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Results: 1 - 15 of 4156
View Craig Scott Profile
NDP (ON)
View Craig Scott Profile
2015-06-19 11:32 [p.15347]
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Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect Parliament to get results on issues that matter. A bill by an NDP member to ensure that transgender people have the same rights as everyone else and a bill to give more autonomy to members of Parliament have both passed in the House. Yet the undemocratic Senate is killing them, just like it did with Jack Layton's climate change bill. The government ordered its senatorial troops to pass Bill C-51 without amendment. Why the double standard?
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View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Dechert Profile
2015-06-19 11:32 [p.15347]
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Mr. Speaker, ever since we were elected, our government has put the rights of all victims first, regardless of their gender, race, or religion. We are aware that the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs made amendments to the bill. The House hopefully will have an opportunity to review these changes in accordance with parliamentary procedure. There are significant protections currently found in the Canadian Human Rights Act as well as in the Criminal Code.
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View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Irwin Cotler Profile
2015-06-19 12:05 [p.15353]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-701, An Act to establish the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill to establish the office of the commissioner for children and young persons. This legislation is inspired by a bill previously introduced by the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie. I thank him for the excellent work he has done to promote the well-being of children and youth in Canada and around the world.
Indeed, the true measure of a nation's standing is how well it cares for its children. Especially after the recent report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into the experiences of the survivors of Indian residential schools, we understand now more than ever the dire consequences of failing children.
Accordingly, a children's commissioner would advocate for children and examine law and policy with a view to ensuring children's rights and welfare, including their health, their education and simply their sense of being loved.
The legislation is inspired as well by my daughter, who when she was a child herself told me, “Daddy, if you want to know what the real test of human rights is, always ask yourself, at any time, in any situation, in any part of the world: Is what is happening good for children? That's the real test of human rights.”
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View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, with your permission, if we could revert to introduction of private members' bills, I have two bills that I would like to introduce.
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View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
View Barry Devolin Profile
2015-06-19 12:10 [p.15354]
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Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to revert to introduction of private members' bills?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-702, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act (by-election duration and vacant seat).
He said: Mr. Speaker, this is unrelated and I apologize for including it, but I would like to assure the member for Essex that after 10 years I am indeed standing.
Bill C-702 would amend section 57 of the Canada Elections Act in that once the writ for a byelection is officially issued, the maximum length of the campaign period cannot be more than 44 days. The bill would amend section 31 of the Parliament Act requiring that the writ must be issued within 30 days.
I would like to thank my assistant, David Graham, for his tireless work on this bill.
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View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-703, An Act to establish a commemorative monument for search and rescue personnel in Canada.
He said: Mr. Speaker, the bill calls for the creation of a search and rescue commemorative monument in order to recognize the services and contributions of search and rescue personnel across Canada. This is to commemorate the death of those in the service of all Canadians, who provide safety to all citizens. It is not just for the members of national defence, such as 103 Search and Rescue Squadron, which is in Gander in my riding, but also for the volunteer organizations and the police officers who provide such a valuable service to all Canadians. We wish them the best. We would set up this monument to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the service of others.
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View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
View Barry Devolin Profile
2015-06-19 12:19 [p.15358]
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There being no motions at report stage, the House will now proceed without debate to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.
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View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
View Dan Harris Profile
NDP (ON)
View Dan Harris Profile
2015-06-19 12:19 [p.15358]
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moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, how befitting that we should engage in a slight bit of time travel to end this Parliament. That brings me back to a quote from the veterans affairs minister when he spoke in favour of this bill at second reading and said:
The specifics of the bill before this House are to correct a drafting oversight from the 1970s, when the Holidays Act treated Remembrance Day slightly differently from the way it treated Victoria Day and Dominion Day, now Canada Day. I am proud that it seems most members of this House will support the member for Scarborough Southwest in rectifying this oversight to ensure that as a federal holiday, Remembrance Day is treated in the same way as those other days that are important to our country.
I would now like to thank my colleague from Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier for seconding my motion today and for her excellent work on the military file in her role as deputy national defence critic. I would also like to thank my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue for seconding my motion at second reading and for having served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Remembrance Day has always been a very important day for my family, and the reason I wanted to bring this bill forward is to rectify that drafting error from the 1970s so that Remembrance Day would stand on an equal footing under the Holidays Act with Canada Day and Victoria Day, the other two legal holidays that we observe in Canada.
