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Results: 1 - 15 of 66
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-07 11:07 [p.8297]
Madam Speaker, shortly after celebrating her 105th birthday, a well-known and respected Inuk elder from Makkovik, Labrador, Ms. Muriel Andersen, passed away peacefully.
She was born on Dunn Island, Labrador, in 1917. She endured a lot in her life, living through two world wars and two pandemics and surviving residential schools. Ms. Andersen lost her husband at a young age and was left to raise her children on her own. She is the matriarch of a long line of Labradorians. Her family includes six children, 21 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren and 28 great-great-grandchildren.
She will be remembered as a strong, hard-working woman who loved to help others. She is truly a daughter of Labrador, and we thank her for her tremendous contributions over 105 years to the people of Labrador.
May she rest in peace.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-07 11:40 [p.8303]
Madam Speaker, I think it is important for my colleague to remember that, if one really wants to address climate change, it means making bold moves and bold investments. When we consider projects such as the TMX—
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-07 11:40 [p.8303]
Madam Speaker, I want to point out for my colleague that when one wants to fight climate change, it means one needs to invest to make it happen. When one looks at a comprehensive plan like we have as a government to address climate change, it considers projects like the TMX. It is focused on reducing the amount of oil that is being shipped by rail. It enables Canadians to secure a full value for its oil resources. Going forward, we will continue to focus on the best climate change measures we can implement to reduce emissions and fall in line with our net-zero commitments.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-05 16:28 [p.8161]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to rise and speak on third reading of Bill C-30. Bill C-30 addresses the cost of living for many Canadians by looking at targeted relief programs. In this bill and the previous bill, that includes tax relief by increasing the GST credit and the HST rebate for low-income earners or those whose incomes are under the $39,000 threshold per year, and also the implementation of dental care benefits.
We know on this side of the House that Canadians are having a difficult time right now. Many of them are certainly feeling the rising cost of living, no matter where they live in this country. Those living in the north are probably seeing those costs escalate at a higher rate and by a larger margin, as many others in northern Canada can attest, but it is happening throughout the country, whether it is higher food prices or higher prices on other commodities, especially building materials, for example. I have heard so many people talk about not being able to do maintenance and repairs on their homes because of the doubling and tripling costs of building materials.
I have heard many stories from families living on low incomes, who are having difficulty meeting the food security needs within their families. The one we hear quite often is the rising cost of fuel services, vehicles and the purchasing of all commodities in people's lives. For those who travel because they have kids who participate in many events across the country, in sports, in theatre and in student exchanges, participation in all of these things is costing more every single day.
We know that affordability is getting more difficult for many families, but we also know there is a limit as a government in terms of what we can do. We have introduced targeted measures that we hope will make it a little easier for so many families in this country. Those targeted measures will be an investment of over $12 billion in new supports for families.
One of them that I want to talk about today is the doubling of the GST credit for six months, as is proposed in this bill. By doing that, we are allowing many families with lower incomes to have extra money that will enable them to meet some of the demands and needs for household costs they are currently having to deal with. I know, for example, there are many families across my riding, especially many seniors, who are on the low-income spectrum and having to run their homes and families. I know this will make a huge difference for them. Having that extra money coming in over that six-month period will certainly help them get to where they need to be.
The investment in the HST rebate program, which will give extra money to low-income families, will mean an extra $2.5 billion of investments by the Government of Canada that will go to low-income families and seniors who need them. This will help them through this critical period of time, and it is a necessary investment by the government right now. I know we often take tremendous criticism on this side of the House for investing in programs that are supporting food security, heat security, children and families, but we do not make any apologies for this, because we know that in the time we are in, this financial assistance is totally necessary.
I hear from so many seniors in my riding who live on low incomes and are experiencing challenges with the higher food prices and with the ordinary cost of running their homes. I know this plan of doubling the GST credit for the next six months is going to make a huge difference to them.
