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Results: 1 - 15 of 2699
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, this week, our leader and our party presented a comprehensive plan that will bring about real change in Ottawa, a plan that Canadians can get behind.
As our party's democratic reform critic, I am proud to say that we are committed to ensuring that the upcoming federal election will be the last one to be conducted under the outdated first-past-the-post system.
Our plan calls for the creation of a special all-party parliamentary committee that will engage Canadians far and wide—not just those in provinces that have already discussed democratic reform, but in provinces where democratic reform has not been discussed.
This is just one element of our plan. It will help to modernize governance in this country while ensuring that Canadians get a political system that is open and transparent.
I would like to apologize if my statement is interrupting the heckles from the Conservative Party.
Finally, I would also say that this is what Canadians want and deserve: an open and fair government.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, now that the summer is here, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel they are not being treated fairly regarding the recreational cod fishery or the food fishery.
For example, the season in our province is much smaller than the season in the other provinces, and this makes it very difficult for our citizens and also dangerous for them as well. Also, for tour boat operators such as Graham Wood and David Boyd, their customers cannot keep their catch, whereas customers in other provinces can take their catch home.
The question is very simple: When will the minister stop dictating and when will this discrimination end?
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, with your permission, if we could revert to introduction of private members' bills, I have two bills that I would like to introduce.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-702, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act (by-election duration and vacant seat).
He said: Mr. Speaker, this is unrelated and I apologize for including it, but I would like to assure the member for Essex that after 10 years I am indeed standing.
Bill C-702 would amend section 57 of the Canada Elections Act in that once the writ for a byelection is officially issued, the maximum length of the campaign period cannot be more than 44 days. The bill would amend section 31 of the Parliament Act requiring that the writ must be issued within 30 days.
I would like to thank my assistant, David Graham, for his tireless work on this bill.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-703, An Act to establish a commemorative monument for search and rescue personnel in Canada.
He said: Mr. Speaker, the bill calls for the creation of a search and rescue commemorative monument in order to recognize the services and contributions of search and rescue personnel across Canada. This is to commemorate the death of those in the service of all Canadians, who provide safety to all citizens. It is not just for the members of national defence, such as 103 Search and Rescue Squadron, which is in Gander in my riding, but also for the volunteer organizations and the police officers who provide such a valuable service to all Canadians. We wish them the best. We would set up this monument to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the service of others.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
View Jack Harris Profile
2015-06-18 14:30 [p.15292]
Mr. Speaker, Veronica Park died in April while serving a three-year sentence at the Nova Institution for Women a few days after complaining of respiratory problems. Instead of helping her family understand how she died, Correctional Service officials deliberately ignored media questions in an effort to suppress coverage, and even told her family they had to file an access to information request to find out the cause of death.
This callous behaviour is shameful and totally disrespectful to her family. Will the minister apologize?
View Judy Foote Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, it is simply unbelievable that in this day and age, the Chief of the Defence Staff would excuse sexual harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces as “biological wiring”. What is even more shocking is that the Prime Minister refuses to fire him. The Prime Minister cynically claims outrage but then refuses to take any action.
I have a simple question. When will the Prime Minister do the right thing in the interest of all who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces and fire the Chief of the Defence Staff immediately?
View Judy Foote Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I rise to salute three men from my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's, whose bravery and quick action averted a tragedy on June 1.
While driving along the Trans-Canada Highway west of Channel-Port aux Basques, Clifford Lillington of Margaree and Ernie Meade of Fox Roost came upon an accident where a pickup truck had plunged over an embankment into water.
Of the two men in the truck, Clyde Chant and John Caines, John could not swim. Clifford searched for a rope while Ernie attempted to swim to the victims, only to have to turn back because of the extremely cold water. When the truck became completely submerged, John was left in a life or death situation. Ernie again braved the waters and managed to get John close enough to shore where Clifford, joined by Roland Sheaves of Port aux Basques, who witnessed the attempted rescue, helped to get most of the water from John's lungs.
