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View Mario Beaulieu Profile
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
2019-05-13 11:04 [p.27657]
moved that Bill C-421, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (adequate knowledge of French in Quebec), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I introduced a very simple bill with a clear objective, and that is to enable newcomers who want to become citizens and reside in Quebec to integrate into their host society.
In order to integrate, newcomers must be able to communicate with members of their host society. In Quebec, the common language is French. The purpose of the Charter of the French Language is to make French the official and common language of Quebec.
As a result, newcomers must learn French in order to integrate into Quebec society. This matter is in keeping with the commitments of the current Quebec government and enjoys a broad consensus in Quebec. According to a recent survey, 73% of Quebeckers believe that a basic knowledge of French should be mandatory in order to live in Quebec and 84% believe that newcomers should be required to take French classes.
In 2017, the Auditor General released a report in which she concluded that efforts to encourage immigrants to learn and use French had failed. Under Canadian law, knowledge of one official language, either English or French, is required for citizenship. The Bloc Québécois introduced Bill C-421 to make knowledge of French mandatory in Quebec.
That is no more coercive that what is already in place: knowledge of one of the two official languages is mandatory for obtaining Canadian citizenship. Many members of the Council of Europe require knowledge of the adopted homeland's language either as a condition of entry, to obtain permanent residence or to become a naturalized citizen, yet the federal Liberals seem to find the idea unacceptable and inconceivable.
When Bill C-421 was presented to the subcommittee on private members' business, the members declared that it was unconstitutional and therefore non-votable. We appealed the decision, but because they have a majority, they refused to budge even though the law clerk and several members of other parties disagreed.
An extremely rare secret vote was held to save Canadian parliamentarians the trouble of publicly stating their position on this issue of importance to Quebeckers. Democracy was hijacked, and the people need to know.
The Premier of Quebec said:
We would want newcomers to pass a French test before getting their permanent resident status or citizenship. That is what the Bloc wanted. I think it is unfortunate that the debate is not being allowed to move forward with legislation.
Bill C-421 will not be voted on, but we have not been given much time to present it, so I will focus on the substance of the debate, rather than on the constitutionality of the bill.
As I alluded to earlier, Quebec's blueprint for linguistic development, as defined by the Charter of the French Language, also known as Bill 101, is meant to establish French as the official and common language of Quebec. This approach is based on collective territorial rights. As the common public language, French in Quebec should not only be the language used by francophones when speaking to one another, it should also be the language used in inter-linguistic communications, the language spoken between people with different mother tongues.
Making French the common language is essential for integrating newcomers into Quebec society and ensuring the future of French in Quebec and in North America.
When the language of the majority is the official language and the common public language, newcomers naturally tend to learn and use that language in order to participate fully in their host society. That is what happens in many western countries.
Research on language development models around the world shows that this approach is the only one that is able to prevent the assimilation of minority languages in countries with several national languages. The only countries that have multiple national languages and no assimilation are those that use language management models based on the principle of collective territorial rights, like Belgium or Switzerland.
For instance, in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, the only official language, the language in which public services are provided from kindergarten to university, is Dutch. For newcomers, learning Dutch is compulsory.
The same thing goes for French in Wallonia, and people there can still learn any number of second languages. The fact that French is the common language in Quebec seems to be unacceptable or even unthinkable to varying degrees for all the national parties. We saw how the member for Honoré-Mercier completely overreacted. For him, making knowledge of French a requirement for citizenship is the same as segregating people based on colour.
The Liberal member for Laurentides—Labelle, a staunch defender of “hello, bonjour”, and the Liberal member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles gave some examples of people in Quebec who do not speak French, adding that it would have been unacceptable for those people to be forced to move to Ontario for not passing the French test. They do not seem to agree that learning and using French could be considered a tool for integrating into Quebec society.
A Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages said that if a condition were created requiring people to speak basic French, the anglophone minority community in Quebec would have a much harder time surviving within our province.
The Canadian model, defined by the Official Languages Act, is based on fundamental principles that differ from the Quebec model and its approaches that recognize territorial collective rights. For one thing, the Official Languages Act excludes Quebeckers as an integral part of Canada's francophone minority. The act governs official language minorities designated by province. In that sense, Quebec anglophones are considered a minority just as much as francophone and Acadian communities, when in fact, they are part Canada's anglophone majority, as was even confirmed by the UN Human Rights Committee.
The best example is that the federal government and the predominantly English speaking provinces have no problem weakening Quebec's legislation, including by imposing a Constitution in 1982 against the will of the Government of Quebec, a Constitution under which the Charter of the French Language was weakened in every key area of application. As a result of the principle of linguistic minorities per province, Quebec's anglophones, who already anglicize five times the number of new citizens than their demographic weight, receive steady support to promote more services in English not just for anglophones, but for everyone, including allophones and francophones.
The official languages program allocates more than $75 million a year in support of anglophone communities in Quebec, including lobby groups such as the Quebec Community Groups Network, alias Alliance Québec, which successfully led a legal battle to restore institutional bilingualism. The other major founding principle of Canada's official languages legislation is a bilingualism policy for federal institutions based on the linguistic rights of individuals across Canada.
As soon as Bill C-421 was introduced, former official languages commissioner Graham Fraser stepped in. In his opinion, requiring adequate knowledge of French would contravene the Official Languages Act, as it would supposedly prevent individuals from communicating with the government in the language of their choice. Even though some members openly stated that the bill was votable, no member in the House openly supported the bill.
Whether the bill is constitutional or not, the crux of the problem is that most of the federalist members in this place do not accept that French is the common language in Quebec, the language of convergence, the language of interlinguistic communication. This implies that people can communicate with the government in the language of their choice and that English and French have equal status and privileges with respect to their use in the institutions of Parliament and the Government of Canada. That is the foundation of the Official Languages Act. French cannot be the common language, the official language, the language of convergence in Quebec, but there must be two common languages. Some researchers, for example Jacques Leclerc and Marc Termote, have noted that equal rights granted to unequal groups inevitably lead to inequitable results.
In some way, it is as if there were no laws to protect workers or the environment. It would leave it up to market forces to decide.
Marc Termote said:
Most countries abide by what is known in linguistics as the "law of the land" whereby for every given territory, only one language is used in the public sphere....
However, in some Anglo-Saxon countries, such as Canada and therefore Quebec, individual rights prevail over societal rights in many instances...individual freedom to choose does not mean that the individual's choice will not be influenced by external factors. For Quebec, being the last majority French-speaking society in North America and a tiny minority "surrounded" by 300 million English speakers is certainly not a minor factor. Additionally, free choice paves the way for a fair balance of power.
