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Results: 1 - 60 of 16072
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-20 10:17 [p.29465]
Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in Calgary Nose Hill. I thank them deeply for the privilege and honour of serving them for the last four years.
The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to cancel Bill C-69 and launch a study into the economic impact of equalization, including examining the formula; examining how renewable and non-renewable resources, including energy resources, both developed and underdeveloped, are treated in the formula; and issuing a report to Canadians on the fairness, effectiveness and outcomes of the equalization program.
View Linda Duncan Profile
NDP (AB)
View Linda Duncan Profile
2019-06-20 10:18 [p.29465]
Mr. Speaker, this will be my last opportunity to table a petition on behalf of my constituents.
It is my honour to table yet another petition from my constituents calling on the government to enact a Canadian environmental bill of rights. The petitioners state that Canadians share a deep concern about the environment and recognize its inherent value; that it is important to safeguard the right of present and future generations to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment; and that it is the federal government's duty, a public trust duty, to protect the environment.
Therefore, citizens should be given the tools to hold the government accountable to protect their environment.
View Brad Trost Profile
CPC (SK)
View Brad Trost Profile
2019-06-19 14:05 [p.29381]
Mr. Speaker, this July 1, millions of Canadians will wish each other a happy Canada Day. I will join them by wishing them a happy Dominion Day.
Drawing its inspiration from Psalm 72:8, “And he shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth”, the term “dominion” has a distinctly Canadian origin. It was proposed by Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley of New Brunswick, and it is a beautiful term to describe this vast land we call Canada. The loss of Dominion Day, to quote former Senator Hartland Molson, was “another very small step in the process of obscuring our heritage.”
Dominion is a term of dignity, beauty and poetry. It signified that Canadian origins were different from the republics and kingdoms of the world. It is a term and a day that needs to be brought back.
Therefore, let me wish my fellow Canadians, this July 1, happy Dominion Day.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-06-19 14:14 [p.29383]
Mr. Speaker, it is a historic day. On June 19, the Hillcrest mine explosion in Alberta killed 189 miners. It was Canada's worst mining disaster.
lt was also the day that Hungarians threw out Soviet troops, thus ending Soviet occupation, restoring their democracy and restoring their freedoms.
June 19 was also the day that the comic strip Garfield appeared in print for the first time.
Today Canadians are also learning that according to the PBO, the Liberal carbon tax will need to increase to a minimum of $102 per tonne, adding 23 cents to a litre of gas, to meet the Paris targets. Canadians now see that the Liberal carbon tax is a revenue plan, not an environmental plan.
Another reason today is a historic day is that at 5:00 p.m., the leader of Canada's Conservatives will unveil the first credible environmental plan that has the best chance of achieving our Paris commitments, exposing the Liberal carbon tax plan as a fraud and that this Liberal Prime Minister is not as advertised.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-19 14:20 [p.29384]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the wonderful, passionate Betsy Bury and to honour her 97 years of a life well lived. Betsy died in April.
Betsy fought for a world that was safe from nuclear weapons and war, a world safe for all women and children. She did this both as part of social movements and in the realm of partisan politics.
In 1962, when Saskatchewan doctors went on strike to oppose universal health care, Betsy, along with a small group of women, started the Saskatoon Community Clinic to provide free care to anyone who needed it. Those women are a big reason that we have universal health care today. She helped start the first planned parenthood organization in Saskatchewan and the first public kindergarten in Saskatoon, and the list goes on.
From Tommy Douglas's campaign to my own personal campaign, from the CCF to the NDP, Betsy was there volunteering, leading, advising and supporting.
In 2017, Betsy received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for her lifetime dedication to bringing about gender equality.
Losing Betsy is devastating, but our broken hearts are comforted by the lives she touched and the young leaders who will follow in her inspiring footsteps.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:24 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the Prime Minister promised that construction on Trans Mountain would begin.
Not one ounce of dirt has been moved so far. Canada's entire economy is suffering as a result. Every day of delay is costing Canadians $40 million. The Prime Minister promised that Trans Mountain would be built and operational in 2019.
Why did he mislead Canadians by making a promise he could not keep?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:26 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, again, he keeps saying things that are just not true. The previous Conservative government saw the private sector build four major pipelines, including one to tidewater, increasing our capacity to foreign markets. It is under the Liberal government that major pipeline proponents have pulled out of Canada. In fact, the C.D. Howe Institute estimates that 100 billion dollars' worth of energy projects have been killed by the government.
The Prime Minister committed to Trans Mountain being completed and in operation this year, but it is over a year later, and there is still no start date. His failure is costing Canadians. Why did he not say so?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:27 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, all the Prime Minister has done is buy a pipeline with taxpayers' money that he still does not have a plan to build. It is a terrible indictment of his record that in Canada, under his prime ministership, the government must nationalize a project to get it built. Under the Conservatives, the private sector did that.
We should not be surprised. After all, this is the Prime Minister who wants to phase out the energy sector and who has a senior minister who tweeted that they want to landlock Alberta's energy.
Why does the Prime Minister keep hurting our energy sector and the thousands of Canadians who work in it?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:28 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, we know what to do to get these projects built, starting with replacing the Prime Minister, scrapping the carbon tax, repealing Bill C-69 and giving our investors certainty that when they meet those standards, they can actually get it built.
The Prime Minister is great at saying yes. He just cannot get it done. Yesterday was another approval without a plan. Canadians did not want to see a photo op yesterday. They wanted a date on which this project would start.
Why did he fail to do that?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:30 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can take great comfort in knowing that a real plan for the environment is coming at five o'clock. What it will not include is special deals for Liberal insiders.
Under the Prime Minister, well-connected friends of the Prime Minister have done very well. He rewards his well-connected billionaire friends with taxpayer handouts, like $12 million to Loblaws. He interfered in a criminal court case to help his corporate friends at SNC. He targeted entrepreneurs and small business owners while protecting his vast family fortune.
