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Results: 1 - 30 of 401
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-19 11:30
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank the minister for attending today.
On Tuesday you stated, “This has been an emotional time. We have all been upset by the images on our screens and the undeniable evidence of systemic racism in Canada. It is the basis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls”.
You acknowledge this crisis, yet your government reneged on its promise to have a national action plan in June in spite of the increases in violence against indigenous women that has occurred during COVID-19.
Do you believe that inaction is an appropriate response? You had at least eight months prior to COVID. Chief Commissioner Buller notes that use of that excuse is an embarrassment to the government. Women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people continue to go missing and die. When will a national action plan be released?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-19 11:31
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Minister Bennett, with all due respect, that is not an acceptable response. Families, advocates and even the commissioners have voiced their concerns about the lack of transparency. In a letter, the commissioners themselves called it “one year of inaction” with “the lack of transparency”.
When I tried to get answers from you about when you would release a national action plan, you simply told me to go and look at a website.
Last month, Hilda Anderson-Pyrz of the Manitoba MMIWG2S coalition said, “It's really concerning for me as a family member and as an advocate that we've heard nothing.” This is what we've been hearing from family members across the country.
You promised again today not to let them down. It's too late. Your frantic scrambling that we have witnessed over the last weeks clearly demonstrated you have wasted at least eight months since the release of the report, despite your promise to have a national action plan within one year following the report's tabling.
Can you grace this committee with information on at least the stage at which the national action plan is at?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-19 11:33
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Again, Minister, those are not my words. Those are the words of commissioners, family members and victims of violence.
I have one last question, because I have a limited amount of time. A year ago when the MMIWG2S report was released, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, stated that “it's very important that Canada will make an action plan. A national action plan...”.
It has been over a year now since the report was released, and the international community can see that nothing has been done with respect to the ongoing human rights violations against indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals.
Did your government expect to secure a UN Security Council seat when you clearly turned a blind eye to the human rights violations at home and abroad, in violation of your domestic and international human rights obligations, including your failure to release a national action plan?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-19 11:34
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I'm just reiterating your promise, Minister. Your government promised to have a national action plan tabled one year after the report was released. These are not my words; these are your government's words.
When will the national action plan be released? I would like a date.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-19 11:35
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You've had almost a year, Minister, to figure out all of these things. Because you've now reneged on your promise, I would like you to show your commitment and indicate that this is urgent by actually having a national action plan.
What date can we expect a national action plan?
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I'm pleased we're having this meeting today as a result of the work of my colleague, MP Qaqqaq.
It is a very important meeting, and we need to get answers. Pukatawagan deserves answers.
Pukatawagan, or Mathias Colomb, is a remote first nation here in northern Manitoba. It has done everything in its power to keep its community safe, like many other first nations. In the midst of all of this, through the CBC news, Pukatawagan found out that a company n Newfoundland was making specialized tents for them that they never asked for. Imagine that.
Then they went on to find out, and we all went on to find out, that the chair of the board of the company that made these tents is a former Liberal cabinet minister on the government supply council for COVID-19, so the plot thickens.
The reality is that the excuse that ISC, Indigenous Services Canada, was trying to be proactive doesn't stand up to the test. Pukatawagan deserves answers. How is it that these tents were destined for this first nation when nobody asked for them?
Minister Miller, who in your department made this request on behalf of Pukatawagan? Why was it Pukatawagan and no other first nation, including other remote first nations here in Manitoba or elsewhere?
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
If I can stop you there, you're not answering the questions, Mr. Miller.
Your letter in response to our letter did not provide any answers. You referenced first nations and leaders. You referenced.... There were generalities.
The reality is that here in our constituency, there are 21 remote first nations. Pukatawagan is one of them. Why was it Pukatawagan and no other community? Pukatawagan and all communities in our region deserve exact answers. Who made these requests from your department? I'm not interested in explanations about what surge capacity is. I understand. The reality is that Pukatawagan was singled out and, frankly, was used.
Could you please answer me this? Your government, after all of this scandal came out, finally confirmed and agreed to spending $449,460 to upgrade the youth centre in Pukatawagan as a way of having the community prepared for COVID-19. However, your government preferred to spend almost double that amount, $766,140.34, on these tents that nobody asked for, from a company that is chaired by a former Liberal cabinet minister.
