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Results: 1 - 15 of 715
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-01-27 11:05 [p.427]
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Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to split my time with the member for Kenora today.
It would have been difficult to predict, over 150 years ago, that the shared vision of Canada's founding fathers who gathered to create a dominion from sea to sea would have led to a 29-year-old woman delivering the first speech of the new year and the new decade in our House of Commons.
As a first-time elected representative, it was a special moment for me to hear Canada's Governor General deliver the Speech from the Throne. Amid all the pomp and circumstance, I could not help but think back to my humble roots and how far I have come. I was born to four generations of Canadian farmers in a small town in eastern Manitoba. My family were prairie pioneers, and their lives were built on sacrifice, on struggle and on principles of personal responsibility and resilience.
At the time, Canada was a young country without the robust social safety net we see today. Faith, family and community were all they could rely on to get them through the tough times of financial hardship. They had no choice but to persevere and do the best they could to provide for the next generation.
My call to public service came when I was about nine years old. It was a hot summer day at my grandparents' farm. The adults in my family were sitting around the kitchen table passionately expressing their views of yet another damaging policy the Liberals in Ottawa had put on farmers. Even at that young age, I could feel the injustice of the harmful government intrusion in our lives. There was a disconnect between my humble hard-working family and the decision-makers here in Ottawa.
I decided in that moment that when I grew up, I would go to Ottawa to fight for my family. It has been a long journey from small-town country roots to being the first in my family to attend university and the first to enter federal politics. As a woman in her 20s, I stand before you today, Mr. Speaker, as part of a demographic that has rarely been represented in this House.
I attribute much of my success to the resilience I inherited from my pioneer ancestors and that burning motivation to fight for everyday Canadians against government agendas that are so often out of touch with the struggles facing everyday people. That is why I am truly honoured to represent my constituents of Kildonan—St. Paul.
My riding has a rich heritage and holds a place of significance in our national history. That history is tied to the mighty Red River, which cuts straight through the middle of Kildonan—St. Paul. The river has been the lifeblood of the community for thousands of years, beginning with Treaty 1 first nations and later the Red River Métis and the Selkirk Settlers, and later the Polish, Ukrainian, German and Mennonite homesteaders of the early 20th century.
More recently our community has welcomed many newcomers from India and the Philippines. Today Kildonan—St. Paul is a diverse constituency made strong by the contributions of young families, new Canadians, seniors, small business owners, tradesmen and women, and dozens of cultural and faith groups.
However, what troubles me is how the throne speech and the priorities of the Liberal government therein are not reflective of the priorities of the Winnipeggers and the Manitobans I represent. What I heard at the doorstep over the better part of the last two years was a desire for a representative who would fight for everyday hard-working Canadians in my community, an MP who would make clear to the Liberal government that higher taxes, mountains of debt and endless deficits do not create economic prosperity but in fact put our country's social programs and the future financial security of Canadians at risk.
Residents also expressed concerns for their environment, and top of mind is the North End Water Pollution Control Centre, which is at the very centre of my riding and processes 70% of Winnipeg sewage. It needs over $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades and is currently incapable of removing phosphorus to an acceptable degree from the treated sewage before it flows back into the Red River. As a result, there are impacts on the health of Lake Winnipeg, which, as all Manitobans know, has been choked with large algae blooms in the most recent years. Lake Winnipeg, the Red River and the Assiniboine River have shaped the history of Manitoba for thousands of years, and all three levels of government must come together to support this critical project.
Also top of mind was the extension of Chief Peguis Trail from Main Street to Route 90, which would substantially increase the livability of northwest Winnipeg by reducing traffic on residential streets to accommodate walking, cycling and public transit, and increase traffic mobility by supporting the completion of the strategic inner ring road of Winnipeg. Unfortunately, despite billions in deficits and collecting millions more in additional tax revenue, the Prime Minister and the government have largely ignored critical infrastructure projects in Manitoba.
