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Results: 1 - 84 of 84
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-06-04 12:39 [p.14586]
Mr. Speaker, last year the Auditor General released a report that studied, among other things, nutrition north Canada. I know our government has accepted all of the recommendations and is working with community leaders, retailers and northerners to improve the program, and to lower the cost of housing and nutritious food in the north.
Could the member explain for the House and all Canadians exactly what actions our government is taking to respond to the recommendations in the Auditor General's report?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-05-26 15:03 [p.14182]
Mr. Speaker, the people of Surrey are demanding action. Gang violence is threatening the safety of law-abiding Canadians, and we cannot stand aside while this violence goes on. Just last Sunday there was another senseless shooting, leaving residents of the area exposed to the drug turf war that is going on.
Could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please update the House on what is being done to ensure our communities are safe?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, we understand that freedom and security go hand in hand and that Canadians expect us as parliamentarians to protect both. Our Canadian model of third party, non-partisan and independent oversight of our national security agencies is superior to the political intervention in the process, especially when we see the opposition's attitude on this file.
Would the minister share with the House the safeguards included in the bill to ensure that the privacy of law-abiding Canadians is respected?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 14:10 [p.13126]
Mr. Speaker, residents of my riding and across all of British Columbia are concerned about the crime epidemic in Surrey. That is why our Conservative government has taken strong action to increase front-line RCMP officers in our communities. We have passed more than 30 new measures to combat crime and we have made the youth gang prevention fund a permanent program.
Unfortunately, the Liberals and the New Democrats have opposed and obstructed us every step of the way. The Liberals' solution to drug-fuelled gang warfare is to make marijuana easier for all children to buy and smoke.
British Columbians know that it is only the Prime Minister and this Conservative government who can be trusted to protect them from violent crime.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 16:17 [p.13147]
Mr. Speaker, my question for the member is very simple. Why do the Liberals and the NDP continue to oppose all the measures our government introduces for the middle class? About 600,000 seniors with low income below $60,000 are currently maximizing their TFSA room, and would benefit from the measure. About 11 million Canadians have a tax-free savings account, with the vast majority of these accounts belonging to low-income and middle-income earners. Why would the Liberals and the NDP take away education savings, retirement savings, and first-time homebuyer savings from the middle class? Why are they so against prosperity for the middle class?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 16:39 [p.13151]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on the 2015 budget.
Our government is responding to the needs of my constituents. We are helping young families, seniors, veterans, and small business owners. We are putting more money into the pockets of residents, so they can raise their families and save for retirement.
Under our leadership, Canada has created more than 1.2 million new jobs since the recession, but we live in uncertain times and the global economy remains fragile. That is why economic action plan 2015 would continue our government's focus on creating more jobs and growing the economy in Surrey and across Canada.
Importantly, at the same time, this is a balanced budget. This means more tax cuts for Canadian families and individuals and less debt for future generations. It would ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support important social services, such as health care and education.
Economic action plan 2015 includes key measures to support Surrey families and the B.C. economy, including cutting taxes for small businesses. Economic action plan 2015 proposes to further reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. Due to measures taken since we formed government, we have reduced taxes for small businesses by almost 50%.
On tax-free savings accounts, economic action plan 2015 proposes to increase the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for the 2015 taxation year. There are now 11 million Canadians who have opened accounts, and of those who contributed the maximum amount, 60% have incomes below $60,000.
On supporting job-creating businesses, economic action plan 2015 proposes to provide tax relief to the LNG industry and new funding for the forestry sector to help diversify their markets to emerging economies. These initiatives would help create jobs and economic growth for British Columbia.
On national security, we would ensure that our armed forces continue to have what they need to accomplish the dangerous tasks Canadians ask of them. Economic action plan 2015 proposes to increase the National Defence budget by $11.8 billion over 10 years. We would now provide new funding to help counter violent extremism and terrorism.
In my riding of Fleetwood—Port Kells, there are more than 12,000 households with young children. In total, there are more than 25,000 children living in those homes. Economic action plan 2015 would benefit 100% of those families and children. It would do so by lowering taxes and increasing benefits.
We have recently introduced new tax relief and benefits to help make life more affordable for Canadian families, including increasing the universal child care benefit. For each child under the age of six, parents would receive a benefit of $160 per month, which is up from $100 per month. The universal child care benefit would be expanded to children age 6 through 17, allowing parents to receive a benefit of $60 per month, or $720 per year. There are 18,000 children in my riding who would be eligible for this benefit.
We are also introducing the family tax cut, which is a federal tax credit that would allow a higher income spouse to effectively transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket, providing up to $2,000 in tax relief.
Since 2006, our government has introduced more than180 tax relief measures, which will provide tax relief and benefits of up to $6,600 dollars for a typical Canadian two-earner family of four in 2015.
There are also nearly 12,000 seniors in my riding. Our government recognizes that Canada's seniors have helped build and make our country great. That is why, since taking office, we have provided over $2.3 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners, including removing over 85,000 seniors from the tax rolls, introducing pension income splitting, doubling the pension income tax credit to $2,000, increasing the age credit amount by $2,000, and establishing the landmark tax-free savings account.
Budget 2015 builds on this impressive record of support for seniors by reducing the minimum withdrawal requirement from registered retirement income funds, introducing the home accessibility tax credit to help with renovation costs so seniors can remain in their homes and, as I mentioned before, increasing the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention infrastructure. Canada has led the G7 in public investment growth over the last decade. Our government's unprecedented investments in infrastructure, the most significant in our country's history, have already yielded significant results for hard-working Canadians and their families, ensuring the resilience of our economy and creating jobs. These investments will ensure Canada's future economic growth for years to come.
Budget 2015 adds to this record by continuing to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the new building Canada plan, the largest, longest-running federal infrastructure commitment in our country's history. The budget also provides an additional $750 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative public transit fund to promote public transit infrastructure investment in a manner that is affordable for taxpayers and efficient for commuters. The ability to invest this substantial amount in targeted infrastructure is a direct result of the government's responsible actions to return to a fiscal balance.
Already there has been unprecedented federal investment in B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Surrey under this Conservative government, impacting nearly every aspect of the lives of hard-working families. Since taking office, we have invested billions of dollars into British Columbian communities. We are making a real difference in the everyday lives of Surrey residents. In total, our government has spent $1.5 billion on local projects since 2006. This includes the new RCMP headquarters in Green Timbers, the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the new Surrey Library.
I have personally made over 50 announcements, totalling more than $40 million. All were in Surrey and most in Fleetwood—Port Kells. These investments are resulting in local jobs, local opportunities and local facilities for Surrey residents.
It is all about helping hard-working families, the unemployed, seniors and youth and it is also about improving our communities, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
While the opposition parties support high taxes and high debt that will threaten jobs and set working families back, our Conservative government can be trusted to manage Canada's economy and keep taxes low for the people of Surrey. The province of British Columbia will receive record-high transfer payments to support health care, education and social programs. Specifically, B.C. will receive $6.1 billion in federal transfers this year, a 34% increase from under the Liberals.
Our government is acting prudently and decisively to ensure that Canada's economy creates good jobs and sustains a high quality of life for Canadian families.
We are proud of our plan that is lowering taxes and providing benefits directly to families in Surrey for them to reinvest in the Canadian economy. It is a plan that I will be happy to take to the doorsteps of the people in my riding.
With economic action plan 2015, our government remains squarely focused on the number one priority of Canadians, with a forward-looking plan to create jobs and grow the economy in British Columbia and across Canada. It is a good budget for Canada, for British Columbia and for Surrey.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 16:50 [p.13152]
Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is working for all Canadians. It is not only for the wealthy. It is for all Canadians in general.
Also, Canada has demonstrated one of the best economic performances among the G7 countries over the recovery. Over 1.2 million more Canadians are working than at the end of the recession. The majority of these new jobs have been full-time positions, not part time, in high wage private sector industries.
