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Results: 1 - 19 of 19
View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-10-27 15:44 [p.1321]
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague from Rivière-du-Nord. I very much admire his ability to make such measured speeches. I have a quick question for him.
I get the impression that, as with Bill C-7, people will vote to please certain religious groups. I do not believe that to be the best approach.
Could my colleague from Rivière-du-Nord talk about the right way to vote on a bill that has this kind of moral impact?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-10-27 15:45 [p.1321]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Jonquière. I am pleased to know that I have such a big fan. That is something.
That being said, I think there’s a risk of starting down a slippery slope if we vote the way one religion or another wants us to.
We need to be careful. Religions of all kinds are important. I think that they have a positive impact on many people. I am pleased that there are religious communities, but they should not be telling us how to legislate. That would be a problem and would create conflicts that could never be resolved.
I therefore encourage members to be very careful about making a decision centred on religious beliefs rather than on the facts before us.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, when I was a junior air force officer, my first posting was as the procurement officer for 19 Wing Comox on Vancouver Island. I was responsible for everything that was bought or leased on the base. In other words, anyone working on the base who needed something had to get it through me.
My decisions were not arbitrary or made on a whim. Before I was assigned the job, I spent many months in training as a military logistician, studying over 20 volumes of the Canadian Forces publication 181, supply manuals, defence procurement policies, the Financial Administration Act and many other related documents. There were processes and procedures for everything. Just to obtain approval to procure a commercial coffee maker required 10 signatures on a material authorization change request, or MACR for short. Those 10 people included the base commander, a squadron commander, a flight commander and me, just to name a few.
This bureaucracy was tiresome to be sure, but it was essential to upholding that no one, not even the base commander, could use military funds, and by extension public money, to, for example, pay for an outrageously expensive coffee machine purchased sole-source, which happened to include a million-dollar administration fee for someone's husband. There was no room for misconduct.
As officers, we endured the necessary piles of paperwork to ensure that tax dollars were spent wisely and to preserve the honesty and integrity of the organization and everyone in it. If these were the high standards to which a junior air force procurement officer is held, should they be any less for the highest office in the land?
Let us talk about the Prime Minister and his pattern of behaviour of breaking the rules, giving money to his friends, using Liberal members to cover it up and firing anyone who dares to stand in his way. Let us talk about the Prime Minister's pattern of corruption.
His first transgression was the gift of an all-expenses-paid Christmas vacation for him, his family and his friends to an island in the Bahamas. The rules require that members of Parliament disclose any gift over $200. The Prime Minister was found guilty of breaking the Conflict of Interest Act. He apologized. Seamus O'Regan, a minister of the Crown who joined the Prime Minister on this trip, never disclosed the vacation as a gift.
Then came the SNC-Lavalin scandal. SNC was charged with fraud and corruption, and was seeking a way to get out of facing the full consequences of breaking the law. It looked to our Prime Minister to use his powers to circumvent the law and tip the scales in SNC's favour. A justice minister stood in his way and upheld the rule of law. For her efforts, she was fired as justice minister and thrown out of the Liberal Party. There was no place in the Liberal Party for honourable actions like that. The key adviser and friend to the Prime Minister, Gerry Butts, resigned.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the head of our non-partisan, hard-working public service chose that moment to retire. Liberal members on the House of Commons committees attempting to investigate shut down all attempts to get to the truth.
The Prime Minister was found guilty of a second ethics violation, but this time he showed no remorse. He had no intention of acting differently. He refused to apologize and instead doubled down, trying to convince us that it was okay to break the law for the right reasons, like helping his corporate friends escape the long arm of the law.
The Prime Minister has again used the powers of his office for personal gain. The Prime Minister attempted to award the WE Charity a $912-million government contract, $912 million in taxpayer dollars, in a closed, directed, no competition selection process. During a pandemic that has millions of Canadians struggling to pay their bills, our Prime Minister attempted to give hard-earned tax dollars to an organization to do what exactly?
For starters, an administration fee of $43.5 million would be pocketed directly by the WE Charity, a charity that just happened to have paid the Prime Minister's family and the family members of other members of his cabinet significant sums of money. Once again, the House of Commons committees investigating were stonewalled and then ultimately shut down when the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament, leaving Canadians with no government at all.
For a third time, the Prime Minister is being investigated for ethics violations.