Winnipeggers are also looking at the federal government to take meaningful action to combat the meth crisis, which has wreaked havoc on Winnipeg in recent years, contributed to the dramatic increase in violent crime and contributed to its 44 murders in 2019, more than doubling from the year prior.
Our first responders and front-line community organizations are under tremendous stress as they deal with the heartbreaking and traumatic consequences of this crisis. I saw the dire need for action in our community first-hand when I went to an evening patrol with the Bear Clan, an indigenous-led grassroots community group that supports vulnerable people across our inner-city neighbourhoods in Winnipeg. That evening, a large bag of needles was found buried in a snowbank. Volunteers carefully collected them for safe disposal in bone-chilling -30°C weather, but the most shocking of all was when I looked up from our collection activities to see three young children peering down from a nearby second-storey window. I could not help but think how inviting this fluffy snowbank may have looked to these children as they walked to school or played outside.
Last year, the Bear Clan picked up more than 145,000 used needles in Winnipeg's North End. The Liberal government committed to long-term, predictable funding to support the Bear Clan's efforts, and I very much hope the Minister of Indigenous Services will deliver on this commitment made by his predecessor.
In addition to serving my constituents, I have also been given by my leader the responsibility of serving Canadians as the shadow minister for the new Department of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth. I am honoured to have earned this opportunity and I am committed to using this platform to advocate the inclusion of ethnically and racially diverse Canadians, freedom and equality of LGBTQ Canadians and a free, prosperous and healthy future for Canada's youth.
The youth in Canada are facing challenges. Affordability was the number one concern I heard on the doorstep, and it is impacting young people in many alarming ways. My generation has the largest student loan debt in the history of Canada. We are well into our thirties when buying our first homes, if we do so at all, and we are working without reliable retirement plans in the gig economy. Our wages are largely frozen while the cost of living has increased dramatically, so it is no surprise that we are drowning in household debt and having fewer children, if any.
Meanwhile, the baby boomers are aging into their retirement pensions and beginning to rely heavily on our health care and social services, which are already under tremendous strain. However, we have heard very little acknowledgement of these critical financial issues in the Liberal government's throne speech. Its multi-year, multi-billion-dollar deficit investments completely lack a strategic plan to secure my generation's financial future in the event of soaring interest rates or an economic downturn. The government is leaving us ill-equipped to deal with an uncertain and changing world, and every person in my generation will live with the consequences if we do not get it right.
I will embrace my critic role by holding the government to account on behalf of my generation and young Conservatives across this country, and as my party and our country navigate the issues of the 2020s, I will fight for everyday Canadians. I will fight for freedom; for safety; for security; for health, peace and prosperity; and for a government that respects the rich fabric of beliefs of our country. I will as well fight for the priorities of my constituents in Kildonan—St. Paul. I will ensure their voices and priorities are heard loud and clear in this chamber.
To conclude, I would like to acknowledge the people who helped get me here: my team. I thank all of the first-time and long-time volunteers who put in hundreds of hours on the campaign trail; my family, my parents and my two sisters, who have supported me in my dreams for decades; and most sincerely, I thank my fiancé Scott, who is in the gallery today. He was by my side back when being a member of Parliament was only a pipe dream.
Family really is the most important thing, and in that regard I have been very blessed. I am working tirelessly to make them proud as I come to Ottawa to do what I came here to do, which is to fight for everyday Canadians.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-27 11:14 [p.429]
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Madam Speaker, the member referred to fighting for Canadians. I am sure she would join with me and the Liberal caucus as we continue to deliver for Canadians from every region of this country.
For example, this government has delivered tax breaks to Canada's middle class. This is a government that has lifted literally hundreds of thousands of both seniors and children out of poverty by enhancing the Canada child benefit and increasing the guaranteed income supplement. Many progressive measures have been incorporated in the past few years to advance Canada's middle class, making it healthier and stronger. Are these the types of policies that we can anticipate she will support?
Further to that, today a motion was tabled to introduce the trade agreement for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Would she not agree that this is a positive step and something we should get behind?
