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Results: 1 - 15 of 621
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-21 11:13 [p.1378]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Sonia Poirier, an extraordinary constituent of mine who embodies the courage, resilience and strength of the people of the North Shore. In 2018, Ms. Poirier saved the lives of her daughter and her daughter's best friend when their boat capsized and her husband and brother-in-law disappeared into the lake's icy waters. She had to swim for hours and make it through a cold night to save the lives of the two girls as they waited and hoped for rescue.
Ms. Poirier is an active member of her community and a worthy member of the great Rotary family, as was her late husband, Bruno. She has written an account of this pivotal moment in her life to show that, no matter what tragedies we may encounter, we can and must choose to live. In my meetings with Ms. Poirier, she proved to be a loving, brilliant, courageous and radiant woman who is focused on chasing her dreams as she cherishes the precious memories of the loved ones she lost.
Sonia, your heroism has inspired me, the people of the North Shore and everyone all across Quebec.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-21 11:22 [p.1380]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister must take real action to resolve the rail crisis today. No one wants to see another photo of him sitting in a chair and chatting with his colleagues. We want to see him on the ground, outdoors, talking to indigenous chiefs. We want him to confirm that there are no longer any RCMP officers on the Wet'suwet'en territory and that the pipeline project at the heart of the controversy will be put on hold while discussions take place.
Will the government finally take action?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
View Louise Chabot Profile
2020-02-21 11:23 [p.1380]
Mr. Speaker, thousands of VIA Rail and CN workers have already received layoff notices because of the rail blockade.
Throughout Quebec, companies of all sizes, including Resolute Forest Products, are telling us that they too will have to lay off employees. The government must take action. Dialogue does not consist of sending letters; it should be carried out face-to-face by the Prime Minister and the chiefs, nation to nation.
What real action will the government take so that on Monday morning the crisis is behind us?
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
BQ (QC)
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2020-02-21 11:34 [p.1382]
Mr. Speaker, the problem is that we are out of time.
The Union des producteurs agricoles is sounding the alarm. A crisis is upon us. If the rail blockades are not lifted and if rail service does not resume within the next few hours, we will have a full-on propane shortage. Farmers use propane to heat their buildings in the middle of February. Their livestock herds are in jeopardy. Farmers back home are worried.
What specific action will the government take to resolve this crisis over the weekend?
View Louise Charbonneau Profile
BQ (QC)
View Louise Charbonneau Profile
2020-02-21 11:34 [p.1382]
Mr. Speaker, the rail blockade crisis has already had a serious impact on Mauricie. Our farmers and their animals are facing a propane shortage. Two Resolute Forest Products sawmills are hours away from laying off all their employees. At the port of Trois-Rivières, more than 200 rail cars are delayed.
What concrete action is the government going to take to ensure that the blockades are removed this weekend?
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2020-02-21 11:48 [p.1385]
Mr. Speaker, there is a serious labour shortage in Quebec. Businesses are turning down contracts because they do not have the staff to increase production. Farmers are sick with worry every year. They do not know if they will have workers in time for the harvest. That is supposedly the purpose of the temporary foreign worker program, but the process is so burdensome, slow and rigid that it does not work.
Will the government let Quebec oversee temporary foreign workers, as it has been calling for over the past 18 months?
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2020-02-21 11:49 [p.1385]
Mr. Speaker, the impact assessment required by the government takes forever. It is a lengthy, burdensome and unnecessarily rigid process, and above all, it is very expensive. Spring is around the corner. Then comes summer and our agricultural producers will need workers in the field, as they do every year.
As a gesture of goodwill, the government could start by handing over the entire responsibility for the labour market impact assessment to Quebec. It could do so tomorrow. Is it open to that suggestion?
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
BQ (QC)
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2020-02-21 12:22 [p.1391]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. He talked about guns at the border.
Does he realize that the rules could be tightened to prevent gun trafficking on the black market?
View Luc Desilets Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Desilets Profile
2020-02-21 12:26 [p.1392]
Mr. Speaker, there is one part of my colleague's speech that I am very much interested in. He alluded to human trafficking a few times.
Could he elaborate on that a bit?
