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Results: 1 - 15 of 139
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-02-24 15:24 [p.1439]
Mr. Speaker, the petitioners are raising Canada's commitments in the Paris Agreement within the United Nations framework on climate change. They point out that the text of the agreement specifically references the appointment of just transitions, the principle that ensures that, in phasing out our dependency on fossil fuels, workers in those sectors receive assurance and protection of meaningful employment.
The petitioners call for the House of Commons, along with oil and gas workers, to create a plan for a just transition and include within it the recommendations that have been put forward by the Task Force: Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities. They cite that report as a cutting-edge document of key principles for just transition.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-02-24 15:25 [p.1439]
Mr. Speaker, it is pleasure to rise today to present two petitions.
One was gathered by the Body Shop in Woodgrove mall in Nanaimo, with residents up and down the island. It calls on the Government of Canada to bring our standards up to the EU standards in relation to cosmetics and ban the sale and/or manufacture of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients in Canada.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-02-24 15:26 [p.1439]
Mr. Speaker, the second is in regard to the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The people who signed this petition were opposed to the purchase of the pipeline and now do not want to see this project expanded. We have seen the cost of this pipeline rise from $5.6 billion to $12 billion, and they do not think it is a good use of taxpayers' money and will end up being a stranded asset.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-24 16:13 [p.1446]
Madam Speaker, I feel like we are missing the mark a bit. We are missing the idea about sovereignty and self-determination. What we are really discussing is advancing the rights of indigenous peoples in the country.
I heard many times in the member's statement the words “our indigenous communities”. We do not own these communities. They are sovereign in their own right. I ask the member whether he thinks it is a bit pandering itself, a bit token, and a bit patronizing to use that kind of terminology?
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-24 17:44 [p.1458]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this House to speak and to represent the people of Fredericton.
Today we debate Bill C-6, a bill to amend the citizenship oath. I wish to provide context for my words today with some of my background. Before being elected in this House, I was a teacher and an advocate for indigenous youth in our public schools. I worked to remove barriers in the New Brunswick education system for indigenous children. I worked to educate the broader population on the true history of Canada and the implications for ignoring it. I remember learning about residential schools on my own time and not as part of my formal education. It took two years to comb through testimonials, letters, documents and photo evidence. It was a roller coaster of emotions as I confronted my identity as a non-indigenous person, and my role and responsibility in repairing the damage that had been done. Understanding that responsibility led to my passion for teaching and it led me into this House where I stand today.
The 94 calls to action that came out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada were designed to be a road map to reconciliation, covering a variety of aspects of life, including business, education, health, youth, women, justice and more. Canadians might be asking where this road has gotten us, and how many calls to action have been completed. In the Prime Minister's words, he made a commitment, in partnership with indigenous communities, the provinces, territories and other vital partners, to fully implement the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That was in 2015.
CBC's Ian Mosby has been tracking the TRC's progress. He commented, “One thing that the calls to action that have been completed have in common, is that they are very simple to complete, or they are calls for things that were already happening to continue.”
Dr. Cindy Blackstock said, “In 2020, it is time to stop feeding the government’s insatiable appetite to be thanked for its inadequate measures and to demand a complete end to the inequality”.
Particularly poignant are the observations of the Yellowhead Institute on assessing progress. It writes:
We have also operated from the assumption that completing any particular Call to Action cannot be solely determined by gestures of process, budgetary promises, or otherwise “recognition of concerns” on the part of Crown-Indigenous Relations (CIR). Rather, we have judged their status based on whether or not specific actions have been taken that are capable of producing the kinds of clear, meaningful, structural changes necessary to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples throughout Canada.
Let us review the scorecard. Out of the 52 broader reconciliation recommendations, seven have been completed; under justice, one out of 18; language and culture, one out of five; health, zero; education, zero; child welfare, zero. Five were completed in the first year, and just four since 2016. At the current rate, it will take approximately 38 more years before all of the calls to action are implemented. We will see reconciliation in the year 2057, just in time for zero emissions.
In the 2019 mandate letters, the Prime Minister reiterated, “No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous People”. I think it is time to call in the marriage counsellor. Take, for example, Canada's ongoing legal challenges to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's September 2019 ruling that “the Federal government was wilfully and recklessly discriminating against First Nation children in ways that contributed to child deaths and a multitude of unnecessary family separations.” For a government so concerned with appearances, this does not look good.
With no reminder needed, let us look to the current and ongoing Wet'suwet'en crisis in Canada, testing the Prime Minister and his government's commitment to this mandate of reconciliation, as well as the public interest. This could have been a slam dunk, setting the tone for positive, peaceful relationships for years to come. However, due to what I believe to be a catastrophic mishandling of the situation, we are seeing effects like the explicit, overt racism breeding in online comment sections and spilling into the streets and schoolyards.
This is the true barrier to the calls to action, to reconciliation and to the hope of a better tomorrow for indigenous peoples in Canada. We have heard a lot of rhetoric over the last couple of weeks. We had the opposition leader attempt to educate us on privilege. Mind you, he is a white, affluent man who was standing in front of the grand doors of the House of Commons. He should know privilege well, yet somehow he missed the mark.
We have heard a lot of platitudes, punch lines and patriarchy. We have heard promises made and, three days later, promises broken as well as a gross overstating of the role of dialogue.
The exhaustive TRC, the previous Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls inquiry were the hard work of dialogue and set a course of action for Canada to take. Dialogue is a conversation among parties, but Canada does not seem to be listening.
In closing, I will change my tone. I will of course support this effort to fulfill one of the 94 recommendations, but I wish to note the timing of this effort as well as question the actual impact in today's Canadian political climate.