As Lacordaire said, “Between the strong and the weak, between the rich and the poor, [we could say ‘between the English-speaking majority and the minority’] it is freedom which oppresses and the law which sets free”.
This explains why across just about all of Canada, outside Quebec, nearly all language transfers for allophones happen in English. If you go to Toronto or Ottawa, you quickly see that it is difficult to function without speaking English.
However, in Quebec, the majority of newcomers settle in Montreal, where all services are accessible in English at all levels of government. Since English is the majority language in Canada and even more so in North America, there is a natural tendency to use English.
In addition, access to the official languages in federal institutions is not equal. By design, services are provided in French where numbers warrant. As we saw once again in the report from the Commissioner of Official Languages, even when the numbers warrant, services are not always offered in French.
Fifty years ago, before the Official Languages Act, francophone and Acadian communities had suffered through assimilation policies in all of the provinces that are now primarily anglophone. For them, bilingualism was a huge step forward in accessing the public services in French that were severely lacking after being prohibited for years.
The “where numbers warrant” principle means that, if the number of French speakers in a region decreases, fewer services are offered. In some way, it is as if the government were to reduce EI benefits or job creation measures in an area that is prone to unemployment. This way of doing things officially misrepresents Canada's language situation.
Francophones are therefore strongly encouraged to increase their numbers if they want even basic services in French. However, it would be much more logical to change the “where numbers warrant” criterion rather than misrepresenting the language situation, as the government has been doing for the 50 years that the Official Languages Act has been in force.
In the beginning, intergenerational language transfers were measured using mother tongue as an indicator. When the decline in mother tongue became too pronounced, the indicator was changed to language used at home and then to first official language spoken. Today, the government is coming up with new indicators to inflate the number of francophones and justifying that action by saying that it is going to offer more French services to official language minorities. That does not make any sense.
A study on language planning around the world showed that an approach based on institutional bilingualism and portable individual rights is unable to counter the assimilation of minority languages. That has been proven over the 50 years that the Official Languages Act has been in force. During that time, the assimilation of francophones has increased with every census.
In short, the Canadian language planning model runs counter to Quebec's model. Most MPs and all of the parties in Parliament support the Canadian model rather than the Quebec model.
As Jacques Leclerc, an expert who worked on the language planning study, said:
As soon as the demands of the francophone province of Quebec offend the sensibilities of the anglophone majority, they are denied. Discussions then become pointless and come to a standstill.... Under the current regime, Quebec is always democratically penalized and cannot impose anything on the majority across Canada.
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 Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Pierre Nantel Profile
2019-05-13 11:27 [p.27660]
Mr. Speaker, it is not without a certain bitterness that I join the debate on this bill.
Of course, we can tout the merits of Canada's two official languages. I rise in the House with all due respect for francophone minority communities outside Quebec and anglophone minority communities in Quebec. There is no denying, however, that, over the past few years, there has been an effort to relegate the sovereignty issue to the dustbin of history and to downplay the importance of acknowledging Quebeckers' quiet nationalism, which concerns me greatly. I have observed firsthand that the French language is at the heart of culture.
Last week, we debated the bill on indigenous languages. We heard from several people who stated just how important indigenous languages are to the indigenous identity and culture, and how it is very important to preserve them. The situation in Quebec is obviously not the same because Quebeckers have had the opportunity to take strong positions and to implement measures such as Bill 101. It was highly controversial at the time but it ultimately played an important, structural role in Quebec culture, and is a critical part of French's resilience in Quebec.
I am talking about our national question being turned into a bit of folklore, because, I would remind hon. members, Quebec is a distinct nation. I immediately think of simple things like the fact that our parliament is not called a legislature, but a national assembly, like in France, to reflect the fact that we adhere to the Civil Code instead of common law. We have a republican-like way of thinking, a way of seeing society that is more reflective of France, but includes a healthy mix of our status as Canadians and North Americans in the Westminister system.
My general impression when it comes to defending the interests of Quebec is that there are not too many Quebec MPs who want to talk about quiet nationalism, an expression that I quite liked and adopted. It was coined by Alain Dubuc, and economics columnist at La Presse. This is a nod to the Quiet Revolution and a characterization of our nationalism. In Quebec today, in 2019, this is a consensual nationalism, in the vast majority of cases.
Some hon. members represent largely anglophone communities where people are not inclined to be open to this idea. I forgive those members for not rising often enough to stand up for the quiet nationalism we are seeing in Quebec. As for the other MPs, I honestly have to say that I am very frustrated. For four years now, I have been front and centre at all times. My party, the NDP, gives me room to talk about how vital culture is to our television and popular music industries. Quebec's cultural industries are thriving. Every time we talk about a Canadian filmmaker doing well internationally we are proud of that, but often that filmmaker is from Quebec. We are so proud we might as well be talking about an Olympic champion. However, this does not come from nothing.
In the Olympics, there are programs such as own the podium. In Quebec and Canada, Quebec culture was allowed to thrive in television, film and music. How did we do that? By enforcing regulations; not letting ourselves be colonized and stepped on like doormats; and telling industry stakeholders interested in developing international culture that we had a weakness and that we needed to be a part of the story. If there is foreign content, there will have to be local content. This goes for all Canadian content, and everyone knows it, but it takes on a whole new meaning in Quebec. Both Canadian and Quebec content are hugely successful and have exceptional ratings, and ultimately, they also have a positive impact on society.
I will stop there to return to the bill introduced by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île.
In Quebec, protecting culture means ensuring that the stories we tell reflect peoples' lives. I often give the example of the show Fugueuse, which had great ratings and a profound social impact. Every day after an episode would air, social workers and screenwriters would come to Longueuil station to talk about child prostitution, which is a blight, especially in my constituency. The show is having an impact.
In Quebec, we have invested in this particular way of telling our stories and expressing our love to one another, of greeting the world and welcoming new communities that come here. Last year, at a televised gala, we learned that Fugueuse helped 20 or so young people get out of prostitution after speaking to their parents. How marvellous is that?
Some people might say they are sick of hearing about the bloody Quebec culture and would rather watch Netflix anyway because the content is more relatable and much better. Is it though? I myself obsessively watched 13 Reasons Why, a series about teen suicide, before my daughters watched it, because I wanted to make sure it was appropriate for them. Then I learned that, according to American studies, youth suicide rates rose by 27% after the first few episodes were released. That is a huge increase.
