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Results: 1 - 15 of 514
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-15 15:15 [p.21203]
Mr. Speaker, I note that I will be splitting my time with my friend and colleague from Langley—Aldergrove.
It is the responsibility of parliamentarians, in certain circumstances, to make decisions that have to do with life or death, and that is where we find ourselves today. In the context of most of parliamentary history, not only here in Canada but in other parliaments around the world, it has to do with times of war and conflict, but today it is unique as we discuss the context of determining the status of what has come to be referred to as medical assistance in dying. It is an incredibly delicate issue that has brought forward a huge range of emotions and opinions from across the country and from across the political spectrum. Certainly, it is something that requires thoughtfulness when being addressed.
However, I do want very specifically to address something that has been very concerning to me in this discussion, and I will get to the substance of Bill C-62 in a moment. It has been brought forward and demanded by other political parties in this place that members' faiths and the values on which we build our moral system should not be included in this discussion, that somehow as parliamentarians we should separate those things from the discussion.
I would assert to members today, on behalf of many of my constituents who have reached out to me on this matter, many of whom agree with me and some of whom do not, that the basis of our moral system, whether that be mine as a Christian or other people's of Muslim, Jewish or other faiths or no faith at all, or whether it be the experience that one lives, plays a role in our ability as parliamentarians and as a society to make decisions.
As such, my message to this House and all Canadians watching is that we should never try to remove our faiths and our value systems from the conversation. Rather, they should be a part of it, thoughtfully, of course, and that certainly is the case when we are discussing something as important as medical assistance in dying.
Let us take a step back. What does Bill C-62 mean? It is a delay on the coming into force of an aspect of the medical assistance in dying regime. All parties, at different points in time, although that is certainly not the status of this debate today, have said there is tremendous concern about the widespread expansion of a system that could put Canada's most vulnerable at risk, and certainly that is something that should force all of us to take pause.
It has been asserted very clearly by me and many of my colleagues that this has simply gone too far when the regime that we are talking about is truly putting Canada's most vulnerable at risk, but the specifics of the bill today would bring a needed pause. My assertion, as when I voted in favour of the bill from my colleague from Abbotsford, would be that we should remove the provisions of medical assistance in dying that could very well lead to what we hear examples of. This is not simply an allegation. We hear very clear examples of that, and I will get into some local examples in a moment, but we have to ensure that we protect the most vulnerable.
That is why I will be supporting putting a pause on this expansion of MAID, but I believe we need to go much further than that, and I will get into a few of my reasons in a moment.
It was brought to my attention, and as a Christian taking seriously God's word, the Bible, I would reference a Bible verse in my debate here today. It is 1 Peter 4:10. It says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s...grace”. The reason I bring that forward today is that I think it provides important context for something that is truly foundational in how we look at the world, and that is the idea of the value and dignity of life and one's life.
I heard recently from a constituent, a woman, who shared a heartbreaking story about her son. He was in a mental health hospital after being found inches away from taking his own life. He reached out at the last moment, asked his parents for help and expressed that while the different things he was facing were incredibly complex, he did not want to die. As a result, the family was able to advocate for him, to work diligently to help support this young man and to ensure that he could get the help he required.
We were told in the beginning that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope”, but we have seen it, over the last eight years, since the Liberals first brought it forward, when Jody Wilson-Raybould was the then minister of justice and attorney general. There were warnings at committee and warnings in the various court decisions that led us to this point that we had to be very aware of the slippery slope. We are seeing that here today.
What I find very tragic, as in a story that I referenced from a constituent, and I will not get into the specifics to ensure that their identity is protected, is that we hear this tragic story where intervention was at least possible. This constituent reached out and said that had there been mechanisms in place that would have even suggested that it was possible, they feared what the outcome would have been and that they would have lost their son. We also hear numerous examples of how addiction is stealing life away from individuals. Instead of ensuring that there is hope and opportunity, they are not given the dignity of getting better. The potential of getting better is so very important in this discussion.