Our government has done a lot in the manufacturing sector as well.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 16:52 [p.13152]
Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, Canada's economic action plan 2015 is a comprehensive agenda to bolster Canada's long-term economic strength and to promote job growth. It is a plan not just for the next 12 months or three years, but it is a plan for the next generations to come. Our government is proposing measures that will ensure long-term prosperity and growth. It is also about putting the country on track for success, both now and going forward.
Economic action plan 2015 will ensure that we are focused on enabling and sustaining Canada's long-term economic growth.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 16:54 [p.13153]
Mr. Speaker, budget 2015 reaffirms our government's commitment to reduce employment insurance premiums for over 60 million Canadians in 2017. In 2017, the government will implement the seven year break-even EI premium rate setting mechanism, which will ensure that EI premiums are no longer needed to pay for the EI program over time.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-03-23 18:00 [p.12199]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to speak in this House in support of Bill S-7, the zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act. If the measures in this bill are implemented, they will amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act, and the Criminal Code to add further protection for vulnerable individuals, in particular women and girls.
Unfortunately, gender-based violence is a sad reality for women and girls across this country. Whether they are Canadian-born or newcomers to Canada, in too many cases the violence comes in the form of abusive cultural practices that have no place in this country. I am speaking about practices such as polygamy, underage marriage, forced marriage, and so-called honour killings. These abusive practices have damaging and wide-ranging consequences for the victims, and they also harm victims' children, homes, and communities. Indeed, they severely affect all those involved, from influencing whether individuals can successfully immigrate to Canada to breaking down opportunities for integration and economic success.
Our Conservative government made a strong commitment in the recent Speech from the Throne to prevent and counter violence against women and girls within the borders of this country. The zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act is a concrete example of this commitment. Its proposed measures are worthy of the support of all parliamentarians, because they would clearly help ensure that barbaric cultural practices do not occur on Canadian soil. Bill S-7 would send a clear message to newcomers to Canada, as well as to those who are already part of Canadian society, that such practices are unacceptable here.
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration participated in many round tables and consultations across Canada. Participants told the minister that early and forced marriage, so-called honour killings, and polygamy still occur in Canada. These practices that occur across all cultures and ethnicities will not be tolerated in Canada, and our immigration system will not be used as a vehicle to perpetuate these acts. This bill reinforces the message that these practices are completely incompatible with Canadian values and will not be tolerated.
As I said, one of these practices is polygamy, which although illegal in Canada, is an accepted practice in a number of other countries around the world. In a 2011 ruling that upheld the constitutionality of Canada's polygamy law, Chief Justice Bauman, of the B.C. Supreme Court, found that there were physical, psychological, and social harms associated with the practice of polygamous marriages. He found that women in polygamous relationships “face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse”, that “[c]hildren in polygamous families face higher infant mortality” and “tend to suffer more emotional, behavioural and physical problems, as well as lower educational achievement”, that polygamous families face “higher levels of conflict, emotional stress and tension”, and that “[p]olygamy institutionalizes gender inequality”.
For these reasons and more, we must enact measures that increase our ability to prevent polygamy from occurring on Canadian soil. Bill S-7 would do so by enhancing existing immigration tools to render both temporary and permanent residents inadmissible for practising polygamy in Canada.
Of course, polygamy is not the only cultural practice that contradicts Canadian values and that causes harm to its victims. That is why Bill S-7 contains measures to help counter early and forced marriages. These measures include setting a national minimum age of 16 years of age for marriage. Currently there is no national minimum age for marriage in Canada. Federal law, which applies only in Quebec, sets the minimum age at 16.
In other parts of Canada common law applies. There is some uncertainty about the common law minimum age, but it is generally considered to be 12 for girls and 14 for boys. Although in practice very few marriages in Canada involve people under the age of 16, setting a national minimum age of 16 or older for marriage would make it clear that underage marriage is unacceptable in Canada and will not be tolerated here.
Other proposed amendments to the Civil Marriage Act in Bill S-7 include codifying the requirement that those getting married must give their free and enlightened consent to marry each other and the requirement for the dissolution of any previous marriage. In addition, Bill S-7 contains measures that would amend the Criminal Code to help prevent forced or underage marriage and would create a new peace bond that could be used to prevent an underage or forced marriage, for example, by requiring the surrender of a passport, as well as preventing a child from being taken out of Canada.
Also notable are the measures in the bill that address so-called honour killings, which are usually premeditated and committed with some degree of approval from family or community members. However, in some cases they may also be alleged to be spontaneous killings in response to behaviour by the victim that is perceived to be disrespectful, insulting or harmful to a family's reputation. In Canadian law, an individual facing murder charges can raise the defence of provocation. If this defence is successful, it can result in a reduced sentence.
The defence of provocation has been raised, so far unsuccessfully, in several so-called honour killing cases in Canada. Accused murderers have claimed that real or perceived marital infidelity, disrespect, defiance or insulting behaviour on the part of the victims toward their spouse, sibling or parent provoked the killing.
This provision may or may not have yet been successful, but what happens if it is successful one day? We must not take the chance. No one should be able to use the defence that they violently harmed another because they were provoked. It is simply contrary to Canadian values for lawful behaviour by a person, no matter how it may be perceived as insulting, to excuse their murder.
That is why measures in Bill S-7 would amend the Criminal Code so that such legal conduct by a victim could never be considered as provocation.
In conclusion, I am sure all my hon. colleagues would agree that we must stand up for all victims of violence and abuse and take necessary action to prevent these practices from happening on Canadian soil. That is exactly what we would be doing by ensuring the bill's passage into law, and that is exactly why I hope everyone in the House will join me in supporting the passage of Bill S-7. I hope all hon. members of the House look past politics and vote in favour of the bill.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-03-23 18:10 [p.12201]
Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. The zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act demonstrates that openness and generosity does not extend to early and forced marriages, polygamy, or other types of barbaric cultural practices.
Canadians, as I said in my speech, will not tolerate any type of violence against women and girls, including spousal abuse, violence in the name of so-called honour, or other violence. Those found guilty of these crimes must be severely punished under Canada's criminal laws.
The purpose of this proposed legislation is to stand up for the victims of violence and abuse and to send a very clear and strong message to those in Canada, and those wishing to come to Canada, that such practices will not be tolerated on Canadians soil.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-03-23 18:13 [p.12201]
Mr. Speaker, let me repeat that our government announced its commitment to take these steps in the 2013 Speech from the Throne. This was followed up in the 2015 series of round table consultations, led by our Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, on violence against women in the context of immigration.
We think Bill S-7 is also consistent with the aims of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on the issue of protecting women in our immigration system. These actions contained in the bill build on existing initiatives that are aimed at ensuring that immigrant women and girls in vulnerable situations have access to support and services that meet their unique needs.
The zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act sends a clear message to those coming to Canada that forced marriages and honour-based violence, or any other forms of barbaric cultural practices, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
The bill therefore deserves the full support of all the members on both sides of the House.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-02-25 15:32 [p.11677]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the citizens of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by dozens of local residents who are outraged by the unnecessary death of a young woman killed by a drunk driver.
The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact tougher laws, including mandatory sentencing for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death. The petitioners also ask that the offence of impaired driving causing death be redefined as vehicular manslaughter.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-02-03 14:08 [p.10982]
Mr. Speaker, this week marks the ninth anniversary of our Conservative government, during which time we have provided real results to Canadians.
We have cut taxes more than 160 times, reducing the federal tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years and saving the average family $3,400; supported families with children, including the universal child care benefit, the child tax credit, and the children's fitness tax credit; provided $2.8 billion for seniors and pensioners in annual tax relief, and $5.8 billion this year for B.C. health care and social services. We have concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries; invested in public infrastructure and transportation; and passed tough-on-crime reforms, cracking down on gun and gang crime and violent and repeat offenders.
Our Conservative government is making positive changes that are improving the lives of my constituents, British Columbians, and all Canadians.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-01-28 14:16 [p.10729]
Mr. Speaker, recent events have clearly demonstrated that the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies. This week in B.C., the trial of accused terrorists John Nuttall and Amanda Korody will begin. Together they are accused of plotting to attack the B.C. legislature's Canada Day celebrations.
