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Results: 1 - 30 of 121
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-22 15:50 [p.8987]
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Madam Speaker, I am happy to speak from the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and the Ta'an Kwach'an Council. As tomorrow is the last day that Parliament will sit before the summer, I want to thank all Yukoners, again, for the great honour they have provided me to represent them. It is a very eclectic riding, which makes it an even bigger honour. With 14 unique first nations, we are dealing with over 50 countries in immigration. It has the largest icefields outside the polar caps; the highest mountains in Canada; the world's greatest gold rush; the greatest poet, Robert Service; and the great painter, Jim Robb. Most important, the people are very caring, which is why it is such a great honour to represent them.
I will not use all my time. The budget is so important and we need to get it done quickly, which I think members realize. I will talk quickly and try to limit what I have to say to some highlights.
First, the $3.8 billion toward 35,000 more affordable units is very important. I made a number of big announcements related to housing, even before the budget. It is very exciting for my riding.
Another big investment is the $3 billion to extend sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks. There are also flexible EI provisions to help people through the pandemic, which are being extended until the fall of 2022.
The Nutrition north Canada subsidy program is being expanded. It provides nutritious foods to those in the Arctic and remote communities as they cannot get food for a reasonable price. That is very exciting.
I could spend my whole speech just on climate change. I am sure no one objects to the money, $17 billion we have provided and the support to the resource sector for mining, forestry, etc. to transition to a clean economy. I am sure no one objects to the zero-emission technologies like hydrogen that we are supporting and renewable energies. There is a big tax cut to clean energy technology producers. Hopefully with that $17 billion we can also help get mines that are off the grid in the very remote areas like my area off diesel.
Another area I could spend my whole speech on are the $18 billion for indigenous people. People will remember the Kelowna accord and the historic $5 billion proposed by Paul Martin, one of the greatest prime ministers in history. This is $18 billion. I will just mention two items of the many. One is over $4 billion for indigenous infrastructure. Another area is community policing and safety.
I want to give a big-shout out to Chief Doris Bill of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation as well as Gina Nagano and the Selkirk First Nation. They have provided some great leadership, and innovative and very successful community policing.
I am very happy with the IRAP expansion. It is one of the most successful programs in Canada, and more than in any other government's history, and harnesses industrial research excellence. For NGOs and charities, where there are seldom things in budgets, there is a social financing fund of $200 million; a Canada community revitalization fund; $50 million for getting ready for the social financing fund, and even a social bond. Looking at those and the green bond of maybe $5 billion on the first issue, NGOs and charities will also be eligible for the small business financing fund.
I think everyone in rural Canada too is pretty excited about the recent announcement of the rural transportation fund. I am very happy that the declining debt-to-GDP ratio makes it possible for us to help so many people and businesses that are in need.
I want to move on to to the north. On top of everything else, there are things that are particularly exciting for us in the north. One is the new exciting community revitalization fund for main streets, farmers markets and other gathering spaces that underpin local economies. There are $500 million to help people in these rural communities. If someone is in a little village, a hamlet, a town or a small NGO, this is specifically for them. They should start getting those applications ready for this brand new community revitalization fund.
What is really exciting for the northern half of Canada, is the very large northern travel allowance deduction. Before this, only people whose employers gave them a travel allowance and put it on their T4 slip could access it, but now all northerners will be able to access to it, which is very exciting.
The biggest employer in my riding is tourism as a private sector employer. The historic, first-time ever $1 billion dedicated to tourism is very crucial and exciting. There are $200 million for small festivals, small cultural events, heritage celebrations, local museums and amateur sporting events, which is perfect for my riding. We have a lot of those. For the bigger cities, there is also another $200 million for all the same events but in bigger cities. The $500 million tourism relief fund will help tourism businesses adapt their products and service, and meet public health requirements.
Then specifically in my riding is mining, which is the biggest GDP since the gold rush. Its biggest ask was help for hydroelectricity. The finance minister came through with $40.4 million for hydroelectricity studies and for preparation in the north. Also, the Yukon government has one of the most effective climate change plans, and we are giving $25 million to that.
A lot of people probably do not know that all five species of Pacific salmon: chinook, sockeye, coho, chum and pink, come into the Yukon through the Alsek-Tatshenshini drainage, or the Yukon River, the longest salmon run in the world, 2,000 miles. Therefore, historic amount of $647 million for salmon is very exciting. In fact, I had a first nations organization contact me a couple weeks ago, happy that the consultations had already started with it.
The northern trade corridor fund is essential for infrastructure for the north, $1.9 billion in the budget for that of which the north get 15%. Considering we are less than half of 1% of the population, this is tremendous support for the north as are funds for the polar continental shelf for Arctic research.
The work to lower credit card interchange fees and to have those fees the same for small businesses as large businesses is music to our ears as is the $146 million for women entrepreneurs. We have a higher average in Yukon of women entrepreneurs.
