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Results: 1 - 15 of 116
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-09-19 13:39 [p.16653]
Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise in the House to say a few words on behalf of the people in my riding, Halifax West.
Bill C-49 would modernizes the mandates of the offshore boards, including Nova Scotia's, to unlock the full potential of offshore renewable energy.
Just two years ago, the Nova Scotia government announced its intention to stop using coal to generate electricity by the year 2030, shortening its deadline by a decade. It also set an ambitious target of having 80% of its electricity sourced from renewable energy in the same timeframe. It recently amended Nova Scotia's electricity act so that the province could issue requests for proposals and contracts for things like large-scale batteries and renewable energy storage solutions.
Offshore wind and hydrogen have been identified as a priority for Nova Scotia. The province's government has indicated to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources that it wants Bill C-49 passed without delay.
The province has already officially said that it wants to launch a competition in 2025 for offshore land leases, with the intent of getting enough turbines in place to produce five gigawatts of power. That is enough energy for roughly 1.5 million homes.
The provinces joined the Regional Energy and Resource Tables, which will help them identify funding and financing opportunities in low-carbon energy sectors and optimize their policies and regulatory approaches.
With a greener future, less severe weather and job creation as their north star, Nova Scotians have already begun unlocking the economic opportunities that come with expanding Canada's renewable energy sector.
That is why I support making amendments to the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador accord, so we can facilitate the launch of wind energy projects off our shores, a whole new renewable energy industry for Canada.
I am going to focus on why these amendments make so much sense for the province of Nova Scotia. As a former minister in Nova Scotia, I know how important it is for our levels of government to work together to achieve great things, such as capitalizing on Nova Scotia's incredible potential.
In Nova Scotia, we have some of the best and most consistent wind speeds in the world that provide world-class conditions for offshore wind projects. Of course, Nova Scotians are already very familiar with technology used to harness wind power.
Almost 15% of our province's power comes from our 300-plus wind turbines, making Atlantic Canada a provincial leader in wind power generation. It is truly inspiring.
The initial work is already happening. This March, Nova Scotia's provincial government teamed up with the federal government to launch a regional assessment of offshore wind development off the coast of Nova Scotia. The assessment seeks input from indigenous groups and a range of stakeholders. Independent committee members have a year and a half to report back to governments on their work, which will include analyzing future development opportunities and the potential socio-economic, health and environmental impacts of offshore wind development.
The proposed amendments to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act are about ensuring that future offshore wind projects are subject to the highest possible environmental and safety standards, under the guidance of an independent expert regulator.
The act was put in place in the 1980s and provided a solid base for today's offshore regime. The act set up the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and it made Nova Scotia an equal partner with Canada, allowing it to jointly govern offshore oil and gas-related activity while sending proceeds back to the province.
Since the act was passed in the 1980s, we took the opportunity to make some much-needed changes to ensure that we are keeping up with modern technology and international best practices.
For example, we are updating the offshore petroleum board's land tenure regime. We are limiting the term of a significant discovery license to 25 years. This will ensure that these licences cannot be held forever, which is currently the case.
To make the regulation of future offshore wind projects as efficient as possible, we are proposing that the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board's responsibilities be broadened to include renewable energy, such as offshore wind.
It makes sense that a board that is already so familiar with the offshore, its legislation and its management be given this job. It gives these projects more stability and makes them more desirable to the companies that are considering investing in offshore wind and other renewable energy sources.
The board understands the challenges of operating in a difficult offshore environment, and it has decades of experience in safety and environmental standards, oversight and review procedures.
The renamed Canada-Nova Scotia offshore energy regulator will undergo a significant transition as its duties expand. It will regulate the entire life cycle of offshore wind and other renewable energy projects from site assessment to decommissioning.
The board already ensures that offshore projects are operating safely and protecting the environment. Specifically, the boards are in charge of land tenure, including licensing, providing offshore authorization and approval, monitoring compliance with the accord and carrying out enforcement activities.
With these amendments in place, the board will administer the governance framework jointly created by both federal and provincial governments and ensure the best practices in land rights management are being employed, specifically in the areas of how the land will be used, project bidding procedures, determining how to evaluate bids and granting licences for commercial projects.