How is it acceptable that your government benefited a Liberal and only then committed a mere half of the money to a community that's desperate to have the proper infrastructure in place? Does it take a scandal to get even half of the money that your government is committing to live up to the urgent needs of first nations?
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
Sure. Let me just remind both you and the committee that the chief used the word “paternalism” to describe this announcement. These are very serious words to describe what your government did.
Let's move on to other communities—
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
I'll follow up in the next round. Thank you.
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair. This motion has been on the table for weeks now. We've known about this meeting since mid-week this week. The minister was almost 15 minutes late in attending this meeting, and it has cut into our question time. I think this is completely unacceptable. I know MP van Koeverden suggested sharing his time, which was much appreciated, but the fact is that this is of no fault of our own and something that plainly could have been avoided. This is unacceptable.
Can we extend the time? Can we have the minister come back at another time? Truly, this has meant that the minister has not been here to answer the tough questions that he should be answering.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-16 18:28
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's nice to see the ministers here today.
My question is for you, Mr. Miller. Talking about systemic racism, I'd like to start with your government. Are there provisions in the 2020-21 supplementary estimates that provide for the cost of complying with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling to immediately stop racially discriminating against first nation kids?
I have a limited amount of time, so I would ask you to limit your response. Thank you.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-16 18:28
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Okay. I'm not talking about the $700 million, as that is not certainly identified to pay for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling.
With all due respect, your government has spent between $5 million and $9.4 million fighting first nations kids. If you have that money to spend fighting little kids in court, why is there nothing in your budget to ensure that little children are afforded basic human rights and to pay what you owe as ordered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling? Children are asking. Could you respond, please?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-16 18:29
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I'm talking about the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, with which you are on your tenth non-compliance order.
I'm asking if you have any plans to follow the law or if you are going to continue breaking the law.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-16 18:30
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With all due respect, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling does not agree with that.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-16 18:54
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My question is for Minister Bennett.
On April 11, 2016, you promised this very committee that your government was committed to putting an end to long-term boil water advisories on reserve within five years. On June 11, 2019, you promised that boil water advisories would end by 2021. Clearly, your government is going to be breaking another promise to indigenous people.
I looked on the website. It has not been updated in terms of boil water advisories since February 15, 2020. That was prior to COVID.
In the estimates, you've allocated approximately $6,832,500 for capital investments. How much of that $6 million will be invested to end boil water advisories?
If you could you limit your response because of the short amount of time, thank you.
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-16 18:56
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I have just one last point. With COVID, we now know that it's more urgent. This is a very clear human rights violation, and wilful. What is your plan? How long is this going to take? This is a life and death matter.
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. It's a pleasure to be back with you.
With respect to the advertising money for the PCO, I'm curious to know how much of that money will be spent for developing advertising products in-house and how much of that the government envisions contracting out to private companies.
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Sure. I would appreciate a breakdown, particularly with respect to the money that's being requested here in the supplementary estimates.
I also want to ask about this. I know that it's the government's ad policy that ad campaigns over $250,000 are reviewed by a third party. There are exemptions in some cases for emergent public health advertising campaigns, but the request, even just in the supplementary estimates, is larger than the $250,000 threshold by a couple of orders of magnitude.
I'm wondering what the opinion of the government is with respect to these advertising dollars and the campaigns they'll fund, and whether or not those are campaigns that the government would submit to third party review.
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much.
I also want to ask about this with respect to the advertising campaigns. Largely, these have been PSAs about COVID. My understanding from your remarks today is that this new money is meant to continue those campaigns.
What techniques are you using to evaluate the success of those advertising dollars, to see if people are getting value for money with respect to those campaigns? You mentioned earlier that you've seen some success and you were taking credit for some of the awareness about social distancing measures and other things like that. How do you know that? What metrics do you use?
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you.
With my remaining time, I want to ask some questions of PSPC about the money for Phoenix. In response to my colleague's questions earlier, you mentioned the difference between staffing levels at the beginning of the Phoenix pay system and staffing levels now, but I'm curious to know what specifically the new money being requested in these supplementary estimates will be used for. How many staff will be hired out of this money that's being requested? How much of this money, if any, will go to IBM?
