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Results: 1 - 60 of 2165
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-06-20 10:06 [p.29463]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a document entitled “2018-19 Annual Report for the Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces”.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
View René Arseneault Profile
2019-06-19 14:09 [p.29382]
Mr. Speaker, in 2015, Canadians placed their trust in us to put an end to 10 years of austerity.
Four years later, our numbers do not lie. Our policies have lifted over 825,000 people out of poverty, including 100,000 seniors and more than 278,000 children. We now have the lowest level of poverty in Canadian history.
We have cut taxes for families and small businesses, one million jobs have been created since we were elected and we have the lowest unemployment figures in 50 years.
For rural regions, we doubled the gas tax fund by investing an extra $2.2 billion for municipal projects across Canada. We also announced over $164 million for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Small communities in Canada need this infrastructure.
Our government has invested in Canadians and their communities. The results are plain to see, and now is not the time for a return to the harmful policies of the opposition.
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
2019-06-19 14:12 [p.29382]
Mr. Speaker, as I walked up the Hill last night, I took pause to look at the beauty of Parliament Hill and all that it represents. Serving the people of Fundy Royal in this 42nd Parliament has been a true honour and the most challenging work of my life.
To understand local and national issues and to represent the interests of my constituents is a duty that I have not taken lightly. I am inspired by local community leaders, organizations and individuals, who are all as passionate as I am about the future of our area.
By working together, we have delivered supports for people at all stages in their lives, and we are making real progress. Over 14,000 children in Fundy Royal are better off today thanks to the Canada child benefit. As well, 825,000 Canadians have been lifted out of poverty. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years and we finally have population growth in Atlantic Canada.
I thank the people of Fundy Royal for working with me and inspiring me. This is what working for Fundy Royal truly looks like. Together, I know we will continue to make a difference when I am sent back here as the member of Parliament for Fundy Royal.
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
2019-06-19 16:28 [p.29405]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of the good people of Fundy Royal, as well as hundreds of other Atlantic Canadians.
I should note that a number of members of Parliament, across party lines and from all regions of the country, have been filing similar petitions with respect to the rights of farmers and the use, reuse, exchange and selling of seeds.
The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to enshrine in legislation the inalienable rights of farmers and other Canadians to save, reuse, select, exchange and sell seeds.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the unique challenges that Canadians face when they are dealing with autism. That is why we are taking action to support them through community-based projects, a national research and exchange network program to help them find work and groundbreaking new research.
We will continue to work with community groups, caregivers and others to ensure that all Canadians with autism get the support and the help they need.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleague from Manitoba for his important work on the health committee and also his advocacy for pharmacare.
No Canadian should have to choose between putting food on their table and paying for prescription medication. That is why our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program, and the work is under way. In budget 2019, there are $35 million to create the Canadian drug agency and also $1 billion to address the high cost of rare diseases.
We will not rest until every Canadian has access to a national pharmacare program.
View Wayne Long Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Wayne Long Profile
2019-06-17 14:03 [p.29175]
Mr. Speaker, unions built the middle class in Saint John—Rothesay, and today, unions like IBEW, CUPW, CUPE, PSAC, ILA, Unifor, IAFF, and SJPA, and union leaders like Darlene Bembridge, Duane Squires, Craig Melvin, Erin Howell-Sharpe, Tammy Nadeau, Pat Riley, Kevin Suttie, and Jean Marc Ringuette are pillars of my community.
In 2015, the people of Saint John—Rothesay sent me here to stand up for them. One of the ways I have done just that since taking office is by standing up for my constituents' collective bargaining rights, both in this House and at HUMA, where I was tremendously proud to stand up for Bill C-4 and Bill C-62 to repeal of Conservative anti-union legislation in both places.
I will always stand up for the rights of workers in my riding, and I will always stand up for good middle-class jobs for the people of Saint John—Rothesay.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be part of a government that makes historic investments in health in order to respond to the needs of Canadians today and in the future. We have invested more than $11 million in mental health care and home care.
We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that Canadians continue to be proud of their health care system.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that has made historic investments in the areas of mental care and home care. To make sure that we could meet the needs of Canadians today and also tomorrow, we have invested more than $11 billion in the areas of home care and mental health. From there, we continue to work with the provinces and territories, as we want to make sure that our health care system remains a point of pride for all Canadians.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, unlike the Harper Conservatives, we know abortion rights are protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we will always defend those rights.
We believe all Canadian women should have access to safe abortion services. That is why we stood up for reproductive health options in all parts of Canada, including expanding access to Mifegymiso in different parts of the country, including rural areas, to ensure that everyone would have access to abortion services.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. Our government is absolutely committed to making sure that every Canadian has access to a national pharmacare program, and the work is absolutely under way.
In budget 2019, we announced funding: $35 million for the creation of a Canadian drug agency, and also $1 billion to address the situation of rare diseases. We will continue to work with our partners on the ground, provinces and territories, indigenous leaders and the health care sector, as we want to make sure that we make pharmacare a reality for all Canadians.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, once again, I want to be very clear. Our government is determined to ensure that all Canadians have access to a pharmacare program. The work is in progress.
In budget 2019, we announced $35 million to create a Canadian drug agency. We also want to ensure that there is money for it. We invested $1 million to address the issue of drugs for rare diseases. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, we agree that Canadians should not have to choose between putting food on their table and paying for prescription medication. That is why we are committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program. The work has been under way for a few years.
The first thing we have done is some work to lower the costs of drugs in the country. In budget 2019, we announced $35 million to ensure we would have a Canadian drug agency that would help us make this plan a reality.
We are deeply committed to ensuring that all Canadians have the prescriptions they deserve.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, the numbers that were announced yesterday are not just numbers; they are our brothers, sisters and neighbours. Our government is taking action.
We have invested more than $350 million to ensure more treatments are available to Canadians. We have also introduced harm reduction as a key pillar to our drug strategy. Also, we have approved more than 40 supervised consumption sites. We recognize that supervised consumption sites save lives.
We will continue to work with our partners on the ground to ensure we do all that we can to turn the tide on this national public health crisis.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, we are determined to do everything we can to lower the price of drugs. For the past two years, we have been working jointly with the pan-Canadian pharmaceutical alliance to bring together the provinces and territories on a bulk purchasing arrangement. We have saved billions of dollars so far.
