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Results: 1 - 15 of 148
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-06-19 21:33 [p.29442]
Mr. Speaker, sometimes I wonder if the NDP would like no trade agreements, without regard for the consequences.
The hon. member, who gave a very eloquent speech, described the USMCA as “something on trade”, forgetting that it was an arduous negotiation that was carried out wonderfully by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the government.
However, I would like to go back to the extension of pharmaceutical patents. I would accept the hon. member's point if we were talking about traditional drugs. In the case of traditional drugs, generics are ready to pounce the moment a patent is lifted, but we are talking about biologics and biosimilars, which are the generic versions of biologics.
All experts agree that the barriers to entry into the biosimilars market are extremely high, because we are dealing with extremely complex drugs. The notion that patent extensions may be having an impact really is moot, because the barriers to entry will prevent biosimilars from quickly entering the market when there are no patent protections.
It is not really a proper parallel to make. It is alarming Canadians for no reason. Could the member comment on that?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-06-18 14:07 [p.29300]
Mr. Speaker, the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre, under the leadership of its founder Debbie Magwood and with the unflagging support of its dedicated staff, volunteers and donors, is the model for a new kind of cancer care. The centre is a pioneer in a whole-person integrated approach that goes beyond traditional medical treatment to focus on the psychosocial needs of those living with the disease.
The centre supports participants through a variety of programs including fitness, meditation, reflexology and yoga.
Debbie and her team are passionate about sharing their vision. That is why, with the support of Health Canada, they have launched National Cancer Wellness Awareness Day, to be marked for the first time this June 26.
I would like to congratulate Debbie and her team and the incredible community that supports the centre and its mission to make Canada an even more compassionate society.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-06-10 16:13 [p.28826]
Madam Speaker, I enjoyed listening to the hon. member's speech. He started by talking about something that we all know is true: that political leaders can have an impact on youth and inspire them to follow a career in politics. He talked about his experience with then prime minister Diefenbaker.
I am sure that the hon. member, through his experience speaking to students and being present in the community, has inspired others to follow in his footsteps. I sincerely hope, however, that he did not irrevocably steer these young people away from running as Liberals. I do not think he would have, because my experience with the member has always been that he has approached issues and the people in this House with graciousness. He has never been heavy-handed in his approach and has never resorted to personal attacks. I think he is a fine example, not only for the youth in this country but for all Canadians.
I had the pleasure of sitting on the transport committee with the hon. member when he was re-elected in his return to Parliament, and I have always enjoyed listening to him speak in debate. I wish him and his wife Arlene and his family the very best going forward. It has been a pleasure to sit in this Parliament with him.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-06-07 12:16 [p.28759]
Madam Speaker, I have a petition from residents of Manor Avenue in my riding who are not pleased with the location of their community mailbox. They find that it is extremely inconvenient, and in fact dangerous.
The petitioners would like to bring to the attention of the government the fact that negotiations they have tried to undertake with Canada Post have not been fruitful. They are prepared to sit down and resolve the matter in a mutually agreeable way.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-06-07 14:24 [p.28777]
Madam Speaker, I truly appreciate the opportunity to speak to this issue, and I will mention why.
First of all, it is clearly an important issue. Income security in retirement is something that people work toward. However, people do not really give much thought to it until they approach retirement in their later years.
When pensions were solid and secure, our society really did not pay that much attention to the potential risks in the future if the economy changed, for example if returns on investments diminished or if companies, because of newly competitive environments, faced financial difficulties and sometimes even insolvency and bankruptcy.
Early on, when the population was a bit younger and the demographics were different, people just paid into company pensions and really did not think about the possibility that someday that nest egg might not be there or that it might be smaller than anticipated.
My engagement with the issue began shortly after I was elected in 2004, and it was because I have very many constituents who worked for companies whose pension plans did not produce at the end because of bankruptcy.
I have many former Nortel employees living in my riding of Lac-Saint-Louis. There was a major Nortel facility down the highway from where the riding is located. Many of my constituents had very good careers there, only to find out one day that their pension payments were going to be much less than they had anticipated.
