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Results: 1 - 15 of 983
View Tamara Jansen Profile
CPC (BC)
Unfortunately, the way this teleconference is going is a very good example of how the emergency relief program has been rolled out, just complete chaos. Hopefully, it will still work.
It's a good segue to my first question. When Minister Champagne told Canadians who were abroad to come home, they had to begin organizing their own emergency evacuation flights, which ended up including several transfers over multiple countries. Travellers were forced cheek by jowl in busy airports where it's impossible to practise social distancing.
I'm just wondering, what was the thought process in having people do their own organization? Especially, why couldn't the government have organized, perhaps, charter flights, where we could have had more direct travel for repatriating Canadians?
View Tamara Jansen Profile
CPC (BC)
Ms. Jeffrey, yes.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
I have a second question. This would be for Ms. Namiesniowski.
Front-line health care workers have been reporting to me here in my constituency. They're very concerned about their safety and the way PPE is being rationed. I spoke to someone from an OR who said they were being asked to use masks between patients, and so forth. I also had someone who returned from overseas and had symptoms. That person phoned 811 and was told to just stay home and self-isolate, as opposed to getting tested.
I'm just wondering, how can we ensure best practices and ensure that proper safety protocols are being followed?
View Tamara Jansen Profile
CPC (BC)
The guidance that the health care people were being given was to continue to wear their mask all day, if they could, to save on masks.
I have a third question. It's in regard to a statement made by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. It was released on March 12. It highlighted the fact that Canadian hospitals don't have surge capacity to handle the pandemic. I wonder if you can explain, Ms. Namiesniowski, what measures were implemented to increase surge capacity.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
I have one more question.
There have been reports here of shortages of PPE in hospitals. Despite the assurances that they are well stocked, we actually have local doctors putting out messages on social media. We even have the chambers asking for donations and so on.
As Vancouver is one of the four designated airports for international flights, it puts a heavy burden on our providers who are seeing shortages. When can we see that hospitals will be fully stocked and remain that way?
View Tamara Jansen Profile
CPC (BC)
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I certainly appreciate MP Vaughan's intervention here and for citing his particular desire to make sure that there is a special focus within this study. I will say, though, that there are more views on this than simply that.
While I appreciate his raising it for those who feel that a fourth stream is important, I also will say that there are some areas that may not neatly fit within the parameters he's set out.
For example, CMHC does fund different parts and touches upon different programs on reserve that don't often get studied by any group in Parliament. I would also simply suggest that for us not to be talking about urban indigenous housing on reserve.... Because there are many different permutations in British Columbia, I think there are special considerations that may not be captured under an individual housing program.
I have Westbank First Nation in my riding. In B.C., there are many other unique cases where there is a mix of different housing and housing policy. With full respect, I would hope that the witnesses MP Vaughan brings are able to bring out those aspects that he thinks are lacking in our current policy. I also want to reiterate this for people who I serve directly or who are in from British Columbia who are in urban indigenous reserves, which I think is important.
I just want to make sure that we are not scoping out because if we bring witnesses and suddenly analysts start saying that we can't count any of that testimony, as meaningful as it is.... Especially if we are planning on flying people out, to disregard their testimony on either CMHC or some of the existing programs or somehow how some rules don't align....
I will give you a good example, Mr. Chair. Sometimes a first nation will be given other lands that are not part of the reserve, yet they will have housing on the reserve. I think that we need to understand how those situations and different regulations line up when you have those cases.
I see some nodding here. I do appreciate that he is receptive to that. I just don't want to have it where the analysts says that it's great testimony, but we can't use a word of it. That would disempower my constituents.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Again, I do respect that if we don't have some sense of priority or scope, then everything is...and we can go into 100 different directions. But, again, I just want to reiterate that we will certainly be mindful of witnesses. I don't want to see testimony excluded later just because it didn't neatly fit into someone's box. Therefore, there are going to be some grey zones that we will all be respectful of, and those people can still come and have their say. If it doesn't pertain to the usefulness of the study, well, then, at least someone felt they were heard and listened to and it's a permanent record in the committee evidence. I'm just glad to make sure that we're not necessarily cutting out people who may not have a voice otherwise.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
I'm certainly mindful that everyone seems to be considering there are going to be some situations where we have to fit people in.
I have two quick points. Number one is that trying to build themes on specific days can be a bit of a thankless task, because not everyone is available and can come in to speak to a specific theme. So, I would just ask that if someone comes in who is on a different note from the majority of witnesses, we just accept that that is going to be part of the broader report.
The second thing is that CMHC is under the purview of this committee and, as I've said, there are some questions on some of its programs in regard to housing that have an indigenous angle that often isn't heard.
