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Results: 1 - 15 of 31
View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-11-01 14:09 [p.9159]
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Mr. Speaker, next week, November 6 to 12, is Medical Radiation Technologists Week in Canada.
If colleagues do not know MRTs by name, they certainly know them by their actions and their impact in the health care system. MRTs are the essential frontline health care professionals who together perform more than 30 million diagnostic imaging exams, like CT scans, MRIs, mammograms and x-rays, and deliver tens of thousands of courses of life-saving radiation therapy each year in Canada. MRTs provide the essential link between compassionate care and the sophisticated medical imaging and therapeutic technologies that underpin modern health care.
In diagnostic imaging departments, cancer centres, emergency and operating rooms and clinics across the country, there are currently more than 22,000 MRTs. Today, I invite the House to join me in recognizing the expertise and dedication of MRTs, who provide essential care to Canadians every day.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-27 10:10 [p.8934]
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Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to kick off the debate on the report stage of Bill C-31, the cost of living relief act, no. 2.
As the chair of the Standing Committee on Health, I had the honour to preside over five hours of meetings on Monday. We heard from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion for a couple of hours, and then spent three hours considering amendments proposed by the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party. That brings us to where we are today.
I intend to begin by providing some insight as to how this will impact the people of the good riding that I am proud to represent, Charlottetown. Plainly put, it costs more to live in Canada, and Bill C-31 addresses this problem and will help millions of Canadians.
According to the 2021 census, the median household income in Canada was $84,000, but when we look at the riding I represent, the median household income in 2021 was just $58,000. That is $26,000 less than the Canadian median income, or 31% less than the rest of Canada.
While Charlottetown households have substantially less money to support their families and pay their bills compared to those nationally, P.E.I. is leading the country in the increased cost of living. There are some things in Prince Edward Island that we are proud to lead the country in. Over the last couple of years, we have led the country in per capita population growth, among other things, but leading the country in the inflation rate is not particularly a badge of honour.
In May of this year, inflation hit 11.1% in P.E.I., the highest in the country. In fact, we have had the highest inflation rate in the country every month since March 2021. Imagine the average Charlottetown family, with a household income of $58,000, trying to absorb the costs of the worst inflation in the country. When we talk about the cost of living, these numbers reflect where the people of Charlottetown are and demonstrate the direct impact Bill C-31 would have in addressing those increasing costs.
Allow me to begin with the rental housing benefit in Bill C-31. This act proposes a $500 top-up to the Canada housing benefit. This is a $1.2-billion addition to the existing $4-billion Canada housing benefit.
There is no doubt the rising cost of housing is an issue from coast to coast to coast, from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Victoria, British Columbia, and everywhere in between in this country. It is also particularly acute in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In April of this year, P.E.I.'s annual inflation rate for rented accommodation was 15.3%. Compare this to the national inflation rate for rental accommodations, at 4.2%.
Let us look at the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment. Nationally, it costs $1,167. In Charlottetown, it costs $1,055. Charlottetown renters are paying national prices with $26,000 less in income. Furthermore, not only is renting more expensive, but it is also harder to find somewhere at any price. If someone was trying to rent in Charlottetown today, they would be contending with a 1.5% vacancy rate. That is less than half the national average.
What do these numbers tell us? Charlottetown renters are paying more, are finding less and need support now. That is why Bill C-31 is so important. Specifically, this bill would put $500 more in the pockets of the same Canadians who are struggling to pay for rent, like those in Charlottetown.
We know that Canadians need help today, which is why we are not reinventing the wheel on this. Bill C-31 is a top-up on existing housing support, the $4-billion Canada housing benefit. This will cut down on administrative barriers and save time between money going out the door and getting into the pockets of Canadians to help pay for housing.
One critique that is often repeated in the House is that it is not enough and, because of that, one certain party is not supportive of the bill.
First, the $500 top-up is in addition to existing supports under the $4-billion Canada housing benefit to ensure that Canadians can pay for housing, which is on average $2,500 in direct financial support.