The reason I bring this up is that we need to defend the Quebec nation in a constructive way. That is why we in the NDP strongly objected when this bill was designated as non-votable. Incidentally, I tip my hat to the member for Hamilton Centre, who fought to convince all his colleagues to vote to debate the bill. This bill represents an idea that could be immensely improved by the work of all the legislators in the House. I do not want to hear anyone telling me this bill is silly. If there is one bill that was sloppily cobbled together without constructive input from all members of Parliament, it is the omnibus bill that contained a certain little provision about SNC-Lavalin. We know all about the disastrous consequences for that company, which is Quebec's leading engineering firm, and above all for my dear Liberal colleagues, who really messed up.
The NDP believes this is an important issue because we are acutely conscious of the significant contributions that these new cultures make. They are going to help us build a stronger Quebec. Naturally, teaching French to newcomers is the central issue. We actually adopted a resolution on this topic at the last NDP convention in Trois-Rivières: Whereas immigration is essential to address the labour shortage, which is hurting the economy; whereas the Conservative and now the Liberal governments did nothing to support francophone immigration and make French language classes more accessible—God knows that is true; and whereas francophone immigration is indispensable for ensuring the future of Quebec and francophone communities across Canada outside Quebec; be it resolved that an NDP government will commit to providing adequate funding to increase the required percentage of French-speaking immigrants and will adapt existing immigration programs to Quebec's unique economic, social and labour needs.
That is why the Quebec caucus would surely have voted in favour of this bill at second reading so that it could be sent to committee. We are not getting anywhere by cutting ourselves off and talking past one another. It is shameful and disrespectful for any Quebec MP to ignore the vulnerability and value of Quebeckers' quiet nationalism and to fail to proudly defend Quebec's distinct identity.
In closing, we are very disappointed that we are not able to vote on this bill. This really is a dialogue of the deaf. It seems like members just want to put a lid on this issue and not talk about it. I would urge my dear friends to wake up. There is a quiet nationalism in Quebec, and it is high time we helped it along rather than stand in its way.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-05-13 11:37 [p.27661]
Mr. Speaker, my speech will focus on three important things: the situation of French in Quebec, the important role French plays in social cohesion, and parliamentary democracy as it applied to Bill C-421.
What was the most important news about the language issue in Quebec in recent years? It was the record drop in the demographic weight of French speakers and the unprecedented rise in the demographic weight of English speakers.
English is not threatened in Quebec; French is. We are not the ones saying that. It is Statistics Canada, and it cannot be said that Statistics Canada is an organization that supports Quebec nationalism.
Here is what is being said:
The Language Projections for Canada, 2011 to 2036...indicate that, if the demographic conditions observed since 2011 continue, the balance between French and English in Quebec will continue to quickly tip in favour of the latter. According to those same projections, between 2011 and 2036, the weight of French-home-language speakers is expected to drop by approximately seven percentage points, while that of English-home-language speakers is expected to rise by two percentage points.
On the 40th anniversary of Bill 101, Guy Rocher, a sociologist, professor and renowned speaker, quoted some figures from Statistics Canada, as well. These figures relate to the census, which showed that French is declining in Quebec, as a mother tongue, language of work and language spoken at home. This has become a language crisis. We cannot keep turning a blind eye, because we now have figures showing how bad it is. Once again, I remind members that Statistics Canada as an organization is not very supportive of Quebec nationalism or independence.
The situation is critical. Play time is over and now is the time to act. French is under threat in Quebec. I am not fearmongering here. I am simply stating the facts, and everything that can be done to protect the French language must be done. This is what my colleague's bill was designed to do.
Here is another quote from Statistics Canada that demonstrates how important the French language is to social cohesion:
The ability of immigrants to speak one of the official languages is considered an important condition for their full participation in Canadian society.
That is what Statistics Canada says about Canada, and rather emphatically at that. It seems to me that what is good for the goose should be good for the gander. French in Quebec should also get special consideration.
The government is trying to brainwash us into believing that the battle for French is won and that we no longer need to worry our pretty little heads about it. The fact remains, though, that mastering French is less beneficial to immigrants than mastering English. There are social reasons for all that, of course. There are unilingual English brand names and the Internet. Information and communications technology has exploded in recent decades, and with it the use of English at the expense of every other language in the world.
The Government of Quebec also has its own unique problems, such as the language of administration, which is often English; the sign law, which is often disregarded; and challenges related to officially bilingual municipalities. Those are all consequences of the many attacks on Bill 101, our language charter.
Knowledge of French is fundamental to successful integration and access to employment. Knowledge of French is fundamental to strong social cohesion.
Marina Doucerain, a researcher in the area of immigration psychology, has done studies on this. She has indicated that all studies of immigrants in the greater Montreal area that she has been involved in have been unequivocal. It is very clear that the majority of participants, whether they come from the Maghreb region, Russia or elsewhere, want to make Quebecois friends and integrate into the majority culture, which means they must learn French. However, the francization and cultural integration of immigrants remain problematic.
Let us now look at what happened here, in the House of Commons, with my colleague's bill. The exceptional procedure applied to the bill introduced by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île prevents the bill from even being voted on in a recorded division. This is basically just another attempt to relegate the Quebec nation to a minority status just like every other ethnic minority in Canada.
Canadians, who are still 100% behind Pierre Trudeau's charter, will not stop until there is linguistic free trade from coast to coast to coast.
In closing, what we want is for French, the common language of Quebec, to have the chance to counterbalance English, the common language of Canada, the United States, and globalization because our distinctness is important to us.
I will take a few moments to read a motion that was moved at the end of November 1995 by Mr. Jean Chrétien, who was prime minister at the time.
The motion moved:
Whereas the People of Quebec have expressed the desire for recognition of Quebec's distinct society;
(1) the House recognize that Quebec is a distinct society within Canada;
(2) the House recognize that Quebec's distinct society includes its French-speaking majority, unique culture and civil law tradition;
(3) the House undertake to be guided by this reality;
(4) the House encourage all components of the legislative and executive branches of government to take note of this recognition and be guided in their conduct accordingly.
In his argument, the former prime minister said:
The purpose of the motion we are debating today is to have the elected representatives of Canada recognize that Quebec is a distinct society within Canada. As a Quebecker and a francophone [we know that Mr. Chrétien is a Quebecker and a francophone, of course], I understand and share the desire of my fellow Quebeckers to have our difference recognized.