However, this is not just a story about the Prime Minister. It is unfortunately much worse than that. The Prime Minister's actions send a message to others who would seek to break the rules, cheat and take advantage of their positions of power for personal gain. It gives them permission to put their personal agendas before the best interests of the country. It becomes a culture of acceptance of corruption, because, after all, if the Prime Minister can do it, why should they not?
For example, the former finance minister, Bill Morneau, was investigated for conflict of interest violations for a corporation that held a French villa that he forgot to disclose. He was also investigated for failing to put the shares of his company in a blind trust and then introduced pension legislation changes that would benefit corporations like his. Morneau also forgot to disclose or pay back the all-expenses paid $40,000-plus vacation that WE Charity gave him and his family. Yes, that is the same WE Charity. Coincidentally, two of his daughters have worked extensively with WE. Morneau was about to be investigated for ethics violations but instead resigned as a minister and a member of Parliament.
The list goes on. What about when the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs broke the law when, as fisheries minister, he approved an Arctic surf clam licence to the company his wife works for; or when the $84 million contract to administer the Canadian emergency commercial rent assistance program was out-sourced to the company that PMO chief of staff Katie Telford's husband works for?
What about the former Liberal Raj Grewal who allegedly received $6 million that he did not disclose to the Ethics Commissioner? Documents also claim that he solicited funds by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means in connection with his duties of office as a member of Parliament.
These are just the cases that have been uncovered. Like the tip of the iceberg, if this is the pattern of corruption that we can see, we can barely imagine the magnitude of what has not yet come to light or what the government wants to ensure never comes to light.
House of Commons committees are Parliament's version of the military's MACR, from a junior officer's time all those years ago. Committees are our checks and balances. The purpose of committees is to investigate and to problem solve. Committees hold governments to account, identify where they have failed. Committees are the work that members of Parliament get paid to do to deliver fair, equal and improved services for Canadians.
The Liberal members are shutting down committees. They are working to keep the full extent of the Prime Minister's transgressions hidden. They are determined to keep Canadians in the dark. Liberal MPs are complicit in the cover-up.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Yvan Baker Profile
2020-10-20 17:54 [p.1013]
Madam Speaker, much like my colleague, I was surprised by what our colleague said. He said that MPs who are at home because of the pandemic are not doing anything. My colleagues and I are all working very hard. I was therefore surprised to hear my colleague's comments. I do not think members are working any less than they usually do.
My question is simple. The Parliament of Canada established the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to conduct independent investigations. Members of Parliament do not investigate one another. Canadians trust that office.
Why not simply let the commissioner's office conduct an independent investigation and let members take care of the other issues that affect all Canadians?
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
In Canada, we are lucky to have an Ethics Commissioner who has submitted reports on the Prime Minister on several occasions. Another one will be released shortly.
The work of the Ethics Commissioner is to verify matters of ethics. On our side, our work is to dig in and ask questions that go beyond the mandate of the Ethics Commissioner. That is the work we do in committee and in the House of Commons. This allows us to ask more in-depth questions.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak today to Bill C-3.
Before getting elected, I had the opportunity to serve on the board of an organization in my riding called the Saffron Centre, and I want to recognize the great work it is doing in providing counselling and education on bullying, sexual violence, boundaries and related points. I served on the board of that organization prior to the #MeToo movement. At the time, the board would have conversations about the lack of social awareness around these issues and some of the challenges of fundraising and engaging people in supporting our organization in the context of where the awareness was at that time.
There is still a long way to go, but I think a lot has changed. As a result of the #MeToo movement, there has been a real growth, awareness and recognition. It was interesting for me to speak with some of the people involved in the organization after the start of the #MeToo movement. They shared with me that there was a significant increase in the demand for counselling. A lot of it was cases of historic trauma, that is, people who had experienced sexual harassment and violence, perhaps decades ago, and had never come forward or sought help. They were empowered to seek help based on what they were hearing about in the media or on social media when other people were stepping forward and sharing their experiences. We probably all have stories about community-based organizations in our riding. The way that public conversations around the #MeToo movement encouraged people to come forward to seek counselling and support for historic trauma really reminds us of the importance of these conversations.
Some time today has been spent debating the debate, with members across the way challenging why we are having this debate and asking why we cannot just give unanimous consent at all stages of the bill. We have seen cases in which bills that maybe have one objective do not fulfill that objective or could be strengthened in other ways at committee, so the parliamentary process is important. We have also seen, even today, how the conversations around these issues can be important and inspiring for people. It is therefore important for us, as members of Parliament, to discuss these issues as we support Bill C-3 and work to move it forward.
