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Results: 1 - 15 of 20
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-27 15:54 [p.7820]
Mr. Speaker, there were some very compelling points in the member's statement around the challenges that people are going through. I know that in my riding of Don Valley East people are going through a very challenging time. The member did speak about bringing voices into the House and standing up for affordability.
My question to the member is this. Will she be supporting a $1,300 dental care plan for young people and the $500 subsidy? That will really help the children in your riding that you referenced and the voices you speak for in this House.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-22 13:30 [p.7546]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Humber River—Black Creek.
I am honoured to be here today to speak to Bill C-31. This bill means a lot to the community that I represent, and I know that it means a lot to many members in this House.
I grew up in a community where many people struggled to pay the bills. This is not a new phenomenon in my community, but something that occurs all the time. In my constituency, we see people who drive Uber and who check out groceries. I have had many conversations with people in my community, and I know from them that people are struggling.
In my neighbourhood, there are people who struggle with vacancy decontrol and landlords who want them to leave so they can bring new people in and raise the rent. My constituents are also very concerned with home ownership. It is a very important issue to people in my community.
However, make no mistake: The people of Don Valley East and the people in my neighbourhood where I grew up are hard-working people, and they believe in the Canadian value that we are so much better when we actually work together as Canadians, when we stick together. It is part of our value set as Canadians. They are also very thankful for the type of country we have where, if one works hard, hard work can pay off, where we have great quality schools and a strong health care system, and where one can speak freely about issues and live the way one wants to live.
Speaking on Bill C-31, I was a bit offended by what I heard from the opposition. I want to remind people back home in Don Valley East and people in this House that we are talking about a dental plan for children under 12. We are talking about a $500 subsidy to help people pay the rent. That is what we are talking about, and with what we are hearing from the opposition about all of these different issues, I want to bring it down to this one point. What we will vote on with Bill C-31 is whether we, as members of this House, should come together to put in place a program to support children when it comes to dental care.
Should we put in $500 to help people? I have heard a few people say that $500 dollars will not do a lot. I can tell members that in my community, $500 goes a long way when it comes to paying for groceries, bills and helping with household income. It is a huge amount.
I have been here for a year, but I have watched this government over the last several years govern, and from the very beginning, back in 2015, addressing affordability and making life easier for Canadians has always been part of the mantra of the government. It is why my riding of Don Valley East has supported the government since 2015, because we are feeling the high prices of gas, the cost of living and the cost of groceries.
In fact, recently I did a survey in my community, and I was pretty surprised. It is the first survey I did, and I sent it out to everyone in the community. We got about 5% people who sent the survey back or went online to fill it out, so we had about 1,800 actually fill it out. However, 44% of the respondents said that affordability was one of the top three issues that they faced as constituents, and over 70% said that they had experienced some form of affordability issues over the last year. To me, this is very telling of where we are as Canadians today.
We have gone through so much with COVID over the last three years, with the global economy and now the war in Ukraine. Everything has shifted in this country, and things have become a lot more challenging for Canadians to purchase.
I do the grocery shopping in my house for my family and also for one of my family members who cannot go to the grocery store. I do it every week for that particular family member and my family. I have noticed the price of flour, baked goods and other things go up, as we all have. However, the opposition will point fingers at this government and say, “You are responsible for the price of these baked goods that have gone up.” Despite popular belief from that side of the House, we are not baking cakes and bread or growing grain or wheat on this side of the House. We are putting in place measures to help people take on some of these challenges that have been impacted by global affairs.
We know that when COVID hit, there was a huge shock to our system and to the economy in this country. We lost three million jobs in Canada. There was a 17% decline in our economic output. Our GDP fell by 2.1%, and even the exchange in Toronto fell by 37%. These were huge numbers. The system was disrupted and we lost a trillion dollars from those markets.
When we look at the war in Ukraine today, we know that prior to the war, 10% of all global wheat supply came from that region. We also know that 15% of corn came from that region, as did 15% of world barley production. Eighty per cent of sunflower oil came from that region too. When we see the cost of baked goods, the cost of wheat and the cost of products in grocery stores going up, there are many different factors in place.
The question in the House really is, where do we go from here? What do we do? How do we respond to it?
There are two approaches that are emerging in the House, one from the opposition and one from the government. As I said, the approach by the government has been here for the last seven years, and it is about looking for ways to create more opportunity and invest in people. The members opposite vote down bills like this that would directly support a child of 12 years old or under. To me, it is quite remarkable.
