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Results: 1 - 15 of 27
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Bill C-10 has outraged millions of Canadians. The minister responded by calling those Canadians “extremists.” Now we see him stooping to calling Conservatives “liars.”
Last night the Liberals confessed to this mistake with a new amendment to fix a flawed piece of legislation, but already experts have said the amendment does not work.
Why is the minister refusing to ask the justice minister if his bill is even constitutional?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, my apologies.
The Liberal Bill C-10 has outraged millions of Canadians. The minister responded by calling those Canadians who are outraged “extremists.” Last night, the Liberals confessed to their mistake with an amendment to fix this flawed piece of legislation, yet experts are already saying the amendment does not work.
Why is the minister betraying Canadians and refusing to simply ask the justice minister if his bill, which he has changed, is even constitutional?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, in what began as a mediocre attempt at legislation to level the playing field between Internet streaming giants and traditional Canadian broadcasters, the Minister of Canadian Heritage assured us that Bill C-10 was not some draconian tool of the state to limit Canadian freedom of expression on the Internet. He actually promised that his legislation was not interested in such things as when his great-uncle posts pictures of his cats.
In the original bill, there were exemptions to protect the freedoms of Canadians posting their online content, yet just the other day the minister ordered the section removed. The minister muses about granting himself the power to remove Internet content that he deems objectionable, and now he is granting authority to the CRTC to control what Canadians post online.
Conservatives will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Canadians, even for the minister's great-uncle's right to continue posting pictures of his cats, whether the minister actually likes them or not.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government took two months to rollout the badly needed HASCAP to businesses in the hardest-hit sectors. As if this long delay was not bad enough, businesses such as Deerhurst Resort in my riding are being denied emergency support funds now that applications are finally open. The government's job is to help those who need help most, those like Deerhurst, their 600 employees and so many other tourism businesses that need help now.
Will the government actually make HASCAP accessible for the hardest-hit businesses?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, it is a great opportunity to speak to this issue, and I want to compliment my colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni. He is clearly a leader on this issue and I appreciated his recognition of the member for York—Simcoe and his enthusiasm for this. He is generally a great guy.
This is not a partisan issue. I completely agree with the member for York—Simcoe when he describes it as a common sense way to improve what we are doing.
We have all heard this number, that 300,000 tonnes of plastic waste is collected in Canada and over one-quarter of that winds up getting exported to other countries, many of which we know cannot afford to deal with this plastic waste. We know that it goes to these countries and it is supposed to be recycled, but we all know, and we have heard the stories and seen the reports, that this plastic waste is sent to the a landfill or burned.
I can appreciate my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni talking about having seen it himself on the west coast of Canada. However, I have had the privilege and honour of travelling in my previous life. I have seen first-hand the impacts of Canadian plastic waste in the developing world in places like Southeast Asia. One of the most striking things about these beautiful places is that they are stunning landscapes and the people are lovely and wonderful, yet there is a constant flow of waste and plastic. We see it blowing around or being burnt as garbage. I can give a few examples.
I am thinking about my trip to Southeast Asia where I spent some time in Cambodia, which is one of the most remarkable countries in the world. What Cambodia has been through is truly remarkable. My friend and I were travelling from Phnom Penh, the capital, to Sihanoukville, which is a beautiful little coastal town where we would stay there for a couple of days. It took us several hours by bus to get there. The amount of garbage we saw along the side of the road was remarkable. Every few kilometres we would see garbage being burned, and it was mostly plastic. We would see children sorting through it and playing in it. It was a striking thing to see in a country that was so beautiful.
It occurred to us then that if every kid perhaps in the western world spent a week in countries like Cambodia, maybe they would think differently when they complained about something. When I think of it now, much of that plastic waste that was being burned came from Canada. It is shameful.
I had another experience in Nicaragua, which is another country where our waste goes. It is another great example. I was there to visit the Buena Vista Surf Club, an eco-friendly place off the grid. To get to it, I had to drive north of San Juan del Sur past the town dump, which was riddled with plastic and a constant burning of it. It was horrible to be surrounded by such natural beauty and see this waste, knowing so much of it came from our country.
We are all familiar with the 2019 Marketplace report on the village in Malaysia and the embarrassing story of that non-recyclable Canadian waste that the Philippine government sent back to Canada. I agree with my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni. We are paying lip service to the Basel Convention. It is embarrassing. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Our allies like Australia are leading by example, Australia with its recycling and waste reduction bill from 2020. It received royal assent and came into effect as of December.