We are also in the process of modernizing the regulations affecting drugs and changes will be announced soon.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I will repeat once again for my colleague that we are committed to doing everything we can to lower the cost of drugs. We do hope to bring forward a national pharmacare program, so one of our priorities is lowering the cost of drugs.
We have been doing our job from day one. We joined the pan-Canadian pharmaceutical alliance, bringing together all provinces and territories. We have saved millions of dollars so far. We are currently modernizing drug regulations. Once again, as I said earlier, we will be announcing changes to the regulations in the near future.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-13 11:10 [p.29040]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in support of Bill C-68. As the representative for New Brunswick Southwest, I heard throughout the campaign and over the last four years from the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association and the Fundy North Fishermen's Association of the hurt that has happened in our coastal communities without owner-operator legislation.
Could the minister speak to what he has heard and how this will help our coastal communities be more secure and comfortable?
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-06-13 14:11 [p.29058]
Mr. Speaker, congratulations go to Fredericton's own Jake Allen, who hoisted the Stanley Cup last night in a decisive game seven victory over our Boston Bruins.
Jake is the first Frederictonian since Danny Grant in 1968 to win hockey's holy grail. In fact, on the heels of Willie O'Ree's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, it has been a pretty good 12 months for NHL fans and our stars in Fredericton.
I am sure that Jake's biggest fan, Brad Pond, is sitting at home already planning the parade for when the Stanley Cup comes to town this summer. Like Brad, all of Fredericton was filled with pride as Jake lifted the cup over his head last night. I am sure that his great-grandfather Wilfred, a childhood buddy of mine, is looking down from above, smiling.
I hope Jake will enjoy the celebration with his teammates. We look forward to seeing him, Shannon and the two girls in Freddy Beach this summer where we can all have a sip out of Lord Stanley's mug.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, let us be clear: our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare plan.
We will be developing this plan, and to do that we need to work with the provinces, territories, the health care sector, indigenous peoples and all Canadians. We will not stop working on this file. We want to ensure that all Canadians have access to the drugs they need.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Our government is firmly committed to making sure all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program, and the work is well under way.
Over the past two years, we have been working to make sure we lower the price of drugs. In budget 2019, we have invested monies to make sure the funding is in place to create a Canadian drug agency.
We are in the process of modernizing the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board in order to once again make sure we lower the cost of drugs and are able to move forward with this program.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. Our government is absolutely committed to making sure that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program, and the work is well under way. That is why we launched the advisory council. We are very pleased that we received its report yesterday. I look forward to continuing to work with the provinces and territories, indigenous leaders and all the groups involved, as we want to make sure that all Canadians will have access to affordable medications.
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-06-13 14:55 [p.29066]
Mr. Speaker, one of the very first things the government did when it came to office was work with Canadians to help resettle now over 60,000 Syrian refugees in our country, something all of Canada is proud about.
Something else the government did was help resettle over 1,400 Yazidi women and girls, something the previous government could only do for three such people.
What else has the government done? It has committed to resettling over 1,000 vulnerable women and girls from some of the most conflict and persecuted areas across this world.
The Conservatives cannot even stand and say if they will maintain Canada's humanitarian leadership in the world through refugee resettlement.
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-06-13 15:03 [p.29068]
Mr. Speaker, our competitive edge is dependent on smart increases to immigration, something that this government has done and will continue to do.
However, someone is telling the Leader of the Opposition that we need fewer immigrants in Canada. Who is it? It is not families who were separated for seven years under Stephen Harper. It is not universities that see the $15 billion in our economy from international students. It is not businesses that want more immigrants to create another million jobs across the country. Who is telling the Leader of the Opposition to cut immigration? Who is whispering in his ear?
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleague for his important question. It also allows me an opportunity to reiterate our government's commitment to making sure that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program, and that work is well under way.
I would like to remind this House that in budget 2019 we received a funding commitment of $35 million to ensure the creation of a Canadian drug agency, which is the foundational piece for a national pharmacare program. We have also received $1 billion to address the area of rare diseases.
I look forward to working with provinces, territories, indigenous groups and others to make sure that all Canadians will have access to a pharmacare program.
View T.J. Harvey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View T.J. Harvey Profile
2019-06-13 18:12 [p.29093]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today during private members' hour to join in the debate on Bill C-331, and underscore our government's strong position on this bill.
Canadian companies have always had the ability to hold their heads up high when doing business around the world based on our reputation as a country, not only including our credibility from a financial standpoint but also given our strong record on human rights.
This government is a strong proponent of upholding strong human rights all around the world and is willing to work collaboratively with parties on all sides of the House to put strong legislation in place over the years to come to help strengthen those laws as well.
I am going to use this time to speak briefly about my riding as this will most likely be my last opportunity to speak in the House.
As my constituents and a lot of my colleagues are aware, I decided not to re-offer in the upcoming federal election. However, my feet remain firmly planted in my riding and I will be forever rooted in New Brunswick, my home and my future.
When I originally decided to run, I remember stating in my nomination speech that I was committed to building a great future for Tobique—Mactaquac and to work collaboratively with members on all sides of the House and all parties to do whatever was possible to help New Brunswickers, specifically those people in my riding. My willingness to work toward that goal has never wavered and I feel as committed to my riding today as I ever have.
My constituents are exemplary people who have shown time and time again to have the ability to not only perform but lead on the world stage. I am so incredibly proud of my province and very proud of my country.
I quickly realized as I took office the immense opportunities that ridings like Tobique—Mactaquac and other rural ridings across the country hold and continue to hold today. Not only in my riding, but from coast to coast to coast, the opportunities are endless.
It was once said that the reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is that it goes around wearing overalls and it looks like hard work. Believe me, I recognize opportunity. I have had immense opportunities in my life working in the private sector and it has been an immense privilege to have the opportunity to sit on behalf of the people of Tobique—Mactaquac here in the House of Commons over the last four years. Whether it involves wearing overalls or a three-piece suit, I certainly do not plan to stop seeing opportunities develop for all New Brunswickers and for those in Tobique—Mactaquac. It has been an immense privilege to have had the opportunity to work and be of service.
