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Results: 1 - 15 of 57
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-03-26 11:52 [p.5361]
Madam Speaker, the manufacturing sector in Canada and the U.S. has the best COVID protocols in place. They cannot afford to interrupt their supply chain and the flow of goods any longer. The government says it wants to “build back better”. To these business owners and their workers, it feels more like “build back never”.
Enough inaction. When is the government going to give clear and concise direction to CBSA and PHAC before more jobs and contracts are lost because of its inaction? When?
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-03-24 18:31 [p.5210]
Madam Speaker, I find this kind of interesting. Bill C-21 potentially throws airsoft firearms owners and paintball gun owners in jail, while Bill C-22 literally allows criminals and gangs to run free, those same gangs that do drive-by shootings.
Bill C-22 eliminates mandatory prison time for those who commit armed robbery. Can the member confirm that he supports the elimination of mandatory prison time for someone found guilty of an armed robbery?
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-03-12 11:50 [p.4979]
Madam Speaker, Essex-Windsor has one of the largest advanced manufacturing hubs in Canada, with over $3.3 billion in GDP and 1,000-plus manufacturers creating thousands of high-paying jobs. This does not include those servicing these businesses, its supply chain and those who export their services to the U.S., accounting for another $1 billion in GDP.
When will the government end punitive measures at the border and designate the owners, employees and customers of these businesses as essential commerce?
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-02-18 14:13 [p.4244]
Mr. Speaker, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum is in my riding in the town of Amherstburg. The museum tells the story of Black slaves seeking refuge in Canada via the Underground Railway: pioneers who built homes, businesses, schools and churches in Essex County. It is the first Black national historic site in Canada, founded in 1966 by Melvin Simpson, and showcases this community's vital role in the Canadian tapestry.
Elise Harding-Davis, curator emeritus and celebrated Black Canadian history consultant, can trace her own Canadian ancestry back seven generations. Elise has worked tirelessly to preserve Black history in Canada for the next generation.
Finally, a salute to Claudius Thomas. Claudius leads the local chapter of Black Boys Code, a national organization founded to prepare Black youth for success in today's technology-dominated economy, each of them leaving the world a better place than they found it.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-02-18 15:03 [p.4253]
Mr. Speaker, a commercial driver in my riding has a job pending, but his FAST card has expired. All requirements were met, except for an in-person interview. The problem is that the FAST support service office is closed due to the pandemic.
What does this mean for renewals? Windsor-Essex is the busiest border crossing in North America. Failures in processing FAST cards mean jobs lost and delays at the border. What specifically is being done to fix the problem?
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-02-05 11:41 [p.4065]
Madame Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.
The government has left parents in my riding in a catch-22. Home with their children, they applied for EI. Their claims were denied. They were advised to apply for the Canada recovery caregiving benefit, but those applications were also denied due to their having open EI claims. Proof has been provided to CRA, but its database is not able to bypass the error.
No more platitudes and no more buck passing. When can these parents expect this desperately needed income support?
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-02-04 13:29 [p.3998]
Madam Speaker, I very much appreciate this opportunity to speak to this very important motion, but first I would like to say that I will split my time with the hon. member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill.
I want to begin with a story. The reason I am starting with a story is that this is possibility thinking. This is possibility thinking 101 about what can be done when we bring all parties together.
For about a month or so right before Christmas, our office worked tirelessly for a couple who were separated. The gentleman was in Michigan and the woman lived here in my riding. We worked very well with the minister's office and the land border controls on both sides. On Christmas Eve, our office was still working diligently on this problem. I spoke to a member of the minister's office, and he was working on Christmas Eve as well. On Christmas Day at 2:37 p.m., we received a text that the woman and man were reunited.
Why do I bring that up? We are facing, if I can be so bold as to say so, World War III. What got those people back together were the efforts of all. It is absolutely vital that we keep that in the forefront and look at the possibilities as opposed to the negatives.
As always, it is an honour to speak to the importance of this motion to create a special committee to study the economic impact on Canada-U.S. relations. My riding of Essex neighbours the busiest international border in North America. Thus, I am well aware of the importance of getting this right. In fact, a new international bridge is currently being built to support this infrastructure.
As I previously had the honour of being the deputy shadow minister for Canada-U.S. relations, I understand the importance of being a strong partner in working with our close ally, friend and neighbour, the United States of America. Further, as a former committee member of the international trade committee and having been part of the passing of CUSMA, I know today's motion to create a committee is vital.