Today I call on Canadians who demonstrated their attachment to Quebec during the referendum campaign to support our government's initiative to recognize Quebec explicitly as a distinct society.
This was adopted on December 11, 1995. Is the quiet nationalism mentioned by the member from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert possible in this country? It would seem it is not. This motion should have been applied to Bill C-421, but it was not.
Federalists are upset by our desire to have our own nation, a nation that proclaims loud and clear our pride in speaking French, and to give it the tools needed to keep our language alive. It also bothers them that we want to base our identity on the common values that bring us together and unite us. “The moment Quebec stands up for itself, federalists become outraged.” These words were spoken by my colleague, the member for La Pointe-de-l'Île. He said them in 2015, and we fully endorse them.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-05-13 11:46 [p.27662]
Mr. Speaker, I have some thoughts on this bill's subject matter. I come from the province of Manitoba, where the French language is actually loved and cherished, and it is in fact expanding. When making reference to immigrants, we should think of those hard-working immigrants who truly care about contributing to our society. Often, we will find that their children are going to immersion schools. A number of people speak French, which is a beautiful language and one I wish I could speak. When people hear my surname, most assume that I can speak French. Unfortunately, we did not have the same sort of schooling back then that we have today in the province of Manitoba.
There has been a genuine growth of a beautiful language, a language that should be treated as equal to English, with a high sense of pride. Often, when I go to many events in my constituency, I am amazed when I run into someone of, let us say, Filipino, Punjabi or Indo-Canadian heritage who can speak not only Punjabi or Tagalog, but also English and French. More and more we see what I believe is a very healthy French community in Manitoba. When one really looks at it, one will find that it is a growing community.
I believe that in the province of Quebec, where French is spoken more than English, it will continue to be that way. I am not naive. I understand that there are pressures outside of the province of Quebec with respect to languages, but I do believe that the language itself is something that will continue to be exceptionally well spoken outside of the province of Quebec, where it continues to grow and prosper. Within the province, there are very strong personalities who will ensure that Quebec continues to lead the country and demonstrate to other countries around the world where French is spoken or continues to expand that Canada can be a role model. We can look at the very character and the vibrant society of the province of Quebec and what it has been able to contribute in the past, and it will continue as a community leading on the francophone file.
I do not think that it is all bad news. I was listening to the members opposite, who recognized French for the beautiful language that it is. It will always be an official language of Canada and respected in all regions of our country. As I protect the minority rights of francophones in the province of Quebec, I also encourage others to recognize that so many good things are happening outside the province of Quebec in ensuring that the French language is growing and becoming a larger part of Canadian society. I see that as a good thing.
With respect to citizenship issues, the only thing I would say is that as a government we have done exceptionally well in speeding up the immigration process. It takes nowhere as long today to acquire citizenship, because of the work of the current Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. I see that as a positive thing. We have a minister who really looks at the ways in which we can use immigration as an effective tool to enhance and complement our francophone communities, whether working with Quebec or with other provinces, to see a minority language continue to grow and prosper. I just say that for what it is worth.
View Louis Plamondon Profile
Mr. Speaker, we all want to rise to defend the French fact in Quebec. We all want to propose solutions to ensure that this beautiful language remains a living language.
Contrary to what the previous speaker said, the use of French is declining in Quebec. Our language is at risk. We are not saying that immigrants are bad people. However, the conditions for welcoming them do not currently include the obligation to learn French. That is what my colleague's bill is proposing.
Naturally, we agree with protecting francophone minorities outside Quebec, and the government should take action on many fronts in that regard. However when we compare this to what is provided to the anglophone minority in Quebec, we are completely off course.
I did a little experiment. I went to Crescent Street in Montreal. I went into six restaurants and I was first greeted in English at each one. When I spoke French, they spoke to me in French. English is far from being at risk in Quebec.
There are two major hospitals in Quebec, each with a $2-billion price tag. One is French and the other is English. In Montreal, there are more English than French movie theatres, and there are more English publications than French ones.
We polled immigrants, who make up 50% of Montreal's population. According to the poll, most believe that francophones only make up 25% of Quebec's population. They are not aware of the French reality. That is why we must establish mandatory measures to ensure they learn French, integrate into the francophone majority and ensure the survival of French in Quebec.
Bill C-421 does that. It is a very moderate bill. It would inevitably be accepted by immigrants if they knew before arriving in Quebec that they had to comply.
My colleague, who also wants to address this bill, will speak for the two minutes remaining.
View Marilène Gill Profile
View Marilène Gill Profile
2019-05-13 11:54 [p.27663]
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to repeat what my Bloc Québécois colleagues have already said, but in light of what has been said, I would like to look at the subject from another angle, with concrete examples.
I would remind members that the comments made by my colleague from Winnipeg North did not exactly respond to what we were saying. Perhaps some of what we said was misunderstood, misinterpreted or misconstrued, for when we talk about the minority, as my colleague from Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel said, Quebec is already a minority within North America. That is what my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île noted earlier. The threat to the French language is concrete and real.
I said I would give the House a concrete example. I am the member for Manicouagan. The riding of Manicouagan is located in eastern Quebec, bordering Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritimes. There are, of course, immigrants in my region, although sometimes people think that immigrants would not want to settle on the North Shore, an administrative region of 350,000 kilometres that is often thought to have nothing but spruce trees, snow and whales. People do live there. People have settled in Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Baie-Comeau and Haute-Côte-Nord, for example. They are settling in lots of places. These immigrants do not speak either French or English as their primary language, but they choose to settle there and learn the language. I see them as success stories. These people are welcomed by the community, which is happy to teach them French, the language they need to know in order to live in those regions, where English is nearly non-existent. Anglophones make up only about 1% of the population, with the exception of the lower north shore, where the proportion of anglophones is a little higher.
Those are excellent positive examples of people who go to school in French, work in French and receive all their services in French. That is what enables people on the North Shore to live their lives in French and play an active role in society. Just like the rest of Quebec, Manicouagan has programs designed to help immigrants integrate. Language is the doorway to culture, as my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert said earlier. By learning the language, which is the best way to learn about culture, newcomers can play a full and active role in the community.
I know that because, having taught literature at university, at CEGEP and in a bunch of other places, I have seen it. Having access to a body of literature connects people to history, sociology, the arts, music and more. People who can access the language rapidly also become part of the community very rapidly. That is what we want for everyone. That is what I would want for myself if I were to move to another country. I would want access to everything that country had to offer—for newcomers, that means everything the Quebec nation has to offer—and that is really the purpose of the bill introduced by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île.