The critical mineral strategy, which I do not have time to go into as much as I would like to right now, is very important, again, mining, which is so important to our economy in the north. Mines like Victoria Gold are a very big support.
There are small business financing changes, with working capital lines of credit now being allowed, and lending against intellectual property, which would be great for our large NorthLight Innovation Centre. The digital adoption program would bring us into the new economy, with many young helpers for businesses, potential zero-interest loans and grants to help transition.
To get into the new economy, we have a plan. I am glad the Conservatives are onside for a long-term prosperity growth budget, which is exactly what this is, with money for food security; indigenous and women entrepreneurs; an artificial intelligence strategy; the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; a quantum strategy; the Photonics Fabrication Centre; business-led R and D through colleges; Mitacs for 85,000 placements; CanCode; the net-zero accelerator; the clean-growth hub; support for Measurement Canada; strategic innovation funds; Elevated IP; the strategic intellectual property program review; innovation superclusters; data in the digital world; Stats Canada data gaps; and support for the Standards Council of Canada.
I think most people in this place and the other place know how important it is to get this budget through, and that a number of major supports are going to expire in eight days, including the wage subsidy and the rent subsidy. There are 447,000 employers that have accessed the wage subsidy; five million people in Canada need it to put food on the table, and 192,000 organizations for rent subsidy. The Canada recovery benefit will be extended for 12 more weeks, and the Canada recovery hiring benefit would not be able to go ahead without it.
People realize the importance of getting this bill through. Those programs will expire in eight days if we do not get this through today or tomorrow. Even the Conservative member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes said yesterday that a number of our expenditures were great, like the County Road 43, recreation projects like the new arena in Prescott, the Vincent de Paul project in Brockville, with affordable housing for seniors. They will ask for many more government funds for Gananoque, Westport, Rideau Lakes and North Grenville.
For all these reasons and with these important investments, I hope all parties will support this bill that would help so many workers who are still in desperate need and so many businesses that need support to get through the last part of this pandemic, to ensure these programs do not expire and all the initiatives that can get help us into the new, modern digital economy to create even more jobs. Eighty per cent of jobs have already been brought back, but much more needs to be done.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-22 16:01 [p.8989]
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Madam Speaker, I emphasized in my speech things like the new community revitalization fund, $500 million for small villages, hamlets and NGOs. There has not been a fund like this recently to which small organizations will be able to apply. The rural transportation fund is brand new and exciting for rural Canada. There are some agriculture initiatives like food subsistence funding. The increase to the northern food security program is very exciting. There will be hydroelectric generation for far more remote areas. Remote air transport in the north is helpful right across the country to keep small communities connected that depend on it for their supplies. The regional development agencies have helped thousands of businesses in remote Canada.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-22 16:03 [p.8989]
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Madam Speaker, to my understanding, the answer is yes. This is going to be a very flexible program that will be targeted at those who have less access. There is up to 75% support for it. It will help with the needs of small communities. With the RRRF approvals by the regional development agencies, there are 7,000 projects in Quebec and over a million jobs have been created, and 173,000 business have the CEBA loan grants. The regional development agency in Quebec is a reason for the money being provided to regional development agencies, as it is totally in tune with the local economy and the people. Instead of the direction coming from Ottawa, it is received by local employees.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-22 16:06 [p.8990]
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Madam Speaker, of course we support the very important role indigenous communities play in protecting the environment. As the member mentioned size, we are protecting record amounts of land and water. Also, there are record amounts of funding to support the nature funds he mentioned, which support the increases of protected areas to the record levels they are at now and will continue to be.
In the fall economic statement, I believe, is our mandate to increase indigenous guardians because of the important role they play. I do not know what happens in other ridings, but in my riding of Yukon, almost all the indigenous communities are really showing leadership on climate change and accessing our program to help indigenous communities get off diesel. They have wonderful projects to get off greenhouses gases with wind, solar and biodiesel. They are really showing leadership, and that is why we are happy to support them in any way we can with the funds we are providing.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-22 16:08 [p.8990]
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Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his very thoughtful work in Parliament which I am well aware of.
I answered that question for a colleague yesterday. What I forgot to say was that in all the tourism supports to get people back to work was the new $700 million fund for small businesses. I also mentioned that 80% of jobs lost in Canada during the pandemic are back now, but as people move back, the various supports for businesses and individuals will start to go down.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-22 16:09 [p.8990]
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Madam Speaker, it is especially important for the north because the north, as I have been saying for two decades now, is experiencing climate change three times more than the rest of the world. Some of the species our indigenous people depend on are moving or dying out.
New pests and diseases are coming in, such as spruce budworm, which hurts the forests. It is very important for the north to have adjustments and innovation related to climate change. There are some specific funds that first nations are involved in. A couple of days ago we announced some great projects where they are adding traditional knowledge to scientific knowledge to come up with a plan for the future, so they can adapt to these critical changes to the environment that are happening in the north.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-18 16:09 [p.8812]
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Madam Speaker, you are doing an excellent job as always.