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View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-01-27 11:15 [p.429]
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Madam Speaker, I ask the member to consider the state of the Canadian economy under his government. About 71,000 Canadians lost their jobs in November, which I am sure he will remember. October 2019 had the highest number of personal bankruptcies in a decade, the most since the global financial crisis. Businesses like Encana are leaving Canada because of the government's tax hikes and harmful regulations. Investment in plants and equipment by Canadian businesses has fallen by 20% over the past five years, the worst performance in more than five decades. Foreign direct investment in Canada has fallen by 56% since the government came to power.
In my speech I spoke a lot about the future of this country and the stakes that young people are facing. I encourage the member opposite to reconsider his remarks and think about the consequences of his government's reckless financial actions.
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View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, I welcome the member for Kildonan—St. Paul to the House. I am very impressed with her first speech in this place.
Last week, the NDP leader, the member for Burnaby South, put forward a proposal for a bill that would establish a national pharmacare plan, laying out a framework that operates much in the same way that the Canada Health Act does.
In ridings right across this country, a lot people are struggling with the day-to-day costs of medication, and indeed many families are making the hard choice between paying the rent and utilities and paying for prescriptions.
A letter was sent to the Conservative Party, inviting its members to join with us to establish this national framework. I would like to hear the member's thoughts on that proposal, as well as how pharmacare costs impact her constituents.
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View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-01-27 11:17 [p.429]
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Madam Speaker, there are many seniors in my riding and I have spoken to thousands of them over the last two years. I can say quite confidently that I agree seniors are facing serious financial consequences right now that are not being helped by the Liberal government's carbon tax, which, as we know, puts an increase on everything. Everything is transported into Winnipeg by fuelled trucks, which means the cost of groceries, gas, heating and any kind of transportation increases for seniors. Seniors are on incredibly fixed incomes. The CPP is not keeping up with inflation and they are facing serious consequences. The Liberal government has done nothing for seniors but make life more expensive with things like the carbon tax.
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View Michel Boudrias Profile
BQ (QC)
View Michel Boudrias Profile
2020-01-27 11:17 [p.429]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on her speech. She made a lot of sense about a lot of things, including her local- and provincial-level concerns about infrastructure, social issues and youth. Those values are shared by most Canadians and most of the MPs here. However, most of these issues are not just regional but, about 90% of the time, local, and they fall under provincial jurisdiction, especially when it comes to infrastructure and health.
With the federal government allocating some two-thirds of its budget to transfers, would my colleague agree that more money should be transferred to the provinces to fund those programs?
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View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-01-27 11:18 [p.429]
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Madam Speaker, I would support any measure that further supports Manitobans and the citizens in my riding. As I outlined in my speech, they are facing troubling economic times, particularly the youth. We are looking for a government that makes investments in the future of Canada that actually make reasonable impacts, lower taxes and keep the size of government small, while we invest in critical infrastructure.
All of the priorities I mentioned are for trilateral infrastructure funding from all three levels of government. It is important that all members in the House come together with the other two levels of government to fund critical infrastructure to build our nation for the next generation.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-27 11:19 [p.429]
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Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise in the chamber and address a number of concerns that I have.
Here we are at the beginning of a new decade and I am feeling very optimistic, because over the last number of years we have seen a government in Canada that has had a very progressive attitude and has been able to deliver for Canadians in all regions of our country. Let there be no doubt that the priority of this government has been Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. That has been the case since day one, and even prior.
I can recall that when the Prime Minister was elected leader of the Liberal Party, when we were the third party in the far corner of the House of Commons, he made it very clear in his leadership bid that his personal priority was the well-being of Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, believing that by building Canada's middle class and giving it strength, we would have a healthier economy. We have seen that.
The member opposite made reference to the fact that in the month of November, 70,000 people became unemployed. We need to look at what we have accomplished in the last four years. There are well over one million net new jobs in Canada's economy. That is far more than Stephen Harper ever achieved in his eight or nine years. We have accomplished a great deal.