In conclusion, I wish we could debate this bill in the House. Beyond the issue of language rights, which the bill introduced by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île defends, this is an exercise in democracy that demonstrates to me the contempt—I do not want to put it that way, but it is what first came to mind—that my fellow MPs and also my colleagues from Quebec have for the French language issue.
I mentioned contempt, but I believe that transparency is also lacking in this process. In fact, since elected officials are accountable to voters, I wish they could rise in the House to indicate whether they support or oppose this bill, which is a bill for all Quebeckers.
Montreal was mentioned quite a bit. Montreal may simply be a symptom of what is not working in terms of the French language, because we must protect it.
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
2019-05-13 11:59 [p.27664]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.
What happened today is another black mark on Parliament. Today, on May 13, 2019, the House of Commons of Canada behaved as if it were the House of Commons of English Canada.
It decided that taking steps to integrate immigrants into French Quebec was unconstitutional despite the well-known fact that the integration and inclusion of newcomers is critical if we want to continue to live and thrive in French. The member from Honoré-Mercier and others said that making French the common language is socially divisive when, in fact, the opposite is true. Making French the common language allows us to include everyone and build a coherent and inclusive society so that everyone can fully participate in Quebec society.
The Canadian model of institutional bilingualism does not work. We know this. Over 85% of newcomers in Quebec live in Montreal. In Montreal, all services are provided in English, upon request, or, in the federal government, by default. Newcomers come to Canada, where the majority speaks English. They come to North America, where an even greater majority speaks English. As a result, they are naturally inclined to choose English.
That is why Bill 101 sought to make French the language of the government, with exceptional measures to allow anglophones in Quebec to continue to thrive and live in Quebec. We did not want a repeat of what happened to francophone and Acadian communities outside Quebec. They were prohibited from having French-language schools. For years, French was completely banned from institutions.
Now that the Official Languages Act has been implemented, we must move on to another stage. The House of Commons is demonstrating that it is impossible to do that in Canada.
I thought that getting my bill passed would be difficult but still possible. It is not being given a chance. The most shocking thing is that, despite the opinion of Parliament's legal counsel, the bill was deemed unconstitutional. The truth does not matter, what matters is that the majority can impose its will, like it imposed the Constitution in 1982. It was the Constitution of English Canada and we never signed on to it. Today, the Liberal MPs are hiding behind the Constitution, and it seems there are not too many Conservatives who are interested in this.
We built an original society in Quebec. By rejecting my bill as non-votable and refusing to discuss it seriously, the House of Commons is showing its true colours. Hon. members are sending us a very clear message today. They are telling us that French Quebec is unconstitutional. They are telling us to stop striving for it because it is unconstitutional, illegal and impossible, and it is time to move on to something else. They are saying that if we really want a French Quebec, we should do that by leaving Canada.
I got the message loud and clear, and I hope that more and more Quebeckers will too. The only option, the only way forward for French, is independence for Quebec.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
2019-05-13 12:03 [p.27664]
The time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired. As the motion has been designated as non-votable, the order is now dropped from the Order Paper.
View Carol Hughes Profile

Question No. 2312--
Mr. David Tilson:
With regard to part (c) of the government's response to Q-2104, which was tabled on January 28, 2019, and states that “The client submits a completed application by mail to the Permanent Resident Card Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The application is verified for completeness. If it is not complete, the application is returned to the client.”: (a) what are the average wait times for the return of applications which are not complete; and (b) is there any priority given to applications that have been deemed incomplete, once they are returned back to the Permanent Resident Card Processing Centre for a second time, or are the applications subject to the same waiting and processing times as a brand new application?
Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, is concerned, in response to (a), as of March 5, 2019, the average processing time for IRCC to verify an application for completeness was 29 days from the day IRCC receives the original application. If it is not complete, the application is returned to the client. The return time has decreased significantly in the past year, from an average of 87 days between October and December 2018 to the current processing time of 29 days. These numbers do not include mailing time and are in calendar days.
As of March 5, 2019, the processing time to renew a permanent resident card was 32 days from the day the application is received to the day a final decision is made. The processing time does not include card printing time, which has a three-day service standard, and mailing time.
Note that the processing times are subject to change depending on available resources and volume of applications received.
In response to (b), applications previously returned as incomplete and resubmitted are subject to the normal processing times. They are not given priority processing.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2019-04-03 19:37 [p.26653]
Mr. Speaker, in November 2018, I rose in the House to ask the Minister of Immigration why he continued to leave migrant caregivers and their families in the dark regarding what would replace the current caregivers immigration stream, which is ending this November.
I received no answer from the minister, as usual, in question period. I, along with the caregivers working hard across the country, would not receive an answer until the end of February this year as to what the future would hold.
I had the privilege of speaking to many of the caregivers, the migrant workers rights groups, the community advocates and the policy experts who took part in the government's so-called consultations on the new program. Their message to the government is clear: landed status now.
The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change report, which I noted in the House back in November, echoes the same message. It calls on the government to treat caregivers with the respect and dignity they deserve. That means permanent resident status on arrival.
What did the government do when it finally came around to announce the program and outline the pathways? It outlined two temporary programs, lasting five years each. Did the new pathways finally end the discrimination that caregivers faced, as they were in the only economy immigration stream that was not provided landed status on arrival? No, it did not provide that to these individuals.
On March 18, IRCC officials came before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. I asked them questions about the new pilot program to learn some of the details about what the program looked like. Unsurprisingly, the officials could not answer those questions. In fact, they said that they did not have the details, as the government had yet to announce them, and they did not even know what the program would look like other than in broad strokes.
For example, the government said that people would be pre-vetted before they came to Canada. This would mean that after caregivers completed their two-year work requirement, their family members would be able to stay here.
With respect to that issue, I wanted to know whether family members would have to go through another round of medicals or whether the pre-vetting process would include a medical and after that was completed and passed, they would not have to go through another medical process. The officials could not answer that question.
Caregivers are wondering about this, by the way. The government has said that caregiver families can come to Canada and that the adults will be provided with a work permit. Would that work permit last for two years or would people have to continually renew it, as they do now? We do not know the answer to that.
Will the younger children who come here, who might be going to school, or the students getting a post-secondary education have to pay an international fee, for example? We do not know the answer to that.
Let us consider the issue regarding eligibility for medical MSP. Would people be covered for that service here? Of course, we do not know the answer to that.