The member always speaks very well. I have to correct the last intervention though. The budget implementation act is an exception. It is always an omnibus bill because it always deals with a whole bunch of departments.
It was interesting how parts of the member's speech asked for all sorts of expenditures and then the other half complained about all the expenditures. I wonder if he could tell us what significant amounts of money to reduce the debt he is talking about and the expenditures he is complaining about.
The second item I would like to ask him is about the recovery benefit, the wage benefit and the rent subsidy all running out in 12 days. A lot of businesses in Quebec are going to be hurt. Will he vote for the budget to support them?
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-18 16:22 [p.8815]
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Madam Speaker, it is absolutely shameful that the member would accuse the RCMP of partaking in criminal activities. The member should apologize right now to the RCMP.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 11:45 [p.8646]
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Mr. Speaker, the member did a pretty good job of showing that the far more serious allegations related to General Vance were from his appointment, and that there were rumours at the time among the Conservatives.
As to the present Minister of National Defence, there was an email, and for privacy reasons no one was allowed to know what was in it. It was dealt with within 24 hours, which was very fast action by the minister. It was investigated as far as it could go at that time, because for privacy the person did not want the information to get out.
I am glad the member mentioned that we should be concentrating on the victims. That is what the Liberals have done 90% of the time at committee. Because the member is on the status of women committee, which had good witnesses, I would like her to suggest what needs to be done to change the culture. At committee, we found that was probably the biggest problem facing the military.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 13:34 [p.8661]
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Madam Speaker, the Bloc member that asked a question said that we should be concentrating on the victims, which we totally agree with. The NDP and the Bloc have said that today. If we look at the committee records, we will see time and time again that the Liberal members are the ones who concentrated on the victims.
Unfortunately, what the other three parties concentrated on was an anonymous email that, for the privacy of the person, no one knew what was in it. Unfortunately, most of the members in the debate here do not realize that there was roughly an hour of testimony at committee on all the things this minister has done dealing with sexual misconduct, which is more than any other minister in history.
Does the member think that it would really hurt those victims to remove the minister who has done more than anyone else, is ready to action right now and who says there is a lot more that needs to be done? That would hurt the victims the most.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 17:58 [p.8701]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her emphasis on the victims. I know she appreciates that the Liberals in the defence committee spent more time than anyone else bringing forward the evidence of the victims and trying to have solutions for the victims.
The member talks about action. Unfortunately, she was not at our committee, but there was close to an hour of evidence of all the actions the minister has taken to fight this, more than any other minister in history. As the member asks for actions more than words, could she talk about any actions that any other minister has done? We had an hour's worth of what this minister has done to fight sexual misconduct in the military.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 19:07 [p.8711]
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Madam Speaker, I thought the member mentioned the presence or absence of a person—
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 19:07 [p.8711]
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Madam Speaker, I thought the member mentioned the presence or absence of someone in the House. That is not allowed at this time, is it?
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 19:27 [p.8713]
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Madam Speaker, I have two questions.
First, tourism is very important to me too, and we would like the border open. What day does the member think the border should be open?
Second, I support a number of the issues the member had, and the answers the government has for them: the new rural transportation initiative related to buses; the record trade corridors program; the billion dollars targeted for tourism, a targeted tourism part of our RRRF; and increases to Destination Canada for tourism.
However, the member made a good point that we need these supports in place and they will not be in place without the budget. Has he encouraged his colleagues to support the budget quickly, because those supports run out this month?
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 20:24 [p.8721]
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Mr. Speaker, again, I would like to give a huge shout-out to you for your career. You are retiring. What an amazing job you have done. You are so honoured by everyone. It was way past midnight last night, and you were there. That was great.
I always enjoy the member's very thoughtful speeches. I am going to ask him a question because of his background in finance, which I could not ask other people because they probably would not have any idea.
There is an innovative idea in the budget about Canada's social financing bonds. I just wonder if the member has any thoughts on that yet.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 21:27 [p.8730]
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Madam Speaker, I am speaking from the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and the Ta'an Kwach'an Council.
I want to talk about the background to the estimates and the budget, and the fall economic statement that provides the background that the budget is supporting, that the estimates will be supporting. I will talk about transportation and a number of other items.
The biggest emphasis in the budget is to finish the fight against COVID, and there is a large contribution to the provinces and territories for that. It is still not over and that is very essential. There is support for individuals and businesses to get through this economic fallout. We are on the road of recovery, but as a number of interventions have shown, in the tourism industry, for instance, there is still a lot of time before everyone is fully recovered, so we need to keep those supports going.