A regional assessment of the suitability of the offshore wind around Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia has officially begun. These regional assessments are getting input from indigenous people, the fishing industry, experts on environmental issues and others. They will also inform the project-specific assessments carried out by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
It is clear that developers are interested in making offshore wind a reality. Some have expressed interest in developing offshore wind projects. Others want to get in on related facilities like on-land turbine staging sites and plants for producing hydrogen and ammonia.
For example, the enterprise Brezo Energy is developing a technology for a floating offshore wind project, and it says Nova Scotia is a perfect fit for them.
Another company called Novaporte has promised that shovels will be in the ground this year for an offshore wind marshalling yard in Sydney, where turbines will be stored and assembled.
Nova Scotia has already approved two large-scale green hydrogen electrolysis and ammonia production plants along the Strait of Canso. This aligns well with the proposed Atlantic loop that will provide the backbone for an interconnected Atlantic power grid. The loop will make it easier for neighbouring provinces to trade clean electricity and enable critical load balancing.
Last, with these amendments, we will be making marine conservation tools stronger, and we are improving the alignment of the accord acts and the impact assessment act.
This bill is a great move. It makes sense. We cannot fail to attract Canada's share of the forecasted $1 trillion in global investment in offshore wind by 2040, and it requires regulatory certainty. It would make Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador global leaders in hydrogen exports, a source of secure energy that we know Europe needs. It would create well-paying jobs for Canada's highly skilled energy workers.
These amendments are an essential part of our broader climate plan, and they will help bring our emissions down, making Canada more competitive, and stop feeding into the climate-linked natural disasters that my constituents have been experiencing this year.
Nova Scotia knows that this is the time to act. We know that this is good for Nova Scotia, this is good for Newfoundland and Labrador, this is good for Atlantic Canada and this is good for Canada. Let us get this moving and get this to committee so we can work together and get this going.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-09-19 13:49 [p.16655]
Mr. Speaker, this is what I know. When the bill was announced, I was in the foyer and partook in the announcement. I also know that the minister from Nova Scotia was at the announcement and represented Nova Scotia's interests. I know Nova Scotia is on board with this. I have also had the opportunity to speak to chiefs from my province from the indigenous communities, and they are on board with this. I know the petroleum board itself is on board with this.
This is a partnership between the federal government, the province, indigenous people, Nova Scotians and Newfoundland and Labradorians. This is a good thing. If there are issues with it, let us get them worked out at committee and move this along.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-09-19 13:51 [p.16655]
Mr. Speaker, that is a good question.
Before this bill was introduced, we worked for months with Nova Scotia, with Newfoundland and Labrador and with other stakeholders. I am confident that we will be able to work together to improve the bill in committee.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-09-19 13:52 [p.16655]
Mr. Speaker, I have the same passion that my colleague from Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook has, except I also have my own Lebanese and Arabic kind, which I am not going to go through here.
I believe the environment and the economy work together, and I believe this is a good piece of legislation for Nova Scotians and for Newfoundland and Labrador. It is one that has been built on. When it is passed, both provinces will still have to pass their own provincial laws. I know that both provinces are waiting for this to happen. I urge parliamentarians to take it seriously, as I know they all do, and pass it along to committee, because this is good for the provinces and the country.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-09-19 14:02 [p.16657]
Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise, particularly as the only female member of Parliament from Nova Scotia, to raise awareness of the distinct health needs of women and advocate for improving access to services.
Today I want to highlight the Orchid Gala, which was organized to support the creation of the Deanne Reeve Pelvic Health Suite at the Dartmouth General. Deanne Reeve lost her life to a late diagnosis of cervical cancer, and the suite will focus on gynecology and urology services, reducing wait times and increasing patient comfort. Up to 40% of women will experience pelvic floor dysfunction in their lives, and this expansion will ensure that they have a place to turn for care in the Halifax regional municipality.
Although hurricane Lee cancelled the gala this weekend at the last minute, the organizers worked with the United Way to deliver the prepared dinners to people in need in our community and reach their fundraising goal.
I thank Sheri Morgan, Liz Rigney and all the sponsors for their advocacy. I am honoured to have been included, and I look forward to what is next.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-06-20 14:06 [p.16320]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday was National Sickle Cell Awareness Day.
