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Results: 1 - 15 of 747
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2020-09-25 11:14 [p.116]
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Mr. Speaker, the pandemic shone a light on how poorly Canada is doing in taking care of its seniors, particularly seniors who depend on our long-term care system. It showed the backward thinking of many governments, including the Conservative government in Manitoba. One of its first acts after being elected was cancelling an upgrade and expansion of Park Manor Personal Care Home in Transcona and other care homes across the province.
It showed the effect of the creeping privatization of our health system that has been taking place for a long time now. It puts the financial interest of investors ahead of the interests of our loved ones in personal care homes. It has been my honour to serve as a vice-chair of the NDP's building for better task force. We have heard from experts across the country who have highlighted the negative role that the profit motive has been playing in long-term care. We have seen the result with higher rates of death in for-profit personal care homes across the country. It is a call for federal leadership in funding and convening the provinces to have better standards. That is something the NDP is here to fight for.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-09-25 11:45 [p.121]
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Mr. Speaker, we know that women's careers have been the hardest hit by this pandemic, which has been made worse by the Liberals' failure to follow through on their promises for a universal child care program, which they first promised in 1993. I am not going to hold my breath.
Will the minister tell us the implementation timeline for a universal child care program that properly supports early childhood educators, cares for kids with exceptional needs and helps parents who want to go back to work outside the home confidently go back to work?
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View Dan Vandal Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Dan Vandal Profile
2020-09-25 11:54 [p.123]
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Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the support we have given northern Canada during these difficult times. In April, we invested $130 million for economic and health supports for all of northern Canada. We have also invested significantly in aviation support. Through these difficult times, our government will be there for all Canadians, including, of course, Canadians who live in the north.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 12:22 [p.128]
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Madam Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-09-25 12:30 [p.130]
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Madam Speaker, the government talks about building back better, but it has forgotten a lot of people: students and veterans. Let us not forget the Canadian human rights tribunal ruling to immediately stop racially discriminating against first nations kids.
Cindy Blackstock said that there was an opportunity for Canada to acknowledge its own systemic discrimination toward first nations kids and fix it. It did not. Spending over 13 years fighting a human rights decision shows racism is in Canada's DNA.
When will the government start upholding its domestic and international legal obligations and make sure that all people on Turtle Island can live with human rights, in dignity?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 12:42 [p.132]
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Madam Speaker, I will say right from the onset that I disagree with what the member is trying to convey through her messaging this afternoon. If the member would take the time to read through the throne speech, I suspect that she would find there are many different initiatives that are very tangible that would continue to assist Canadians through this very difficult time in terms of dealing with the coronavirus and the issue of getting the economy going to its maximum force. I do not think they have to look that far into the throne speech to find that. I plan to speak a bit later and expand upon that.
Would the member not, at the very least, acknowledge that within the throne speech there are numerous measures that deal with what the Government of Canada is proposing to do?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:05 [p.135]
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Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to address the House and today is no exception.
It has been a very interesting time for all us, no matter where we live in Canada. I thought maybe I would share some thoughts with respect to contrast. It is not meant to scare people on what would have happened if the Conservatives were in government, but rather to put things in a different perspective.
First, in the last six months we have witnessed a great deal of co-operation, of people coming together to work. We often use the words “team Canada approach”. Led by the national government in Ottawa, we have seen a great sense of need to respond to the pandemic. Provincial governments, municipal governments, non-profit agencies, essential workers, a wide spectrum of people and organizations have recognized the need to work together. The only exception to that would probably be the Conservatives.
A great deal has been accomplished as a direct result. Millions of jobs have been saved and millions of people have been assisted directly. I thought it might be somewhat advantageous for us to spend some time talking about why it was so important for the government to be engaged so heavily on this file.
If we go back to the very beginning of 2020, the economy was doing quite well. Canada was very successful at excelling in a lot of things. The job numbers were fantastic. Members will recall that in our first four to four and a half years, the Liberal government created over one million jobs. We had the lowest unemployment. We were doing exceptionally well. It was not just because of the things we were doing in Ottawa, but what others were doing in all regions of the country. Some regions were finding it more difficult than others. The impact of the world price on oil did have an impact. Some things we did not necessarily have much control over. However, generally speaking, the economy and our communities were doing quite well.
When the pandemic came, it got to a point where we had to make the decision to shut things down. It was a wise decision. We listened to what the health care experts were saying. Science matters to this government. Listening matters to this government. When the decision was made, we understood that the government needed to step up and provide the types of supports Canadians would need in the coming days, weeks and months, and even beyond.
The Prime Minister has been very clear that we will be there for Canadians throughout this process. From day one, we have been. Remember, there was no such thing as a CERB program back in January. We created a program, with the support of civil servants and with an understanding of what we had been hearing, from virtually nothing. The program was so effective that well over eight million Canadians benefited from it. Canada has less than 37 million people. We can do the math.
