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Results: 1 - 15 of 34
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-04-13 12:35 [p.5493]
Mr. Speaker, you are doing a wonderful job, as always, in the Speaker's chair.
I would just like to say I am coming from the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
When I heard there was a bill coming up with some of the content here, I was really supportive of it. I asked if I could speak to it to show my support. There are five items from my riding, my area or my perspective over the years, which I am very supportive of.
First, the reduction of overrepresentation of indigenous people in our jails. Parliament has wrestled with this for a long time, trying to come up with solutions to this. Two parties have already mentioned in this debate that roughly 5% of people in Canada are indigenous, yet they make up about 30% in federal jails.
Second, I would like to see movement towards the success Portugal has had in its dealings related to drugs as a health issue.
Third, the bill would make society safer, and I will go into the reasons why.
Fourth, it will lower costs for government. Almost every member of Parliament has ideas where that saved money could be spent, or it could pay down the debt.
Finally, it will reduce the number of victims.
I will explain how the three elements of the bill would do this, from my perspective. I have not written these down in a speech. I have just scratched out some points to make.
First, on the mandatory minimums and the effect on indigenous people and racialized people in our justice system. A large number of those particular people are in jails because of offences that have mandatory minimums.
Second, related to mandatory minimums—
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-04-13 12:38 [p.5494]
Mr. Speaker, I did forget that and I thank the member.
I will now go to the three main elements of the bill and explain how they would fill the objectives of which I am supportive. I mentioned the unbalance of people in federal institutions. Certain mandatory minimums have also been found unconstitutional because they are excessive. They do not reasonably match the crime and the criminal with the punishment. People can get off unreasonably and I do not think others would want that if that happened.
Another item related to the mandatory minimums is it leads to longer trials and often more cases end in acquittals, that many would not have occurred if people were not facing an unreasonable option as an end result. Another reason, from my perspective, is for first-time offenders on minor offences. The evidence has shown that often it is less safe and has less positive results when first-time offenders are put in jail as opposed to some of the alternatives like diversion and other types of programs and treatments.
We are all social animals. If people do not think they are, they can try to go against their own political party members on a particular issue.
I call jail the university of crime. If we put people in jail for the first time, they will learn from the people they deal with every day, and they will learn from every day on how to become more hardened criminals, rather than from dealing with their problem.
Some people say that putting criminals in jail makes communities safer. It does not if they are making more hardened criminals. The point people neglect to mention when making that case is that virtually almost everyone gets out of jail, so we want them safer when they get out and we want them rehabilitated.
Another reason to remove some mandatory minimums is that we cannot really trump other provisions of the justice system, like the Gladue provisions and other such provisions on racialized reports, by having a mandatory minimum. There is a conflict there. A number of people from various parties have raised the fact that it limits a trained judge from the individual tailoring of a sentence to the severity of the crime and the background of the criminal.
The second major item in the bill is related to the greater use of conditional sentences. For people who want evidence-based policy and legislation, it has been proven time and time again that people are far less likely to reoffend if they have the appropriate rehabilitation. A conditional sentence can be very hard with the treatment that can be assigned with it. It is not easy for someone, but it is much more effective.
I remember when we were dealing with this and debating it about 10 years ago. A big supporter of this was Conservative Senator Vern White, who had been the police chief in Whitehorse and then in Ottawa. At that time, recidivism rates were around 40% to 60%, and the conditional sentencing rates were 10% to 30%. Much progress has been made in many cases.
I appreciate the Bloc's view on this from the experiences it has had in Quebec with diversion, conditional sentences and other forms of dealing with people, especially young offenders. I remember in February 2001, Michel Bellehumeur from Berthier—Montcalm was really passionate about this. In fact, I think he spent most of his term in the House of Commons passionately making that case about more appropriate treatment of people. In that case, it was young offenders, but also more progressive and successful treatment of first-time offenders.
Also, I want to clarify what some have talked about with respect to safety and conditional sentencing. Once again, that is only allowed if the person is not a “danger to society ”, which is the term for use by the judge and only for a sentence that is less than two years. There have been a number of successful stories of women who were not put in jail, but were given conditional sentences to stay with their family and their social network, and go to treatment.
