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Results: 1 - 15 of 47
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-06-16 16:08 [p.8537]
Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly respecting its participation at the 18th autumn meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from October 4 to 6, 2019.
Also, I present the report of the Canadian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly respecting its participation at the 19th winter meeting held in Vienna, Austria, February 20-21, 2020.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-06-09 14:21 [p.8152]
Mr. Speaker, today, I honour the memory of Cornelia Oberlander, a renowned British Columbian landscape architect who passed away last month.
At the age of 18, Cornelia and her family fled the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. She was one of the first women to study at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and continued to be a role model for women in a male-dominated field.
Cornelia described her move to Canada in the 1950s as pivotal to her career. “The freedom to create, the freedom to think differently, was unlimited...[in this] younger country”, she said. In Vancouver, she designed the log seating on Vancouver's beaches, accessible public spaces in Robson Square, the Vancouver Public Library Central Library rooftop garden and VanDusen Botanical Garden. Central to her work was the idea that everyone could have access to green and environmentally friendly designs.
Cornelia was awarded Companion of the Order of Canada, but her legacy was the enrichment of urban spaces in Vancouver and other Canadian cities.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-06-03 13:15 [p.7890]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the New Democratic Party for bringing forward this topic on its opposition day. This is the kind of thing we need to do. We need to discuss this. We need to talk about it. We need to clarify and get to the truth of everything.
I know my colleague, the Minister of Indigenous Services, just said that he could not put himself in the place of those families and children. When I think of the residential schools, I think of what it would be like for my three boys to have been taken away from me when they were five or six years old. I think about them being told I was a bad parent and they would never see me again. I think of them being made to believe that everything they believed in, their family and their parents, was a lie or was untrue; making them feel ashamed of who they were, never knowing what it was to have been loved by a parent and living in an institution where they were abused. That makes me tear up because it must have been horrid.
When I think of those children who were buried in the mass grave in Kamloops, I think how they must have longed to see their parents, longed to be home, feeling ashamed every single day about being Indian and having to change who they were. I am just thinking about that.
In 2010-11, I chaired the status of women committee. We looked at the issue of violence against indigenous women in society, on reserve and off reserve. We went across the country, members from all political parties. We listened to the testimony of the women, the grandmothers and the elders. Every member of that committee did not have a single day in which they did not have tears unabashedly streaming down their cheeks, hearing those stories and the injustice of it all. Some of them came in saying things that they heard from other Canadians, such as “Oh, look at me”, that they had come here with no money in their pockets and they had survived. They wanted to know why these people were not able to do the same. They stopped saying that after the second meeting. They could not bear to listen to that truth.
I want to also note that during these committee hearings, I do not think we ever had more than two people in the room who were non-indigenous. Canadians did not care. They did not want to come and they did not want to listen. This was not an important thing for them to hear.
I hear people say that when they were in school, they were not taught this. That is the collective responsibility we bear for not caring, for pretending we did not know or for not wanting to know. That is important thing I want to park here. The facts are that most Canadians do not know and that most Canadian contribute to societal discrimination against indigenous people, calling them names, thinking they are, in fact, unworthy of the help or of anything. They do not understand the intergenerational trauma.
I have to mention South Africa. South Africa began apartheid because people came here, they saw what we were doing, they saw the carding system to be an Indian. They saw the residential schools and the reserves. They went back and did that in South Africa. They borrowed that for the way the Afrikaners treated the majority of that community. When we look at the parallels between South Africa, they learned apartheid from us.
However, we also learned something from them. We learned about truth and reconciliation. We are now talking about truth and reconciliation. We have been talking about it for a long time. When the people, the survivors, went and spoke, they mostly spoke to an indigenous commission. There still were no Canadians there, listening, learning and feeling heartbroken by what they heard. I do not believe there is a Canadian who would not be heartbroken by those stories. We have talked about reconciliation, but I want to talk about truth.
I want to make sure as we use this opportunity to speak together as a Parliament, we resist the tendency to want to have a quick and dirty fix and then go about our business and have feelings of “look at us, we just did all the right things”, that we can just feel not guilty and can assuage all of the feelings we have.