Why do the well-connected Liberals and the wealthy always get a better deal under Liberals?
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
2019-06-19 14:57 [p.29390]
Mr. Speaker, Canada's energy sector is a key driver of our economy and an important source of good, middle-class jobs in my community.
Edmontonians and all Albertans want to see good projects move forward in the right way. They know first-hand what happens when they do not.
For 10 years, the Conservatives cut corners and failed to get a single inch of new pipeline built to non-U.S. markets. We were elected on a plan to do things differently, and we have delivered.
Could the Prime Minister please update the House on our government's decision on the Trans Mountain expansion project?
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
NDP (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the Denesuline of northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba were supposed to sign an agreement with the government after 18 years of negotiating for their land, harvesting and resource rights. A week ago, the minister backed away and now refuses to meet with them. She broke her promise and betrayed the Dene.
Meaningful reconciliation is about working with indigenous people and meeting in good faith. Will the minister meet with the Dene while they are in Ottawa and explain why she broke her promise, face to face?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-19 15:08 [p.29392]
Mr. Speaker, a law firm that the member for Steveston—Richmond East owns had been implicated in a scheme that allegedly laundered money in the Vancouver area for a foreign drug lord. Today, the member is at the Prime Minister's right hand. He is front and centre. Compare that to another Vancouver area MP who got kicked out of his caucus simply for standing up to him and doing what was right.
This begs the question, if he is such a feminist, why the obvious, on display, double standard?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-19 15:11 [p.29393]
Mr. Speaker, right now in Cape Breton we are seeing a story as old as time. The Liberals are taking $18 million from taxpayers to fund a private airport at the elite Cabot Links golf resort for their millionaire friends to park their private jets. This Liberal decision is decimating the Allan J. MacEachen Port Hawkesbury Airport and small businesses like Celtic Air Services.
Will the Prime Minister put small businesses ahead of his millionaire Liberal golf buddies and stop any funding for a competing private airport in Inverness?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 15:15 [p.29394]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister put a values test on the Canada summer jobs grants, targeting groups that do not agree with him. More than a week ago, it was brought to the attention of the Liberals that the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore awarded funding to a group with links to terrorism.
It has been more than a week since the minister said that she would do a so-called review of this matter. The CRA has already suspended this group's charitable status, and the government is well aware of its current links to terrorism.
My question is this. Since the minister cannot seem to get the job done, will the Prime Minister step in and do the job?
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
2019-06-19 15:49 [p.29398]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas representing its participation at the bilateral visit to Brazil, held in Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil, from April 23 to 26, 2019.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-19 15:52 [p.29399]
Mr. Speaker, we will be tabling a dissenting opinion. We do not feel the report that was issued by the government members adequately addresses the strain on resettlement services that has been created by well over 40,000 people who have been allowed to illegally enter the country and claim asylum status in Canada.
We know that many of these people do not have valid claims and yet are able to access language training services. We also do not feel that the report dealt with some of the recommendations coming out of the resettlement services communities to make these services more effective for people who need them to integrate into the Canadian economic and social fabric.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, these will be the last reports I ever table in Parliament, so I want to thank the public accounts committee for its good work in this Parliament. As well, I would like to thank our clerk, Angela, and our analysts, Dillan and Sara, for the work they have done.
I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 69th report, entitled “Processing of Asylum Claims, Report 2 of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada; and the 70th report, entitled “Call Centres, Report 1 of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to these two reports.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2019-06-19 15:59 [p.29400]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-463, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (orders of prohibition and orders restricting publication).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce Bill C-463, putting victims first. While the Criminal Code guides our justice system, sometimes it does not necessarily put victims at the heart of it.
With this bill, we would like to change section 161 to protect children up to age 17. Currently, it only protects them to age 15.
We would also like to establish a method to allow a victim to remove the publication ban on his or her own name. I am thinking in particular of the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, a young girl from the east coast who committed suicide and was subsequently the subject of an investigation. Later on, after it was cleared up, her family was unable to speak about the case because there was a publication ban. The bill would allow her family to lift the publication ban without having to go to court.
The last piece of the bill would put a reverse onus bail restriction on people who have trafficked other people.
I think all three proposals are common sense. I look forward to reintroducing the bill in the upcoming Parliament and to seeing it pass forthwith.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:14 [p.29402]
Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions to the House today from the constituents of the Yorkton—Melville area, as today is the very last day I will be in the House to do so before the summer break and ensuing federal election.
The first petition is signed by 85 petitioners who are calling on the government to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:15 [p.29403]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition holds 550 signatures of petitioners who are calling on the House of Commons to scrap Bill C-71, the firearms legislation that would do nothing to provide the resources to front-line police forces to tackle the true source of firearms violence, gangs and organized criminal enterprises, and instead targets law-abiding gun owners.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:15 [p.29403]
Mr. Speaker, the third petition I wish to present contains 75 signatures of petitioners who are calling on the government to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex-selected pregnancy termination and the use of ultrasound for this purpose.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, this will be the last time I ever present a petition in the House. I want to thank you for your services as Chair.
I rise today to present a number of petitions on behalf of my colleague, my seatmate and my friend, the member for Langley—Aldergrove.
In the first, the petitioners call upon Parliament to enshrine in the Criminal Code the protection of conscience for physicians and health care institutions from coercion or intimidation to provide or refer for assisted suicide or euthanasia.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the third petition is signed by a group of petitioners who are calling on the House of Commons to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medicinal service covered under the Canada Health Act.
In the speech given by the member for Langley—Aldergrove, he spoke a lot about palliative care.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:22 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, I have a number of petitions on two subjects.
