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Results: 1 - 15 of 80
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2020-02-24 14:02 [p.1424]
Madam Speaker, Rufin Gionet was a well-known and very respected constituent of mine. On January 17, 2020, at the age of 99 years and seven months, he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.
Mr. Gionet was one of the last surviving veterans of World War II. After his military service, Mr. Gionet made a name for himself throughout New Brunswick with his passion for the shipbuilding industry. He was a co-founder of the Bas-Caraquet shipyard, Fundy Shipbuilding and Caraquet Marine Ltée.
He also owned a small business and sat on many boards of directors, such as the boards of Caraquet Hospital and of Caisses populaires acadiennes.
Mr. Gionet was also a Bas-Caraquet municipal councillor and founding member of our only French-language newspaper, the Acadie Nouvelle.
We will be forever grateful for his service to Canada and our community. In our riding, he will be remembered as a modern and courageous man.
I would like to extend my condolences to his children, René and Huguette, and to his family and friends.
Rest in peace Mr. Gionet.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Pat Finnigan Profile
2020-02-24 14:04 [p.1424]
Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today with a heavy heart to pay my respects to the late Charles Hubbard, who passed away on February 12. He was a friend and colleague to many of us here in this House.
Charlie was the member of Parliament for Miramichi from 1993 to 2008 and served the people of the riding with great pride. He was the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Indian affairs and northern development, and parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport during the government of Paul Martin.
Before entering politics, Charlie served in the Canadian Armed Forces, and in 1963 began his illustrious teaching career. He later went on to become the first principal of Miramichi Valley High School and was also deeply involved with many community organizations over the years.
Charlie had a love for the outdoors that included farming and fishing.
I would like to extend my condolences to his wife Pat, their children and grandchildren. Charlie was a good friend and mentor to me, and a true champion of the Miramichi region. He will be missed.
View John Williamson Profile
View John Williamson Profile
2020-02-24 15:10 [p.1437]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During today's question period, the member for Lakeland asked a question. She was reprimanded by you for charged language. It is not clear, on this side at least, why she was. Was it for using the word “crock”? Was it for saying that Alberta is bleeding? Was it for highlighting the dramatic spike in suicides?
View Jenica Atwin Profile
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
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
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
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
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 John Williamson Profile
View John Williamson Profile
2020-02-21 11:38 [p.1383]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Transport told the House that VIA Rail service was now operating between Ottawa and Montreal. The minister also said that he was a frequent VIA Rail traveller, which is very convenient for him and fellow Montreal area MPs.
I was surprised to learn that VIA Rail is not operating to Atlantic Canada. In fact, VIA is not running any services between Montreal and Halifax.
These illegal blockades are located in western and central Canada, not down east. Therefore, why is VIA Rail not running in Atlantic Canada?
View Richard Bragdon Profile
View Richard Bragdon Profile
2020-02-21 11:56 [p.1386]
Mr. Speaker, 24,000 people in New Brunswick rely on the forestry sector for their livelihoods. The Prime Minister has already hurt the industry through poorly negotiated trade deals and his inaction on blockades is hurting them again. I am hearing from Forest NB that thousands of jobs and contracts are in jeopardy if this current disruption of rail and port services continues even one more week.
When will the Prime Minister move beyond the politics of endless dialogue, dither and delay, and take action so that I can tell the forestry workers of New Brunswick that the blockades are coming down?
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
View René Arseneault Profile
2020-02-20 11:38 [p.1300]
Madam Speaker, I have been listening with great interest to the comments made by my esteemed colleague from Montarville.
It is odd that the Bloc Québécois, whose main talking point is that the federal government must avoid interfering in Quebec's affairs as much as possible, is now asking why the federal government will not intervene regarding the blockades in the interest of public safety in the province of Quebec.
Like my esteemed colleague, I am old enough to remember what happened at Oka in 1990. The Sûreté du Québec was dispatched to the barricades. Then the federal government was asked to intervene, and the conflict went on for 78 days, or two and a half months.
First of all, I would like to ask my esteemed colleague what he remembers about Oka and how it relates to today's situation, which affects the entire country, not just a small area of Quebec. What does he remember about those notorious 78 days, for that is how long it took to reach a resolution?
Second, what he calls procrastination on the government's part is actually an effort to enter into dialogue with key stakeholders that is happening as we speak.
View Wayne Long Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Wayne Long Profile
2020-02-20 14:02 [p.1320]
Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, I pledged to stand up for democratic reform in this place if re-elected. Now I am back.
I rise to begin fulfilling this pledge by addressing my many fellow members about the historic opportunity to improve the democratic character of this place that lies before us in this minority Parliament.
By amending our Standing Orders to ensure that all members of the House are fully empowered to advocate for their constituents on Parliament hill, whether it be by creating a parallel chamber or tackling party discipline, we can ensure that the voices of voters are not drowned out by acrimonious partisan rhetoric and voting patterns in the people's House.
On election day, our names come first and our parties come second on the ballots cast by our constituents. Let us all put our constituents first in this Parliament. Let us seize this historic opportunity to work across party lines to implement the democratic reform this place needs.
View John Williamson Profile
View John Williamson Profile
2020-02-19 15:01 [p.1253]
Mr. Speaker, job losses from these illegal blockades are growing by the hour. Last night, CN Rail announced 450 workers will be laid off. Today, VIA Rail announced another 1,000. When Canadian workers and families have their livelihoods and safety put at risk, the Prime Minister offers nothing but platitudes.
If these illegal rail blockades continue, Atlantic Canada will run out of propane, airports will run out of the de-icing fluids that keep us moving in the winter and water treatment facilities will soon lack chemical supplies that keep our drinking water safe.
When will the government finally stand up for Atlantic Canada?
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, during the statement that my colleague made today, she made reference to the gender-based violence strategy.