Sickle cell disease is a debilitating, inherited blood disease that causes those impacted to suffer from chronic pain, fatigue, social rejection and discrimination. Thousands of Canadians suffer from it, and support and treatment options have not improved for decades. Research and increasing awareness are critical.
Last week I attended the Sickle Cell Parliamentary Breakfast, which was hosted by the African-Canadian Senate Group. There I heard first-hand what this community needs and how we can best support them. It was an incredibly moving experience.
I thank the passionate supporters of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada and the Sickle Cell Anemia Association of Quebec for their work in raising awareness and creating a national sickle cell patient registry in co-operation with the Ottawa Hospital. I encourage all of my colleagues to learn more about this disease and to support the efforts of groups working toward better treatment options.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
moved that Bill S-246, An Act respecting Lebanese Heritage Month, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege to speak on behalf of the people of Halifax West.
Today, as a proud Lebanese Canadian, I am honoured to speak on Bill S-246, which would designate the month of November as Lebanese heritage month across Canada.
First I want to thank Senator Jane Cordy for shepherding this bill in the Senate chamber. The bill had its origins with my private member's bill, Bill C-268, last year.
It was a special honour to testify at the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology when the bill was being considered at that place, not only because I represent many Lebanese Nova Scotians in Halifax West but also because I have worked throughout my life to share, celebrate and preserve Lebanese culture, language and traditions in Canada.
I speak to this bill as the daughter of first-generation Lebanese immigrants to Canada from the tiny village of Diman. I also spent years of my childhood growing up surrounded by grandparents and elders of the village before fleeing war and reuniting with extended family and community back in Nova Scotia.
I joined, at the age of 15, Diman Association Canada, a group that was founded in 1973 by second-generation teenagers whose parents emigrated from the village of Diman. This group continues to flourish and celebrates its 50-year anniversary September 30.
I also joined the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax and was elected for the first time in 1993, over 30 years ago, as the first female president, serving six terms. The last was in 2013, when I entered politics. This organization, founded in 1938 and headed by Lieutenant Edward Francis Arab as its first president, is one of the oldest such organizations in North America.
It was founded by first-generation Lebanese immigrants who wanted to stay connected to their heritage, their culture and their mother tongue.
We mark its 85th anniversary this November.
I am also a former parish council member at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church. In Halifax, there are two Lebanese churches, Our Lady of Lebanon and Saint Antonios Orthodox Church, and each year each church hosts a summer Lebanese festival, one in June and the other in July, for all to enjoy.
A week ago, Our Lady of Lebanon hosted the Lebanese Cedar Festival with food, music, dance performances and so much more. It was a proud moment for me to see my children volunteering at the festival and my grandchildren doing the Lebanese dabke.
It was a welcome source of fun and community building and a chance to show our love and provide support to feed Nova Scotia and others in the community.
Through my involvement in all these groups, I have met people and groups across the country.
I know how significant this recognition would be, as the provincial recognition was significant when we proclaimed it in Nova Scotia in 2018.
When our Senate colleagues spoke to Bill S-246, they shared the stories of Lebanese Canadians from across the country, such as the Lebanese peddlers and fur traders who arrived in the late 1800s and early 1900s in P.E.I., Victoria and Edmonton.
There is business owner Annie Midlige, the first Lebanese immigrant in Ottawa.
There is George Shebib, who introduced the card game tarabish to Cape Bretoners in 1901.
There is William Haddad, a shopkeeper's son who became one of the first Arab judges in Canada.
There is Nazem Kadri, the Stanley Cup champion, and those who gave their lives for Canada, such as Charlie Younes and Lieutenant Edward Francis Arab, after whom we have named a street in the Westmount subdivision of Halifax.
There are also high-performance athletes like John Hanna, John Makdessi and Fabian Joseph from Nova Scotia.
There are artists as varied as singer Paul Anka, Drake collaborator Noah “40” Shebib, documentarian Amber Fares, Order of Ontario recipient Sandra Shamas, visual artist Jay Isaac and Order of Canada recipient Consul Wadih M. Fares, just to name a few.
There are academics and rights advocates.