How is it possible that the minister has waited all this time to come forward with an announcement and is not able to provide answers that caregivers need to know to proceed accordingly? More to the point, why does the government not do what is right? That seems to be such a hard thing for the government to do. It should ensure that caregivers are provided landed status on arrival and it should treat them with respect and dignity. They are calling for that.
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-04-03 19:42 [p.26653]
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the late show to answer my hon. colleague's question.
She is right. When she rose on November 21, 2018, she did not get a response from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. In fact, she got a response from the Prime Minister of Canada, who stood in the House and spoke about this government's strong record on enhancing Canada's immigration programming, including our humanitarian streams, our refugee streams and our economic streams.
This government well knows the importance of caregivers to the economic growth of Canada. This government knows that caregivers have been coming to Canada for decades. They help care for the elderly. They help provide special care for those with special needs and in need of special assistance. They help raise children and support families that are working hard each and every day to help Canada's economy grow.
In 2017, our government committed to addressing the backlog that was left to us by the former Harper Conservative government, a backlog of over 9,000 applications in the live-in caregiver program. We have done great work to get rid of that backlog, with over 94% of those applications having been processed. There are now 500 that are still waiting in the queue. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, caregivers can rest assured that we will not stop until that entire backlog is removed.
The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has been maintaining a 12-month processing time for new permanent resident applications from caregivers who were grandfathered into the old live-in caregiver program and has achieved a six-month application processing time in the pilot programs for caring for children and caring for people with high medical needs.
In February, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship addressed the issue of caregivers who were not grandfathered into the live-in caregivers program and who were not going to meet the eligibility criteria of the two pilot programs. He did this by launching a replacement to the live-in caregiver program. He announced an interim pathway for caregivers that opened on March 4, and the window will remain open until June 4. This program offers many caregivers in vulnerable situations an immediate pathway to permanent residency because of reduced education and work experience criteria, compared to the current pilot programs.
As well, given that the caring for children and caring for people with high medical needs pilot programs will expire later this year, our government will launch two new five-year pilot programs for caregivers, one dedicated to home child care providers and another for home support workers.
Similar to what was available under the old live-in caregiver program, these two pilots will provide a more defined transition from temporary to permanent status in Canada. In fact, caregivers will be assessed to ensure that they meet permanent residence criteria before they get a work permit and come to Canada. This means that the only eligibility criteria that in-home caregivers will have to meet when they get to Canada will be the two-year work experience requirement.
I would say that these actions demonstrate how our government is committed to caregivers. We are promising them a defined and assured pathway to permanent residency. Our actions also demonstrate our commitment to the individuals and families in this country who for decades have relied on caregivers coming from afar to help support them and their families so that they can be out in the workforce or re-educating themselves so they can contribute to the economic growth of this country.
We as a government have set out an ambitious three-year levels plan to ensure that we responsibly grow immigration levels across this country. We are doing that in a responsible way, with adequate supports, to make sure that we can take advantage of the economic opportunity that is there.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2019-04-03 19:46 [p.26654]
Mr. Speaker, not only did the minister not answer my question: neither did the Prime Minister. If we look at Hansard, it is very clear. They talked about something else and patted their backs over how great they were doing. What they have forgotten are the hardships that caregivers have to endure.
I have met caregivers here who have been separated from their families for more than a decade, yet the government cannot bring forward a program that will ensure that they are reunited right at the get-go and give them the respect that they deserve, which is to provide them with landed status on arrival.
The parliamentary secretary also did not answer the questions I just put on the record just now, the litany of questions around the working permits, on the issue around international student fees, on the question around additional medical requirements and so on.
I would like to have straightforward answers for caregivers. Would the parliamentary secretary please answer those questions?
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-04-03 19:47 [p.26654]
Mr. Speaker, we have come forward with two five-year pilot initiatives that will be rolled out later this year as the previous two Conservative pilot programs come to a close. We also opened an interim pathway, which opened on March 4 and will be open until June 4, to ensure that those caregivers who did not have a defined pathway to permanent residency through the prior programs will be able to find that pathway to permanent residency.
I know that nothing will ever satisfy the NDP when it comes to immigration, but we will keep the confidence of Canadians, which is an essential part of having a robust, open and fair immigration system that is lauded as the best in the world.
The government members on this side of the House will never apologize for having a strong immigration system and for using it as one of our most important assets to grow the economy of Canada, and we will do it in a way that is fair and that is caring of everyone who seeks to use that system.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)

Question No. 2153--
Ms. Hélène Laverdière:
With regard to the announcement by the Minister of International Development that up to $50 million would be granted over two years to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East: (a) is the $50 million a new investment; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, is this amount in addition to the funding Global Affairs Canada gives to the Agency every year; and (c) how will the $50 million be granted, broken down by annual investment?
Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on October 12, 2018, the Minister of International Development announced Canada’s support of up to $50 million over two years for Palestinian refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.
With regard to a) and c), this $50 million amount is new support from Canada to UNRWA over a two-year period, 2018 and 2019. Of this amount, Canada committed $40 million over two years, $20 million for 2018 and $20 million for 2019, to help meet the basic education, health and livelihood needs of millions of vulnerable Palestinian refugees, especially women and children. Canada committed $10 million of this amount over two years, $5 million for 2018 and $5 million for 2019, to provide emergency life-saving assistance to more than 460,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon, through UNRWA’s emergency appeal for the Syria regional crisis.
With regard to b), since 2016, Canada has committed a total of $110 million in support for UNRWA. The $50 million announced in October 2018 is in addition to the $60 million previously committed in support for UNRWA, consisting of a total of $25 million in 2016 for UNRWA’s core programs and its response to the Syria regional crisis, a total of $25 million in 2017 for UNRWA’s core programs and its response to the Syria regional crisis, and an exceptional $10 million in March 2018 for emergency assistance for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.

Question No. 2156--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to overpayment holds from the Phoenix pay system since April 1, 2016: (a) how many employees have had their pay, or part of their pay, put on hold; (b) of the employees in (a), how many of these employees have had their overpayment deducted from their pay; and (c) of the employees in (b), how many of these employees have not yet had their file resolved?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, employees deserve to be paid properly and on time. Supporting employees facing pay issues and stabilizing the pay system remains a top priority.
While there is still work left to do, the government has taken significant steps to resolve pay issues. We have made steady progress in decreasing the backlog of transactions, improving processes, strengthening and increasing capacity, and providing enhanced services to employees calling the client contact centre.
