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Results: 1 - 100 of 376
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-19 15:53 [p.29399]
Mr. Speaker, last time, I mentioned the great work of the committee clerk and the researcher. As this may be my last time up on these reports, I would like to congratulate all the committee members. I think we had a number of free spirits on our committee. I congratulate them for always making their decisions with integrity and based on what they believed. As can be seen, there has been a large volume of work.
I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 99th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “Advice for the Consideration of the Procedure and House Affairs Committee in the 43rd Parliament”.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-19 15:55 [p.29399]
Mr. Speaker, November 10, 1995, was the last time any committee reported 100 reports. Peter Milliken was the chair of PROC at the time.
I have the honour to present, in both official languages, at this historic moment, the 100th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “Advice for the Consideration of Committees of the House of Commons in the 43rd Parliament”. This references procedures related to in-camera meetings and the Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame procedure.
The committee wanted to dedicate this report to a former member of Parliament, who we all had great fondness for. I will read the dedication:
The Committee dedicates its one hundredth report to the memory of the late Arnold Chan, who was the member for Scarborough—Agincourt, and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. As a colleague and friend, he was widely respected for his sharp legal mind, willingness to listen and pursuit of fairness. Mr. Chan was a driving force behind the motion to establish rules on the use of in camera meetings for the Committee. The rules were established in close collaboration with his fellow Committee members.
To Arnold Chan.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-19 22:21 [p.29449]
Mr. Speaker, because we are near the end of the session, I want to thank my staff, Brad, Erica, Susan, Ellen, Alisha and formerly Denis Sabourin for their great work.
Also, anyone in the House who has questioned the existence of the Senate, which we call the other place here, this is a great example of where it has provided a number of suggested amendments and the government is accepting a number of them. This has happened since Confederation, where laws in Canada have been approved like this.
With the structured intervention, there would be significantly more time away from the cell and more time for programming, etc. Does the bill direct Correctional Service Canada to record these times to ensure they are followed. If it does not, are there penalties in the bill for CSC?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-19 23:17 [p.29456]
Mr. Speaker, I have two questions. I think the member answered one at the end of his speech.
I think the Conservatives will vote against this bill, this concept, because they think it makes the prisons and people more dangerous. The member is making the case that because of the effect of solitary confinement on a person's mental and social situation, it makes it more dangerous not to deal with it.
The member wants improvements to the bill, which could come with a new Parliament in the fall, or at the five-year review or through the court challenge that he mentioned. However, if the votes of the New Democrats cause the bill to be defeated so nothing happens, does the member not think some inmates could have poorer treatment this summer? There are some improvements in the bill, obviously not enough, but there is more time out of cell, more rehabilitation services, etc.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-19 23:49 [p.29460]
Mr. Speaker, I too would like to thank the member for all her hard work on this file at committee and her very good amendments, which make this bill much better. I am sure she has more to say, so I will leave her time to do that, instead of asking a question.
However, I want to make one comment for the next Parliament. A number of people in solitary have FASD, and those people are not treated appropriately in the correctional system because of their affliction. I presented a bill earlier this year, which almost passed. Hopefully, some parliamentarians here will pick that up in the next Parliament.
I will let the member continue on the topic she was doing so well on.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-18 10:08 [p.29264]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 98th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “A Parallel Debating Chamber for Canada’s House of Commons”.
This may be a very historic report, because it may lead to the discussion of having a second House of Commons, a second parallel chamber similar to the ones in Britain and Australia.
As mentioned by you, Mr. Speaker, and a previous Conservative member, we would like to thank all the clerks and researchers in our committee, and in particular the clerk and researcher who have been with us since the beginning, and I think members would find are the best clerk and the best researcher in the House, maybe on division, Andrew Lauzon, the clerk, and Andre Barnes, our parliamentary researcher, for their great work.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 22:18 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, a lot of the debate has been technical, but I want to ask a more spiritual question.
When you make a treaty with first nations, like the treaties with the Sahtu, the Deh Cho and the Gwich'in, there is a trust there. They trust that the government will at least follow the treaty and it will keep its word.
Then, how does it feel when we pass a law in this Parliament that breaks the treaty, that is unlawful, that does not follow the rules of a treaty? This is not the first time it has happened in our history, obviously. I certainly think you would have strong feelings on this.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:07 [p.28975]
Mr. Speaker, briefly, the member is a real champion of rural Canada. His constituents are very lucky. He is always standing up for the rural small communities. How does he think small communities felt when the Conservatives overrode something they had constitutional protection for and that they had negotiated over the years?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:26 [p.28977]
Mr. Speaker, first I want to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
I have a speech, but I think I will start by trying to answer questions and concerns that have been brought up. If I do that, then members could vote unanimously for this bill.
The first thing members have been asking is why there are only five more hours to debate this bill. For a lot of bills, that would be a valid question, but at this particular time we have had Conservative after Conservative getting up and not talking about the bill. We heard a lot about Bill C-48, Bill S-6, a letter from premiers not related to this bill, Bill C-15 and a northern moratorium.
I have been here awhile, and last night I witnessed an amazing situation. One of the Conservative speakers, in a 10-minute slot to speak on this bill, spent nine and a half minutes talking before they got to the bill, and then answering three questions by not referring to anything in the bill.
If the public wonders why Parliament has decided to call time allocation on this bill, it is obviously because the Conservatives have nothing more to say. We have heard the same arguments over and over again, and they are not valid. I will go through them one by one right now.
I am not sure why a party would want to stretch out a debate on a terrible injustice that it has caused, and it has done this a number of times. It is strange. Why would they want to put that in the light? Why would they not want to fix that injustice by supporting this bill? One of the members mentioned that he was not here at the time that it happened, so in good justice, he could support the bill.
People have asked what we have been doing for the last four years and why we did not debate this bill earlier. Some of the people in the House now have actually asked this question. This Liberal government has passed something like 85 bills. I think some members' constituents would like to ask them where they have been while these very important 85 bills were being discussed and debated.
One bill in particular was in the exact same situation as this one. It was Bill C-17. Again, the previous government had unlawfully, either technically or in spirit, abrogated a modern treaty, a constitutionally protected treaty, and tried to pass a law that got around it. That was certainly disrespectful.
Some may ask why Liberals did not get more things done, and a good example was what happened when Bill C-17, related to the treaty, was ready to pass. There was a grand chief, chiefs and aboriginal people here in the galleries. It cost thousands of dollars for them to get here from the Yukon. What did the Conservatives do at that time? They called a dilatory motion that the next speaker be allowed to speak, and then the bill could not be done. Some members ask why things are not done, yet they continue to do tricks like that.
This particular bill broke a constitutionally protected treaty, as I said earlier, a land claim. The members opposite have asked—and it is a good question for the ones who were not here before—why Liberals voted for that bill. This question has been brought up a number of times. The reason is that the part of the bill in which the law was broken in spirit or in technicality was snuck in in a much larger devolution bill.
The devolution bill transferred the remaining federal powers to the territorial government. That was a tremendous move, and that is why the party supported that initiative. Unfortunately, even though the people affected by this wanted this taken out and some parliamentarians tried to get it out, the Conservatives pushed ahead with the bill, and that is why the other parties voted for it.
Another concern the Conservatives have noted a number of times is that there are two parts to the bill. I think the member for Northwest Territories corrected them and said there are three parts. Nevertheless, they said there is part 1 and part 2, and there was no consultation regarding part 2. That is not true at all. When we consulted, we consulted with all the local governments involved regarding the entire bill, both part 1 and part 2. Shortly, I will read to members some of the things they said, because the opposition has suggested they did not support both parts of the bill.
The bill concerns the Sahtu, the Gwich’in and the Tlicho. When the Tlicho signed its constitutionally protected land claim and its self-government agreement, I was parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Affairs. At that time, unfortunately, we had to fight against the Conservatives to get that agreement signed. At least the Conservatives can now make peace with that wrongdoing of the past and support the bill.
I will read some comments of support, because the Conservatives have said that indigenous groups did not support part 2 or the bill.
Grand Chief George Mackenzie, from the Tlicho Government, said, “We urge the community to move swiftly and decisively to ensure that Bill C-88 comes into force during the current session of Parliament.”
David Wright is legal counsel to the Gwich'in Tribal Council. I say to David, drin gwiinzih shalakat. He said the following at the INAN committee:
If Bill C-88 is not passed, not only will Canada not have fulfilled its commitment to Northwest Territories indigenous communities, but these communities will be forced back into time-consuming, expensive, acrimonious litigation, all adversely affecting that treaty relationship and the broader reconciliation project. Further, this would generate regulatory uncertainty that benefits no one....
I know the Conservatives have spoken against uncertainty in the past, so that is another reason for them to support the bill.
Premier McLeod and Grand Chief George Mackenzie, in a joint letter, said:
[W]e are hopeful that Bill C-88 will proceed expeditiously through the legislative process and receive Royal Assent [in this Parliament].... The negative implications of the status quo are significant.
Mervin Gruben was also quoted as supporting the bill, as well as Duane Smith from Inuvialuit. It was suggested he was not allowed to come to committee, but he was actually invited. He did provide a written submission, and it was nice to have that information added to the record.
A Conservative member talked about not listening to indigenous people and indigenous voices. The member said that not listening to the people of the north is arrogance. I just read that the four governments involved, the Sahtu, the Gwich’in, the Tlicho and the GNWT, all support the bill. Conservatives are right; we should listen to those people. They should listen to those people as well, along with the rest of the parties supporting the bill, and support the bill.
Another thing the Conservatives have talked about a lot is support for resource development. I am sure all other parties agree with sustainable development. It is another reason the Conservatives should vote for the bill. I will read some comments about how the bill promotes and ensures this.
Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, from the Tlicho Government, said:
[F]ailure to resolve this matter co-operatively would damage our treaty relationship and undermine the process of reconciliation as directed by the courts. Long-term regulatory uncertainty for any reason will damage the economy of the Northwest Territories, including within the Tlicho community. This is all avoidable with the passage of Bill C-88.
David Wright, legal counsel to the Gwich'in Tribal Council, said, “Bill C-88 is a step toward certainty in the Mackenzie Valley, and that is a step that should be taken at this time”.
Finally, Premier McLeod said:
The proposed amendments to the MVRMA in Bill C-88 would increase certainty around responsible resource development in the Northwest Territories. That certainty is something our territory needs as we continue to work with the indigenous governments in the territory to attract responsible resource development.
Conservatives, to be true to the values they so eloquently put forward on resource development, can support those values by supporting this bill.
I support Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. Although the debate so far has focused on the content of the proposed act, I want to talk about what is not in Bill C-88 and why it would be a mistake to make major amendments at this stage.
Amending Bill C-88 at this stage of the process would defeat its overall purpose, which is to resolve a court challenge arising from the previous government's decision to merge the land and water boards without holding appropriate consultations.
The Northwest Territories Devolution Act, Bill C-15, was assented to in March 2014. The act transferred the administration and control of public lands and waters to the Government of the Northwest Territories and amended the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The act includes provisions restructuring the Mackenzie Valley land and water boards.
The Tlicho government and Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated challenged the changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act that would have dissolved their regional land and water boards. They argued that theses changes violated their land claims agreements and infringed on the honour of the Crown. They added that the consultations had been inadequate. On February 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories granted an injunction that suspended the proposed board restructuring, along with the coming into force of other regulatory amendments.
I would like to point out that those regulatory amendments, which included the addition of a regulation-making authority for cost recovery, administrative monetary penalties, development certificates and other provisions related to regional studies, all passed through the parliamentary process in 2014. Those same provisions are being presented today. However, they were rewritten to ensure that they could apply under the existing four-board structure. They were not part of the court challenge. Bill C-88 responds to the court challenge by reversing the provisions to merge the boards and re-introducing some regulatory elements that are applicable under the existing four-board structure.
On September 23, 2016, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations sent a letter to indigenous governments, organizations and stakeholders to launch the consultation process on Bill C-88.
