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Results: 1 - 15 of 355
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2022-05-11 16:37
Madam Speaker, what I absolutely will offer is the opportunity to sit down, as I have always said from the beginning of this, to work as we did on, as an example, Bill C-3. I have to say that the Conservatives came forward with a number of proposals on Bill C-3 to improve the bill, and we were able to do that. In so doing, we also created a calendar for when we were able to adopt it, to make sure we got Canadians the support they needed, both for the pandemic and to make important changes that the Conservatives brought forward.
I would say to the member opposite, as I have said to their House leader many, many times, that, if they want to bring something forward, if they are looking to improve a bill, or if they are looking to give us concrete information on how long they want to debate something, we would absolutely work with them.
I can tell members that in my time as House leader that has happened exactly zero times. Since we started this session in January, there has not been a single offer of that nature. There has been nothing put in front of us to improve a bill or to work with us on anything.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Hon. Mark Holland: Madam Speaker, the only thing, unfortunately, we have seen is obfuscation and blocking.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2022-02-07 14:51
Mr. Speaker, we passed Bill C-3, which made sure that health care sites, like hospitals, are protected from the types of harassment and the barrage of attacks we are seeing.
We are going to work to make sure that the new law is implemented so that health care workers, who are already carrying such a disproportionate load, are not going to be influenced from not being able to do their jobs by the kinds of horrific actions we are seeing. When we see rocks thrown at ambulances and we see the kind of aggression we have seen from some of these protesters, it is truly shameful, and particularly for our frontline workers.
View Joanne Thompson Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, in December, the House unanimously passed Bill C-3, which establishes paid sick leave for federally regulated workers and protection for health workers, and those accessing their care, from harassment and intimidation. As a nurse and as someone who recently volunteered at a COVID testing clinic, I can say this matters a great deal, not just to me but to health workers across Canada.
Could the Minister of Labour tell the House what is being done to bring this legislation into force?
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2022-02-07 14:52
Mr. Speaker, while we see that an impossible amount is being asked of health care workers, they are going in every day to sacrifice to make sure we get through this pandemic. As we see people talking about freedoms, it is important to ask what we all do with our freedom to make life easier for those around us and what sacrifices we are making in a global pandemic to lift people up and to find ways to help our neighbours, to de-escalate tension and to make lives easier for people in one of the most trying times.
Bill C-3, I think, would do so much to protect those health care workers, but it begs a broader question about what each of us is doing in this pandemic.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2021-12-16 16:16
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-3, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code be disposed of as follows:
1. the bill, as amended, be deemed to have been concurred at the report stage with the further amendments contained in the document tabled earlier today;
2. the bill be immediately considered at third reading stage;
3. when the bill is taken up at third reading stage, a member of each recognized party be allowed to speak for not more than 10 minutes each followed by five minutes for questions and comments and, at the conclusion of the time provided for debate or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, the bill shall be deemed read a third time and passed;
4. the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel be authorized to make any technical changes or corrections to the bill as may be necessary to give effect to this motion; and
5. after the completion of proceedings on the bill, the House shall stand adjourned until Monday, January 31, 2022, provided that, for the purposes of any Standing Order, it shall be deemed to have been adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28 and be deemed to have sat on Friday, December 17, 2021.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
All those opposed to the hon. minister moving the motion will please say nay.
The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
I declare the motion carried.
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
moved that Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am deeply grateful for the leadership shown in the House today. All parties supported Bill C-3 at second reading; all parties supported Bill C-3 at committee, and all parties are now supporting the passage of Bill C-3 with reasoned amendments from the opposition.
I want to recognize my opposition critics: the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and the member for Thérèse-De Blainville. We worked with urgency and with openness.
I want to thank the members of HUMA for taking up this bill with the swiftness it deserved and giving it due and reasoned consideration.
I also want to recognize the House leaders, as well as the Minister of Justice, for their work.
I want to recognize all the officials who worked diligently on this legislation.
The pandemic has shown us that many workers do not have paid sick leave.
No one should have to choose between staying home when they are sick or being able to afford rent and groceries.
We are proposing amendments to the Canada Labour Code to provide all federally regulated private sector workers with 10 days of paid sick leave.
We are working with the provinces, territories and other interested stakeholders to develop with an action plan to legislate sick leave across the country.