Things have changed. We have failed in the bridge building, in the healing that is required of this work, which is embedded in each of the 94 recommendations. Today we address one call to action, the 94th, with 84 incomplete before it. We will potentially move this request to committee stage and in time perhaps we will see our newcomers repeat an oath that acknowledges something the majority of settler Canadians have not.
Having said all this, this change will have a positive impact on the immigration experience in Canada, despite falling flat as a call to action for indigenous peoples so long after it was originally recorded.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-24 17:52 [p.1460]
Madam Speaker, yes, we are supportive of the bill before us. Again, it puts forward one of the 94 recommendations. If we are looking at prioritizing or placing importance on these recommendations, it is rather symbolic, if we are going to talk about symbolism, and it is the 94th call to action. It would seem that the hard-working individuals who were involved in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission would have rather seen some of the others addressed long before we got to this one.
Again, while it is one step that is necessary to take, 93 others steps should probably have been taken before this one.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-24 17:53 [p.1460]
Madam Speaker, the simple answer is yes. With our limited time here, we have to address things with a certain level of urgency and prioritize them in a very important way. However, this is the bill before us, and I support it.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-02-24 17:54 [p.1460]
Madam Speaker, I am very frustrated. I sat very patiently and listened to the midnight debate without a speaking slot, so I took this time to really address those concerns.
My children are indigenous. What I see from all this, as I mentioned, is some of the racism that is really pours out of the comment sections and in society. I am very concerned. Therefore, I would like to see a strong focus placed on anti-racism.
With that, comes all the rest of the recommendations as well. They are very much imbedded in that spirit. We need to understand how to better relate to one another, but we have to tear down the walls we have seen. The power of racism in our society is there and I worry for my children, my students and Canada. We need to address this right away.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-02-21 12:02 [p.1388]
Mr. Speaker, post-secondary students in Canada graduate burdened with debt from high tuition fees and the high cost of living. The interest rate they pay on their student loans is almost double the rate paid on the average home mortgage. By comparison, in northern European countries, university is tuition-free and students receive financial support. These economies have seen the benefits. Students in Canada need debt relief now.
Will the government, at the very least eliminate, the interest on federal student loans and give our students a break?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-02-20 10:09 [p.1288]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition to defend wild Pacific salmon. It is a key issue for my constituents in Saanich—Gulf Islands. Indeed, they are clamouring for the House of Commons to act using the precautionary principle.
They have waited quite a long time for action based on the report that was originally commissioned by previous prime minister Stephen Harper: the commission of inquiry into the collapse of Fraser River sockeye in 2009.
There were 75 recommendations that stemmed from Mr. Justice Bruce Cohen's inquiry. They remain to be implemented. The petitioners ask for the recommendations of the Cohen commission to protect wild salmon to be implemented urgently.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-02-20 11:09 [p.1296]
Madam Speaker, I recognize that the hon. minister has had extensive dealings with the Wet'suwet'en peoples and with the nation-to-nation relationship that applies to band councils and hereditary chiefs. I wonder if she could comment on claims made in the opposition motion, which I find to be factually incorrect, making claims about a majority of this and a majority of that. Personally, I do not think anyone in this place can make those claims. I wonder if the hon. minister knows differently.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-02-20 12:07 [p.1305]
Madam Speaker, the hon. member made an excellent speech and it covered a lot of really good points.
The Conservative motion states that every elected band council on the Coastal GasLink route supports this. Only five of the six Wet'suwet'en first nations actually signed on to the benefits agreement. The media give the idea that the majority of the hereditary chiefs are behind this, but that is not the case. They say that the vast majority of Wet'suwet'en people support this project, as well. I am looking at media links. I am looking at information. There are a lot of unknowns in this situation.
What does the hon. member think of this motion as it stands? Where are the facts? Where did the Conservatives get these numbers? Even in the media reporting, nobody is completely sure how many people in Wet'suwet'en territory support this project or oppose it.
There is a lot of information about the elected chiefs being torn about this and that they signed on to this agreement because of the cash, even though they do not really support it.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-02-20 12:42 [p.1310]
Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague from West Nova has offended deeply a sense of democracy and allyship that exists across the country. I respect the member enormously, but I have to make it clear that young people, people my age, seniors who stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples are no different, having no big connection. All the Canadians who stood up against apartheid, what was their connection? Whites walked with Martin Luther King. Did they have no connection? Did they have no right to be moved? Did they have no right to speak up against injustice when the groups that faced injustice were almost entirely, and usually vulnerable, and the minority?
Those who stand in allyship should not be condemned, as they have been by the motion today by the Conservatives. I ask my friend from West Nova to think again.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-02-20 13:17 [p.1314]
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The language that was just used was unparliamentary and incendiary. I just double-checked the meaning of “insurrection”. It means “a violent uprising.” Everything taking place is non-violent. It may be illegal, depending on perspective, but I ask the hon. member to withdraw that word.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-02-20 14:01 [p.1320]
Mr. Speaker, the 2019 pacific salmon season was a disaster.
Pacific salmon are facing an unprecedented crisis. British Columbia is in real danger of losing its most iconic fish. Countless runs are endangered, including the Nanaimo River runs. I have heard from first nations leaders, commercial fishermen, sports fishermen and advocacy groups on this issue.
The government needs to take urgent action and restore an adequate budget for salmon stock assessments, commit more resources to the DFO's salmon enhancement program, increase the salmon conservation stamp fee on fishing licences, legislate the move to closed-containment salmon farms immediately and provide emergency relief packages for commercial fishers and first nations.
There is still time to save the Pacific salmon, but we must act now before it is too late.
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