Consultations were held with indigenous governments and organizations in the Mackenzie Valley, transboundary indigenous governments and organizations, resource co-management boards, organizations from the mining, oil and gas sectors, and the territorial government. To ensure that the indigenous governments and organizations were able to fully participate in the process, the Government of Canada provided funding to these groups and to the resource co-management boards that took part in the consultations.
Representatives from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, or CIRNAC, held a teleconference with stakeholders to consider next steps and to discuss the consultation plan. A legislative proposal to repeal the board restructuring provisions was drafted and submitted to the groups for review. During the review period, the groups had the opportunity to meet with CIRNAC representatives in Yellowknife to talk about the content of the proposal and to ask questions. This was also an opportunity for CIRNAC representatives to determine whether any part of the proposal was unclear or could be improved, based on the feedback they received.
I will not have time to finish, but I do not want to miss this particular point. The only other questions someone could ask that I have not already answered are whether the consultation that was done was serious and, although they were in agreement at the end, whether any changes were made. The answer is yes. I will give an example of two of the changes that were made.
The first was that because of the consultations with the people involved, a court jurisdiction related to a judicial review of administrative monetary penalties, AMPs, was modified in order to ensure consistency with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court under section 32 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
A second change was that consultation obligations related to the AMPs were added to the bill to ensure consistency with the comprehensive land claim agreements.
The only other thing I think someone might ask is related to the position of national interest and whether this is the only case of that. The answer is no; it is a clause, an idea, that comes up in different legislation. I will give members some examples from the north: the Mackenzie Valley Resource Act, Statutes of Canada 1998, chapter 25, section 130, and the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act, Statutes of Canada 2013, chapter 14, section 2.
Section 94 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act provides for the federal minister to refer a proposed project to the Minister of Environment for the purpose of a joint review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act if it is in the national interest to do so.
The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act also provides for the responsible minister to reject a board decision or to reject or vary recommended terms or conditions if it is in the national interest to do so.
A few close references can also be found in section 51 of the Yukon Act, Statutes of Canada 2002, chapter 7, and in section 57 of the Northwest Territories Act, Statutes of Canada 2014, chapter 2, section 2.
To boil it all down, basically an act was passed that abrogated the land claim and went against a constitutionally protected law of Canada, which we cannot change by just doing another law. Of course, the court found that out and would not let it go ahead. All this bill would do is to put into law what the court had ordered.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:48 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. She made two of the points that I had in my speech.
First of all, the member mentioned my constituents. The bill that relates to my constituents where the Conservatives have abrogated the land claim was passed a couple of years ago.
Then there are the 85 other good bills. I hope the member will go back and see all the good things that were done. I thank those members for asking these questions and saying all the good things we have done in four years with those 85 or so bills.
The second question she asked, and it has been mentioned a number of times, is why did the Liberals vote for it? I gave a whole paragraph in my speech as to why we voted for it. I was not there, but the Liberals did vote for it, and all the parties. The reason was that this part was snuck into a bill. The bill was very good and gave powers to the Northwest Territories that all the provinces in Canada had. It was generally a very good bill, but the Conservatives would not take out this bad part of the bill, the illegal part of the bill, and so we have had to take it out now.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:50 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the member asked that question, because he explained a very simple bill that the opposition spent all sorts of time on, and it slowed down the important bills.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:50 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, the member is drawing to our attention how far forward first nations and governments in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and the north are because we have these co-management boards. On those boards, with good representation, are the indigenous governments, Inuit governments, the territorial governments and the federal government. In our particular case on the environmental assessment board, it is two, two and two. However, it is because everyone feels that they are part of it and has a say that we have been so successful in getting projects moved forward. They may not have been able to go forward in southern Canada as easily because they did not have buy-in from all the important groups.
The problem with the previous bill, in putting all of those boards into one big board, as someone referenced, is that the Tlicho would have had only one seat, instead of a significant portion of the board that affects their area. I know that everyone in this House wants governments affecting their area to have control. That is why I think that everyone in this House, if they want to respect the north and the local people, all of whom are in favour of this, should vote for the bill.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:53 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, the member for Northwest Territories has worked so hard on this bill for his people.
Yes, regarding certainty, if we get this out of the courts, the illegal situation it is in, it would give certainty to development again. I think everyone in this House has spoken in favour of sustainable development.
Second, we do not have a choice. We have to make it legal again. Whether we want to or not, we have to. Third, that is why development has gone ahead so well. When indigenous peoples are involved with the territorial governments and the federal government as partners at the table, it removes a lot of roadblocks for sustainable development projects. There is great consultation with environmental groups as part of this. When everyone is involved, as the Chamber of Commerce has seen in the north, a lot of great projects go ahead. In Yukon, there is now a Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce. They all get along with the various stakeholders, and that is why the projects proceed so smoothly.
That is exactly right. We should leave it when it is working. Let us get it back to where it was negotiated. Some of the land claims took 30 years to negotiate.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:56 [p.28981]
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted when the indigenous affairs critic asks questions supporting things that were in my speech. All 86 bills are very important. The member for Northwest Territories already answered that question when he said that we have to rebuild the trust that was broken by the Conservatives.
The member also made the point I started out with, which is that all the Conservatives who have spoken to this bill have talked about other bills, other things not related to the bill. It is no wonder Parliament has put time allocation on this bill, when Conservatives repeat over and over again things that are not even related to the bill we are debating.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 15:25 [p.28818]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 97th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, dealing with regulations respecting the non-attendance of members by reason of maternity or care for a new-born or newly-adopted child.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 22:01 [p.28866]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if, unlike the last several minutes, we could talk about this bill.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 22:10 [p.28867]
Mr. Speaker, we are primarily here because the previous Conservative government proposed a bill that undermined the constitutional protection of land claims. It is not the first time the Conservatives did this. Of course, they did it with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, which we had to to fix through Bill C-17. It occurred numerous times, and it is a symptom of a larger issue on which I would like the member to comment.
The Harper government decided to bypass the branch of the justice department, which does constitutional checks on bills. This is very expensive for the taxpayers of Canada, because they pay for that branch of the justice department and its constitutional experts. Of course, these checks resulted in a number of Conservatives' bills being challenged and they lost most of those cases.
How does the member justify the Harper government's decision to bypass the constitutional checks of the Department of Justice?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 22:37 [p.28871]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciated some of the member's comments. First of all, for her recognition of the permafrost thawing because of climate change, I thank her very much. The member asked what we were doing, and I have had a press conference where I announced some research money for exactly that, to deal with how that is affecting our highways. We also have a program for the adaptation of infrastructure. I thought it was very forward-thinking of the finance minister to put into our infrastructure plan that prevention and adaptation to climate change in infrastructure be eligible.
However, it was music to my ears to hear that concern for climate change. The indigenous affairs critic mentioned that she felt that everyone knew that we need to cut greenhouse gases. Therefore, it was music to my ears when the member said that we need a comprehensive plan. I am curious as to what she thinks will be part of the Conservatives' comprehensive plan.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 22:44 [p.28872]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member said it was important to have reconciliation with this bill, and the fact that the three first nations affected, the Sahtu, the Gwich'in and the Tlicho, are all in support of this bill. Therefore, I could hardly imagine that reconciliation would be voting against those three first nations. I hope that when the member says that she thinks it should be reconciliation, she means that she will vote for the bill, which is for all the first nations that this affects.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 23:06 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I note that you just notified the member that he only had several minutes left. However, his entire speech has not made even the vaguest reference to Bill C-88. Hopefully, in the last couple of minutes, he will refer to the bill we are discussing.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 23:11 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the member for being able to get away with spending nine minutes and 30 seconds of a 10-minute speech not talking about the bill at all. Therefore, because he only got to speak to the bill for 30 seconds, I am going to give him lots of time now to talk more about this particular bill, Bill C-88.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 23:37 [p.28878]
Mr. Speaker, it was very interesting to hear all that detail, most of it not about the bill at all. It was great to hear a letter about two other bills.
For a lot of his speech and the speech before, the Conservatives were able to go through nine minutes and 30 seconds of not talking about the bill, just talking about it for the last 30 seconds. In answers to all the questions, they did not talk about the bill. No wonder, to save the taxpayers' money, the government is going to shut this down so that people can get on to debating things where they actually have an opinion.
I would like to ask the member a question. What does he have against the governments of the Northwest Territories? The three first nations governments that would be affected and the Government of Northwest Territories are all in support of this bill. Is the member going to vote against all of those governments?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-06 10:25 [p.28663]
Mr. Speaker, on the member's last point about the media, the Conservatives proposed a motion to do exactly what he said and they could get only 32 of their members to vote for it.
Last night, around midnight, the member made a good point. He said that Liberals had solved every problem with a program. I thank him very much for the congratulations. Just as a doctor or airplane mechanic solves every problem, we are happy we have done it.
We solved the problem for low-income seniors by increasing the GIS and the amount they could keep. We doubled the student jobs program and reduced the interest on student loans. We created programs for people with disabilities. The child tax credit helped families. A million unemployed people now have jobs, so they are paying taxes to help pay down the debt. There was a problem with housing for the homeless. We made investments in housing. We lowered taxes for small businesses. We created the working person tax credit for low-income people and the training benefit for all Canadians.
The total for all of this is $20 billion in unexpected increased revenue to help pay down the large deficit the Conservatives left us.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-05 16:51 [p.28596]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 96th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding amendments to the Standing Orders concerning the mandate of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and oversight of the Centre Block rehabilitation project, as well as the long-term vision and plan.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 19:54 [p.28538]
Mr. Speaker, I know the member spent a long time preparing his speech and could not finish it. Therefore, I will not ask a question so can finish it. However, I will make a comment.
Some members heard me the other day in question period. I had a long list of things that the Minister of Finance had done for us in previous years. I want to add some of the things he has done in this budget, particularly for the north, on top of all of those things.
There were an additional $75 million for CanNor; an additional $50 million for the Yukon territorial government, which has to provide health care and education; $400 million out of the trade corridor fund just for the north, which is a higher percentage than the rest of Canada, sorry to the other members for that; and $26 million for the science building at Yukon College to help make it the first university in Canada north of 60. We are the only country in the world that did not have a university north of 60, but we now will. Finally, something no one in the House would have mentioned, but there was increased money for polar continental shelf project to do research in the arctic.
Finally, in the north, we benefited from a whole bunch of things as did everyone in Canada: the mineral exploration tax credit, extended for five years; increases for student loans; $150 million for cancer; $60 million for tourism; and increases in indigenous languages and new horizons for seniors.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 20:06 [p.28540]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for taking up this topic, which is very important. It has always been a pet project of mine, and I totally agree with him that it needs to be studied and worked on.
The minister for science and industry has outlined in question period a number of steps that the government is working on and taking related to this. However, the member has obviously given more thought to this than most people. Obviously, a study would be great and we would get all those opinions.
Could he give one or two ideas of his own, which he has already thought of because he has thought so much about this, that might help us in a program to help protect the pensions of existing pensioners?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 20:27 [p.28544]
Mr. Speaker, I want to go over some things in this budget that would benefit Yukon, in particular, and then some general things that would help the Yukon, as well as all Canadians.
First, as I said earlier tonight, Canada is the only Arctic country in the world, of the eight Arctic nations, that does not have a university north of 60. This budget is historic for Canada because of the $26 million going to Yukon College to build a science building, one of the key items that are needed. Next year, Yukon College will become Yukon university and Canada will be in line with the rest of the nations. The first course, which is not offered anywhere else and is also historic, will be a bachelor of indigenous governance. Because there are over 600 first nations in Canada, and Inuit, there will be a huge take-up on that particular course alone.
The territorial government has to deliver on education, health care, all of the things that provinces have to deliver, and there are great increases: $47.2 million for territorial financing, $2.3 million for health transfer and $0.6 million for social transfer, for a total of $50 million. Just to put that in perspective, Yukon is 1/1000th of the population, so if that were the same across the country, that would be $50 billion. It shows strong support for the territorial government. From what I remember, the other two territories will receive even more than that.