I want to go back to Bill C-31 just for a minute because Canadians need to know that when members of the official opposition have an opportunity to vote on this bill, they will have the opportunity to support a bill that would allow young people under 12 to have basic dental care and that would put $500 more in the hands of Canadians who need it to pay bills and pay rent. The Conservatives are going to have a very clear option, and the vote that will eventually come to the House will really define the two approaches the opposition and the government have. They are two opposing approaches to how we look forward and build a stronger country to support all people in this great nation of ours.
This bill would provide $500 to nearly two million low-income renters in this country and would provide $1,300 over two years to 500,000 children. This is a huge step in the right direction for this government and for those who support this bill.
When this government came into power back in 2015, it took many steps to look for ways to create more opportunity for Canadians. It lowered taxes for the middle class. It increased the Canada child benefit. It helped seniors by increasing old age security. Remember, the previous government, at one of those critical decision points that define governments or define parties, raised the eligibility for old age security to age 67 rather than its current age of 65. Of course, the best example I could give is what has taken place over the last year with the introduction of $10-a-day child care.
At the end of the day, we are investing in children and investing in families. We are looking for ways to strengthen opportunity for Canadians. We are looking for ways to better position Canada so it can continue to have a trajectory that provides a bright future for all Canadians. I am very proud, on behalf of the residents of Don Valley East, to stand in the House to fight for children and make the right decision to support kids who need help and families that need help during these difficult times.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-22 13:41 [p.7548]
Mr. Speaker, the member spoke about our responsibility. We do have a responsibility in the House. The question that will be posed to members of this legislature, to members of the House, is whether to invest in young people.
I throw the question back to the member. Will he be supporting children here in Canada and in his home province to make sure they have very simple dental care? Will he take on the responsibility that his constituents sent him here to the House for and represent their interests? Will he actually end up supporting a bill that supports kids who are 12 and under? It is a very simple question.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-22 13:43 [p.7548]
Mr. Speaker, the member knows that the House and the federation we have created as Canadians are sometimes complex. I am learning, after spending almost a year here, that it is a very complex House and there is a very complex relationship between the provinces and the federal government. However, I do know that the $10-a-day child care initiative, which I believe created 37,000 new spaces in Quebec, is a big win for Quebec and a big win for Canadians.
We need to continue to look for ways to make investments and work out those details to ensure that they are in the best interests of Quebec and the best interests of the Province of Ontario and the rest of our partners across the country.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-22 13:44 [p.7548]
Mr. Speaker, the nice thing about the House is that we have the ability to work together. It does not matter what party we are from. It does not matter what part of the country we are from. We have the ability to work together. I am very proud of the relationship we have been able to build in the House so that like-minded people can come together to actually get something done.
I think it is a huge accomplishment that we were able to introduce Bill C-31, which would actually, at the end of the day, make lives better for Canadians, especially for children under 12. I am very proud to support this bill.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-20 15:09 [p.7430]
Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Don Valley East, many people are struggling with increased rent and housing costs, especially families, working individuals and the most vulnerable. There is no question that more help is needed and that our government must continue to act.
Could the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion please tell the House—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-09-20 15:10 [p.7430]
Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Don Valley East, many people are struggling with increased rent and housing costs, especially families, working individuals and the most vulnerable. There is no question that help is needed and that our government must continue to act.
Could the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion please tell the House what new measures our government is putting in place to help families through this difficult time?
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-06-15 14:10 [p.6722]
Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to recognize a great Canadian who was just inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The platinum record-selling artist Deborah Cox is the first Black Canadian woman and the first from my neighbourhood, Flemingdon Park, to be honoured with this award.
Although Deborah is recognized and embraced today, back when she first started, she was passed over by almost every major music label in this country. It was not until she made her way into the United States that her career took flight and she became an international star. Known for her many number-one billboard hits, the rhythm and blues legend not only has left a mark on the music industry, but has excelled as an actor on the stage. Her 2004 Broadway debut was very well received and led to various roles throughout her career.
Deborah Cox's worldwide success makes us proud as Canadians, but I am especially proud because she is from the neighbourhood where I grew up, Flemingdon Park in Toronto. It is an honour to speak in the House today to let everyone know about the success of this great Canadian.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Coteau Profile
2022-06-03 11:18 [p.6087]
Madam Speaker, two years ago, the world witnessed a horrific crime. Committed in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses, police officers murdered George Floyd. In the United States, more than one Black man dies each day by police officers, and because of this, I am sad to say that I was not shocked when I first heard of Mr. Floyd's death.