Solid relationships only work when there is strong communication and open, honest dialogue. So much is at stake, and now, more than ever, is when we need to work shoulder to shoulder with our neighbour and get this right. So much of what this House has been speaking about and will continue to speak about and study in committee and seek solutions for can be tied directly back to Canada-U.S. relations, including vaccines, Line 5, the Keystone XL pipeline, steel and aluminum tariffs, and softwood lumber agreements, or lack thereof. The list goes on.
This committee will provide for a win-win for both countries. This is not a one-side-takes-all. However, this committee will create a foundation and a plan for recovery for all Canadians in each province and territory from coast to coast to coast. The work of this committee will be an opportunity to not only save jobs but also create to jobs, good-paying union jobs that sustain our economy and put food on the table for Canadian families.
It has been stated that we are in World War III, and although we cannot physically see the enemy called COVID-19, we are nonetheless at war. Now is the time to work closely with our closest ally on every front.
Having worked in the United States for a number of years and having been part of an international company, I witnessed how integrated our economies are. Both economies rely heavily on each other. The automotive sector and the supply chains that go along with it are a solid example.
However, COVID-19 has brought many obstacles. One example would be local mould-makers. I have spoken with them on numerous occasions. The issue they are having now is that they are losing contracts to the United States, and the reason is that because of COVID-19, they cannot get their inspectors onto their shop floors to see their product. These types of discussions at committee we can find solutions for, but to lose contracts, millions and millions of dollars for Canadians, is not acceptable. We need to study this.
My riding of Essex has been called a microcosm of not only Canada but of North America. Basically, if we can find it in Essex, we can probably find it in Canada. Just as our relationship with the United States is unique on the world stage, so too are our economies uniquely aligned. Essex, like Canada and the United States, has so much to offer, but bringing these opportunities is only possible when all parties work together. Canada cannot afford to be a junior partner at the table and have our economy dictated by the stroke of a pen. We can no long sit idle without a solid, well-executed plan and be blindsided at the 11th hour once again.
Creating this committee, with members from all parties collectively working for the common goal of a strong economy, secure jobs, a plan for recovery and a strong Canada, is what is needed most today. Studying the impacts of COVID-19 would give Canada the tools it needs to have solid negotiations with our U.S. counterparts. We can no longer afford to do nothing.
Budgets do not balance themselves, vaccines will not deliver themselves and our economy will not rebuild itself. The time to plan to secure our future is now. As has been stated on a number of occasions, there is trade of $1.5 billion per day between these two fantastic countries. What is possible? How much higher could that be? How much more stake could Canada have in the game?
At a time when our countries need to be focused on getting people back to work and restoring our ways of life after COVID-19, this committee would get answers for Canadians and fight to secure everyone's future. We must begin planning now, today, to reopen and rebuild our economy and get all Canadians back to work. This is about the future. This is about a plan. This is about bringing the greatest minds of all colours and parties together to ensure once and for all that Canada is a strong partner with the United States of America and is the highest on the international stage.
I will leave members with this: I am sure that no member in this House would disagree that the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations would be more important than a special committee on Canada-U.S. relations. Canadians deserve nothing less.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-02-04 13:39 [p.3999]
Madam Speaker, a long time ago someone said to me that it is only a good deal if it is a good deal on both sides. That is business 101.
I agree that there need to be concessions on both sides. I totally agree that our countries need to be aligned every step of the way.
However, it is also vital that Canada gets its fair share and that Canada comes out as a leader at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2021-02-04 13:41 [p.3999]
Madam Speaker, with regard to supporting workers, another thing I did not have time to speak to specifically was that through this committee, this turns the page on the negative. The quicker we can do that, the quicker, hopefully, we can deal with the mental health of not only our families but our workers.
It is absolutely vital that we get them back to work, that we get food on the tables of all Canadians, and ensure that we turn the page on mental health. I am always in support of workers on every level.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-20 10:06 [p.2171]
Madam Speaker, I am rising in this House to speak to Bill C-3, a piece of legislation that is absolutely vital. It is vital not only for today, but for the future on so many fronts.
Before I do that, I would really like to make a huge recognition of a life lost yesterday on Manitoulin Island, of an OPP officer for 28 years in the Little Current dispatch. He responded to a call only to not be able to go home and see his family.
I have first cousins who serve on the OPP. One of them, in fact, ironically, is the captain of the Chris D. Lewis OPP boat in my riding. I get asked a lot if I named that boat. The truth of the matter is that I did not; I am Chris B. Lewis.
We thank Constable Marc Hovingh for his service, not only to Ontario but to Canada.