View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-02-20 10:26 [p.1290]
Madam Speaker, I listened closely to my colleague's speech, but I do not really see how what he said will help resolve the crisis. I think dialogue is key to resolving the crisis. In my previous life, I taught philosophy. The word “dialogue” comes from dialogos, which means two parties discerning the truth. The underlying assumption is that all participants must be recognized.
In his speech, my colleague said that, on the one hand, there are the real voices of the Wet'suwet'en and, on the other, the impostor voices of the Wet'suwet'en, those who oppose or do not recognize the Coastal GasLink project and, as my colleague stated, perhaps mistakenly, are against economic development and whatever else.
I would like my colleague to tell me what part of everything he told us just now points to a way out of this crisis.
View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-02-20 10:42 [p.1292]
Madam Speaker, I listened closely to my colleague, and I share his concern about the economic impact of this crisis.
I would like to know if my colleague is in favour of the Bloc Québécois's proposal to set up a war room. Given the significant economic impact, we should also consider temporarily suspending the Coastal GasLink project—just temporarily—until the crisis is resolved.
Would my colleague agree with that proposal?
View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-02-20 11:03 [p.1296]
Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech.
With respect to the economic impacts, I have already received many calls from people working in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean's lumber and aluminum industries who are already struggling because of CUSMA. All the regions, including Ontario and Quebec, are feeling the effects and economic impacts that are a direct result of the Coastal GasLink project.
Why not put this project on hold, since it is the only one making such a huge impact on the economy? Why will the government not agree to put it on hold temporarily while it engages in negotiations with the Wet'suwet'en people?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my 20 minutes with my very honourable and esteemed colleague and friend, the hon. member for Montarville.
I want to take this opportunity to try to sum up the situation because it is not really clear. The news reports are all over the place and contradictory. Nevertheless, it is important for everyone to be on the same page to find solutions.
I would also mention that the idea of leadership has been getting a lot of attention lately. Leadership is mostly a question of attitude. Again, I saw a few ministers attend the meeting with the Prime Minister. One minister said that the government wanted to have a dialogue, because it did not want to not have a dialogue. I was deeply moved by that profound statement. Another minister said that the government was going to move quickly and I saw the Prime Minister come in basically saying that he was coming in.
I want to remind members that there have been other major crises in the past that have affected Quebeckers and Canadians. I will speak about three of them. In 1998 we had an ice storm. Quebec's premier, Lucien Bouchard, delivered an update about the situation every day in the late afternoon. I can still picture it. It was an act of leadership intended to maintain public confidence in light of the magnitude of the problems.
Then there was the terrible Lac-Mégantic disaster, when the then Quebec premier, Ms. Marois, did essentially the same thing. I was the environment minister at the time and that is what we did. We provided people with the most up-to-date information on what was happening. My esteemed colleague was also involved on the public safety side.
Just last year flooding affected many Quebeckers. The Quebec government and the premier provided a detailed daily update about what was happening. This morning, the Prime Minister blew in, took off his toque and then disappeared. I believe that we are all in need of clearer and stronger leadership.
Another aspect of the motion is problematic. The motion claims that the majority of the Wet’suwet’en people, and in some cases all or at least most people in the nation, support the gas pipeline. I do not know where that number is coming from. I do not know where that claim is coming from. I do not know how that was calculated. That nation controls its own institutions. What is more, some sources say that there are five hereditary chiefs, others say there are nine and still others say there are 13. It is a bit vague, but that is their prerogative. Would the Conservatives say that the Prime Minister of Canada cannot govern because he got fewer votes than they did? No. They may not like it, but they recognize that Canada has its institutions, as we should recognize that the Wet’suwet’en nation has its own institutions. Who are we to interpret that to make it fit our political agenda?
Our job must be to first recognize this nation and its institutions. We need to ask the nation to choose one or more representatives who are prepared to meet with us, and we must do the same in order to open a discussion. That is how we must manage this supposedly nation-to-nation relationship, without ever losing sight of the fundamental objective, which is the immediate lifting of all blockades throughout the country. That is what we must do.
We can accomplish that through a series of actions that will show Quebec and Canadian businesses and workers that the government is doing something.