Over the past four years, we have made great strides in the right direction and yet there are so many opportunities left to come and so many people that have still been left behind. We all know those people: veterans struggling with PTSD; hard-working folks facing unemployment; young people burdened by student loans; seniors struggling on fixed incomes; sole-support mothers trying to make ends meet; aboriginal peoples facing discrimination and the legacy of residential schools abuse; persons with disabilities facing isolation and accessibility barriers in their own homes and communities; and new Canadians working hard to build their new lives. The list goes on. These people are our neighbours, our friends and our family. I am proud, along with my office staff, to have worked hard on their behalf but there is so much more that can be done and we need to continue to be mindful of these issues.
I personally ran to make a difference, to ensure that all kids have the opportunities here at home that truly reflect our amazing region, so that children in every family can excel and reach for their dreams, and to achieve true fiscal responsibility for big and small businesses alike, while recognizing that opportunities country-wide require federal leadership, especially when it comes to infrastructure renewal and new infrastructure. Our government has proven that it is capable of leading that charge. I am very proud of the developments that we have made as a federal government in terms of infrastructure over the last four years.
That is why I have worked hard as a member of Parliament over the past four years serving as chair of the all-party agricultural caucus and chairing the national Liberal rural caucus for a year. In the past, I sat as regional director for provincial ridings in Carleton—York, Carleton—Victoria and Victoria—La Vallée. I worked with the Rotary Club in my local riding. I think that self-service is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to this place. All this and more has made me passionate about public service and about representing my constituents.
As the member of Parliament for Tobique—Mactaquac, I have strongly advocated for continued supply management and investment in agricultural robotics; safe and responsible natural resource development; rural economic development; investment in rural infrastructure; accessibility and visitability, and I am very proud to have worked collaboratively with my colleagues in the House on this; a healthy local economy; improved stewardship of our environment; better, more affordable education; open, fair and strong democratic representation; and the list goes on. I have never pretended to have all the answers. I believe it is more important to ask the right questions and then work to find solutions.
I would like to cite one of my favourite quotes that first came to me from an agricultural producer in my riding. He used to say that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. I believe that public service means giving one's time and talents and providing the resources necessary to improve the lives of others. This approach was adopted by my office from the outset and as the member of Parliament for Tobique—Mactaquac, I have always strived to meet this as a public servant.
I hear what people want and need from their representatives: public engagement, a voice that understands and truly reflects them and a willingness to work across the aisle with those who oppose or are different from us on certain issues. Partisan, divisive politics drives us apart, distracting us from the real priorities and the real work ahead. In New Brunswick, our communities are often close-knit and small, sometimes isolated and struggling. As politicians, our focus should always be on the kind of service that starts in our own homes and grows to embrace our communities and strengthen the general public good.
Serving as the member of Parliament for Tobique—Mactaquac has been so much more than a job. It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life and I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to provide a strong, independent New Brunswick voice on behalf of my constituents. I cannot express enough thanks to the residents of my riding for placing their trust in me. I am fortunate to have been part of policy changes and legislation which will leave a lasting, positive impact in the lives of so many constituents and Canadians, in general.
It has been said that there is no bad seat in the House of Commons and I honestly believe that to be true. I would like to acknowledge the friendships and dedication of the members from all sides of the House and the Senate as we worked together on the important issues facing Canadians. We may have had a few disagreements regarding process and policy, but I never had cause to question our collective objective of providing responsible and compassionate governance.
New Brunswick is my home and the place that I love most. I have always dedicated so much of my service advocating for rural economic development, small business growth, rural infrastructure, accessibility and a host of other issues that are important to New Brunswickers. I am proud of our accomplishments. I look forward to continuing to work with and advocate on behalf of New Brunswick businesses and the growth of our local economy. Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the economy and I know I can continue to play a role in their success and contribute to economic development for the benefit of those not only in my community but for New Brunswick as a whole.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers and those who have shared their time, concerns and advice with me and those who attended events and reached out to my office with their concerns around the issues that are important to them. I thank them for their support and encouragement. It is my intention to continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the people of New Brunswick and my constituents until the federal election. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead and thank all of the people of Tobique—Mactaquac for placing their trust in me. I would like to thank my family, my friends, my colleagues and all of the people who have made this journey possible for me, a worthwhile journey, indeed.
I would like to close by citing an old Gaelic blessing, one that my grandfather used often:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, the final report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of a National Pharmacare Program, entitled “A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All”.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-11 12:10 [p.28896]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, whom I share time with on the Standing Committee on International Trade, for his speech today. Over the last 15 years, we have not seen a significant growth of companies that have been trading internationally. Over the 10 years of the former Harper government, it was roughly 12% to 15%. We saw an increase in trade, but we are not seeing an increase in trade with the small to medium-sized exporters. In fact, I represent a riding in Atlantic Canada where 54% of businesses have one to four employees.
What did my colleague's government do to help the small to medium-sized exporters get involved in trade and to benefit to the extent that some of the larger exporters are?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-11 13:01 [p.28904]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Sydney—Victoria for sharing his time, for his very hard work and certainly for the flavour he adds to the Standing Committee on International Trade. The committee has truly been team Canada. Committee members have stood together and really understand the significance of trade. It is not as much a partisan issue as an issue that is real to every Canadian.
I am pleased to rise today to discuss the importance of this piece of legislation. As the member for New Brunswick Southwest, a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade, a certified international trade practitioner and a former professor of international trade, I truly understand the importance of creating trade opportunities. I have been proud to work with our government to secure trade agreements such as CIFTA, CPTPP and CETA.
Securing these trade agreements is vital to our Canadian economy. Exports and imports make up 60% of our economy. Our competitiveness depends on diversification and opening up new, emerging markets as well as on ensuring the continuation of free and fair trade with our current partners. We know that when we are able to make markets more accessible, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, we are able to grow our economy.
We have worked hard over the last three years to diligently diversify Canadian markets abroad, and the results speak for themselves: 14 new trade agreements, with 51 different countries, and a market of 1.5 billion consumers. Canadians now have preferred access to two-thirds of the global market, but our work is not done yet.