The first consists of eight petitions, including an electronic petition, with almost 4,000 signatures. The petitioners call on the government to ensure that conscience rights of medical personnel are protected by passing Bill C-418.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:23 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, the second petition references that on April 7, 2017, Arianna Goberdhan and her unborn child Assara were murdered in a brutal act of domestic violence. At the time of the murder, she was nine months pregnant with her soon-to-be-born daughter. Assara and other preborn children in similar circumstances deserve to be recognized as victims of a crime and should be entitled to justice and legal recourse. Therefore, petitioners call upon the House of Commons to pass legislation that recognizes that when an assailant in the commission of a crime attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her preborn child, the assailant may be charged with an offence on behalf of that child.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-19 16:23 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, especially in light of the announcement yesterday by the Prime Minister on the Trans Mountain pipeline, which re-announced the project, which had absolutely no start date or any sort of plan to actually build the thing, I am presenting a petition on behalf of my constituents who would like Bill C-69, the “no more pipelines” bill, repealed, as well as for the government to review the equalization formula, given the punitive positions that the government has taken against Canada's energy sector. I support this petition.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be tabling seven petitions in the House.
The first petition is in support of Bill S-240, currently before the Senate, dealing with the heinous practice of organ harvesting and trafficking. It seeks to end Canadian complicity in that practice.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, my second petition particularly highlights the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The petitioners call for the Canadian Parliament to be actively engaged in defending the rights of Falun Gong practitioners and other minorities in China.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the third petition highlights the fact that our concept of health care should include disease prevention and health promotion, not merely the management of disease. It highlights the importance of self-care options as part of health care.
The petitioners call on the Standing Committee on Health to undertake a comprehensive study of the impact of uninsured self-care products and wellness services and of the barriers that exist for those wishing to access them.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the fourth petition highlights the persecution of and the challenges faced by Sikh and Hindu minority in Afghanistan.
The petitioners call on the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to use the powers granted to him to create a special program to help persecuted minorities in Afghanistan. They also call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be actively engaged with her Afghan counterparts on this issue.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the sixth petition highlights challenges and violence faced by the Coptic minority in Egypt.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to prioritize principles of universal human rights and religious freedom in their foreign policy and particularly to act in support of Copts.
The final petition I am going to present in this Parliament highlights the persecution and challenges faced by Pakistani Christians, and in particular Pakistani Christians asylum seekers who find themselves in Thailand.
The petitioners urge the Government of Canada to take up this matter urgently with the Government of Thailand and urge for the protection and humane treatment of Pakistani asylum seekers. They also say that these asylum seekers must be provided the opportunity to apply for refugee status with the UNHCR and for resettlement without being arrested, detained or deported.
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-19 17:19 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, I need to straighten out the record. The parliamentary secretary said that his government saved the TPP. The reality is that it was signed, and if we had passed it, we would not have had to renegotiate NAFTA. What happened? The government stalled. The Liberals dragged their feet. They kept hesitating. They kept making it impossible for the U.S. to move forward. If the Liberal government had embraced it and ratified it, we would not be talking about NAFTA today. That is the reality.
The Liberals have upset many of our trade partners around the world: China, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines. Which country has the Prime Minister travelled to where he has not upset someone?
The reality is that this agreement is not perfect, but it would provide stability, and business communities want stability.
Our structural steel is going to face tariffs in August. Our softwood lumber has tariffs right now. What are the Liberals going to do to solve those problems once they ratify this deal?
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 18:33 [p.29426]
Mr. Speaker, I am very alarmed that here we go again with the Liberal government, through an omnibus bill, Bill C-75, watering down criminal penalties for serious crimes. What really irks me terribly is that impaired driving causes bodily harm.
Statistics in Canada today state that impaired driving offences are going up. Impaired driving is a leading cause of death in Canada, whether from consuming alcohol or drugs, and here is that government trying to include a softening of the sentences for it through Bill C-75.
I wonder if the government could answer this. What is it really trying to do here? Statistics are going up and penalties are going to be reduced. How is that going to help make Canada safer for people driving on the roads?
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, we are in the last few days of Parliament, and it seems like every day the government is saying it is going to invoke closure and bring forward time allocation to shut down debate.
Contrary to what the minister has just said, the process we go through here is this: Our committees look at these justice bills, and then we debate them here and send them to the Senate. Sometimes the Senate will send a bill back to us with amendments. Indeed, the Senate has sent this bill back with a number of amendments, at least 13 or 14, from what we hear tonight. However, we are not given the ability to debate those amendments. Our constituents expect us to do our due diligence.
We debated the bill prior to this, but the Senate has sent it back, and now the Liberal government is going to invoke closure. This is not just about closure and time allocation; it is about another promise of an omnibus bill. Bill C-75 is a 300-page bill that is an omnibus bill. The government has thrown everything in here, and now we are asked to shut down debate and get ready to vote on it.
The question that came from the Liberal side hit the nail on the head. That member said that one of the things we are concerned about is long delays in the courts. This bill is not just hybridizing many offences, but showing the failure of the Liberals to appoint judges throughout this country so these cases can be heard in the court system. Therefore, the Liberals bring this forward to basically push things through quickly, like a revolving door.
This is how the Liberals drew this up. Originally, offences like leaving Canada to join a terrorist group were part of this bill. It is basically allowing them to water down serious offences, such as advocating genocide, using a date rape drug and human trafficking. Yes, some of those may not be in there now, but that is the Liberal philosophy of criminal justice reforms.
I am sorry, but we are skeptical of the kinds of measures the current government brings forward, and we are very skeptical of the closure the minister is invoking.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-19 18:56 [p.29430]
Mr. Speaker, what the minister did not say is that they never consulted the victims of crime in this country. On the second to last day of Parliament, Bill C-75 comes to us. It does not show that they are taking the safety and security of Canadians seriously. We have seen this. They are attempting to water down serious offences in this bill, such as impaired driving causing bodily harm. The province of Saskatchewan has the worst record in the Dominion of drunk driving charges. I have talked to many victims, and they are upset with this bill, because they have not had chance to address it. Many of them have lost loved ones. When they look at this flawed bill, it is all about criminal rights and nothing about the victims in this country.
