongering to suggest that we somehow would slow down the economy by getting the most basic human rights.
The question that I have to ask all of my other colleagues in this House is, what expectations would they have for their communities. Why should the expectations of indigenous people be any different?
View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Jaime Battiste Profile
2021-04-15 17:46 [p.5707]
Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member this. Why does he believe that indigenous knowledge, passed down through languages, passed down through generations and enshrined in our teachings as indigenous people that we should live sustainably within our ecosystem while promoting positive development and smart development, is somehow based on Hollywood notions of Avatar and not within our languages, as has been taught for generations? I am trying to understand his notions on that.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2021-04-15 19:43 [p.5724]
Madam Speaker, I will point out for my friend and colleague opposite that the question he intended to ask was about the timing of the budget, and I am pleased as well to share that the budget will be tabled this Monday.
On the issue of the timing of the budget, I know he registered some complaints about the fact that there was no federal budget last year, and that should come as no surprise. All parties, in fact, agreed to a specific process when Parliament was not sitting due to an unprecedented public health emergency to have certain emergency powers offered to the COVID-19 committee. As part of the deal that we reached unanimously in Parliament, I might add, the government provided bi-weekly reports on spending measures to deal with the pandemic.
Since that time, Parliament has now resumed and he has had access to the estimates and supplementary estimates. He has had access to a fall economic statement, which was 237 pages, outlining the fiscal position in spending plans of the government. He has also had an opportunity, if he wished, to review the reports of the government operations committee. Frankly, most of the information that will be contained on the fiscal track of the government is actually published online, more or less in real time, according to the spending programs.
He has had some complaints about the level of supports offered by this government, which I find curious given that at the outset of this pandemic the Conservative finance critic indicated that the Conservatives would not support big spending programs and referred to them as “big and fat” government programs. Since that time, his leader has repeatedly come out and criticized the Canada emergency response benefit, which is unthinkable given the fact that it helped sustain over nine million Canadians and helped them keep food on the table.
Other measures we put in place were the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which kept more than five million workers on the payroll in Canadian businesses; the Canada emergency business account or the regional relief and recovery fund, which have been enormously successful and have supported approximately one million businesses to help them literally keep the lights on and the doors open.
He is quite right to point out that the public health emergency will continue to dictate the economic outcomes of Canada. However, I will point to the fact, though he is pointing to the vaccine deployment of the United States, which is a major producer of vaccines, that Canada is third right now in the G20 of countries whose citizens have received at least one dose of the vaccine. We continue to see a record number of vaccines land week by week because, at the beginning of this pandemic, we adopted a strategy to secure the largest portfolio among our comparator countries to ensure no matter which vaccines were first to market, Canada would have access to them.
We will continue to adopt measures that will continue to protect the health and well-being of Canadian households as we also put forward measures that will protect our economy by supporting households and businesses directly.
I am looking forward very much to sharing the details of the forthcoming budget on Monday, as it will continue to support Canadian households and businesses. Most important, we will continue to operate world-class health response to this pandemic and will set the course for a recovery that will serve the interests of Canadians tomorrow and into the future.
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