In 2017, our former Conservative leader, Rona Ambrose, introduced the just act, a bill that would have required lawyers seeking a judicial appointment to undergo training about sexual assault. It would also have required courts to provide written reasons in sexual assault rulings. The House of Commons passed the bill unanimously, but it was delayed in the Senate, and as a result the just act was never passed.
In Canada, an estimated one in three women and one in eight men are victims of sexual violence at some time in their lives. That means approximately 5.73 million women and 2.3 million men will be victims. We can all agree that those numbers are too high. Statistics Canada reported in 2014 that, sadly, only 5% of sexual assaults were reported to the police. That means that fewer than 5% of sexual predators get the justice they deserve for their despicable acts.
The low number of reported cases is due to the fact that victims of sexual assault no longer have confidence in our justice system. A report published by the Department of Justice entitled “A Survey of Survivors of Sexual Violence in Three Canadian Cities” found that two out of three women had little or no confidence in the justice process. This is because the judges presiding over sexual assault cases had no knowledge of Canada's sexual assault laws. This led to incidents where judges unfairly questioned the character of the victims and completely ignored our sexual assault laws.
The just act would have improved this situation. Last Monday the Liberals decided to re-introduce this bill. Like the just act, Bill C-3 would require all newly appointed provincial superior court judges to participate in training on sexual assault and would amend the Criminal Code to require judges to provide written reasons or provide reasons in the record when making a decision in a sexual assault case.
Let us put politics aside. I am pleased that this bill has been brought forward again to protect the vulnerable victims of sexual assault. However, I think that we should take this opportunity to go even further. In February, I told the House that it would be useful to include sexual assault training for parole officers as well. I would like the government to add that to this bill.
We know that there have been problems in the past with the Parole Board of Canada. Dangerous criminals have committed more crimes after being released on parole. One example is the case of Eustachio Gallese, a convicted murderer who stabbed a woman after being released on parole. This incident could have been completely avoided had the Parole Board of Canada demonstrated good judgment. I am worried that this sort of thing could happen again when predators are released on parole. That is why it is essential that we give parole officers training on sexual assault and sexual predators. Victims must be protected.
I know that the current Liberal government likes to boast about being feminist. Here is a perfect opportunity to show Canadians that its feminist approach is legitimate and not just a political talking point. Going above and beyond the previous proposal by adding other measures to protect victims of sexual assault would be a worthwhile initiative. I know that we all want to ensure that Canadian women and men are protected from predators.
As legislators in this minority Parliament, I think it is important that we work together to ensure that we pass good, comprehensive legislation. I look forward to discussing the need for sexual assault training for our judges and our parole officers with my colleagues from all parties.
Having discussed now the substance and history of this particular bill and some related issues, I would like to add a few additional general comments about the vital work of combatting sexual assault and then respond to some of the other comments that have been made thus far in this debate.
While recognizing the value of educational initiatives, we also need to recognize their inherent limits. Criminal behaviour by some and callousness or indifference by others can, indeed, result from ignorance. Ignorance can be resolved through education, but ignorance is not the only cause of bad behaviour. Some people who are fully informed about what is right and wrong will still go on to commit heinous crimes or show indifference to the suffering of others. For such people, the problem is not awareness; rather, it is inclinations or patterns of behaviour that they have not brought under control.
It also might be a lack of empathy. For those who lack a requisite degree of empathy, no amount of information will change their behaviour. As author C.S. Lewis once observed, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” Lewis's point deserves reflection as we consider the importance, but also the limitations, of prescribing education and training in response to sexual assault and harassment. We need to ask ourselves what actions we can take and what actions other institutions can take to support the development of positive, as opposed to negative, patterns of behaviour, as well as the development of empathy. Without this necessary development of character and virtue, more education in terms of legal lines and processes will be ineffective.
Another way to consider this issue is through the lens of the old debate between virtue ethics and rule-based ethics. Rule-based ethics frames ethical actions being about adherence to rules. In the present case, a rule like, “Don't assault or harass another person” is the one being applied.