I compliment my colleague, the member for Cariboo—Prince George on the 988 number. It was a tragic irony that it took longer for the government to set up the 988 Suicide Crisis Helpline than it did for the government to bring forward what was the first one-year extension in the expansion of the medical assistance in dying regime.
Before us, we have a delay. When it comes to the heart of the matter, we need to stand up for the life and the dignity of all Canadians. I understand how we need to be thoughtful in how we engage in this subject, because it is deeply personal, and everybody can point to different stories. However, we have to protect life, to offer life, to not lose hope and to ensure that death does not become a part of health care.
We have heard tragic examples of veterans being offered medical assistance in dying instead of mental health supports and of Canadians who are hungry, having to battle through difficult economic times, and having to pursue some of these things. I referenced the committee a number of times. To those who might be watching and listening, some of the stories are of those who shared, very honestly, how their lives would have been put at risk had there been mechanisms in place that did not have safeguards and that did not prioritize the need for life and offer that hope.
I started my speech by talking about how, as parliamentarians, we are sometimes tasked with making decisions that are literally life and death, and this is one of them. My submission to this place, and to all members, is that we need to ensure we always prioritize life.
If we fail in that duty, I shudder to think what the long-term implications of that would be for our society. That would be absolutely devastating for lives that could be lost through a regime that does not prioritize dignity and ensure, whether it is for mental health, for disability or for others who are facing vulnerabilities in moments or longer stages of their life, that Canadians are given every opportunity to choose life and that the government does not facilitate death.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-15 15:26 [p.21204]
Mr. Speaker, certainly, there is a wide range of what could be considered mental illness, or psychological disorders or neurological disorders that, in some cases, are terminal.
We need to be so very careful. I am concerned about the direction the government has pursued and I am concerned about some of the other conversations that have taken place in relation to this, because we are not prioritizing the ability and the hope in so many circumstances. There is the opportunity to get better and to provide a dignified quality of life that would allow people to truly live their best life no matter what the circumstance. We need to prioritize life, as opposed to a circumstance where those who could get better are not given that opportunity.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-15 15:28 [p.21204]
Mr. Speaker, as a rural member of Parliament, I have long fought for, and will continue to fight for, ensuring that rural Canada has access to the mental health services that it needs, whether that is east central Alberta, which I am proud to represent, or rural and remote communities across Canada or in our north.
From my early days in the nomination to become the Conservative candidate prior to the 2019 election, I have long said that mental health is, in fact, health. That is why I was so proud to stand in support of, and continued to call for, the 988 suicide help line. That is why, in the last election, I was proud to support a platform that had significant mental health investments.
The idea that mental health is health is that basis of ensuring that every Canadian has dignity and every opportunity to succeed, and the chance to get better. We cannot forget that there is always hope.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-15 15:30 [p.21205]
Mr. Speaker, there is a lot to unpack there. I appreciate the question. Certainly, it speaks to how, in so many circumstances, whether it be women, people of colour or those who are in a lower socio-economic bracket, they are often the ones who end up being, in some cases, encouraged to pursue things like medical assistance in dying. There needs to be dignity given to the value of their lives just as much as any other Canadian. I find it so troubling that we seem to not be acknowledging those facts and that we are putting the most vulnerable in our country at risk of the most final decision that could possibly be imagined, and that is death. We need to always prioritize life and treatment above that of death.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-14 16:44 [p.21126]
Madam Speaker, as always, it is an honour to be able to stand in this place to present a petition on behalf of the good people of Battle River—Crowfoot. Today, in particular I would like to present a petition that was presented to me, in person, by a group I met with in my constituency office, about concerns related to needing to have a conversation around electoral reform.
Although we certainly did not agree on everything, I value immensely the productive conversation I had with this group of constituents. On behalf of these constituents, I am proud to be able to stand on their behalf to present this petition that calls on the House of Commons to give voice to the subject of electoral reform and to make recommendations related to the motion that was brought forward. Although I did not vote it, again, there was productive conversation related to Motion No. 86.