Our government believes these threats against Canadians are reprehensible. That is why we have taken concrete measures to end this threat. It is why we have committed the Canadian Armed Forces to the broad international coalition against the so-called Islamic state. No Canadian government should ever stand on the sidelines, while our allies act to deny terrorists a safe haven.
There is work to be done at home as well. We will put legislation before Parliament this Friday that will help authorities stop planned attacks, get threats off our streets, criminalize the promotion of terrorism, and prevent terrorists from travelling and recruiting others.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-12-10 14:22 [p.10416]
Mr. Speaker, it is Christmastime and Canadians are decorating their homes, buying presents and baking Christmas treats. However, it is a shame that many feel the need to abandon their traditions to appease the sensibilities of non-Christians. Being respectful of the beliefs of others should not require anyone to water down their own beliefs.
What makes Canada great is that people are free to believe, celebrate and practise the faith they choose without worrying about offending others, Christianity and Christmas included. I am a Sikh and I am not offended when people celebrate Christmas in a traditional way. Instead of silly political correctness, all of us should feel proud in our traditions and beliefs, and rejoice in this season of joy, peace and goodwill.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-10-30 14:05 [p.8994]
Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs and a healthy and growing economy.
Employment has grown by over 10%. Over 1.1 million net new jobs have been created since the global recession. That is almost 20% more jobs per capita than our closest G7 competitor.
Meanwhile, we have cut taxes over 140 times, saving the average family over $3,400 per year. Our government is on track to balance the budget in 2015, promising even further possible tax cuts on the horizon.
GDP is up nearly 14%, and we are further strengthening the economy by signing a record 38 free trade agreements. In Surrey, there has been record investment of more than $1.4 billion, and I have personally made over 60 federal funding announcements worth over $60 million.
Our Conservative government can be trusted to stand up for Canadians and deliver real economic results.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-09-24 15:06 [p.7779]
Mr. Speaker, the community of Surrey is rightly outraged. On Monday, a convicted high-risk sex offender who was released into the community last year was charged with the second degree murder of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch.
Cases such as these make it clear that we must continue to make the protection of our communities a top priority, especially when it comes to protecting our children.
Our government committed to supporting victims and punishing criminals. Could the Minister of Justice update the House on our progress?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-06-05 14:04 [p.6282]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians were saddened to learn this morning of the tragic deaths of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two others in a shooting last night in Moncton, New Brunswick.
I would like to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims, and we pray that the killer is quickly brought to justice without further violence.
The deaths of these officers remind us again of dangers faced every day by our law enforcement officers. The death of an officer shakes the entire community. It is a heartbreaking reminder of the sacrifices made by these brave men and women every day to protect our lives with their own.
Our first responders are heroes, too, and we should not let a day go by without praying for their safety and thanking them for their valued service to Canada.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-05-28 14:15 [p.5735]
Mr. Speaker, last week I was happy to announce that our government is contributing $20 million to UNICEF for a birth registration project in sub-Saharan Africa. With our support, UNICEF will use innovative information and communication technologies to record births and deaths, ensuring that children can have access to basic services such as education and health care and are less susceptible to violence, exploitation, and trafficking.
Maternal, newborn, and child health is our government's top development priority, and the Prime Minister is opening a conference on this issue today in Toronto. We are providing $2.85 billion in funding between 2010 and 2015 under the Muskoka initiative to save the lives of women and children in developing countries. I am proud of our government's commitment to protecting the future of the children of sub-Saharan Africa.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-05-06 14:58 [p.5007]
Mr. Speaker, today on Parliament Hill we celebrate Vaisakhi, one of the most important observances in Sikhism. Vaisakhi marks the founding of the Khalsa in 1699 by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Sikh guru.
As Canada is home to over half a million Sikhs, one of the largest Sikh population outside of India, would the Minister of State for Multiculturalism please inform this House as to how our government is honouring Vaisakhi?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-05-01 14:00 [p.4814]
Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is taking concrete steps to tackle crime and make our streets safer. We have introduced tough-on-crime legislation like the Safe Streets and Communities Act to keep dangerous criminals and gang members off the streets and out of our communities.
Our legislation to crack down on organized crime makes all gang-related murders automatically first-degree murder and targets drive-by shootings with a new criminal offence. We are also fighting gangs by cracking down on the activities that fund them such as auto theft, ID theft, drugs, and human trafficking. However, combatting crime is our work in progress that includes the tougher penalties for child predators act, the respect for communities act, and the victim bill of rights act, and more.
While the opposition clouds the issue and makes empty promises, we are offering results that are making a difference in the lives of Canadians.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-04-08 11:06 [p.4396]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-31, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.
Our government has worked tirelessly to deliver effective change for Canadians and to put Canada back on the road to balanced budgets.
After consultations across the country, we have produced a plan that not only works for Canadians but that will also make sure that Canada is financially sustainable. Our hon. colleague, the former finance minister, tabled a budget just weeks ago. Since then, my office has seen an outpouring of support from constituents who value trade, security, and prudent economic management.
The world has been hit by repeated crises over the past few years. It is becoming harder for governments to maintain the trust of markets. We are no longer allowed to believe that we can escape the costs of financial recklessness and ineptitude. The budget implementation act before us holds many measures that will markedly improve the lives of Canadians.
Our government is working to ensure that Canadians can fill the skills gap to both provide vital services and ensure viable livelihoods. By increasing paid internships for young Canadians, the government will commit $55 million to help recent graduates find work in their fields. By getting graduates to work, Canada can make the most of its skilled labour force and provide opportunities for young Canadians to flourish.
At the same time, the government will ensure that older workers have opportunities to find new employment. As Canadians are living longer, we must face the unexpected challenges posed by longevity beyond one's financial plan. By investing $75 million in training for older workers, our government will make sure that all Canadians can find good, skilled jobs.
Help is not limited to the young and the old. Through the job-matching service, this Conservative government will grease the wheels of commerce and ensure that employers and employees can find their perfect matches.
With Canada's ever-increasing integration, not only into the world economy but between provinces, it is vital for the federal government to play a role in smoothing labour markets across the country. Never before have we seen the kind of mobility we see today, nor have we realized the promise that such mobility creates for families and communities. It is not enough to be looking for a job. We need to support those who are currently training for jobs that will fill much needed positions through the Canada job grant and the Canada apprentice loan. The federal government is investing in high-skill jobs that are currently going unfilled in many parts of the country. By ensuring that Canada has the skilled tradespeople it needs, our government is making sure that the economy can function smoothly. This budget is about embracing the future with skilled jobs, a thriving economy, and a balanced budget.
Through this budget, rural communities will stand to benefit from improved broadband access in rural and remote areas of the country. It is important that Canadians in rural areas, like parts of the British Columbia interior and northern B.C., have an acceptable degree of access to the Internet. Failing to update Canada's digital infrastructure could doom those outside of well-covered areas to technological backwardness and put them at a perpetual disadvantage.
Investments in science and technology, such as the government's $222 million grant to the TRIUMF physics laboratory at the University of British Columbia, promises to pay dividends not just in commercial terms but in academic, intellectual, and technological advances.
British Columbians and Canadians stand to profit immensely from the measures presented in this budget.
The budget implementation act goes further by continuing the good work of the red tape reduction action plan. This budget will make life easier for small and medium-sized business owners.
In too many areas of Canadian life and work, excessive red tape holds us back. The Conservatives have demonstrated a commitment to making Canada work in a way that benefits consumers, workers, and citizens by removing arbitrary and wasteful barriers to businesses.
There are also significant changes to the tax code. The tax code is not a subject that gets many people excited, but by eliminating over 800,000 payroll deduction remittances to the Canada Revenue Agency every year, this government will be helping over 50,000 small businesses lower costs imposed by bureaucracy.
Our government is always concerned about the security of Canadians. For any number of reasons, the lives and well-being of Canadians can be in danger, and it is a key role of government to offer solutions. By investing a further $25 million, we are aiming to reduce violence against aboriginal women and girls. This sector of our community is often the target of abuse above and beyond that faced by others,. They deserve a government that comes to their protection.