The other thing we are doing with the cost of living relief act is that we would bring in the Canada dental benefit. This is a benefit that would allow many families who have no health insurance coverage for dental care to get the dental services they need for their children under the age of 12.
This is a program we would phase in over the next couple of years, but the first phase of the program, which would be implemented immediately, would provide the benefit to Canadians who do not have dental insurance policies, have an income of less than $90,000 annually and have children under the age of 12 years old. Those children would be able to access dental services as a result of this legislation. At this point, it would specifically be for children under the age of 12 in families who do not have dental care and an income of $90,000 a year or less.
Under the Canada dental benefit, direct payments would be made over a two-year period, which would allow people to claim back up to $1,300 per child for dental care services. This would start this year.
The next phase of the program would ensure seniors have dental coverage and that other Canadians have the coverage they need for dental care, depending on their income levels. It is expected that under this particular program over 500,000 Canadian children would benefit. Nearly $1 billion has been targeted to provide this particular service.
I know a lot of people are wondering how the benefit would work, how it would be paid out and how long it would take for the first stage of the government's plan to deliver coverage for families and get to the next level of care, which would be for seniors. I want to confirm the provinces and territories and private industry have all been engaged with regard to timelines, the longevity of the program and how it would roll out. The government remains committed to implementing this dental care program.
This is going to have a huge impact on many families and children. I remember growing up in the north in a community with no dental services, and we had to fly out for those services. If a child would go to a hospital with a toothache, the first thing they would do is pluck the tooth and not provide any other dental care.
We have moved way beyond that in Canada. Looking after the dental needs of kids helps prevent other diseases and illnesses. I know I am going to run out of time but I would like to tell a very short story. A lady was having many problems with her back, and doctors could not figure out what it was. They eventually determined she had a disease of her teeth and gums that was affecting all her body and causing infections that were causing so many other illnesses. It just goes to show that, if a person looks after their teeth and their dental hygiene, it can provide much better health outcomes for children and for all people in the population.
I am really happy to support the bill, to support the increase in HST for families who are earning $39,000 and under, and to support dental care for kids under 12 in Canada. These are good moves that help with affordability for many families. I hope my colleagues will support the bill.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-05 16:39 [p.8163]
Mr. Speaker, first of all, in order to provide the HST or GST supplement to Canadians, they have to be qualified for it. That means they have to be under certain income thresholds in order to be eligible. Obviously, the real place to go is to check with the CRA as to what their last income tax earnings were. It will be based on that.
What I can say is that, from our projections, this will be able to support about 11 million Canadians with regard to additional income under the GST program.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-05 16:40 [p.8163]
Mr. Speaker, when it comes to seniors that is a really good question. I think we have all had to deal with this over the last few months.
First of all, for any seniors who are under the threshold, in terms of what their supplementary allowances provide them in Canada based on their incomes, it did not change. While there was extra money paid out and extra benefits paid out, most of the people who were impacted were people who had other smaller pensions coming in from the side, so their cumulative income reached a different threshold level with that bump in payment.
What I can say is that very few seniors in this country who are dependent upon supplementary benefits have any room at all to make adjustments in their budgets. Their incomes are very fixed and they have very little room in terms of other escalating costs that may be happening in their lives. I think increasing the GST for many of these people will be a tremendous help for them, going forward.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-10-05 16:43 [p.8163]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague but I want to correct him on something. If he is referring to the dental bill that came forward in the House by the former member for St. John's East, I did support that motion. I wanted to correct that for the record.
I also want to say that I support the bill that is here today. I supported the motion at the time because I know the need for dental care in the riding that I represent and in many other northern and rural ridings across Canada. I know how important it is for families to have that kind of treatment for their children, and I am happy to support the bill that is before us today.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-29 14:10 [p.7938]
Mr. Speaker, in the wake of hurricane Fiona, people in Newfoundland and Labrador's west coast communities, like other Atlantic Canadians, are suffering in the aftermath, but together they are managing the devastating damage left behind.