Deflecting any reference to heroism, Ernie said “We are thankful the men are OK and that is all that matters”.
I ask all members to join me in recognizing the bravery of Clifford Lillington, Ernie Meade and Roland Sheaves.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2015-06-17 16:41 [p.15223]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present this petition, on behalf of my constituents, calling for an inquiry into violence against women and girls in this country. They are asking that the government pay heed to what is going on and feel that justice is needed for many of those women and girls who have gone missing or have been murdered. They feel that a national inquiry is necessary to get to the root cause of this and are calling on the Government of Canada to do that. I support them in this petition.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2015-06-17 16:49 [p.15225]
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions about the same issue. The petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to improve the wait times at Service Canada. They are asking that the processing time to deal with many Service Canada programs be reduced. The petitioners are saying that things like guaranteed income supplements and other applications are backlogged, and sometimes the wait time can be up to six months. They are asking for that to be changed.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, a report released today entitled “Dismantling Democracy: Stifling debate and dissent in Canada” outlines the shameful record of the Conservatives over the past 10 years. It is more evidence that Ottawa is indeed broken.
Today our leader introduced a comprehensive plan that focuses on a more transparent government, giving Canadians a voice in Ottawa, open and fair elections, evidence-based policy, and better service for all Canadians.
How is it that the current Conservative government that came to power promising more transparency has become the least transparent government in Canada's history?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2015-06-16 17:58 [p.15179]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak to the motion brought forward by my colleague, the member for St. Paul's, who is also the aboriginal affairs critic for the Liberal caucus. The motion was seconded by my colleague, the member for Etobicoke North, who happens to be the critic for the Status of Women in the Liberal caucus.
My colleagues have come to the House of Commons today, asking that there be an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, simply because it is what Canadians are asking for. Over the number of years that we have sat in the House of Commons, going back to the Sisters in Spirit report in 2009, people across Canada have asked for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.
Today, while we still have many victims and their families out there, while we still have people grieving for their lost ones, while we still have indigenous leaders, advocates, the international community and every provincial and territorial government asking for this, including members in our caucus in the House of Commons, the government continues to refuse to act on those requests and recommendations.
This is a very serious issue, one that has affected many indigenous women and girls in our country. In fact, if we were looking at this from an international perspective, Canadians all across the country would be saying that this was unbelievable and that something needed to be done.
It is no different in Canada. It is hard to imagine that we have so many indigenous women and girls who are being abused, murdered and are victims of violence, yet we see no action to call an inquiry into the root causes of this problem.
Just a while ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 recommendations. Those recommendations were with regard to the unfinished journey of healing and reconciliation for indigenous people. In that report, there was also a call to action for government. It called on the government, in consultation with aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the victimization of aboriginal women and girls.
Recommendation 41 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report directly asks the Government of Canada to do this. It asks the government to investigate missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, and to look at links to the intergenerational legacy of residential schools.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission did not make the decisions of the report lightly. It did so after tremendous thought and insight, and after tremendous consultation and input. This is what it firmly believes as indigenous people in Canada.
In addition, we have had so many more speak out. We have heard from the victims and families. In my riding, the life of a young woman by the name of Loretta Saunders was taken. Her sister, Delilah Saunders, a brave young woman, stood for her sister to call for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. She stood with her mother who called for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. She stood with many others across Canada. Unfortunately, their voices are still not being heard by the Conservative government.
What about the family of Bernice Rich, a young Inuit woman from Natuashish? She was murdered in her neighbouring community of Sheshatshiu. Her life was taken for no reason? Why? Because she was an aboriginal woman? Is her life not more valuable or as valuable as all others?
That is the sad commentary, when a murderer is on trial and can give no reason. There was absolutely no reason why this young women was victimized, terrorized and murdered.