Our government will invest $11 million to upgrade the earthquake monitoring systems that protect the homes of my constituents in the Lower Mainland and in high-risk areas across the country.
Over one million net new jobs have been created since the recession ended in July 2009. During the crisis and afterward, our government has provided a steady hand at the tiller, ensuring that Canada's policies work toward stability, growth, and prosperity.
Our banking system has been ranked the most stable in the world for the sixth year running by the World Economic Forum. The numbers do not lie. The deficit will be a meagre $2.9 billion this year, with a $6.4 billion surplus coming next year. This is a momentous achievement. When the previous government balanced the books, it did so by raising taxes and slashing transfers to the provinces. Our government has none neither. In fact, we have done the compete opposite. Next year, our government will provide British Columbia with $4.17 billion through the Canada health transfer, an all-time high. Not only that, this is $1.3 billion more than under the previous Liberal government. That is a 49% increase.
As well, we have reduced the overall tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years. Our strong record of tax relief has meant savings of nearly $3,400 for a typical family of four in 2014. Without raising taxes on Canadians or simply moving costs to other levels of government, the Conservatives have a credible plan for long-term fiscal success. The opposition has made it clear that it will raise taxes and then increase spending beyond even that. Therefore, I commend our Conservative government for such a thoughtful and solid document.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-04-08 11:15 [p.4397]
Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is currently focused on what clearly matters to hard-working Canadians in their daily lives: helping create jobs, economic growth, and Canada's long-term prosperity.
With the help of Canada's economic action plan, Canada's economy has seen the best economic performance among all G7 countries in recent years, both during the global recession, and of course, throughout the fragile recovery.
Here are some facts I would like to tell the hon. member.
Over one million net new jobs have been created in Canada since the end of the recession in July 2009. That is the strongest job growth in the entire G7, by far. Canadians have also enjoyed the strongest income growth in the G7. Canada is the only G7 country to have more than fully recovered business investment lost during the recession. Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investments in the G7. I would like to go on and on, but that is my answer to the member's question.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-04-08 11:18 [p.4397]
Mr. Speaker, our government has invested more money than any other government in infrastructure, with $1.4 billion invested in infrastructure in my riding alone. Just think about the millions of dollars invested all over Canada.
I am proud of our government's record.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-02-26 14:16 [p.3227]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Telefilm Canada, the sponsors, organizers, and volunteers, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages on another successful movie at the National Arts Centre as the minister showcased the excellent and moving film Gabrielle.
Our government is proud to sponsor the Canadian film industry and the entire audiovisual production sector. Annually, we invest over $600 million in the audiovisual sector, and on Monday our government signed a new audiovisual co-production treaty with India. This treaty will stimulate foreign investment and create new business opportunities and jobs. The agreement is yet another demonstration of our support for the Canadian audiovisual industry, making Canada an even better place to do business.
I thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages for her strong leadership in supporting our audiovisual industry.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-02-12 14:08 [p.2890]
Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2014 demonstrates our government's commitment to fiscal responsibility and prosperity. It is our launch pad to success, reducing the budget deficit to $2.9 billion and forecasting a $6.4-billion surplus for next year, all without raising taxes or slashing transfers.
The economic action plan includes billions for B.C. for health care and social programs. It would close tax loopholes, control the size and cost of government, invest in skills training, cut red tape for small business, strengthen Canada's food safety system, and launch the Canada job grant.
Our government has piloted Canada through economic troubles and chartered a course for greater prosperity, stability, and growth. Thanks to Canada's economic action plan, Canada is one of the best places in the world to live and do business.
Budget 2014 is good for Fleetwood—Port Kells, good for B.C., and good for Canada.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-02-12 15:25 [p.2903]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the citizens of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by dozens of local residents who are outraged by the unnecessary death of a young woman killed by a drunk driver. The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact tougher laws, including mandatory sentencing for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death. They also ask that the offence of impaired driving causing death be redefined as vehicular manslaughter.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-12-10 14:17 [p.2012]
Mr. Speaker, Christmas is approaching soon. In an effort to be inclusive and to avoid causing offence, some Canadians are trying to dampen its spirit. Political correctness and commercialization dilute the true meaning and the spirit of Christmas. Christians must not be denied the right to openly celebrate it. Christmas cannot be Christmas without Christ in it.
How can we justify wishing someone a happy Diwali, Vaisakhi, Eid or Chinese New Year while avoiding the words “merry Christmas”. As a Sikh, I am not offended when Christians celebrate Christmas in a traditional way, and I rather enjoy celebrating with them and participating in the spirit of giving.
Canada stands as a symbol of tolerance and religious freedom. We must continue to respect and uphold religious rights. Freedom of religion means that all Canadians have the equal opportunity to openly practise their faith, including Christians.
I ask that members please join me in wishing everyone a merry, merry Christmas.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-12-02 14:18 [p.1605]
Mr. Speaker, since its inception, Canada has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Support for this organization is in line with the Prime Minister's announcement in the Speech from the Throne that maternal, newborn and child health is the flagship priority for Canada's international engagement.
To that end, the Minister of International Development reaffirmed our outstanding, long-standing commitment this morning with the announcement of $650 million over the next three years.
The global fund is getting real results, saving approximately 100,000 lives, preventing thousands of newborn infections each month, and providing 2.1 million pregnant women living with HIV with the necessary treatment.
This is real action and we are delivering concrete results.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-12-02 18:02 [p.1643]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-4, the economic action plan 2013 act no. 2.
The proposed act will implement key measures from economic action plan 2013 as well as certain previously announced tax measures to help create jobs, stimulate economic growth and secure Canada's long-term prosperity.
Our government remains focused on the number one priority of my constituents and of people right across Canada, which is jobs. The measures contained in Bill C-4 reflect that priority and include support for job creators such as: extending and expanding the hiring credit for small businesses, which would benefit an estimated 560,000 employers; freezing employment insurance premium rates for three years, leaving $660 million in the pockets of jobs creators and workers in 2014 alone; increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000 and indexing the new limit to inflation; expanding the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment to include a broader range of biogas production equipment and equipment used to treat gases for waste; measures to close tax loopholes and combat tax evasion; modernizing the Canada student loans program by moving to electronic service delivery; improving the efficiency of the temporary foreign worker program by expanding electronic service delivery; and phasing out the labour-sponsored venture capital corporations tax credit.
As our government has made clear, while Canada leads the G7 with more than one million jobs created since the depth of the global economic recession, we are not immune from the challenges beyond our borders. We cannot afford to become complacent.
By implementing the measures from economic action plan 2013, our government is helping to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians and grow Canada's economy.
Canada's economic action plan 2013 demonstrates our government's continued strong support for British Columbia through record federal transfer support for hospitals, schools and other critical services. Totalling over $5.9 billion in 2013-14, this transfer support represents an increase of nearly $2 billion since the former federal Liberal government.
Already there has been unprecedented federal investment in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, in Surrey and into British Columbia communities under this Conservative government impacting nearly every aspect of the lives of hard-working families.
We are making a real difference in the everyday lives of Surrey residents. In total, our government has spent over $1.56 billion on local projects since 2006. This includes the new RCMP headquarters, the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the new Surrey Library, among others.
I have personally made dozens of federal funding announcements totalling over $40 million. Some are the result of the economic action plan, while others are through the Pacific gateway project of the building Canada fund.
Regardless of where the money comes from, it is resulting in local jobs, local opportunities and local facilities for my constituents and Surrey residents. It is all about helping hard-working families, helping the unemployed, seniors and youth in our communities.
In recent months, I have had the pleasure of delivering over $250,000 for the Surrey YMCA, over $110,000 for the Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex, nearly $180,000 for the Newton Wave Pool, over $200,000 to improve water quality at four Surrey community facilities, $350,000 to aid Sophie's Place and protect child victims of crime and nearly $400,000 for 42 projects to allow for the summer employment of students.
