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Results: 1 - 15 of 80
View Paul Manly Profile
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-03-11 15:19 [p.1939]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present a second petition from members in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
The petitioners ask that the government commit to uphold the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by immediately halting all existing and planned construction of the Coastal GasLink project on Wet'suwet'en territory; ordering the RCMP to dismantle its exclusion zone and stand down; schedule nation-to-nation talks between the Wet'suwet'en nation and federal and provincial governments, which I am glad to see has happened; and prioritize the real implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-03-11 15:22 [p.1939]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this place to present an e-petition that was started by one of my constituents from Galiano Island. I want send a shout-out to Christina Kovacevic for starting the petition, which has accumulated more than 15,000 signatures.
It calls on the government, as other petitioners today have mentioned, to observe and respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly in relation to the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and land claims; to halt all existing and planned construction of the Coastal GasLink project on their territory; to ask the RCMP to dismantle its exclusion zone; to have nation-to-nation talks, which, we note with real gratitude to the ministers involved, have happened, and there is an agreement currently under consideration with the Wet'suwet'en; and to make sure that it continues toward real implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-03-11 15:26 [p.1940]
Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition. It is similar to other petitions presented today. It calls on the government to uphold the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action by immediately halting existing and planned construction of the Coastal GasLink project on Wet'suwet'en territory; asking the RCMP to dismantle its exclusion zone and stand down; scheduling nation-to-nation talks with the Wet'suwet'en, which has happened; and prioritizing the real implementation of UNDRIP.
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-03-11 15:38 [p.1943]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on Bill C-4, the Canada–United States–Mexico agreement implementation act.
I would specifically like to thank my colleague, the member for Elmwood—Transcona, for his work on this file. Through extensive negotiation with the government, I am so proud that my colleague secured more openness and transparency for Canada's trade process.
Too often the opposition says that the NDP does not understand trade, but this could not be further from the truth. What we do not support is the neo-liberal trade agenda. New Democrats understand the importance of our trading relationship with the U.S., our largest trading partner, and we believe that a better NAFTA could improve the welfare of all North Americans. We believe that all trade agreements must be transparent, inclusive and forward-looking. They must address important issues, like income inequality, sovereignty and climate change. Above all, they must strengthen human rights. They must be transparent and fair for everyone.
Too many trade agreements are approached with the idea of how to make the rich richer. They focus on growing the wealth and power of those who already hold a great deal of wealth and power. They do not consider bettering the lives of all Canadians.
Certainly, people in southwestern Ontario, in my riding, know all too well what Liberal- and Conservative-negotiated trade agreements have created for them and their families. We see what were once highly productive manufacturing hubs now boarded up. One only has to drive along Dundas Street in London, Ontario to know the history of these trade agreements, and what it means to workers in my riding.
The original NAFTA was negotiated by Conservatives and signed by Liberals in 1994. People were promised jobs, rising productivity and secure access to the largest market in the world. It seemed like we were on the cusp of a dream, and all we had to do was sell our soul to cash in.
What happened was far from that dream, and instead Canadian workers faced a nightmare. Canada lost over 400,000 manufacturing jobs and its textile industry. In addition, Canada paid millions of dollars in court fees and penalties when sued by corporations under the ISDS resolution mechanism.
Despite some improvements, this NAFTA continues a disturbing trend of giving more enforceable rights to corporations in trade agreements than to the real people involved and the environment. Over the last 25 years, because of NAFTA, our North American auto and manufacturing industry has become highly dependent on the integrated supply chain. In fact, automobiles and parts will often cross our borders hundreds of times before a vehicle is completed.
Since 2001, after we lost the Auto Pact, 44,000 Canadian auto jobs were lost. After this devastating announcement at GM in Oshawa a few years ago, Canadians are learning that no amount of language in free trade deals, including the new NAFTA, will stop corporations from leaving Canada and heading to Mexico, where they are taking advantage of a low-wage economy and a country that does not respect the environment.
Workers are left to fend for themselves, despite the fact that the Liberals will say that this agreement is good for the automotive sector. In fact, Liberals also ensured that GM Oshawa had no ties to Canada once they provided a multi-million dollar bailout, and let the corporation off the hook from ever paying Canadians back.
The Liberals were nowhere to be found when those GM auto workers were fighting for their jobs in Oshawa. They were certainly not on the front lines, desperately searching for answers about their future or their livelihoods.
Interestingly, the Liberals claimed they were working hard for auto workers by signing the new NAFTA last spring. They insisted that the deal was fantastic and no improvements could be made. Funnily enough, the American Democrats proved them wrong. It would seem that the Liberals were not the skilled negotiators they claimed to be.
At every step of the process, the Liberals have said the same thing, that this trade agreement is a great deal. First, they said they were happy with the original NAFTA and did not want to renegotiate. Then they said the first version of CUSMA was the best we could get, and now they say this latest version is the best that they can get. Well which one is it?
When the NDP called on the government to wait to ratify the first version of CUSMA so the Democrats in the States could improve it, Deputy Prime Minister said:
Mr. Speaker, what the NDP needs to understand is that reopening this agreement would be like opening Pandora's box ... It would be naive for the NDP to believe that Canadians would benefit from reopening this agreement.