Our government has also launched the export diversification strategy, which will increase Canada's exports by 50%. The strategy will directly support Canadian businesses by investing in infrastructure to support trade, by providing Canadian businesses with more resources to reach overseas markets and by enhancing trade services for Canadian exporters.
We have also worked with Canadian companies to ensure that they are able to take full advantage of the trade agreements secured by our government. I was pleased when the Standing Committee on International Trade accepted my motion and studied supports for small to medium-sized businesses. One of the things we heard many times was how important free trade agreements and export readiness support are to small and medium-sized businesses. Without support, many, if not the majority, of small first-time exporters are not exporting in their second year.
Under the previous government, export readiness available through the Trade Commissioner Service was cut back to serve only companies already established overseas. This left small businesses unable to access foreign markets with ease and ensured that big businesses were the only ones able to profit from free trade.
Our government has reversed those cuts, ensuring that small businesses are able to benefit from free trade. We are increasing our exports and ensuring that any Canadians with global ambitions are able to access the support they need to create wealth and jobs.
Removing regulatory barriers to trade is essential for small and medium-sized businesses to be able to export. CUSMA would do exactly that, ensuring that Canadian businesses will be able to trade freely in North America.
I represent the riding of New Brunswick Southwest. We are, as my colleague from Sydney—Victoria mentioned, a border riding. In fact, we have five international border crossings. In New Brunswick Southwest, we understand the importance of ensuring free trade in North America. Our jobs and our economy depend on it. Many of my constituents cross the border multiple times a week for their jobs or groceries or to visit family and friends. Without the close co-operation as a result of free trade agreements and border alliance agreements, this would not be possible.
When the United States imposed illegal tariffs on our steel and aluminum, people in my riding were concerned about an escalating trade war. This is something they had never experienced. St. Stephen, a border town where my office is located, is closely connected to Calais, Maine, and its residents were particularly worried about these tariffs. These two towns share more than just a border. They also share fire services, and residents cross that border daily. Both mayors were concerned about the tariffs that were put in place, but I am happy to say that our government has reached a deal to end those illegal tariffs.
There was great uncertainty in my riding during the NAFTA renegotiations. Workers and their families were concerned for their jobs, their businesses and their clients.
In my province of New Brunswick, 90% of our foreign exports go to the United States. Ensuring that New Brunswickers maintained access to that market was critical, and we have delivered. CUSMA would ensure that New Brunswick would be able to trade freely for decades to come.
Canada is now the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with every other G7 country. Canada's unprecedented access to the global market has allowed us to act as a springboard between trading partners.
By securing both CETA and CUSMA, Canada would now be able to facilitate trade between Europe and the United States. This would be an excellent opportunity for Canadian companies to expand to broader markets and become part of the global supply chain. In fact, where my riding is located, on the coast of Maine, is actually a springboard between the United States and Europe.
Modernizing NAFTA has been a welcome opportunity for Canada. We were able to gain protections for Canadian workers, create opportunities for Canadian business and protect the environment and labour.
While many across the aisle called for us to back down, we held firm. Our government fought for a new NAFTA and got a deal that was good for Canadians. We did everything in our power to protect jobs, create more opportunities for Canadian workers and their families and ensure the growth of our economy. It has paid off.
By modernizing NAFTA, our government was able to deal with new challenges that were not present when the deal was originally signed. Issues like e-commerce and intellectual property rights in the digital age would now been addressed.
In CUSMA, we were able to obtain labour guarantees in Mexico that would ensure the fairer treatment of workers. CUSMA would see labour standards and working conditions in all three countries improve and would protect those who are vulnerable from being denied work based on gender, pregnancy or sexual orientation.
CUSMA would also ensure that workers' rights were protected. It includes commitments from all three countries to protect the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, including specific legislative actions that would be taken by Mexico to recognize the right to collective bargaining.
We did not stop at labour rights. We also ensured that CUSMA included a robust chapter on the environment to ensure that it would be protected. CUSMA includes commitments to enforce environmental protection laws and to address marine pollution. We included obligations for all three countries to combat illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging and illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.
CUSMA would also promote sustainable forestry and fisheries management, including a commitment to prohibit subsidies that negatively affect fish stocks.
Our government also secured innovative fisheries commitments to prevent the use of explosives and poisons and a binding commitment to prohibit the practice of shark finning, a first for Canada.
These are important issues in my riding. My constituents care deeply about the well-being of the environment, and many of our industries rely on it. I am proud to see that our government has fought for strong environmental protections.
I was proud to be part of the team that secured a new and better deal for the future, a deal that would protect middle-class jobs, allow small businesses to grow and protect labour and the environment.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-11 13:11 [p.28906]
Mr. Speaker, in New Brunswick, softwood lumber is a really critical issue, as it is in British Columbia. For decades, our area has been excluded from any tariffs. We also feel that the tariffs placed on New Brunswick softwood right now are unfair tariffs.
Anytime I have been to Washington, which has been numerous times, either with the trade committee or the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group, I have raised the issue of softwood lumber. I have met with the National Association of Homebuilders in the U.S., and I have spoken with the minister about it. It is not a forgotten issue. It is not part of NAFTA, but I know that it has been part of the discussions.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-11 13:13 [p.28906]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his work on the trade committee. It has been a long-standing relationship for three and a half years.
As Canadians we have an obligation to find the best agreement that is good for Canadians, certainly in tandem with the U.S. and Mexico. We ultimately need a deal that is best for Canadians, and I think this is the best agreement we are moving forward with. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs has said numerous times, it is not just any deal. It is the best deal. I look forward to seeing the details of this deal before the trade committee, even if that requires us to come back this summer.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-11 13:14 [p.28906]
Mr. Speaker, from talking with our international trade negotiators, I can say that we have the best in the world. The deals that have been ratified, the 14 agreements that we have reviewed as a trade committee, are very solid and quality deals. Any kind of element like the ISDS mechanism is an important one to review. Certainly, when we look at big pharma, there has been no other government in history that has put forward a pharmacare plan or extended the patents for 10 years.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Karen Ludwig Profile
2019-06-11 13:15 [p.28906]
Mr. Speaker, as someone who has taught international trade for over 20 years, to be sitting in Washington the week before the decision came forward regarding steel and aluminum was really a “pinch me” moment. To sit in the offices of members of Congress or senators with my colleagues as a small team and say that if the tariffs were not lifted we would not be ratifying the new NAFTA was a real turning point for me on the trade committee. We were very clear, and it was accepted. We now see that the tariffs have been lifted on steel and aluminum.