Second, to not support the bill, because some members say it is not enough, is quite frankly an insult to the very same Canadians who need the additional $500 top-up today in regions where incomes and vacancy rates are lower and inflation is higher, like in Charlottetown.
Housing is not the only area where people need financial support. Dental care is financially inaccessible to many low- and middle-income families in this country. Right now, Canadians are falling through the cracks trying to access dental care. Bill C-31 is a solution to close that gap through the dental benefit act. Specifically, this benefit will provide $1,300 per eligible child over two years. It will be targeted for uninsured Canadians with a family income of less than $90,000 annually, for their children under 12 years old, which is most of the families in the riding I represent.
Regardless of family income, location or employment, Bill C-31 will provide financial support for those under 12 years of age to ensure access to dental care in this country.
Income is one determining factor to whether Canadians can access dental care. We know that one in five Canadians are not receiving needed dental care due to cost. This means that seven million Canadians, because of their income, cannot get the basic dental care they need.
Employment is another determining factor with respect to access to dental care. It is true that 55% of dental care services are paid by private insurance through employers. While this provides financial support to pay for dental care services for many Canadians, 45% of Canadians do not have that option. Employment status should not determine whether an individual can afford dental services.
Finally, location has increasingly become a deciding factor regarding which Canadians get dental care and which do not. Some provinces have made strides to publicly fund dental care programs, such as for low-income families. For example, Prince Edward Island, home to my riding of Charlottetown, has a provincial dental care program that provides a sliding scale coverage for low-income families and seniors based on family size, income and other criteria. More than 15,000 Islanders, less than 10% of the population, have applied to use this program. While programs like these have been useful, not all provinces or territories have them, creating an inconsistency of access across the country. That is where the Government of Canada must and will step in to create consistency of access coast to coast to coast.
This is one step of many to come. This new benefit is a bridge to a long-term goal of dental care for all Canadians. We are starting with children first to address current issues and alleviate long-term oral health problems. An estimated 2.26 million school days each year are lost due to dental-related illness.
Increased costs have meant Canadians are making tough decisions, such as choosing between food on the table and dental care. Increased costs have meant paying out of budget rent prices to simply keep a roof over their heads. Bill C-31 does not fix all affordability issues, but tangibly targets key areas to put money directly into people's pockets where they need it. That is why I urge my colleagues to continue to support Bill C-31.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-27 10:21 [p.8935]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for that question, because it gives me a chance to address the fallacy that has been created by the Conservative Party that inflation in this country is something that exists only in this country, which is patently untrue.
Inflation is a worldwide phenomenon, and Canada is faring significantly better than the other G7 countries. I would be most interested in hearing from the party opposite about which of the measures we put in place to help Canadians through the pandemic that they would have cut.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-27 10:22 [p.8935]
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Madam Speaker, as part of this bill, we have developed a program to help the most vulnerable. We have also created rules to get this assistance out to the most vulnerable as quickly as possible. We want it to be more efficient. It is very important to consider the urgency of this situation. That is exactly what we have done.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-27 10:24 [p.8936]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Vancouver East for the very constructive role she played at the health committee to present amendments that would improve this bill.
The $72-billion national housing strategy has been critically important in increasing the housing stock in Charlottetown and right across the country, without a doubt. Her direct question was whether I would support further investments in the upcoming fall economic statement. The answer is unequivocally yes.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-27 10:25 [p.8936]
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Madam Speaker, the brief answer is yes. Homes should not be used as a financial tool, especially given the condition of the market at the present time. The government has taken substantial steps in this regard. In terms of housing for the most vulnerable, probably the most effective program has been the rapid housing initiative, something that we have seen with results on the ground.
There is absolutely no question the member makes a fair point. We need more of that.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-25 10:03 [p.8811]
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Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to Bill C-31, an act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing.
The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-24 14:07 [p.8747]
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Mr. Speaker, on Thanksgiving Monday in the aftermath of hurricane Fiona, history was made in P.E.I.
The P.E.I. FC under 15 girls soccer team had the best result of any youth team in the history of the National Championships hosted in Charlottetown. They shut out the Alberta champions, beat best teams in the Maritimes and then they knocked off the London Alliance Mustangs champions from a province with 87 times the population of P.E.I. This was thanks to late-game heroics by keeper Quinn Gavin and a winning goal by Kali MacDonald in extra time playing short-handed.