I got a text from my mother last night. She is in Silver Water with my father. I know I am not speaking to Bill C-3, but this is very important. She sent me a text asking what was going on in Gore Bay. I told her I did not know what she was talking about. This is where our family cottage of 23 years is. To find out when such hurt happens on the largest freshwater island in the world and the smallest community, quite frankly, it is astonishing and it is sad.
My heart goes out to the family of Constable Hovingh and to all the residents of Manitoulin Island. I know he will be dearly missed, and I thank him very much for his service.
I would ask this House to please join me, just for 20 seconds of thought for the constable. This is absolutely astonishing. I will take 20 seconds of my time to remember him.
[A moment of silence observed]
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-20 10:09 [p.2171]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate that very much as well and again, our hearts are with you and all the members of Manitoulin.
I have been reflecting on Bill C-3 and what an honour it is to stand in the House in this place. At the same time, I look at it from a different angle and l say why do I have the right to stand in the House and speak to Bill C-3. It is not because I sit on the justice committee. It is not because my office overlooks the Supreme Court of Canada, it is because I was duly elected to come to this place to represent all of my constituents.
I am a bit of a political geek. Along my path of trying to become a politician, I used to go on the various parties' websites and look at each individual MP and always be in absolute awe and dive into what they were doing and saying. Rona Ambrose was one person who resonated with me. For some reason, she really stuck with me and it took until last night for me to really understand why that was. Unfortunately, I have not had an opportunity yet to meet Ms. Ambrose and I hope at some point I do. I would love to talk to her at some point in time and what better platform to use than the House.
She was so far ahead of her time on this legislation. Unfortunately, as we all know, it has been introduced twice. It has failed twice and now it is being introduced for the third time. I believe it will get unanimous consent in the House and I do not want to speak for anyone, but I believe that to be the case. We have to celebrate the groundbreaking achievements that she made with this legislation. I want to thank Ms. Ambrose for her leadership on this legislation and I could never be prouder than to stand here in this place and speak to that.
I have 20 minutes, but I could probably talk for two hours or more.
First and foremost, there are four females in my life who have been incredibly influential to me along the way on my path to where I stand here today, proud and excited to be a Canadian.
First and foremost is my mother. My mother allowed me opportunity. She allowed me the gift of being myself. She allowed me the gift of openness, truthfulness, not being pushed into a corner. She allowed me to smile. She allowed me to make my own decisions without fault and for that I will always be grateful.
The second person I admire, and this is a slippery slope, is my lovely wife Allison. It always goes my mother and then my wife, because my mom is the one who is going to send me a text afterward.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-20 10:16
The second one is my wife Allison, coming up on 22 years, a woman who, again, allows me to do what she knows I believe is right, is right for Canada and is right for this world. She gives me the freedom. She gives me the longest dog leash ever to let me come to Ottawa and do what is right, absolutely without any question.
The third woman, who is why I am so passionate about Bill C-3 today, is my daughter Faith. Faith is 17 years old. She is going to graduate, likely with honours, this year from grade 12. Her ambition in life, all she wants to do, is to be a veterinarian. Notwithstanding the fact that it is tougher to get into the school to become a veterinarian in Canada than to become a general practitioner, the very fact is I do not care what she wants to do, but I am awfully proud of her.
Regarding the fourth person, about a year and a half ago when I was running to become a member of Parliament, I went to a school in the town of Essex, in my riding, and I spoke to a grade 5 class. When I got there with my handler, so to speak, we had to go to the principal's office. Who greeted me, other than this amazing young woman?
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-20 10:16
Her name is Jade. She is about yea tall, and has the most bubbly, energetic, fantastic, positive attitude one could ever imagine. I am telling members that they have never met anybody like this. By the way, I am happy that she is as young as she is, because she could run for my spot and probably beat me. She is just fantastic, and there are no rules with her. Yesterday, because I have not had a chance to talk to Jade as of late, I asked her teacher from last year if we could please set up a Zoom call, and we did. Not only did I get to speak to Jade for about 20 minutes, I also got to speak to the rest of the class.
Why am I saying this? Every day that we wake up we can learn something new, and I have to tell the House that if I did not say this, it would be an injustice to Jade. I asked Jade to tell me something exciting and what she wants to do. I was thinking she wanted to be the Prime Minister of Canada. I did not know what she wanted to do. Members have to understand that this beautiful young lady is just fantastic and full of passion for life. She said she wants to work in a museum.
I said, “In a museum? That is neat. Tell me something that I do not know.”
She said, “I know,” and she had her hand up.
I love it. She said, “I bet you don't know what a pangolin is.”
I said, “A penguin?”
She replied, “A pangolin.”