I would say to all parties in this House that, even after the deal has been ratified, we have a responsibility to continue that relationship. Just like with any family, we cannot take the relationship for granted. I think we have done a tremendous job in this House with respect to educating and creating greater awareness about our relationship, and we need to continue that.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-06-07 11:04 [p.28745]
Madam Speaker, yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history.
On that day, the men of the North Shore Regiment landed on the beaches of Normandy, and many of them did not return home to New Brunswick. One such soldier was Major Archie MacNaughton, a farmer from Black River Bridge. Archie enlisted during the First World War and did not hesitate to do so again in World War II. His story has inspired a new Heritage Minute, a short film that honours the wartime contributions by New Brunswick's storied North Shore Regiment.
This story inspired more than 200 students and teachers in my riding, who, along with Lieutenant-Colonel Dufour and the current North Shore Regiment, went on a D-Day anniversary trip. Along with my constituents in Miramichi—Grand Lake, I am extremely grateful to these brave young men who made the ultimate sacrifice more than 75 years ago so that we could live in freedom and prosperity. We will remember them.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-06-07 11:42 [p.28753]
Madam Speaker, I want to compliment my colleague on his excellent French.
We are committed to supporting veterans in long-term care facilities across Canada by keeping them close to home and to their loved ones.
We are proud to provide financial support to over 5,000 veterans who are currently receiving care in one of the 1,300 provincial facilities we partner with.
Since this matter is currently before the courts, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-06-07 11:43 [p.28753]
Madam Speaker, as I said, since this matter is currently before the courts, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.
I find it very distressing to hear a Conservative member saying that we are not taking care of our veterans when the Conservatives made billions of dollars in cuts to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of National Defence, closed Veterans Affairs offices and laid off staff who processed claims.
We have invested over $10 billion in our veterans. We will always be there for our veterans to support them and to make sure they get the care they need.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-06-07 12:14 [p.28759]
Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food concerning the votes in the main estimates 2019-20 that were referred to the committee.
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-06-06 14:50 [p.28702]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising this request in the House of Commons. She knows that she can speak to me or the minister about such cases, but that we cannot discuss this or any other case on the floor of the House of Commons.
Family reunification is a priority for this government. We have implemented extraordinary measures to reunite refugees with their families. That is essential to provide families in this country with psychological, social and economic support, and it will continue to be a priority in the years to come.
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
2019-06-06 16:19 [p.28715]
Madam Speaker, the Conservatives have said that the legalization of cannabis would lead to a catastrophe. That seemed to be the theme of the member's speech. So far, however, the facts speak for themselves.
We have seen a decline in the criminal share of cannabis from 51% to 38% in the first three months as opposed to last year. There is no sign of an increase in youth consumption, impaired driving problems or at the border.
Will the member concede that the Conservatives' doomsday predictions are a bit unfounded?
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
2019-06-06 17:06 [p.28721]
Madam Speaker, I know Liberals have differences of opinion with the NDP on how to proceed to clear people of their criminal records for possession. However, when the head of the campaign for Cannabis Amnesty, who shares a lot of the NDP's views, was asked in committee whether Bill C-93 was a positive step, she said it absolutely was.
We can talk about the differences of opinion in the House, but would the NDP see fit to help the people impacted by existing convictions to get jobs, housing and education, and support us by voting for this bill?
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
View René Arseneault Profile
2019-06-04 14:18 [p.28496]
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want to govern, but Canadians have not forgotten their record from the last time.
Here are a few of the Conservatives' highlights. The previous Liberal government left them a $13-billion surplus, and the Conservatives turned it into the worst accumulation of debt in Canadian history: almost $150 billion in 10 years. With pipelines, there is nothing to highlight. On the environment, they did nothing on climate change, but they muzzled scientists.
As far as social programs are concerned, the Conservatives closed veterans services offices, eliminated the court challenges program, cut funding to women's rights organizations and abandoned our seniors, not to mention their contempt for first nations.
In four years, our government has supported the middle class, lowered taxes for small businesses and created one million jobs. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in 40 years, and we have a plan for fighting climate change.
Under the Liberals, poverty among children and seniors is declining. Under the Conservatives, it is Canada that declines.
View T.J. Harvey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View T.J. Harvey Profile
2019-06-03 11:51 [p.28383]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise here today to speak to Bill S-214, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act.
I want to congratulate the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton, not only for sponsoring the bill, which originated in the other place, but for the co-operative approach she has adopted in ensuring that the legislation would achieve its objectives in a way that could be supported by both the animal advocacy community and the industries being regulated. Too often, these initiatives, which most of us support, digress into combative false dichotomies that pit one group against the other, to the detriment of the overall objective. That may be a useful exercise in terms of attention and fundraising, but it does not serve the public interest well and it does not serve public policy goals well. In many cases, it actually makes the situation worse.
This brings me to the central question: What is the objective of Bill S-214? The legislation, as tabled in the House, purports to end the practice of testing cosmetics on animals in Canada, even going so far as to describe the outcome, in the bill's short title, as cruelty-free. What is particularly interesting about this communication strategy is that even the original sponsor of the bill admitted during debate that there was virtually no animal testing of cosmetics in Canada, and she went on to praise the advancements the cosmetics industry has made in the development and implementation of alternative testing methods here in Canada.
I would like to reference the factual comments by the sponsoring member in the other place made during the second reading debate on Bill S-214, on Wednesday, February 3, 2016:
Currently, more than 99 per cent of all safety evaluations related to cosmetics products or their ingredients are now being conducted without animal testing as the Canadian industry has adopted alternative testing methods....
Our cosmetics industry should be commended for moving forward towards eliminating this backward practice.
We can all agree that eliminating this practice is moving forward on the issue and that a narrative that vilifies the Canadian cosmetics industry under these circumstances is both irresponsible and fundamentally dishonest. In fact, this admission by the sponsoring senator resulted in one of her colleagues on the Senate committee studying the bill to question the need for the bill at all.