It is all about improving our communities, creating jobs, and stimulating the economy. Bill C-4 contains measures that would not only create jobs but would also keep government spending in check so that we can return the budget to balance.
Budget 2013 has our government on track to balance the budget, on schedule, in 2015-16. From 2006 to 2008, our government paid down almost $37 billion in debt, bringing Canada's federal debt-to-GDP ratio to its lowest level in nearly 30 years. This placed Canada in a very strong position to weather the global recession. When the recession hit, we made a deliberate decision to run temporary deficits to protect the Canadian economy, and that plan worked, with over one million net new jobs created since July 2009.
At the same time, we committed to return to balanced budgets over the medium term. We ended temporary stimulus as planned. We controlled government spending. We eliminated wasteful and inefficient spending.
Budget 2013 announces further saving measures that will total $2 billion by 2015-16, including examining spending to ensure that government operations are managed efficiently, reducing travel costs, standardizing government information technology, closing tax loopholes, and improving the Canada Revenue Agency's compliance program to reduce tax evasion.
Canada's fiscal position remains the envy of the G7. Economic action plan 2013 reinforces our position and ensures that our economy is ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
As recently confirmed in the government's annual financial report, we are right on track to return to budget surplus. That is good news. In fact, the deficit last year fell to $18.9 billion, down by more than one-quarter from the deficit in 2011-12 and down by nearly two-thirds from 2009-10.
Our government is acting prudently and decisively to ensure that Canada's economy creates good jobs and sustains a high quality of life for Canadian families. With economic action plan 2013, our government remains squarely focused on the number one priority of Canadians, with a forward-looking plan to create jobs and to grow the economy in British Columbia and across Canada.
Under our plan, Canada will also return to balanced budgets in 2015, and federal taxes will remain at the lowest level in 50 years.
Budget 2013 builds on our government's solid record of achievement, a record that includes unprecedented funding for Surrey infrastructure, lowering taxes over 160 times, and lowering the average family's tax bill by over $3,220. It is a good budget for Canada. It is a good budget for British Columbia, for Surrey, and, of course, for my riding of Fleetwood—Port Kells.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-12-02 18:12 [p.1644]
Mr. Speaker, I would let the member know that our government does understand the importance of seniors' needs. That being said, our government also understands the importance of a strong economy and balancing the budget, and the Conservative government has always worked hard to grow the economy and support and create jobs to help Canadians across the country prosper with the help of our economic action plan. Canada has emerged out of the global economic recession with one of the strongest economies and the highest job-creation record among the G7 countries. That is something to be very proud of, and I am proud to be part of this government.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-12-02 18:13 [p.1644]
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring the health and safety of Canadian workers and of course employers. This includes Canadian health and safety regulations that are both supportive and very clear so that workers and employers do not abuse them.
Over the last 10 years, more than 80% of refusals to work have been determined to be situations of no danger, even after appeals. By clarifying the definition of “danger” with the amendment to the Canadian Labour Code in Bill C-4, workers and of course employers would be better able to deal with health and safety issues under the internal responsibility system.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-12-02 18:15 [p.1645]
Mr. Speaker, I think the member was not paying much attention to the speech that I delivered earlier or she would not be asking that question.
Our government is on the right track. Since 2006 our Conservative government has worked hard to ensure that taxpayer money is used very effectively and efficiently. Due to our fiscal responsibility and debt-reduction measures, our government is on its way to balancing the budget in 2015.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of Global Entrepreneurship Week, hosted by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. It is the biggest celebration of entrepreneurs in the world.
With seven in ten jobs created by small business entrepreneurs in Canada, I ask the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, what is our government doing to create the right business conditions for our big job creators?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, last month my father lost his fight with cancer. He had colon cancer, which had then spread to his liver and lungs. He fought the disease bravely but had discovered it when it was too advanced. Like too many other Canadians, my father had not been screened for colon cancer.
Over 9,000 Canadians die every year from colon cancer. It accounts for one in eight of all cancer deaths. However, many of these deaths need not have happened. Colon cancer is slow-growing and highly detectable, and 90% preventable if detected early. However, like my father, nearly half of those diagnosed find out too late.
Everyone aged 50 and up should be screened. I urge all Canadians to be vigilant and get tested regularly, if not for themselves then for their families, and not make the same mistake my father made.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-06-17 15:23 [p.18434]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by dozens of local residents who are outraged by the unnecessary death of a young woman killed by a drunk driver.
The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact tougher laws, including mandatory sentencing, for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death. They also ask that the offence of “impaired driving causing death” be redefined as “vehicular manslaughter”.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by dozens of people from my riding. The petition urges the Government of Canada to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China and to criticize the Chinese Communist party for purportedly allowing the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I have another petition to present, signed by hundreds of residents of my riding. The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to join other western nations and speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I have a third petition signed by nearly 1,000 people from my riding. Petitioners call upon the House of Commons to condemn discrimination against girls through sex-selective abortion and to do all it can to prevent sex-selective abortions from being carried out in Canada.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition I have to be presented is signed by residents from my riding. The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending Section 223 of the Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-05-08 14:12 [p.16495]
Mr. Speaker, the action plan for faster family reunification has been a resounding success. Thanks to our government, there was a 15% increase in family class immigration last year, as we admitted almost 65,000 new permanent residents. This includes a 60% increase in the number of parents and grandparents admitted to Canada, the highest level in 20 years.
By increasing admissions, we have dramatically reduced wait times so that parents and grandparents no longer have to wait a long time to be reunited with their loved ones. By the end of this year, the parents and grandparents backlog will have been reduced by 50%, with wait times cut in half. Since 2006, Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history, proving that our government is also the party for new Canadians.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-04-22 14:08 [p.15710]
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to keeping taxes low for hardworking Canadian families, seniors and businesses. Since 2006, we have reduced taxes over 150 times, and the average family of four pays $3,200 less in federal taxes each year. We have reduced personal income taxes, cut the GST from 7% to 5% and put in place the children's fitness tax credit, the transit tax credit and much more.
Thanks to our tax reductions, the average senior can earn almost $20,000 a year, and the average senior couple can earn almost $40,000 a year, without paying a single nickel of federal income tax. Because of our cuts, over one million Canadians have been removed entirely from the tax rolls.
Our government is proud of its low-tax plan and will continue to keep taxes low for Canadian families.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-03-26 17:13 [p.15251]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on budget 2013, a plan for job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Canada's economic action plan 2013 is a comprehensive agenda to bolster Canada's long-term economic strengths and promote job growth. It is a plan not just for the next twelve months or three years, but it is a plan for the next generation.
Our government is proposing measures that would ensure long-term prosperity and growth. It is about putting the country on track for success both now and going forward. Economic action plan 2013 would ensure we are focused on enabling and sustaining Canada's long-term economic growth. Let us be clear. The global recovery remains fragile, especially in Europe and the United States. Too many Canadians are still looking for work. That is why this budget would move ahead to secure jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canada.
Obviously, in an over-400 page budget document the initiatives are many and let us consider just a few of our proposals. Economic action plan 2013 includes key measures that would strengthen Canada's economy, such as increased skills and training support including the new $15,000 Canada job grant to help more Canadians find high-quality well-paying jobs. Once fully implemented, this grant would help nearly 130,000 Canadians access training each year.
It includes tax breaks for manufacturers who buy new machinery and equipment to stay competitive and an extended hiring credit for small businesses that create jobs. The tax break for purchasing new machinery and equipment would provide B.C. manufacturing and processing businesses with approximately $129 million in tax relief to grow their companies and to create jobs.
It includes a record $70 billion in federal investment in infrastructure including money for jobs, roads, bridges, subways, rail lines and ports. This includes a new building Canada fund, the community improvement fund, the P3 Canada fund and specific funding for rail passenger service. Surrey and other B.C. municipalities would benefit from stable and predictable funding to support the community and infrastructure projects.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-02-27 15:32 [p.14376]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to present a petition signed by dozens of local residents who are outraged by the unnecessary death of a young woman killed by a drunk driver.