We should not do that, and we should not take this horrible, tragic, painful finding of the bodies of children in Kamloops to become partisan and political. We would actually be desecrating the bodies of those children if we built partisanship out of this, if we made political gains out of this.
I would love to hear us talk about this and would love to not hear us say “and this is what you must do”, because are we not then doing what the colonials and the churches did, which is to tell everybody what to do? Do we not think we have told indigenous people what to do for long enough? Do we not think that reconciliation is a long journey? We learned that from South Africa. It still has not finished that journey. South Africa is still on that journey.
The point I am trying to make here is that we have to be very careful about how we use this tragedy to impose on and continue to pretend we know best for indigenous people. Reconciliation is taking a long time because we have to work and, for the first time, listen and respect what indigenous communities want.
Indigenous communities across this country have different journeys right now. Some of them are ready for reconciliation and self-government and some of them have a long way to go. We need to be patient and work with them in respect. As government, we love to say, “Let us get this done tomorrow; let us get this bill passed”, but this is not what this about. This is about a journey.
I want to talk a bit about all the tears, flowers and outpouring of grief by Canadians. This is good and is cathartic for everybody. At the same time, we know everybody will move on to a different site at the next tragedy that comes and put flowers, and that the grief will be just as great for this new thing as it is for this one. This is not simply an incident we must grieve over. This has been going on for a long time.
There has been intergenerational pain and grief. We, as Canadians, never mention government or institutions, but as Canadians, every day we judge indigenous people. We are responsible, as Canadians, for the systemic discrimination of “Look at that person. They're probably drunk.” I heard stories from the witnesses in committee about how people would be taken to the hospital in pain, and someone talked about an incident where a young man had an abscessed tooth and was in such pain he was just crying all the time and the nurses and doctor said to bring him back when he was sober.
We are responsible for that. This is not just about what a government did. This is not about what churches did. This is about what everybody did because they thought they knew best. I do not want us to do that. I do not want us to always know best. I want us to heed, as we are already doing, the path to reconciliation and take the patience to walk with indigenous people, to listen to indigenous people and to heed what they are telling us. Not just to listen, but to heed it. We need to go at the pace they are ready to go at, and in the interim, to support, heal and make sure we build together a new society.
I want to talk about the truth part. We have talked a lot about reconciliation. In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, the truth was told in public fora. The truth was told by witnesses who came to say what they had suffered under that horrible regime, and everybody heard. The Afrikaners heard, the white population heard, everybody heard. It was broadcast on television and everybody heard that truth.
What we need to do is now go back to the schools and teach that truth. What we need today, other than teddy bears, flowers and quick fixes, is for every single Canadian in this country to own that truth. We need to own that shame. We need to own that guilt. We need to say to indigenous people that we have continued to do this and are sorry, not just that we are sorry but that we want to take the burden of guilt onto ourselves and that we want to take that shame and carry it with them. That is how it should go.
I just want to read something from—
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-06-03 13:27 [p.7892]
Madam Speaker, I think it is interesting that we just talked about listening and heeding what people were saying. I did not say that. That is not what I said. I did not say that Parliament should not have a say in moving forward.
I do think we have taken a long time, but we have taken the time that we were asked to take as we moved along with every single first nation clearly as they were ready to move forward. We have said that we would do that and we have been doing it.
What I wanted to talk a little about is this. Let us not run off and say we have to do it now, we must do it within a certain period of time, because that means that we are not listening. We are not listening to what indigenous people are telling us about some of the things they need.
The hon. member knows that no one is taking indigenous kids to court. We know that the Human Rights Tribunal made some recommendations that were outside of its scope. That is why we are having a judicial inquiry into this—
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-06-03 13:29 [p.7892]
Madam Speaker, absolutely. I think we need to give the assistance that is needed monetarily and in other ways, such as mental health, healing and support systems for families, to be able to go across the country and find out where there are other similar graves of lost children who never went home. We need to move forward to help. That is a thing we can do now, but I am speaking of some of the things within the reconciliation package and in this motion that ask for things to do, which would mean that we would be imposing things on indigenous communities that are not ready.