Although it may appear that what we have here is a piece of legislation in search of a problem, I feel that by reaching out to all the stakeholders, the member for Sarnia—Lambton, along with Health Canada, has used this opportunity to put together a potential bill that would bring some needed consistency and clarity to the application of this overall and global objective.
Mr. Darren Praznik, president and chief executive officer of Cosmetics Alliance Canada and a former minister of health in the province of Manitoba, in his testimony before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, provided a solid rationale for moving ahead with this initiative in the absence of any pressing domestic need. He said:
If properly done, where we can all make this work...and we don’t create some absurdities in regulation, I think it sends a very symbolic message to the world to get on with the work generally about eliminating animal testing and developing alternatives, scientifically, to eliminate animal testing. It also sends a message to regulatory authorities that when those [alternatives] are developed and validated by regulators that they should be used as the [primary] method of approving safety.
I would certainly agree with that sentiment and applaud the responsible manner in which the sector has engaged in this process. The cosmetics industry in Canada is made up of hundreds of individual companies and employs thousands of Canadians. Due to the intricate nature of globalization, the sector is both a major importer and exporter of products. Whenever we as legislators contemplate making regulations, especially ones that are questionable in the domestic context, we must ensure that we do not put Canadian industry and jobs unnecessarily at risk while we also look at the global good and the performance of public policy.
Today, as legislators, we must deal with the actual bill that is before us now. I quote from the bill as written:
cosmetic animal testing means the topical application or internal administration of any cosmetic or ingredient of any cosmetic to a live non-human vertebrate to evaluate its safety or efficacy for the purpose of developing or manufacturing a cosmetic.
Drawing on my own experience in regulated industry, when I look at this proposed bill through the lens of regulatory compliance, I have two specific questions that pertain to the actual implementation of this bill.
First, based on this definition of cosmetic animal testing, would testing a dog shampoo on a dog prior to putting the product on the market be considered cosmetic animal testing? Second, if the cosmetics industry wished to use an ingredient, let us say a chemical preservative that is currently being used in a health food product, which would require animal testing, based on Health Canada's approval process, would that subsequent cosmetic use be allowed under Bill S-214, even though no additional animal testing would occur?
I ask these questions to underscore the difference between a policy that is supported and the regulatory instruments chosen to implement it. If I understand correctly, and I realize that this chamber has a duty to deal responsibly with a public bill originating in the other place, we are being asked to vote on whether there is agreement in principle for a bill that requires at least seven amendments that we have yet to see and evaluate.
I am certainly heartened by the comments from the government that it plans to introduce the necessary amendments to the existing bill and that any new bill introduced in the next Parliament would incorporate this approach as well. I also wonder if the amendments being proposed would be considered outside the scope of the original bill, as passed by the other place, and whether the sponsoring member of the other place would agree to allow these changes.
As we all know, complex regulations are often used as non-tariff barriers, and as I stated earlier, bringing consistency and clarity to this issue is useful. In addition, we need to examine closely how our major trading partners in the European Union, one of the leading jurisdictions on this issue, have approached animal testing regulations. Given that the EU has not only set the precedent in this area but has also had implementation time to make the necessary adjustments to the administrative and logistical details, it becomes clear that any initiative we undertake must align with what the EU is doing, albeit in a manner that is consistent with our domestic regulatory framework.
If we take note of where we are in the electoral calendar, clearly the clock will run out on this current initiative, but I feel that a new bill in the next Parliament, one that is based on stakeholder consensus reached through this process and based on the manner in which the member for Sarnia—Lambton has approached this bill, will serve Canadians very well.
In closing, I want to reiterate my praise for the member for Sarnia—Lambton and my support for the realistic and inclusive approach she has chosen for this initiative. I want to recognize as well the government and the ministry, for putting in the work to ensure that the end result will bring clarity and consistency to the issue, and the animal advocacy sector and the cosmetics industry, for recognizing the importance of working together collaboratively.
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-06-03 14:13 [p.28405]
Mr. Speaker, 99% of all businesses in Canada are small and medium sized, yet only 16% are owned by women. When half of our population owns less than a quarter of our businesses, our economic potential is held back.
In Fredericton, Bethany Deshpande is an example of how, with support, women entrepreneurs drive the economic growth in Canada that has helped us create one million jobs.
In 2016, Bethany established SomaDetect to market technology that can measure all the key components of raw milk. Thanks to support from our government, this young innovative company now has 26 employees and works with farmers across North America.
Our investments helped SomaDetect grow its business, develop its technology, and trade across North America. Fredericton can be proud of SomaDetect. It is driving trade on our continent and creating jobs in our community.
Our government will always support women entrepreneurs like Bethany, because they will drive the economic growth that will create another million jobs in Canada.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the member for Davenport for her advocacy on behalf of thalidomide survivors.
Our government believes that thalidomide survivors deserve to live the rest of their lives in comfort and dignity. We have held a dialogue with the community and listened to their concerns with respect to the original program, which is why the new Canadian thalidomide survivors support program will use a probability-based medical assessment process to determine eligibility. I am very pleased to announce that the applications were officially launched today.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-05-30 12:30 [p.28279]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House and add my voice to today's report stage debate regarding Bill C-93, the government's cannabis pardon legislation.
Let me say at the outset that I will continue to use the term “pardon” in my remarks, rather than “record suspension”.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank my hon. colleagues for their contributions to the bill. I appreciated the thoughtful discussions we had on Bill C-93, both in this chamber and at committee. Those discussions and the close scrutiny the bill has undergone have helped shape the version that is now before us.
For those convicted only of simple possession of cannabis, Bill C-93 would streamline the process for getting a pardon in two main ways: It would waive the normal waiting period of up to 10 years, and it would eliminate the $631 application fee. In other words, under Bill C-93, people in this group would be eligible to apply for a pardon immediately after completing their sentence, and they would not need to pay the application fee.
The ultimate goal is to make it easier for them to reintegrate into society and have a better shot at a happy, productive and fulfilling life. Indeed, in the words of the Minister of Public Safety, the bill would have “life-changing impacts for people dealing with the burden and the stigma of a criminal record for cannabis possession.” I cannot overestimate just how significant a pardon is for those with a criminal record.