The third big objective is for the economy to come roaring back in a way that includes everyone, with special supports, for instance, for women and for indigenous businesses. We want the economy to come back with a green economy, which has so much potential for jobs. We want an economy that will come back in a competitive way, where we can compete internationally, that creates a lot of new jobs, particularly for youth.
People who have experienced not having a job at some point in their lives, and they have to support a family, feel a big pit in their stomachs. There are very few things that can be so scary, upsetting and devastating. Although it was a very large investment, as many people have said, a huge investment, it was very essential to keep people working through these difficult times. That was obviously a big objective and the parties co-operated in a very good way to achieve it.
Based on the questions of some members, they may not have been aware that there were 861,000 CEBA loans for over $46 billion. There were 5.3 million jobs saved with the wage subsidy of $73 billion. Our first rent assistance program saw 140,000 applications approved and 1.25 million employees were assisted with $2 billion. The second rent assistance was worth $2.5 billion and helped over 150,000 applicants.
Even with all these programs, there may have been people who fell through the cracks. As everyone knows, these programs had to be created very quickly if we were going to help people from going under. There may have been cracks that were not filled, so the regional relief and recovery fund was put into the regional development agencies across Canada, with the tremendous leadership of the Minister of Economic Development. A few fell through the cracks, but that fund helped over 23,000 applicants across the country, with $1.4 billion.
Tourism is important to me, and out of those amounts of money, tourism alone had over 4,400 approvals for $392 million.
A lot of these supports were so critical to keep jobs during these unprecedented times not seen since the war. The fall economic statement added to that. For tourism, there is the HASCAP program. The RRRF I just mentioned was so needed and efficient that we had to increase money for it. Then there was the regional air transport fund, which is so important in rural Canada.
One of the most exciting things was the announcement of the new regional economic development agency for British Columbia. British Columbia is a unique area and there will be all kinds of special supports, recognizing that uniqueness, with this new agency.
Of course, that leaves the prairie regional development agency on its own with all those previous funds, which it can now enhance even more its work, over and above all the projects that went there through the RRRF already. This will be great for the Prairies, and they can lead the way for us in resource projects. Their human resources are very bright, great research done is done in the prairie areas, and all kinds of businesses can lead with exports and help the recovery in Canada.
I want to talk about some of the things that are really essential for the north. First, I am most excited about the increase in the northern residents deduction for the Territories and the northern parts of the provinces. A lot of people were not eligible for this deduction. People could only claim it if their employer put it on their T4 slip, gave them a travel allowance and then they could collect this northern residents travel reduction. However, this budget has allowed for everyone to have access that deduction. They do not need their employer to include it on their T4 slips. That will be so exciting for the economies of the north, and for the people of the north as a personal support.
Our biggest employer and hardest hit one is tourism. There is a record amount of additional funds specific to tourism in the budget, $1 billion, of which $200 million is for local festivals, cultural events, heritage celebrations, local museums and amateur sports events. In my riding, we have all those things in great numbers and, of course, they greatly contribute to employment and to our economy.
There are another $200 million for the major events in those areas, such as festivals, cultural events, heritage, local museums and amateur sports events. That does not affect my riding so much, but in the big cities of the country, that will be critical for those activities to carry on, to provide employment and to keep jobs. For decades, I think parliamentarians have underestimated the cultural sector and its importance to the creation of jobs and to moving forward our cultural ideas and thought processes.
There are also $100 million for Destination Canada. Canada has not put as much into marketing our great nation as some other countries of the world. It is something I have always advocated for, and I am so excited to see that funding for Destination Canada, again to help our tourism industry.
Then we have the $500 million tourism relief fund, once again, recognizing the tourism industry and how hard it has been hit. Our borders are open to all the other businesses. Trucks can come across. The one thing the border is not open to during the pandemic is tourism. On top of all that for tourism, is a $700 million for small business financing fund. It will not all go to tourism businesses, but again, it provides more support for small businesses to particularly help them in the green area, to be inclusive, to be competitive and to create more jobs.
In the north, our two biggest sectors are mining and tourism. In my riding, the mining sector's first request was support for hydroelectric power. We are running out of power in the north. Therefore, the budget includes $40.4 million to study and prepare potential hydroelectric projects across the north.
The Yukon government is one of the most progressive in the country with its climate change plan and reducing greenhouse gas plan, and it wanted some assistance, so the budget has included $25 million for it.
As a Conservative member mentioned earlier this evening, and I believe it was the member for Niagara Falls, tourism will not be back right away. It will take some time, yet our rent subsidy and our wage subsidy are running out this month. Therefore, unless we get the budget implementation act passed, there is going to be a lot of difficulty in the tourism sector, both for businesses and for NGOs that need the wage subsidy and the rent subsidy, which this budget implementation act, Bill C-30, would extend into the fall.