Fiona ripped homes from foundations, wrecked public and private properties, collapsed buildings, washed out roads and took down power lines, leaving shorelines soaked in debris. Saddest of all, it robbed lives from loving families. Our deepest condolences go out to families that have lost loved ones in this hurricane.
In the aftermath of Fiona, we are also witnessing the true kindness of Newfoundlanders, Labradorians and Canadians: neighbours helping neighbours, over 800 Canadian Armed Forces troops on the ground working hard and hydro crews from other regions helping restore power. Canadians are stepping up to support, with food and clothes donations and over $10 million in disaster relief donations to the Red Cross, which our government will be matching.
As the Prime Minister and our government have recognized, the road to recovery is a long path and there is a lot of work to do, so please join me in offering support to all of the people who need it today. Let them know we will be there to support their communities and families as they restore and rebuild.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-29 14:46 [p.7944]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for the question, because if there is one thing for certain that we have done it is to be there for the people in northern Canada. During COVID when we knew there was a crisis around food and heat security, one of the first things we did was step up to provide the extra resources they needed in each of their communities to get them through that process. We have been there for them through COVID. We have been there for them before that, and we will be there for them today and tomorrow.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-28 18:24 [p.7884]
Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to acknowledge that Canada's Parliament is located on the unceded and traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people. We are debating a bill that is very relevant not just to those first nation groups but all first nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada.
Before I get into the context of my speech, I want to point out Bill C-29 would establish the national council for reconciliation. This is in response to the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report, in particular calls to action numbers 53 and 56. Basically, the national council for reconciliation would be a permanent, independent and indigenous-led organization that would monitor and support the progress of reconciliation in Canada, including the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action.
I want to take a few moments to explain how we arrived where we are, because there is some insinuation on the floor of the House that indigenous people did not lead this process and did not make the decisions around what the new legislation would look like and how it would evolve. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As a member of Parliament who represents a large population of survivors of residential schools and as the daughter of a mother who is a survivor of residential school, I do not need to tell anyone how important this piece of legislation is to my family, to my constituents and to many indigenous Canadians in this country. To say this would come to the House of Commons without their full support, their full participation and their co-leading and leading all sections of this piece of legislation would be accusations that are totally false and incorrect.
There are so many things I could talk about as it relates to the TRC. It is something I have been involved with for many years. It is important as well that I walk my colleagues through the work the government has done to get to where we are today. We worked really hard to renew our relationship with indigenous people. One only needs to go back to 2015, when we came into office, to see this. One of the first things we did was to immediately start implementing the calls to action. In fact, we were the only party, and to date I believe still the only party, in Canada that has said we are prepared to implement all 94 recommendations of the TRC.
When we took on the task of designing this legislation, first of all we started engagement with indigenous leaders and communities. We knew they were going to be integral to this process. Every step along the way, they have been engaged, included and leading what has happened here. The process was led by the indigenous leadership of the national council for reconciliation's interim board.
I will explain a bit about the interim board and about the transitional committee that came after that, but both of these were independent bodies. They were made up of first nations, Inuit and Métis members, who all came to the table providing their very best advice and experiences and took into account a very wide range of diverse voices and perspectives from all across Canada.
I also want to acknowledge the monumental work that has been done by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has really been the foundation for this bill and where we are today in bringing it to the House of Commons.
As many in this chamber will recall, the commission has set forward a pathway of reconciliation to begin the healing necessary in relation to the intergenerational traumas and ongoing impacts caused by the residential school system.
The extensive and historic work of the TRC was pivotal in laying out the groundwork for this legislation, as I said earlier, and the national council for reconciliation was laid out in calls to action numbers 53 and 56. They were two of the 94 that we are on the path of implementing.
In developing the final report, the council took a very inclusive, very indigenous-led approach. It listened to the voices of indigenous people. It heard from survivors of these institutions, as well as from their families and from their communities.
Our government has strived to honour that approach by fully implementing the calls to action and a national council for reconciliation, and by inviting and supporting indigenous leadership throughout the whole process, with its culmination being the development of this proposed legislation.