The objectives of that bill are:
(a) to reduce the impact on human and environmental health of products, waste from products and waste material, including by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, energy and resources used and water consumed in connection with products, waste from products and waste material;
(b) to realise the community and economic benefits of taking responsibility for products, waste from products and waste material;
(c) to promote a circular economy that maximises the continued use of products and waste material over their life cycle and accounts for their environmental impacts;
(d) to contribute to Australia meeting its international obligations concerning the impact referred to in paragraph (a).
This should also be our objective.
Bill C-204 represents a truly unique opportunity for Canadian innovation to deal with our own waste. It represents an opportunity to support some of the existing innovative Canadian companies that are recycling and keeping plastic waste out of our landfills in Canada now and from going to places like Cambodia and Malaysia, companies like Cielo Waste Solutions in Alberta or Goodwood Plastics in Nova Scotia.
This represents an opportunity as well for Canadians to reduce their total waste. If Canadians saw how much waste we produce, instead of it being shipped away in other parts of the world where we do not have to think about it anymore, they would think more consciously about the waste we are producing.
It is also an opportunity for Canada to lead in the world by example as Australia is doing. It is an opportunity for Canada to stop polluting countries that can least afford to deal with our waste.
Bill C-204 is an important first step. I am a big believer in us getting this done. It is time for us to stop paying lip service to this issue of caring about the waste that we produce. We need to do something. I really hope all members in the House will support the passage of Bill C-204.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, as we approach the Christmas season, I think it is safe to say that we will all be glad to put 2020 behind us.
In Parry Sound—Muskoka, communities have come together to support each other and our most vulnerable, especially seniors. First responders, paramedics, firefighters, police, nurses, doctors and support staff have all served our community admirably through this crisis. Now we are turning our attention to real and meaningful recovery.
In Parry Sound—Muskoka, recovery starts with building on our strengths: our natural resources, lakes and waterways, our clean environment and, most importantly, our people. What the people of Parry Sound—Muskoka are looking for from government is a real plan on vaccine delivery, an economic plan that includes more than massive and crushing debt, access to reliable and affordable Internet, and delivery on attainable housing promises.
What we need is the certainty, clarity and competence a Conservative government would deliver.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
As I prepared to talk today about Bill C-3, I could not help, like many of us I am sure, to think back to what we had experienced and learned over the course of our lives. I am firmly ensconced in white guy middle age, in old white guy zone.
However, I started out in public life as quite a young guy. I was 21 when I was first elected to Huntsville town council and the Muskoka regional council, and I did not know anything. I was fairly clueless and needed to learn an awful lot. Among the first things I learned about were the needs that existed in my community.
There is a perception of Muskoka as the playground of the rich and the famous and that everything is rainbows and sunshine. However, the reality in a place like Muskoka, and certainly the entire part of my riding, Parry Sound and Muskoka, is that the people who live and work in these communities year-round have a median income about 20% lower than the provincial average. There are struggles, there is a housing crisis and there are a lot of social problems, which I, as a kid, tended to think only existed in places like big cities.
I was in the home of a good friend of mine, Claude Doughty from Huntsville. He was the mayor at that time. He was a dentist in town and left his practice to become a developer, and he has built lots of wonderful things. His wife Kim Doughty is one of the most dynamic women I have ever known. They live in a beautiful home overlooking Fairy Lake, a gorgeous, absolutely stunning place. We were sipping on a Heineken and thinking about how this was all wonderful and we had great things going on in our town.
Claude's wife Kim came home and she was clearly upset. She had a difficult day. I knew she worked with Muskoka victim services. I asked her what had happened that day. She proceeded to tell me some of the most tragic and heart-wrenching stories I had ever heard. What struck me more than anything was that the situations she described, these traumas, these fears, these anxieties that existed, were literally blocks away from this home in the lap of luxury overlooking Fairy Lake.
Claude and I were both quite distraught by what we heard and decided we needed to do something, so we got to work. I immediately spoke with the executive director of Muskoka Women's Advocacy Group, which ran a shelter for women, called Interval House, in Bracebridge. We recognized that we needed to do more for north Muskoka and certainly into the Parry Sound area.
