Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-06-19 14:05 [p.7167]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to pay tribute to the bravery of three heroes from my riding: Evan Green, Nick Lannigan and Ryan Atwin.
Concerned after spotting smoke coming from the back of a building, these three teenagers rescued a 60-year-old gentleman after seeing him lie helplessly on the floor through a window. Their heroism continued when they alerted sleeping tenants of the danger and assisted in the evacuation of the building.
These three young men were recently honoured as heroes and given life-saving awards at the St. John Ambulance's annual awards ceremony.
I invite my fellow members to join with me in thanking these fine young citizens for their courage and inspiring their community.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-06-18 15:26 [p.7117]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the dismantling of the CBC Radio Orchestra, CBC/Radio-Canada's commitment to classical music and the changes to CBC Radio 2.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-06-04 14:05 [p.6521]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to pay tribute to six outstanding students from my riding who are recipients of the 2008-09 Millennium Excellence Award.
This program is one of Canada's most prestigious national scholarship initiatives. The Millennium Excellence Award, directed at Canadians preparing to enter college or university for the first time, plays a crucial role in the recognition and encouragement of excellence in the classroom and beyond.
Congratulations to Melinda Jacobs of Varde Gymnasium, Michelle Bendrich from Leo Hayes High School, and Joanne Delaney, Joshua Clark, Boshen Gao and Bushi Zhang from Fredericton High School. These bright young people have made their families, schools and community proud.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-06-02 15:12 [p.6414]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition initiated by the sociology students of Sir James Dunn Academy in St. Andrews, New Brunswick and signed by students and residents of St. Andrews in recognition of the fact the United Nations 2006 Millennium Development Goal report indicated that, between 1990 and 2002, the number of people living in extreme poverty in Africa increased by 140 million, that an estimated 824 million people in the developing world were affected by chronic hunger, that 10.5 million children died from preventable causes before their fifth birthday in 2004 and that global rates of HIV infection was still growing.
Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to immediately take the necessary steps to establish a specific plan and timetable to increase Canada's aid budget to achieve an aid level of 0.7% of Canada's GNP by 2015.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-05-15 14:08 [p.5910]
Mr. Speaker, millions of Canadians of all ages are living with the daily challenge of speech, language or hearing problems that significantly affect their work, their school and all aspects of their lives. Greater awareness of where to find help is paramount in ensuring these individuals are able to lead richer, more productive and enjoyable lives.
May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month and I wish to congratulate a constituent who has earned the prestigious national Promotions Award from the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
Andre Lafargue is regional manager of audiology and speech-language pathology at River Valley Health in New Brunswick and is very involved in his professional associations. He has served as president of two provincial associations and is a former president of the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
I express congratulations to Andre Lafargue. He is truly deserving of this honour.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-04-08 14:05 [p.4626]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Fredericton's own Measha Brueggergosman, who received the 2008 Juno award for best vocal or choral performance at Sunday night's ceremonies.
Measha has emerged as one of the pre-eminent classical sopranos in the world. Having performed extensively in North America and internationally, she is critically acclaimed for her extraordinary voice, her remarkable versatility, the depth of her artistic commitment and her pure star quality.
Her recording Surprise, released in 2007, is a testament to her sensational voice and musicianship. I encourage everyone who is a fan of exceptional music to pick up her CD and enjoy it for themselves.
I extend congratulations to Measha Brueggergosman for winning this prestigious award. She makes her family, Fredericton and Canada proud.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-04-02 14:19 [p.4360]
Mr. Speaker, I, too, rise today to acknowledge and celebrate the new UN resolution marking today, April 2, the first annual World Autism Awareness Day.
It has been more than a year and a half since I introduced my private member's motion calling for evidence based standards, innovative funding arrangements for diagnosis, treatment and research and a national surveillance program.
The motion was adopted in good faith and supported by the government. It is therefore regrettable that the Conservative government has made no mention of a national autism strategy in its past two budgets.
This is about improving the lives of hundreds of Canadian children and families. I call on the government to work with the provinces to take concrete action and make the necessary investments to finally implement a national autism strategy.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-02-26 14:04 [p.3319]
Mr. Speaker, I am gratified that after years of hard work and negotiations that began between the former federal government and the government of New Brunswick and the city of Fredericton, our community will be home to a new downtown convention centre.
The centre will accommodate 1,500 people. The 66,000 square foot building will include a six storey office complex as well as two parking garages with a capacity of 750 vehicles.
I am pleased that the federal and provincial governments will cover a combined third of the total cost of the $24 million project. I particularly commend the city of Fredericton for pledging $16 million, the remaining two-thirds.
This kind of investment is crucial to development in downtown Fredericton. Not only will it showcase our city and enhance business and employment opportunities, but the new convention centre will also have a positive economic impact on all of New Brunswick.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2008-02-07 14:04 [p.2733]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the East Coast Music Awards will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend in Fredericton.