It is interesting to hear the criticism coming from the Conservative party. They are saying that we are not doing enough. There is no doubt we can always do better, and we look for ways we can do better. Depending on which Conservative MP I am listening to, the government is spending far too much money and we should not be doing the things that we are doing, but then others say that maybe we should be doing some of the things that we are doing. The only consistent message from the Conservative party is that we, as a government, are spending too much money.
Therein lies the difference that we need to highlight. A Liberal government, and this Prime Minister in particular, genuinely believe that the last six months have been a time in which the government needed to step up and support families. It should not be an option, but if we listen to the Conservatives, we would think that there was an option. We believe that we need to put money into the pockets of Canadians throughout the country because of the many hardships caused directly by the pandemic. That is what CERB was all about. The CERB program was there to support Canadians when we had to support Canadians. It was the right thing to do.
Regarding the economy, obviously we are concerned about jobs. As I pointed out, in our first four years we created well over a million jobs. That is about the same number Harper created, but it took him nine or 10 years to achieve. The wage subsidy program has literally saved tens of thousands of jobs. It has prevented many companies across Canada from going bankrupt. It has allowed companies to keep jobs in their factories and places of employment that otherwise might not have been maintained. It not only protected jobs, but provided the money that was necessary for people to pay their mortgages, buy groceries, get gas for their vehicles or have day-in and day-out necessary expenditures and be able to continue on.
Those two programs affected a wide spectrum of Canadians, directly or indirectly. When we look at the throne speech, it shows us why it is laughable that the Conservatives or others would try to imply that the throne speech does not have a plan. In the throne speech we see the extension of the wage subsidy program. We see more in terms of how the CERB program is going to be incorporated, in a different form, into the employment insurance program. Those are substantial issues. We are talking about billions of dollars, not millions.
Within the throne speech, which was read just the other day, there is a litany of things to provide comfort and assurances to Canadians. This government is going to continue to be there for them in a very real and tangible way. We are going to continue to fight the COVID-19 virus for however long it takes, and we are going to be there to protect our economy and jobs. If we look at the commitments made in the throne speech, we find historic amounts of money allocated for job retraining. We recognize the value of changing skill sets and the need to upgrade one's skill set as the economy has changed.
The Prime Minister made reference to many things that now stand out, both positive and negative, because of the pandemic, and there are some things we can pick up from that.
Canadians love our health care system. In the throne speech, there is a reaffirmation of the pharmacare program. I know some would say we should implement it today. It is not quite as easy as that, because we have to work with the provinces. In order to maximize the benefit of a national pharmacare program, provinces have to work with the federal government.
It is discouraging for me when I hear Conservatives say that we should just give money to the provinces and that we should not interfere in what they believe the federal government should have no interest in. I believe the Conservatives, and their cousins in the Bloc, are wrong. I believe the Bloc does a disservice to Canadians when it advocates for just handing over cash to the provinces and that the federal government should have no role. However, I understand it. The government House leader said it quite well. The Bloc wants to see the destruction of Canada.
On the other hand, I do not quite understand why the Conservatives do not believe there is a stronger role for the federal government in ensuring that Canadians are getting what they want regarding health care. We have the Canada Health Act. I encourage Conservatives to read it. They will see there is an opportunity for Ottawa to contribute to the debate. It is not just about money, as the Conservatives tend to think it is.
I hope the Conservatives will start listening to their constituents on the very important issue of health care, because I believe a majority of Conservative voters who live in Winnipeg North would disagree with their twisted approach on the delivery of health care in our country. There are Conservatives who will support me because of their stance on health care.
At the end of the day—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:19 [p.137]
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Madam Speaker, I need to move on as there are a number of other points I want to make.
An issue in Winnipeg North, which I am sure is universal across the country, arose when classrooms and schools started back in September. There was a great deal of anxiety. Parents were debating whether they should send their children to school or hold the them back and wait and see.
A wonderful announcement came from the government of a $2 billion commitment to assist schools and help to get young people back to school. That went a long way to providing some comfort to constituents, teaching professionals and other stakeholders.
Similar to when we make reference to the issue of health care, the government has a responsibility to be there in that real, tangible way. One of those ways was the very positive and progressive announcement by the government of that $2 billion to help make young people feel more comfortable in getting back into the classroom as well as to support our teachers. I suspect that is something the Conservatives would have never supported. I do not hear them talking about it.
Initiatives that have been brought forward have had a very positive impact. Ottawa has worked with the provinces in a number of areas, such as supporting children in schools, pharmacare and health care. That is one of the reasons for the $19 billion safe restart agreement. Ottawa worked with the provinces and came up with an agreement. For example, Manitoba will almost triple the province's ability to test for COVID-19. The government will be there in a very tangible way to support our health care services.
I was quite encouraged when I saw the letter from the Premier of Manitoba, acknowledging how Manitoba would benefit from the restart agreement between Ottawa and the province. That type of cooperation makes a big difference. We have witnessed that virtually from day one.