I will be splitting my time with the member for Hull—Aylmer.
I was very proud to be sitting beside the Deputy Prime Minister just 20 minutes ago when she tabled a ways and means notice of motion dealing with the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement.
Having said that, trade is important to Canada. This is one thing that adds value to our economy. In the last four years, the government has accomplished the signing of a significant number of trade agreements. We are talking about well over 25 or 30, with numerous countries. We have had a very aggressive and progressive movement toward trade agreements around the world because we know that Canada is very much dependent on world trade. That is one of the ways we can assist our middle class and grow our economy. We have seen that first-hand.
I often make reference to the pork industry in the province of Manitoba and how that industry as a whole continues to grow and provide thousands of jobs there, whether in Brandon, Neepawa, the city of Winnipeg or throughout rural communities. This is the type of thing that has a real impact, and that is just one industry. These jobs, in good part, are there because of trade. Trade is critically important. That is why it was so encouraging to see the government put trade as a high priority.
We look to the opposition members and particularly the Conservative Party, which has been a very strong advocate in past years for trade. We anticipate that the Conservatives will have the opportunity to go through the agreement and will continue to support trade with the United States. It is the same with the Bloc and the New Democrats. We understand and appreciate just how important this agreement is to Canada.
We have talked about the issues brought forward in the last few years, and I made reference to a number of them in the question I put to the member for Kildonan—St. Paul. We dealt with them through positive, progressive social policies, and we have seen a continuation.
I could talk about the first bill that we brought in back in 2015, the tax break for Canada's middle class. At the same time, we increased taxes for Canada's wealthiest 1%. Four years later, we are seeing a decrease in taxes for Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars being put into the pockets of Canadians, adding to the disposable income of people across this country.
In terms of the other benefits we have enhanced, the Canada child benefit is something members of the Liberal caucus will quite often talk about. As I have made reference to in the past, over $9 million a month goes into the riding of Winnipeg North alone to support children.
We can talk about the increases to the guaranteed income supplement. We made a commitment to support some of our poorest seniors, those aged 75 and over, who are having a more difficult time, by looking into how we could further enhance their pensionable incomes. Over the next period of time, I look forward to seeing that realized. We understand how important it is to support young people and seniors in our communities.
These sorts of investments and putting the money back in through tax breaks allow the disposable income in our communities to go up. When we do these things, disposable income is being spent in our communities. That helps to fuel the demand for jobs.
That is why I believe, as I know my colleagues also believe, that having a healthy, strong middle class and building that middle class will add value to our economy and will make it stronger and healthier.
Over the years, we have seen an ongoing commitment to capital investments such as our housing strategy, with billions of dollars being invested in the first-ever national housing strategy, a very tangible action that will have a profoundly positive impact on thousands of Canadians in every region of our country by recognizing the importance of housing.
We can talk about infrastructure, whether it is roads or other types of community public facilities. Hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars has thus far been invested in our communities from coast to coast to coast.
For the first time, we have a government that is prepared to negotiate with the provinces to achieve tangible results. We have seen that in the Canada pension program. Individuals who are working today will have more money when it comes time to retire because of an initiative we took a couple years back.
As a government, I truly believe we have recognized how important it is to invest in our social programs. If we were to canvass Canadians and ask them what makes them feel good about being a Canadian, more often than not I believe they would say, at least in Winnipeg North, that it is our health care system. People love our health care system. They believe in our health care system. The Canada Health Act provides the type of framework that Canadians are behind. The government is sending record amounts of health care dollars throughout our federation. Not only are we doing that, but we are now talking about how to come up with a pharmacare program.
I have been a parliamentarian for 30 years. For a vast majority of those years, we never heard about a national pharmacare program. It is only in the last four years it has been on the public agenda on virtually a weekly basis. If it were up to me, we would be having debate and discussion on a national pharmacare program every day, because it is something in which I genuinely believe. I suspect we will continue to receive the type of support we have seen from the New Democrats on pharmacare.