Approximately 955,000 employees, approximately 6% of all Canadian employees, are working for 18,500 employers in federally regulated industries. In 2019, about 582,700 employees, representing 63.3% of all employees employed in federally regulated industries, had access to fewer than 10 days of paid sick leave to treat a personal illness or injury. Statistics from 2019 show that Canadian workers took an average of eight-and-a-half days of leave for illness and issues related to a disability.
As a government, we moved quickly and urgently on this bill, and parliamentarians of all parties and in both chambers have done the same. The last two years have shown us the cost of what further inaction would be: people forced to choose between going into work sick and risk spreading the virus to others and being able to afford groceries or rent, productivity loss, quarantine, shutdowns, lockdowns. The cost of inaction is too great. However, beyond the current pandemic, Bill C-3 would put in place an enduring protection for workers in our country.
I will speak briefly to the amendments, both those made at HUMA and those made today in the House. No medical certificate would be required for five days or less of paid sick leave. Requiring a medical certificate for each day of paid sick leave taken would have been too much of a barrier to access. I heard that from the House and Senate committees undertaking this bill.
An Ipsos poll that was taken just before the pandemic shows that 82% of Canadians would rather go to work sick than obtain a medical certificate. Workers would earn 10 days of paid sick leave throughout the year, but would have three days after the first 30 days of continuous work. This is something we heard again at committee, both in the House and Senate, and we deemed it important to provide.
Finally, anyone experiencing the loss of an immediate family member can feel shock and grief in addition to having their well-being and effectiveness at work impacted. Bill C-3 now includes 10 days of leave for the loss of an immediate family member. The loss of a child is devastating. It is a devastation no one should know. There is an amendment to Bill C-3 to provide eight weeks of leave for parents who are confronted with this unspeakable tragedy. Our government took steps to ensure that when workers experienced such a tragic event, there would be supports now in place.
There is a lot more work to do. We must continue to move not only with speed, but with accuracy to implement this legislation. This has to be done right, but it has to be done quickly. The pandemic is relentless, but so are Canadians and the members of the House. We will engage urgently with stakeholders to do the necessary work to ensure workers in Canada have access to paid sick leave as soon as possible.
As has been the case with workers and their issues throughout Canada's history, no one has been as effective as, or shone a clearer light on the importance of this topic than, organized labour and Canada's unions. I want to specifically thank those groups, whether provincial labour federations, individual members of a local, or national union leaders, for the work they did to make this idea a reality.
I would also touch on the proposed Criminal Code offences and those amendments that would target intimidation and obstruction of health service workers. It was made clear that it is not an offence for people to attend or approach a health care facility simply to communicate information and to do so peacefully. We have all seen the necessity of those Criminal Code amendments.
I will close with two observations. One came very early on in my time as the labour minister when meeting with front-line workers. Someone asked that we stop calling them heroes and start treating them like human beings.
The other is a quote from Jim Stanford, the economist who wrote in The Globe and Mail earlier this month. He states:
It would be reckless and short-sighted to return to a pre-COVID “normal” that compelled sick workers to show up, regardless of the risk to others.
Today, members of the House said they unanimously agreed. The government and the House met the moment. This legislation will be a permanent support for workers and will help us fight, and finish the fight, against this pandemic.
I thank all the members of the House who supported this legislation and all those who have worked so hard to find a reasonable and honourable way forward. The message they have sent to Canadian workers and Canadians in general about how seriously we take the fight against the pandemic was written in their vote, which was unanimous.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I was not intending to ask a question. I was happy to stand and applaud the minister's lovely speech. Obviously, I am very pleased at the result here and that we worked so well together, so I will give him the opportunity to say a few more words about the importance of getting this done, particularly as my colleague's private member's bill with respect to bereavement leave was included in it. I was fearful it would never see the light of day as a private member's bill, so I am particularly honoured that the minister and government saw fit to work with us to make it a reality. For that I thank them.
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Speaker, I am delighted to add that there was incredible co-operation shown in the House on this issue, and I want to personally thank the hon. member and my critics in general. We have come a long way. We have shown the House at its best. We have shown it to be trained on a mission and willing to make the compromises necessary in order to get this bill passed. However, I think the fact that it passed unanimously through the House is a clear sign not only of the seriousness of the issue and the concern parliamentarians have for the workers of this country, but also that when we want to, and when we are able to find that path forward, we will find it and will do good work here.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the minister. I recognize this is a very unusual way to pass a private member's bill in a government bill. I was just telling my colleagues I could not find another example of this having been done in such a manner. I also want to say to the member for Central Nova that he is forgiven for drawing me as number 293 in the private member's bill draw as we were able to do this.