Before I go any further, I meant to start with something unrelated to the north. I am also the chair of the Northern and Prairie Caucus, and I want to mention another very innovative thing in the budget, the money for a water institution or program in the Prairies, which is hugely forward-thinking because it affects so much. The PFRA, one of the most popular institutions in Canada, was closed a number of years ago. The Liberal member from Saskatchewan brought this idea forward, and the Minister of Finance is financing a study to look at water, which is so important in the Prairies, including flooding, drought, the glaciers being reduced, water supply, irrigation, all of those things. This is a very forward-thinking item in the budget, and I thank the member from Saskatchewan.
I also have an ask for a women's centre in Watson Lake. I know those members are in Ottawa today.
In the north, the equivalent of western diversification or the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is called CanNor. Once again, it is receiving a great increase. We lobbied hard for this. It will receive $75 million over five years for a diversification program. There was an increase for tourism in the north of $5.1 million over two years. Tourism is Yukon's biggest private sector employer. The two biggest industries are tourism and mining. I treat tourism like a lost sector in Ottawa. It is much bigger than many other sectors, but over the decades, it has not nearly gotten the attention or support that it should have. We have a tremendous tourism minister now, with a new tourism strategy and great funding. I will mention more later in my speech.
I will talk about the northern trade corridors. I talked about how big $50 million was, but the north has been assigned $400 million in the trade corridors program, which is a massive amount. It is far more than in other parts of Canada. I apologize to other MPs here, but, as everyone in the House knows, that infrastructure is needed in the north for a small population that is spread out over more than third of Canada.
There is another huge win in the budget for the north. As I said, the biggest sector for Yukon's GDP is mining, and the mineral exploration tax credit was increased for the first time ever for five years, which everyone in rural Canada will appreciate. It has always been yearly, which made it hard for exploration companies to plan. This is so instrumental in their programs because the vast majority of them need this tax credit to do their work, as there is no good reason to invest otherwise.
Another huge item that affects us more in the north than others, but also affects a number of areas in Canada, is loan repayments for the negotiations of first nations self-government and land claim agreements for modern treaties. The way it used to work in the Yukon was they took 30 years to negotiate. The first nations that were negotiating did not have the money to hire lawyers and negotiators so we loaned them the money. By the time they got their land claims, they already owed a good percentage back because we had loaned them the money for the negotiators. Therefore, this budget has made a historic move of committing to reimburse the first nations that have already paid the money or pay that money for the first nations that have not yet done so. Hopefully, that will encourage more first nations in Canada to become the success stories of the modern treaties. There are a number of them across Canada, but the biggest number is in the Yukon, in my riding.
There is one other thing with respect to the north, which I do not think anyone in this House would know. In fact, very few people in my riding would know this, only scientists, but it shows the finance minister's attention to value. There is no political gain in this. Very few people know about it, but it is very important. It is called the polar continental shelf program. When people research in the north, like other university researchers, they can get the money to do the research. However, to get to the north, it costs a huge amount of money. I remember going a small distance, approximately the distance most members would travel to get here to Ottawa, which would perhaps take a couple of hours, and it cost $5,000. Therefore, these researchers need the money to get to their location and cover what other scientists do. That is what the polar continental shelf program does. I give big kudos to the minister for that because very few people know about it.
The general items that would help Yukoners the way they help everyone else are as follows.
The first is more money for homes and businesses to be more energy efficient. A lot of people have suggested that. It would be done through the FCM program.
Another is the increase for seniors. We have seniors projects right across Yukon and in the rural communities in Whitehorse, and we have press conferences that are so moving. The seniors benefit so much and have so much fun. It keeps them healthy and reduces the costs to government.
I said I was going to get back to tourism. For years, there has not been nearly enough money for tourism in Canada in the lost sectors. There is an increase of $60 million this year in this budget for tourism marketing, added to the increases in previous years. That is great for me because, other than P.E.I., which is a little ahead of us, the biggest private sector proportion of our economy in the north is tourism. Therefore, that helps us more than everywhere else, but of course everywhere else in the country would benefit.
Another item a lot of people might not know about is that we can make Canada bigger. Most people think we are set at where we are at. However, we can expand the area of the continental shelf we are responsible for, but we have to do a lot of geological explorations and discovery, as well as scientific work, to determine that, which costs money. Canada, Denmark and Russia are all doing this in the same area, so we will have competition. If we did not have the science, we would not be able to compete or increase the area we have responsibility over.
In closing, because I am running out of time, there is a big increase in indigenous languages. In 2017, I think it was somewhere around $5 million and it has been increasing every year. By 2023 or 2024, it will be up to $116 million. Therefore, the increase from $5 million to $116 million really shows our commitment to how important that is to the life, strength and foundation of the culture of first nations people.
I am sorry I could not get to the environment and the 50 programs we have there, but I will leave that for the next speech.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 20:38 [p.28545]
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to get that question.
First of all, I would like to say that I really appreciate the member. I have been on committee with him. He has a very positive input and I like that. I also love it when the Conservatives ask about debt, because for a majority of the years they were in power, they increased that national debt. I do not know why Conservatives keep asking about things in Parliament that they did such a terrible job at. If they are against debt, hopefully they will start convincing themselves.
The other thing the member did not mention was that because of all these investments, and the finance minister always calls them investments, there is $20 billion more to pay down that debt from revenues, because the economy is booming.
I am being cut off, so I cannot talk about more good news and things we have done. I have a long list.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 20:40 [p.28545]
Mr. Speaker, obviously I cannot speak to specifics, but I really thank the member for that. He expressed very well the need for this and the support for this.
I want to say two things, and the member will really appreciate this. We had a group of aboriginal youth, and the idea was that if they do well in school and everything, then they could spend time to build their culture with our investments, doing that later. Of course that is what a lot of people said to the youth.
However, a tremendous young aboriginal lady said, “No, it is the foundation, the language, the culture. When you have confidence in yourself built from the support for our own language, our own culture, that is what catapults you into success in your life.”
I appreciate the member's support for that.
The other thing is congratulations to everyone in this House. In this Parliament, we passed the motion from our committee to have simultaneous translation of aboriginal language in this House and in committees, which is historic. It shows young aboriginal people, who see their language in the centre of democracy for Canada, that they can go anywhere with their language and they should be proud of it.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 21:41 [p.28553]
Mr. Speaker, for people watching, I just want to make a point about pardons and expungement in Canada.
If a person has a record in the United States, it does not really matter what Canada does, expunge or pardon, they still have a record. The Americans do not often erase that. Expungement, in some cases, could actually hurt a Canadian. When Americans call Canada to say that this person had a record and ask whether it is still a problem, and Canada says that we cannot find any records of it, because it was expunged, the Americans may say that person has committed a crime and there is no evidence that it is not a problem.
If the crime is pardoned, Canada can then say that it was pardoned and it is not a problem for us anymore. That may help the person who has had a problem with the United States records, which they can keep forever. They might be better off.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 14:57 [p.28413]
Mr. Speaker, I know that the Minister of Finance has been very generous in the past to the north and the Arctic, with record increases in funding for northern allowance rates; northern infrastructure and trade corridors; child care; mental health; home care; addictions; indigenous languages, post-secondary education; sports, tourism and training; Arctic renewable energy; housing and homelessness; opioids; seniors and veterans services; doubling the summer student jobs; a 777-kilometre new Internet line; and the arts, but what has the minister done for us lately?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 15:30 [p.28420]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 95th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 95th report later this day.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 15:31 [p.28420]
Well spotted, Mr. Speaker, but no, we changed the numbers. The 96th report will be presented soon, but not today.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-03 15:34 [p.28420]
Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 95th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented in the House earlier today, be concurred in.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-27 15:53 [p.28066]
Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 94th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to its study of the main estimates 2019-20.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 10:04 [p.27547]
Pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 93rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House, and I would like to move concurrence in the report now.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 11:57 [p.27563]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate all members who spoke in an indigenous language to this historic legislation in this very exciting debate, which is taking place on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.
To set the scene and give a bit of background on the bill before I get into the bill itself, I note that now members can speak their languages here. Today the first speech was in Cree, and it had simultaneous interpretation.
The procedure and House affairs committee, which I chair, did a study earlier this year about having aboriginal languages in the House. It brought recommendations to the House, and all members in the House agreed to them, which was very exciting. For the first time in history, MPs who can speak an aboriginal language have the right to speak it in the House and at committee, with simultaneous interpretation.
We can imagine indigenous youths sitting at home in an urban area, in a village or on a reserve seeing that they can use their language in the highest democratic institution in the land. We can imagine how much strength it gives them, how much hope it gives them and how much support it gives them for their languages.
That is a very exciting achievement of this particular Parliament. It was initiated by the actions of the member for Winnipeg Centre, who spoke first in the debate today. He spoke totally in Cree, as did some other members.
I want to tell members a story. We put a lot of emphasis on youth. As members know, the Prime Minister has a youth council, and many MPs have youth councils. I was at a youth meeting, which I think was convened by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. A young indigenous woman from the Yukon, who I think has spoken before the United Nations, made the point that people always say that if people get jobs, make good progress in their lives and get strong, they can bring forward their culture and language and that it will benefit all of us to see that creative, exciting diversity. She made the point that this is all wrong. It puts the cart before the horse. She said that what we need first is the language and culture and confidence in the language and culture, because that is what gives people the strength to succeed in school and in life. When they have confidence in themselves, they know where they come from and are very proud of themselves through their language. Of course, language is the basis of culture.
As was mentioned in the debate earlier, language is more than just translating a word, because languages express how we live. For instance, in Inuktut, there are a number of different words for snow, whereas in English, there are not very many. Language portrays a culture, so it is very important to one's way of life.
Statistics show that indigenous people around the world who have pride in themselves, understand their language and have pride in their culture are more successful than those who do not.
This is a great move today in the House of Commons and there is a lot of support here. It is very exciting what the House of Commons is doing.
This is a great step in reconciliation, partly to fix a wrong that we were a big part of creating. Not only did foreigners coming to Canada overwhelm in numbers the first peoples here, but sadly, we took steps to diminish their languages through residential schools, the sixties scoop and relocation.
That is why Bill C-91, an act respecting indigenous languages, is so exciting. First, it would ensure the language rights included under the rights referred to in section 35 of the Constitution, such as the right of indigenous people to develop and preserve their languages. Second, the bill would ensure adequate, stable funding for languages. I will talk about that in more detail later, because funding has been brought up before. Third is the revitalization and strengthening of indigenous languages. To ensure that all these things are implemented, a commissioner would be established.
As a number of members have mentioned at various stages of this debate, it is critical to move quickly on this bill, because indigenous languages are disappearing. Thank goodness many indigenous leaders and elders in my area and other areas have taken to recording their languages so that they will always be there and can be revitalized and renewed by the youth. In my area, I think I saw the passing of the last elder who spoke fluently in Tagish. If he was not the last, there are not many left, so this is critical.
When Europeans first came to North America, there were over 90 indigenous languages. There are still over 70, but some have very few speakers, as the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs found out when we were studying this. It is very important that this bill be implemented as soon as possible to make sure that we halt the diminishment of these languages, promote and restore them and build them up among the youth. This bill would also fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action 13, 14 and 15 and would set the stage for articles 11 to 16 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This legislation was co-developed with first nations, which is why a number of the clauses and principles were very thoughtfully created.
I want to mention a bit about funding. To implement, preserve and restore languages requires funding. This government has made sure that this is taken care of. In the last budget, $330 million over five years was allocated for this, with $117 million after that. Before the bill even comes into effect, all sorts of projects are happening across the country. There have been large increases in funding. Back in 2017, there might have been $5 million, so there has been a huge increase in the funding necessary to move ahead.
This government has taken care of funding for the next five years. However, that does not preclude the possibility of a future government wanting to stop funding this. Therefore, included in this bill, in paragraph 5(d), is a statutory requirement that all future governments would have to fund the required activities, which I am sure the commissioner would monitor. It does not happen very often that there is such a clause in a bill, but we have put one in this one.