In the National Championship game, a depleted P.E.I. FC side played their hearts out and gave Winnipeg football all it could handle until late in the second half. The result was silver for the first time ever.
I want to congratulate the players and everyone who did not let Fiona get in the way of this national championship and epic performance by a group of young islanders who simply refused to be outworked.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-19 16:47 [p.8533]
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Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to the motion unanimously adopted on Thursday, October 6, regarding over-the-counter pediatric medication.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-10-06 14:10 [p.8242]
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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of World Spine Day, which is taking place this year on October 16.
The purpose of World Spine Day is to raise awareness around back health and spinal disorders. Musculoskeletal conditions like low back pain are a leading cause of disability, impacting 11 million Canadians each year. These conditions are more prevalent than cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s combined. One in eight Canadians suffer from chronic low back pain, and it is responsible for almost one-third of lost time at work. This is an important issue that impacts the health and economic well-being of our communities, large and small.
This year's theme is “Every Spine Counts”, which emphasizes the diversity of the underserved communities impacted and the need for improving access to regulated essential spinal health services, like chiropractors.
Today and on World Spine Day, I call on all members to recognize the importance of spinal disorders and spinal health in our communities.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-09-26 22:38 [p.7753]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking from the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq people, Abegweit. They are the past, present and future caretakers of these lands, and we honour them.
I am in downtown Charlottetown, one of the only places in the riding of Charlottetown that has power. I would try to speak from my home office, but the generator would probably drown me out.
I want to, first of all, thank the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay for bringing forward the motion for this emergency debate tonight. It is timely, and I do think it is important for Canadians to hear from parliamentarians about the impact of this storm and the government's response to it.
The storm was not a surprise. All of the forecasts and warnings that came in advance turned out to be remarkably accurate. Prince Edward Islanders are quite accustomed to storms, more commonly winter storms, and all of the preparations were made. Generators were in place. The fuel for the generators had been purchased. There was a run on the grocery stores for storm chips and any other number of groceries. The shelves were quite bare in advance of the storm, without a doubt. Arrangements were made for emergency shelters. The level of preparation and information, all of these things, were accurate and well done.
What we did not anticipate, I would say, in Prince Edward Island and certainly in the Charlottetown riding, was that this would be pretty much exclusively a wind event. Rain was not a factor. Water has been a factor in coastal communities, and I say that not based on personal observation because the only personal observation I have been able to make is in my riding, but from relying on information received from other people. I say that because one of the major challenges in the last three days, since the storm hit, has been connectivity. Internet and cell service is spotty at best, which really affects absolutely everything. If one does not have information, it is difficult to know how to access the supports that are available.
We have heard from many other speakers this evening on the impacts of the storm in their communities, so much of what I am about to say will sound quite familiar. Because of the tremendous winds, the city of Charlottetown and much of Prince Edward Island are littered with fallen trees. These trees have fallen on power lines, which knocked out power to virtually the entire riding and the entire island. Bit by bit it is being restored, but not so much in Charlottetown, other than downtown, as of yet. Those trees have damaged roofs. In some cases, the winds have actually decimated roofs not that far from my home. Pieces of the roof of Queen Charlotte Intermediate School have flown for city blocks, and it is a very significant question as to when those junior high school students are going to be back in the classroom.
We have seen some substantial erosion, including a decimation of the dunes at Cavendish Beach. A famous and popular rock formation in Darnley is gone. Cars have been damaged, including one in my driveway. Wharves have sustained substantial damage in coastal communities, and there have been impacts in the agricultural sector, particularly with corn, and the storage facilities for potatoes and dairy. All of these sectors have been particularly hard hit.
As the storm has gone on, it has proven difficult to be able to recharge generators with propane or gas. Because of the lack of power, these things are not available. In my search for propane yesterday, I was absolutely heartened when the Confederation Bridge opened, and I know it is a bad word, but a convoy of electrical trucks came from out of province. I met them on the bypass. I was never so happy to see a convoy of people coming to do good.