There are a few members in the caucus who I want to recognize very quickly. Like me, they are parents who lost kids as well, the member for Bay of Quinte, the member for Dufferin—Caledon, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman and the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley. If I missed anyone, forgive me and come talk to me afterwards. As well, the Minister of Immigration lost a child, actually during the last Parliament, I believe. Then a former member, James Cumming lost his son, Garrett G-man Cumming, who passed away of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
I also want to recognize and thank the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, our House leader, the Bloc House leader, the hon. member for La Prairie, the government House leader, the House leaders of the other parties and independent members who agreed to this unanimous consent motion.
My colleagues know that bereavement leave for parents who have lost a child is very important to me. I lived through such a tragic event just before the Conservative Party convention in Halifax. It was really hard for my family and hard on my marriage at the time.
I hope that this law will serve as a model for the provinces. Once passed, it will only apply to federally regulated workers who fall under the Canada Labour Code. I hope that the provinces will be inspired by all these ideas and will include them in their own labour codes.
In addition, mothers and fathers will finally be equal. Over the past few decades, we have often talked about mothers who went through this. We must also think of the fathers who experienced this tragic loss. It is also just as important for children who lose a sister or a brother.
I also want to mention a few things. I returned to the House, it was about October 15, for the Infant Loss Awareness Day, to do a Standing Order 31 statement. I got really kind notes. I want to recognize Bill Morneau, the minister of finance at the time. He sent me a really kind note. He is the father of several very well-accomplished ladies. I want to recognize him for the note. I have actually kept the note. I want to recognize the current Minister of Labour. He sent me a very kind note; I still have it in my desk. I hope it is okay I mention this. I kept that note since that time. I cannot say enough thanks to the House leaders for having done this.
I am speaking simply to the amendment. I have a Yiddish proverb, as I always do. I cannot help myself.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
Frankly, if anyone had told me back in 2015 that I would be tabling a private member's bill twice on bereavement leave for parents, moms and dads, I would have asked, “Why would I ever do such a thing? I am a fiscal guy. I love equalization. I love talking about numbers, foreign affairs issues, those types of things. Bereavement leave, miscarriage leave, Canada Labour Code leave is not what I would call in my bailiwick. It is not in my wheelhouse.” I made it my wheelhouse to try to get something done.
This is a beautiful Christmas gift to parents across Canada, and to myself as well. I want to say thank you. It is nice to know, and speaking as an optimist, a very cynical optimist, that politicians can come together sometimes and improve a government bill like this.
I wish you all a merry Christmas. Joyeux Noël à tous. Happy new year.
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, with respect to the bill we are about to pass, I would like to begin by commending the Minister of Labour, who, as part of his new portfolio, had to lead a file pertaining to amendments to the Canada Labour Code, in order to strengthen workers' rights. Federally regulated employees, 58% of whom had no sick leave, will be able to access a bank of 10 paid sick days. This is an important step forward in the area of labour law.
The crisis we are going through has revealed how significant and important the presence of workers from all sectors is. All workers definitely contribute to our social and economic fortitude, and they deserve better working conditions.
Yesterday at the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, I said that 10 days of sick leave should not be viewed solely as an expense.
Given the labour shortage, employers sometimes fear that they will have to carry a burden. However, the fact that employees seeking stability within their businesses can have benefits like paid sick leave can also be beneficial for employers. It helps attract and retain workers.
Salary is important to a worker, but having the right to annual leave and sick leave counts for a lot, too. We have taken a step forward. I would say to the minister that we have more work to do. There are still many things we need to strengthen in the Canada Labour Code.
In my first debate, I talked about the fact that the government had committed in its budget to raising the minimum wage for federally regulated employees. I think we should move forward on that. We have some great work ahead of us.
Workers can be thankful for the step we have taken, and I commend the work that was done in committee at the two meetings yesterday.
I think that we got the guarantees we were looking for with respect to strengthening the Criminal Code. Labour organizations told us how important this was, especially within the health care sector, since this measure is designed for them. Health care professionals and patients have experienced intimidation or have been prevented from doing their jobs. The act of intimidating a worker or impeding them from doing their job will now be considered an aggravating factor during sentencing.
