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Results: 1 - 15 of 263
View Damien Kurek Profile
Madam Speaker, I find it interesting to hear the Liberals tying themselves in rhetorical knots about defending aspects of policies and trying to distance themselves from decisions that were made in the past. It certainly is a fascinating discussion in rhetoric.
My question for the member is quite simple. In Bill C-30, there are some changes to the Elections Act that are related to a court decision. Specifically, it would make it illegal to knowingly mislead constituents during an election. Now, there has not been a lot of focus on this in the debate on this bill because it is a bit like an omnibus bill, which the Liberals had promised not to do, but this has been inserted into the bill. I would like to hear the member's comments on that particular aspect of Bill C-30.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Madam Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister’s misleading and blind partisan rhetoric over the last week is quite something.
It was recently pointed out to me that the Liberals' attitude is like that of an irresponsible student who, only when faced with a deadline and possible failure in a class, realizes their actions have consequences. Instead of taking responsibility, they are blaming others, blaming the system, and screaming it is simply not fair.
The Liberals' condescending attitude abdicates the responsibility they have to serve Canadians. It is time to end the excuses and grow up. Will these Liberals take responsibility for their failures?
View Damien Kurek Profile
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. friend and colleague for the shout-out and comment on how troubling the debt level is that exists for new Canadians. I am very happy to have celebrated the birth of my third son, Winston, so I appreciate that context for what we are debating here today.
However, I want to ask specifically about how troubling the rhetoric coming from the Liberal side is. We saw an example of that here just a moment ago. Somehow, Liberals are blaming Conservatives for their own unbelievable mismanagement of COVID, the economy and the legislative agenda. I wonder if the member for Regina—Lewvan has further comments on that.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Madam Speaker, I found it very interesting to listen to the member's speech. His speech emphasizes the exact point that the government is contemptuous of the very idea of what Parliament represents, and that is democracy. It is telling that he wanted to talk about everything other than the fact that the government has done everything it can to obstruct, limit access and ensure that Canadians do not get the answers that the majority of parliamentarians want.
The member keeps saying that somehow partisanship is driving this. My constituents would suggest very much otherwise. I will not use the unparliamentary language that the member used to describe Conservative actions, but Canadians are tired of politicians playing politics. The member's conduct is exactly what Canadians are sick and tired of.
I would ask the member to take some responsibility for the fact that we find ourselves in a position where we are debating the absolute contempt that the member and the government have shown for Canadian democracy.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Madam Speaker, the member touched on a number of very important points about why this debate is important and how concerning the flippant nature of the Liberals is on this very serious issue.
I would, however, like to ask the member a specific question. The government has referred this issue to NSICOP. Some of the concerns that have been brought up are related to the structure of that committee, which is a committee of parliamentarians and not a committee of this House. This is a manifestation of some of the concerns that were brought forward when the initial act that created NSICOP was debated, and how the pinnacle of what was claimed to be accountability was left in the hands of the Prime Minister.
I wonder if the hon. member for St. John's East would have further comments on that.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague touched on a number of important points, and a number of Conservative speeches over the last couple of hours have emphasized a couple of very important things. One specific and unprecedented thing is twofold. First, opposition parties and the majority of parliamentarians are united in the belief that the actions of the government are contemptuous. Second, this is once again a demonstration of the serious need to ensure that all aspects, agencies and institutions of government are accountable to Parliament, given the supremacy of Parliament within our democratic system. These are two unprecedented things that have been demonstrated here today.
I ask the member to comment on how unfortunate it is to see the Liberals using this as an opportunity to try to play politics and pivot away from being found in contempt of Canadian democracy.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to stand in this House to address the pressing issues facing this country, but the subject we are debating here tonight is unfortunate. It is a very serious question that has been brought forward to all parliamentarians about the actions of the government, specifically an agency of government, that has truly called into question some of the very basic democratic principles that our nation is built on.
In the Speaker's Ruling earlier today, it very specifically outlined why this debate needs to take place, that the actions of the government are contemptuous and violate the privileges of who we are as a democracy. I want to touch on that word “privilege” for all of those, and I am sure there are many folks watching these proceedings, who need to understand.
Privilege is a word that is often referred to as something that has to do with status. Parliamentary privilege is a little different. It speaks to the primacy of what democracy is in our country, the fact that our democratic system elevates Parliament, the House of Commons, the lower chamber of Canada's Parliament, to be the voice of its people. Every square inch of this nation is represented by the 338 seats within this chamber.