We have had issues as MPs when we have been encouraged to provide that feedback directly. I have no doubt that MPs on all sides of the House listen to their constituents and ultimately bring forward, in the best way they can, their thoughts to the authorities, whether through a department or minister.
I was appreciative of the system we set up to allow Liberal members of Parliament the opportunity to raise issues every day for a period of time. We felt comfortable knowing that if we raised these issues in caucus, it would filter through to the ministries or the PMO. We were being listened to.
I suspect each party had its own mechanism to allow for that direct input. I appreciated the fact that the Prime Minister made it such a high priority for all members of Parliament, of whatever political party, to bring the ideas and thoughts of their constituents to the attention of the PMO, the ministries or whatever other mechanism an individual MP felt most comfortable with. I like to think that it had a profoundly positive impact on a number of programs that we brought in.
I can see that my time has run out. I will pick up on a couple of those points during questions and answers.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:26 [p.137]
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Madam Speaker, I really believe that, as a nation, we are very much unified. All one needs to do is to take a look at the participation and the amount of co-operation we have witnessed over the last six months.
I can appreciate that the Conservatives, for their own political purposes, want to try to cause more division within our great nation, and that is completely up to them. They have to take responsibility for that. Yes, they did lose a lot of seats in Quebec to the Bloc, and I recognize that.
At the end of the day, I believe that Canada is very much a unified country. We see that in terms of the take-up of interest in working with the national government, not only to fight the pandemic but also in terms of many of the other initiatives we have seen prior to the pandemic, whether it be reforms to the CPP, the Canada health accord or other initiatives that required co-operation from the different regions of our country.
All in all, there is a high sense of co-operation in the land. There may be a bit of division that is promoted—
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:29 [p.138]
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Madam Speaker, I am someone who has grown up in the Prairies and I have always had a very strong passion for Canada. My heritage a few generations ago, probably on both sides of my house, originates from the province of Quebec. I have always had a strong love for the province of Quebec, as many of my friends do. We see Canada as a wonderful nation that is made up of 10 provinces and three territories and of course our indigenous communities. These are things we treasure very much. The Bloc wants to divide and take Quebec outside of Canada. I think that would be a very sad thing for all Canadians, no matter what region of the country they live in.
If the member were to come to Winnipeg North and walk some streets, he would witness some constituents whom I represent who believe in a national health care system, who want to see a federal government play some—
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2020-09-25 13:30 [p.138]
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Madam Speaker, it comes as a surprise to no member of the House that I am no fan of the Liberal government, and never is the Liberal vision for Canada less compelling than when articulated by the member for Winnipeg North. The Speech from the Throne came a close second. Indeed, for a while I thought maybe it had been authored by the member for Winnipeg North, because it was just a lazy rehashing of what we had heard so many times from Liberals before.
Meanwhile, this was being developed, we presume, over the course of time when the NDP was calling for Parliament to come and meet to deal with the replacement for CERB. We were told that was not possible because a new grand vision was nigh from the Liberals in the Speech from the Throne.
What exactly is it that was new in the Speech from the Throne that justified shutting down Parliament when we had a deadline for the end of CERB? Could he please point to something worthwhile that was worth suspending the work of Parliament just to come back and have Liberal campaign commitments from as far back as 1993 repeated to us as if they were news?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:32 [p.138]
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Madam Speaker, speechless I will never be.
At the end of the day, we have to put things in the perspective of what has taken place over the last six months. Whether or not members want to recognize it, COVID-19 has had a very profound impact on our society, where, literally, tens of billions of additional dollars were required. I believe that turning the page and coming forward with a new throne speech that is going to help set our tracks for the next couple of years is a positive thing and something that was well worthwhile. If people want to take the time to read the throne speech, I am sure they will agree with what I am saying.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:33 [p.139]
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Madam Speaker, I must say to my friend and colleague that, to be completely honest, I would be absolutely shocked if the Conservatives were to vote in favour of the throne speech. They have been consistent from virtually day one. I have used the term “character assassination”. The Conservatives only have one issue, and that is to try to make the Prime Minister look as if he is some sort of evil person. Nothing could be further from the truth, but that has been their sole purpose virtually from the day they lost the last election.
I think they are frustrated because at the end of the day what we want to do is to spend less time on that sort of an issue and focus all of our time on serving Canadians and fighting COVID-19.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 13:35 [p.139]
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Madam Speaker, it is okay. Having been a parliamentarian for 30 years, I have a fairly thick skin. As they say, sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
At the end of the day, I am sure many members of the House would like to address the throne speech. Many other Liberals would like to, so if any Conservatives would like to forfeit their spot, we would be more than happy to fill it.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-09-25 14:18 [p.145]
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Madam Speaker, I suspect that if you were to canvass the House you would find unanimous leave to call it 2:30 p.m. at this time.
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