Yesterday I had a very touching moment when I took part in a special ceremony at my father's elementary school, Donwood Park Public School in Scarborough. My father is retiring this year after 28 years as a teacher in Scarborough, the last 25 of them at Donwood Park Public School. During the ceremony at the school yesterday, one of the other teachers, Shane Matheson, said that when he joined the teaching family at Donwood Park, he asked the principal and other teachers which of them took care of the Remembrance Day ceremonies, because usually one teacher is designated. All of the teachers immediately shouted out that it was Mr. Harris.
Of course I mean my father, David Harris, who has taken care of the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the school for years and years. He had a talk with my father to find out how he could help to further improve the ceremonies. They actually got a letter from the current Minister of Veterans Affairs to thank my father for the tremendous work he has done over the years in teaching the next generation about the importance of Remembrance Day here in Canada. It is particularly important work for communities that have a large number of new citizens.
The veterans affairs minister wrote the letter, and it was a very touching moment for us. As I have said in the House before, my family has a long-standing military tradition. My great-grandfather served in the both world wars; my grandmother was in the Canadian Women's Army Corps; my great-uncle, Bill Riley, was in the service in the Second World War and served in Europe. Last weekend, for the very first time, we were able to find and visit his tombstone in Pine Hills Cemetery in Scarborough. My father just happened upon the tombstone. He was there for a memorial service for a friend of his and happened to walk by the tombstone. That was certainly a very sombre but important moment for my family.
This bill went before committee. It went before two committees, in fact. It was there for 205 days before it was reported back to the House. Witnesses appeared multiple times both in the heritage committee and the veterans affairs committee, and there seemed to be some confusion about what the bill would actually do.
Let me clear that up now.
Just as the Minister of Veterans Affairs said, this bill would correct a drafting error from the 1970s. It would elevate Remembrance Day to the same status as the other holidays.
This does not create a statutory holiday. We in Parliament cannot impose holidays on the provinces. That is provincial jurisdiction. The provinces get to decide which holidays to observe, and of course, every province does it a little bit differently.
With respect to Remembrance Day in particular, six provinces and three territories treat it as a statutory holiday. In Manitoba, businesses have to be shut down until 1 p.m. so people have the chance to go to ceremonies, and Nova Scotia has its own Remembrance Day Act. There are lots of models to follow. Ontario and Quebec do not do anything special with respect to a holidays act or changing the normal course of business.
I would like to quote my colleague from Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley in Nova Scotia. He said:
I want to thank you for bringing this legislation forward. I think it is a very interesting discussion.
I'm from Nova Scotia. We have the Nova Scotia Remembrance Day Act. It means a day off school. Businesses are closed. It's a really big event. It's become bigger over the years. I think your legislation is timely, considering the age of our World War II and Korean War veterans. I can remember, as a child, watching the World War I vets. All of them are gone. My grandfather was in World War I. I have military history in my family that is very similar to yours.
As a former elementary school principal, I can tell you that the local legions, in the 19 cenotaph services in my riding, are very active in all the elementary schools, the junior highs, and the high schools in the area, but particularly in the elementary schools. The schools embrace the legions. There's a really strong partnership.
That is the important point. Everyone who works towards honouring and remembering our veterans and the brave service and sacrifice they have all made works together so that we can continue to impart to future generations the importance of that sacrifice and so that we never forget.
Regardless of what different provinces do, whether it is a day off school or not, that relationship between the kids and all the other groups that participate in Remembrance Day is what will help keep the spirit of that day alive for us so that we never forget.
I am certainly hoping today that we can actually end the 41st Parliament on a high note; more than likely we will not be coming back here until the election. We all came together as a Parliament on November 5 to vote on this bill. It was indeed fast-tracked through second reading. It passed second reading with a vote of 258 to 2. We were all able to come together in November to move the bill forward, and I certainly hope that now, in the waning hours of this Parliament, we will be able to do so again and get the bill through third reading before we all rise for the summer.
Some of our colleagues, and you, Mr. Speaker, are not coming back. I would like to thank you for the wonderful job you have done in that chair over the last four years I have been here. I am certain that you did a great job in your previous capacity, but I was not witness to it.
I just want to thank all the people who make Parliament work on a day-to-day basis: the clerks, the folks at the table; the pages and the incredible work they do; and the constables and security services here that work to keep us safe every single day. We would not be able to do the work we do on behalf of Canadians without all of them, and I just want to say thanks to them before we rise for the summer.
I am going to cut my remarks short, because I want to make sure that we get to the other speakers and that we actually have a chance to wrap up debate and move things forward. If we do not horse about here today, the bill will get through. I am certainly hoping that my colleagues, in particular those across the way, will agree to wrapping up the debate.