Paragraph 5(d) reads:
establish measures to facilitate the provision of adequate, sustainable and long-term funding for the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages;
That preserves the funding. As I said, we have provided it now, but that preserves it into the future, regardless of what political party happens to be in power.
This is such a unique endeavour. It has been a great education for MPs, who have been hearing indigenous MPs and other MPs provide us with information related to their particular areas. I also want to provide some interesting facts about my particular area.
My riding covers the whole of Yukon and the traditional territories of 14 first nations therein. Some Europeans think that any one indigenous person in North America is the same as another—that they speak the same language, have the same culture, dance the same dances. That of course is not true.
My particular area makes up one one-thousandth of Canada's population, but there are eight language groups: the Gwich’in, the Northern Tutchone, there is a bit of Upper Tanana, Southern Tutchone, Tagish combined with Tlingit, a tiny bit of Tahltan and Kaska. Each of these groups has a different culture and a different history. Their languages are different. To the north of us there are a few Inuvialuit people as well.
I am going to describe the eight first nations in Yukon so that people will have some information about these language groups that they would not otherwise have.
Traditional knowledge is very important. It is a unique type of knowledge passed down orally, generation after generation. According to oral tradition, Yukon first nation peoples have lived in this land since Crow, a mythological creature of the time, made the world and set it in order. Archeologists calculate that the first humans inhabited the Yukon more than 10,000 years ago, crossing the Bering land bridge from Asia or travelling the waters alongside.
Today, first nations people belong to the Athapaskan or Tlingit language groups. I will briefly talk about what the eight specific groups within them are like.
Let me deal with Gwich'in first. The Gwich'in people are our most northerly group in the Yukon. They inhabit a huge area of land in which there are four different dialects. Most familiar to Yukoners are the Vuntut Gwitchin, who reside in Old Crow. Then there are the Tetlit Gwich'in in the Northwest Territories, the Tukudh Gwich'in in the Blackstone area, and the Alaska Gwich'in.
The Vuntut Gwitchin first nation is the modern-day political organization of the Yukon Gwich'in. The Vuntut Gwitchin signed its Yukon first nation final agreement in May 1993. The people live along the Porcupine River and follow annual cycles of subsistence. Right at the centre of their life is the Porcupine caribou herd.
I will digress for a moment to mention the critical struggle going on to protect the Porcupine caribou herd. If that herd becomes extinct, it will result in cultural genocide for the Gwich'in people of Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, because their whole life revolves around that herd. Their clothes—including vests similar to what I am wearing today—and their food are dependent on the caribou herd. When I have been there, I have seen them eat caribou three times a day. The caribou is really the heart of their culture. It is absolutely fundamental that this herd not be diminished.
Mr. Trump and the Republicans have passed legislation to allow drilling on the caribou calving grounds. Calving, of course, is a very sensitive part of the caribou life cycle, and this drilling could endanger the herd, which currently numbers roughly 130,000. The Gwich'in people have fought for decades to protect that area, along with the Canadian embassy in Washington. I have been involved for a couple of decades in fighting against any drilling in the Arctic national wildlife refuge area. Canada has a responsibility to do this. We have an agreement with the United States to protect the Porcupine caribou herd.
The second group of people I will talk about is the Hän people. The Hän people live where the Yukon and Klondike Rivers merge. They lived through the greatest impact of change when the Klondike gold rush marked their lives with great social upheaval and displacement.
The chief at that time, Chief Isaac, was very forward-thinking and took their songs and their dances to a community in Alaska, where he asked that they be preserved. He did not want to lose them with the massive influx of people. Dawson City was the biggest city west of Chicago or Winnipeg at the time of the gold rush.
They took their songs away, with a dance stick, and entrusted them to them. The dance stick was called a gänhäk. Then they brought them back, and now they are revitalizing their culture.
The next group is Upper Tanana. There are just a few people on the Yukon side; most are in Alaska. That is near Beaver Creek. A lot of the first nations moved around, depending on the time of year and where game could be found, so they were not on the existing locations where the Alaska Highway is. The effect of that highway on these first nations is an entire speech in itself, and I will not get into it at this time.
I am going through these groups faster than I would like, but I still do not have enough time to give more details.
The next large group is Northern Tutchone. They inhabit the central part of Yukon, often referred to as the heart of Yukon. There are three first nations there, within the Northern Tutchone Tribal Council: the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, the Selkirk First Nation and the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. The small villages of Fort Selkirk and Minto were home to the people of this area prior to the building of the Klondike Highway, or as we old-timers call it, the Mayo Road.
The next group, the fifth, is the Southern Tutchone, as we have done Gwich'In, Hän, Upper Tanana, Northern Tutchone.
The Southern Tutchone occupy areas of southwest Yukon. Many traditional areas and village sites were once the centres of trading activity for these nomadic people. While many of these locations were gradually abandoned with the building of the Alaska Highway, they are still regarded with reverence as the homelands of the Southern Tutchone people.
The school there is where my 10-year-old daughter has her favourite class, and it is also where my six-year-old son had his highest mark. That is probably a tribute to the great Southern Tutchone teachers they have. It is also a French immersion school.
The Kluane First Nation, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council and the Kwanlin Dun are also in that area. The Champagne and Aishihik First Nation have started maybe the first immersion day care in Canada. The immersion is in the Southern Tutchone language.
It was at the Calgary Olympics that a Yukon first nation person sang the national anthem in Tutchone.
The next group, as I mentioned earlier, may be functionally extinct. If not, there are not many speakers at the moment. I am referring to the Tagish language. The point about the Tagish people near the Carcross area is that this first nation people had great co-operation with the people in the gold rush, unlike what happened in some areas in North America. They helped people come in and were guides for them. They came in from the ocean over what were called “grease trails” because of the eulachon fish grease that indigenous people had carried on them for trade over the years.
Kate Carmack, whose brother was the famous Skookum Jim, recently received the great honour of being the first indigenous woman to be put in the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame for her role in the discovery that led to the greatest gold rush in the world.
As I said, there was great co-operation from the Tagish, and the inland Tlingit people as well, who traded over these grease trails. A number of generations ago, some of them moved inland from the coast to the Teslin and Carcross and Atlin areas.
The Kaska people are found in the southwest corner of Yukon, which they share with Ross River Dena Council and Liard First Nation and a number of people in northern B.C. and other communities. They have friends in the Dene people in NWT.
[Member spoke in Gwich’in as follows:]
[Gwich'in text translated as follows:]
Thank you very much for your comments.
[English]
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:18 [p.27566]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the member was here for my whole speech, but because this concern had been brought up by a previous speaker, I outlined the specifics of the funding. However, I will repeat them.
The funding is already taken care of in the most recent budget with a massive increase of $330 million over the next five years and $117 million after that.
However, after the next five years, a future government could emasculate the program and the effectiveness of the bill by not providing funding. Therefore—and this does not happen often—we put a statutory requirement in the bill, paragraph 5(d), which reads, “establish measures to facilitate the provision of adequate, sustainable and long-term funding for the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages”.
Therefore, by law, all future governments would have to continue the funding that is necessary to implement this bill.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:20 [p.27566]
Mr. Speaker, I did want to mention the people in the Yukon more in depth, and I thank the member for allowing me this opportunity.
The Gwich'in people in the north cover a massive area and are, as I said, dependent on caribou. In the national parks that we have created, there are caribou fences. Because this great tundra is immense, it is difficult to catch the caribou, so these fences were used to entrap them.
As I mentioned, there is quite a difference between the Athapaskan and Tlingit languages. They are within a couple of days' walking distance from each other, can almost see each other over the mountains, but they cannot understand a word of what the other says—yet the Athapaskan people in the Yukon can understand some of the people all the way down as far as New Mexico. The Navaho are there, thousands of miles away. It is because of the migration that totally different people are adjacent to each other, yet they can relate to people thousands of miles away.
We also have, and I must give credit to various people, some very modern dance groups. Most of the first nations, for a long time, did not have a dance group, but now have some very modern dance groups that perform around the world. They are really bringing their culture back, with great credit to such groups as the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and many others.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:22 [p.27567]
Mr. Speaker, we are certainly not planning on excluding any. It will be up to the indigenous people themselves. We are trying to facilitate them because we co-developed this with them.
I am glad the member asked the question, because it reminds me that I forgot to mention something very important. Of course, there were consultations across the country. Previous speeches during this debate outlined the hundreds of meetings that took place, the details of which I do not know off the top of my head.
However, in the Yukon consultation I was at, the chiefs made it very clear that this could not be a one size fits all. Each first nation and indigenous community has not only its own language, but its own way of learning. We have all different types of traditional indigenous governments in Yukon, so one size does not fit all.
Therefore, this bill has been set up flexibly and the funding has to go to those first nations directly so they can implement it the way they know how. This way, with respect to the very important question the member asked, the languages of first nations will not be lost by trying to fit them into this one size fits all. Rather, they can implement their types of traditional learning, governance and societies and can bring back those languages.
As I said earlier, the indigenous people were so forward-thinking that they recorded some languages that for a while were extinct. With the types of funds that have been put into the bill and are statutorily required to remain into the future, they can bring them back to life. However, sadly that would not be the case for the Beothuk people, as a previous member mentioned.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 12:25 [p.27567]
Mr. Speaker, in my reading of the bill, both the part I quoted and the part the member mentioned, there is a statutory requirement to provide that funding. It would be very difficult for our government to not provide it. Obviously, we are going to provide it. We have already provided it in the budget, before the bill even comes into effect, and hundreds of projects are ongoing.
However, as the member said, it is very important to protect this for future governments. In one particular case, which I will not mention, although it is not directly related to first nations, an entity that helps reform governments signed up and a particular government funded it for one dollar a year, so obviously nothing happened. That is why we are very strongly supporting the bill ensure the funding is referenced and would continue into perpetuity.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 13:47 [p.27577]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the parts of her speech related to indigenous peoples. They were very positive. We really appreciate that.
In reply to her last question, there are all sorts of projects under way in indigenous languages, and there is a large amount of funding for the next five years. The process is already under way. This legislation just means that it will go on into the future.
A previous speaker talked about consultations. Once again, I will refer people back to the second reading votes, when we talked about a huge number of meetings and consultations with first nations, Métis and Inuit.
However, my question is this. One of the amendments that was accepted previously and is in the legislation now was that the legislation must be reviewed every five years. Is the member supportive of that amendment?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-09 13:59 [p.27579]
Mr. Speaker, I want to add my heartfelt thanks to the afternoon of great tributes in the Yukon legislature, dedicated to the retiring Dr. Floyd McCormick, who served as a clerk of the Yukon Legislative Assembly for more than 18 years.
Clerks in this chamber, who send their best wishes, appreciate that Dr. McCormick was president of the Association of Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada. He represented Canada at the Australia and New Zealand Association of Clerks-at-the-Table Conferences. Clerks from around the Commonwealth value Floyd's significant national and international contributions to the profession.
Yukoners of all stripes applaud Floyd's devotion to and safeguarding of our parliamentary democracy. However, what is not emphasized enough is Dr. McCormick's tremendous contributions to those in our community who are less fortunate. He and his wife, Sheila, would spend countless weeks preparing food for soup kitchens. This is one of the many examples I could give on Floyd's selfless character.
I wish my witty, wise, professional, thoughtful, endearing and compassionate friend a wonderful retirement.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-08 15:21 [p.27524]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 92nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
The committee advises that pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(2), the subcommittee on private members' business met to consider the order for the second reading of a private member's bill originating in the Senate, and the items added to the order of precedence on Thursday, April 11, 2019, and recommended that the items listed herein, which it has determined should not be designated non-votable, be considered by the House.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-07 17:06 [p.27498]
Mr. Speaker, actually, Paul Martin did bring in an oil and gas office. I am not sure if it was the exact description that the member liked. It was done for the exact reasons that he stated, such as investigating to ensure that everything is on a level playing field. However, the Conservatives closed that office.