However, the Liberals are now keen to brag about improvements made by Democrats in the United States.
Income and wealth inequality in Canada today is at a crisis level with 46% of Canadians $200 away from financial trouble. Working people, like people in London—Fanshawe, are struggling to get by and the wonders of this new NAFTA, like the old NAFTA, will not materialize for the majority of people in my riding. The fact of the matter is, neo-liberal trade agreements do not work for workers.
New Democrats have been consistent in our calls for a transparent trade process in Canada that makes the government more accountable and allows Parliament to play a greater role than that of a simple rubber stamp.
The Liberals over-promised and under-delivered on holding meaningful public consultations on this agreement.
The NDP believes that in all trade negotiations, the government should consult Canadians and their members of Parliament from all parties in a meaningful, comprehensive and public way.
I would like to address some of the concerns that I have about chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. We are pleased with the elimination of chapter 11, there is no doubt about that. However, it has been replaced with mandatory regulatory co-operation, and further influence has been given to corporations. While, in principle, international regulatory co-operation has the potential to raise standards, experts argue that under the new terms, corporate influence has increased at the expense of public protections, and limits government's ability to regulate in areas such as toxic chemicals, food safety, rail safety, workers' health and safety, and the environment.
This agreement would give corporations advance notice of new regulations and ensure that they are allowed a consultation process before any regulation goes through a legislative process.
Regulatory co-operation is subject to dispute resolution. This means corporations can still directly challenge government actions, which is the highest form of regulatory chill. Regulators have to vigorously defend proposed regulations and are even required to suggest alternatives that do not involve regulating. They have to provide extensive analysis, including cost benefits, to industry. This makes governments accountable to industry, not to people.
I would also like to address the gender concerns that I have in this agreement. The Liberals promised an entire chapter to promote gender equality, and this was not delivered in CUSMA. The Liberals appear to have abandoned their promise before it could take root. Their limited language regarding the importance of gender equality does not exist as there is no gender chapter.
Experts testified at the international trade committee that these agreements should not just have a gender chapter, though, but that they must also mainstream gender rights throughout the entirety of an agreement, and that gender equality does not concern only the issues of women entrepreneurs and business owners.
The only chapter that addresses the links between gender and trade in any substantive fashion is the labour chapter. Otherwise, the addition of gender equality language is more superficial than substantive. Labour rights must also address injustices to women, like pay inequity, child labour and poor working conditions. The NDP believes that for an agreement to be truly progressive when it comes to gender rights, it must address the systemic inequalities of all women. The NDP believes that both a gender analysis and a gendered impact assessment must be applied to all trade agreements.
A professor in my hometown of London, Dr. Erin Hannah, testified to the international trade committee:
Overwhelmingly we've put attention on women entrepreneurs in the gender in global trade agenda. That's important.... But the lion's share of women in the developing world work in the informal economy.
We don't have very good tools for assessing the impact of all sorts of things in the lives of women working in the informal economy, but particularly trade....[There are no] methodological tools to study the impact of proposed trade deals on women who are not in the formal economy.
That raise much bigger questions, though, about whether the objective of these initiatives is to bring women into the formal economy, to transition women out of the informal economy into the formal economy. It raises a whole host of other issues. I think it's important to think about how that would change these women's lives. We have a data problem, but we also have an ideological problem.
The NDP believes that, like other socially progressive ideals that can be brought forward in trade agreements, words are not enough. For gender, labour, indigenous, environmental or human rights to be truly advanced, there must be tools in place to achieve that progress. As Dr. Hannah rightfully pointed out, Canada has a lot to do itself on the gender agenda. We do not have pay equity. We do not have universal child care. It is clear that to move forward globally and negotiate progressive trade agreements internationally, nationally we must have domestic tools in place that work effectively.
In conclusion, I would like to talk about indigenous rights. My colleague across the way mentioned that again this deal is absent of any mention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We believe, in the NDP, that the government must abide by article 19 of the UN declaration and obtain free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people before adopting any measures that may affect them.
As was noted by Pam Palmater at the international trade committee during the conversations about Mercosur, indigenous rights should be addressed throughout the entirety of a trade agreement, not only related to one chapter. She also noted that throughout the Pacific Alliance nations, there are large numbers of indigenous people who experience a great deal of violence from transnational corporations involved in trade. That is certainly something we see in NAFTA.
These are some of the concerns I have about the trade deal, and I appreciate the time that this House has given me to discuss them. I appreciate any questions.
View Gord Johns Profile
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-03-11 16:05 [p.1947]
Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for putting an emphasis on the investor-state provisions, which we both dislike. We do not support this corporate model that ignores the rights of workers and indigenous rights.
Not having climate targets in this deal is of huge concern. I would like the member to talk about what could have been done if we had included climate targets and how trade could become a tool for reducing emissions so we can follow the IPCC report. The report identifies that we will have catastrophic changes if we do not make huge changes to our lifestyle today.