I also have many Air Canada employees living in my riding of Lac-Saint-Louis. While the company is doing very well today, there was a time when we did not know if the company was going to continue to be a going concern, and there was actually a deficit in the pension plan. I am not sure exactly where things line up with the pension plan right now, but it is much better than it was maybe 10 or 15 years ago.
Various stakeholder groups have been meeting with me over the years, including the Nortel pensioners and the Air Canada Pionairs, who are the retirees of Air Canada. As I said, I have many Air Canada employees in my riding because the riding is in close proximity to the airport.
Until not long ago I also had a facility called Indalex in my riding that made the news about pensions. That case went to Ontario Superior Court and has become a rather well-known pension case.
The government has also been engaged with this issue. Groups like CARP and others have interacted with the government to press for greater protections for pensioners, and the government has listened. It may not have come up with all of the solutions yet; there may be more solutions coming in the future to what is an extremely complex problem.
While the issue of pensions is important and while it concerns a growing number of people who are focused on it, it is also one of the more complex issues. It is a financial issue. It involves markets. Anything that involves actuaries is by definition complex, and it may be a little hard to understand all the facets of it.
The government has taken the issue seriously. In budget 2018, the government committed to undertaking stakeholder consultations and consultations with the broader Canadian population on measures that could be taken to ameliorate the situation beyond what many groups have called for, and by that I mean the solution of giving superpriority to pensioners in bankruptcy proceedings.
However, the government, while it stopped short of that, for now anyway, did take the issue seriously and tasked the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to undertake consultations. These consultations were undertaken, and we saw some results of these consultations in the 2019 budget.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-06-04 17:15 [p.28518]
Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the hon. member's speech, and indeed, fiscal responsibility should always be a guiding principle in public administration. However, it is also responsible and forward-looking to make investments for the future. As a matter of fact, when we talk about investing, we talk about a return at some time in the future.
I would like to ask the member a question regarding a project that is taking place in Montreal. It is a $6-billion project, to which the government is contributing $1.3 billion. This is a light rail system that will benefit future generations that have to take light rail to school. It will improve productivity in the future and bring about greater economic growth.
Should this project have been put on hold, awaiting the balancing of the budget, or is it a good investment for the future and for future generations?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-05-27 17:01 [p.28084]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to this very important motion.
I think the motion has two objectives. First, it will continue to not only raise awareness in the country but also in the House regarding the need to act in a serious manner on the issue of climate change, as there is a need for constantly evolving measures to address this crisis. Second, it is an opportunity for the government to get the support of the other parties in the House for strong action now, and even stronger action in the future, to address climate change.
I am quite proud of our government's bold leadership on the climate file. We have introduced a price on carbon, namely through backstop legislation, and it is the first time a federal government in Canada has introduced a price on carbon. It is for those jurisdictions that have not already developed and implemented mechanisms to make carbon pollution no longer free.
It is important to note that the opposition is building a narrative around the price on pollution and our environmental plan, which involves more than just a price on pollution, as I will talk about in a little while. The opposition is feeding the notion that somehow there is no public support for this kind of measure. However, our policy came out of a platform commitment, and Canadians voted to give our government the mandate to put a price on carbon pollution.
Environmentalists have said to me that it is all fine and good to put a price on carbon pollution but that we need to do more. In fact, we are doing more. We are doing much more than implementing a single policy measure.
That is why I think the motion is important. It provides an opportunity to elaborate further on all the measures our government has implemented since coming to power to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.
We have introduced a suite of measures. As a matter of fact, we have become world leaders in the battle against climate change. Canada's foremost resource economist, Mark Jaccard, has said, “Canada is innovating a model of growing interest to policy-makers in developed and developing countries.” He mentioned policies earlier in his article, which I will describe in a moment, and to that end he says, “In just four years, these and other policies have transformed Canada from a global pariah under the Harper government to a model for climate action under [the current Prime Minister's government].”
We are becoming a world leader. Countries are talking about and being influenced by the measures we are implementing.
What are some of the measures we have implemented other than a price on carbon?
We founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance with the U.K. Now it involves a number of countries, all of which are working to eliminate coal production.
We have also introduced regulations against carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. These are meant to eliminate the use of coal power generation in the next few years.
We are currently working on regulations to reduce methane emissions from industries like the oil and gas industry. These regulations will be flexible enough that industries can work within them.