I would like the minister to answer that. What is the government doing for the victims in this bill, because they are upset with this?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:43 [p.29432]
Mr. Speaker, today in the House we are discussing Bill C-75. The bill is supposed to strengthen the justice system. It is meant to better protect Canadians. It is meant to reduce delays and it is meant to modernize the criminal justice system.
In part, it does this by facilitating the administration of justice down to the provinces. However, the reality is the bill is yet another example of the current government's dirty habit of saying one thing but doing another. It is known as Liberal hypocrisy, or sometimes people refer to it as Liberal logic.
At the end of the day, this will in fact severely damage Canadian society and our justice system as a whole. Despite the rhetoric from across the way and despite the current heckles, the Liberals decided that they would not properly consult with stakeholders. They rammed the bill through without giving it careful consideration, without paying attention to the call for further discussion and certainly without adequate debate in this place.
As a result, Canadians are stuck with a piece of legislation that has a number of flaws that are very significant in nature. One of the flaws has to do with hybridization. Putting aside the issue of reducing the penalty of very serious crimes for just a moment, which I will come back to, hybridization also results in many crimes being moved from Federal Court into provincial court.
The Canadian Bar Association had this to say with regard to hybridization. It said this“would likely mean more cases would be heard in provincial court. This could result in further delays in those courts”. In other words, we already have a backlog within our justice system and the Canadian Bar Association is saying that Bill C-75 would result in an even further backlog, which is problematic because these individuals do need to go to trial. These cases do need to proceed, so holding them up even further is actually an injustice to the victim.
Furthermore, it should be noted that it is the government's chief responsibility to care for the safety and well-being of its citizens, to defend the vulnerable, to create laws that put the rights of victims first, which is why it is extremely alarming to see that the Prime Minister is actually pandering more to criminals than standing up for victims.
Bill C-75 reduces penalties for some very heinous crimes including participating in a terrorist group, trafficking women and girls, committing violence against a clergy member, murdering a child within one year of birth, abducting a child, forced marriage, advocating for genocide or participating in organized crime.
The members opposite do not like it when I say those things, it is an inconvenient truth for them, so their heckling gets louder and louder, but the truth cannot be concealed. These heinous, unthinkable acts would have a reduced sentence under Bill C-75.
Conservatives believe in the safety of Canadians being put first. They believe that it should be the number one priority of any government. We will continue to speak up on behalf of victims and we will continue to advocate for them to come first in our justice system. It is very important for me to stand here today and to speak to this piece of legislation because the rights of victims and the rights of communities must come first.
We have a Prime Minister who is much more concerned about pursuing his own agenda than he is about acting in the best interests of Canadians. It is not just with Bill C-75, it is with other pieces of legislation and other decisions being made by the government as well.
Bill C-71, which is the firearms legislation, was rammed through by the government earlier this spring. This was an attack on law-abiding firearms owners. Bill C-71 was rammed through without the government taking concern for the advice of law enforcement agents. It was rammed through without them actually consulting with legislative experts. It was rammed through without the Liberals taking the time to consult with and listen to Canadians.
When those in power turn a deaf ear to the people that they represent, arrogance incapacitates any ability for them to exercise logical thought or common sense. That is exactly what has happened under the current government.
The irony in all of this is that while the Liberals are letting criminals off the hook for committing atrocious crimes such as forced marriage, trafficking, terrorist activity and genocide, they insist on demonizing those who hunt or use their rifles for sport shooting. It is absolutely ludicrous. In what world does this make sense?
From the start, the Liberals did not want to debate Bill C-71. They did not want to consult, because that would mean they would need to listen and then would be held accountable to act on the things that they heard. Instead, the Liberals decided to push Bill C-71, the firearms legislation, through the House. They told Canadians that the bill is for their safety and protection, but it does nothing of the sort. It fails to address gang violence, it fails to address illegal firearm acquisition and use and it fails to address rural crime and violence. Bill C-71 simply goes after those who are already following the law, while rewarding criminals with shorter sentences or allowing them to walk away altogether.
It is very clear that what the current government likes to do more than anything is deceive Canadians. It is less about the safety, well-being and security of our country and more about appearing to be doing something good. If the government took Canadians seriously and really took the position of honour that has been bestowed upon it seriously, then it would genuinely want to strengthen our justice system and our borders. It would genuinely want to invest in front-line responders and make sure that illegal firearms are taken off the street and that people are kept safe in this country, but the current government is not interested in actually governing well. The current government under the current Prime Minister is more interested in its appearance, its image.
The Prime Minister told veterans that they cost too much. Meanwhile, he handed $10 million over to a convicted terrorist, Omar Khadr.
An hon. member: Shame.
Ms. Rachael Harder: It is shameful. I'm glad you recognize it.
The Prime Minister insists consistently on putting criminals before victims. This is wrong, because Canadians elect a government to look after their safety, security and well-being, to ensure that this country is running on all cylinders, that Canadians have a vibrant future that they can dream for, work toward and step into and be excited about for their children and grandchildren. The bill we are discussing today, Bill C-75, which makes changes to the criminal justice system, actually puts this country at risk and victims in serious danger. It rewards criminals.
The role of every government is to keep citizens safe. It is to facilitate an environment of economic prosperity in which people are free to use their time, their talent and their energy to build wealth and achieve the financial outcomes they desire. This means protecting our borders, investing in necessary infrastructure, decreasing taxes, exercising fiscal restraint and scrapping unnecessary regulations. It means respecting the rights and freedoms of Canadians and celebrating the contributions of those who work hard, rather than turning them into criminals. I am talking about the retired widow who lives next door to me, the local business owner who serves coffee when I go there, the medical practitioners who look after our health, the students who dream for a vibrant future and the veterans who have faithfully served this country. These are the faces that government should be looking into when it makes decisions to rule this country.