The indigenous peoples of Canada are not one amorphous mass of people. They are made up of different communities that have different first nations groups within them, which are ready to move forward at their own pace; bigger griefs, more griefs. They have a lot of things. We have to listen and work with them. That is what I am trying to say.
There is somebody called Geswanouth Slahoot, known as Chief Dan George. I will always remember what he had to say, when he stated that:
Many have been shamed of their Indian ways by scorn and ridicule. My culture is like a wounded deer that has crawled away into the forest to bleed and die alone.
The only thing that can...help us is genuine love...a love that forgives the terrible sufferings your culture...[has imposed on us] when it swept over us like a wave...a beach...a love that forgets and lifts up its head and sees in your eyes [you, Canadians, in your eyes] an answering love of trust and acceptance...
I think that is what I was trying to talk about here. It is not about quick fixes or immediate things. It is not about us all grieving at this one moment and forgetting about it as we move on to something new. It is about that steady moving forward and it is about Canadians taking the guilt, the blame and the shame, to say that all of us, even if we were only born 10 years ago, have to carry that, to acknowledge it.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-06-03 14:00 [p.7896]
Madam Speaker, June is ALS awareness month, a time when the ALS Society of Canada raises awareness and funds for research and support for those who suffer from this tragic disease.
About 3,000 Canadians are, at any one time, living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This rapidly progressing neurological disorder can strike anyone, young or old, regardless of age or socio-economic status. As the disease progresses, cost of care and equipment becomes exorbitant and is often borne by family members. The need for research and support to families is critical.
In memory of our late colleague, Mauril Bélanger, whose sudden and rapid demise from ALS affected this House profoundly, let us vow to increase resources dedicated to this disease. However, first, let us join the virtual Walk to End ALS on June 19.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-05-31 15:10 [p.7628]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe respecting its participation at the 20th winter meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, held by video conference from February 24 to 26, 2021.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-05-31 15:13 [p.7629]
Mr. Speaker, I want to present a petition signed by 1,885 people, with 645 signatures coming from my home province of British Columbia. The petition reads, “We, the undersigned, concerned citizens across Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to take the matter of investigating the shooting down of Ukrainian passenger Flight 752, whose passengers were mostly citizens and residents of Canada, to the UN Security Council by soliciting support from friendly countries and to request support for an independent investigation.”
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-05-26 14:50 [p.7372]
Mr. Speaker, over a year ago, Canada was hit with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians faced daunting challenges, our government supported us and we banded together. Sadly, some chose to sow fear for partisan gains. Contrary to claims by the Conservative health critic, we received our first COVID-19 vaccines in 2020, not 2030, and all will have access to vaccines by September 2021. Canadians need to remain positive and [Technical difficulties—Editor].
Can the Prime Minister list the rollout dates to dispel this fearmongering?
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-05-11 14:47 [p.7061]
Mr. Speaker, we know that human trafficking is a modern form of sexual slavery, which disproportionately affects women and girls as well as other vulnerable and marginalized persons. It is crucial that survivors of these crimes have access to support services, yet many do not know how or where to turn for help.
Can the Minister of Public Safety inform the House of the resources our government has made available to support survivors of human trafficking?
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-05-05 14:12 [p.6668]
Mr. Speaker, MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young Canadians. The incidence is three times higher among women. COVID-19 has amplified the income insecurity faced by women with disabilities.
Diagnosed with MS in 2008, Michelle Hewitt shares how difficult it is to make ends meet. She says, “I regularly speak to women....no longer able to work [WITH] no avenues for income once their medical employment insurance is finished...they are not seen as ‘disabled enough.’ The system is failing them.”
Our government, in the Speech from the Throne, vowed to introduce a new Canadian disability benefit to support Canadians with disabilities and lift them out of poverty.
