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Results: 1 - 15 of 74
View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-09-28 15:16 [p.7860]
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Mr. Speaker, according to Restaurants Canada, over the last 12 months, 43% more restaurants have closed than opened. In my riding, restaurants are paying as much as three times more for food and materials. Prepandemic, vegetable oil was only $16 for 16 litres. Today, it is $53.
With businesses fighting to survive and with few tourists brave enough to visit a Canadian airport, what is the government's latest answer to curbing rampant inflation and soaring food prices, beyond reannouncing programs that may or may not come into existence in this decade?
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-09-27 18:29 [p.7843]
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Madam Speaker, on April 28 I asked the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship how I should respond to constituents who are experiencing severe delays in processing immigration applications and the pause on express entry draws. People have had to put their lives and careers on hold as they wait for rescue from IRCC purgatory.
The government, four months after my question, was finally embarrassed enough to take some action to address the then over three million backlog, and the minister announced a 10-point plan on August 24, but sadly it was just more smoke and mirrors.
It has been over a month now since the plan was announced, and let us look at the numbers. As of the end of July, over 50%, over half of applications in IRCC’s inventory were considered backlogged. Let us put that percentage into context: There are 2.4 million total applications in all IRCC inventories, with 1.3 million cases exceeding the IRCC's own service standards. Is this what amounts to progress?
Moreover, the government has set a 20% backlog target. This is no game. The government is dealing with people’s lives and its continued failure has real consequences for the highly skilled foreign workers we need, who are being left in limbo. The government's continued failure is hurting our nation’s businesses as we face a labour shortage, and it has real financial and business implications for our nation’s economic prosperity.
If the government thinks it is worthy of a gold star for doing its job of processing applications while also accepting a 20% backlog, its members are simply delusional. Failing at 20% is still failure. Worst of all, the government is projected to not even meet its own target of failing at 20%.
Citizenship applications are projected to fall shy of the target, with a 25% backlog by December of this year. Temporary resident applications will continue to experience the highest level of backlogs by year end, and work permits, in particular, will face even more severe backlogs. The projected backlog for these applications is listed at 60% by December, which is an over 30% increase from current levels. The government has been failing Canadians and immigrants. It moved the goalposts in the hopes of making it appear like it was making progress, and is even failing to meet its new targets of only failing at 20%.
Given this, can the parliamentary secretary provide the millions who are waiting some glimmer of hope of their applications being processed in their lifetime? Let us not forget either the quagmire of Afghani refugees or indeed the Ukrainians. They have yet to see the government acting in a timely fashion to bring in the numbers that it promised to bring in. Some observers, looking at all of this information, would strongly suggest that the minister not take up archery as a hobby, because it is clear he cannot hit any target.
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-09-27 18:37 [p.7844]
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Madam Speaker, here we go again. It is more smoke and mirrors. When is the government going to stop blaming the pandemic? It did all of these actions that the parliamentary secretary mentioned, yet we still have 2,583,827 people in the backlog as of the end of August. The proof is in the pudding and this pudding is 20% bad, or at least that we know of, because we know there are higher backlogs in other streams. We are not getting the full story and the government is not doing a full job. We are clearly headed for a backlog iceberg and the department is the Titanic.
When are we going to see a government capable of conducting an immigration system for this country, instead of a litany of failures, excuses and band-aid solutions?
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View Alain Rayes Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2022-09-26 14:00 [p.7672]
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Madam Speaker, I want to take a moment to thank the thousands of people in the riding of Richmond—Arthabaska, those across Quebec and Canada, as well as my colleagues from all parties, who have supported me over the past two weeks following my decision to act in line with my values and convictions and, accordingly, to sit as an independent member of Parliament from now on.
We are fortunate to live in Canada, in a democracy that is the envy of the world. I call on the leaders of the various political parties to show respect, to set an example for their members, supporters and staff, and to denounce bullying in all its forms.
A bullying campaign like the one I was subjected to 10 days ago by my former political party is unacceptable. Canadians do not want to see that kind of behaviour, and every member in the House has a duty to debate passionately but respectfully and to condemn aggressive, hateful or threatening speech. Our constituents expect nothing less from us.