As always, it is an honour to be able to stand on their behalf.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-14 18:54 [p.21145]
Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour to stand in this place and defend and work hard for the people of Battle River—Crowfoot and, specifically, tonight, the hard-working farmers from east central Alberta and coast to coast.
I would be remiss if I did not say a very happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart Danielle. I am not sure if she is watching, but I love her and I hope that she and those three boys are able to enjoy Valentine's Day back in Alberta.
We are talking about Bill C-234, a common-sense Conservative bill that would eliminate the carbon tax for many of the essential aspects of the work that our hard-working farmers and ranchers from coast to coast pay for and that ultimately drives up the price of their operations.
What is really unfortunate, in this entire process, is that this is where the Liberals lose the plot.
I am honoured to be the fifth generation on my family farm in Alberta's special areas. I know so many classmates and people I have gotten to know across the country since getting elected.
I want to reference, specifically, a young lady named Mady from Saskatchewan. I believe she is 12 years old. She told this story recently in an interview in New York. Her story is an incredible one. She was asked a true-or-false question during a test in school about whether farming was bad for the environment. She knew that the teacher expected the answer to be true. She marked that but put a frowning face beside the answer.
As Mady describes, and I believe she was eight years old at the time, it was this that inspired her and her parents. I have chatted with Mady and her mom. She has had the opportunity to speak to the ministers, the previous minister of agriculture and, I believe, the current Minister of Agriculture, and to advocate for farmers across the country and now even around the world. She knew that it was essential to get the message out about the value, the ability and the solutions that Canadian agriculture brings.
Where the Liberals lose the plot is summed up in a bumper sticker. I know that the Liberals hate when we use slogans, but this is not something that I created. This is something that I have seen on bumper stickers and the back windows of many trucks, minivans and tractors across my constituency. It is: “No farmers. No food. Know farmers. Know food.”
This is where the Liberals have lost the plot. They are blaming the very people and they are punishing the very people who are able to solve the problem that our country faces.
I received an email just the other day from a local food bank operator in Flagstaff County. Lynn told me I could share this story. She shared how tragic it was that there were a number of instances where, when individuals come into the food bank, they are lying about the number of people in their homes and where they live.
One would say, “That is not good.” It is never good to lie, right? We are taught that. One has to ask why they are lying. It is because they are hungry. These people, these families, are hungry. In some cases, they are so hungry that they have no choice but to go from food bank to food bank in order to be able to feed themselves.
Where the Liberals have lost the plot is that they blame farmers and believe that punishing them and all Canadians is the solution to somehow helping those individuals who are, in some cases, starving, as Lynn shared with me just the other day.
Instead, the solution is very simple, if one reduces costs for those who produce the food. Like I mentioned the other day, at every step of the food supply chain, one can reduce, ultimately, the price of food for Canadians. That is where we are. We have a simple, common-sense solution. We can get Bill C-234 across the finish line, as it was intended, and allow farmers to get to work, so they can reduce the price of food, and Canadians can afford to eat.
However, the problem is that we saw unprecedented political manipulation by the Prime Minister, the Liberals, and the criminal, socialist, activist of an excuse of an environment minister that we have. This was manipulation at an unprecedented scale, showcasing how the so-called independent Senate is anything but.
We saw the Liberals' carbon pricing scheme, which is now admittedly a failure. In fact, just today they announced they are rebranding it; it is so misunderstood. They do not even trace the emissions that it has reduced because they cannot see that it has even helped the environment in this country. Can members imagine an environmental platform that does not help the environment? What kind of absurdity is this?
We see that the Liberals saw that their carbon tax scheme was falling apart and that the scam was being seen for what it truly is: a scam. The Liberals put on the full-court press and pushed the Senate to pass a number of amendments that gutted the bill. It would have been common-sense relief to farmers. They could have worked at lowering the price of food for all Canadians, but instead, they played politics with the hungry stomachs of Canadians. That is the sad reality. As a result, we are seeing the consequences.