In 2017, our government launched its first-ever gender-based violence strategy and we backed it up with over $100 million in funding over five years.
Would my colleague elaborate on how Bill C-5 would fit within that strategy?
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, it is an absolute pleasure for me to rise in the House today to speak to this important legislation, Bill C-5, an act to amend the Judges Act and also the Criminal Code of Canada.
I feel very passionate about this piece of legislation, because I have seen first-hand many barriers that women and Canadians face when they are victims of sexual violence.
Prior to entering politics, as I have mentioned a few times in this House, I was a front-line social worker. I served over 23 years with the Codiac regional RCMP as the victim services coordinator. During that time, I had the privilege of accompanying many survivors of sexual violence through some very difficult times.
Within the RCMP, a part of my job was assisting police officers in conducting these types of investigations and also helping victims navigate through a very a complex system, preparing them for court and often times accompanying them to court. I have personally had the privilege of accompanying probably thousands of victims who faced these very difficult situations. I wish I could stand here today and say that I have never heard any inappropriate comments made by judiciaries, but that is not the case. I have seen first-hand some of the treatment that women and individuals have gone through, which is why I feel so passionate that this bill move forward. I am pleased to see that all members of this House are supporting the bill.
If passed, this bill will ensure that superior court judges who hear sexual assault cases get proper training so they will not be influenced by harmful myths and stereotypes that persist in our society. It will also lead to a better understanding of the social context surrounding this type of crime in our country. This training will also assure the public that judges are applying the law in a way that respects survivors' dignity and reality. This training will give judges the right tools to make fair, impartial decisions.
The bill will also require judges to explain their final decisions in sexual assault proceedings in writing, which will make the process more open and transparent.
Sexual assault is a form of gender-based violence and one of the most under-reported crimes in Canada. When I was a front-line worker, we would often say that fewer than 6% of survivors came forward, and today we have heard in the House the statistic of 5%, and so we know that this crime is truly under-reported. Unfortunately, gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive and deeply rooted human rights violation of our time, and we have to remember that it is 100% preventable.
I would like to talk about the Government of Canada's co-ordinated efforts to prevent and address gender-based violence, because Bill C-5 is another important piece of a larger suite of initiatives designed to better support survivors and their families, as well as to promote a responsive legal justice system.
First, let me explain what gender-based violence is.
Gender-based violence is violence directed towards another person based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Gender-based violence is linked to gender inequities, unequal power dynamics and harmful gender norms and behaviours. It is made worse by other forms of discrimination.
Women and girls, racialized women, lesbian, gay and bisexual people, indigenous people and people with disabilities are at an increased risk of experiencing gender-based violence. Transgender, two-spirit and gender-diverse people in Canada also experience higher rates of violence.
In Canada, gender-based violence continues to happen at an extremely alarming rate. According to data collected by Statistics Canada, between 2008 and 2018, over 700 women were killed by their intimate partner in this country. In 2018, one in every three women experienced unwanted sexual behaviour in public. While these numbers are terrifying, the reality for indigenous women and girls is even worse. In 2018, the rate of homicide was nearly seven times higher for indigenous women and girls than that of their non-indigenous counterparts.
Faced with such a bleak picture, the government took action.
In 2017, the Government of Canada took action, launching the very first federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence entitled “Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence”.
The strategy includes over $200 million for federal initiatives to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and promote responsive legal and justice systems.
The gender-based violence strategy is the first-ever federal strategy of its kind because it takes a whole-of-government approach and is informed by grassroots activism and feminist action.
We listened to survivors and women's and equality-seeking organizations in communities across the country that are working tirelessly to address gender-based violence within their communities. Let me give some examples of the initiatives under the strategy that were informed by their voices.
As a part of the strategy, the Public Health Agency of Canada, also known as PHAC, is investing more than $40 million over five years and more than $9 million per year ongoing. This includes investing in initiatives that prevent child maltreatment and teen and youth dating violence, and equip health professionals to respond to gender-based violence.
For example, the Public Health Agency of Canada is funding projects through which young Canadians learn how to develop and maintain healthy relationships that are free from violence and abuse. Educators are also provided with new tools to increase their capacity to deliver this type of guidance to young Canadians.
Teaching teenagers across Canada about what a healthy relationship looks like also helps foster positive relationships, changes attitudes and promotes gender equality. It helps foster a greater understanding, ultimately resulting in a safer community for young Canadians anywhere in Canada from coast to coast to coast.
In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada is investing more than $6 million per year to support the health of survivors of family violence. Improving physical and mental health outcomes for youth and children, helping mothers experiencing family violence learn the impact of violence on their parenting and their children's development, while building mothers' self-esteem and improving their positive parenting and healthy relationship skills, and building resilience and life skills in young women are just some examples of what the funded projects aim to accomplish.
Just as Bill C-5 proposes to train judges, under the strategy we are training RCMP front-line officers so that they can better understand the social context surrounding gender-based violence. The goal is for survivors to feel more confident in moving forward to denounce their aggressors and for officers to be more understanding of the survivors' situation.
These are just a few examples that demonstrate the ongoing progress of the strategy.
As part of the strategy, we are working in close co-operation with every level of government, including the provincial and territorial governments, as well as several departments and organizations. We are pooling our resources to strengthen our ability to support those affected by gender-based violence in communities across Canada.
We are working on establishing a national plan that would ensure that anyone facing gender-based violence is protected and has reliable and timely access to services, no matter where they live.
In closing, I could continue discussing our accomplishments and the continuous efforts we are making. The point is that Canada's strategy to prevent gender-based violence is moving forward because we know there is still more work that needs to be done.
We need to give Bill C-5 our full support. We are counting on all members of Parliament to help us continue this crucial work to end gender-based violence within our communities.
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