The government is proposing new measures to support employees who carry the burden of having to repay overpayments due to no fault of their own. These measures will build on our commitment to minimize the financial impacts of Phoenix on employees and fix this unacceptable problem that we inherited from the Conservatives. The government’s proposed measures would allow employees to repay their employer only the net amount of overpayments received in the previous year. As a result, affected employees would generally no longer have to bear the burden of recovering these deductions from the CRA and repaying them to their employer.
In regard to (a), federal employees' pay is never put on hold, including when employees have an overpayment. Overpayments are usually the result of late processing in the Phoenix pay system and can result from the following situations: an employee’s acting pay did not stop when their acting assignment ended; an employee is, or was, on leave without pay and their pay was not stopped; or an employee received pay that they were not entitled to receive.
In early March 2018, the government implemented additional flexible measures to help minimize the financial impact and hardships to employees for the repayment of overpayments related to Phoenix pay system issues.
Recovery of overpaid amounts does not begin until all monies owed to the employee have been paid, the employee has received three consecutive correct pay cheques and a recovery agreement has been established.
Additionally, the government has ensured that employees facing pay issues can request emergency salary advance or priority payments.
For more information, individuals can refer to https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/services-paye-pay-services/systeme-paye-employes-pay-system-employees/trop-payes-overpayments-eng.html.
With regard to (b), 223,173 employees have had an overpayment recovered from their pay between April 1, 2016, and January 31, 2019. The last day of January 2019 was used as a point of reference to provide a month-to-month breakdown.
Members should note that this number includes overpayments that remain in progress for certain employees, in accordance with the individual employee’s recovery agreement. In addition, this number is comprised of true and technical overpayments. However, the Phoenix pay system currently cannot segregate true overpayments from technical overpayments. True overpayments are created in situations where employees receive pay to which they were not entitled. For example, this occurs when an employee’s termination or leave without pay, for example, parental leave, is entered after the pay period of their departure date. Technical overpayments are created to adjust pay and ensure employees receive the pay to which they were entitled. For example, this occurs when an employee’s acting assignment is entered after the pay period in which the acting assignment began. Technical overpayments are typically netted out in the next pay period. They do not have a negative impact on employees. They are entered to offset a payment adjustment and are seamless to the employee.
With regard to (c), producing this information would require manual work that cannot be completed within prescribed timelines.

Question No. 2163--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
With regard to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s sponsorship of events and organizations which are opposed to the Trans Mountain Pipeline since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the complete list of such events and organizations which received funding from the government; (b) for each event and organization in (a), what are the details, including (i) name, (ii) date, (iii) title and description of event or organization, (iv) amount provided by the government; and (c) for each sponsorship, what is the government’s justification for providing funding to anti-pipeline entities?
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Environment and Climate Change Canada does not collect or track the names of events or organizations opposed or in support of the project referenced in Question No. 2163.

Question No. 2167--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to the television advertising being done by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) during the 2019 NFL Playoffs: (a) what was the total amount spent by the CPPIB during the 2019 NFL Playoffs; (b) what are the details, including the total amount budgeted for the advertising campaign from which the expenditures in (a) were drawn; (c) why did the CPPIB advertise during the NFL Playoffs; and (d) does the government consider this advertisement to be a prudent use of taxpayers money?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, it should be noted that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, or CPPIB, is neither a department nor an agency of the Crown and, therefore, does not fall within the same guidelines for disclosure. CPPIB is subject to disclosure requirements as set out in the CPPIB Act and reports to federal and provincial finance ministers and Canadians.
CPPIB operating expenses are disclosed in its annual report, which is available online at http://www.cppib.com/en/our-performance/financial-results/.

Question No. 2169--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to the briefing note titled “Subject of national security concern granted permanent residency” and the January 2019 media reports that an individual of national security concern was granted permanent residency status: (a) has the individual’s permanent residency status been revoked and, if so, on what date was it revoked; and (b) if the permanent residency status has not been revoked, why has it not been revoked?
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to section 26 of the Privacy Act, the discussion of case specifics without the prior written consent of the individual in question is prohibited.

Question No. 2170--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to the effect of wind farms on birds since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the government’s estimates regarding how many birds have been killed by wind farms; (b) how many wind farms have been issued fines by the government under the Migratory Birds Convention Act; and (c) what specific measures, if any, has Environment and Climate Change Canada done in order to protect birds from getting killed by wind farms?
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), overall mortality to migratory birds caused by wind turbines is low relative to other sources of mortality, such as cats, windows on buildings, vehicles and transmission lines. More information is available at https://www.ace-eco.org/vol8/iss2/art11/. The most recent estimates, based on extrapolated data, indicate that up to 47,000 birds could be killed from collisions with turbines each year in Canada. More information can be found at https://www.ace-eco.org/vol8/iss2/art10/. Presently, there are more than 6,300 turbines installed across Canada with the largest number of turbines in the province of Ontario. For most species of migratory birds, which have estimated populations that number in the millions, wind turbine-related mortality is not likely to have a biologically significant impact on their populations. However, it is possible that turbines sited in sensitive habitats or where species at risk are concentrated could have population-level impacts.
In regard to (b), our records indicate that no incidences of unlawful migratory bird deaths due to wind turbines were reported to ECCC’s enforcement branch. As such, no wind farms have been issued fines under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
With regard to (c), Environment and Climate Change Canada recognizes that multiple renewable sources of energy, including wind, make an important contribution to Canada’s energy mix. In Canada, the provinces have primary jurisdiction over the development of their energy resources, including wind energy. On non-federal lands, both land use planning and the conservation of wildlife habitat are primarily matters of provincial or territorial jurisdiction. The responsibility for conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared between the federal and provincial or territorial governments.
Despite relatively low mortality, in keeping with the federal government's Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, ECCC requires that all reasonable measures be taken to avoid incidental mortality of migratory birds. ECCC also provides detailed guidance on this subject to all proponents undertaking activities that could result in incidental mortality of migratory birds. More information can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/avoiding-harm-migratory-birds.html.

Question No. 2171--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to the government’s decision to rename the Champlain Bridge to the Samuel De Champlain Bridge: (a) how much did the government spend on its consultations and the process to pick the new name; and (b) what is the detailed breakdown of the expenses in (a) by line item?
Mr. Marco Mendicino (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s decision to rename the Champlain Bridge the Samuel de Champlain Bridge, existing internal resources were used for consultations in the process of naming the new bridge the Samuel de Champlain Bridge. Therefore, the consultations did not result in any additional costs.