The ECMA showcases and honours the many professionals dedicated to the promotion of east coast music. Thanks to the organizers and many volunteers, ECMA events will take over the city from today until Sunday.
I wish all the nominees good luck, including Fredericton's own Thom Swift, Ross Nielsen, Richard Paul, Evangeline Inman, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, The Fredericton Playhouse, Dolan's Pub, Kyle Cunjak Photography and CFXY 105.3 The Fox.
Denise and I will be celebrating Noah's second birthday by attending the ECMAs, and I urge everyone to come out or tune in for the stellar lineup of east coast artists who will be celebrated this weekend in Fredericton.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2007-12-13 14:01 [p.2167]
Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Pacific Railway station in Fredericton has fallen into a state of total disrepair.
I am calling on the federal government to amend the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act, which would close a major loophole.
The York Street site was designated in 1991 as a historic railway station under the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act. Unfortunately, the site has been neglected for years and its future is in question.
Under the act, a property owner cannot sell, demolish or renovate a site without the approval of the federal government, but it does not speak to inaction, neglect or abandonment.
Built in 1923, the CPR station in Fredericton was designated because of its historical and architectural qualities.
The federal government, through Parks Canada, must correct this flawed legislation and ensure that heritage sites are properly maintained and celebrated.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2007-12-07 12:32 [p.1894]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to point out during the debate on Bill C-28 some of the failings of the budget, failings that were not corrected in the fall financial update. Given the tone of the throne speech, I do not see that there is much intention to correct those failings going forward.
Ultimately, the general overarching problem that I have with the direction of the government in this regard is that, having been given the opportunity to significantly affect a variety of areas and challenges that face Canada, it has chosen instead to basically withdraw. The government is talking about withdrawing in its relationship with provincial governments, withdrawing in its relationship with municipalities.
Given the magnitude of the surplus, the opportunity was presented to the government to deal with universities. The reality is that since 1993 as soon as the fiscal situation was improved, the first thing the former Liberal government did as a national government was to invest heavily in research. The research chairs program, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the indirect costs program, all of these things were investments by the Government of Canada in Canada, in Canadians to generate prosperity, because prosperity going forward is going to find its way where there is investment in knowledge.
That is just one example of the opportunity that was squandered by the Conservative government as it has chosen rather to simply make itself smaller, driven by an ideological agenda that simply does not believe that government can be an instrument for good. I do not hold that view.
Having said that, I also wish to say that I was very disappointed in the spring and most recently that the government still has not honoured the vote that it cast in favour of a motion calling for a national autism strategy, including a financial component. The government had the opportunity to do that and it did not.
Today what I would like to bring to the attention of the House and to Canadians is the nature of the change in the formula as it relates to transfers to the provinces for post-secondary education, social services and health.
In the 1960s and early 1970s the provinces were lobbying the national government, quite justifiably I think, for the government to adjust the taxation system because the provinces were carrying much of the costs of the most recent cost drivers, such as, education, health and social services. The tax system reflected an earlier time when most of these costs were federal.
In 1977 the Government of Canada responded to that request by offering the provinces 13.5% of personal income tax and 1% of corporate tax. It was attempting to do the right thing, but the problem with that remedy is that 1% of personal income tax per capita is not the same across the provinces. The problem is that in a rich province 1% of personal income tax per capita is worth significantly more than 1% of personal income tax per capita in a poorer province.
In an effort at the time by the Government of Canada to mitigate the fact that it was about to make a decision that would bring less equity to the country, which certainly was not in anyone's interest, it included a cash component in the transfer, which was worth at the time $2.7 billion. Last year it was worth $20.5 billion, so it is no small amount of money.
At the time the federal government then introduced a cash component that it would transfer to the provinces. Inside the cash component was an equity seeking provision which allowed that there would be mitigation for the damage that was done to the equilibrium in the country when it used taxes as a way of giving more money to the provinces. In other words, if the tax changes benefited Alberta significantly more than Newfoundland and Labrador, which they did, then the amount that would go to cash would reflect that and Newfoundland and Labrador would get more.
That was the way the decision was taken in 1977. This remedy, to a structural problem in Canada, which everybody recognized, would not hurt the smaller, poorer provinces. In one fell swoop, with that 1977 decision to mitigate the inequality, perpetrated on Canada by the Government of Canada, was eliminated.
As a result, from this year to next, the post-secondary education and social services transfer will increase in Alberta by $102 a person, in Ontario by $40 a person and in my province of New Brunswick by $7 a person. That will have incredible impacts on the provinces receiving equalization. I think it was a decision that was taken by the government without a clear understanding. The way it was referenced was equalization through the back door. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is it was not done to equalize Canada. It was done to ensure that the tax point transfer did not make Canada less equal. That was the purpose. It was recognized as such. Members can go back to Hansard and read the debates in the seventies and eighties around this.