Could the member comment on the closing of that operation? I agree with him; it was a good idea and it had been started.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-06 17:46 [p.27426]
Mr. Speaker, I always appreciate the intellectual arguments the member opposite brings forward, whether it is in the House or during filibusters. I would like to ask him about one he brought forward tonight related to victimless crimes. Does he believe that administrative penalties, such as not showing up for a parole hearing, etc., for any crimes are victimless crimes and therefore should not be crimes?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-06 17:56 [p.27428]
Mr. Speaker, following up from the previous member, I would like to say that I too would not have to lie at the border, as I have never used marijuana or even inhaled a cigarette. I am happy to make that task easy.
I want to comment on several items that have come up in debate. The first is that one of the members suggested that one of the goals of legalizing marijuana was to take money away from organized crime and that it had not occurred. That is, of course, patently false. The facts are totally different. There have been a lot of legal sales of cannabis, so huge amounts of funds have been taken away from organized crime. I do not think anyone in this House would argue that is not a benefit to our community.
There was another point by the same member, that there was a danger of pardoning someone who had a more serious offence than simple possession of marijuana for personal use. That was a good point. The bill has been crafted to make sure that in the investigation of that pardon, it was not for some other crime. Sometimes the records may be vague and not specify exactly what substance was involved in the offence, or it may not be clear at the outset that the possession was not for personal use but was for the purpose of trafficking. That is one of the reasons that the bill was crafted the way it is, so that these things are investigated.
I have to agree that the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley brought up a good point. I hope that is looked at by the committee when witnesses are brought forward. The effects of an administrative offence coming out of the possession offence needs to be investigated, especially in difficult circumstances, to see how that should be dealt with.
One of the big points which was brought up quite well by the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques related to crossing the border. Before I address that, I want to say that I have great respect for that member and the way he comports himself. I was hoping to meet him in the halls in the next few days to tell him this. He is very positive. He does not attack people personally. He makes his arguments in a very rationale, positive and diplomatic way, the way that parliamentarians should. I want to commend him for that.
However, on the point about crossing the border, expungement would make it easier. This is where some members might be confused. It could be more difficult. As members know, with an expungement, the record disappears. When crossing the border, a person could think that if the Americans ask if they have had a record for the use of marijuana, they could say no, thinking the record has totally disappeared. The record has totally disappeared in Canada. However, unfortunately, when there are pardons, expungements and things in Canada, the Americans do not erase their records. Something could show up in the American records that the person had an offence for marijuana, but they said no because they thought it was erased. That person is then caught not telling the truth to the border agents, and, of course, we know the serious results of not telling the truth to an American border official.
Expungement does not necessarily make crossing the border easier. In some ways, it could make it more difficult, especially if an American border agent wants reaffirmation from Canada of a record suspension and an assurance that everything is fine. If a Canadian official cannot find the suspension, then the American border agent will wonder whether this is because there was no record originally or because Canadian officials cannot find it because of poor administrative practices. This may, in some cases, make things more difficult under certain circumstances.
I will begin by noting that I will be referring to record suspensions as pardons, even though they are technically called record suspensions.
Bill C-93 is about making things fair for Canadians and their families. For far too long, many Canadians have had the burden of a criminal record simply for possessing cannabis. Imagine trying to apply for a job, only to be turned down due to something like this. Imagine being unable to find housing or even to volunteer in the community just because of a conviction for simple possession of cannabis. Imagine the stigma of a criminal record, which can be difficult to navigate even when the burden is removed.
Indeed, a pardon would help many Canadians get back on their feet. That is why the government wants to do the right thing and the fair thing.
Bill C-93 would streamline the pardons process by waiving the wait periods, which could last up to 10 years, for applicants whose only convictions were for simple possession of marijuana. This means that they will be immediately eligible to apply for a pardon, provided they have completed their sentence and have not incurred any other convictions.
An interesting point was brought up by the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley related to administrative convictions of simple possession. I hope the committee will look at this issue, should the bill pass second reading.
Previously I made another a point related to administrative provisions. I would like to remind members that the private member's bill I brought forward related to FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder have brain damage, through no fault of their own. They do not necessarily understand that it is important for them to show up for their appointments and that there are ramifications for not doing so. As a result, they get into a never-ending spiral, going into and out of prison through a revolving door. This should never occur.
Although I was not able to get that bill through during this Parliament, I hope that someone will move that concept through the next Parliament so that people with FASD are not unreasonably convicted for things they do not even understand are crimes.
In the past, there were barriers to applying for pardons. Not only could getting one take a huge length of time, but there was also a cost. The $631 Parole Board application fee was definitely a barrier for many people, especially because many of those convicted were earning low incomes.
Under Bill C-93, this fee would be totally waived. This would allow people to turn their lives around, as they would no longer have a criminal record for simple possession of cannabis. That is the approach the government has determined to be the fairest and most sensible.
Of course, there has already been a robust debate and conversation about how best to approach this issue. Much of it predates the introduction of the Cannabis Act itself. In fact, it goes back decades.
Recreational use of cannabis has been unlawful in Canada since the prohibition era of the 1920s. However, its use was not popular until the 1960s.
In 1961, following the enactment of the Narcotic Control Act, convictions for simple possession of cannabis began to rise. The Narcotic Control Act was replaced with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which remains in force today.
We know that charges and convictions for simple possession have disproportionately targeted marginalized groups in society, including indigenous and black Canadians, which is definitely a point that should be dealt with at committee when this bill is discussed.
All of this underlines the fact that, in understanding that a legalized cannabis regime would someday be a possibility in this country, the debate about pardons for those convictions has been around for a long time.
Fast forward to the royal assent to the Cannabis Act in June of last year, and its coming into force in October, at which point we made the public announcement of our intent to provide recourse for those convicted only of simple possession of cannabis. We promised and we delivered.
On the topic of pardons, the debate has largely centred on amnesty in the form of either pardons or expungement as a possible recourse. A number of parliamentarians had also expressed public support for granting amnesty for simple possession. We now have a variety of experiences to learn from and a wealth of ideas at our disposal as we move forward. What we do now must be in the best interest of Canadians to make things as fair as possible, in the most sensible and practical of ways.
The government has chosen to allow Canadians who have served their sentences for convictions related only to simple possession of cannabis to apply for a pardon with no Parole Board application fee or wait period. This is a fair approach. For instance, we could have authorized the expungement of convictions for simple possession of cannabis, as was suggested earlier. However, possession of illegally obtained cannabis continues to be unlawful today. That is why a pardon, which we are proposing under Bill C-93, is a very effective remedy.
Under this proposal, it bears no extra waiting time following completion of the sentence, and it bears no $631 Parole Board application fee. Under this proposal, an individual's record would be sealed and sequestered. This record could be examined again only in extraordinary circumstances, for example if some other offence is committed in the future. The suspended record could be disclosed in those exceptional circumstances only with the approval of the Minister of Public Safety. As we can imagine, anything that needs the approval of a minister of the Crown would not occur very often, and the suspended record would be disclosed only in these very extraordinary circumstances.
The effect of a pardon is fully recognized and protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act, which means that the crime previously committed but pardoned cannot be used as any form of discrimination in areas of federal responsibility. Most provinces and territories have similar legislation that protects against discrimination. Usually, when the federal government issues a pardon or a record suspension, the province or territory will do the same.
Waiving the wait period and application fee is unprecedented, and it carries the impact we want, which is helping to lift the stigma and burden of a criminal record from many Canadians and allowing them to participate meaningfully in society. We can imagine how many members of society are affected. There are tens of thousands of people in Canada who have used marijuana for personal reasons. Therefore, the procedure of legalizing cannabis for personal use that is not harming anyone, and then granting pardon to those who were criminalized in the past for such use, is a very important thing for our society. People can feel good about themselves and be able to compete in society for jobs or houses or for anything else on a level playing field with everyone else.
The practical effect and purpose of a pardon is to reduce the barriers to reintegration so that people can apply for jobs without being discriminated against or so they can become involved in a number of NGOs, things which they could not participate in if they had a criminal record. Sometimes housing is not allowed for people who have a criminal record. When they apply for any of these things, if they have a pardon, people would not know their past because the records would be sealed and would not be available to the people asking about them. We believe it is the most effective tool at our disposal to achieve the result we want for those people who have been carrying that record and that stigma around for too long.
The first step is to get the pardon in place. Bill C-93 would allow Canadians who have been previously convicted of simple possession to apply for a pardon. Once their sentence has been served, there would be no application fee or wait period. Barriers to reintegrate into society would be reduced for those individuals.
I look forward to the tens of thousands of people who were unjustly harmed by these rules and considerations in the past now being treated the same as anyone else in society. I commend Canada's leading role in this. I think a previous speaker said that we are only the second country in the world to do this. It will be another example of how Canada has provided some examples for the world on how to provide true justice for individuals who really did not harm anyone but were charged with simple possession of the substance for their own use and enjoyment, which in and of itself has certainly not been harmful to other people. There are other substances that could be more harmful to people and society because of what people do while under the influence of those substances, some of which are legal, some of which are not.
Certainly, this has had such a massive effect on Canadian society and I think it is really uplifting that it is now legalized and many Canadians will be able to get a pardon so that it will not have a negative effect on their lives.
I thank those who are looking at this as a positive change.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-01 15:21 [p.27239]
Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association with respect to its participation at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region in Murmansk, Russia, from March 27 to 28.
I do not think there is any other international organization more important for Canada than this committee of seven Arctic nations, dealing with issues related to the Northwest Passage, the fleet of atomic icebreakers, Arctic Ocean plastics and fisheries, search and rescue in the north and climate change.
I commend the report to ministers and their departments, as it touches on their work, so we can work toward progress in these areas.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-01 15:24 [p.27239]
Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 91st report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
If the House gives its consent, I would like to move concurrence in the 91st report later this day.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-05-01 15:29 [p.27240]
Madam Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 91st report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to move the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-29 11:19 [p.27074]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on speaking without notes. In the mother Parliament, the tradition was that members were not allowed to have notes or read speeches, so I would like to compliment him on staying with that precedent.
The member mentioned that other countries were planning, or have, legislation like this. I wonder if he could elaborate on that. That is part one of the question. The member said there was a law similar to his proposed law in the United States. Part two is, could the member mention a couple of the results of that law or cases, and how that law has been used?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-11 10:05 [p.26973]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 90th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House, and I would like to move concurrence in the report now.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-11 10:16 [p.26975]
Mr. Speaker, I apologize, as I do not think I communicated my report very well. However, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 90th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented in the House earlier today, be concurred in.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 13:10 [p.26866]
Mr. Speaker, one of my most cherished times in this House was when I got the Tlicho land claim and self-government agreement, which is referenced in Bill C-88, through the House of Commons. It was a very exciting day for the Tlicho people, but there were some objections from the Conservatives.
I would like to ask the member if the Conservative Party now agrees with the Tlicho self-government and land claim agreement.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 13:47 [p.26872]
Mr. Speaker, the last question suggested that the government would be shutting down energy resources. However, this would actually allow the protection of existing energy leases.
To let the opposition know, this bill would just reverse an attempt by the opposition to ride roughshod over the rights of the Sahtu, Gwich'in and Tlicho people by making unconstitutional changes to an act. This bill would reverse that, as indicated by a court injunction. I assume that the member agrees that we should not try to override the constitutional rights of indigenous people by passing laws that are not constitutional.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 13:57 [p.26874]
Mr. Speaker, I know you are very liberal in your interpretation of relevance, but the member has been talking for many minutes about a freezer in southern Canada when this bill is about the mess that the Conservatives created in the Northwest Territories. Perhaps she could actually refer to the act.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 15:39 [p.26891]
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her excellent speech on this topic and I appreciate her support.
The member has been here long enough to know that the Conservatives tried to abrogate the Yukon land claim environmental process. That attempt was turned back. I think the member would agree that we are again turning back an effort by the Conservatives to abrogate the land claims, in particular the Tlicho and Sahtu, with an act. Those land claims, both the ones that occurred in the Yukon and the ones in the Northwest Territories, were constitutionally protected, so we cannot just pass a law that overrides that.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 15:43 [p.26892]
Madam Speaker, just to clarify part 2, Conservatives have been saying it inhibits oil and gas rights, but it actually protects them. It protects those leases by freezing them, the ones that were affected by the moratoriums, so again it is not accurate information.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 15:44 [p.26892]
[Member spoke in Dene as follows:]
Naya dak gwandii
[Dene text translated as follows:]
Territory
[English]
Madam Speaker, I stand today on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people to express my support for Bill C-88, which proposes to modernize the regulatory regime governing resource development projects in the north.