Registered nurse Louise Lafond explained it eloquently and succinctly in her testimony before the committee last December. Speaking on behalf of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Ms. Lafond compared the ability to apply for a pardon to “being able to turn that page over. The X [the criminal record] is still there, but they are able to pursue paths that were closed to them.”
That is why this bill is so important, and I am pleased that the review process at committee has resulted in a slew of worthwhile amendments. I commend the committee for working together so harmoniously to adopt those amendments. The already solid bill that was introduced by the Minister of Public Safety is today even better as a result of this tremendous work.
In particular, the changes strengthen the fairness aspect that is at the heart of the bill. One example is the series of amendments proposed by the hon. member for Toronto—Danforth and adopted by the committee. These amendments, all of which are connected, would allow people to apply for record suspensions even if they have outstanding fines associated with cannabis possession.
To be clear, those fines could still be enforced civilly, but the individual in question could have the criminal record set aside. As my hon. colleague said, those individuals “might have difficulty covering those costs, and that could pose a barrier to people who are applying for record suspensions.” It is a concern that has been raised by advocates and stakeholders, and it has now been addressed by the amendments in question.
Amendments introduced by the member for Toronto—Danforth also waive all waiting periods associated with cannabis possession convictions, even if people have other convictions on their record. They would still have to wait the full waiting period for those other offences, but if those waiting periods have all elapsed, they will not have to wait any additional time due to their conviction for cannabis possession. In other words, if a fine for simple possession of cannabis is still outstanding, that would not stop someone from being able to proceed with a pardon application.
Another important amendment was moved by the hon. member for Brampton North. As originally drafted, Bill C-93 allowed a member of the Parole Board of Canada to refuse a pardon application on the grounds that a conviction for simple possession of cannabis is relevant to good conduct. This could have created a situation where someone with a theft conviction from five years ago is denied pardon because a board member determined that a conviction last year for simple possession of cannabis demonstrated poor conduct.
With cannabis possession now legal in Canada, and people now freely, openly and legally consuming cannabis, that is unfair and, quite frankly, absurd. It goes against the government's intention to ensure that convictions for simple possession of cannabis do not continue to create barriers to reintegration.
I am so pleased to note that this part of the bill was amended at committee. The amendment would ensure that a conviction for cannabis possession was not taken into account as part of the good conduct review for people seeking pardons for other criminal offences. Ultimately, this would mean that people with other convictions on their records would not have convictions for simple possession of cannabis affect their ability to obtain pardons for other offences. This would be good for the applicant. It would also be good for society.
This brings us to the report stage amendments we are debating today. The first has to do with an amendment at committee by the member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner. The amendment would allow someone who had checked police stations and courthouses for records and come up empty-handed to provide a sworn statement that he or she had been convicted of only simple cannabis possession. Unfortunately, it would then require the Parole Board to check those same police stations and courthouses to ensure that the records were not there so that the board could be satisfied that it was truly only a simple cannabis possession charge. Under this amendment, the board would still need to see the record. Having local police and court staff perform another search in the same place would be a duplicative waste of effort. While well-intentioned, this amendment should be undone by the report stage amendment.
I would like to once again thank my hon. colleagues for their efforts in getting us to this point in the process on Bill C-93. I strongly support this important piece of legislation in its current form, and I encourage all hon. members of this House to do the right thing and pass it at third reading when the time comes for a vote.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-05-30 12:38 [p.28280]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I have certainly worked well on many topics at the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
The law was only passed last October, and there is still a lot of data collection to take place. We also know that what was there prior to that law being passed did not work. It has not worked for generations. I can recall my days in the early seventies when people who used cannabis were stigmatized. At the time, people called them hippies, or whatever. A lot of them are my friends and are people who are in good standing in society today. We know that we have to do things better, because some of them have criminal records that prevent them from doing good things in life.
There is still a lot to do. There is still a lot to learn and to possibly modify as we go along. However, it is the right path, and I am confident that this is good for society.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-05-30 12:40 [p.28280]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
We chose to suspend rather than expunge criminal records for simple cannabis possession. People will not have trouble getting a job with a record suspension unless they commit other offences. Suspension is the simplest and quickest way of doing things. It opens doors for all those who want to pursue a career and live the same way every other member of society does. We believe that this will solve the problem.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, our government will always support a woman's right to choose. We all believe that Canadian women deserve safe access to abortion services. This is why we have consistently defended health and reproductive options in all regions in Canada, for instance, by expanding access to Mifegymiso and making it available without a prescription.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 14:48 [p.28300]
Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, committees operate independently from the government and make their decisions based on their deliberations. I know that is hard for opposition members to understand, since they controlled the committees under Mr. Harper's government.
With respect to the trial of Vice-Admiral Norman, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada noted that no other factors were considered and that there was no political influence. Any accusation to the contrary by the opposition is absurd and unfounded.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 14:49 [p.28301]
Mr. Speaker, once again, I repeat that the committees operate independently from the government. It is the opposite of the way things were under the Harper government. Canadians can have confidence in our justice system.
This month, we supported a motion to recognize Vice-Admiral Norman for his service and to apologize to him and his family. We are also waiting to hear about next steps, because there have been discussions between General Vance and Vice-Admiral Norman.
The opposition's attempt to undermine the credibility of our country's justice system is totally absurd and unfounded.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 14:51 [p.28301]
Mr. Speaker, once again, as the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed this month, based on this month's decision on the charges against Vice-Admiral Norman, all decisions were made independently. No other factors were considered in the decision, nor was there any influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence.
My colleague should know that the PPSC and the RCMP operate independently from the government. If he does not know this, perhaps he would benefit from a law course. Once again, we will respect this country's judicial process and the deliberations of the committee.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 14:52 [p.28301]
Mr. Speaker, I will repeat it one more time for my colleague. She knows that committees operate independently of the government. She used to be part of our government, so she knows how our committees operate, compared with how they used to operate under the Harper government.
Once again, with respect to the trial of Vice-Admiral Norman, no other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any outside influence, political or otherwise.