I do find it very interesting. A question I ask students when I am speaking to classes is simply this, “What is the highest elected office in our land?” Many students think it is a trick question. They point out a number of things. Sometimes they will refer to the executive, the Prime Minister and the Governor General on occasion. It kind of depends on where they are in the social studies curriculum. There are a few students who do understand the reality of the member of Parliament, and the primacy of Parliament, the role that Parliament plays in our nation.
It is absolutely key to the discussion that we are having here tonight, and how fundamental it is for the future of our country. I want to thank the Speaker for being that custodian of this House, that custodian of Canada's democracy in so thoughtfully addressing such an important issue, and for the opposition House leader to bring forward a motion that outlined some specific action items that would be an adequate response to the contemptuous behaviour of government, and specifically an agency of government that is called to the bar.
Again, this is kind of a parliamentary term. Most people out there would not understand the history behind the bar of Parliament, what that represents and the strong millennia of tradition associated with that dating back centuries in the United Kingdom. To call an individual to the bar is a significant thing with significant symbolism, which bears out how significant this debate is. Further, the action item of calling upon the government to actually do what Parliament has said that it needs to do.
I find it tragic that we have to have this debate, that the Liberals have taken it upon themselves and developed a culture where they refuse to acknowledge that Canada is even a democracy. That is troubling on every level. I often hear from constituents about how absolutely fundamental it is that we steward our democracy well, especially at a time where we see so many aspects of that being challenged.
I would note how this particular motion has done something that is quite unprecedented. It has united the majority of members of Parliament, representing a number of different opposition parties, the official opposition being one of them. I have heard very thoughtful speeches from members representing all opposition parties this evening that acknowledge the significance of what we are debating here tonight.
It is fascinating and unprecedented, I think, to see how united all opposition parties and a majority of members of Parliament are in acknowledging how serious this is. Further, the second thing that is unprecedented is to see the flippant attitude that the government has used to approach such a serious issue.
I find it incredible and disappointing beyond belief that the government would take such an unserious approach and contemptuous approach to this. In fact, I find it interesting. A number of the speeches from the governing Liberals emphasized why this debate is even necessary with the ignorance and arrogance they approached Canada's democratic institutions with.
This has to be met with a serious tone and it is so unfortunate that has not been the case. I would note this motion that came from the committee that started this whole process included Liberal support. I would simply ask, where those members are now? Why are they not taking this seriously? Is it possible that the executive branch of our government, the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, have demanded silence on such an important issue?
It is a national shame; those members stood up in committee, to much political risk, I would suggest, especially with how the government has responded to the motion here today. It is a significant political risk. They have been silenced or are silent here tonight, and that is incredibly unfortunate and chips away at the strength of Canada's democracy.
When we look at this, we need to expand the context a bit. This is not a singular event. That is a key part of what we are discussing here. This motion and the actions leading up to it are not a singular event. I know some of my colleagues who have spoken before me have outlined aspects of that.
From the position of being on Zoom, we kind of have an interesting window into the perspectives of Liberal members. Whenever things are brought up about the Prime Minister, specifically his record, they are often shaking their heads. They are dismissing the seriousness of what some of his actions, or actions of the cabinet ministers, will have and the serious implications that will have on Canadian democracy.
The trust for what our democratic system is needs to be at the very forefront of everything we do. Democracy is fragile and the failure to recognize that could have disastrous consequences for the future of our country.
We see numerous examples from the Prime Minister's conduct, whether it be the numerous ethics violations, or the contemptuous way he treats Parliament and the will of Parliament, especially during a minority. It was not bad when the government was in the majority status because there was a level of control exerted, but ever since losing that, there has been a massive deterioration that has taken place.
We have seen time and time again the disregard for ethics, disregard for effective leadership and the absolute disregard for morals and ethics through cabinet decisions. It has been incredibly tragic and an erosion of trust within government.
There have been international embarrassments. Even this past weekend, when Bloomberg reported that the Prime Minister piped up and said he could be the dean of the G7 to help negotiate between the United Kingdom and Europe. The sense that I got when reading the response of international players was one that clearly shows that Canada is not taken seriously on the international stage. We see examples of judicial interference, and cabinet ministers being—
View Damien Kurek Profile
Absolutely, Mr. Speaker. I did preface some of these examples by saying that this debate tonight was not without context, the larger context of what has been six years of failure, contempt for Canada's democratic principles.