The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact tougher laws, including mandatory sentencing, for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death. They also ask that the offence of impaired driving causing death be redefined as vehicular manslaughter.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2013-02-14 14:02 [p.14150]
Mr. Speaker, my constituents and the people of B.C.'s Lower Mainland are deeply concerned about the growth of gangs and the number of young people who are murdered and become victims of their crimes. It is our collective duty to raise the question of how we can best protect our citizens. While crime continues to decline across the nation, in part because of this government's strong criminal justice program, people still live in fear of gang violence or of their children being lured into the activities of gangs.
We must work to address this issue, and we must work with educators, police and community leaders and families to create a culture that does not take gang crime lying down. We must ensure that gangsters and criminals are brought to justice, not gunned down in execution-style killings by rival gangs. We must ensure that our children never go down that path. As parliamentarians, we have waited too long to act. One youth killed is far too many.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-12-12 14:22 [p.13206]
Mr. Speaker, religious and ethnic communities from around the world come to Canada to find freedom, peace and a better way of life.
Canada has a long tradition of pluralism, tolerance and respect for the traditions of others. It is truly wonderful that all faiths can celebrate openly here in Canada.
However, political correctness is diluting Christmas in a well-intentioned but unnecessary attempt to be inclusive. How can we as a society join together to celebrate Diwali, the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah or Vaisakhi but, at the same time, rob Christians of the true meaning of Christmas?
As a Sikh, I am not offended when Christians celebrate Christmas in a traditional way. Rather, I am pleased to celebrate with my Christian friends. True diversity means respecting the traditions of all Canadians, including those of the Christian majority.
I ask all members to please join with me in wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-12-07 11:08 [p.13015]
Mr. Speaker, the protection and promotion of human rights is a hallmark of Canada's foreign policy. As a free nation, Canada is proud to promote and protect the fundamental liberties of people around the world. That is why our government is pursuing a principled, values-based foreign policy in working toward furthering human dignity, respect and tolerance.
We are speaking out on the issues that matter to Canadians, whether it is the role and treatment of women around the world, or the persecution of gays, or the cowardly and targeted attacks on those who pray in the sanctity of churches, temples, mosques and synagogues.
Canada is a beacon of light for the world because of our fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We will continue to embrace these values and continue working toward furthering human dignity, respect and tolerance around the globe.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-09-19 14:14 [p.10139]
Mr. Speaker, over a month ago, when this House was not sitting, a madman walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and opened fire on innocent Sikh men, women and children killing six people and seriously wounding a police officer.
The Government of Canada issued a statement of condolence when this tragedy occurred. On the day of the shooting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted:
Canada condemns this senseless act of violence.
On behalf of all Canadians, I offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of those killed and wish a full recovery to the injured.
I and my constituents join the Minister of Foreign Affairs in condemning these murders. We pray for the congregation in Wisconsin and for all those who are victims of violence because of their faith.
May such attacks never happen anywhere again.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-09-19 15:34 [p.10153]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by dozens of my constituents.
The petitioners request that Parliament support Motion No. 312, which will be debated this week and voted on next week and reconsider the definition of what it means to be a human and amend section 223 of the Criminal Code to reflect 21st century medical evidence.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-09-18 14:05 [p.10104]
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting hard-working families. Last month, we proposed a new EI special benefit for parents caring for critically ill or injured children. This would ease emotional and financial challenges and help parents focus on what is important, their own families. This new benefit is a part of our continued action to help parents balance work and family responsibilities.
Past initiatives included improvements in the registered disability savings plan to ensure the long-term financial security of children with severe disabilities; tax credits for children's fitness and arts programs; and the universal childcare benefit, which offers families more choice in childcare.
Our Conservative government is providing over $5 billion annually in support of early learning and childcare through transfers, direct spending and tax measures.
Our government recognizes that families are the foundation of our society, and we are committed to keeping families a priority.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-06-21 14:08 [p.9949]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to welcome Madeline Shavalier to Ottawa. Her son bravely served Canada in Afghanistan and she herself was a Canadian army lieutenant nursing sister during the Second World War.
On November 6, 1943, while travelling from England to a post in Italy, Madeline's ship was bombed and sunk by the Germans. After stopping to aid a friend who had fainted during the evacuation, both were able to climb down into a lifeboat. Although German planes were still circling, cloud cover allowed for everyone on board to be rescued.
Madeline served with the nursing sisters earning five medals, including the Italy Star, the Defence Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.
Her service to Canada will never be forgotten, and we thank Madeline.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by the agreement concluded this weekend among members of the eurozone to stabilize the Spanish banking system. These small steps are the kinds of measures that Europeans must undertake to move their economies forward.
Can the Minister of Finance please comment on the situation in Europe as we head into next week's G20 summit in Mexico?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to present a petition signed by a number of residents of my riding.
The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure the swift passage of Bill C-233, an act to eliminate poverty in Canada and develop and implement a strategy for poverty elimination.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-05-10 14:15 [p.7878]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are sick and tired of having to reach for the remote control every time a commercial is aired on the TV. That is why I proposed legislation last year to regulate the loudness of television commercials.
While my bill did not come to a vote due the spring election, it did spur the CRTC into action with nationwide consultations. This week, final regulations will become effective on September 1, implementing the measures contained in my bill.
No longer will Canadians be tormented by loud commercials on their TVs. Now seniors, citizens with sensitive hearing and everyone else frustrated by loud commercials can rest easy, because the deadline for broadcasters to comply with the regulations is fast approaching. In a matter of months, advertisers will no longer be free to jack up the volume on commercials and we will all be able to watch TV in peace.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-05-08 14:05 [p.7725]
Mr. Speaker, we celebrate Mother's Day to acknowledge, honour and appreciate the strength, guidance and compassion of our mothers. Mothers are our most important role models, teachers and nurturers. Mothers are the foundation of the family and help make stronger families. Stronger families make stronger communities and a stronger nation.
As we pay tribute to our mothers around the world, we should take a moment to consider all the sacrifices they have made for us.
In fact, every day should be Mother's Day.
Our government recognizes the importance of supporting mothers, both at home and abroad. Canada is leading international efforts with programs through our Muskoka initiative to improve the health of mothers and children in some of the world's poorest countries. This will help save some of the 24,000 children who die needlessly every day in the developing world.
I ask all members to please join with me in wishing mothers across Canada a very happy Mother's Day.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-03-26 13:03 [p.6471]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-31, protecting Canada's immigration system act.
Our Conservative government recognizes the importance of immigration to our great country. That is evident in our actions and policies. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has welcomed the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history. Our government has also continued to strengthen and support our generous refugee system, which is an important expression of the compassionate and humanitarian convictions of Canadians and of our international commitments.
Canada remains one of the top countries in the world to welcome refugees. In fact, we welcome more refugees per capita than any other G20 country, because this government understands the importance of the immigration system to Canada's future. It also understands the importance of remaining vigilant about keeping that system functioning in our national interest. To do so, we must always be prepared to make improvements to the system according to changing circumstances and identified shortcomings.
Bill C-31 would do exactly that. When there is a system in place as generous as Canada, it is particularly important to guard against the abuse of that system and that generosity. Indeed, for too many years our refugee system has been abused by too many people making bogus claims. Our system has become overwhelmed by a significant backlog of cases. More recently, we have grown more and more concerned about a notable upsurge of refugee claims originating in countries that we would not normally expect to produce refugees. This is adding to our backlog.
Allow me to specify exactly what I mean by that.
It comes a surprise to many Canadians to learn that Canada receives more asylum claims from countries in Europe than others in Africa or Asia. Last year alone, almost one quarter of all refugee claims made in Canada were made by EU nationals. Let us think about that. EU countries have strong human rights and democratic systems similar to our own, yet they produced almost 25% of all the refugee claims to this country in 2011. That is up from 14% in the previous year.