I would challenge the government to view the Highway of Tears, which my colleague from St. Paul's had invited so many members to do. I went to that viewing and I saw the numbers of women who were missing or whose lives were lost on the Highway of Tears. I sat in that room that evening with family members who were grieving. In their grief they are looking for healing, and in that healing they are looking for action from the Government of Canada. It is so sad to look into their eyes and faces. It is so sad to look at them when they tell us the stories of the many women who have been lost and murdered yet there has been no action to get to the root of the problem.
We know that this can be changed. We live in a society of hope. We live in a society where we know that change can happen, but that change takes all of us working together to make that difference. The government has not been prepared to work to make that difference despite the fact that in May 2014 the RCMP released a report which identified almost 1,200 indigenous women and girls who had gone missing or had been murdered since 1980 in Canada. It also noted that despite the fact that indigenous women represented only 4% of women in Canada, this demographic accounted for 8% of female homicide victims in 1984 and a staggering 23% by 2012.
As of 2012, one in four female homicide victims in this country is indigenous. Last summer, in the wake of the Tina Fontaine murder in Winnipeg, which we are all very much aware of, and on which my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North, has risen in this House in previous days to ask questions, we heard the Prime Minister's insensitive comment when he said, “we should not view this as sociological phenomenon” and dismissed the root causes as part of the problem. How can he do that when he leads a country where 1,200 indigenous women and girls have gone missing? How can he say that when we have seen the percentage of indigenous women go from 8% of those female victims of homicide to 23% in just a few years? How can he say that when he looks at the families of Tina Fontaine, Loretta Saunders, Bernice Rich, and of so many more?
It gets worse because as the families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls have been clear that they have not been listened to, treated with respect or felt supported by the government opposite, the Prime Minister then made another shocking admission during his year-end interview with Peter Mansbridge when he said that this issue is not high on his radar. He not only shocked the families that are grieving and suffering the loss of loved ones, but he shocked the nation, a nation that feels that there should be an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, a nation that feels that getting to the root causes of this would change it, a nation that lives in hope for action.
We call upon the members of the House of Commons to support this motion that has been brought forward by the member for St. Paul's and by the Liberal caucus. We ask that members support an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in this country. Just as every province, territory, civil organization, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and many families have already asked for, we once again make that plea to the House of Commons.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, the member made the point that from the backbench he was able to talk to the front bench about how he wanted to make it more lenient for caregivers to access EI. I wonder if in the to and fro of the backbench and the front bench he was able to advocate not just for the caregivers but for the actual sick themselves, who only get 15 weeks of EI benefits. I think that should be expanded to more, and my private member's bill should be supported. I was wondering if he had that conversation as well.
View Scott Andrews Profile
Ind. (NL)
View Scott Andrews Profile
2015-06-15 15:07 [p.15070]
Mr. Speaker, for a number of years, the current government has promised the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador parity with the rest of Atlantic Canada when it comes to the food fishery. Still, we have one set of rules for the Maritimes and a different set of rules for Newfoundland and Labrador. The minister promised to look at all of the options last July, but still there has been no change. When will the government stop treating the residents of my riding and my province like second-class citizens and extend them the same rights to catch fish for food as fishers in her own province?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2015-06-15 17:17 [p.15092]
Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member opposite, and I know she speaks with conviction when she speaks to the budget. However, that conviction is hardly portrayed in areas of the country where we have seen tremendous job loss with little or no outreach from the Government of Canada.
One of those areas happens to be the riding that I represent in Labrador. In Labrador West, in the last year or more, we have seen the closure of Cliffs' Scully mine, an iron ore mine in Wabush. We have seen 150 more laid off in Labrador West at IOC's Rio Tinto mine. We have seen the closure of Labrador Iron Mines. We have seen development shut down at Alderon mines and New Millennium.
In essence, we have seen nearly 1,000 people in a small region of 8,000 who have been thrown out of work. I would like to ask the government what it is prepared to do for those workers who right now are trying to hang onto their homes, hang onto their assets, feed their families and find new employment in this country. It has not been easy for them.
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