The simple fact of the matter is that if the coalition that is ruling this country would agree to pass Bill C-234, unamended, we could get to work and could see that amended.
For all the farmers and producers watching, the question is simple. They should reach out to their Liberal, NDP or Bloc member of Parliament. Tell them that it is time to do the common-sense thing and to pass Bill C-234, unamended, so that we can provide that much-needed relief for farmers so that they can do what is truly required to ultimately lower the price of food for Canadians.
We have heard from all parties, I believe, this week about Canada's Agriculture Day. It is interesting that there is only one party in this country that truly stands for our hard-working farmers and ranchers, and that is the Conservative Party. Here is the offer I would make, as a farmer and a parliamentarian, as somebody who cares deeply about the agricultural sector and about the hunger crisis that has been caused by the Liberals, the failed carbon tax, the inflation and all the dynamics leading to that; let us get to work to pass Bill C-234. We can show Canadians this thing called “leadership”.
My fear is that the Prime Minister, the Leader of the NDP who is just as weak and, it seems, just as corrupt because he is certainly propping up the corruption of the Liberals, and the members of the Bloc Québécois, seem clueless as to how they are impacted by this carbon tax, by the national mechanisms associated with it and by the national impact associated with it.
Let us pass Bill C-234 in its original form, and demonstrate to Canadians that common sense still exists in this country for the thousands of farmers I represent, who depend on common sense for their daily operations. I see a number of rural MPs. In fact, I think everybody who seems to be left in this debate represents at least part of a rural constituency.
Common sense rules on the farm. It rules in rural Canada, so let us see common sense rule in this place so that we can bring home lower food prices for Canadians. The question is simple: Will those other parties pass Bill C-234 to bring home lower prices and axe the tax?
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-14 19:47 [p.21152]
Mr. Speaker, when I asked the question of the Prime Minister in November, it was very specific to the impact the carbon tax is having on the price of food.
The parliamentary secretary just let something slip that runs completely contrary to the narrative the Liberals propagate on a daily basis and even the announcement they made today with their so-called carbon tax rebrand, which is this: She said that it is a feature of the carbon tax to raise prices on the things the government does not want. What does that translate to? It translates to higher costs for Canadians to be able to afford such things as groceries and other essentials at the grocery store. This relates to higher costs on the transportation of the goods we need, which are essential to our economy. It translates to higher costs for farmers and producers. The problem with the Liberal narrative on the carbon tax is that it is doing what it was designed to do, which is to raise prices; however, it does not lower emissions. That has been proven very clearly.
Earlier today, I referred to a tragic example I had heard of a food bank in Flagstaff County. Lynn sent me an email. I know Lynn, and I appreciate her community volunteerism and activism. She talked about how food bank clients are lying about where they live and how many people are in their home. Why would this happen? One would think that lying is a bad thing, but they are lying out of desperation, because they are hungry. In this small-town food bank in a rural county in Alberta, because of the price of food, there are Canadians who are forced into a position where they are lying. They know that it could mean that they would be banned from the very food bank they need. It is a tragic consequence of the policies of the member, the ministers and the Prime Minister. Of course, we should not leave out of the conversation the lackeys in the NDP who are propping up the corruption, the high prices, the inflation and the carbon tax.
There is a part of this conversation in addition to higher prices being a feature, not a flaw, of the carbon tax: the fact that emissions are not a part of the conversation, even though they claim, time and time again, it is, when their own numbers say that it is not. It is this: How high is it going to go?
In 2015, the Liberals, the Prime Minister and many of those who were elected, ran on a platform promising that the price of the carbon tax would never be more than $50 a tonne. They said that was the maximum; it would never be any higher, and we could take that to the bank. That ended up to be the furthest thing from the truth. It was revealed not four years later that their actual plan was $170 a tonne, and they covered it up. They were not honest with Canadians.