Today, in honour of MS Awareness Month, I will join with MS Society's carnation pinning campaign to support a world free of MS. I encourage all to join in this effort.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-04-30 11:58 [p.6471]
Mr. Speaker, COVID-19 containment led to an increase in gender-based violence across the country. From the start of the pandemic, frontline organizations have struggled to meet the increased demand for services. I was glad to see that budget 2021 increased funding to support these groups, but to be effective in ending gender-based violence, we must consider men and boys.
Can the Minister for Women and Gender Equality tell us what supports are available for them?
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-04-22 12:29 [p.6018]
Madam Speaker, I am so proud to speak to this budget. The hon. member laid out the vision behind this budget extremely well, and I want to follow up on it.
This is a historic budget, presented by Canada's first female finance minister. I am proud because I can see the fine hand of the Deputy Prime Minister in that budget. I can see her thinking and her vision, because it is a clear, logical, visionary budget. It is laid out in three themes, as any logical budget would do. It is a budget about people. It is about protecting people, that is the first theme; it is about supporting people, that is the second theme; and it is about investing long term in people, that is the third theme.
We are facing the greatest global human and economic catastrophe since World War II, and I think we need to remember that. This is not a crisis caused by some human error or economic mistake made by others. It is caused by a virus that is currently in full control. I want us to think about the nature of this catastrophe, because we seem to lay blame in this House for who is responsible for what and why we are not controlling the virus very well.
With the exception of Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, every country is in lockdown right now, struggling against a third wave of mutations of the virus. Actually, Canada is holding its head above water. We hear fears raised about deficits and spending, etc. I want to ask my colleagues if we should have abandoned Canadians, or abandoned provinces that, constitutionally, have the ability to deliver health care. We have not done that.
We have invested $8 out of every $10 in the provinces and vaccines, giving provinces what they need in order to deliver health care, personal protective equipment, testing, tracing, surveilling, and ensuring the basics of epidemiology, which are test, trace, surveil and isolate when necessary, are followed. We have supplied the provinces with the money to be able to do all of that. However, it is their duty under the Constitution to deliver on that.
I want to say what the IMF said about our early response, which is the first theme in this budget. Because Canada used public health policies, grounded and guided by science and expertise, we were able to deal with the first wave of COVID in a very reasonable manner.
The variants are the problem right now. Until we can flatten the curve and until we get rid of COVID, nothing, no economic redevelopment, no starting of any economy, no transition, and no ability to plan for the future, will occur. Job one is getting that virus contained.
One of the things we did when it first started, as the IMF pointed out, to deal with this was we funded, $8 out of $10, the provinces and gave them the ability to deliver health care in a manner they felt fit their particular province and region. In many cases we have seen across the country that the provinces have different responses. Some have done well, as in the Atlantic provinces, and others have not done so well. That is because provinces are dealing with health care on the ground in their provinces. That is an important thing to remember. The federal government cannot suddenly impose on provinces and tell them what we think they need to do.
This is the first part, protecting Canadians, which we have done extremely well. The IMF said that we are one of the countries that did extremely well, using science and expertise to do it.
I could sit here and say that we are putting $40 billion into this and $3 billion over two years and whatever into things we have done. However, I am hoping members have read the budget and know where all the money is going and for what reasons.
I want to talk a little about the vision behind this budget. The point is we were, and are still, trying to flatten the curve. The second part of the budget is supporting Canadians, supporting workers, families, seniors and vulnerable Canadians, and supporting businesses and helping them to stay afloat. That part of the budget was about supporting Canadians so that they could survive and cope, and so that businesses, if not rising above it because nobody can rise above it until COVID is gone, could tread water.
When the time comes, and we are ready to move forward again and rebuild a new economy, small businesses will be ready to hit the ground running. That is why we looked at putting in place the wage supplement and the rent supplement for people who lost their jobs. That is why we looked to increasing sickness leave. That is how we saw the vulnerable in our society, which COVID exposed to us.
There are all of the women who had to leave their jobs. They did not lose their jobs. They had to leave them because they had to stay at home and take care of their children. There are all of the low-wage workers, who are working in risky and precarious jobs, many of them full time, who still cannot afford to make ends meet. The pandemic exposed those vulnerable people extremely well.