Again, I quote what the Minister of Veterans Affairs said:
The specifics of this bill before this House are to correct a drafting oversight from the 1970s,
He went on to say:
Bill C-597 would make it clear where the federal government stands with respect to the importance of Remembrance Day to our country. It would give provinces the opportunity to revisit whether they want to make it a statutory holiday as well.
It would not force them to do so.
That is what this bill does. It clarifies Remembrance Day within the Holidays Act by according it the same status as Canada Day and Victoria Day. It changes exactly one word by adding the word “legal” in front of Remembrance Day so that it matches what is says for Canada Day and Victoria Day.
I think it is a simple change that we can all get done today.
I want to thank all my colleagues and everybody who has been a part of this 41st Parliament. It has truly been an honour and a privilege to sit here and to represent the constituents of Scarborough Southwest, where my family has lived for almost 90 years.
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View Royal Galipeau Profile
CPC (ON)
View Royal Galipeau Profile
2015-06-19 12:30 [p.15359]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Scarborough Southwest for presenting this bill, and maybe even commend the people of Scarborough Southwest for sending to this place a member who is so passionate about veterans affairs.
I have some questions, and I will do them without preamble.
The sponsor of the bill said that he would contact the provinces after second reading. First, I would like to know, what did the affected provinces, particularly Ontario and Quebec, where November 11 is not a statutory holiday, have to say about this bill?
Second, what did the member hear from the Ontario school boards about this bill? My understanding is that school boards have been clear in saying that they want to keep students in school on November 11.
Third, has the member calculated how much it would cost small businesses to make November 11 a statutory holiday?
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View Dan Harris Profile
NDP (ON)
View Dan Harris Profile
2015-06-19 12:31 [p.15359]
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Mr. Speaker, the bill would not create a statutory holiday, so there would be no cost with respect to that.
It is actually a little difficult to calculate the exact cost with respect to adding Remembrance Day as, say, a statutory holiday. If we were to add another new holiday, something else, it does not matter what, that would impact the entire country, it would be easy to measure that.
If Remembrance Day was made a statutory holiday, it would not impact six provinces and three territories; it would slightly impact a couple of provinces, and it would impact two provinces.
It is hard to find out what the cost would be to businesses right now. Businesses I have spoken to have said it is very confusing if they have an operation in Ontario and one in B.C. The folks in B.C. would be off for the day and the folks in Ontario would not be and if they tried to conduct business between the two, they could not get it done. That has a cost as well.
Businesses want predictability. Sometimes uniformity across the country is actually helpful to business. We only have to look to our neighbours to the south, the United States, for an example. The U.S. federal government passed a bill, and then every single one of the states passed their own bills. Now they have uniformity with respect to the observance of Remembrance Day, which they call Veterans Day.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2015-06-19 12:32 [p.15360]
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Mr. Speaker, my question is related to my first-hand experience when there was a discussion in Manitoba to look at expanding it from a half day to a full day in terms of the statutory holiday. There was a lot of the resistance to moving to a full day which actually came from veterans. They indicated their concern was they did not want people to see it strictly as a holiday to go off and enjoy themselves. The veterans seemed to lobby that what we should be doing is encouraging school activities and programs. Ultimately, it was decided that we would stick with the half day. It seems to be working in Manitoba. This was debated in the 1990s.
Has the member had any indication from veterans who believe that a half day would suffice, and that what they are more interested in is those moments of remembering and opportunities to educate the public as a whole?
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View Dan Harris Profile
NDP (ON)
View Dan Harris Profile
2015-06-19 12:34 [p.15360]
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Mr. Speaker, with respect to Remembrance Day, we have a situation here in Canada where every single Canadian who wants to go and pay their respects, however they want to do that, should have that opportunity. The model in Manitoba where businesses are shut down for half the day, certainly in the vast majority of instances would allow that to happen.
That is also why I have not been pushing specific suggestions with respect to what to do. Some of the provinces have done different things. Manitoba has gone in one direction. Nova Scotia has gone in another direction. Six provinces and three territories have decided to make it a full statutory holiday.
When we were hearing witnesses in committee, Canadian Veterans Advocacy said something that was quite poignant, that we were supposed to go and pay our respects and lay down our poppies, but afterwards we are supposed to carry on and continue to live our lives.
If families were to have that opportunity to spend the rest of the day together and choose to use the day however they wished, I do not see a problem with that. They would get to spend time together. It would also offer the opportunity for Canadian society to perhaps even do something for veterans and their families if we were to start organizing things. However, that would be a much larger discussion and a different debate on a different bill at a different time. However, I am always happy to talk about Remembrance Day.
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