There are civic leaders from all levels of government and political parties, including former senators and former members of Parliament, as well as my two federal colleagues from Laval—Les Îles and Edmonton—Manning and my former provincial colleagues Patricia Arab and Zach Churchill. There are, of course, Canada's first premier of non-European descent, Premier Joe Ghiz, and later his son Robert Ghiz, and so many more.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with my colleague and across all party lines to ensure that all people of Lebanese heritage in this country see themselves not only in this Parliament but also in all fields in all the life of this country.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Speaker, this is very emotional. To be frank, what I will say is this: I think I speak for all the Lebanese in this country but also for those in Lebanon. This is like being nominated for the biggest Oscar possible, and going and receiving that trophy or award. I just feel like I want to stand here, thank my God, my family, community and everybody. Honestly, I want to thank everyone from the House and the Senate for shepherding this through.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-06-12 14:03 [p.15753]
Mr. Speaker, last week I was supposed to lead off in the debate on Bill S-246, which seeks to designate November as Lebanese heritage month in Canada. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
I would like to point out the importance of this bill for Quebec in particular, because I am giving my speech today in French. According to Statistics Canada, Quebec's Lebanese community accounts for more than a third of all Lebanese Canadians. They chose Quebec because of the close relationship between the Lebanese people, the French language and the global Francophonie. Lebanon is a prime source of new immigrants, which is important because we need to offset the labour shortage and strengthen the vitality of francophone communities. Also, the first edition of the Lebanese Film Festival in Canada took place in Montreal, which is also home to the Saint-Maron eparchial seat.
I am eager to continue working with all of my colleagues so that we can all celebrate Lebanese heritage month in November.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-06-07 19:04 [p.15517]
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to raise a point of order for the first time. I was scheduled to speak to my private member's bill tonight. It is a bill that I believe everybody in the House favours, and it is to declare November as Lebanese heritage month.
I would like to second the motion from the member for New Westminster—Burnaby to investigate these ridiculous tactics, which are wasting resources and impeding important legislation from going forward.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-06-06 14:19 [p.15394]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the achievement of my predecessor and yours, the Hon. Geoff Regan. I first met Geoff in 1990 when I was articling and he was a practising lawyer. We stayed in touch and our paths have crossed often.
For 27 years, Geoff was an honest and dedicated representative for the people of Halifax West. He served in a number of parliamentary capacities, including as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and most recently as the 36th Speaker of the House of Commons. He gave so many years of his life to public service, which was made possible by the support of his wife Kelly, his kids Caitlin, Nicole and Harrison, and his extended personal and political family.
Today, Speaker Regan's official portrait will be unveiled during a ceremony on Parliament Hill, a wonderful testament to his legacy and contributions to our democracy. I am grateful for Geoff's years of hard work in serving the people of Halifax West, parliamentarians and all Canadians.
Congratulations, my friend.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-05-30 14:12 [p.15014]
Mr. Speaker, Upper Hammonds Plains and Upper Tantallon have been rocked by ongoing wildfires, which have impacted thousands of residents of Halifax West. I would like to thank all the first responders and firefighters who have been battling the blaze. My heart goes out to the families who have lost homes, and to those evacuated. I have spoken with so many who have been affected. I am grateful that there have been no reports of fatalities.
Special thanks go to those who have come together to support evacuees, opening up their homes and their hearts. Evacuation centres, like the Canada Games Centre, have received donations of clothes, diapers, toys and food, so much so that they have asked people to slow down. I thank the Red Cross and the many community groups, legions, churches, restaurants, hotels, pet boarding spaces, Facebook groups and all those who have stepped up.
I want to let residents know that the federal government is ready to support the ongoing response.
Our community is strong and resilient, and my heart is with everyone there.
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Lena Metlege Diab Profile
2023-05-29 14:53 [p.14905]
Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, thousands of Nova Scotians had to flee their homes as wildfires spread across the province.
One fire is ongoing and still not under control in the Upper Tantallon and Hammonds Plains areas of my riding of Halifax West. People's homes have been put at risk in the blink of an eye. The situation is so serious that Halifax regional municipality has declared a state of local emergency.
Could the Minister of Emergency Preparedness update the House on the situation on the ground and the conversations our government has been having with the province?
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