Another item that is very important for us and that probably has not been mentioned much is the centre of excellence for critical minerals. Critical minerals are needed a lot for batteries, for one thing, so they are absolutely essential, first for the mining industry and to have a clean environment to deal with the climate change crisis. As members know, one country in particular is trying to corner the market on critical metals, and we have an agreement with the United States. It is very important for us, for various reasons, so I am very excited to see that in the budget.
In past budgets, there has not been so much for communities, but communities were hit hard by this. Their various types of support were also reduced during the pandemic. I was delighted to see a Canada community revitalization fund, something brand new. There is $500 million there so the small communities across the country can have projects that are very important to them.
There are a number of supports for seniors. During our term, we increased the GIS for the lowest-income seniors, and there are several other supports for seniors during COVID. There is a huge increase to the new horizons for seniors program, and there is an addition in the budget of 10% for seniors over 75 to add to all that, for the most needy seniors.
Then there is a very large Canada digital adoption program. As members know, we are in the 21st century, the digital economy. It is a lot of learning for me, but if we are going to keep up with the rest of the world, our businesses have to keep up, so it is great to have that fund to help businesses transform over. There are a lot of jobs for young people in there as mentors to help the businesses transfer into the digital economy.
There is also the Canada recovery hiring program. As I mentioned, one of the big objectives is to hire more people, to get people back to work. If businesses had to lay people off, reduce their hours or reduce their wages, all those things can be supplemented from June 6 to November 20 through the Canada recovery hiring program. The very flexible idea is that for each month or each eligibility period for this program and for the wage subsidy, they can pick whichever one is best for their company.
I do not have time to talk about it now, but there are a number of improvements to small-business financing. Certainly there are significant investments in first nations. People will remember back to the biggest investment in history of $5 billion, proposed by Paul Martin for the Kelowna Accord. Well, this budget has $18 billion for first nations and $4.3 billion for infrastructure, for instance.
In my career, very seldom have I seen money for social financing, for NGOs and charities, but in this budget there is $200 million for a social financing fund. To get companies ready, there is an investment of $50 million in the investment readiness fund, because the first one was so successful it was all used up. There is a very unique concept being floated of social financing bonds for those who want to invest to help the country in a socially responsible way.
As I mentioned, communities need support, and there is a community services recovery fund to help various community services and NGOs adapt and modernize, after they have been hit so hard by COVID and so many of their resources have been decimated by COVID.
There is money for domestic vaccine production, which I think everyone appreciates. There is a huge increase, another increase, in the broadband fund, and that is very important for my riding, as well as cellphone coverage. There are 100,000 people being lifted out of poverty with the increase in the Canada workers benefit. There are huge funds for training, as I said, to get people employed again, 500,000 people, of which 215,000 are youth.
I will mention something that probably no one else will mention, the polar continental shelf funding of $24 million. That is to help Arctic research.
There is also $140 million for food security.
The Liard First Nation has a great housing manufacturing project that I am supporting. On self-governing first nations housing, they have great ideas. I would also like to see support for getting off-grid, remote mines off diesel, and increases for the equipment and O&M for indigenous broadcasters, who do such wonderful work in my riding.
I really appreciate the large investments in salmon, to enhance salmon on the west coast. They come right up into my riding. Salmon are very important for indigenous culture and ceremonies, for one thing, as well as for food.
There is also the doubling of the student grant for two more years and extending the waiver of interest to 2023.
I want to talk about aviation in the north for a bit. We really appreciate the northern air support that started almost from the beginning of the pandemic. It is important to know that we need interlining with the mainline carriers. We cannot let the mainline carriers put our small, local carriers out of business. We really need the mainline carriers to interline, to have co-operative arrangements where everyone wins. Neither airline has to go half-empty. The big carriers could get new customers for their overseas routes, while the local carriers that service the north could get the flights down to Edmonton, Vancouver, the big cities that are so needed for their competitiveness.
I could talk about a lot of other things, but I do not have time now. The Conservatives brought up that what is really important for them is a plan. We have huge plans. The fall economic statement was a 168-page plan. It had all sorts of things to return the economy. Then the budget is a 740-page plan.
I will just mention some of the items in that plan to get companies back to work, over and above all the ones I have already mentioned. There is money for food security, indigenous and women entrepreneurs, an A1 strategy, artificial intelligence strategy, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research—again, we are in the 21st century—a quantum strategy, the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre, business-led R and D through the colleges, Mitacs for 85,000 placements, CanCode, the net-zero accelerator to help the resource industry, the clean-growth hub, support for Measurement Canada, strategic innovation funds, IRAP expansion, which has been so important for innovation in Canada for decades, Elevated IP, the strategic intellectual property program review, the innovation superclusters, the data in the digital world, and support for the Standards Council of Canada and the Competition Bureau.
I encourage everyone to support all these items that I have mentioned, and the ones in the estimates, so that we could get Canadians back to work and businesses could keep our economy going. We would not need to continue government supports for either individuals or businesses once we get everyone back. We need to continue support for Canada and around the world. When COVID exists anywhere in the world, it is still a threat to us.