The Premier of Quebec said this morning that he was looking into alternatives to rail and transport trucks. Something is getting done in Quebec. Quebec says its options are limited and that its only recourse for putting an end to the crisis would be to request police intervention, although that would not be its first choice. I think that sounds reasonable and proactive, unlike what I am seeing here in Ottawa, at least in some cases. I am starting to see some movement.
I also want to point out that an indigenous blockade on indigenous territory is one thing. A blockade organized by indigenous people on non-indigenous territory is something else. A blockade set up for fun by college students on Montreal's south shore is a third thing. The third thing is unacceptable. The third thing is obstructing rail traffic on Montreal's south shore.
I have something to say to my constituents. There are two train stations, one in McMasterville and one in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, where traffic has been blocked because people who are not indigenous thought it would be fun to get in on the action. I thought of the people who blocked the Jacques Cartier Bridge not so long ago. I felt the situation was serious and needed to be resolved in a serious way, with the right people at the table, to avoid another college strike.
One possible solution would be daily reports. Everyone seems a little confused about the RCMP. Does the RCMP take orders from the government or not? When it suits the government, the government says that the RCMP is independent and it cannot be told what to do or not to do. The RCMP said that it would move its command centre. The government cannot not boast about that move because the RCMP is independent. It was faster and smarter than the government. If this helps meet the demands of the Wet'suwet'en, that is a positive first step. I remind members that not too long ago the RCMP had snipers pointed at Wet'suwet'en protesters. That is certainly not how to defuse tension. This is positive.
There have been other demands, but I think that we need to take initiative and do something so that we are not simply responding to demands. It could be never-ending. The second step would be to create a forum for important, fundamental, serious, sustainable and credible discussions to convince them that something will happen if they sit down at the table. This second gesture would be significant.
The third step is a sensitive subject in a Parliament that, with few exceptions, is decidedly pro-oil. I suggest suspending work on the project temporarily as a way of extending an olive branch, because I personally believe that work on infrastructure designed to increase the amount of fossil fuel we transport and consume is bad in general. My suggestion to temporarily suspend construction is a compromise, one that the Wet'suwet'en nation itself may not be making. Let's temporarily suspend the work.
That is not within federal jurisdiction, but I would imagine the Prime Minister of Canada, who thinks he is the boss of the provinces, could pick up the phone, call the Premier of British Columbia, and tell him to ask the company to put the work on hold for a bit.
Taken together, these three steps—creating a forum for discussion, withdrawing the RCMP and temporarily suspending work on the project—will probably, but not definitely, be enough to remove the blockades and get the right people to the table. Once that happens, we can resume relatively normal economic activity throughout Canada and Quebec and engage in serious discussions. Without serious discussions, the same thing will just keep happening again and again.
I think solutions are within reach. They have to be implemented in good faith with clear leadership that can build consensus in Parliament. We need to show first nations that we are serious, committed and credible, and that although we will not give in, we are acting in good faith. The government needs to keep its election promises and prove those things are true.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, the rule of law gives power to institutions. In this case, we are talking about the RCMP. The RCMP's power to intervene by force does not mean it is obliged to do so. Obviously, it was rather wise not to take such an approach.
Recognizing that the blockades are illegal, as the Prime Minister did yesterday, does not automatically mean that we should make a crisis worse by making an already extremely tense situation aggressive and maybe even violent. That is not what we want. I therefore think it was wise not to use this type of inappropriate intervention.
I understand that this is the RCMP's decision and that we are still waiting for this government to make its first decision and its first move. So far, the government has not done anything or has not told us about any practical measures it has taken, despite the suggestions that have been made.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, you cannot imagine how happy I am to hear that my colleague does not want to see that.
In fact, yesterday evening, I felt somewhat obliged to respond to a comment from a candidate to the leadership of the Conservative Party, who congratulated two men in a truck. He said that, by dismantling a barricade and loading it into two pickup trucks, these two men went and did what the Prime Minister of Canada failed to do.
I was astounded to see that someone who aspires to be the Prime Minister of Canada is encouraging people to take the law into their own hands by sending in some muscle to take down the barricades in a place where tensions are running high.
I urge my colleague to speak to this party leadership candidate, even if it is just to say that this is an example of what not to do. Civilians must not be told to go confront other civilians on the mistaken assumption that their actions will help resolve a potentially serious crisis.
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