Discussing how we might be able to expand it is something I am open to. I remember a few years ago, my daughter, who happens to be the MLA in an area I represent in Winnipeg North, and I made a commitment to continue to push the pharmacare issue. She has tabled petitions in the Manitoba legislature and I have tabled numerous petitions in the House of Commons on this issue. The reason is that I know how important it is for all Canadians that we continue to push this issue forward. I believe we have a united caucus within the government caucus to ensure we see a realization of a pharmacare program.
I see my time has expired, so I will leave it at that.
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-01-27 11:31 [p.431]
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Madam Speaker, my colleague said that the middle class was a priority for the government. Back in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the middle class depends on the aluminum industry, supply management and forestry, three sectors that have taken a hit in every single trade agreement signed by previous governments.
I have a simple question for my colleague: Will he support our party's initiative to revise the status of aluminum in the agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-27 11:31 [p.431]
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Madam Speaker, what is encouraging to see is that within the free trade agreement, from what I understand and on which we are going to get a lot more information over the next couple of days, there are significant achievements that were not in the previous trade agreement. One of the biggest beneficiaries of those changes will be the aluminum industry as a whole.
I often make reference to my historical roots going back to the province of Quebec. I am passionate about the province of Quebec, the jobs that are there and wanting to be able to protect them. I look forward to my colleague across the way participating and getting engaged in the debate on the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A. I suspect he will find this agreement is actually better for the industry than the previous agreement. That is really what we should, at least in good part, be measuring it against. The constituents he represents will be better off as a direct result of this agreement.
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View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2020-01-27 11:33 [p.431]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member for some of the details of that agreement because, on this side of the House, we are struggling to find out what those details are. Maybe he can speak of the benefits to the aluminum, forestry and automotive sectors and at least give us some information on it.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-27 11:33 [p.431]
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Madam Speaker, I am encouraged to hear the question. I know in the next couple of days we will see a lot more information coming out. Hopefully, this will provide the type of details that will give the member opposite and me a much better understanding of it. I do not know many of the details at this point in time.
What I do know is that there are certain areas the opposition has raised with respect to the trade agreement. I had the opportunity to look into those areas and I found, from the research I did, that the agreement today is a better deal than what we had previously. That is something we consistently argued for. We wanted to get a good deal for Canadians.
I am very optimistic and hopeful that, once we have all the details on the table, the Conservatives will work diligently to get a good comprehensive understanding of the agreement. I do believe, given their past, they will be inclined to support the agreement, as both the Liberals and Conservatives have worked relatively well together on trade agreements.
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View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-01-27 11:35 [p.431]
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Madam Speaker, the idea of national pharmacare goes back to the origins of our medicare system in the 1960s. For the member to suggest this has only been four years in the making in the House of Commons also proves a point. I would like to ask the member whether he felt that the members of the Liberal Party who have been proposing this since 1997 were actually making it up and not doing the proper thing in bringing in pharmacare. Were they just making it up? Was it a lie back then? Did the members not have good intentions? Did they finally wake up today and realize that this has been going on in our country for decades?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-27 11:35 [p.431]
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Madam Speaker, as I indicated, I have been a parliamentarian for 30 years combined at the provincial and national levels. It is only in the last four or five years that the issue has come front and centre and has been extensively debated. I used to be the health care critic in the province of Manitoba and rarely during that period of time did it ever come up. Only in the last four years has it come up to the degree which it has and it is because of a lot of fine work by members on all sides of the House, not just one side. One side should not take credit.
This is all about providing a good service to Canadians. It is all about Canada and serving Canadians on an issue that is important to them.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2020-01-27 11:36 [p.432]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging all my colleagues in the House of Commons and wishing them a happy new year.
This is my first chance to speak in this 43rd Parliament of Canada. I am very pleased to rise and speak to everyone, including all Canadians who are watching at home today.