I know there is also other important business that the House has to get to and I will simply bring my speech to a conclusion. I know I have articulated a number of concerns as have other members from all parties, especially the opposition parties, which have articulated very well some of the concerns our nation and our democratic infrastructure are facing. This motion strikes to the heart of what Canadian democracy is about.
I would call upon all members elected to this esteemed chamber to take seriously the need to support the motion in order to steward that democracy, which we all have the responsibility to do, to ensure that our democratic institutions are protected, not only for today but that they do not simply become a footnote in history, that the supremacy of Parliament and all that means is ensured for us today, tomorrow and for future generations of Canadians.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, the member touches on an important issue. I have noted in question period over the last number of weeks and throughout the Liberals' history that whenever something starts not going their way, they simply pivot and blame everyone else. They yell and scream at the top of their lungs and concoct, manufacture, fabricate, in many cases, a story that has little resemblance to the truth. That is what we see here today.
Members have said that this is somehow delaying things that could have been passed months ago. Parliament did not have to be adjourned for so many months, especially when other democratic countries figured out a way to make their parliaments work. In fact, provinces in this country figured out a way to make their legislatures work in the midst of the pandemic.
I see members of the Liberal Party shaking their heads. They must not like the democratic accountability aspect of what parliamentarians are calling for and demand, and what Canadians need.
There is a lot more that I could say on this, but absolutely, it is a national shame that the Liberals would suggest this is somehow a filibuster when it touches the very heart of what Canadians—
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely true. We would not be here today if the Liberal government had a shred of respect for Canada's democratic institutions. Again, it is a national shame that there is such disregard for Canada's institutions, members of Parliament and the will of Parliament, that the Liberals would play games, putting our very democracy at risk.
The answer is quite simple. Canadians deserve better, full stop. The mandate given to this Parliament after the last election was very clear. A majority of the House is not Liberals, and we have, as members of Parliament, as a Parliament as whole, the ability to make decisions accordingly.
Our traditions and history have shown that there is a Liberal minority government and the Prime Minister is leader of the executive. That is fair and that is fine. However, opposition parties are the majority in the House, and we see a tremendous amount of unity—
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, I find it very unfortunate that the member obviously did not listen to my speech, and I would encourage him to simply go back and read carefully or watch the video of what I said. I think he would find that he has become so blinded by partisanship and the inability to respect the institutions of Parliament, that the Liberals will to turn a blind eye to actions of contempt.
When it comes to protecting and stewarding the democratic principle of our country, every member of Parliament needs to take that incredibly seriously. The fact that Liberals, and that member in particular, many times this evening have dismissed that with such utter disregard, speaks to the attitude that obviously comes from the top, of an admiration for a basic dictatorship that would bring democracy down in our country. As I have said a number of times, it is a national shame that it has come to this point in our country.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, although I am not a lawyer but a student of Canadian politics, the member strikes on such an important issue: the need and the demand that we have as parliamentarians to steward the processes, what this institution represents, and to ensure that it is done with the utmost respect for the benefit of Canadians.
I spoke often in the last election, from when I first announced my nomination all the way up to referencing it often to my staff and constituents about the need for good governance. We see at the very heart of so many of the challenges we face that this is a symptom of a failure of good governance. We need to return this country to a point where there is good governance once again, that Canadians, regardless of their political affiliation, can at least trust the government that is in power and although they may not like the decisions, trust the institutions and the fact that their government is working for the best interests of the nation.
We need a return to good governance in our country. The precedent that is being set time and again by the government is troubling and is eroding the trust that is necessary to sustain democracy in Canada.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this chamber, albeit virtually this time, to address such an important matter that strikes at the very heart of the democratic principles that I would hope all Canadian parliamentarians represent.
We have an authoritarian state actor, the Chinese Communist Party, that has repeatedly demonstrated disdain for modern democratic values. This is something that all Canadians need to take seriously. I would note this follows a very important debate where we discussed at length the importance of respect for democracy and the rule of law.