I think that is one of the reasons we are now looking at how to support them with a $15 minimum wage. Of course, we are helping workers, not just families but single workers too, to be able to make use of the taxes that can help them keep their heads above water. We helped seniors with money. We are looking at how we are going to help them continue to function by increasing the OAS for seniors above the age of 75, and giving them a one-time amount of $500.
We are looking at housing, not only for businesses, but also helping people and families pay their rent. We are looking at how we put money into a rapid housing initiative to deal with all of the homelessness, to help the people who have been displaced. We have put money into food banks to support people so they can eat and feed their families.
That is what this budget is about. It is about continuing to do that on until we get rid of COVID to help people to survive and cope, and have businesses able to keep afloat, so when the time comes they can rebound.
The third part of the budget is where I can see the Minister of Finance's fine hand, because it is a visionary budget. It is talking about the future. It is building for a resilient future.
This is not going to be our last pandemic. We do not know what is going to happen. Catastrophes will occur. We need to prepare for when they happen, not fall apart like we did economically and socially. We need to be able to be resilient enough to bounce with whatever hits us. That is what this budget is doing in its third phase, which is building for the future.
The important thing about this budget is that we are finding out about all the people who fell between the cracks, and they are going to have to be helped. This budget is about looking at building a new social infrastructure, so that we do not have to have people fall between the cracks again. We are looking at the people who have fallen and are falling.
We are looking at young people, and we are looking at seniors, helping them to survive and be able to move forward.
We are looking at the tourism sector and industries that have fallen apart. We want to keep them alive so they can rebound again. We are giving them money for marketing and for rebuilding.
We are not only looking at giving small businesses the help they need to restart and to rebuild, but we are also looking at helping them into the new era.
The new economic era that we are going to build will be based on the post-industrial economy. I have listened to many international fora, such as in Europe, talking about a post-industrial recovery. It is not going to be the same old, same old. We are going to have to look at how we invest in the new economy. In Europe they have talked a lot about how automation has actually begun to kill the industrial sector, and Europe has massive industrial sectors.
We are looking at how we rebuild back a new economy. We look at scientific knowledge and innovation. We are looking at harnessing our oceans. We are lucky. We are surrounded by three massive oceans. How do we get into that blue economy?
How do we utilize our oceans to produce food and protein with low greenhouse gas emissions, with renewable food sources? Oceans are not just about fish. We are going to look at how we could develop that. Although, I might say that I am very pleased to see that my province of British Columbia got a lot of help with the salmon. They are dying right now, and we got enough money to be able to rebuild that particular resource.
The important thing to remember is that we are recognizing that this new economy will have to utilize young people, who right now have no jobs. We have kept them afloat with summer jobs, and all of the other things, but we are now trying to utilize and focus on youth being able to get their first jobs, being able to get into the kinds of training that they need—
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-04-22 12:40 [p.6020]
Madam Speaker, I think what the hon. member does not remember is that in 2017, after the housing strategy had been gutted, this government put $40 billion over 10 years into housing, and since then we have topped that up. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was brought back in the housing business, because it had been taken away by the Conservative government.
We scrapped what was happening to support mortgages to help young people and first-time buyers. This is happening. This is going on in very difficult provinces such as British Columbia to help young people get jobs. I might add that one of the things IMF commented on is that we have been actually getting new jobs, the rising number of jobs in British Columbia in the last quarter has been in the technological industries with new innovations.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
2021-04-22 12:42 [p.6020]
Madam Speaker, this budget is not only about supporting the vulnerable, but it is also about being able to recognize where those supports are best used at the moment. It has been shown statistically that of seniors over 75, 10% are in the paid workforce right now. Most of them are disabled. They are suffering from long-term health problems, and so they really needed this extra support right now.
It is shown that, for those between 65 and 74, about 35% of that cohort are working and raising money. They are able to live, and they do have some ability to support themselves. Right now we are supporting the very vulnerable group.
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