Before I begin my comments on the Speech from the Throne, I want to say that I think it is a remarkable document. It encourages parliamentarians to work together, just as Canadians called for in the last election. They want us to work together for the well-being of all Canadians.
I want to thank my constituents in Hull—Aylmer. The riding of Hull—Aylmer is located just across the river from the House of Commons, in the Outaouais region of Quebec, where the Ottawa and the Gatineau Rivers meet. It is a special place. My constituents are proud of their historic city. They are well aware that, without Hull—Aylmer, there would be no Ottawa.
In the early 19th century, Philemon Wright arrived from the United States and settled in this region to develop the lumber industry. This contributed to the creation of what has become the national capital region and the location of our Parliament.
In fact, our region has been home to indigenous peoples for 8,000 years, well before the arrival of people from Europe or Africa. This is where indigenous peoples came to conduct trade, share stories and build a future together. This is why I think this is the right place for the Canadian Parliament. In our own way, we can work together to help Canadians.
I am very proud to speak in support of the throne speech, which addresses some very important topics and political perspectives vital to Canada's well-being, now and in the future. Front and centre is climate action. There is nothing more important. We must focus on climate action to ensure that we leave our children, grandchildren and future generations a better world. I am very proud that we have committed Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050. Major national initiatives are required.
As member of Parliament for Hull—Aylmer, I will be hosting a new public forum, similar to the 24 I hosted during the previous Parliament. This time around, climate action will be the overarching theme of these public forums.
We are working with provincial and municipal representatives, key stakeholders like the Conseil régional sur l'environnement et le développement durable de l'Outaouais, and other individuals who work in this area. How can we better coordinate the efforts of individuals, businesses, key stakeholders and all levels of government? I hope that our region and my riding will achieve net-zero emissions well before 2050. This is very important and I will act accordingly.
I know that our government wants to work with all members and all parties to seriously tackle this issue. No action is too small, and we clearly have a duty to think of some big actions we can take to deal with this issue effectively. We are willing to collaborate with all members of the House to achieve this goal.
The throne speech covers not only broad existential issues like climate change, but also the issue of Canada itself. How do we strengthen the middle class and help those working so hard to join it? My colleague from Winnipeg North stressed the importance of the Canada child benefit. He has been involved in federal and provincial politics for 30 years, and I know his memory on this is excellent.
Back in 1988, I was a parliamentary page. I remember that, shortly after my year as a page, Parliament made a solemn pledge to end child poverty in Canada. That was in 1990, and the pledge was to do this within 10 years, by the year 2000. That was an initiative. It has been 30 years. For 25 of those 30 years, the poverty rate in Canada did not change. In 2015, however, our government launched an initiative for Canadians, the Canada child benefit. It was extraordinary. In just four short years, we reduced child poverty in Canada by a third and the overall poverty rate by a third as well. Now, over 300,000 young Canadians have been lifted out of poverty. If that is not one of an MP's most fundamental duties, I do not know what is. This is extraordinary.
I was a little disappointed that some people voted against this, but I hope all members of the House will continue to support this program. If we were able to accomplish that much in four years, I hope we will be able to keep up this work. That is the commitment we made.
Ensuring that we have a strong and durable economy is another thing that is very important in strengthening the middle class and those working hard to join it. We did that with the new NAFTA that we just signed and that the minister just tabled this morning. Once again, that is very important. Canada is not a huge country with a huge population, but we work hard. We are well aware that our prosperity depends fundamentally on building ties and international trade. That is what we just did with the new NAFTA, which will strengthen the jobs of millions of Canadians.
We did not stop there. In the last Parliament, with the help of many members of the House, we also signed a free trade agreement with Europe, a market of 500 million people. Once again, that is extraordinary. I could talk about reconciliation with indigenous peoples, which is very important to my riding. A large percentage of people in my riding are members of the Algonquin nation. I could also talk about the health and safety of Canadians.
In closing, I would simply like to tell all my colleagues that I think that this document is something that everyone can get behind. I hope I can count on the support of all my parliamentary colleagues to improve the lives of Canadians.
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