During his time as prime minister, John Diefenbaker told party members, “I was criticized for being too much concerned with the average Canadians. I can't help that; I am one”, and so it is today. Just as the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker did all those years ago, my colleagues and I on this side of the House are committed to standing up for everyday Canadians, those who work hard and want a vibrant future not just for themselves but for their children and grandchildren.
When we mess around with the justice system with a bill like Bill C-75 and when we reward criminals who commit some of the most heinous crimes imaginable and allow them to go free or we diminish their sentence to a mere fine, we depreciate the value of our country and we fail to look after the well-being of Canadian citizens.
In this place, there are 338 of us who were elected to do far better than that. I would expect much more from the current Prime Minister and much more from the members who govern with him. There is no greater honour than to serve in this place, to be elected by the people of Canada and to have the opportunity to function as a voice on their behalf. I would call upon this House to steward that honour and to vote this bill down.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:54 [p.29433]
Mr. Speaker, I would invite that member to have her hearing checked, because there was clear heckling in this place.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:56 [p.29433]
Mr. Speaker, I respect the hon. member's question. Certainly any act that advocates on behalf of victims is noble. Any act that would put the well-being of women and children first and foremost is absolutely to be commended.
However, there are allowances made within this bill that would in fact allow people off with very small fines or penalties after committing extremely heinous crimes. I would also like to add that if the member opposite and his colleagues are interested in the well-being of victims, it probably would have been a good idea to consult with them in the creation of this bill. That was not adequately done.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:58 [p.29434]
Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have always had a policy of standing up for victims and placing them as our first priority. We have always had a policy of advocating for Canadians who live everyday lives. We have always had a policy of making sure that our justice system is strengthened and that the most vulnerable among us are advocated for. We will continue that legacy when we form government in October.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:59 [p.29434]
Mr. Speaker, certainly when this bill was first brought forward, terrorism and genocide were included within hybridization. However, due to pressure that was applied by the Conservative members in this House as well as by members of the Canadian public, the Liberals did walk those two back, so I will give them credit for that.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 20:00 [p.29434]
Mr. Speaker, I think the bottom line is this: Those who find themselves elected in this place find themselves in a very honoured position and have every responsibility to stand up for the rights of victims first and foremost. Bill C-75 fails to do that.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I chair the public accounts committee. There are some significant changes in this bill.
When we look at the supplementary estimates, $448 million were given to CSC. However, when we have tried to find out what the financial implications are, the cost of all the measures in the bill, we can not get an answer from the government.
The parliamentary secretary is privy to those briefings with the department. I know that typically those answers are given by the department.
If we have scanners, and the parliamentary secretary talked about limited, I wonder, and I think Canadians wonder as well, what the costs of the bill would be.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to seek unanimous consent for this speaking slot to be a regular 20-and-10 speaking slot, rather than unlimited time, and to split the time with the member for Yellowhead. We have unlimited time slots and would ask for unanimous consent to split the time so my friend from Yellowhead can share some of his stories of the Correctional Service.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the chamber for doing that.
This undoubtedly will be the last time I ever speak in this place. As I rise on this night, I want to thank the throng of people that have come out to hear this speech.
I rise this evening to speak to Bill C-83, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another act.
This legislation seeks to eliminate administrative segregation in correctional facilities; replace these facilities with new structured intervention units, or SIUs; introduce body scanners for inmates; set parameters for access to health care; and formalize exceptions for indigenous offenders, female offenders and offenders with diagnosed mental health issues.
Just as we fundamentally opposed the bill in its original form, we oppose the government's motion respecting the Senate amendments.
We on this side of the House believe that this legislation has the potential of making prisons more dangerous both for offenders and for correctional officers. I will get into that in a bit.
Drumheller Institution, a medium security facility, is located within my riding of Battle River—Crowfoot. Over the many years I have represented this riding, I have developed a very good rapport with many of the good people who work there.
Correctional officers contact my constituency office on a regular basis, asking for assistance in resolving cases and issues they have within and with their institution. I would never support a bill that could potentially endanger their lives any more than they already are, given that they are employed in an inherently hazardous occupation. Currently, my office has 20 active files and 50 inactive files, but also unresolved files from Drumheller correctional workers with respect to pay issues due to the Phoenix pay system, as well as other issues. They are not alone. Nearly two-thirds of public servants have unresolved pay issues more than three years after the Phoenix system was launched.
Now the national union president representing correctional officers is raising serious concerns about the very real possibility of some new measures taking place within the institution. One of them is the first supervised drug injection site for prisoners. The Correctional Service of Canada has neither confirmed nor denied this is about to happen by the end of the month.
As National President Jeff Wilkins told the National Post in an article that appeared on June 9, “The correctional officers are dead set against the prison needle-exchange and the current way it's being rolled out.” It is a program that he says is unsafe for guards, as they are responsible for distributing needles to prisoners in their cells, a scheme that has done nothing to stop needle sharing and defies reason in that people in prison should not have access to those drugs.
One of my constituents wrote me, “As a Correctional Officer, I am opposed to the proposed Needle Exchange program, which is definitely defeating the purpose of the whole anti-drug thing that we were shooting for in jail. Is there any way that I and other co-workers can express our concerns with our MP?”
l told him that I was definitely open to hearing and discussing these concerns with him and his colleagues. I could not assure him, however, that the Liberal government would listen. I did in fact tell him that I would bring his concerns to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness but was not at all confident that he would be receptive to those concerns.
After 19 years in this place and a number of years as our party's public safety critic for the official opposition in 2001 until about 2005, I have learned that when it comes to justice, under Liberal governments inmates and their rights take precedence over victims and correctional officers' rights.
For the 19 years that I have been in this place, I have repeatedly stood in the House fighting for victims' rights, fighting for changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to end such things as statutory release and promoting the idea of protection of society as a guiding principle in our justice system.
I oppose conditional sentences as originally prescribed by the Liberals, which saw rapists and other violent offenders serve their sentences at home. My constituents back me up on that.