However, the right to protest and picket is a very important right guaranteed by the Constitution, and many workers have used these methods to gain more rights. While I respect the right to protest, I think that we managed to provide additional protections for health care workers and for patients. We hope to never have reason for this provision of the Criminal Code to be enforced.
At the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, we, along with our Conservative colleagues, had the opportunity to discuss the bereavement leave measure. This is not talked about as much, but we did strengthen the bill by proposing a leave for parents who lose a child under the age of 18. The death of a child has a huge impact on a family and especially on women. This measure is another step forward.
I want to acknowledge the efforts to make improvements in this area, as we see in the report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities that was tabled yesterday in the House.
I think we can leave for the holidays with a sense of mission accomplished. I would not call this a giant leap for humanity, but it is a step toward a better quality of life for all workers.
Here is one more new year's wish: I wish for plenty of improvements to labour legislation.
View Brenda Shanahan Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I was not planning to speak today, but I would like to after all. I listened to my colleagues' wonderful speeches, including the one by my colleague opposite. I believe that what we are doing today is very important.
I lost my daughter at birth 30 years ago. She was stillborn. I do not want to talk about that event specifically, but I do want to talk about what happened at work, where people had a hard time understanding what I was going through. That was 30 years ago, of course.
I would like to ask my colleague how Bill C‑3 will change the workplace experience for the men and women dealing with this kind of situation. Why is this bill important for them?
View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, my thoughts are with the member for what she went through.
We know these are very difficult things to experience. It will make a real difference in the workplace to know that a person in this situation will not have to worry about the time off they will be granted. They will able to take the time they need to grieve and will not have worry about losing their job because of it. The employment relationship will remain intact, and they will have time to take care of themselves.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Madam Speaker, I rise quite sheepishly, having not received the memo on the festive tone of this afternoon's debates, so I will ask members to indulge me. In my community, plain talk is not bad manners, and I have prepared a full speech that does identify some gaps, which I think are germane to the conversation. This is not intended in any way to end off on a bad note or a sour note, but to really contemplate deeply what is at stake here in the House. It keeps me up at night, like many members I am sure, and it wakes me up early in the morning.
While there remains much to be said about the timing and need of the last election called by the Prime Minister, I have to admit the opportunity for me to retreat from this place of privilege and return to the doorsteps of my constituency provided me with an invaluable grounding for what is at stake among these future proceedings of the session. This is a monumental day, and I do not want to take anything away from that. It is a burden that we carry. In fact, we have asked millions of Canadians to carry a very heavy burden in order to make it through this COVID pandemic.
While returning to this topic and supporting Bill C-3, having heard the various interventions pertaining to the same, many members have questioned the relationship between the first two parts of this bill, which would amend the Criminal Code, and the third part, which would be establishing something under the Canada Labour Code.
For those from the public, and who may be tuning in to this debate through livestream, or perhaps reading it in the Hansard, I will provide a summary of Bill C-3. The first two parts would amend the Criminal Code by creating two new offences relating to the protection of health care professionals and patient access to health care. The first offence would apply to any act of intimidation that is intended to cause fear in a patient, health care professional or any person who supports them and prevents them from accessing or providing health care services. The second offence would also cover intentional acts that prevent a person from accessing services provided by a health care professional. Both offences would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 10 years and up to two years on a summary conviction.
Part three, which seems to be where perhaps some people have the disconnect between these two, pertains to amending the Canada Labour Code to establish 10 days of paid sick leave. This leave would be available each calendar year to employees in federally regulated private sectors who have been continuously employees for more than one month.
In fairness, perhaps on the surface these two policies under different acts may not appear to be connected. It is in fact my intention today to offer my support for the deep relevance between these two interconnected parts. I would argue that the deep despair and well-documented societal impacts of four consecutive waves of COVID, each with its own circumstances of social isolation and economic hardships, are ultimately due to all levels of government's failure to adequately respond to the scale and the scope of this pandemic.
The utter fear, uncertainty and doubt experienced by segments of our population have made them especially susceptible to this anti-science, anti-government and, by extension, anti-health care movement, from which come many of the targeted and vile attacks we are now legislatively responding to
Since the beginning of the pandemic, health care workers have faced a high risk of infection and violence. In fact, since long before the pandemic health care professionals are four times more likely to experience violence in the workplace than other profession. Unfortunately, many of these acts of violence go unreported. According to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, in 2019 61% of nurses reported experiencing violence, harassment and assault on the job, and because women make up a significant portion of the health care workforce, they are disproportionately victimized by these acts of violence.