Question No. 2186--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to foreign vessels engaged in coasting trade in Canadian waters: (a) how many exemptions did the Minister of Transport issue in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018; and (b) in the case of each vessel, what was (i) its country of registration, (ii) its tonnage?
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Coasting Trade Act is intended to protect the domestic marine sector by reserving coasting trade to Canadian registered and duty-paid vessels. The act includes a licensing process for the temporary importation of foreign vessels into the Canadian marine sector when a suitable Canadian vessel is not available.
The Minister of Transport has not provided any exemptions given that there is no authority under the act for the minister to issue a general exemption from the licensing requirement. However, the act does include exclusions for foreign vessels to engage in a number of specific coasting trade activities. Responsibility rests with vessel owners to ensure they are eligible to undertake the excluded activities and remain in compliance with the act. These exclusions constitute deregulated activities and are therefore not subject to licensing requirements.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
2019-03-01 13:17 [p.26033]
The hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île is not present to move the order as announced in today's notice paper. Accordingly, the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the order paper.
It being 1:18 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, March 18, 2019, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).
Have a great couple of weeks in your ridings.
(The House adjourned at 1:18 p.m.)
View Salma Zahid Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Salma Zahid Profile
2019-02-25 14:55 [p.25740]
Mr. Speaker, there is no more important job than to care for our loved ones. We welcome caregivers to Canada every year, mainly from the Philippines, to care for our children and our parents. However, as they care for our families they leave their own behind, often enduring a painful separation of years before they can be reunited. I have met these caregivers and heard their stories. Canada needs to do better.
Could the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship tell us what the government is doing to reunite caregiver families?
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2019-02-25 14:56 [p.25740]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her tireless advocacy on behalf of caregivers.
Thousands of families rely on caregivers to care for their loved ones. Caregivers have often faced too many barriers to reuniting with their own families. Our government is introducing a program that will provide a faster path for permanent residency, better protections against abuse, and for the first time, we will allow caregivers to bring their own spouses and children with them.
Our government has eliminated the caregiver backlog left behind by the Conservatives, from five years to 12 months. We will always stand for family reunification.
View Simon Marcil Profile
View Simon Marcil Profile
2019-02-08 11:56 [p.25459]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister indicated that he would have talks with Quebec concerning immigration. The talks did not last long.
The ink on Quebec's bill is not even dry and the government is already saying no. Last week, he refused to discuss knowledge of French as a condition for citizenship. This week, he is refusing to discuss knowledge of French as a condition in earlier steps in the immigration process. French is not a shameful disease.
Why is the government refusing to discuss this? Why is it showing such contempt?
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2019-02-08 11:57 [p.25459]
Mr. Speaker, immigration plays a key role in the Canadian economy and enriches our communities.
The Governments of Canada and Quebec have been collaborating for decades under the Canada-Quebec accord, and we intend to continue this important collaboration. We have concerns about the bill, but it is too early to comment on specifics.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-02-08 11:57 [p.25459]
Mr. Speaker, members will recall that the government refused to seriously discuss the immigration levels in Quebec on the pretext of addressing a labour shortage.
Today, Quebec is legislating to deal with the labour shortage in the regions as quickly as possible, but Ottawa said no without any meetings or discussions.
If the government believes that the labour shortage in the regions is a problem, why does it want to prevent Quebec from legislating in that regard?
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2019-02-08 11:58 [p.25459]
Mr. Speaker, immigration plays a key role in the Canadian economy and enriches our communities.
The Governments of Canada and Quebec have been collaborating for decades under the Canada-Quebec accord, and we intend to continue this important collaboration. We have concerns about the bill, but it is too early to comment on specifics.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-02-08 11:58 [p.25459]
Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Prime Minister said “no”. He closed the door.
Quebec's immigration bill was tabled only yesterday. It will be debated by the National Assembly and the public, which is only natural because that is how democracy works.
However, this morning, the government decided that it could not care less about that process and that, whatever happens, it will say “no”.
Does the government realize that, by so doing, it is attacking the sovereignty of the National Assembly and its capacity to pass effective legislation?
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2019-02-08 11:59 [p.25459]
Mr. Speaker, we realize the importance of immigration to address labour market shortages and enhance Quebec's economy. The Governments of Canada and Quebec have always collaborated for decades under the Canada-Quebec accord, and we intend to continue this important collaboration.
Of course, we have some concerns about this bill, but we will be reviewing it with interest. We have to continue to work with the Government of Quebec to ensure we have an immigration system that continues to work for the best interests of Canadians and Quebecers.
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
2019-02-07 15:03 [p.25406]
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
The Government of Quebec just tabled a bill requiring permanent residents in Quebec to learn French and Quebec values.
Could the committee chair assure us that his committee will not do anything to thwart the Quebec legislation? I am asking him that because we know him. He thinks it is shameful to have a requirement to learn French.
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Matt DeCourcey Profile
2019-02-07 15:04 [p.25406]
Mr. Speaker, we know that immigration plays a key role in the economies of Quebec, Canada and all communities across the country.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec have been working together for decades under the Canada-Quebec agreement, and we intend to continue with that important collaboration.
It is too early to comment on the content of the bill, but we look forward to examining it and will work with the Government of Quebec on this issue.
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
2019-02-07 15:05 [p.25406]
Mr. Speaker, my question was for the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human rights. Why did he not answer it?
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-01-31 10:04 [p.25057]
I wish to inform the House of the results of the secret ballot vote held over the last two sitting days. Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), I declare the motion in relation to the designation of Bill C-421, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (adequate knowledge of French in Quebec), negatived. Accordingly, Bill C-421 is declared non-votable.
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
View Mario Beaulieu Profile
2019-01-31 15:05 [p.25104]
Mr. Speaker, I tabled a very simple bill with a clear objective: to allow newcomers who are residents of Quebec and who want to obtain citizenship to integrate into their host society. Communication is essential to integration, and in Quebec, the common language is French.
Why do the Liberals have a problem with the fact that French is the common language in Quebec?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2019-01-31 15:05 [p.25104]
Mr. Speaker, during my first election campaign in 2015, Canadians had a choice between the Harper Conservatives' politics of fear and division and an approach that was more positive, optimistic, future-oriented, committed and respectful of differences because, in Quebec and Canada, differences and diversity are a source of strength and pride.
Canadians understand that and so do Quebeckers back home.
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