I will leave it at that. I hope we get support from all parties, which have been very co-operative and helpful during the pandemic.
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 21:48 [p.8733]
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Madam Speaker, the thing that will help my riding the most within tourism is the money that I mentioned right at the beginning for the festivals, the museums and the culture, and of course the billion dollars for the tourism industry and the marketing.
On the transportation side, it would be the trade corridors fund. The north got an inordinate percentage of that. I know in the first round we got something like $200 million out of $2 billion, which was way more than our number per capita, although we have a lot of area where we have to put that infrastructure in, to be able to get tourists in and out.
The other transportation funding that has been very important and essential for us has been the support for the northern air transport. We had several projects announced recently to improve our airport, the structure, the aprons and the runways, but also for the northern airlines that have been hurt, which provide service to the rural communities.
As I said, one thing that needs support from all members of Parliament is to have the big airlines interline with our northern airlines, so they can both still compete and they are not either putting the smaller airline out of business or costing the large airline more than it needs to—
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View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-17 21:51 [p.8734]
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Madam Speaker, I am trying to think if I have had a lot of calls from any of those groups. I am not sure about the member's riding, but he probably knows the federal government supports. The COVID supports that people in his riding and across the country received, a large percentage of them have come from the federal government. The provinces, at least in my area, have had some very innovative and helpful programs to add to this federal support. I imagine that in his riding the provincial government has added some supports to the federal supports.
I have been in the House since the year 2000, and this is the biggest federal budget that I remember, which has something for almost everyone, some support for every group that he is talking about. I mentioned seniors. There is money for people with disabilities. There is money for students. There is support for low-income workers and support for unemployed people.
I did not mention the fact that there is an extension of the more flexible EI rules that have been put in place to get through the pandemic. That is being extended in this budget as well. There is something for all—
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-17 21:54 [p.8734]
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Madam Speaker, I know that the member is a very thoughtful member of Parliament, as was his father, whom I enjoyed being in Parliament with.
First of all, I cannot agree with the premise of the member's question that abusers are being let off. All the programs have conditions, including the wage subsidy, and those are followed up. For example, the wage subsidy can only be used for wages and, as I mentioned, that is what kept a huge number of people working so that they could put food on the table.
However, as the pandemic is winding down, as I mentioned during my speech, most of the supports are reducing as people come out of the pandemic, and both individual and corporate supports are going down.
I think I heard in a speech earlier in the week that 81% of the jobs lost have already been put back in place and so, as we recover, I think the supports will be reduced.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-17 21:56 [p.8734]
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Madam Speaker, the fact that there is $200 million for big cultural events or festivals like Folklorama is very important. As I said, I think culture has been a bit of a forgotten sector in our economy, and so this is important for all the people who work in the sector. It is important for all of the performers in the gig economy who really have limited income, and it is so important to our spirit. As well, by having entertainment locally, we have Canadians supporting Canadians, we keep people in the country and have our dollars recirculate in the country, which is also very important.
Obviously, they had to close down during the pandemic, but a number of these proponents were actually eligible for the wage subsidy and CEBA loans. This has kept some of these very important charities, NGOs and festivals afloat during this time, so that they can start up as soon as the pandemic is over.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-16 21:03
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Madam Speaker, given it is almost summer, I hope members will indulge me before I ask my question.
As this may be my last chance to speak before the break, I would like to thank my staff for their hard work over the years, especially during the pandemic, which has added additional stress for everyone. I thank my Whitehorse team, Susan Moorhead Mooney, Ellen MacDonald and Alisha Khalik, as well as my Ottawa team, Aaron Casselman and Brad Weston. Being the MP for Yukon has been the honour of my life, and I want to thank Yukoners for continuing to put their faith in me year after year.
My question is related to the point of privilege and on which committee this should go to.
I was very excited when NSICOP was created, as I thought long before that we really needed it. I assume that previously many of the most serious safety issues for Canada and security issues for Canadians were not being dealt with by parliamentarians because they did not have the right security clearance. However, the member's report suggests that has been much improved since the committee was created. From the reports he outlined tonight, I would like the member to confirm that it is true, that these serious issues—
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-17 0:15
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Mr. Speaker, I have not had a chance to say it yet, but I congratulate you on your retirement as a tremendous Speaker of the House. I do not think people know about the tremendous work you are also doing for the downtrodden people of Myanmar. You have been a wonderful MP and representative, and we all have great respect for you.
I would like to thank the hon. member for his speech and remind him that all budget implementation bills are omnibus bills, because every budget deals with a number of federal departments. I am glad he wanted a plan and support for tourism, because there is over $1 billion, a record amount, for tourism in the budget, for festivals, cultural events, heritage celebrations and local museums. On top of that, there is $700 million more for small business, green, inclusive, enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.