To discourage these acts of violence, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has recommended amending the Criminal Code, which is what is before us today, so I commend them on their long-standing work. This request was also the subject of a 2019 health committee recommendation. Specifically, the committee recommended amending the Criminal Code to require that it be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing if the victim of assault is a health care worker. This recommendation was based upon the NDP's bill, Bill C-434, introduced by my dear friend and NDP caucus colleague, the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.
As it pertains to putting the 10-day paid sick leave issue into context, people should never have to choose between their income and their health. Since the beginning of this pandemic, the NDP caucus has been demanding that the Liberals provide workers with 10 days of paid sick leave.
After winning an initial concession on this leave by offering it to people with COVID-19, we succeeded in forcing the Liberals to offer two weeks of federally funded leave through the CRB sickness benefit. The New Democrats not only support 10 paid sick days, we led the calls for it in the House. My hon. colleague for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie fought hard at committee, where he tabled four amendments, two that were unanimously supported and two that were rejected.
I feel it important to note on the record today that the NDP fought for amendments that were accepted unanimously. One is that an employer cannot request a doctor's certificate for less than five consecutive sick days. This is major because stakeholders say that asking for a doctor's certificate is a barrier to its use and people would rather go to work than chase an appointment. Plus we know that it clogs up the health care system when it does not need to.
The second amendment that passed due to the hon. member is after 30 days of employment, the employee gets one day of sick leave. In the original version of the law, it was at the beginning of each month, which would have meant that someone hired on January 1 would have to wait until March 1 for their first accrued day.
Both amendments were intended to make sick days more accessible and the NDP forced the issue to make the program more accessible to workers and more responsive to their needs. This is a victory. The five consecutive days before the employer has the option to request a doctor's certificate will make a significant difference.
We did, however, have two other amendments that failed. The first amendment opposed by the Liberals was that all employees, upon hiring, would have access to four paid sick days. They would accumulate another six, one per month, as proposed in the bill, of up to 10 per year. Having four days right from the start is very important because stakeholders tell us that very rarely do people take a day off work and an illness often requires a few days off.
The minister, in his testimony yesterday morning, said that he was open to such an amendment, speaking of the urgency of the current omicron context. By voting against the amendment, the Liberals have refused to speed up access to paid sick days in the midst of another pandemic winter. Workers will continue to go to work sick since they will not have access to enough days to isolate themselves at home until next November at the earliest. This is irresponsible.
The second amendment that the Liberals opposed was that all employees with two or more years of seniority would get 10 sick days when the law came into effect. This would have provided access to the full strength of the program immediately for the majority of employees under federal jurisdiction. Since this amendment was rejected, all employees will begin accrual as if they were newly hired. I suggest that this is precisely because of these types of gaps in our social safety nets that we ultimately remain in this mess of targeted attacks on our hospitals and health care workers.
Last week, called on the hon. member on the Conservative side to join our calls for more advances and protections. We have the opportunity to take a first step in the right direction in the House today as an informal form of sectoral bargaining for workers. We know this is going to be a vital protection.
This past election allowed me to speak to my constituents on their doorsteps. It is heartbreaking to feel as though people who I know to be rational, family members and classmates who I grew up with, neighbours I have known to be caring and compassionate, have been manipulated by the rhetoric of right-wing populism, grifters and agitators who would seek to turn this profound moment of suffering into some sort of personal sales pitch or nationwide tour targeting our front-line health care workers fighting the onslaught of successive waves of COVID.
For those caught up in this fear and confusion, I offer to endeavour to work harder as a member of Parliament to ensure that their basic needs are met and the most current evidence-based information is communicated without political interference or manipulation.
I call on the members of the House, who have rightly identified the divisions in our country, to recognize its root cause. It is the failure of all levels of government to adequately take care of the basic needs of all people, not just throughout COVID but in the decades preceding it.
I will close with the simple reassertion that these three parts of Bill C-3 are the cause and the effect of the social isolation, political estrangement and economic isolation felt by everyday people and, most unfortunate, targeted at our front-line health care workers. In taking better care of them, we will take better care of each other.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I want to wish a very merry Christmas and a happy new year to the good people of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, all my colleagues in the House of Commons, all those who make it possible for us to be here and all Canadians. Be safe and travel safe.
It being 4:53 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, Bill C‑3, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, is deemed read a third time and passed.
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