For the sake of our democracy, and to combat the current cynicism, let us all raise the level of debate.
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View Alain Rayes Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2022-09-26 15:10 [p.7686]
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Mr. Speaker, everyone knows about the passport saga with its endless delays.
Unfortunately, we are experiencing the same problem with employment insurance, despite the fact that unemployment is at an all-time low and there are fewer applications. Public servants are saying they are powerless and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Meanwhile, our citizens are paying the price for a service they are absolutely entitled to.
Can the minister tell us what concrete measures are going to be put in place to deal with these unacceptable delays, which are only getting worse?
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-09-23 12:06 [p.7625]
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Mr. Speaker, in 2021, the Liberals campaigned on the promise to eliminate interest on Canada student loans. Today, the government is poised to increase interest rates in April, adding an average of $600 to student loan payments.
Is this just another example of the government's smoke and mirrors and failure to honour its promises to Canadians, just like its inability to combat rampant inflation, high interest rates and soaring food costs?
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-09-15 16:31 [p.7305]
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Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege to rise in the House, but it is a special honour to do so to pay tribute to Her late Majesty and extend my condolences to the royal family.
For so many Canadians, myself included, Her late Majesty was the only queen we have ever known, but she was more than a widely loved and respected sovereign. She represented stability in a country that grows increasingly chaotic and in a world that grows increasingly chaotic. She espoused a profound sense of humility in an era of self-aggrandizing, and she was a stalwart defender of democracy and the rule of law in an age of rising autocracy.
Speaking to friends and family, I noted that so many were surprised at the sense of personal loss we felt. The impact has been profound, because I think it is like losing a grandparent. It was deeply personal, and when it comes to losing a grandparent, it is something we know will happen one day but hope will be a long time from now. We never really expect it.
There is not much I can say that has not already be shared, but I can tell members from personal experience that there could be hundreds of people in the room, but she would make us feel like the only one there. She was incredibly attentive and as funny as she was kind, compassionate and gracious beyond words.
I am especially grateful that I had the opportunity to meet her during her reign, in 2017, when at Her late Majesty's command, I marked Canada's sesquicentennial by joining young leaders from across the Commonwealth in the U.K. It was at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, where we were appointed medallists of Her late Majesty. I had the distinct honour of being named Her Majesty the Queen's Young Leader for Canada.
I still recall being there in Buckingham Palace, with all of the pomp and circumstance, wracked with fear about whether or not I would mess up all of the protocol we were required to remember when we met the Queen, things like ensuring we do not turn our backs to her, that we wait for her to extend her hand first and that she speaks first.
I imagine that some people listening are thinking that, of course, they could do those basic and easy things. I would agree with them, until they are about to meet the Queen. Then it all goes out the window. It did not help that during our briefings, leaders would recount all the times they froze up or were speechless. Suffice it to say, I was nervous.
I was wearing my high-collar navy whites and had practised marching in, left turning and then saluting. Then I was told that, actually, we were to throw all that out the window when meeting the Queen and just do a quick head bow. So here was this kid in his mid-20s out of the suburbs of Toronto scared out of his mind trying to remember all of these basic, straightforward protocol requirements, all while my brain was screaming, “Oh my God. There's the Queen. Holy smokes.” Well, I used another word, but I am not allowed to repeat it in this place. Obviously, I was nervous.
To try to settle my nerves, I looked away at the crowd. “Do a quick scan of the room”, I thought. There were hundreds of people in the room, so that did not exactly help. However, as I was doing it, I spotted Prince Harry, who was at my two o'clock sitting in the front row. I guess His Royal Highness could sense my nervousness, so he gave me a supportive head nod and a wink as if to say “Hey, you've got this.” He was right.