There is an over 700-page plan that deals with indigenous and women entrepreneurs, an A1 strategy, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, a quantum strategy, the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre, business R and D, Mitacs, CanCode, net-zero accelerator, clean growth hub, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the strategic innovation fund, IRAP expansion, Elevate IP, innovation superclusters—
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-17 0:43
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Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his speech, for a couple of reasons. One is that he mentioned the very important item of mental health, and we really appreciate that and agree with him because of our large contributions to that area before the budget and in the budget, but I basically want to thank him for his support of business. I know he would appreciate that we have provided over 27,000 CEWS loans worth $1.4 billion to Saskatchewan and protected 98,000 jobs in Saskatchewan with $1.28 billion, as well as putting $50 million into 731 RRRF projects.
I am hoping the member will support the budget, because some of these business owners, as he heard in an earlier speech tonight, said they will not be quite ready to get back, and without this budget the rent subsidy and the wage subsidy will expire in June, at the end of this month. This budget would extend them to September and also add a billion dollars for tourism and $700 million for small businesses, so I hope the member will quickly support the budget implementation act, Bill C-30, so that we can get these things in place to continue to support Saskatchewan businesses.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-09 16:41 [p.8169]
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Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the 14th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, by video conference, on April 13 and 14, 2021.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-03 19:59 [p.7951]
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Madam Speaker, I am happy to respond to the question from the hon. member for North Island—Powell River regarding our new regional economic development agency for British Columbia. I appreciate her making this important request for constituents, and her emphasis on rural, because I come from a rural riding. I also appreciate her support on the support we are providing for salmon, because that affects my riding as well.
Our government understands the importance of investing in communities. We know that the regional development agencies are often the best vehicles for these investments. That sentiment has been reinforced throughout this pandemic. From the outset, the RDAs have been on the ground across Canada helping businesses weather the effects of the pandemic.
Through the $2 billion regional relief and recovery fund, we have helped businesses stay afloat and protect jobs. The RRRF has been important in western Canada, which is already facing unique economic challenges, as the member just mentioned very nicely.
Under the very strong leadership and successful actions of the Minister of Economic Development to date, the RRRF has delivered more than $775 million to approximately 9,000 businesses in western Canada. Thanks to this support, we have helped protect more than 40,000 jobs across western Canada, including more than 15,000 jobs in B.C.
Our RRRF funding in B.C. has gone to all parts of the province, in part, thanks to B.C. Community Futures offices, which have delivered more than $60 million to more than 1,400 rural B.C. businesses impacted by the pandemic.
As we build back better, our government understands that we need to continue delivering support directly to our regions and communities. In B.C. and across western Canada, we understand there are unique economic realities, which the member mentioned, and the one-size-fits-all-approach no longer works.
In the 2020 fall economic statement, we announced we would be creating a new regional economic development agency for British Columbia, with new dedicated funding to help businesses and communities in British Columbia continue to grow and create good jobs across the province. In budget 2021, over and above $1 billion for tourism, we backed up with real investments. We are going to provide this new B.C. RDA with $553.1 million over five years, starting this year, 2021-22; and $110.6 million ongoing. These investments will support the new agency and ensure our government is there to help businesses in B.C. grow and create good jobs for British Columbia.
As we establish this new RDA, we are continuing our commitment, ensuring it is driven by the local realities that the member mentioned. The Minister of Economic Development and the parliamentary secretary for the new B.C. agency, the member for Burnaby North—Seymour, have met with and heard from a diverse number of economic development thought leaders, including those on Vancouver Island and the surrounding coastal communities. Their guidance will ensure the new B.C. RDA is built by and for British Columbians, with a greater local presence, improved service and more locally engaged staff.
We are still in the early days of this new B.C. RDA, which means we cannot yet determine exactly how it will look or where the offices will be located. However, I can say with certainty that our government listened to the local stakeholders and when the new Pacific regional development agency opens its doors, it will allow our government to play a robust role as adviser, investor and, most important, a partner for businesses and communities across British Columbia.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-03 20:04 [p.7952]
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Madam Speaker, I really appreciate the member's very constructive input. I will certainly take it back with me, because I have a tourism-based riding as well and I totally understand what she is saying.
We are committed to creating a prosperous Canada, where Canadians will get well-paying jobs to support their families. That is why we are proposing this new economic development in the west, a refocused agency in the Prairies and this new agency for British Columbia that will be responsible for the special diverse economic needs so nicely outlined by the member.
The new points of service and the locations will be determined through careful consideration of the needs of those we will serve and will be announced after consultations are completed and the decisions have been made. We know they will improve how we support British Columbians as well as Canadians in the Prairie provinces and position their families, communities and businesses for success.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-01 20:46 [p.7798]
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Madam Chair, I come to you from the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
I want to start with a statement I made on social media.