The truth is the effect of this decision has impacted the smaller provinces in the areas of post-secondary education and social services, areas where we are struggling constantly to keep up. I accept that we receive equalization in our provinces. However, if we do not invest in universities, in knowledge and in research, and the provincial governments will have a hard time doing this given how much less money the small provinces have relative to the rich provinces as a result of this decision, then consequently the future holds more equalization.
In our province Premier Graham has boldly set out on self-sufficiency agenda so we will not find ourselves at the whim of these kinds of decisions. I have not decided whether I think that this was done deliberately or just unknowingly, but the bottom line is this. Try to explain to me and to Canadians where the justice is in increasing the amount of money available to the province of Alberta for post-secondary education and social services by $102 a person and the amount of money available in Newfoundland and Labrador or New Brunswick to $7 a person. How can that be just?
If that is not bad enough, by 2014, when the health accord expires because it is a 10 year agreement that was reached in September 2004, they will apply exactly the same forward to that. All the transfers that come to our provinces, the provinces that would suffer from this decision, all those provinces will be in a lesser position to provide those fundamental services in the area of health, in this case, and social services, but also the kinds of investments that would allow us to be more self-sufficient, to use Premier Graham's term. It will make it very difficult. It makes it all the more imperative to do this.
At the end of the day it is obvious, when we are as dependent on these transfers as we are, that we are at the whim of political decisions, whether taken out of malice or simply lack of forethought, and the effect on our province and our entire region will be disastrous.
It has not had a lot of attention. Members can check. It is on page 369 in the budget document and it is very clear. The increase in Alberta will be $102 a person. The increase in New Brunswick will be $7 a person. How can that be fair? How can that be just? How can we expect to build the Atlantic region when we are treated in a way that simply will not allow us to make the same kinds of investments that are made in provinces that have more of their own resources to invest?
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2007-12-07 12:44 [p.1895]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her acknowledgement of the work I have done on disabilities. I am very familiar with the programs she mentioned. I helped draft them and that is why they were in our platform in the last election.
The budget and the update are large documents and they contain a large number of things. There are many worthy things in the documents and that would be one of them. I commend the government for that.
At the same time, the damage that will be done to my province as a result of the changes in the transfer on social services will do so much more damage to those very programs that the province has to deliver around social services. In no way could there be compensation in those things that are positive.
If the government had not changed the social transfer, it would be a different story, but it has. As a consequence, my province will be unable to deliver programs in my community. It has nothing to do with equalization. Nor has it anything to do with the structural inequality. This is an inequality that was created by a decision of the national government in 1977. It protected itself against a cash transfer that had an equalization element inside it to simply mitigate the inequality that was in the tax transfer. It has been eliminated and the results for the smaller provinces are disastrous.
Consequently, with all due respect to the good pieces of this legislation, it cannot trump the damage that will be done by this one single decision.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2007-12-07 12:46 [p.1896]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would have more credibility if he went after all the tax measures. We have mentioned them. We had the courage to mention them. The NDP members have not. They are cherry-picking in terms of those which they can politically play better.
The reality is there is no credibility at that end of the House.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2007-11-30 11:06 [p.1578]
Mr. Speaker, Fredericton's new Northside Sports and Leisure Complex will officially be named Willie O'Ree Place on January 16.
Born and raised in Fredericton, Willie O'Ree is remembered as the first black player in the history of the National Hockey League.
Willie broke hockey's colour barrier when he was called up by the Boston Bruins to play against Montreal on January 16, 1958. Willie played pro-hockey for 21 seasons despite losing the sight in his right eye after being hit by a puck when he was 21 years old.
This 50th year anniversary celebration is fitting for a gentleman in the true sense of the word. Willie is the director of youth development for the NHL diversity task force. He has set a wonderful example in promoting tolerance and understanding.
Congratulations to Willie O'Ree. He has made Fredericton proud.
View Andy Scott Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Andy Scott Profile
2007-10-19 11:09 [p.147]
Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate a constituent who has earned the prestigious Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.
Dr. Wendy Robbins of the University of New Brunswick has been recognized for her contributions toward equality for women. She co-founded the women's studies interdisciplinary program at UNB and was research director of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She also co-founded the Coalition for Pay Equity in New Brunswick.
Dr. Robbins helped cause the Government of Canada to open up the Canada research chairs program for more women, aboriginals, minorities and persons with disabilities.
After receiving the award, Dr. Robbins commented that the women's rights movement is going backwards as a result of the wrong-headed policies of the government.
Dr. Robbins is a dynamic individual who speaks with great credibility. She has demonstrated a great sense of social justice. Canada is blessed to have committed, energetic people like Dr. Wendy Robbins making a difference in Canada.
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