This process has been led by the truth and reconciliation commissioners, residential school survivors, indigenous people who participated in the TRC process, and everyone who envisioned that an independent, indigenous-led, national oversight body was the way forward.
The commissioners envisioned a national council that would prepare an annual report on the state of reconciliation in which the Government of Canada would respond publicly, outlining its plans to advance reconciliation.
In developing this bill, our government has listened to these diverse voices. Indigenous leaders and community members had the courage to step forward to tell the country about their experiences, how it affected them and how it affected their families throughout their whole lives. Let us not forget that despite the personal and tragic impact this had on them, it is their voices that are guiding us in the right way to help communities, to help future generations of indigenous people, and to help us toward a journey of healing in Canada for all indigenous people. That is remarkable. It is remarkable that those who suffered the most are leading the process of healing today.
After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission fulfilled its mandate, the federal government responded to its calls and established a national council for reconciliation. In doing so, we created an interim board that helped transition to the next steps. It made recommendations on the scope and the mandate of what that council should look like. That was the first step.
Then the federal government appointed the interim board of directors in 2018. That board was comprised of six indigenous leaders who were chosen to represent first nations, Inuit and Métis, including a former truth and reconciliation commissioner, Dr. Wilton Littlechild, who is no stranger to indigenous people in Canada.
This independent board was responsible for providing advice to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations on establishing the national council for reconciliation. They were all indigenous voices at that table.
The interim board held its engagement process shortly after that, in April 2018, meeting with various indigenous organizations and non-indigenous stakeholders across the country. As part of the council's mandate, members looked at the legislation, at the scope of the council, and, more broadly, at long-term reconciliation.
The interim board carefully considered all it had heard from its engagements with various indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and organizations, as well as at an engagement event in Ottawa, and it developed a final report. This process included, again, a very diverse group of people, with community members, academics, businesses, arts and health professionals, and other interested parties. Each member of the interim board reached out to additional individuals to ask for their views as well on the establishment of the national council for reconciliation.
The government, in addition to including all these people of indigenous background in various capacities across the country, also reached out to non-indigenous Canadians for their thoughts about creating a council. An online platform was created to capture the views of Canadians on the subject, where people could share their thoughts on the mandate of the future national council for reconciliation and what its first steps should be. I can honestly tell members that the input on that was very positive.
The other step forward was the engagement that took place. That happened directly with the national indigenous organizations. The interim board, which is an indigenous board, reached out to the Assembly of First Nations, the ITK and the Métis National Council to seek their input on the mandate for the council. Including this step in the process meant that indigenous community members, as well as political leaders, had the opportunity to express their perspectives about creating the council. When I say political leaders, I mean indigenous political leaders.
At every step of the way, establishing an indigenous-led approach was valuable, necessary and the practice for this entire process. It was only after the interim board had heard a wide spectrum of indigenous voices that it prepared its final report and incorporated what it had heard in that report.
It presented the report in June 2018, containing recommendations relating to the vision, mission, mandate, structure, membership, funding, reporting and legislation for the national council for reconciliation. It also said that it would be independent, permanent and a non-political body. It would also be a catalyst for innovative thought, dialogue and action.
The interim board also made recommendations about how the government should implement those particular priorities, saying that the government should create a transitional committee to support the next steps. It also said the government should draft the legislation, and that it should be co-drafted with the advice and leadership of the transitional committee members. I heard members mention that today. They did not look kindly on that process, but if they had read the recommendations from the interim report of indigenous people, they would have seen that that was the recommendation to government, to set up the transitional committee.
The interim board also recommended that there be more outreach and engagement, so we went from building on the work of the interim board to the Department of Justice preparing a draft legislative framework that could be used for consultation purposes. I think it is important to make special note of that fact.
We can really see that indigenous communities are at the heart of this proposed legislation. The next step after the interim board was, as it recommended, a transitional committee. That was established in December 2021. The members were appointed by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the committee reviewed the draft legislative framework and considered ways it could improve it to ensure there was a strong and effective council.