Could he also talk a bit more about how important the indigenous rights piece is? He cited the Hupacasath, and I applaud them. They have stood up for indigenous rights. He also cited how the government failed again. It failed to do adequate consultation and implement UNDRIP in this deal. There was an opportunity to do that. In fact, it was the U.S. Democrats that got us most of our gains in this deal, not the Liberal government, which is patting itself on the back. It would have settled on this agreement way before any of these changes were put forward, so we owe appreciation to the U.S. and certainly to the Hupacasath and all the other players who are standing up for really important values.
View Paul Manly Profile
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-03-11 16:07 [p.1948]
Madam Speaker, investor-state is a huge problem for dealing with climate change. Given the number of investor-state dispute settlement agreements around the planet that are going to impede climate action, we are going to have to deal with this through article 20 of the WTO to try to solidify something that overrides the investor-state dispute settlements that have been signed in multilateral and bilateral agreements.
In terms of the Hupacasath and their challenge, as the previous speaker said, article 19 of UNDRIP should have been taken into consideration and there should have been proper consultation with first nations about this. In the case of the Canada-China FIPA, to have it ratified in the middle of a federal court case is egregious.
I would agree that we have a lot of things to work on. We have a lot of fights ahead of us to deal with the spiderweb of investor-state that surrounds this planet and deal with the climate crisis to make sure we are able to fight it clearly, without corporate influence and blockage.
View Chris Lewis Profile
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-02-28 12:02 [p.1748]
Madam Speaker, respect for first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples should underpin all of the discussions in the House. Further, it is also important that all Canadians are equal before the law and enjoy the same rights and freedoms.
That being said, is it the Prime Minister's intent to take firearms that are legally owned and bought in good faith away from our law-abiding, indigenous fellow Canadians who require these tools for their hunting and trapping rights?
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my friend for his comments with respect to respecting indigenous rights.
I want to start by assuring the House that our government is working to renew Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples, building one based on the affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, which is why we will fully implement UNDRIP. We are working collaboratively through constructive rights recognition tables with real co-development of policy as we speak.
We are also working to ensure Canada is fully implementing indigenous treaties, agreements and other arrangements. Reconciliation is not only an indigenous issue, it is a Canadian imperative, one I hope our—
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we calmly broaden the range of possible solutions.
In the last Parliament, the government committed to moving forward with the process of adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government does want to see certain files move quickly.
For the sake of the nation-to-nation relationship, which is not necessarily a house specialty, is the Prime Minister prepared to consider immediately adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-02-26 14:31 [p.1604]
Mr. Speaker, we are working on a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
We were very disappointed when the Conservatives blocked the bill from passing in the last Parliament. We made significant progress on the Indigenous Languages Act, on child and family services, and on the Impact Assessment Act.
We remain committed to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and we will pass a jointly drafted bill. We see the previous bill as a bare minimum, not the absolute best we can do.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am sure that even the Conservatives can understand the notion of reconciliation and the fact that it is necessary. It was one of the values touted by the Liberals during two election campaigns. Unfortunately, no one believes it now, and certainly not the first nations. Instead of just repeating a number of principles, could we move forward and immediately—that being the key word—adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? The House will have the co-operation of the Bloc Québécois.
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-02-26 14:32 [p.1604]
Mr. Speaker, as I promised Canadians, we will be bringing forward a bill on the UN declaration. This time we hope that the Conservative Party will not block the passage of this bill or progress and reconciliation.
With respect to the hon. member's comments, I can point out that we have taken steps towards reconciliation with the lifting of long-term boil water advisories, with 88% having been lifted to date, the recognition of jurisdiction over child and family services, a new fiscal relationship with communities and many other things we are doing.
View Gord Johns Profile
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-02-26 14:53 [p.1608]
Mr. Speaker, despite all of the emotional words, the government has failed to take any meaningful action to fight the discrimination that indigenous people face in Canada's legal system.
Yesterday, I met with Colten Boushie's family. They are still waiting for answers, and they are waiting for action.
Will the Prime Minister support first nations, Métis and Inuit people and accept their call to invite the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people to Canada so she can investigate the systemic racism in our justice system?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-02-26 14:54 [p.1608]
Mr. Speaker, I was honoured to sit down with family and friends of Colten Boushie last night to talk about exactly this and to remind them that we too continue to share their grief in the tragedy that their family underwent.
We have committed to advancing reconciliation and addressing the systemic issues involving indigenous peoples within the criminal justice system. We abolished peremptory challenges for both the Crown and the defence, which gave each party the ability to veto a selected juror without having to give any reasons. This addresses long-standing concerns that racialized Canadians were being unfairly excluded in the jury selection process.
We recognize there is more to do and we will do it.
View Paul Manly Profile
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-02-25 10:26 [p.1474]
Mr. Speaker, this petition calls upon the government to immediately commit to upholding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by halting all existing and planned construction of the Coastal GasLink project on Wet'suwet'en territory, ordering the RCMP to dismantle its exclusion zone and stand down, scheduling nation-to-nation talks between the Wet'suwet'en nation and the federal and provincial governments and prioritizing the real implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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