However, this case was different. It was captured clearly on video and shared with the world. Our planet had a glimpse of life in Black America. Mr. Floyd's death was felt around the world and sparked an international movement and uprising. Two years later, his death continues to remind us that there is much work to do in Canada and around the world to combat anti-Black racism and police brutality.
As members of the House and as Canadians, we must never forget the significance of what took place two years ago, and we must remain diligent in our fight against hate in this country and throughout the world.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, today I address this House to remember a dear friend and an active member in the Toronto Liberal community: Carole Wardell, who suddenly passed away earlier this month.
Carole was the type of person who radiated warmth and friendliness the moment one met her. She was an admired teacher and vice-principal for many years, and someone who always had a welcoming smile on her face.
As an active member for decades on both our provincial and federal riding associations in Don Valley East, she was a staple at almost every local event, election campaign and fundraiser, always the first one to volunteer and to help out. She was also a long-time member of the Willowdale Women's Liberal Club, where she spent a lot of time creating space for women in politics and working to encourage more women to get involved in politics.
Carole will be remembered by me and so many other people whose lives she touched for her advocacy, her generosity and, most of all, her exceptionally kind spirit.
On behalf of the Don Valley East community, we thank Carole for all she gave over the course of her lifetime.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak from the beautiful riding of Don Valley East.
I want to first thank the member for Richmond Centre for bringing forward Bill C-244. It is very timely. The right to repair, as all the speakers have said in the past few speeches, is something that Canadians are looking for. It makes complete sense. Often lawmakers do not keep up with technology changes at the pace that they should, and it is nice to see that everyone who has spoken so far in this House agrees that this piece of legislation is needed.
Recently I got a letter from a gentleman from North Perth. He is an owner of a small independent theatre. He was telling me about the motherboard on the projector. Projectors are around $50,000 to $100,000, and the motherboard is about a $5,000 piece of technology. The technology was built in such a way that when the battery, which is basically a $1 watch battery, dies, the entire motherboard resets and becomes useless unless one pays $5,000 to fix the device.
That was a recent letter, from February 16. It came to me because I introduced a piece of proposed legislation when I was at the Ontario legislature that dealt with the right to repair as well, and to this day people are still calling me about this issue.
There are many Canadians who agree that we need to move forward on making some changes, and I think this proposed piece of legislation, this bill, is exactly what the people of Ontario are looking for. To change the Copyright Act to prohibit the use of technology protection measures or technological protection measures, or what are sometimes referred to as “digital locks”, is a good step in the right direction.
Things are changing so quickly on our planet. It is important for us to be able to fix our devices when necessary. People have talked about agricultural machinery and personal hand-held devices, and from washing machines to fridges, everything is integrated with software today. The technologies speak to each other, and it is important that people have access to fixing those pieces as quickly as possible.
I read a story a while back about people having to put their tractors onto trucks and move them hundreds of miles to get them fixed because they were not given the codes to access the software for updates that were necessary. This slows down production in agriculture, and it does something else: It takes away from the local economy. We should think of repair people in this sector as comparable to a mechanic's shop. If somebody's car is broken, they are not going to travel hundreds of kilometres for a repair. In most cases, if they live in a town, there is access to some type of mechanic who can fix their car.
That is not necessarily the case with technology today. We have cellphones that are very costly to fix. Motherboards are so integrated that the entire piece needs to be replaced, which becomes very expensive.
My first experience with the right to repair was when my cellphone broke. It was a Samsung S8 at the time. My daughter dropped it and the screen broke and I went to go fix it. The bill was $330 plus tax. A replacement phone was just a bit more than that at the time.
I was shocked that a screen could cost so much. The phone was working perfectly. It just had a crack on the top right of the screen. That opened my eyes to the world of right to repair and the advocacy that was out there.
In fact, around the same time, the member for Ottawa Centre, who was not a member of Parliament at the time, sent me a clip from CBC. It talked about the right to repair and the growing concerns in the sector around how companies were protecting their diagnostic software, manuals and schematics, specific tools and parts, and not making them available to people. I thought that we needed to make some changes in order to create more accessibility to these products.
The proposed legislation and working with the provinces is actually the perfect balance to have the right to repair movement continue to grow here in this country. I want to thank the member for Cambridge who, I believe it was in February 2021, brought forward the initial bill, the right to repair, and brought some national profile to this issue. There have been many other members across the country who have been advocating in their provincial legislatures for years, fighting for the right to repair, and I just want to mention a couple of those. I think it is important to recognize the work that is happening at the provincial level because it is complementary to the work that is happening federally, and vice versa.