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Has PIPSC been invited to bid on that work or to put forward a proposal for how some of that work might be done in-house, as opposed to going directly to a third party?
Mr. Les Linklater: There has been a lot of—
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I'll be splitting my time with the member for Victoria.
Madam Chair, Krystal is a community worker in Winnipeg. She has been working from home since late March, taking care of her child, who is out of school, and caring for her father, who is living with her and vulnerable to COVID-19. Her employer called her up recently and asked her to physically return to work or to take a leave.
As a parent and a care provider to a vulnerable person, she's not comfortable with physically returning to work. Service Canada won't give Krystal a straight answer as to whether going on leave and collecting CERB would count as refusing “a reasonable job offer.” With Bill C-17 looming in the background, Krystal is worried about jail time and fines if she does right by her child and her father by applying for CERB.
Can Krystal reasonably refuse to go back to work and collect CERB, or will she be considered a fraudster? That's my question for the minister that is specific to Krystal's case.
As well, what is the minister doing to provide clear direction to Canadians and to Service Canada agents so that people can get a clear answer before making their decision about returning to work?
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Madam Chair, that answer is really not good enough, because the problem here is that Krystal needs to know whether she can continue receiving CERB or not. That's a federal government decision, and she needs to know whether the federal government is going to accuse her of fraud and put her in jail or assess fines against her if she refuses to go back to work because she wants to take care of her child and her father.
What is the minister's answer to that?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-12 12:27
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I hate to do this, but because I only have two and a half minutes, I'd like the respondents to limit their responses to one minute.
My questions are for Mr. Jackson and Grand Chief Fiddler.
I'll start with you, Mr. Jackson. You talked about the struggles artists are having right now. I'm in support of having a guaranteed annual income.
How do you think that would help artists post-COVID?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-12 12:28
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Mr. Jackson, thank you so much. I have a million other questions I would love to ask you.
Grand Chief Fiddler, you spoke about the issue of access to clean drinking water. The Liberal government promised to end all boil water advisories. This is coming up in a couple of months and it's very clear that the government is not going to keep that promise.
We're currently in a pandemic, which for me speaks to the need to quicken the process to end all boil water advisories. What difference would it make if the government made substantial and real investments immediately to protect the health and safety of your communities and respond to this basic human right that's currently being violated?
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View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-06-12 12:55
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Mr. Chair, actually, the time in this round is going to Ms. Qaqqaq.
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As NDP MPs push for a responsible, caring government response to the pandemic, folks at home in Elmwood—Transcona are connecting with people in need and delivering immediate support.
Volunteers at the Transcona Food Bank kept it going with volunteers like Don and Midge Barry, feeding up to 100 families during the pandemic. Elke Pielahn helped out by sewing reusable masks for all the volunteers, and she kept on sewing and exchanged masks for donations to the food bank.
The Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation partnered with Riverwood Church and the Elmwood Resource Centre to deliver frozen meals to seniors in our community.
Volunteers at the Transcona Council for Seniors have been regularly checking in with area seniors and dispatching volunteer drivers to run needed errands.
The Elmwood East Kildonan Active Living Centre has been coordinating volunteers to pick up groceries and medication for shut-in residents.
Above all, kindness and caring will see us through the pandemic. Thank you to everyone in our community who is contributing what he or she can to that effort.
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
Madam Chair, I'd like to split my time with the member for Edmonton Strathcona.
Madam Chair, imagine you're in Pukatawagan, a remote first nation in northern Manitoba. Like every first nation in your region, you are doing everything possible to lock down and keep your community safe. Then, out of nowhere, you find out from the national media that you're getting tents, tents that you never asked for. Then you find out that the government purchased these tents from a company connected to a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister, a Liberal who sat on the government's COVID-19 supply council.
There they go again, another Liberal government benefiting its Liberal friends. What is Indigenous Services doing to get to the bottom of this tent scandal?
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View Niki Ashton Profile
NDP (MB)
Madam Chair, my question was for the Minister of Indigenous Services.
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