Before I start, one of the last Conservative speakers said the decision should be made in the north. The northern governments—the Sahtu, the Gwich'in, the Tlicho, the Government of the Northwest Territories—are all in agreement with this legislation. I assume that unless they are going to contradict their own speaker, the Conservatives will be supporting this bill, which leaves the decisions in the north as they were negotiated in the constitutionally protected land claims.
The key reason I support the legislation now before us has to do with the proposed enforcement system. As my colleagues know, the effectiveness of any regulatory regime depends largely on the quality of its enforcement system. As it stands today, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act lacks an effective enforcement system when it comes to assessments of environmental impacts.
While the amendments to the Northwest Territories Devolution Act did create an enforcement system, the court challenges initiated by northern indigenous groups on the decimation of their boards effectively eliminated it. Bill C-88 would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to establish an enforcement system based on development certificates.
A development certificate is a form of authorization, a permission slip of sorts. For a project to proceed, an environmental assessment body must first issue a development certificate to the proponent. The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act follows a similar approach.
Under such a system, that environmental assessment body can include specific mitigation measures in the development certificate. The proponent might be authorized to drive heavy vehicles only on frozen winter roads, for instance, or be banned from designated areas during the time of year when caribou typically birth and nurse their calves, which I wish the Trump administration would do in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Under Bill C-88, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board would be authorized to issue development certificates listing mitigation measures within the jurisdiction of the responsible ministers. After completing an environmental assessment or environmental impact review, the board would issue a certificate to the proponent.
Under the enforcement system envisioned in Bill C-88, it would be a violation to proceed with a project without a valid certificate or to contravene the conditions of a certificate. These and other violations could lead to an administrative monetary penalty, or AMP. An AMP is a fine imposed by an inspector. It is a civil sanction imposed through an administrative process, rather than a criminal sentence imposed by a court.
Bill C-88 would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to provide all the necessary and appropriate authorities for AMPs and associated regulations. The regulations would specify penalty amounts, as well as the method of calculating penalties for each type of violation. The amendments also specify the maximum fine would be $25,000 for individuals and $100,000 for organizations. A violation that continues for multiple days would be subject to a separate AMP for each day. I am convinced that the threat of such potentially large fines would promote compliance with the proposed legislation.
There are many advantages to an enforcement system based on development certificates. The threat of a hefty fine removes the potential financial benefit of non-compliance, for instance. By imposing particular restrictions on a project through a development certificate, the system helps regulators to achieve particular goals, such as environmental protection. Civil sanctions such as AMPs tend to be more efficient than criminal prosecutions, which can be lengthy and expensive undertakings.
The enforcement system proposed in Bill C-88 is consistent with those authorized in other federal legislation, including the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, the National Energy Board Act and the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.
Another worthwhile feature of the proposed enforcement system is that it features many effective checks and balances. Development certificates, for example, could not include measures within the jurisdiction of a designated regulatory agency, such as the National Energy Board or the Tlicho government. Anyone issued an AMP could seek to have the notice investigated by an official review body. The review would determine whether the penalty was issued in accordance with the regulations, whether the person committed the violation, or both.
For violations related to part 5 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, which pertains to environmental assessment, the federal minister would be empowered to act as a review body. For violations related to part 3 of the act, which deals with land and water management, the board that issued the original authorization would serve as the review body. If a violation was related to an activity that did not involve an authorization, the board responsible for the region where the violation occurred would serve as the review body.
The enforcement system would also include a reconsideration process. A proponent could request an adjustment to a development certificate to address changing circumstances, ineffective or unclear project conditions or new technologies. Reconsideration would be limited to the area of change and to any effects the change may have had on the project. The proponent would not be required to complete another full environmental assessment, and the original decision to authorize the project could not be challenged under reconsideration.
Inspection is another important aspect of the proposed enforcement system. Qualified persons, such as federal or territorial officers, would be authorized under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to inspect projects for compliance with the conditions of development certificates. The inspectors would have broad authority to enter and examine premises. They could also prohibit or limit access to premises. If an inspection uncovered evidence of an activity that contravened part 5 of the act, the inspector could issue an order to cease the activity and to mitigate the effects of the activity.
To deter proponents from interfering with the work of inspectors, this part of the enforcement system would include more stringent measures. Rather than civil sanctions, violators would be subject to criminal prosecution. It would be a criminal offence to obstruct inspectors, for instance, or to knowingly provide them with false or misleading information. It would be an offence to carry out development without the proper authority or to contravene an order to cease an activity.
Offenders would face stiff penalties. Conviction for a first offence, for example, could lead to a fine of up to $250,000 and a one-year prison sentence. The maximum fine for subsequent offences would rise to $500,000. This part of the enforcement system would also feature important checks and balances. For instance, an action could not be subject to both an AMP and a criminal sanction.
As my hon. colleagues can now appreciate, the legislation before us envisions an effective enforcement system. Proponents would be required to abide by specific conditions set out in development certificates. To promote compliance, the system would include sanctions corresponding to the seriousness of a violation or offence. As well, the system would incorporate a series of checks and balances to prevent potential abuses of process.
I am convinced that such an enforcement system would enable northerners to maximize the potential benefits of resource development and to minimize the potential environmental impacts. I will vote in favour of Bill C-88 at second reading, and I urge my hon. colleagues to do the same.
The years involved in negotiating these settlements, land claims and self-government settlements are a remarkable testament to parliamentarians and to Canada. These agreements are working very well. As I said previously, one of my greatest moments in Parliament was to get the Tlicho land claims and self-government agreement through Parliament.
We have to maintain the honour of the Crown, maintain respect for those constitutionally protected agreements and make sure that we do not pass legislation that would infringe on those agreements.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 15:54 [p.26894]
Madam Speaker, my constituents are not telling me much about this bill, because as the Conservative member referred to obliquely, it is not related to Yukon. It is not in Yukon. I asked the Conservative member a question about the Tlicho, and she answered that the Tlicho are in the Northwest Territories.
That being said, there was a similar situation recently where the same thing happened in Yukon. There was a constitutionally protected land claim and a process requiring consultation and working with first nation governments, as constitutionally protected in the land claim. There was a bill by the previous government that abrogated the spirit, if not the letter, of the law in those agreements. The same thing happened, and it was replaced. In this particular case, the first nations went to the government and won an injunction. What this law does is basically reinstate the law so that it stays in the spirit of the injunction and allows the land claim and self-government agreement to exist as it was originally created.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 15:56 [p.26894]
Madam Speaker, the land claims in the north are a remarkable achievement of successive federal governments, in spite of some opposition. They are unique, so we should apologize for the Conservatives, as they may not understand the differences or may not understand that those agreements are constitutionally protected. We cannot abrogate constitutionally protected land claims by passing a law that changes what has already been protected.
The difference is that the Liberals observe those land claims agreements as they have been negotiated. Ours, in particular, took over 30 years just to negotiate. We respect them with the honour of the Crown. We try to have them as living documents in a government-to-government relationship with first nations people so that we can work out any kinks in those agreements and in the implementation of those agreements.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 16:07 [p.26896]
Madam Speaker, I expected the member to talk about the relationship with first nations and the importance of the honour of Crown and having a trusted relationship. He has good relationships in his riding, and I know that has been assisted by the fact that all parliamentarians have agreed to having indigenous languages spoken in the House of Commons and at committee. The indigenous languages act would increase the trust and reconciliation.
Could the member give us any experiences from his riding of how important this trust and these relationships are with first nations and their governments?
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Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 16:24 [p.26898]
Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on his tone. I want to make a clarifying comment.
In earlier comments it was suggested that this act was detrimental to oil and gas. In fact, the opposite is the case. Certain oil and gas leases would have expired in the next few years and the act would freeze them so they would not expire. Therefore, when activity becomes available again, they will still be eligible for that. That was created in discussions with those companies.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 17:10 [p.26903]
Madam Speaker, I congratulate the member for Northwest Territories. He has worked so hard to get the bill forward for his people, or as the Conservatives say, “the local people”, who really want the bill.
I would like to ask the hon. member this. He is the second Conservative member who I heard say that he wants the decisions to be made by the local people. The vote on this bill is a decision that the local people want. The governments that it would affect are the Tlicho government, the Sahtu government, the Vuntut Gwitchin government and the GNWT. As the previous Liberal colleague from NWT mentioned, those governments were consulted extensively on the bill while it was being created. The member wanted the decision to be made by local people. The bill is totally about that. All of the local governments want the bill. Therefore, I assume the member would support it.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-04-09 17:37 [p.26907]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's support of our first nations, particularly the battle we have had for over a decade in trying to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
She mentioned that we are taking back a law that was unfortunate or wrong, but I would say it was illegal, because land claims agreements are constitutionally protected. A law cannot be passed that retracts a constitutionally protected item.
There was a parallel exercise that happened in Yukon on the environmental assessment process. There they once again tried to make a change that was not in line with the spirit or the law of the constitutionally protected land claims, on which the member supported us. We have retracted that change and gone back to the spirit of the agreement and the letter of the law that was originally contemplated in 30 years of negotiation.
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Lib. (YT)
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2019-04-02 14:11 [p.26583]
Mr. Speaker, one year from now, the 2020 Arctic Winter Games will take place in Whitehorse. This will mark 50 years since the Arctic Winter Games began in 1970. The first year's games were opened by the Right Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
We are proud and thrilled to once again have the opportunity to invite the circumpolar world to our capital city. This marks our seventh time hosting the event in Yukon. This international celebration of northern sports and culture will gather more than 2,000 athletes to compete against their peers, show discipline, set personal bests and practise their passion for their sport. There will be sport and cultural contingents from Alaska; Alberta north; Greenland; NWT; Nunavik, Quebec; Nunavut; Sapmi, in northern Scandinavia, and Yamal, in Russia, competing in 21 sports.
I encourage everyone to check out the host society's website and find out more about the opportunities to volunteer or attend the 2020 Arctic Winter Games.
Let the countdown begin.
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Lib. (YT)
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2019-03-20 15:21 [p.26184]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 88th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs entitled “Question of Privilege Related to the Matter of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Publications Respecting Bill C-71, An Act to Amend Certain Acts and Regulations in Relation to Firearms”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
While I am on my feet, I move:
That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.
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Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-03-18 16:05 [p.26075]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 87th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House, and I would like to move concurrence in the report now.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-02-27 15:38 [p.25864]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 86th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
The committee advises that pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(2), the subcommittee on private members' business met to consider the order for the second reading of a private member's bill originating in the Senate and recommended that the item listed herein, which it has determined should not be designated non-votable, be considered by the House.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-02-21 14:59 [p.25635]
[Member spoke in Gwich'in as follows:]
dunich’uu? drin gwiinzii shilak kat
[Gwich'in text translated as follows:]
How are you? Good day, friends and relatives.
[English]
Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago the Government of Canada tabled Canada's first indigenous languages bill. This is a historic step in rebuilding Canada's relationship with first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples as we continue the dialogue on reconciliation.
Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism please explain to the House how this bill would help indigenous peoples defend their language rights and ensure that indigenous languages are transmitted to future generations?
[Member spoke in Gwich'in as follows:]
Mahsi cho.
[Gwich'in text translated as follows:]
Thank you.
[English]
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-02-20 15:35 [p.25562]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 84th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding its study of Supplementary Estimates (B), 2018-19.
I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 85th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding its study of Interim Estimates 2019-20.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-02-20 18:02 [p.25578]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak to this historic legislation for the country. It is great to have this coming forward quickly.
[Member spoke in Gwich'in as follows:]
dunich’uu? drin gwiinzii shilak kat
[Gwich'in text translated as follows:]
How are you? Good day, friends and relatives.