The magnitude of this horrific tragedy initially left me numb. So many children were lost and so many families are grieving. So many emotions of heartbreak are breaking out again. Even if it were only one child, for that family it would be an infinite lifetime of sorrow.
As I was at a memorial of shoes with Angus Sidney, and on a walk yesterday, I and many others imagined what would happen if this were our own children. How could any parent bear such an incalculable pain?
At yesterday's event, after chief after chief expressed their deep sorrow, it was uplifting to hear them, led by Doris Bill, talk about a path forward and reconciliation. Nothing can undo these devastating events, but we in the Government of Canada, under whose authority residential schools were created and maintained, need to do everything in our power to bring these children, and those yet to be found, home to their families.
As well, ongoing support for indigenous-created healing is paramount. The highest priority must be given to continuing to work intensively with families of victims, with indigenous women's groups such as those in Yukon leading the country, and with other indigenous leaders and organizations across Canada to bring all the TRC calls to action to fruition. We can all continually work with those whose hearts are not yet in the same place as the hearts of the many who yesterday attended the Yukon gathering founded in love.
I want to now go over what, in this brief time of a couple of days, at least some of my constituents are asking for or demanding. Almost everyone who contacted me wanted to make sure that all the sites of residential schools in Canada would be searched for all potential graves. They understand that this needs to be indigenous-led. It needs to be as the families want and it needs to be culturally appropriate. They want all the calls to action of the TRC, the parts the federal government is responsible for, to be fully implemented, especially numbers 74 to 76 related to this event.
Investigations must occur and there must be accountability. They want Canadians to educate themselves and acknowledge these dark times in our history. One person said it is not a dark chapter of history, but a foundation of the unjust way that Canada was peopled. They want St. Anne's Indian Residential School survivors and those damaged by insufficient child welfare to be fully funded.
They have said that there need to be big closure ceremonies, clean water and other good conditions, as well as a national day of mourning. One person provided me a list of some terrible, specific, horrible crimes on specific children. The individuals have not been held to account, and it makes healing under those conditions difficult, if possible at all.
In our small city of Whitehorse, we had a spontaneous memorial set up on the steps of the Catholic church where over 400 pairs of children's shoes just appeared. At the invitation of Angus Sidney, I slept on those steps all night with him to honour those young lives that ended all too soon. The next day, there was a walk of thousands of Yukoners taking these shoes to display around a sacred fire that continues to burn right now. The procession was silent except for the heartbeat of the drums. At the fire, a number of chiefs spoke of tragedy and of sadness, but also of true leaders, of a path forward and of reconciliation.
Because this deplorable part of our history was not taught for the longest time in our schools, only after this tragic episode are many Canadians finding out about these devastating deaths. I commend all those across the country who have organized these events. I commend all indigenous leaders, and the tens of thousands of Canadians who turned up at the sad ceremonies across the country, for opening their hearts to the difficult steps we all must take to try to achieve reconciliation that will bring peace to all and a path forward together.
Marsi.
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Lib. (YT)
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2021-06-01 20:52 [p.7799]
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Madam Chair, the member said something I was really glad to hear, which is that this night should be for constructive debate on how we can move forward in a positive way and deal with such a tragic situation. The healing requires not a short time but, for some, a lifetime. She also made the very important point that it needs to be a discussion with indigenous people because they have to be led.
I understand that it takes time to go to the various sites and uncover potential graves. Everything has to be done after consultation with the families. They want it done in a culturally sensitive way and in discussion with indigenous people. That is why I think some of the $33 million related to calls to action 74 to 76 has not been finished. It is making sure it is done in the right way, but I have every confidence that the funding necessary to complete all these actions, many of the actions I outlined and in the TRC recommendations, will be forthcoming as it is needed.
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Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-06-01 20:54 [p.7799]
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Madam Chair, that the money moves forward as quickly as possible without bureaucratic hang-ups is very important. A role politicians have to take when they have a priority is to make sure it moves forward. We, as parliamentarians, have a way of working that a lot of Canadians do not know about, which is inside caucuses. This is where a lot of the work gets done in Parliament and we can move things forward. I certainly have the priority, as she seems to from her question, of getting these things done and getting a number of actions done, such as those I mentioned in my speech and such as a number the TRC recommendations. Repatriating the bodies of the children, finding the ones who have not yet been found and providing the healing necessary should all be done without any holdup and as quickly as possible as the ministers direct their departments.
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Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2021-05-25 16:45 [p.7339]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member. I always appreciate his speeches; they are very thoughtful. I have a great deal of respect for him.
Does he agree with the government's record support of transit or anything else? There are a lot of items in the budget to reduce greenhouse gases, but in particular there are record amounts for transit. This includes a brand new program, announced not long ago, for rural transit, which is very important for my area. There are already over 1,000 projects approved, but many more will be coming. I want to make sure the member is in support of that.
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