Here is the very clear question I would ask in a follow-up to the cost of living crisis that so many Canadians are facing. For more than half of Canadians, the indirect and direct costs of the carbon tax are leaving them with less money in their pockets, because the government is taking it away from them. I hope the parliamentary secretary listens and responds directly: Will the government follow the direction of certain international entities and activists that are calling on it to raise the carbon tax even higher? We hear that it could be as high as $1,000 a tonne.
Do the Liberals plan for that carbon tax to go higher, which will raise the cost on everything? I would like a clear answer, please.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-14 19:54 [p.21153]
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that I gave the member the opportunity to deny, very clearly, that their plan was to raise the carbon tax to $1,000 a tonne. She refused to do so.
The Minister of the Environment, the criminal socialist activist who serves as environment minister of this country, has made it very clear that it is—
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-14 19:54 [p.21153]
Mr. Speaker, the formerly convicted activist, who faced criminal charges, has said, even the other day, that the government had decided not to build any more roads and that Canadians should simply take a walk. Here is my suggestion: I would hope that the member would support the many Canadians who have reached out to me from across the country, from coast to coast to coast, saying that the environment minister, the Prime Minister and the leader of the NDP are the ones who need to take a walk.
Maybe instead of rebranding the carbon tax that is driving up the price of everything, let us rebrand the prime minister of the country and elect the member for Carleton as prime minister, to bring common sense and to bring home a government that actually works for Canadians.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-13 14:12 [p.21037]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General released her report on the arrive scam scandal. This damning report shows that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost or the corruption. This app should have only cost $80,000, but it ended up costing taxpayers $60 million. To make matters worse, $12 million went to Liberal consultants who did not even work on the app. In addition, this app sent more than 10,000 Canadians unjustifiably into quarantine. Arrive scam reeks of corruption that goes straight to the top, but in the ethics committee today, it was verified that even emails that were deleted to cover up corruption can be accessed with authorization.
It is time for answers. That is why Conservatives are calling on the RCMP to expand its investigation into arrive scam so that those involved can face charges. The question is now this: Will the Prime Minister comply, or is he implicated?
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-13 16:46 [p.21062]
Mr. Speaker, I find aspects of the debate we have had here today to be very troubling because there are increasing examples, and I hear of them in my constituency office and from reports in the media, but the member suggests that somehow the debate is settled. Therefore, anybody who would raise valid questions is somehow not entitled to ask those questions. That is simply not how our democracy works. It is troubling that that would be the trend some members of the Bloc Québécois, and even some Liberals today, are following when we have heard a host of very concerning things.
Even at the special committee, which has been referenced, Quebec's college of physicians suggested that infants could be euthanized if they were born with a disability. There are concerns about members of the military, veterans, who have been offered MAID instead of treatment. There is a whole host of questions that need to be answered. It is time to give hope in this country and not simply the opportunity for somebody to end their life in the most final way imaginable.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-13 22:03 [p.21101]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. That is an outrageous accusation. I would urge you, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that we maintain the respect and decorum that should be accorded this place. For the member to make accusations as she just did not only demeans the Leader of the Opposition but also discourages members in this place from being able to—
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-08 14:43 [p.20856]
Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal-NDP government, we know that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost of groceries.
Dawn, an independent, multi-generational greenhouse operator, was forced to sell because of the cost of the carbon tax coupled with rising interest rates. After she told the Minister of Agriculture her story directly and asked him to pass Bill C-234 unamended to reduce costs for farmers, he ignored her.
What does the minister have to say to Dawn and the many like her facing challenges: losing their businesses, their livelihoods and their family legacies because of the Liberal government's policies?
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-08 14:44 [p.20857]
Try talking to a farmer.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2024-02-06 10:02 [p.20665]
Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour to stand in this place and to present petitions brought forward by Canadians. Today, I have a petition that brings forward a number of issues, but specifically it is signed by Canadians who are opposed to the bringing back, like the Liberals promised in their 2021 election platform, of a values test for charitable organizations. To summarize, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call upon the House of Commons to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis.
It is an honour to present this petition in the House here today.
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