The third element of the bill relates to the possession of drugs. In the majority of crimes, people are either on substance or are trying to get money for a substance, including alcohol. Therefore, I personally would move more toward what Portugal is doing. It is a step in the right direction. If people have an addiction, the last thing they need is a criminal record. It is harder for them to get a job, which is what may have caused the addiction in the first place, to feed their family, etc.
Finally, the federal economic statement, which I hope we will be voting on this week, has support for some of the items that people have mentioned, such as support for the Gladue report, the race and cultural assessments and community justice centres, all of which can deal with the root causes and the situations people are in. From my perspective, this is a move in the right direction on a number of fronts to make it safer, to reduce the number of victims, to reduce the costs and to have a fairer justice system.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-04-13 12:46 [p.5495]
Mr. Speaker, the bill does deal with them, but unfortunately only once they are in the system. Then we try to ensure they do not go back into the system.
The member is exactly right. We have lobbied and made the case for years that we have to deal with the root causes as to why people come into the system in the first place. That is why we have the biggest housing fund in Canadian history. It all starts with housing first. If people do not have a home, how can they deal with other problems, such as addictions or anything else that might lead them into the justice system?
That is why we have increased the homelessness programs. I think we have more than doubled those. We have increased money for mental health, because a number of people in the mental health system end up in hospitals or jails when there should be mental health supports. That is why we have increased the special contributions to every province and territory for mental health. It is why we have supported indigenous and other cultures to ensure they are included in our policies and laws so they do not feel disjointed, which could add to them getting into the criminal justice system.
All these items relating to poverty and addiction need to be dealt with to reduce the root causes. Then we would not need to have a major debate like this.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-04-13 12:49 [p.5495]
Mr. Speaker, I do not think we should let the perfect be the enemy of moving forward, of having some success. We have to take steps. This is a move in exactly that direction. It will reduce some. I would like to move as far as Portugal has.
As the member very appropriately said, it is a health issue. A majority of crimes in Canada are caused by someone with an addiction or someone raising money to support an addiction. That is where the support needs to be to deal with that. It is not a criminal issue. Criminalizing people with addictions just accentuates the problems that would put them in jail. I agree.
It is a move in that direction, maybe not as far as some people want, but we have to take as many steps and opportunities as we can to move in that direction.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-23 16:31 [p.5145]
Mr. Speaker, I am speaking from the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
I stand in the House today to speak about the work our government is doing to enable a safe restart of the aviation sector and the work it has done to put in place strong public health measures within the sector to address the risks posed by COVID-19. I think what I say will answer some of the questions that were just provided.
I can assure colleagues that since the earliest days of the pandemic, our government has been dedicated in working with our vital transportation industry to introduce a comprehensive, layered system of measures and guidance to protect Canadians and those working in the transportation and shipping sectors. For the air sector specifically, this layered approach includes health screening measures and temperature checks to prevent symptomatic passengers from boarding flights to, from and within Canada. This approach also includes requiring passengers on all flights departing from or arriving at Canadian airports to have an appropriate mask or face covering throughout their journey. Canada was the first country to require such a measure, which we now see is standard practice globally.
In addition to ensuring that we had the right public health and border resources meeting those passengers arriving in Canada during the earliest days of the pandemic, our government issued a notice restricting most overseas flights to four airports in Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
To summarize these measures and the many more our government and industry were implementing to assist in mitigating COVID risks in the aviation industry, in August our government released “Canada’s Flight Plan for Navigating COVID-19”. The document was the foundation for aligning Canada’s efforts to address the safety impacts of COVID-19 and was developed in collaboration with industry partners. It demonstrated to Canadians the extensive and multi-layered system of measures we had put in place and was based on the comprehensive standards and recommendations from the International Civil Aviation Organization’s council aviation recovery task force report, the CART, and its guidance, in order to ensure Canada is aligned with the gold standard of international best practices.
More recently, in an effort to further curb the spread of the virus and new variants of COVID-19 into Canada, we added new rules on international travel. Under these new rules, all air travellers must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test before boarding an international flight to Canada. Upon arrival, these passengers must take another COVID-19 molecular test and reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights, also at their own expense, while awaiting the test results. We are working hard to make improvements to ensure that this system is working effectively.
Our government also recognized that it was not the time to travel as Canada’s public health officials worked to stem the increase in infections and began to roll out the largest immunization campaign in Canada’s history. That is why, in addition to these measures, the government and Canada’s airlines agreed to suspend all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries until April 30 of this year.