I want to read into the record the motion we are debating concurrence on:
That the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development strongly condemn the unacceptable sanctions imposed by the People's Republic of China against one of the Committee's Vice Chairs, the Member of Parliament for Wellington—Halton Hills, and the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights which represent an affront to Canada's democracy and parliamentary system; as parliamentarians, we will continue to actively denounce human rights violations and breaches of international law in keeping with our respect for basic human rights; and that this motion be reported to the House.
This is an opportunity for all parliamentarians to demonstrate how important it is that we take the democratic values of our country very seriously. It is unprecedented to see these sorts of sanctions against a committee and against a particular member of that committee.
The speaker before me, my hon. colleague from Calgary Midnapore, referenced the comments of the shadow minister from the official opposition in his statement when he learned of these sanctions. He said he would wear it as a badge of honour. That is the attitude that all of us should take seriously. We should defend, at all costs, human rights and the dignity of life and our democratic principles that define us.
We are doing what we are supposed to do. The fact that the member and the subcommittee were denounced should clearly state that the committee is getting to the root and is threatening the tyrants who are, in some cases, taking lives in the People's Republic of China.
I am proud to be a Conservative who is taking a stand, but I would note that this shows a clear contrast. It was not the Minister of Foreign Affairs who was sanctioned by name. It was not a Liberal member. It was not an NDP member. It was not a Bloc member. It was a Conservative member. I think it shows that the Conservatives, even from the opposition benches, are demonstrating to the world that we are leading on issues like standing up for human rights. The talking points we hear from the members opposite would suggest something very different, but there are very clear examples like this where a communist regime would sanction by name a member of the official opposition, it is clear that the Conservatives are doing something right, and I am proud to be a member of that party.
This contrasts very clearly with some of the actions of the current government. I have no doubt when I mention the statement the Prime Minister made at a fundraiser prior to getting elected, where I do not think he knew he was being recorded, he said he admired China's basic dictatorship that there will be head-shaking by the members of the Liberal Party who do not seem to like to remember that he said that. There is contempt for Canada's Parliament and aspects of our democratic institution. If we look at some of the specific examples with respect to our relationship with China, many of those issues are being studied before the special committee. We see the unprecedented movement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs abstaining on behalf of the Government of Canada and breaking parliamentary protocol on a motion to condemn a genocide. It is unbelievable that would be the legacy of the Liberals.
Most recently, we heard the Prime Minister parrot communist talking points that asking tough questions about Chinese state interference would somehow be an issue of racism, not to mention the many economic impacts that have been felt, and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs coming from a largely rural riding, certainly the impacts on agriculture and trade have been significant.
It is clear that Canadians need to be able to trust that their government stands for the core values of what Canada is. I call upon this entire House to concur with this motion and demand respect for the rule of law and the democratic principles that define what Canada is.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, let me take a brief moment to thank you for your service to this House as Deputy Speaker. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. Your efforts and service to stewarding democratic discourse in this country will be remembered. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I appreciate the member's question because it touches on something that is very important. The fact that the shadow minister of foreign affairs, an opposition member of Parliament, would be the one who is sanctioned speaks to how absolutely effective a leadership the Conservatives are demonstrating, not just in Canada but around the world, when it comes to standing up for Canadian principles at home and abroad.
It further speaks to the sanctioning of a committee that there is good work being done, and I will give credit where credit is due, by all members of that committee. It is encouraging to see that the principles of Canada, principles that I would hope we all hold dear are being stood up for. That these sanctions were levelled means that we are asking the right, tough questions to demand accountability from a foreign state actor that is perpetuating injustices around the world and upon its own people. It is absolutely essential that there be accountability for that.
View Damien Kurek Profile
Mr. Speaker, as a member of Parliament in my first term, I was astounded when a Conservative opposition day motion was brought forward to deal with an issue of foreign affairs, which is not overly common, dealing with the genocide being brought against Uighur Muslims, which is especially significant in light of some of actions that have rocked this country with the London attack this past week and that the entire executive of a government would not only abstain but then that the Minister of Foreign Affairs would break with parliamentary protocol, break with the standard rules and procedures of this House, and announce he was abstaining on behalf of the Government of Canada.
That is not leadership, it is an absolute failure to stand up for the values Canada needs to represent around the world. I am proud to be part of a party that has a member like the member for Wellington—Halton Hills, who makes it clear that no matter the cost, we will continue to stand up for those democratic principles and the rule of law and justice around the world.
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