[English]
I hope the member for Nunavut goes to committee so he can elaborate more. I know he has a lot to contribute.
I appreciated being involved in the consultations in my riding in Yukon. Money for aboriginal languages goes to the individual self-governing first nations in Yukon. The chiefs have made it clear to me that they want to continue with that model and that the individual governments in the government-to-government relationships can best decide where that money should go. I am very excited and would encourage everyone involved in this, as well as the commissioner who might make those decisions, to ensure this format continues. One size does not fit all. Particular first nations know the best way to help preserve and promote their language.
I was hoping to ask the member for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, who I know is an expert in the field, for some examples of successes. There have been great successes. Statistics show that people who have learned their aboriginal language, who know their aboriginal language and who are connected to their culture are more successful in life and in education, because they have the grounding.
An aboriginal youth said to me that the language and culture came first, not last, when youth had problems or difficulties, because the language grounded them and gave them that pride and strength to carry on and become successful in life. I know every member of this Parliament would want indigenous people to have that success in life, to be able to move forward and to close the unacceptable socio-economic gaps in our country. This language law is a big step in the right direction.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-02-19 10:06 [p.25473]
Mr. Speaker, I noticed that recently the public accounts committee was saying how hard it is working to present the 59th report of the committee.
I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 83rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
The committee advises that, pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(2), the subcommittee on private members' business met to consider the order for the second reading of private members' public bills originating in the Senate, and recommended that the items listed in the report, which it has determined should not be designated non-votable, be considered by the House.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-02-05 13:02 [p.25265]
Mr. Speaker, I hope the Conservatives take that advice on board in question period.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-01-30 15:15 [p.25026]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 82nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 82nd report later this day.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-01-30 15:20 [p.25027]
Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 82nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-12 14:19 [p.24763]
Mr. Speaker, as chair of the House of Commons procedure committee, I will be as sad as everyone this Christmas to depart for a decade this building where Laurier walked, which has been our home for almost a century. Its carvings, carillon, history and architecture make it a national heritage treasure.
However, our democracy is not an edifice. It lives in the hearts and minds of the representatives who inhabit it, who reflect the face of Canada: indigenous people, the French, the English, citizens from cultures and religions from all over the world, our veterans, the LGBTQ2, the wealthy, the poor, the disabled, the rebels, the young, the mothers and grandmothers.
On February 3, 1916, the old Centre Block burned to the ground, but the very next day, Parliament resumed in the Museum of Nature. For wherever free Canadians exist, so will their democracy, the rule of law, the freedom to dissent, and the right to elect their representatives and their Parliament to preserve the privilege of freedom and equality for all.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-10 18:27 [p.24650]
Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned that she thought this was an omnibus bill. Everyone else in the House obviously disagrees with her because with an omnibus bill, the vote can be split, and no one requested to have the vote split. It only affects two acts: the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act.
Maybe the member could explain why she thinks this is an omnibus bill, as she is the only member in the House who thinks this.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-10 18:31 [p.24651]
Mr. Speaker, I just want to continue on the omnibus bill discussion.
I gave a 10-minute speech explaining to the House the technicalities and how the orders have been changed so that they cannot be abused. With respect to the budget bill, the member mentioned that at 854 pages it was obviously an omnibus bill. It does not matter how long a budget implementation bill is. Obviously governments have to implement budgets, so they need legislation, which can be 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 pages long. As long as a bill implements what is in the budget, it can put in a number of things. Previously, there was a budget implementation bill that had a huge amount about the environment that was not in the budget, and that was abuse of the budget implementation bill.
This is to provide clarity so that members know what is abuse and what is not abuse with respect to budget bills and non-budget bills.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-06 10:28 [p.24478]
Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 80th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
Pursuant to Standing Order 92(3)(a), the committee reports that it has concurred in the report of the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business advising that Bill C-421, an act to amend the Citizenship Act in regard to the adequate knowledge of French in Quebec, should be designated non-votable.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-06 13:47 [p.24504]
Mr. Speaker, I have two questions for the member.
The member seemed to imply that reviewing legislation for charter approval is a waste of time. The Government of Canada has traditionally used significant appropriate funds to hire experts in the Department of Justice to review legislation before it comes to Parliament to ensure charter compliance as best as possible.
As the member for Parkdale—High Park made quite clear, we are very supportive of the courts making the final decision. Anyone can go to the courts.
First, does he think it is a waste of money to have those constitutional lawyers in the Department of Justice review legislation? Second, because the Conservatives had so many bills that failed charter tests, it was suggested to me at a justice committee meeting, I think it was in Toronto, that when the Conservatives were in power they did not even have their laws reviewed by constitutional experts, or at least did not agree with their opinion. Was that true when the Conservatives were in government?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-03 15:05 [p.24323]
Mr. Speaker, Pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 79th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 79th report later today.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-03 15:07 [p.24323]
Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 79th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-03 17:24 [p.24343]
Madam Speaker, I think a couple of the member's colleagues said that they supported indigenous self-government, controlling one's own destiny.
The Sahtu and the Tlicho have self-governing modern treaties. I wonder if the member supports that.
While he is thinking of the answer, to show their support, all the MPs in the House are invited by Chief Roberta Joseph from Dawson City to the AFN reception, second floor of the Westin Hotel, to protect the Porcupine caribou herd, starting in half an hour. If they cannot make that, I will invite everyone in the House, and in fact in the country, to come to Yukon Day tomorrow, at 5:30 p.m., at 228 Valour Building.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-12-03 17:28 [p.24343]
Madam Speaker, there is an injunction about that particular clause that is being changed by the courts, that the Sahtu and the Tlicho brought before the government to get changed. They want the boards changed back to the way it was negotiated in their land claims.
Does the member have a comment on whether that clause is a good idea?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-29 12:44 [p.24196]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg South.
Before I start, I want to say that this could very easily be a great day for indigenous people in Canada, because just after 3 p.m., if things go according to Hoyle, which sometimes does not happen in this Parliament, there will be a discussion on the use of aboriginal languages in the House. It would be a great sign of reconciliation for indigenous youth to see their indigenous languages used at the centre of our democracy and nation. Therefore, I look forward to that discussion and hope everyone else does as well.
My speech today is on a topic that has come up quite often during this debate, which is omnibus bills. I will explain the technical aspects and how they work for new members of Parliament and new senators. Therefore, if members are not interested in hearing about the Standing Orders and how an omnibus bill works, they can go for lunch.
Since 1888 in Parliament there was no description or definition of omnibus bills until the recent government came to power. There were accusations of legislation being abused to do too many things or more than one major thing in a bill. An example would be a budget bill with a lot of clauses and things related to the environment that are unrelated to the budget speech. This was seen to be an abuse of a bill, or what some people called an “omnibus bill”. This was viewed as unacceptable.
In the last campaign, our party made a suggestion to remove the potential for such abuse by making a change with respect to that. On June 20, 2017, we made that correction so that people could no longer bring forth bills, in the general course of Parliament, that aimed to do a lot of things, or at least more than one thing, or to bring forth a budget implementation bill containing things that were not at all related to the budget. The way we fulfilled that promise was by adding Standing Order 69.1 to the Standing Orders, which we in the House, here in Parliament, approved.
There are two subsections in the new standing order. The first subsection is with respect to the general course of bringing forward legislation. Subsection 69.1(1) states:
In the case where a government bill seeks to repeal, amend or enact more than one act, and where there is not a common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked, the Speaker shall have the power to divide the questions, for the purposes of voting, on the motion for second reading and reference to a committee and the motion for third reading and passage of the bill. The Speaker shall have the power to combine clauses of the bill thematically and to put the aforementioned questions on each of these groups of clauses separately, provided that there will be a single debate at each stage.
That is how that was dealt with. Not only was that promise kept, but subsequently, use of that section has been requested at least twice. I will cite the two examples. On June 11, 2018, it was used with regard to a bill relating to national security, which the Speaker split into three votes. On October 31, 2017, a request for use of this new provision, which protects against abusive use of omnibus bills, was proposed for a corrections bill. However, the Speaker ruled that the items were related, and the bill was not split for the purpose of a vote.
The second potential use of an omnibus bill is with respect to a budget bill.
Those who understand legislation know that we have a budget speech, but, of course, that is not the law. We need a budget implementation bill to actually bring into force what is in the speech. As I have said, the Liberals thought there was an abuse of power in using that budget implementation speech to do a bunch of major, serious things that were not limited to the budget. Therefore, they wanted to remove that potential for abuse.
Standing Order 69.1(2), entitled “Budget implementation bills” reads:
(2) The present Standing Order shall not apply if the bill has as its main purpose the implementation of a budget and contains only provisions that were announced in the budget presentation or in the documents tabled during the budget presentation.
Budgets, as members know, often deal with the spending for dozens of departments. That is what a budget does. A budget implementation bill has to implement all of those things, and so it could be very long. It could be 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 pages. It is whatever it takes to implement what is in the budget.
Most parliamentarians would suggest that more changes to improve things in Canada would obviously make a longer bill. Whether we reduce, increase or modify expenditures, it would have to be put into the implementation bill. Therefore, the length is not relevant, unless we go off-course from what is in the budget. It could be very long, but the key is whether there is abuse, or doing something major that is not in the budget.
Standing Order 69.1(2) makes sure that we can do a budget, but it gives authority to the Speaker to split things out that were not in the budget or in the documents tabled with the budget. Therefore, in both ways, this promise was obviously fulfilled. Provisions were made to stop the abuse that was thought to be occurring on budget bills, as well as abuse in the general course of doing legislation.
In the second case, I will give members an example. Not only has this been put in place and now legislated, but it is part of the Standing Orders approved by this Parliament, and Standing Order 69.1(2) has actually been used as well since that time. It was used at least once, on November 3, 2017. The Speaker split that budget bill into five votes, because there were items that were not in that particular budget. If I remember correctly, although the Standing Order says that an item must be in the budget, the items had been in a previous budget. The Speaker did not agree to this. He then split that vote. Therefore, this provision allows the Speaker to split the bill, and it has been used.
As I said, there were no provisions for this type of protection previously, but I think it makes our legislative system better. Even with normal legislation, we cannot put a whole bunch of things in one bill that are totally unrelated. A budget bill can be really long, but it cannot include things that are not in the budget documents or in the budget speech.
Since 1888, there had been no provision to protect against this in Parliament. There were times when bills were split, but it was done through politics and not through the Standing Orders. Members may remember the great bell-ringing exercise on March 2, 1982, which convinced parliamentarians to change and split a bill, but it was not done under the authority of any Standing Order.
I just wanted to clarify and get this on the record so that people know how these types of bills get split or not, and what is more appropriate to try and improve the legislation in this Parliament.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-29 12:54 [p.24197]
Mr. Speaker, I have already mentioned in the House that the Conservatives have already lost that argument. They are right that they have asked 500 times, but it was inappropriate for them to suggest that members of Parliament should know when a budget will be balanced. They could never answer when they did not balance eight or nine out of 10 of their own budgets.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-29 12:56 [p.24197]
Mr. Speaker, my understanding of the promise made was that abusing a budget implementation bill by putting a whole bunch of things in it that were not in the budget itself was inappropriate. The Standing Order that I read in my speech precludes putting a number of things into the budget and the budget documents tabled with the budget. It is not appropriate to put brand new things into a budget implementation bill and that is what has been corrected in this legislation.
As to what is in a budget itself, that is another debate, which I did not address, and it is interesting the member brought that up.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-29 12:57 [p.24197]
Mr. Speaker, when I came to Parliament, it was to help lower-income people in need and some of the provisions we brought forward will bring some of them into the middle class. The first thing we did, as promised, was reduce taxes for the middle class. As has been mentioned many times in the House, the average family will now be about $2,000 better off.
The things I am proud of are the following: increasing the guaranteed income supplement for the poorest seniors, increasing financial assistance for the poorest students, increasing financial assistance to the poorest families and, in the most recent budget, increasing the income tax credit for working people that will help over two million lower-income Canadians. When money is provided to people who really need it, they spend it right away, which goes into small businesses and boosts the economy.