We followed the process. There have been discussions between General Vance and Vice-Admiral Norman regarding his return to work. We will continue to follow the process, and we will wait for the decisions that ensue.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 18:54 [p.28333]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question during tonight's adjournment debate. This is not the first time this topic has come up during the adjournment debate.
It is important to reiterate that the charges against Vice-Admiral Norman have been stayed. As the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed, every decision was made independently and no other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any contact or influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence in either the initial decision to prosecute Mr. Norman or in the decision to stay the charges. We have said this a number of times in the House. Despite the opposition's efforts to raise this matter repeatedly, there was no political influence or any other kind of influence. We hope the opposition will respect the judicial process.
My colleague is well aware that the House unanimously adopted a motion to recognize Vice-Admiral Norman's service and to apologize to Mr. Norman and his family. The chief of the defence staff and Vice-Admiral Norman met last week and had a very cordial discussion.
With respect to legal fees, the deputy minister was very clear. She examined the current policy governing Vice-Admiral Norman's application for reimbursement of legal expenses. She shared her analysis with us, we agree with her and we are proceeding. Further information will be made available in due course as discussions are ongoing.
As we already addressed this matter in a previous adjournment debate, I would like to take this opportunity to speak about the investments and support our government is providing our men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, unlike the previous government, which repeatedly cut the defence budget and veterans' services.
Our government has made real progress on the single most important element of our defence policy: taking care of our people. We established the Canadian Armed Forces transition group to improve military members' experiences as they transition to life after military service. We also rolled out the seamless Canada initiative to improve the coordination of services across provinces and ease the burden of moving for military members and their families.
We have also enhanced services and expanded access to military family resource centres, and I had the opportunity to learn more about them when I visited the centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Their staff is doing amazing work in providing all the necessary services to the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces during their transition, particularly by helping them find housing and a family physician when they are posted to another military base.
We also expanded relocation benefits available for military members by updating the Canadian Armed Forces relocation policies. Furthermore, we enacted a retroactive pay increase for military members to ensure world-class compensation for our women and men in uniform.
Canadians can therefore be proud of the work accomplished by the members of the Canadian Armed Forces, whether it be responding to natural disasters, during overseas missions, providing search and rescue or defending our sovereignty. That is why taking care of our men and women in uniform has been of the utmost importance. The government and indeed all Canadians have a duty to recognize the incredible work and contributions of the members of the Canadian Armed Forces. We are very grateful for their work. We will invest as much as possible to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the tools and equipment necessary to do their jobs.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 18:58 [p.28334]
Mr. Speaker, as we have said many times in the House, General Vance and Vice-Admiral Norman recently had a cordial discussion. We will have more information in the coming weeks.
With regard to the legal fees, the deputy minister reviewed the policy in place and found that Vice-Admiral Norman's legal fees could be reimbursed, and that is what we will do.
What is clear is that we respect the judicial process. We do not have the right to interfere in that process. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada was very clear: there was no influence, including political influence, in the case of Vice-Admiral Norman.
View T.J. Harvey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View T.J. Harvey Profile
2019-05-29 14:11 [p.28214]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great pride to recognize the hard work and dedication of someone I have worked with for only four years, but has given a great number of years to this place in more ways than I can share in a single statement.
Last night, she received her long service award for working for the House of Commons for 31 years.
Throughout her time on the Hill, she has not only worked with MPs and staff, but also developed long-standing relationships with the staff at the parliamentary restaurant, the custodial staff, all the security staff, the IT staff and across all party lines. She has gone above and beyond to advocate for necessary changes to benefit others.
Her character is that of honesty, courage and integrity. She never backs down from a challenge and represents the glue in my office. Some members may remember her for organizing the All Party Party some years back.
Although she does not do a single thing for the purpose of credit, when it comes to her substantive contribution to the lives of Canadians throughout her work with various governments and members of Parliament, recognition for her long service cannot go unnoticed.
Colleen Knight's outstanding reputation precedes her.
I thank Colleen for not only her unwavering devotion to my office, but for her commitment to working for so many years toward a better Canada.
View Wayne Long Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Wayne Long Profile
2019-05-29 14:15 [p.28215]
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I was honoured to help kick off Disability Awareness Week celebrations at key industries in Saint John.
Disability Awareness Week is a time for all of us to promote accessibility and inclusion, and to celebrate the incredible social and economic contributions that Canadians with disabilities make to our communities. It is also a time for us to redouble our commitment to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
Our government is doing this by advancing Bill C-81, which represents the most significant advancement of rights of persons with disabilities in Canada since the advent of the charter. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to the strengthening of this historic legislation at committee, and I look forward to standing up for the rights of persons with disabilities by standing up for this legislation later this week.
I will always stand up for the rights of persons with disabilities in Saint John—Rothesay.
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Alaina Lockhart Profile
2019-05-29 16:35 [p.28236]
Madam Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the good people of Fundy Royal and on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Health, and the good people of Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe to present this petition signed by New Brunswickers.
Over 800 people have signed this petition that calls on the House of Commons to support Bill S-214, which seeks to ban the sale and manufacture of of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients.
I am proud to present this on behalf of New Brunswickers in this great place.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-05-28 10:05 [p.28107]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in relation to the mental health challenges that Canadian farmers, ranchers and producers face.
I would also like to note that this non-partisan study is probably one of the most important studies we have ever done. We hope the government will accept our recommendations.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2019-05-28 10:07 [p.28107]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, entitled “Support for Indigenous Peoples in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry.”
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear. If we want to move forward with the national pharmacare program, the first thing we have to do is lower drug prices. The first thing we did is that we are in the process of modernizing the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. We have also joined the pan-Canadian pharmaceutical alliance, and so far we have saved billions of dollars because we are able to bulk-purchase drugs with other provinces and territories. Finally, we have launched the advisory council on the implementation of a national pharmacare program. I look forward to receiving its final report next month.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to making the healthy choice the easier choice for Canadians. That is why we have moved forward proudly with our healthy eating strategy.
Last year, we banned industrial trans fats. We have also launched a wonderful revision of Canada's food guide, which has been extremely well received by Canadians. We are moving forward with respect to restricting unhealthy food to kids.
Let me make it clear. We have no plans on moving forward with the policy about which the member opposite is speaking.
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