Our government realized that the pandemic was also disproportionately affecting the aviation industry, including those in remote and northern communities like mine that depend so much on small air carriers for essential services. That is why the government announced funding of up to $191.3 million for provinces and territories to ensure that remote fly-in communities continue to receive essential supplies. This includes the northern essential air services subsidy that has been in place for much of the pandemic.
To help mitigate the decline in business at Canada's airports, the government also provided rent relief for the 21 airport authorities that have ground leases with the federal government. Moreover, through the fall economic statement, an additional $1.1 billion in financial support for the air sector was announced. This will be provided through a series of targeted measures designed to support regional connectivity, critical infrastructure investments and the continued operation of Canada’s airports.
Air transport stakeholders have also benefited from relief programs that are general in nature, such as the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the large employer emergency financing facility.
As we look to the future, we know that a strong and competitive air industry is vital for Canada's economic recovery.
Now I just want to digress for a moment as a northern MP. Coming from the north, in my personal opinion, there are two things that mainline carriers can do to help themselves during this pandemic, over and above all this other support. They must provide reasonable interline agreements with northern and regional airlines, with end-to-end airfares for those regional airlines. This would help both the major and the regional airline. The major airline could pick up remote passengers to add to their system, and they would not have to lose money by running partially filled flights where the other airline exists.
The northern and regional airlines would get seamless baggage transfers, protected connections and throughfare itineraries around the world, so it is a win-win situation for everyone. Why would anyone want two airlines, a major and a regional one, to lose money by running half-empty planes at the same time on the same route, costing the taxpayers even more subsidy?
This is just my personal view, but this is a better option than requiring capacity reduction in the markets where there are thin numbers of airline customers during this pandemic.
While preventing the spread of the pandemic will continue to remain the top priority of our government, we are looking to prepare for the restart of the air sector. Our government is working with industry to explore risk-based opportunities that will allow Canada to ease travel restrictions and reopen our borders when the time is right to travel, a time that we can begin to see is on the horizon.
Many of the measures I have outlined here, including testing, health screening, masks and quarantine, will likely remain in place for the near future. However, there may be room in the coming weeks and months for adjustments to support the aviation system and Canada's recovery from this pandemic, again when the time is right. This includes implementing a sustainable approach to reducing public health risks today and building resilience to safeguard the system against similar risks in the future. An example would be leveraging opportunities for safe contactless processing of passengers. These approaches will help rebuild public confidence in the safety of air travel.
As we eventually move from response to recovery, we will continue to have the latest in science and data drive the decisions that we make. Public health measures that mitigate risks posed by COVID-19 will remain a priority, and our government is committed to implementing and revising existing measures, when we are able, to allow the recovery of our vital aviation sector. We will continue to work closely with the aviation industry to do this, as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic.
I congratulate all those who have spoken today who understand the uncertainty that scientists have about the various waves and the transmission of the pandemic, but we we will base our decisions on what they come up with as things evolve.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-23 16:41 [p.5147]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for bringing up those difficult situations. We have a number of people in my community who have boats in Alaska, but they cannot visit for health reasons and to protect Canadians. We certainly want to get that situation solved as soon as possible, as soon as it is healthy.
I know the member was on the indigenous affairs committee. I will let her know that the airline in the north that I was referring to for improvements is half owned by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, and we would certainly like to see interlining to support that airline.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-23 16:42 [p.5147]
Mr. Speaker, I could get the figures for the member, but the federal government has made huge increases in transfers to the provinces to deal with health care during the pandemic, and the Prime Minister has agreed to have discussions on the post-pandemic environment once it occurs.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-23 16:43 [p.5147]
Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we provided quick access to a lot of the programs. I have not had that input from my constituents, but if the member would send me a detailed email with the things that are not working and what he suggests could improve it, I will definitely get it to the right places.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-23 16:45 [p.5147]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for being a champion in relation to climate change, as we are in the Liberal Party, as well as for being a champion of the Porcupine caribou herd, which affects the Vuntut Gwitchin in my riding very seriously.