In Yukon, there is almost no unemployment at this time. It is incredible. On top of all of the benefits for people who really need it and the doubling or tripling of infrastructure that is in almost every community in the Yukon, Yukon is in a great situation.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-29 13:22 [p.24201]
Mr. Speaker, I have two questions for the member.
The member said that this is an omnibus bill. That is defined as having something in the budget implementation act that would amend something that was not in the budget. Could he mention what he is referring to that is in the budget implementation act but is not in the budget that would make this an omnibus bill?
My second question relates to the discussion a few minutes ago about child care. We had a national child care program under the hon. Ken Dryden in the Right Hon. Paul Martin government. Both the Conservatives and the NDP got rid of that by defeating Paul Martin and bringing in Harper. I hear Conservative members clapping. They must be against child care.
We now have another child care program, which is great. We have an agreement with my riding of Yukon. Now there is another national child care program. Would the member be in favour of the Conservatives getting rid of that national child care program as well?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-27 16:57 [p.24053]
Madam Speaker, I know the member from Quebec has a lot more to say so I am going to let him say it because my comment has nothing to do with his speech. Therefore, he can finish his speech when I finish.
I do have to put something on the record, which has come up a lot in this debate, about omnibus bills. Some people do not understand how it works. Since 1888, there have been omnibus bills and they have not been able to be split, except politically, maybe, with the great bell ringing in 1982.
There are two types of omnibus bills. One is on regular bill time, when a bill is on more than one topic. The other is with the budget. There was a problem that the use of omnibus bills was being abused, especially the example of the budget with a whole bunch about the environment that was not in the budget. Therefore, we promised to change that, and we did.
In section 69.1 of the Standing Orders, we changed that and it had those two categories of bills. Therefore, that promise was kept. That section has been used three times. It was used on October 31, 2017, on a corrections bill, which turned out not to be split; on June 11, 2018, on the national security bill, which was actually split, showing that it worked; and then on November 3, 2017, on a budget bill that was split five ways. Not only did we put in a mechanism, but it works.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 11:22 [p.23887]
Mr. Speaker, because of his great experience, I am sure the member has a lot more to say, so I will let him say it.
I will not ask a question, but I do want to make a comment on the constitutionality aspect that came up twice now. Just so members and the public know, when a government bill comes before Parliament, there are constitutional experts who have reviewed it and determined, in their opinion, whether they believe it is constitutional. It is not a shot in the dark, whether things that come before Parliament are constitutional.
With private members' bills, hopefully private members will take their bills to a constitutional expert before they present their it to Parliament, so we do not have this discussion on motions and bills so often because they have already been reviewed for constitutionality.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 15:08 [p.23921]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 78th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The committee advises that, pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(2), the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business met to consider the items added to the order of precedence on Thursday, November 1, 2018, and recommended that the items listed herein, which it has determined should not be designated non-votable, be considered by the House.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 15:35 [p.23926]
Mr. Speaker, I do not know anything about this case and I am not saying it is not a problem. However, when you rule on privilege, just to remind the Speaker, you have to explain how a member's ability to do is his or her job is deterred by the question brought forward.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 15:38 [p.23926]
Mr. Speaker, Canada presently has the lowest unemployment in 40 years. What is also amazing is that Yukon has recently had the lowest level of unemployment in the country. The north normally has higher levels of unemployment. Therefore, this is fantastic for my riding. It is amazing and exciting for Yukoners that we are virtually at full economic employment.
What has caused this great level of work in Canada and particularly in Yukon? There are two items that have made a major contribution to this.
The first is the record level of infrastructure spending, double what has ever been spent before by any government in any part of Canada. In my riding, as an example, over 60 projects have already been announced for over $400 million for virtually every community in Yukon. There is probably nothing more gut-wrenching for people than to not be able to feed their family, to not have a job, to not be able to pay the bills. It must be hard for people to have to tell their family they have to move because they cannot afford to live where they are, or they cannot send their kids on school trips or buy them clothes similar to the other kids' or to not have good food.
The fact that there are so many infrastructure projects putting so many people to work is so edifying. However, that is not the end of it. Last May we signed an infrastructure agreement for $445 million more over the next 10 years for our riding.
The second area that I think is a big contribution to the low unemployment rates is the contributions we have made to all different categories of needy people in my riding an all of Canada. By increasing the GIS, thousands of seniors have been lifted out of poverty. We have increased support for students in general and have more support for low-income students. We have also doubled the number of summer jobs for students, and there are still more waiting. There were more applications to fill even when the number of jobs were doubled.
We have supported low-income people with huge amounts of funds through the child tax credit. It is income-tested. Single mothers could get over $6,000 a child under this plan. Some people talk about the cancelled sports credit and other credits like that where people might have received $50 or $100. However, I think people would rather have the $6,000 to really help them raise their children. The other thing we did was we made it non-taxable. Parts of it in the past were taxable. A single mother, who I think was a reporter, came to me in shock when it came to the tax time of the year and found that she had to pay a huge amount of income tax on the child tax credit, which she was not prepared for at all.
The credit has been increased recently, and faster than we thought we would be able to, by indexing the child tax credit. It is going to continue to rise. In my riding alone, it will increase to $5.6 million from 2018 to 2023 for children in very low-income families.
Another area that helps low-income families is day care. As members know, we had a national day care program under the Hon. Ken Dryden. However, the opposition parties got together and replaced Prime Minister Martin with Prime Minister Harper, who cancelled the national child care program. We have initiated a new program. For my riding, the agreement has been signed with the federal government and the minister in Yukon for $7 million over three years.
Another group that has been helped is veterans. The one item I would especially note is that employees now make trips to Yukon three or four times a year to help veterans and veterans of the RCMP in Yukon.
Another group that is disadvantaged is those suffering from mental health and addictions. That has been a high priority for our government. There has been a big need for funding in Canada. My riding alone will get roughly $1 million this year.
This deals with contributions to a vast majority of low-income people. However, there is one large group that I did not mention, and that is the low-income workers. In this budget we have added a low-income worker benefit so people can keep more of their hard-earned money to help them pay the bills as things are getting more expensive for everyone.
In my riding alone, the Canada workers benefit is going to help 1,600 workers. People can imagine across Canada how big this program is. It helps two million workers across Canada, and lifts 70,000 of them out of poverty.
People may ask why I brought up all these contributions to the needy in the context of the great boost to the economy and the full employment. The reason is, it is the right thing to do. That is the most important reason to do it. The second reason is that people really need these funds. Of course when they spend them, they go to small businesses, whose taxes will be reduced, and other expenditures in the economy.
All this employment actually leads to another problem, one which in a way is nice to have, and that is a lack of employees. Everyone has heard in the House of Commons and other debates the number of improvements to the immigration system to deal with this, and the increased training funds. In fact, the 2016 budget was a training budget. A significant portion of those funds goes to training aboriginal people, which is important in my riding.
There is something else exciting for me in the bill. Mining is so important in my riding. In fact mining has been the biggest contributor to the GDP virtually every year since the century before last century, since 1897. Every year since 2003, for anyone who was not here at that time, I have been lobbying very hard to get the mineral exploration tax credit extended. In my riding, the vast majority of exploration projects depend on this credit. I have been fighting year after year, no matter who is in government, to get that extended. Indeed, it was extended each year. I was excited to see that again this year it was extended. I thank PDAC, perhaps the biggest mining association in the world, and MAC, and the Yukon Chamber of Mines who at the Yukon Geoscience Forum a couple of weeks ago applauded my efforts in lobbying for this every year.
Something even more exciting is what the minister announced in the fall economic statement. PDAC was asking for this too. I think it was asking not only for a one-year but a three-year extension as the first priority of a number of things it was looking for. The minister announced not a one-year extension, not a three-year extension, but a five-year extension. It is so critical to such a big industry in Canada. I am so excited about this. Finance ministers, no matter what party, are the ones who say no to all the things that come forward, so for the minister to say yes to making this expenditure is exciting for me, for my riding and for the mining industry. I thank the Minister of Finance for this great success story. The mining industry is the biggest employer of indigenous people, with 16,500 jobs in Canada.
Another problem that all this employment creates is the need for housing. As one of the first members of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, we have been lobbying for affordable housing for years as well. The new national housing plan, again, is the biggest in Canadian history, of some $40 billion. I have already announced projects in a vast majority of the communities with a population in my riding and the communities of Whitehorse, Carcross, Haines Junction, Burwash, Old Crow, Pelly Crossing, Dawson, Watson Lake and Carmacks.
Also very exciting is the $1 million for the women's entrepreneurship program. I congratulate the women's business network and Tammy Beese. There is another $32 million for the Yukon government, which will spend it and help the economy.
Finally, CanNor, our economic development agency, was about to expire when this budget came in. Again, I thank the Minister of Finance. He made it permanent and provided $20 million a year and another $2 million for innovations and skills, and funded the huge innovation centre so that Yukon is in with a digital economy like everyone else.
For all these reasons, members can see why we are very excited in my riding about the economic interventions by the Minister of Finance.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 15:49 [p.23928]
Mr. Speaker, there were a number of questions.
The first was about omnibus bills. What the Liberals railed against was the improper use, not in budget times, of omnibus bills. If the bill is twice as long as any other budget implementation bill, it means we are doing twice as much as any other government.
In relation to the small deficit, we are leading the G7. It is not significant, especially given all of the investments I mentioned and the 500,000 new jobs. All of these workers are paying income tax and the businesses are paying taxes, and all of that is going into revenue.
Low-income seniors, low-income students, low-income workers, people getting child care, veterans, people being helped with mental health and addictions, people in the women's entrepreneurship program, people in the innovation centre and people with the economic development agency are very happy with those investments and that small deficit.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 15:51 [p.23928]
Mr. Speaker, the member is right. One of the reasons I got into politics was to fight against poverty.
A number of things help low-income people. In my riding, there are a number of indigenous people and a number of rural communities where things are even more expensive. It is very important that Canadians get the child tax benefit, especially if there is no employment.
One of the important things I can tell all Canadians who are listening is to make sure they fill in their tax forms. Even for those who do not make a cent, there are a number of benefits available, such as the child tax benefit and the GST credit. Canadians cannot get them unless they fill out their tax forms.
One thing I did not mention is nutrition north. It helps people in the High Arctic with the high cost of food, which can be two, three or four times what is for the rest of us. Nutrition north has recently, through the economic statement, received more funds, and more studies have been done, helping people to collect country foods as part of the new investment.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 15:53 [p.23928]
Mr. Speaker, the member seems to be easier on me than he is with a lot of the question he asks others in the House. I am glad he was so tame on me.
I think everyone in the House, for the sake of the particular part of the bill on pay equity, wants the bill to pass.
I want to add my congratulations to the Liberals' women's caucus, which I have attended off and on for years, and to the all-party caucus for pushing to make sure this important provision got in. I would also like to compliment the finance minister on having recently had the first budget analyzed based on gender to make sure it was fair for everyone.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2018-11-26 16:36 [p.23934]
Mr. Speaker, basically, it looks like we are in agreement in a lot of areas.
The member mentioned that there were a lot of poor people in the country. As I mentioned in my speech in detail, we have contributed to virtually all of those groups. First, for the working poor, we have helped over two million people. We have increased the amount of money for low-income students. We have increased the GIS for low-income seniors, bringing thousands of them out of poverty. There is the new Canada child benefit, which brings thousands of children out of poverty.
I am delighted the member raised the boiled water advisories. I do not have the exact figures, but a record number have been dealt with, I think 60 out of 120. We are well on schedule to eliminate them all. It is very important, and I am glad it is important for the NDP.
Finally, on Internet for rural areas, there is a special program. As an example, in my area, the federal government is investing millions to put a line up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik. Therefore, we will have redundancy with our line from the south from Alberta as it goes down whenever someone breaks a line from Alberta. I am very appreciative of that. I appreciate the fact that the member supports those types of initiatives.
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