I am equally opposed to needle exchange programs in our correctional institutions, and I am opposed to injection sites. I wholeheartedly agree with the union president that rather than providing needle exchanges and designated sites within prisons for inmates to shoot up, we should perhaps have medical facilities closer to these prisons to deal with the drug overdoses that may result.
So much more should and can be done to stop the drug trade within the correctional facilities, which is leading to overdose, to death and to the continued gang wars that take place within our prisons. Canadians would agree that it defies reason that drugs make their way into the prisons, not to mention the huge amount of drugs and number of needles that circulate.
This is certainly not a new phenomenon. This has been going on for years. The Liberals' only solution is to give the inmates what they want. I disagree.
I fully understand that many inmates are drug addicts and that many of them are in prison as a result of criminal behaviour related to their addiction. They need help. They do not need more drugs, especially drugs that are bought or bartered for within prison. The fact that drugs cannot be stopped from entering our prisons certainly is a blight on the reputation of the Correctional Service of Canada.
As I pointed out this year when I last spoke to this bill, the Correctional Service of Canada certainly has been the subject of much criticism over the last number of years. In that speech, I mentioned one of the fall reports of the Auditor General of Canada, in 2017. It was entitled “Preparing Women Offenders for Release”. The objective of the Auditor General's report was this:
[to determine] whether Correctional Service Canada assigned and delivered correctional programs, interventions, and mental health services to women offenders in federal custody—including Indigenous women offenders—that responded appropriately to their unique needs and helped them successfully reintegrate into the community.
We heard our parliamentary secretary talk about correctional programs tonight, and this bill also deals with indigenous women offenders.
As noted by the Auditor General:
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Correctional Service Canada is required to provide programs and services that respond to the needs of women offenders.
The report states:
Overall, we found that Correctional Service Canada had not implemented an initial security classification process designed specifically for women offenders.... As a result, some women offenders risked being held at inappropriate security levels....
Furthermore, and most relevant to our debate here this evening, the Auditor General concluded:
We found that Correctional Service Canada had not confirmed whether its tools correctly identified women offenders with mental health issues or assigned them the appropriate level of care.
I also spoke about report 6 of the fall 2018 Auditor General report on community supervision of offenders, in which the Auditor General found that while the number of offenders released into community supervision had grown and was expected to keep growing, the Correctional Service of Canada had reached the limit of how many offenders it could house in the community. Despite the growing backlog and despite research that showed that a gradual supervised release gave offenders a better chance of successful reintegration, the Correctional Service of Canada did not have a long-term plan to respond to its housing pressures.
The Auditor General also found that the Correctional Service of Canada did not properly manage offenders under community supervision. Parole officers did not always meet with offenders as often as they should have, nor did parole officers always monitor offenders' compliance with special conditions imposed by the Parole Board of Canada.
I continue today to implore the Liberal government to focus on ensuring that the Correctional Service of Canada fully meets its mandate. The safety and security of Canadians depends on the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society upon their release. Given the findings of the Office of the Auditor General, I believe that uneasiness with respect to safety and security of Canadians extends well beyond Bill C-83.
I implore the current government to start thinking about those who find themselves in danger's way daily by implementing measures and policies to protect them. If it only took the time to consult them, I am confident their ideas, based on years of experience, would ensure Correctional Services Canada would be able to fulfill its mandate.
I am thankful for the opportunity to speak tonight. I look forward to any questions.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the consultations, let me quote what Jason Godin, president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, said. This is partly involving the costing of the bill. He stated, “Unfortunately, due to cabinet confidentiality, as our commissioner often tells us, we weren't really consulted.” That is what the union said.
When I speak to my officers, they are not consulted about a whole host of issues.
A member of the committee said she spoke to a number of people. However, it should not just be a chat with someone on the sideline of a committee meeting, but deep consultations with not just the union but correctional officers.
Godin continues, “The bill was as much a surprise to us as it was to anybody. I don't see the bill before it comes onto the table, so we weren't officially consulted on Bill C-83.”
Here is our problem. I asked the parliamentary secretary tonight about the costing of the bill. She gave us a line item, but she did not specify what the costs would be for the scanners or the change to the integration system and no longer having the administrative segregation. We do not have those answers.
This is another one of these bills where we moved into tonight's last few hours of debate after the government invoked closure and time allocation.
I will go into some of what Senator Pate said. She stated, “If there have been no meaningful consultations to this point on this process, then I would not have faith that those mechanisms would be put in place within the prison setting”. Although the Senate has brought forth amendments, the senator is saying she recognizes there is a lack of consultation.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 22:39 [p.29451]
Mr. Speaker, talking about consultation, interestingly, two weeks ago there were several hundred correctional officers who gathered on the lawn here on Parliament Hill to protest the current government and its decision to introduce a needle exchange program within the federal prisons. Officers would say they were not consulted on this decision and that they very much feel they have been put in harm's way by the installation of this program.
I am wondering if the hon. member could comment on this further and highlight the importance of consulting with those who are on the front lines, day in and day out.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I served in government. I know consultations. For me, it was budget consultations across the country, meeting with as many as we could, meeting with people in every community and every chamber. There were consultations online, as well as in person.
The hon. member is correct. When I spoke to my correctional officers, they said they were not consulted. When we speak to the union, it said there was inadequate consultation.
In the case the member is referring to, which is a little different than what the scope of the bill is, on the needle exchanges the officers are very concerned about their safety. We know that the needle that was maybe used to shoot up a drug could also be used as a weapon in the hands of that offender against other offenders and against correctional officers. It is one thing to say they are employed in an inherently dangerous surrounding, and another for governments to say they had better consult and make sure that what they are doing is the right thing. Unfortunately, the current government fails on consultation every time.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:41 [p.29451]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my partner from Battle River—Crowfoot in speaking to Bill C-83. I have stood in the House a number of times to speak to it, and I was on the committee that studied Bill C-83, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another act.