I approached Her Majesty, I bowed, she extended her hand first, of course, and I did so in response. She said, “Congratulations” and handed me my medal. Now, I figured that was probably the end of it, but she asked me to tell her what I do. To put it in context, we were being recognized for the work we did in our communities back home and I was nominated for my work. I had the privilege of working with amazing at-risk youth and indigenous communities in northwestern and southwestern Ontario, including the incredible community of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.
I mentioned that I work with youth in different communities. She said, “Huh” and I thought, “She's interested”, so I told her about it. She said it was all very fascinating and asked me to tell her more, so I did. We ended up speaking for about a minute or two, which I am told, in Queen terms, is actually a really long time. As I said earlier, she had an extraordinary ability to make me feel like I was the only person in the room.
At the end of the conversation, she extended her hand. The handshake is meant to bookend the conversation, but I imagine there are some people who are so enamoured with meeting the Queen that they might not get the message. When she comes out to shake someone's hand, we cannot tell when watching in person, because I was there watching her do it to others, or on TV that she actually pushes the person away. It is kind of like, “Okay, Kevin, it was nice talking to you. Off you go now, little one.” I have to say that for a then 91-year-old woman, that was a strong push, and today I have the distinct pleasure of being able to tell people that I met the Queen, she gave me a medal and then she pushed me away. All joking aside, I am forever grateful that I had this opportunity. It is a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
To conclude, twice I have sworn an oath of allegiance to Her late Majesty, first in 2015 when I joined Her Majesty's Royal Canadian Navy and again last year as a member of Parliament. In that oath, we commit to faithfully serving her and her heirs and successors. With the ascension to the throne of His Majesty King Charles III, I, like all members of this House, will continue my service, both in and out of uniform, to our sovereign.
Long live the King.
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-23 15:15 [p.7247]
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Mr. Speaker, fuel costs continue to soar. Inflation and food prices are at their highest in 40 years. With Canadians facing unprecedented struggles to get by, the government reverts to reannouncements of programs. Government smoke and mirrors will not pay the mortgage or rent, nor will they put food on the table.
Will the government eliminate its disgraceful triple-dipping tax on gas? President Biden has asked for a three-month federal gas tax holiday. Has the government clued in on this? Is it going to do anything?
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-23 15:33 [p.7249]
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Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the results of the previous vote, and will be voting against.
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-23 15:35 [p.7250]
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Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the results of the previous vote and will be voting in favour.
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-22 14:06 [p.7131]
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Mr. Speaker, on July 1, Canadians will celebrate Canada's 155th birthday. As the son of refugees, I can say that Canada has presented me and my family with not just a home, but also opportunities and a future.
Even in tough times, this country rises above many others. We believe in the rule of law. We believe in free health care for all. We believe in assistance for those in need. We believe in the people's right to be heard. We do not have tanks on the streets. Many other countries do not enjoy this way of life.
We have a lot to be thankful for, but it did not happen by accident. It took a lot of hard work to forge the nation that we are today. We are not perfect, but I would say we are pretty close. We will face our challenges. We will be respectful. We will be inclusive as we move forward together to build an even better country.
This upcoming Canada Day, let us reaffirm our common values and go forward. On behalf of the people of my riding, I hope everyone can stay safe and celebrate this magnificent country in their own unique way.
Happy birthday, Canada.
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-22 22:15 [p.7206]
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Madam Speaker, Canadians are struggling with soaring gas prices and the highest increase in food costs and inflation in 40 years. While Canadians are struggling, the government has refused to provide relief, despite the fact that it is raking in billions off the backs of consumers. Worst of all, the government is filling its massive fuel slush fund by the taxing of taxes. I speak, of course, of the HST being applied to the federal excise tax on fuel, the federal carbon tax on fuel and the provincial tax, never mind the product. My god, I am sure that if the Liberals could get away with it, they would put a tax on a tax on a tax.
This is why I am going to ask the government, for a fifth time now, to please help Canadians.
I know that my colleague will likely have some government talking points. I am going to help him out, so that we can really get to the substance of this debate.
The Liberals are likely going to cite child care. Yes, child care is great. I support child care, but how does $10-a-day child care help Canadians if they cannot afford the gas to take their child to day care? What about those of us who do not have kids or whose kids are adults now?