We do a terrible job at explaining all the various programs. I would be surprised if anyone in the House could mention all the initiatives. For instance, how many transit projects are there? As we know, one transit project reduces a lot of greenhouse gases; well, we put in place over 1,400 transit projects. We do a terrible job of outlining the over 50 major initiatives under way right now that are reducing carbon and greenhouse gases.
My understanding is that we have also said that we are going to increase our targets to be even lower than what we promised in the Paris accord.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-09 11:42 [p.4726]
Madam Speaker, there is a special nuance for the north regarding airlines, and I cannot support this motion unless something is put in it related to interline agreements. I hope the member will support me.
The northern airlines are the only ones that cover the various northern communities, but they get their revenue from flights to the south, such as Whitehorse to Vancouver. While the major airlines fly on that and refuse to do meaningful interline agreements, they are hurting both airlines. Although there has been significant support for the airlines already, unless they agree to stop hurting themselves and the northern airlines by not having meaningful interline agreements, this motion cannot be supported. This is happening around the world with Azul and Latam airlines in South America, in the U.S. with American Airlines and JetBlue, in Europe with Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines, in Asia with Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines, and with Finnair and Juneyao. They are all co-operating in this pandemic. We need the airlines to co-operate to reduce their expenses to help the northern and smaller airlines so we can support everybody.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-09 17:22 [p.4779]
Madam Speaker, I am delighted to speak to Bill C-216, an act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act on supply management. I am speaking from the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council—
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-03-09 17:23 [p.4780]
Madam Speaker, this bill proposes to amend section 10 of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act, which sets out the powers, functions and duties of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. More specifically, the bill proposes the addition of a provision that would prevent the Minister of Foreign Affairs from making any commitment in an international treaty that would have the effect of:
(a) increasing the tariff rate quota, within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff, applicable to dairy products, poultry or eggs; or
(b) reducing the tariff applicable to those goods when they are imported in excess of the applicable tariff rate quota.
For those watching at home, basically what that means is that we would not grant any further market access to dairy products, poultry or eggs in future trade negotiations.
I appreciate the opportunity the member for Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel has provided me to reaffirm the government's support for supply management. Supply management is the pillar of Canada's rural and economic prosperity that our dairy, poultry and egg producers rely on. We have heard them clearly, and we want to keep our supply management strong and sustainable well into the future.
Faced with the difficult economic situation created by price instability and fluctuation in their incomes nearly 50 years ago, a Liberal government established with farmers this system that now sustains farming families and rural communities across the country. Canada's supply management system has since ensured fair prices for farmers, stability for processors and high-quality products for consumers at reasonable prices. The system contributes significantly to rural prosperity.
The dairy, poultry and egg sectors generated almost $12 billion in farm-gate sales in 2019 and accounted for over 75,000 well-paying jobs in production and processing activities. For these reasons, our government continues to vigorously support Canada's supply management system. Looking forward, our government has made it abundantly clear that Canada will not provide any new market access for supply-managed products in future trade agreements.
In fact, we demonstrated this commitment recently when the government announced the conclusion of the negotiations on the trade continuity agreement with the United Kingdom. This agreement would ensure continuity of access to Canada's third-largest export market, but would provide no new access for imported dairy, poultry or egg products.
Moreover, we believe that protection for supply management is strengthened through enhanced transparency in the conduct of trade negotiations. We welcome the involvement of the public, stakeholders and parliamentarians in Canada's trade agenda provided by the updated policy on tabling of treaties in Parliament. The updated policy enhances reporting obligations to Parliament for new trade agreements and provides additional opportunities for members of Parliament to review the objectives and economic merits of new trade agreements.
With respect to the impact of recent agreements, in the Speech from the Throne this government renewed its commitment to fully and fairly compensate producers and processors of supply-managed commodities, including dairy, poultry and egg farmers. We are delivering on this as well.
Over the past two years, our government has invested $2 billion in support of Canadian dairy producers. Of this, $1.75 billion has been made available to compensate supply-managed dairy farmers across Canada and $250 million to help producers prepare for market challenges through the dairy farm investment program, including modernization of their installations and improvement of animal welfare. Because dairy producers depend on strong dairy processors to market their milk, we also invested $100 million to help processors invest in new technology and stay on the cutting edge and increase their capacity. We have also allocated $691 million for 10-year programs for Canada's 4,800 chicken, egg, broiler-hatching egg, and turkey farmers. Responding to sector demands, these programs will drive innovation and growth for farmers.