We have also introduced the low-carbon fund, a fund of $2 billion, to invest in innovative approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
We will be introducing a clean fuel standard as well. It is essentially a system of tradeable credits that will induce fuel distributors and producers to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuels. It will even go on to incite the adoption of electric vehicles.
There will be benefits under this system to those fleets that adopt electric vehicles. This is another important measure that we have implemented. It goes beyond simply putting a price on carbon. It includes a whole suite of measures. In the latest budget we introduced an incentive for those who purchase zero-emission vehicles, including of course different types of hybrids.
Global climate change is having its impact. There is flooding, as we have seen this spring. There is drought. There are forest fires. Meanwhile, the Conservatives twiddle their thumbs. They do not have a plan for addressing global climate change, which has very serious impacts like flooding and drought.
Canadians have a right to be distrustful of the Conservative approach to climate change. The only measure that I can remember the Conservatives implementing in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions was the public transit tax credit. This was the showpiece of the Conservative climate change plan. The interesting thing about the public transit tax credit is that it was billed as a climate change measure, but in fact it was not. It was not a climate change measure and the government knew that, and I will tell the House how the government knew that.
I remember that when we were in government before the Harper government came to power, I thought this idea was a rather interesting one. It had a lot of intuitive appeal. I remember sitting on the environment committee and asking witnesses from Finance Canada why we did not have a public transit tax credit. The representatives said it just does not work, that it does not incite a significant change in commuter behaviour. It does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a significant amount, yet it costs the public purse a lot of money. The cost of reducing one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions through a tax credit like that ends up being about $1,000 per tonne.
Conservative members on the other side of the House are fighting what is essentially a $20 per tonne cost for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, yet they implemented something that cost $1,000 a tonne. It was not as advertised. It was not a climate change measure. It obviously had other objectives.
The interesting thing about the Conservatives' opposition to a price on carbon is that there is an inherent contradiction in their position with the traditional Conservative adherence to the free market. There is a fundamental contradiction that leads to the incoherence of the Conservative Party's approach to climate change.
The price on carbon works through the price system, and that is at the core of the free market system. That price signal will allocate resources towards one area or another, and that is exactly what a price on carbon is meant to do. Canadians need to know that there is a fundamental contradiction in the Conservatives' position. A price on carbon sends a price signal to the market. It changes consumer behaviour.
There was an interesting quote in an article on the weekend by Andrew Coyne, who is no Liberal apologist I might add. He basically said as a result of the price on carbon, “the consumer, through the choices he makes in the marketplace, will be an effective agent, not only of his own interest, but of society's.” This is what happens when there is a price on carbon pollution.
The last point I would like to make is that there must be a bit of division in the Conservative ranks, because we have had a price on carbon in Quebec for many years and I have not heard any Conservative member disagreeing with Quebec government policy on pricing carbon.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-05-27 17:12 [p.28086]
Madam Speaker, the member is actually wrong. The University of Ottawa did a study of the impact of the public transit tax credit and found that the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions was marginal and ended up costing the Canadian taxpayer, which the member purports all the time to be defending, $1,000 per tonne of greenhouse emissions reduced. The current price of carbon is about $20, going up to $50 by 2022. This is, of course, scandalous to the member, yet his government spent $1,000 per tonne to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an ineffective credit.
This has been borne out by studies especially at the University of Ottawa. A price on carbon does work because the demand curve is downward sloping. This is economics 101. Prices and demand go in opposite directions. The track record in B.C. proves that through a price on carbon we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by quite an amount.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-05-27 17:14 [p.28086]
Madam Speaker, young people are indeed taking charge of their future. They are sending an important message to us as legislators. The message is that we need to take action, and that is what our government has done.
At the beginning of my speech, I read a whole list of measures that our government has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is important to take all of those measures into account. However, some of them are quite technical and the media does not talk enough about them.
I think that this motion will draw attention to all the measures that the current government is taking to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is an urgent need for action, and we need to continue to fight against climate change. I am very pleased that young people are getting involved and that they have such a high level of awareness of this problem.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-05-13 11:20 [p.27659]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-421, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act to require that residents of Quebec between the ages of 14 and 64 have an adequate knowledge of French in order to obtain citizenship.