I said, “I have never heard of a pangolin in my life.”
She said, “Well, it's just an aardvark with a whole bunch of scales on it, and they're really pointy, so nothing can get at it.”
I said, “Wow.”
Her teacher from last year, Mrs. Armstrong, was an enormous role model for that young woman, and I thank Mrs. Armstrong enormously for what she has done. I am telling members that Jade is the reason I stand in the House so proudly, and I know we have to fight going forward.
Why do I bring up these stories? Why do I bring up the women? It is because it is absolutely vital that we protect them. Let us just suggest, for a moment, that my mother, my wife, my daughter or Jade, along that path, had been assaulted. I do not believe any of them have ever been assaulted, but in the event that they had been, how would that have impacted my life? How would it have steered the ship of my life if they had not received due justice? Because of that, I am incredibly proud to stand here and celebrate my mentors. I am sure the members of the House have many mentors as well.
I had a Zoom meeting on October 27 with an amazing woman: Marion Overholt. We discussed the training for judges on sexual assault cases. I am going to read through a few of her points. First and foremost, I was a firefighter for seven and a half years, and we responded to all types of calls, whether a fire or a heart attack, but we responded, at some times, to assault victims, when the ambulance could not get there quickly enough. I remember one very dearly that I will not give details of. I recall it like it was yesterday, but I did not realize the people who were behind this. As a firefighter, I would go and put a fire out and go home to my family, but it continues on. I did not realize that until after this discussion with Ms. Overholt.
She has actually appeared before the justice committee in the past. She has 37 years of practice. She is a community legal aid worker, and works out of the local OPP detachment. She said, “In the past, victims have shied away from pressing charges, because they do not think that they would be believed.” That is an incredibly powerful statement. If those four main ladies in my life did not believe that they would be believed, it would be an absolute injustice.
Ms. Overholt went on to say that sexual assault often happens in private, intimate settings involving no witnesses and often without clear evidence. The narrow focus then becomes about credibility. Often, the victim will not testify but the complainant will, potentially widening the gap.
What does that mean? To me it means this, and I am going to go back to the basics.
Next year, hopefully, I will proudly see my daughter off to university somewhere, be it in Calgary, Guelph or the U.S. if COVID ever gets under control there. I believe that she needs the right, the confidence and the belief that if something happens to her, she can come forward and have a voice and not feel victimized, but will know that the courts and the justice will do their due diligence for her.
Getting back to my meeting on October 27th, Ms. Overholt went on to say that Crown prosecutors don't actually represent the victim. They represent the Crown, whereas the defence lawyer is there for the defendant.
That was an interesting conversation. The next time I am told that I am guilty or that I am a victim, I would certainly think that the Crown would go the other way and reach out to the victim, especially when the victim does not necessarily have a voice.
She went on to say that the burden of proof is high: Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Victims often describe the trial as being worse than the assault.
What does that mean? We had some great discussion about this.
It takes so long to get to court. If somebody is victimized tomorrow, blessed that they are not, it can take years to get to court. By the time it gets to court, the healing process of the victim has begun to, I would suggest rudely, at least put a scab on it. The moment that it goes back to the court, the victim has to look the defendant in the eye, listen to the testimony, and the band-aid with the scab comes off, and they have to again live through what they already went through years prior. It is deplorable, and it is wrong.
I will speak quickly about training.
As I mentioned, I was in the fire department, and I trained for CPR, WHMIS and high-angle rescue ropes. In my personal business, I had to train for confined space. There were all kinds of training. This upcoming week, as a member of Parliament, I am taking harassment training. My point is that nobody is above the law, and should not be. If members of Parliament are good enough to do training, surely our judges are fine to do training. Why do I say that? Well, nobody is perfect. I do not really call it “training” so much as “tools in the tool chest.” Let us have an open discussion, and if there is a case in Ontario then let us see what is happening in B.C. If there is a case in B.C., let us see what is happening in Newfoundland, and let those judges integrate and talk about this, because, quite frankly, this is a much larger discussion.
To conclude, I really want to thank Ms. Ambrose for bringing this legislation forward. I will be very proud and honoured to vote in favour of Bill C-3.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-20 10:28 [p.2173]
Madam Speaker, I am unable to recommend it because I am not part of the Manitoba legislature, but this is absolutely vital.
I can appreciate how proud the hon. member is of his daughter and, rightly so.
I think we have to look at this on a national scale. I think it is absolutely vital that in each region and each province, we continue to push this forward to protect the most vulnerable, and make sure that the most vulnerable are the ones who have a voice at the table when it goes to the courts.
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