Daniel Guitard from New Brunswick has been doing some incredible work, as well as Gordon McNeilly from P.E.I. I want to give a special thanks to the work of Guy Ouellette, who I would have to say is probably one of the original legislators across this country and has actually put in a lot of time and effort, not only here in this country but right across the world, in North America and at the international level, fighting for the right to repair. He introduced a bill back in April 2019, Bill 197 that amended the Consumer Protection Act, like my Bill 72 did in Ontario.
His bill focused on planned obsolescence, in addition to those areas like access to parts, schematics, etc. The bill was the first of its kind in Canada that looked at planned obsolescence and really put in place the European model for protection of products by giving them a rating system that allowed people to know exactly what they were buying before they actually purchased it and to see how long it would actually last.
Right to repair is more than just making sure people have the ability to fix their products, like many of the members have said. I am so happy to see that all of the previous members, from the impression I got, are on board to support this proposed legislation. It is very rare to go into a chamber like ours when it seems like everyone is agreeing that this is something that should go forward. Again, I want to compliment the member for Richmond Centre for bringing this forward and having a lot of people support this moving forward.
There is the environmental piece that is connected to this. There is having the ability, the right, to take a product and actually improve it or fix it. I often think about the early days of Microsoft, Apple and all these big tech companies, such as Steve Jobs in his garage taking parts from one computer and putting them into another computer or updating software. If strict right to repair laws were in place back then, we probably would not have a company like Apple today. We would not have companies like Microsoft.
Having the ability to go into a device and actually update the software or replace parts is all about innovation. It helps create a more innovative sector as well. It is important to note that this is not about compromising copyright law. This is about protecting intellectual property while at the same time allowing people to move forward to improve the products that they own.
I will be supporting this bill. I want to thank the member for the work that he has been doing to advocate for this issue. I hope that we can move forward to work with provincial governments to ensure, at the end of the day, that both federal and provincial governments can make the necessary changes to build a better country.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, we often do not get to witness politicians who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and who think beyond the four-year election cycle. I had the distinct honour of serving with the 25th premier of Ontario, the Hon. Kathleen Wynne.
The first woman and openly gay premier of Ontario, Kathleen was a trailblazer. Her policies were embraced by governments across this country. She introduced basic income, took serious action against climate change, raised the minimum wage, introduced pharmacare for children and youth, created the anti-racism legislation, ended race-based carding, increased public pension for Ontarians and introduced free post-secondary education for low-income students. Premier Wynne was relentless in her fight for a fairer Ontario.
Now, as the 25th premier of Ontario bids farewell at the Ontario legislature after almost two decades, I want to take this opportunity to thank Kathleen Wynne from the bottom of my heart for her passion, her integrity and her service to Ontario. I know history will look back at her time in office and see someone who was not afraid to stand up and who would not leave anyone behind.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the outstanding work of the Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services in my riding of Don Valley East.
Adeena Niazi, the executive director, and her entire team continue to empower women, their families and Afghan Canadians in my community, and more broadly throughout the GTA. From settlement services, to advocacy, to humanitarian work in Afghanistan, the AWO has been a lifeline to so many people seeking its help. This organization is helping people and their families build new lives here in Canada. Some are starting with absolutely nothing, having left everything they own behind after surviving the devastation back home. I have always been impressed by its passion and dedication toward helping others and the success of the programs and services it delivers.
We are lucky to have such an organization here in Canada, and I want to thank it for all of its work.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I am so proud to stand here in the House of Commons today during Black History Month to recognize Canada's first Black parliamentarian. Mr. Leonard Braithwaite passed away in March 2012, but his legacy lives on, and I am personally grateful for the path he paved for me and many others.
Mr. Braithwaite's career and commitment to this country were extraordinary. He served in World War II in the Canadian air force, graduated from Harvard Business School, obtained a law degree from Osgoode Hall, practised law, was elected as a school board trustee and city councillor, received the Order of Canada, served as a bencher in the Law Society of Upper Canada, and in 1963 broke barriers when he became the first elected Black person and parliamentarian serving at the Ontario legislature. However, he will be remembered most for ending the segregation of schools in Ontario and for welcoming women to serve as pages in the Ontario legislature.
I thank Mr. Braithwaite for his commitment to building a better country and for inspiring so many Black Canadians who have followed his path to serve.
View Michael Coteau Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, the Conservatives botched the Phoenix pay system from the start by choosing a high-risk cost-cutting route, causing real suffering for tens of thousands of public servants. Over 100,000 public servants suffered personal or financial hardship because of Phoenix, including some financial costs.
While the government has put in place compensation for current public servants, when will former public servants affected by the Phoenix pay system be compensated?
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