The bill also proposes that these same citizenship applicants be required to prove their knowledge by passing a French test.
The government places tremendous value on Canada's linguistic duality, and we oppose this bill for several reasons. However, it is worth pointing out that we do provide support to encourage francophone immigration across Canada.
The Government of Canada welcomes newcomers by providing a range of services, from pre-arrival information to supports within the community, settlement services, language training and skills development.
This investment is paying off. Given that language training is the settlement service that is most often requested, it is obvious that Canada's linguistic duality must remain an important factor, for francophones and anglophones alike, in every region of the country.
Over the past few months, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has met with people who are dedicated to helping French-speaking newcomers settle and integrate into francophone communities outside Quebec.
The Government of Canada knows that immigration has a positive impact on Canadian society and our economy. We also strongly believe that newcomers to Canada contribute to the vitality of Canadian communities, including minority francophone communities outside Quebec. That is why we are taking numerous measures to increase francophone immigration outside Quebec, support the integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers, and build capacity in francophone communities.
The government has emphasized this support as part of our new five-year action plan for official languages, and this priority is already having an impact on immigration in Canada. For example, we are seeing positive results from the changes made to the express entry system in 2017, when we started awarding additional points for strong French language skills.
As of November 2018, 4.5% of express entry invitations to apply were issued to French-speaking candidates, compared to 2.9% in 2017. Promising trends like these support our goal of increasing the proportion of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec to 4.4% by 2023. In short, we are on the right track.
We are collaborating with communities to ensure our approach is designed by and for francophones. That approach will guide the development of policies and initiatives related to the promotion and delivery of settlement services.
Stakeholders want to support refugees, so we are taking steps to develop an action plan that will strengthen our approach to resettling and integrating refugees.
We are also consolidating our francophone integration pathway, as announced in the action plan for official languages. Thanks to an additional $40 million over the next five years, the francophone integration pathway will help French-speaking newcomers connect to francophone communities, settle in and integrate.
I would like to share more details about certain aspects of the francophone integration pathway that the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced in November during National Francophone Immigration Week.
First, we are investing up to $11 million over five years in pre-arrival settlement services for French-speaking newcomers. La Cité collégiale is leading the initiative in collaboration with four regional Canadian partners.
They help connect newcomers and francophone service providers across the country.
Furthermore, we have addressed the need for newcomer services in French at Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto. As of this spring, the Centre francophone de Toronto has been providing services to French-speaking newcomers who arrive at the airport.
In November 2018, we launched an expression of interest process seeking an organization to deliver official language training for French-speaking immigrants and allophone newcomers who have declared French as their official language of preference.
Furthermore, the Centre international d'études pédagogiques has been designated as a second French-language tester for economic immigrants, which will make the tests more accessible to French-speaking immigrants and applicants.
Lastly, with the support of the Réseaux en immigration francophone, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne and the Comité atlantique sur l’immigration francophone, we have launched the welcoming francophone communities initiative. This initiative aims to find and create spaces where French-speaking newcomers will feel welcome.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the development of francophone minority communities and increasing the proportion of French-speaking permanent residents outside Quebec.
The initiatives I mentioned are designed to meet these objectives.
To do so, we will continue to work with various stakeholders to support linguistic duality in Canada and to support dynamic francophone communities across the country. This will help French-speaking newcomers settle in Canada and help them integrate into francophone communities outside Quebec. Overall, these measures will help French-speaking newcomers build a new life in Canada and will reflect this government's support for linguistic duality in Canada.
Given the fundamental importance of linguistic duality across Canada, the government cannot support a bill that could jeopardize a permanent resident's ability to request citizenship in the official language of his or her choice.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-04-12 12:27 [p.27059]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House this afternoon to speak to budget 2019, on behalf of my constituents. I will be sharing my time with the member for Parkdale—High Park.
Budget 2019 continues to build on the Liberal vision for Canada, and this is a vision for a prosperous Canada, where all boats rise together. This, of course, is a precondition for a harmonious democracy where social justice reigns. We know that when there is growing inequality, the middle class, in fact everyone, loses faith in the democratic institutions that are so important to this country. Therefore, it is very important not only for our economy but for our democracy that we strengthen the middle class and that we have a prosperous economy where, as I said, all boats rise together.