These bogus claimants come with a large price tag for Canadian taxpayers. In recent years, virtually all EU claims were withdrawn, abandoned or rejected. The unfounded claims from the 5,800 EU nationals who sought asylum last year cost Canadian taxpayers $170 million. Under the current system, it takes an average of 4.5 years from an initial claim to remove a failed refugee claimant from the country. Some cases have even taken more than 10 years. The result is an overburdened system and a waste of taxpayer money. For too long, we have spent precious time and taxpayer money on people who are not in need of protection at the expense of legitimate asylum seekers.
The protecting Canada's immigration system act would help speed up the refugee claims process in a number of ways, such as changing the designated country of origin policy to enable the government to respond more quickly to increases in refugee claims from countries that generally did not produce refugees, such as most of those in the European Union. Claimants from those countries would be processed in about 45 days, compared to more than 1,000 days under the current system. Claimants from designated countries of origin would also have their claims heard sooner and would not have access to the new refugee appeal division.
Moreover, it would also further streamline the process by limiting access to appeals for other countries, such as by claimants with manifestly unfounded claims or claims with no credible basis at all. It would enable more timely removals from Canada of failed refugee claimants.
Taken together, these measures send a clear message to those who seek to abuse Canada's generous refugee system. It tells them that if they do not need our protection, they will be sent home quickly. They would not be able to remain in Canada by using endless appeals to delay their removal. At the same time, if they need refugee status, these measures would help them get protection even faster. Every eligible asylum claimant would continue to get a fair hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Once these needed changes are implemented, Canada's refugee determination system would remain one of the most generous in the world.
The protecting Canada's immigration system act would also deal with the despicable crime of human smuggling. Human smugglers are criminals who operate around the world, charging large amounts of money to facilitate illegal migration. Each year, countless people die while taking these dangerous journeys. Bill C-31 would help crack down on these smugglers in a number of ways. It would enable the Minister of Public Safety to designate the arrival of a group of individuals into Canada as an irregular arrival. It would establish mandatory detention of those individuals to determine their identity, admissibility and whether they have been involved in illegal activities. It is important to mention here that once a person's refugee claim has been approved, that person would be released from detention.
It would also make it easier to prosecute human smugglers and would impost mandatory minimum prison sentences on those convicted of human smuggling. It would hold shipowners and operators to account when their ships are used for human smuggling.
It would enhance our ability to revoke the refugee status of people who are no longer in need of Canada's protection and of those who have gained that status through misrepresentation. It would reduce the attraction of coming to Canada by way of illegal human smuggling, by limiting the ability of those who do to take advantage of our generous immigration system and social services.
One notable improvement in Bill C-31 from Bill C-4 is that mandatory detention would exclude designated foreign nationals who are under the age of 16.
Our government continues to be absolutely clear that human smuggling is a despicable crime and any attempts to abuse Canada's generosity for financial gain will not be tolerated. With this bill, we will crack down on those who endanger human lives and threaten the integrity of our borders.
The protecting Canada's immigration system act also includes a framework for the collection of biometric information, photographs and fingerprints, in the temporary visa program and will establish parameters for how this information can be used and disclosed by the RCMP in order to enforce Canadian law. The use of biometrics would bring Canada in line with other countries that already use biometrics in their immigration programs, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, the United States and Japan, among others.
To maintain the support of Canadians for our generous immigration and refugee system, we must demonstrate that Canada has a fair, well-managed system that does not tolerate queue jumping. Bill C-31 will ensure that genuine refugees in need of protection will receive it sooner, while those who are abusing Canada's generosity will be removed more quickly.
I am proud to support this important piece of legislation and hope that all of my colleagues will work together to ensure the timely passage of this bill.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-03-26 13:14 [p.6472]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the hon. member that Bill C-31 is an important step to better protect our immigration system. It is important that we close the immigration back door so that the system becomes fairer for everyone involved. That is what this proposed legislation attempts to do.
The member mentioned that Jews do not support this bill, but I think that Jews all over Canada support the legislation wholeheartedly.
What I would like to make clear is that our government appreciates the fact that our country was built by immigrants. That is why we have introduced a number of other measures to help newcomers who come to Canada and to better protect Canada's immigration system.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-03-26 13:16 [p.6473]
Mr. Speaker, again I would tell the member that Bill C-31 proposes very important reforms for asylum seekers to make the process faster and fairer. It includes measures to address human smuggling and provides authority to make it mandatory to provide biometric data with a temporary resident visa application.
Let us be clear: we all want a compassionate immigration system. We all want to help others who generally need Canada's assistance, but we should not and cannot tolerate those who abuse our generosity.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-03-01 10:13 [p.5660]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by the members of my riding.
The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure the swift passage of Bill C-233 and to take steps to eliminate poverty in Canada.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-02-28 14:06 [p.5575]
Mr. Speaker, Surrey, B.C. has been named the best place to invest in western Canada. A dynamic community full of opportunity, Surrey is positioned for prosperity and job growth with one of the lowest tax rates in the country and a city council determined to cut red tape.
Our government is also doing its part for Surrey with our own low-tax plan and record investment in people and infrastructure. There has been funding for the new City Centre Library, Fraser River flood protection, road and highway improvements, sewage treatment, public transit, cycling paths, hiking trails, and a new athletic park. All told, it adds up to tens of millions of dollars, more federal funding than under any previous government.
Working together with our provincial and municipal partners, we are ensuring that Surrey is one of the best cities in Canada in which to live, work and do business.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 16:58 [p.4679]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-25.
Bill C-25 proposes to establish pooled registered pension plans, extending pension coverage to the self-employed and those who work for small companies. It is geared at those small businesses and entrepreneurs, who do not have access to affordable pension plans and will help them secure financial freedom in their retirement.
Speaking with residents in my riding, especially those approaching retirement age, there is grave concern for their future. More and more I am hearing worries over whether they have enough money for their retirement.
The next generation of retirees includes a large number of workers without pensions who are left to their own devices and facing an uncertain financial future. As formal pension plans become increasingly less common, many Canadians face a savings burden that many are unable to shoulder.
For a big chunk of the population, for the self-employed, for those who work at small businesses, for professionals, for immigrants, a secure, comfortable lifestyle after working for years is now in question. At a time when our population is aging, more than six out of ten Canadians have no formal pension plan. That is more than eight million Canadians.
Statistics Canada finds the percentage of the population with some sort of pension has been dropping steadily for three decades, to 38% of Canadian workers in 2007 from 46% in 1977.
The problem is most acute at smaller businesses. There are about 5.1 million Canadians, or 48% of the private sector workforce, at small companies.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, only about 15% of small and medium-sized businesses offer some form of retirement savings plan for their employees.
A joint federal-provincial working group, established in May 2009, undertook an in-depth examination of retirement income adequacy in Canada. The working group concluded that while overall the Canadian retirement income system was performing well, some modest and middle-income households were at risk of not saving enough for retirement. From the working group's exhaustive research came a plan to pursue a framework for a new type of pension plan.
Our government aims to help millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing pooled registered pension plans. There will be an innovative new pension plan designed to address the lack of low cost, large-scale retirement savings options available to many Canadians.
Pooled registered pension plans, or PRPPs, are defined contribution pension plans that will be available to employers, employees and the self-employed.
The design features of PRPPs will remove a lot of the traditional barriers that might have kept some employers in the past from offering pension plans to their employees. The design of these plans will also be straightforward to allow for simple enrolment and management.
A third party PRPP administrator will take on most of the responsibilities that employers bear in existing pension plans, including the administrative and legal duties associated with administering a pension plan.
By pooling pension savings, PRPPs will offer Canadians greater purchasing power. Basically, Canadians will be able to buy in bulk. Achieving lower prices than would otherwise be available means they will get greater returns on their savings and more money will be left in their pockets when they retire.
PRPPs are also intended to be largely harmonized from province to province, which also lowers administrative costs. In short, PRPPs would be efficiently managed, privately administered pension arrangements that would provide greater choice to employers and individuals, thereby promoting pension coverage and retirement savings.