With the ratification of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA, we will take the same approach. We are committed to working in partnership with supply-managed stakeholders to address the impacts of the new NAFTA on their industry.
During the negotiations of CUSMA, Canada faced strong American calls to completely dismantle the supply management system. They applied intense pressure, but we succeeded in preserving the system. I congratulate our negotiators and ministers for succeeding in preserving the system with its three pillars, namely, production control, pricing mechanisms and import controls, and in concluding the agreement.
This success is further evidenced by our government's commitment to preserving the integrity of the supply management system so it can continue serving future generations of hard-working Canadian farmers.
The government knows the value of supply management. We were the party that put in place supply management in Canada 50 years ago, and we are defending it from those who want to see it dismantled. Supply management supports Canada's dairy, poultry and egg sectors. We will keep delivering for agriculture, while also continuing to pursue our ambitious, inclusive trade agenda.
Prior to the pandemic, trade accounted for nearly two-thirds of Canada's economy and supported more than 3.4 million jobs. Trade can help our economy rebound from the pandemic. Indeed, Canada is the only G7 country with a free trade agreement with every other G7 country. Every day Canadian companies benefit from the trade and investment opportunities created by 14 trade agreements that cover 51 countries. As a result of these agreements, Canadian businesses and exporters have access to 1.5 billion customers worldwide. In particular, I am excited by the work we are doing on egg quotas for Yukon and other provisions to ensure our egg export ability.
These comprehensive and inclusive deals protect our interests while levelling the playing field internationally, helping Canadian businesses in all provinces and territories compete and succeed in global markets. For example, the Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement provides continued market access security for $58.9 billion in annual exports from Quebec to the United States. In addition, it provides stability for workers who rely on well-paying export-dependent jobs, including in the aerospace, heavy trucking, agricultural and apparel industries.
Similarly, by eliminating tariffs on nearly all of Quebec's exports to the European Union and key markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan and Vietnam, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP, have created new opportunities for key sectors, including metals and minerals, which is so important for my riding; agriculture and agri-food; and forestry.
This is in addition to other trade agreements with Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific that give our farmers and businesses tariff-free access to 1.5 billion consumers in some of the world's fastest growing economies.
To conclude, the government continues to ensure that our businesses and import supply chains remain resilient by diversifying who trades, where people trade and how they trade while preserving Canada's supply management system, including its three pillars.
The Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade have repeatedly assured Canadians that the federal government will not provide any new market access for supply-managed products in future trade agreements.
Let me finish by reiterating the government's unequivocal commitment to maintain supply management as a pillar of strong and sustainable rural prosperity into the future.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-02-04 12:18 [p.3988]
Madam Speaker, the member made a good point, but there are other exciting opportunities with the new administration. I want to mention three of them, which I do not know if anyone else will have time to speak to today, although I am sure the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands will support them.
We have management agreements with the United States on porcupine caribou, polar bears and migratory birds. In relation to the porcupine caribou, it protects the lands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the calving ground of the Canada-U.S. porcupine caribou herd, which is so essential for the Gwich'in people.
Hopefully, the member will think these are also important Canada-U.S., exciting potential and positive opportunities for the new Biden administration. On its first day, it signed an executive order to protect the ANWR.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-02-04 13:28 [p.3998]
Madam Speaker, we have a lot of arrangements with the United States, as has been said earlier. I want to bring one up another one that probably no one else will mention, the Alaska Highway, which goes from British Columbia through Yukon to Alaska. It is the only way Americans can get to Alaska, so for decades the U.S. has funded the Shakwak project to rebuild the highway, which we take care of, but it has run out of money. I hope the member, and all members in the House, will support me in trying to get the United States to reinstate funding for the Shakwak project to rebuild the Alaska Highway, which is important to Canadian tourism and is falling apart in some spots.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-02-02 15:21 [p.3914]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for talking about airlines. They are important to us.
The small northern airlines provide service to the northern communities, but to be able to do that, they need the revenue from the flights that go south. To get that revenue, they need to interline with the big airlines, but reasonable interline agreements with the big airlines have not yet occurred.
I wonder if the member, and hopefully all members in the House, would join me in encouraging the large airlines to make meaningful interline agreements with the small northern airlines that are so important to us.
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