This has been a bad bill right from the beginning. The Liberals did not listen to very many people. They wrote the bill, brought it before committee and forced it upon it, as they are doing today, forcing us in the second-to-last day Parliament is sitting to speak to the amendments that have been brought in by the Senate. The Liberals do not like the amendments, but they want to push this through.
From the beginning, when we started studying Bill C-83 at committee, a number of witnesses came forward. The John Howard Society said it was bad. The Elizabeth Fry Society said it was bad. We had a 19-year prisoner who admitted to being a pretty bad guy, and he said parts of the bill were bad. He was the type of person who needed to be put into a segregation unit to protect the guards and other prisoners, and even himself. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said it was a bad bill. The Native Women's Association said it was a bad bill. There were a number of organizations.
Now we have it brought before us, as I said, on the second-to-last day before the House rises for the summer.
My friend from Battle River—Crowfoot just mentioned the corrections union and that his union was not spoken to. Very much like the institution in his riding at Drumheller, which is medium-security, I have a medium-security facility in the town of Grande Cache, in the great riding of Yellowhead. It is probably one of the most beautiful jail settings in North America. It is on top of a mountain overlooking the Rocky Mountains. There are a large number of aboriginal prisoners there.
I know some of the guards there very well; some of them went to school with my daughter years ago. They are very concerned that they were not consulted properly and that Bill C-83, if enacted the way it is, will make it dangerous for the guards. That is totally unacceptable.
The change would make prisoners more dangerous for the guards, as they will have to deal with the worst of the worst and the most volatile being out and about from their cells for four hours a day.
I totally agree that things need to change and we need to be civil and human in how we treat prisoners. Many years ago, I had the privilege to be on what the RCMP called provost duty. I escorted prisoners throughout British Columbia and western Canada back and forth from remand centres and detachments to prisons, etc. I came to know many of these individuals on a personal basis and many times I travelled 200 or 300 miles with three prisoners by myself.
One could be a real dick and those guys would hate it by the time they got to the destination, or one could be a decent individual, have a conversation with them, treat them decently, with respect and dignity, and have a 200- or 300-mile drive with three prisoners.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:46 [p.29452]
Mr. Speaker, it is my last speech, and I do apologize. It was just the terminology that slipped out.
Years ago we learned that we had to give respect to the prisoners. They had to be treated properly. That is no different today. I realize that Bill C-83 is trying to do that in a number of areas. As our colleagues in the Senate have said, there are some things that need to be corrected. I hate to say it, but the Liberals are not listening again.
My primary purpose in getting up today is to say that the women and men who work in our institutions do a great job for our country. They are a fantastic group of people. In many cases, maybe even more than police officers who are out on the street or our military who might be defending some country somewhere, these guys are right on the front lines.
A lot of our prisoners are everyday common people. We do not need to worry too much about them. They are civil. We can have great conversations with them. We can joke around with them. However, we do have some real bad apples there. Some have mental health problems. Some are just downright mean. Some can be rehabilitated. Some, and I am going back to 50 years of experience, cannot be rehabilitated or do not want to be rehabilitated, and that is where the problem comes with segregation.
I know that the Supreme Court has ruled that we need to change our policies. We need to give prisoners more rights, but that will come at a cost to the country. I guess we will have to accept that, because that is what it has ruled.
However, the primary thing is that I want my friends and my constituents who work at Grande Cache Institution to be safe. I want the average prisoner who is there, who maybe was picked up for impaired driving or maybe something minor, who is not really a bad person, to be very safe in our institutions. That is my primary concern.
My colleagues across have been given a number of recommendations from the Senate that I think need to be addressed and cannot be ignored. I did not pick up on all of them, and I am not going to deal with all of them. However there is one I thought I would spend a little time talking about.
The Senate said that the authority should be left with the institutions as to the movement of a prisoner to a provincial institution. That is only rational, good, common sense. I am not knocking professional health people. They do a great job for us, but we have some great con artists in our jails who could sweet talk the Speaker into letting them sit up there while the Speaker took their place. That is how good they are. I know that the Speaker would never be conned. However, that is where my fear comes in. The institution staff know these people. They are dealing with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They know how slick the prisoners can be.
A medical professional coming in, maybe for an hour or two or maybe three hours a week, could be baffled. That is why I think it was a very wise decision that came back from the Senate. It was a common-sense correction, yet it is being ignored.
I appreciate being given the time to stand up here to defend the institutional guards at Grande Cache and others across the country. They are doing a great job for us.
Get rid of the needles. I am not going any further with that. It is the biggest mistake we ever made.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:53 [p.29453]
Mr. Speaker, I hate to rush anything unless it is correct. The Senate has studied this bill, as has the committee, and we have heard from many witnesses. If we just bring it forward because we are threatened by the possibility that the courts might take action, we should have thought of that right off the bat and got at it a little more quickly than we did. We are here on the last day.
Again, the issue goes back to the safety of the people. Yes, I agree with a psychiatric review when a person comes in, but if we bring these measures forward, is that going to make it very difficult to correct them afterward, and is it going to put a guard's safety in jeopardy in the next month or two before we come back to help correct it in the fall?
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:55 [p.29453]
Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely correct. None of the witnesses really agreed with this bill. We were given this bill as written by the senior management of Canada's institutional system, but with no consultation with the unions or stakeholders. The committee was to get it through as fast as possible and get it passed. The Senate saw the mistakes. We could see the mistakes. The witnesses could see the mistakes.
We are going to make a bigger mistake if we go and vote for it with the errors or with the Senate submissions being omitted.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her service in this place. I know we have disagreed from time to time on certain issues, but I do know she has the pleasure of representing my in-laws. I do not know that I can say they are Liberal supporters, but I am sure they appreciate her efforts in this place.
I want to pick up on something the member said at the end of her speech. She said that we need to recognize the rights of people, even those who have committed heinous crimes. I agree with that. I fundamentally agree that we need to affirm the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of what they have done in their life, at a fundamental level.