The Liberals will tell us that inflation is a challenge that multiple countries are facing. They might even list the countries where inflation is worse than in Canada, but our concern should be our constituents and Canadians here. How does the fact that it is worse elsewhere help those of us struggling here at home?
The Liberals might mention that payments are coming from the carbon tax and list the projected amounts that families are supposed to be rebated. When? People need help now. Can people expect payments when they can still afford to make a mortgage or rent payment or when they can still afford to put food on the table?
The Liberals will likely also cite how supply chains and many things are outside of the government's control. Do members know what the federal government has complete control of? It has complete control over how it chooses to use the massive slush fund of at least $2.5 billion. That is $2.5 billion extra that the government had not budgeted for or earmarked, the windfall.
Doing nothing is a choice. If the government wants to choose to continue to tax taxes, that is its prerogative, but I will plead with my hon. colleague to please put himself in the shoes of people who dread the end of the month and who wonder whether or not they will be able to make their bill payments. People are at their breaking point. They need help.
I hope that the fifth time is the charm and that this fifth call on the government will be enough to persuade it to help struggling Canadians.
Therefore, I ask my hon. colleague this: Will the government stop taxing taxes and will it please help Canadians who are struggling?
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-22 22:22 [p.7207]
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Madam Speaker, my colleague listed a number of things that he says his government is doing. Who is paying for these things? It is Canadians. It is Canadians' hard-earned taxpayer dollars that are being used to fund these things.
However, I did not really hear anything beyond great, grand commitments. How does that help someone who is struggling? It is cold comfort to someone who is sitting at the table at the end of the night, wondering whether they can feed their family next week.
What I hope my hon. colleague could help me to better understand is not a rehashing of things that have already been announced but what Canadians can expect, what my constituents can count on as they struggle to pay their bills.
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-15 15:14 [p.6734]
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Mr. Speaker, Canadians are facing soaring gas prices. However, most consumers are unaware of the federal government's hidden fleecing. It is called “tax cascading”, and it must stop.
In Ontario, the government applies HST to fuel purchases and then applies it to the excise tax, the carbon tax and the provincial tax. The government is taxing taxes. If it is serious about helping Canadians, the government should take its triple-dipping tax hands out of consumers' pockets.
Will the Prime Minister eliminate tax cascading and provide Canadians with a fuel tax rebate from the massive slush fund that he is raking in?
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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-06-14 18:19 [p.6718]
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Madam Speaker, the price of gas has risen over 40% year over year. If we look up the price of gas in the GTA right now in, from Toronto to Richmond Hill, we will see that it is currently around 209.3¢ per litre. The cost of gas is up, way up, and so is the price of food.
Even if someone does not drive, farmers drive to plant, to harvest and to do so much more, and they need gas. To get the food they grow to our grocery stores, they need gas. Gas prices are up 40%. It is no surprise that food prices have risen almost 10%.
We have seen the largest increase in the cost of food since 1981. That is a 41-year record. In 1981, I was not even born yet. My parents were still in a refugee camp. If we take into account the fact that Canada’s median age is 41.1 years, that means for half of Canadians, myself included, the increase in the price of food is the highest it has ever been in our lifetime. The price of gas is also the highest I have ever seen in my lifetime.
The soaring cost of gas and food is crushing Canadians, but while Canadians are struggling, the government is just raking it in. How much is it bringing in? Let us do the math. Annually, 65 billion litres of gasoline and diesel are sold in Canada. The GST revenue that the federal government collects from just these two fuels alone works out to about $6 billion a year.
However, members will remember that gas prices are up 40%, so the federal government stands to pocket $2.5 billion extra that it never budgeted for or earmarked. Those billions of dollars belong to Canadians.
I know I have much more time to speak, but I am going to jump straight to the point. The federal government has a duty to give this slush fund back to Canadians. I will ask this of the government, yet again: Will the government provide relief to struggling Canadians, just as the fiscally prudent and compassionate Liberal Paul Martin government did? Yes or no?
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