Our vision for the middle class is focused on three things, and this has been a recurring theme throughout the three and a half years we have had the great privilege and honour of making decisions in government. Those three things are, first, rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure; second, creating a 21st-century labour force; and third, creating an environmentally sustainable economy that generates jobs and a better quality of life.
Yes, it is important to have jobs, and it is important to have prosperity. However, if we have all of that and our quality of life is degrading because our environment is degrading and the risk to our health is increasing because of a poor environment, people will start asking themselves what they are working for. Obviously, we are working to put our skills and talents to good use, but we are also working to live in a country that has a good quality of life and a strong democracy. We pursue these objectives while at the same time giving a helping hand to those who may need a bit of a hand to participate more fully in the economy.
As a result, this budget includes measures to help seniors who are on GIS actually earn more money before their GIS payments are affected. Of course, in past budgets, we have instituted measures that will help children, who are tomorrow's leaders and workers. We have included measures like the Canada child benefit to ensure that they can grow up strong and healthy and be good citizens and productive members of the economy.
Finally, going back to budget 2018, we have instituted measures to improve the chances of success for women entrepreneurs and to increase the participation rate of women in the labour force. As we know, if we can have a labour force participation rate for women that is equal to that of men, our GDP, by some estimates, could be boosted by 4%, which is not insignificant. As I said, budget 2019 builds on that vision.
I will speak a little about infrastructure.
Infrastructure is about more than just fixing potholes. That said, fixing potholes is not a minor thing, it is important. Not so long ago someone said to me that if everyone took the money they spent fixing their cars and aligning wheels every year because of potholes and put that money into RRSPs, they would all have quite a nest egg on their retirement. Potholes are a real problem.
However, infrastructure is about more than that. It is about building the capacity we need to have a strong 21st-century economy, not only today but in the future. Infrastructure is about building capacity to communicate, not only through high-speed Internet access but also through public transportation to allow people to go from point A to point B for business meetings, for example, meetings that create wealth.
I know that a lot is done on the Internet, but if we ask experts in business or the economy, they tell us that face-to-face meetings are important in terms of generating the relationships and creating the networks that are fundamentally at the root of all wealth creation.
What else would the budget do? It would focus on creating, as I said, a 21st-century labour force. One of the main measures in the budget that would help to do this is the Canada training benefit. As we know, skills gaps hold the economy back. They hold the economy back even more when it is an economy that, because of the accelerating rate of technological change, is moving ahead very quickly. The Canada training benefit would offer a lifetime training credit of up to $5,000, earned at a rate of $250 per year, to those who wished to upgrade their skills for the 21st-century economy.
Attached to that Canada training benefit would be an EI benefit of four weeks, which would allow people to earn some income while they were retraining. It is fine to say that there would be money to pay for courses so people could retrain, but they would be off work, so they would not be able to sustain themselves during that period. Therefore, attached to the Canada training benefit would be an important EI benefit.
As I say, we have also in the past invested money in the Business Development Bank specifically for female entrepreneurs and so on.
On the environment, glaciers are melting, floodwaters are rising and heatwaves endanger the lives of the vulnerable. By the vulnerable, I mean seniors and those who cannot escape urban heat islands. All this is happening while the Conservatives twiddle their thumbs.
What have we done? We have brought in a price on pollution. Experts agree that if we are serious about combatting climate change, the cheapest and most efficient way to do that is through a price on pollution. I quote The Guardian newspaper, which said, not long ago, “Economists widely agree that introducing a carbon price is the single most effective way for countries to reduce their emissions.”
I am very proud that our government has launched a federal backstop, which will apply to the four provinces that have not instituted mechanisms for pricing carbon pollution. Of course, with that backstop comes a remittance to the citizens of those provinces so that at the end of the day, the price on pollution does not impact their family budgets.
Many constituents have said that a price on pollution is great but that we need to do more. In fact, that is what our government is doing. We are bringing in a clean-fuel standard, which will be based on a system of tradable credits. I know that the Conservatives do not like systems of tradable credits, but this clean-fuel standard will incentivize fuel distributors and others to modify their fuel so that they emit less in greenhouse gas emissions. Also, if we look at the experience in California, we see that a clean-fuel standard will encourage, for example, transit companies to shift to electric fleets, so that is very important.