We often talk in this place about rights. We use the word “rights” very often. I do not think we are going to disagree on this. I wonder if the member could talk a bit more about how we explain the origins of those rights at a core level. In other words, how would the member explain this to somebody who disagrees? On what basis should we say definitively that all people have rights regardless of their circumstances?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 23:51 [p.29461]
Mr. Speaker, currently, correctional officers do not even have enough resources to allow prisoners out of their cells for two hours a day. How is the government going to ensure that the monetary resources are in place to ensure that these inmates can come out of their cells for four hours a day?
Some of these individuals are what we might call the worst of the worst. They have committed some very atrocious crimes. These individuals, then, need to be monitored during their time out of their cells, and correctional officers need to be kept safe during this time. Their security is put at risk in the process of them doing their job. What is the government going to do to ensure their safety and well-being, and where is the monetary investment?
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I suspect that this will be my last speech in the 42nd Parliament. I hope to be able to continue after the next election, but, as Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”
I will take advantage of this opportunity before I launch into my specific remarks on this bill to do a couple of things. One is to thank my colleagues, my constituents, my staff and especially my family for their support and the opportunity to serve.
I did want to make a point of paying particular tribute to my friend, the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands, who is retiring. He is a champion of justice and human rights and someone who has been a great mentor to me as I have sought to engage on many of the same issues that he has been championing for years. I look forward to seeing the ways in which he will continue with these important issues in whatever role he takes on afterwards.
It has been a pleasure to work with members on all sides. I certainly wish my friends on the Liberal side well as they prepare to transition to the private sector. I do plan to campaign in their ridings and I hope they do not take it personally. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to go for a drink afterwards, and I will even bring the Solo cups.
This is the one other point that I wanted to make to honour a promise I made to a particular community. It is that I want to briefly highlight the Zoroastrian community in Canada.
The ancient Zoroastrian religion is one of the oldest religions in the world. Members of this community have been migrating to Canada for many decades, yet they still remain relatively unknown to Canadians, so I thought it would be important to acknowledge their community and their contributions.
The Zoroastrian religion is based on three key principles: good thoughts, good words and good deeds. These are principles that align with Canadian values and represent traits that all Canadians should aspire to have. These teachings were passed on by their prophet, Lord Zoroaster, and through the Zoroastrian religious text, the Avesta.
Zoroastrians believe there is one creator god. The primary symbol of Zoroastrianism is fire, which is seen as a conduit for wisdom and spiritual knowledge.
Zoroastrianism originated in what is now modern-day Iran, but because of persecution, the community had to emigrate to other parts of the world. Zoroastrians, like so many communities, have often come to Canada to escape persecution.
There are 100,000 Zoroastrians around the world and 7,000 of them reside in Canada. Zoroastrians are a peaceful and well-educated community, and we celebrate their work and their contributions.
I am speaking today on Bill C-83, which proposes to replace administrative segregation with so-called structured intervention units.
During its tenure in office, the government has put a big emphasis on the naming of things. “Foreign Affairs” became “Global Affairs”. The universal child care benefit became the Canadian child care benefit, and administrative segregation becomes structured intervention units.
When it comes to the name changes, to this bill, and to the record of the government in general, by this point in the mandate, people are asking that all-important question whenever they hear of a name change, “Where's the beef?”
As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In other words, would administrative segregation by any other name be of the same nature?
Parenthetically, Confucius speaks in The Analects about the importance of naming things correctly. He said the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. He also said:
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
So much of politics, so much of what we have seen here in the last four years, involves effort by government to change the names of things and to re-engineer language. It becomes increasingly difficult to have dialogue and to know the difference between justice and injustice if things are not called by their proper names.
We often bemoan political polarization and the decline of meaningful dialogue. Perhaps we should consider how this is born out of the breakdown of meaning in language, how leaders and elites so often try to name things based on political objectives exogenous to the substance of the thing, rather than simply calling a thing what it is.
The vast majority of stakeholders oppose this legislation because they see it principally as a renaming exercise as opposed to a substantive one. In practical terms, the legislation requires a person in this new form of administrative segregation to have a minimum of four hours out per day, as well as legislated meaningful human contact. This raises questions about the capacity of the government to respond in terms of providing the resources necessary to operationalize this new framework.
In our judgment, the resources are not there to do this safely and effectively, and the distinctions made are not meaningful. This raises further questions in terms of the strength of the drafting of this legislation and the planning that went into it. We also have residual questions of what constitutes meaningful contact and how that can be defined.
On that basis, and recognizing that my time is running short, I will conclude.
I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to spend so much time with members in the House. I encourage members of the government caucus to get away, enjoy the summer, go on vacation, travel and spend time in the Caribbean islands.
I will of course be working hard in my riding. In particular, I hope to spend a lot of time in the beautiful riding of Spadina—Fort York. Maybe the member and I can start an Alasdair MacIntyre discussion group. The member can share with me from his reading of Ayn Rand and I can share more with him about Alasdair MacIntyre and Aristotle.
It has been a pleasure. I wish all members the best, including yourself, Mr. Speaker. I hope to be able to come back in the next Parliament.
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 19th report of Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “Veterans: A Valuable Resource for the Federal Public Service”.
Furthermore, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
Lastly, since this will be the final time I have an opportunity to speak on committee business before this Parliament dissolves, I want to thank, once again, all of those important people who assisted our committee over the last four years. In particular I want to point out one of analysts, as they say in Ottawa, who is with us today, Raphaëlle, who has been with this committee for four years and who has done an exemplary job. Frankly, without her assistance and her guidance, at times our committee would not have been able to perform the duties that it did.
Once again, I thank not only Raphaëlle but all those officials, translators, interpreters, clerks and others who made our committee as efficient as it was.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition in support of Bill S-240, on organ harvesting.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in support of vulnerable minorities in Afghanistan. It calls on the government to offer them support.
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