Virtue ethics, on the other hand, frames ethics in terms of the need to develop positive qualities of character that allow individuals both to know what is right and to be able to apply that knowledge in specific situations. Virtue ethics would emphasize the need to develop the virtues of justice and self-control. A person who has developed the virtues of justice and self-control will necessarily not engage in behaviour that hurts or threatens other people, justice being the virtue of giving to others what is due to them and self-control being the virtue of controlling one's own appetites or inclinations.
These two ethical frameworks, rule-based and virtue ethics, are not mutually exclusive, but there is a question of emphasis. Personally, I believe the virtue ethics framework is more important because it seeks to not only attend to questions of what we ought to do, but also attend to questions of how to develop the capacity to consistently do what we ought to do.
Efforts to combat sexual assault should not just involve education in the form of passing on information about standards of conduct and legal frameworks but should also involve the positive promotion of qualities of character like justice and self-control. Growing up, I do not specifically recall ever being directly told not to sexually harass or assault people. Instead, I was taught to recognize the innate dignity of all people and to exercise control over my impulses. When justice and self-control are fully absorbed, the specific rule in this case seems very obvious.
As a father, I obviously think a lot about how to raise my own children to be good people and good citizens. My own children are too young for discussions about sexual violence, but I already try to work to encourage the development of the virtues of justice and self-control as well as a sense of solidarity and empathy. The development of these intellectual and practical virtues will hopefully make it obvious how to behave in situations they may encounter in the future.
Much is said today about the idea of toxic masculinity. In my opinion, it is important for us to seek to replace toxic masculinity with a redefined masculinity. Toxic masculinity involves seeking power over others, but a redefined concept of masculinity means power and control over oneself and one's own appetites and the courage to work to protect vulnerable people and advance justice.
Winston Churchill once observed that the power of man has grown in every sphere except over himself. Here, Churchill puts his finger on one of the biggest problems we face today: People who may know what is right and have been fully educated in terms of what is right still do not always have the will or virtues required to exercise the necessary power over their whims and appetites. The exercise of that power over self is vitally important in order to be a good person and a good citizen. A person without the virtues of justice and self-control can never be truly happy or resilient.
A redefined masculinity would emphasize justice and control of self, not personal gratification and the domination of others. I worry that in so many domains modern governments emphasize rules but not virtues, training but not the development of character. We need to give more considerations to the lessons virtue ethics can provide for combatting evils like sexual harassment and assault. I hope those who are developing these training programs for judges as well as for young people, educators, former offenders, etc., will take into consideration the important insights of the virtue tradition.
I want to take the remainder of my speech today to just respond to some of the points made. My colleague from Sarnia—Lambton spoke very eloquently about many different issues. She spoke about the importance of jurisdictions. This bill is an action in federal jurisdiction but it reminds us as well that there is other action that needs to be taken in other levels of government. The debate we are having today can hopefully be an impetus for further conversations.
My colleague from Sarnia—Lambton also spoke about the issue of rape culture. It is worth revisiting the important work done in the last Parliament that was initiated by my colleague, the member for Peace River—Westlock, on understanding the impact violent sexual images can have on especially young boys who see those images. We need policy changes that specifically combat rape culture, such as having requirements for meaningful age verification on the Internet. We should not be allowing young boys to access violent sexual images on the Internet. By instituting mechanisms for meaningful age verification, we could provide greater protections to ensure there are not those aspects of rape culture shaping the early sexualization of young boys.
I want to salute the member for Sarnia—Lambton and the member for Peace River—Westlock for the work they have done on those issues. I hope we will see, in the spirit of meaningful action on these issues, things like meaningful age verification. I will be picking up my remarks when we return.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, shortly after leaving politics, the Liberal MP Frank Baylis was awarded a $237-million contract to make medical ventilators. Since then, billions of dollars have been awarded to companies we have never heard of. The government cites national security reasons to avoid telling us who is getting these contracts. As we saw with the WE scandal, the Liberals often hide the truth from Canadians.
We want to know if the Liberals are awarding these contracts to their friends.
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Anand Profile
2020-10-01 14:37 [p.425]
Mr. Speaker, let me start by saying we made all of our contracts public on our website at the end of July in the interest of full transparency for Canadians.
With regard to the contract mentioned, it was actually with a company called FTI Professional Grade, for $237 million for 10,000 ventilators. There is no contract with Frank Baylis. The contract that is referenced is with FTI, so the question is actually irrelevant.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-01 15:10 [p.431]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, page 623 of Bosc and Gagnon states, “The proceedings of the House are based on a long-standing tradition of respect for the integrity of all Members. Thus, the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the House is strictly forbidden.”