What else are we doing? We are investing in creating a pan-Canadian network of electric charging stations and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations. As a matter of fact, I am very pleased and proud that our government announced recently, back in January, a $5-million investment to build 100 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in the province of Quebec, including, I am pleased to say, two stations in Beaconsfield, in my riding of Lac-Saint-Louis, and two stations in Kirkland, also in my constituency. They will be built by Hydro Quebec, with funding from NRCan's electric vehicle and alternative fuel infrastructure deployment initiative.
What else are we doing to increase demand for zero-emissions vehicles, including plug-in hybrids? This budget would take the very important step of offering up to a $5,000 incentive for those who purchase those vehicles.
I am very proud of the budget. It is making progress in many important areas.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-04-12 12:39 [p.27060]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for both of his questions.
In answer to his first question, I would say that the budget has not yet been approved. However, I assume that the details of the program to provide subsidies of up to $5,000 are currently being worked out. I cannot answer his question because we do not have the details yet. I think that those who make their purchase after the budget comes into effect will be eligible for the subsidy, but we do not have the details yet.
With regard to the non-partisan policy, I completely agree that people need to talk. We talk here in the House because we are a democracy. Even though we may not agree, we must not turn our backs on each other. We need to listen to each other because we are not listening just for ourselves as members. We are also listening on behalf of our constituents, some of whom obviously did not vote for our party. I completely agree that we need to stop throwing mud. That is how we will move forward. I know that, often, it is in committee that we work together to meet important objectives, including those pertaining to the fight against climate change.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-04-12 12:41 [p.27061]
Mr. Speaker, that is an important question and the kind of thing we should be talking about in this House instead of engaging in hyperpartisanship.
That $700 million is added to the $1.8 billion that we committed to over five years. Indeed, many Canadians were wondering why we could not solve this problem. It was a question of funding, of course, but it was also a question of political will. Our government has made a priority of removing these long-term drinking water advisories, and it is because of a focus of attention, in addition to the funds, that we have made progress.
I know that we are extremely committed. The Prime Minister is fundamentally committed to removing all long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021, and the member is right that we are on the right track. We are going to get there and that will be a proud moment for Canada.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-02-28 19:29 [p.25965]
Madam Speaker, at the very beginning of this debate, it was mentioned by the opposition that this debate is not at all about deferred prosecution agreements, which I was surprised to hear, because, as the parliamentary secretary mentioned, deferred prosecution agreements require that public interest factors be taken into account. That is not the case in a normal court case, where we focus very narrowly on specific issues.
Points of view about the public interest are communicated in a democracy through democratic institutions, including through the Council of Ministers. Could the hon. parliamentary secretary tell me why he would agree or disagree that deferred prosecution agreements are very much at the heart of this debate?
An hon. member: Oh, come on—
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2019-02-28 22:55 [p.25993]
Mr. Speaker, Irwin Cotler, the well-respected former justice minister and attorney general spoke on the radio today, by way of analysis. I will quote him and it may take a little while, so please, bear with me.
It states, “There is an inherent tension between the two roles. As Minister of Justice, you are a member of cabinet with other ministers. You're bound by cabinet secrecy and cabinet solidarity, but as Attorney General you have to speak, to use her words, 'truth to power', and it may contradict with what some of the other ministers might feel. They then speak to you out of their political hats, but they don't always realize when they speak to you that you are wearing not only a political hat but that you are wearing also a legal hat. When it comes, as in the matter of prosecutions, there is another dimension of independence and the rule of law all bound up, so there are these psychological dynamics and you can have a situation where the people whom she spoke with, each of them may have felt that when they were speaking to her they were giving her information that they felt was important for her to know or to help her make up her mind. Yet when she experienced it coming from 10 different people, then she experienced it as being a concerted and sustained pressure, which she deemed to be inappropriate. So they may have felt they were acting in a proper manner from the point of view of intention, but the consequence ended up being felt by her as being inappropriate.”
This points to a potential difference of perspective and I think the member should take it into account. If she's—
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