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Results: 1 - 11 of 11
View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:02
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Kenney, I am replacing Mr. Stéphane Dion. I am going to quote a few of his comments that have appeared in the newspapers and I would invite you to respond.
First of all, I need to give you a little bit of background.
The new Roadmap indicates that your department intends to refocus its official languages activities in order to take the modernization of the immigration system into account. Here is a comment made by Mr. Dion on this issue:
There is always the danger that the Roadmap be used as a showcase enabling the Conservative government to hide its program cutbacks. We see an example of this with the use of part of its plan to finance another government objective, an objective other than the one to promote the vitality of our official language minority communities.
Do you have a response to this issue?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:03
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It is a big challenge. I started learning French immediately after the election.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:06
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I want to focus in on the concern that this $120 million and the change in emphasis is going to result in teaching the official language of the majority to economic immigrants.
Mr. Minister, you know that this subject was raised at this committee by the Commissioner of Official Languages. He expressed concern that the road map had gone through a change of name, from being a road map for linguistic duality to being a road map for official languages. He shared Mr. Dion's concern that this is exactly what would happen. His concern was that this fund for official language training would end up being spent on something other than the promotion of linguistic duality.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:09
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If, as you say, we're being realistic and this isn't necessarily about linguistic duality, is the funding really aimed at majority language training as opposed to minority language training?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 17:08
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
After hearing some of the questions from my colleagues from the NDP, I'm very, very tempted to ask you about the closure of the CIC office in Charlottetown, and to explain to you how devastating it has been. I do hope that at some point I will be able to get you to listen to me on that.
Today, I have an obligation to carry out my marching orders issued by Mr. Dion.
Minister, you don't need me to tell you that under the Official Languages Act and under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, your department has certain positive obligations with respect to official language minority communities.
Now we have a road map. The title has changed from emphasizing linguistic duality to different wording. We know that the financial commitment under the old road map and the new road map has gone up really only because of this $120-million fund, which you admitted today is demand-based, and will likely very well be used for purposes other than promoting the languages of the minority.
I guess my question for you is, do you not see that this is not only not fulfilling the role you are statutorily obliged to fulfill, but it is actually taking away from it, given the change in emphasis and the fact that the funding that is in there now, based on your frank admission, is likely to be used to teach people the language of the majority?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 17:12
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You candidly indicated in the first round of questions, though, that you fully expect that people who go to Calgary are going to be looking to learn English—
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 17:12
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—and this $120 million is there to help them learn English.
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2013-06-03 16:00
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
And thank you, folks, for your presentations.
No, Ed, I'm not going to take the bait. The fact is that under this government, we do have—
Voices: Oh, oh!
Hon. Wayne Easter: —a fairly substantial trade deficit, and for some reason, people do not want to look at the real reasons behind that merchandise trade deficit. Those are the things we should be looking at. We support trade, but we need to find ways to ensure that we're gaining value in Canada.
Mr. Geist, you're not the first one who's come before this committee on this whole “lack of transparency” business. I submit that you are absolutely correct. This is not just a negotiation on trade in commodities and on tariffs. It's a much broader agreement that can have implications for—you named copyright, intellectual property—a whole range of other areas. In fact, previous governments did provide texts to groups that held that information confidential. So those groups could actually see the text and comment on it, and were not just given a briefing on it, which might either have been accurate or just somebody's opinion. Previous governments did have a much more.... It wasn't open to the public, no, but it was open to a cross-section of representatives of the public, who could actually deal with it. That's not happening any more, and I think that's a problem.
How would you suggest going about ensuring that transparency, in terms of a good cross-section of the public, and still maintaining confidentiality, which we have to do?
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2013-06-03 17:04
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm sorry I missed your presentations. They were the ones I really wanted to hear, especially Charlie being a fellow islander. I don't know if he's a resident there or not; we have some who are not. In any event, you both know how this place operates, so I had to go over and give the government a little praise for their current budget implementation bill.
Both of you had fairly extensive involvement in previous agreements on the inside, and one of the things that we're hearing a lot about at this committee is the extreme secrecy surrounding TPP. In some previous negotiations, committees, a broad section of Canadian society, did actually see the texts. We're under confidentiality, and that's understandable, but I think in the past it did provide the public and organizations with some confidence that they were getting firsthand knowledge of what was happening in the negotiations and that they could sincerely critique or praise that relevant sections of the agreement.
In this one there's no such thing. There are briefings but there's no text. How do you see getting around that and how important is it to be at least relatively open? You have to protect confidentiality and I think we all understand that, but how do you see getting around that?
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2013-05-21 12:42
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So we have those words on the record if somebody wants to pull them up.
There is a second thing that there seemed to be agreement on, and I might not have the words quite right. Either I never wrote them down or I can't make out my own writing. I believe Mr. Munro said that the principle of adherence to commonly accepted principles of aid and development needs to be in there so that the minister is held to account on matters of international aid. Is that what you're saying?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2012-05-17 10:47
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My question is a general one. Does this decision to drive the public to websites, as opposed to having a complete consolidated report presented in Parliament, not reduce government's accountability to Parliament?
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