This is also the case today with the arrival of the Canadian military. Two days ago, the Government of Prince Edward Island asked for federal help. One day ago, they got a yes, and today, the army arrived. That will be a major help in cleaning up the roads and getting the trees off of the power lines.
I want to talk for a minute about the mindset of the people in this city and this province. The picture of devastation that I just presented might lead people to believe there is despair here. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a lot of shock and awe about the magnitude of the winds and about the magnitude of the devastation. We knew it was coming, but many people have never seen what we see in our streets even now.
The mindset is one very much of determination and of resolve. The mindset is that we are going to roll up our sleeves. We have trust and faith in one another, and I have to say that we have trust and faith in Maritime Electric. Time and time again when we have been battered by winter storms, we receive on Prince Edward Island timely and reliable information from Maritime Electric with regard to the progress that is being made by the hard-working crews at Maritime Electric and the status of their work. That has already begun. Kim Griffin, the spokesperson for Maritime Electric, has become a well-known face to Prince Edward Islanders for the updates in these critical situations. That is the case now.
When we have gone around Charlottetown over the last couple of days, the sound of generators and chainsaws is predominant essentially everywhere.
I have been heartened by the involvement of the cabinet. The Minister of Emergency Preparedness and the Prime Minister have listened to us. They have been in contact with us. It is evident that they care. It is evident that the information they are receiving from us is factored into the actions that they are taking. It is also important to focus on the other measures that have been taken by the government, specifically the decision to match donations made to the Red Cross.
I want to offer a big thanks to the workers at the Jack Blanchard Family Centre, the Malcolm J. Darrach Community Centre, the Community Outreach Centre, the Confederation Centre of the Arts and the Hillsborough Park Community Centre for the work they are doing in helping those who need emergency shelter.
I want to finish with a final word of advice to the people in the insurance industry. During my time practising law, I was on both sides of the insurance industry. To the case managers and adjusters within the insurance industry, I would ask them in the coming days to please act with urgency and act with compassion and to put their policyholders ahead of their shareholders.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-09-26 22:50 [p.7754]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Cumberland—Colchester for affording another opportunity to drive home the message on this, that cellphones and connectivity in this day and age absolutely are essential and that it is important for government to create the environment that brings in the investment from the telcos to make that happen. There has been substantial progress made, but a catastrophic event such as this indicates there is still more to do.
That message is absolutely evident. I know the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is acutely aware and has spoken to it in the past. I am absolutely certain there will be more conversations on this topic in the near future, as well as investments. There must be.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-09-26 22:52 [p.7754]
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Mr. Speaker, this may actually be a question of process. The process right now is that the federal government responds to requests from the provinces for the deployment of federal assets. In this case, virtually immediately after that request was made, the assets were made available. I am not aware whether there is a process or a mechanism for a province to pre-emptively make that request. Perhaps, given the clarity of the forecasts, this would be a situation where that might be explored.
The other thing I would say, in terms of climate change and resilience, is that Prince Edward Island is and will be on the cutting edge of climate change adaptation as a result of substantial investments by our government in the Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation in St. Peter's Bay, which is now churning out experts in the field.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-06-21 13:58 [p.7081]
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Madam Speaker, I was particularly interested in my colleague's comments on airsoft guns and the impact on that industry. It is an issue in my riding. I believe this is absolutely a good bill, but with airsoft guns, quite frankly, it overreaches. The problem is this: An airsoft gun that is a replica of a gun that is not banned would be banned, so we would be banning toys.
Does my hon. colleague have any concerns about that? Does she feel this is something that could be addressed through amendments at committee?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2022-06-14 16:23 [p.6701]
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Mr. Speaker, I was interested to hear the member's comments. We know that time and time again the courts have struck down mandatory minimum penalties as unconstitutional. The Conservatives were in full-throated support of charter rights during the truckers' convoy, yet that seems to be expendable during this debate.
The question I have relates to judicial discretion. Mandatory minimums take away judicial discretion. The Conservatives and the Liberals have both appointed some excellent judges. Why do the Conservatives not trust them?
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