Claude, with his building expertise, donated a piece of land. We started a campaign that consumed the community. We were able to build a six-room shelter and 10-unit transitional housing facility for women escaping violence in their homes. As that project started, I came to know an awful lot more people in the social service industry and business in our area.
One of the other amazing people I met through the process of starting this was a woman by the name of Carolyn Bray. Carolyn was the executive director of the YWCA of Muskoka. People called it the Y without walls. It was not about gyms; it was about programs and supporting women and girls. I learned a lot from Carolyn about the issue of sexual violence and how, yes, they were most certainly victims. However, she recognized the importance of not just supporting women and girls, but helping little boys who may have grown up in a circumstance where they saw domestic violence, saw the way their father treated their mothers and because of their own lack of understanding, fears, anxieties and mental health, modelled the same behaviour when they became intimate partners.
Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Security means without care and without anxiety. Sadly, we know not all Canadians experience security.
Sexual assault is the only violent crime in Canada that is not declining, and 67% of Canadians know a woman who has experienced sexual violence. Roughly 6,000 women and children sleep in shelters on any given night in our country. Despite these numbers, only 5% of sexual assaults were reported to police in 2014.
We know it is because of the fear. We have heard people talk about how women are afraid to approach the justice system for fear of being revictimized or reliving the pain of the experience.
I have had the privilege of learning throughout my life and growing up into this role. As shocking as what I heard many years ago in the lovely home of Mr. Doughty, it is dismaying that we are still here talking about these things, that we have not solved these problems.
Bill C-3 is an important next step. It is really a minor next step. We have much more work to do. I am honoured that I have the opportunity to speak in favour of the bill. As a new member of Parliament. who oftentimes sees how dysfunctional this place can be and how it takes forever to get anything done, I am thrilled that everybody gets the importance of the bill, of supporting women and ensuring that all women feel the same security and liberty I feel.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, it has had a tremendous impact on my community.
I want to share a quick story that was in the newspaper about a woman who lived in a 17-year abusive situation with her ex-husband. When she left, she wound up in another abusive relationship in North Bay. When she left that one, she made it to Chrysalis house in Huntsville, which is the facility we built. She did not have bruises, it was not a recent event, yet she made it to Chrysalis house. She was scared. She did not know if it would accept her. She was offered a place to stay that was warm, safe and without judgment. She said that it was a feeling she had not known in 22 years. Imagine that.
She is doing really well. She stayed at the shelter and was able to move into the transitional apartment units next door, where there was support. She could get her life back together and get a job. She is doing really well. I am really proud of the role I played to get that place built.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I think an important point to make is that one cannot have too much education. There is no question that there are biases, myths and misunderstandings. As a society, we evolve. It is important for all of us to evolve along with it, so I would simply say that a little more education is always a good thing.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, that is a completely important and accurate point. It is why I am pleased that one of the amendments made at committee was to include training related to systemic racism and the bias that exists in our society. I am glad that is in there.
We can talk about housing for many more hours. One of the reasons I came here was to talk about housing, so I appreciate my colleague's question.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, at least 400 of the summer camps across Canada employing 70,000 people are facing bankruptcy next year. Meanwhile, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reports that hundreds of thousands of small firms have received zero support because they fall through the cracks. Every day, more and more shops, restaurants and hotels in Parry Sound—Muskoka and all across Canada are forced to close their doors.
Why has the government completely abandoned small business, summer camps and the tourism sector?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I was interested in my colleague's comment that the Conservatives believe in equity and the importance of making sure there is an even playing field. I wonder if he could elaborate a little on that. Because of the cozy nature of the government's relationship with Facebook, for example, does the member feel this is again about the Liberals picking winners and losers?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I must admit I was somewhat entertained by the previous question, and I am curious if my hon. colleague could speak to this legislation being important. As it is written right now, it seems like it is written for the sake of writing something on paper. It is going to need an awful lot more work, I would think, for it to actually be useful, important and viable.
I am curious if the member could comment on how much more work it actually needs.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition calling on the House of Commons to formally recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subjected to genocide. The petitioners are calling to use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Sergei Magnitsky Law, and sanction those who are responsible for these heinous crimes being committed against the Uighur people.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my friend and colleague, the hon. member for Calgary Confederation, for sponsoring this bill, for his perseverance through our legislative process, and for his lifetime of advocacy and action on the issue of organ and tissue donation. I am honoured to second Bill C-210, a bill which would improve organ and tissue donation registration in Canada.
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