And, lived experience—I agree 100%, Mr. Turnbull, that it may be helpful for us to hear, because people don't always have voice, especially when there are multiple.... Someone told me one time very early on that joint accountability is no accountability. So, if multiple groups share responsibility, it seems that no one catches the ball when something goes wrong. I just think it would be helpful for us to make sure that there is some accountability, and it starts with our committee.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Just on point six, the press release, I would hope, would come through you to committee members so we can know about it, and if there any graphics, we can put them on social media to encourage people to consider applying. I know it's not a large bursary, but by the same token, we want to make sure that anyone who's interested has the ability to do that.
The question is on “Respectfully submitted”. Could it not be “Submitted with love”? It's totally up to you, Mr. Chair. If you want to maintain the stiff upper lip when you send us these things, I understand that.
Voices: Oh, oh!
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I concur with my colleague. I just want to say that I can only imagine the anxiety that a clerk and analyst would have trying to fill individual blocks. I would just want to reiterate that if you could clump certain groups in, it would be advantageous, in my mind, although I would like to hear from whoever sets up the work plan eventually that, when you send in a witness list, you may make a suggestion in brackets under what category. I may have some categories that will just say “other”, because they may not neatly fit into it. Then we can expect them to try to clump them as best they can.
Some witnesses are just not available. I do think, further to MP Kusie's comments about external forces and whatnot, some may decide that they do not want to come to Ottawa but would prefer to do it by teleconference. Even those facilities may not be as easily accessible. I just have to bear in mind that I'm going to give a lot of latitude to the chair, the clerk and analysts as they try to populate a schedule in any kind of cohesive thematic fashion.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you. Following up on MP Turnbull's note that we might want some data and other things, it might be helpful for us to launch the study with the people who run the programs so we can ask them for an overview. That might be a good way for us to then start with some of the programs. We could clearly ask questions. MP Vaughan might want to say “Why this, not that?” It would be part of the committee record, and we'll all be able to ask questions. It might be a good way for all of us to get a little more up to speed on exactly some of the challenges and shortcomings of current programming.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Just going back to it, though, I made a suggestion that perhaps we should have agencies that have skin in the game or could play a role in the development of this study. It would not be fair to say that we would have to bring them forward as witnesses and then not be able to have people, for example, from my riding come out instead. If we broadly agree, as MP Turnbull said, that we should have some background to start us off, to me that would be the logical start. I'll just start by saying that CMHC would be a natural one for me.
Are there any other government officials or government agencies that people would like to see?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I'm inclined to support the motion. I hope all members would.
I would like to move either a friendly amendment or a formal amendment, however you think it would be best to move this.
Before doing that, Mr. chair, I will share a little rationale because I want to give context to show that I'm not trying to take the committee in a completely different direction. I do support the work that my friend from Quebec here is trying to do for her constituents.
It has been related to me that temporary foreign workers—particularly under the seasonal agricultural worker program—pay not just taxes, but payroll taxes, particularly to the Canada pension plan as well as old age security payments like any other Canadian worker. I think that's probably to make sure there's an even playing field.
The problem is that when they return to Mexico, they can apply to receive some of their taxes back, but they cannot apply to get back their Canada pension or their old age security.
I'm not suggesting that we need to do an intensive study of this. I would simply suggest that we maybe amend the motion to tag this on after “which ends in May” and before “and”, so that it would say “which ends in May, as well as to question officials who are knowledgeable of payments made by temporary foreign workers, and that this study include at least two meetings to hear from witnesses.”
The reason, Mr. Chair, is that I do think we need to have an explanation as to why they pay into our Canada pension plan and old age security—mainly the Canada pension plan—when there's no expectation that they will ever be able to pull that money out.
I think many people would simply suggest that it seems wrong and unfair that someone's efforts end up paying for someone else's benefit down the road, noting that the temporary foreign worker program—particularly the seasonal agriculture worker program—is not an immigration program. It is a work program.
I would ask members that if they can squeak that in or perhaps you can just ask that officials will come. I want to be able to ask a few questions and see why this program is set up like that.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I can appreciate that. Really, “temporary foreign worker” is the lexicon everyone seems to recognize. The seasonal agricultural workers program is no longer part of that umbrella, but, again, people have been continually asking, particularly both workers and people in my area, both in the Similkameen Valley as well as the Okanagan Valley.... One of the things I literally said is that it would be interesting to find out from someone.... The officials we would call can speak to this project. It would be very easy for us to tag it on just to simply ask for an official to come in to give an explanation. The last thing I want to do is launch a full-on study about something that may have a very simple explanation. This way we can deal with it rather than having to try to launch a whole studied affair.
My intervention here today is not to prolong or take away from the motion here but just to simply to say that perhaps we can get a few answers by simply tagging this on, and then we can take it from there.
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