The interim board's engagement activities went on from 2018 into the transitional committee, and it then went on to carry out even more engagement with indigenous communities and indigenous peoples. The committee members met with indigenous and non-indigenous experts, including lawyers, data specialists, and financial and reconciliation experts. They gathered feedback and advice in areas such as reconciliation, law, data, organizational finances, information sharing, governance and accountability, and then used it to form their recommendations.
Basically, it was the work that was done all through this process over the last four years that has gotten us to the legislation we see here today. The transitional committee made recommendations on how to strengthen and draft the legislative framework while maintaining the vision, the purpose and the mandate that the council had expressed in the vision that it brought forward.
Today, in the House of Commons, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations has introduced Bill C-29, which is now being debated with the full inclusion and input of indigenous peoples and communities and experts right across Canada. It is being done after extensive engagement with indigenous peoples and organizations, after leaders have been involved in co-developing the legislative process and ensuring that the legislation that is before us here today is at the heart of what indigenous people have been asking for in this country.
Every step of the way, and I cannot say this enough, this has been an indigenous-led process, starting with the TRC recommendations to the bill that members see before them in the House of Commons today. I am confident that this has led to strong legislation that, if passed, will serve indigenous peoples and Canadians across the country very well in the years to come.
I know that the survivors of residential schools are so impacted by the legacy of what has happened in this country. I know that each and every day they look at ways they can build stronger partnerships with each other, with governments and with Canadians. I also know that they are leading a path of healing, and that is a long journey. We can help on the journey, and what we are doing today is helping. We are responding to what they are asking for. We have allowed them to lead the process, co-develop the legislation and be a part of where this goes into the future.
Before I say meegwetch, nakurmiik, marsi, I would like to move a motion. Pursuant to Standing Order 26(1), I move:
That the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment for the purpose of considering Bill C-29, An Act to provide for the establishment of a national council for reconciliation.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-28 18:44 [p.7887]
Madam Speaker, first of all, all of the appointments that are done by the minister and council are done in consultation with indigenous groups and leadership in Canada. That is the process we have, and that is the mantra we follow as a government. In terms of the transitional piece, it was the same process that occurred, and as we move into the new reconciliation board, there is ample opportunity for people to be considered even at this stage.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-28 18:45 [p.7887]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Nunavut for all the work she has done in pushing for, supporting and advocating for the implementation of both UNDRIP and all recommendations in the TRC report.
This particular process falls within the purview of what we are doing with UNDRIP. As members know, UNDRIP is very important to us. We have accepted it. We are leading a process with indigenous governments and groups across Canada and will ensure that everything we do as a government will fall under the purview of what is expected under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-28 18:47 [p.7887]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her support in the work we are doing around the TRC calls to action.
First of all, indigenous people have been part of this process, but more than that, they have led this process. It is because of their insight, views, perspectives, hard work and experiences that we stand here today presenting this legislation before the House of Commons, and we are doing so with their support.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-28 18:48 [p.7887]
Madam Speaker, yes, I have had opportunities to work with my colleague on a number of committees, and I know he is a hard worker and strong supporter of indigenous rights in Canada.
In terms of the timeline from the spring 2018 report to the legislation today, I want to remind members that we went through two years of COVID, which really slowed down a lot of the work that was being done by the committee itself regarding consultation with indigenous peoples, communities and governments across Canada. That process took a period of time. A lot of it was done virtually, but a lot was done face to face as well. To ensure there was ample time for all indigenous peoples and communities to have the input they wanted in this legislation, that was the time period required.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2022-09-28 18:51 [p.7888]
Madam Speaker, this is an issue that has touched the hearts of all Canadians. We have 91 ongoing projects right now. There is funding available for other communities, groups and first nations that want to do similar work within their communities and regions. The Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations is working with those community groups and organizations.
If you have some people in your riding looking to be involved in this program, we ask that you come talk to me, the minister or the parliamentary secretary.
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