Today, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement called the question from my colleague for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles “irrelevant”. She may have also inadvertently misled the House. In fact, I have great respect for the minister; she is a learned law professor. She suggested his question was irrelevant because the contract for ventilators was with a company FTI Professional.
Let me pierce the corporate veil. A press release this year from Baylis Medical said, “The Baylis V4C-560 ventilator, manufactured in partnership with FTI Professional Grade Inc. (FTI), and Baylis Medical, is part of the order commissioned—
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Anand Profile
2020-10-01 15:12 [p.431]
Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the House for the use of the word “irrelevant”. However, I reiterate the point that the contract between the Government of Canada—
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Anand Profile
2020-10-01 15:14 [p.432]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I find it strange that the Leader of the Opposition was able to say his point, but I am not able to respond it, and you actually—
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-09-29 14:25 [p.244]
Mr. Speaker, we could have debated this legislation for six weeks, but the back the Prime Minister had was his own when he shut down Parliament to cover up for the WE scandal. We will take no lessons from him on playing political games.
The Prime Minister refuses to listen to small businesses, farmers, energy workers, fishers, everyday Canadians and the members of Parliament they have elected. He is acting in a dictatorial way and is doing this primarily to avoid accountability and to cover up his own scandal.
Why does the Prime Minister put his own interests ahead of the interests of Canadians and democracy?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-09-29 14:26 [p.244]
Mr. Speaker, we are facing a second wave of the pandemic right across the country and the Conservatives continue to want to talk about the WE Charity. We on this side of the House are focused on the pandemic. We are focused on delivering for Canadians.
While I am up here, allow me to take this opportunity to express to Canadians my encouragement to download the COVID Alert app. It is safe and free and an easy way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. I encourage everyone across the country to download COVID Alert and do their part to keep us all safe.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-09-28 14:22 [p.176]
Mr. Speaker, six weeks ago when Bill Morneau, the finance minister, resigned, it was clear the Prime Minister was going to do whatever it took to shut down the noise around the WE scandal. He was more concerned about himself and covering his own hide than governing, so he locked up Parliament, wasting precious time that could have been used doing work for Canadians.
Does the Prime Minister not know that his scandals are not going to go away and that by trying to cover them up, he has put his own interests above the interests of Canadians, their lives, their livelihoods and their peace of mind?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I do not know about the members opposite, but speaking for the members on this side of the House, I can say that we have all been very hard at work over the past six weeks. We put together the safe restart agreement at the beginning of the summer because we knew that a second wave would be coming. That is why we knew we needed to give the provinces $19 billion to help us get ready together. Then, just a few weeks ago, we knew it was a priority to get kids safely back to school, which was another $2 billion.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2020-09-25 11:10 [p.115]
Mr Speaker, Parliament is back after six weeks of prorogation. The Prime Minister hopes Canadians have forgotten the investigations, but his government cannot escape the light that will shine on the truth of his scandals and the failures intertwined. At a time when we face a crisis that is so deep and sinister, the Prime Minister's follies have cost him his late finance minister. While Canadians look on wondering when it will end, Conservatives stand up for Canada to serve and defend.
To my constituents and to all Canadians, I do say that there is hope, hope for better days when trust, sense and patriot love are restored, and we shed this broken government that we have grown to abhor. More than hope, today we must believe that change is needed to vanquish those who deceive. Change that is stronger; change that will get the job done; change we believe in, and change to overcome.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister locked the doors of Parliament to cover up his WE scandal under the guise of a Speech from the Throne that would address the pandemic. However, the throne speech was nothing but a litany of recycled Liberal broken promises that leaves countless numbers of people behind.
This Prime Minister has no plan to deal with the health crisis, no plan to deal with job losses and no plan to address divisions in our country. Why did the Prime Minister waste all of this time just to cover up his scandal, instead of using it to help Canadians?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-09-24 14:20 [p.62]
Mr. Speaker, the pandemic is the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced. The last six months have revealed fundamental gaps in our society and in countries around the world. For those who are already struggling, the pandemic has been even more difficult.
We must address the challenges of today and support vulnerable people for the future. We will take bold action on health, on the economy, on equality and on the environment. Those are the things that Canadians expect while we continue to have their backs through this pandemic and chart a better course for a brighter future for all Canadians.
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