Reaction to Bill C-25 has been overwhelmingly positive. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes that pooled registered pension plans would give businesses the flexibility and tools they need to help their employees save for retirement. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation feels the legislation is a very good legislation, both for Canadians planning for retirement and for taxpayers. All the provinces are on board with the idea. British Columbia finance minister, Kevin Falcon, believes that our government has “responded to a real need out there in providing pension opportunities for small business people and those that don't have access to their own private pension plans”.
Pooled registered pension plans are the latest in a series of important steps our government has taken to strengthen Canada's retirement income system. This system is already seen around the world by experts like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as a model that succeeds in reducing poverty among seniors and in providing high levels of income replacement to seniors.
We recognize, however, that we can always do more. That is why we have already made a number of targeted improvements to the system. Bill C-25 is just one more step our government has taken to assist Canadians as they age and enter their retirement years.
Since first coming to office, we have offered more than $2.3 billion in annual targeted tax relief specifically for our seniors. We have also provided over $2 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners. We have completely removed 85,000 seniors from the tax roles. We have raised the GIS exemption from $500 to $3,500. We have introduced pension income splitting. We have introduced an automatic renewal of the GIS, meaning that our seniors no longer have to reapply each year. We have made significant investments in affordable housing for low-income seniors. We have raised the age credit amount twice. We have doubled the pension income credit. We have provided a top-up benefit to the guaranteed income supplement that will provide up to $600 extra per year for single seniors and up to $840 per year for senior couples. We have introduced the tax-free savings account. We have modernized and streamlined the application process for the Canada pension plan and old age security, making it easier for seniors to apply and receive their benefits. We have allocated $220 million over five years to the targeted initiative for older workers, which has thus far assisted over 10,000 unemployed older workers.
In addition, we have appointed a Minister of State for Seniors, someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the cabinet table and stand up on their behalf. We also created the National Seniors Council to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.
Our government is supporting older Canadians and we are committed to ensuring that they have the opportunity to enjoy their retirement in comfort with an improved quality of life.
Bill C-25 is important legislation that deserves the support of all members in the House. We would be helping millions of Canadians save for retirement and more easily meet their retirement goals.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 17:09 [p.4680]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to let opposition members know there is a lot of confusion regarding this plan. I will make it very clear once again, as did the members who spoke before me on the Conservative side. This plan would help millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing pooled registered pension plans. This new, low cost and accessible option would help more Canadians meet their goals.
This is especially important for those working for smaller businesses and the self-employed. The PRPPs are a new kind of defined contribution pension plan that would be available to employers, employees and the self-employed. The PRPPs would improve the range of retirement savings options for Canadians. They would provide an accessible, straightforward and administratively low cost retirement option for employers to offer their employees, allowing individuals who currently may not participate in a pension plan, such as—
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 17:11 [p.4681]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about this plan in answering the member's question. This is a good plan. We are standing up for Canadian families, businesses, employers, employees and small businesses. They will really benefit from this plan. As I have said before, this is a good plan.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 17:13 [p.4681]
Mr. Speaker, the member should know that about eight million low- and middle-income Canadians have no workplace pension plans. This includes nearly 2.7 million self-employed workers, one-third of whom are women. Pooled registered pension plans are geared at small businesses and entrepreneurs who have had no access to affordable pension plans. This is a good plan and he should understand that.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-12-14 14:22 [p.4430]
Mr. Speaker, Christmas is approaching and again the forces of political correctness continue with the relentless attack on the traditional traditions: judges remove Christmas trees from the court houses; school concerts are postponed to take away the Christmas theme; the lyrics of Christmas carols are changed; the distribution of candy canes is banned; and all the references to God, Christ and the Lord are removed.
Traditions are the foundation of society, culture and the faith. If we eliminate or water them down, we erode the glue that holds us together.
To embrace a diverse, secular, multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, there is no need to preclude the celebration of Christmas. Rather than diluting the traditions, they should be celebrated, whether they are Vaisakhi, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid, Hanukkah or Christmas.
We must proudly put the spirit of Christmas back in Christmas.
I wish everyone a merry Christmas.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-11-21 14:18 [p.3325]
Mr. Speaker, recently there have been several troubling cases of dangerous individuals being released into our communities.
When it comes to keeping the most serious violent offenders off our streets, Canadians can count on this government. We introduced and passed the Tackling Violent Crime Act which strengthened provisions against repeat violent and sexual offenders.
With the introduction of the safe streets and communities bill, our government is taking further steps to ensure that the most serious violent offenders are kept off our streets. This important legislation would give the Parole Board of Canada new powers to keep Canada's most dangerous offenders behind bars where they belong.
The NDP, on the other hand, have tabled amendments that would mean lighter sentences for those who import hard drugs. It is time for the opposition to put an end to its delaying tactics and support our efforts.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-11-02 14:52 [p.2850]
Mr. Speaker, our government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs and economic growth. I remind the NDP that in these challenging times there is simply no better job creator than free and open trade. That is why we are negotiating a free trade agreement with India that could help our economy grow by $6 billion a year and increase our two-way trade by almost 50%.
Could the parliamentary secretary tell the House what our government is doing to further advance the job-creating pro-trade plan?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-10-27 14:03 [p.2580]
Mr. Speaker, our government has introduced legislation to end the long gun registry, bringing to a close a decade -ong irritant for law-abiding farmers and hunters. We are closing the door on a $2 billion boondoggle and fulfilling our campaign promise.
Our government is following through on its commitments: cutting the GST from 7% to 5%; supporting choice in child care; fixing the broken immigration system; passing laws to make our streets and homes safer; rebuilding our armed forces; re-establishing Canada's place on the world stage; introducing a low-tax plan for jobs and growth; and guiding Canada through the worst global recession since the 1930s.
Our government is fulfilling our commitments, delivering results and getting things done for Canadians.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-10-20 15:00 [p.2286]
Mr. Speaker, this summer the world faced the worst humanitarian crisis 60 years. In East Africa, 30 million people are impacted by conflict, drought and famine. The government has been responding to help meet the needs of the victims and refugees.
The Minister of International Co-operation travelled to the region and witnessed the tragic effects of this crisis. Could the minister please update the House on the government's response to this crisis?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-10-04 14:10 [p.1832]
Mr. Speaker, a British Columbian is making history yet again. Last month, Lieutenant Colonel Harjit Singh Sajjan became the first Sikh in Canada to take command of a regiment, the British Columbia Regiment.
Canada's Sikh community has a proud history of brave military service. Canadian Sikh soldiers have fought in every major Canadian war since World War I, where a Sikh Canadian soldier was wounded at Vimy Ridge.
Lieutenant Colonel Sajjan, a former police officer, is the best and most recent example of how our Sikh community is contributing to our great country.
I am very proud to stand today on behalf of my party and my constituents and congratulate Lieutenant Colonel Harjit Singh Sajjan, a true hero, and thank him for all he has done. He has made us all very proud.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-28 14:50 [p.1569]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians were justifiably shocked to learn that in Saudi Arabia a woman can face a punishment of 10 lashes for the simple act of driving a car, a routine act for most women in any democracy.
Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs contemplate bringing issues such as this one to the attention of his counterparts around the world?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:24 [p.1470]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake.
I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to speak to the motion before the House, which seeks an extension of Canada's military engagement in Libya.
Canada has been at the forefront of international efforts in Libya, and from the outset has pushed for swift and decisive action. We are proud of the role Canada has played to support the Libyan people in their struggle to realize a new Libya. After 42 years of brutal dictatorship and one-man rule, the Libyan people have taken important steps to secure for themselves a brighter future.
The unanimous passing of United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 sent a very clear message: the murder of its own citizens by the Libyan regime and the gross violation of the population's human rights would not be tolerated by the international community and would carry serious consequences.
Canada's armed forces have played a leading role in preventing attacks and the threat of attacks against civilians. We have played a vital role in ensuring a positive outcome, but members opposite have lacked the will to see the mission to a successful conclusion.
In August the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, of which I am a member, met to discuss the ongoing situation in Libya. We heard from officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of National Defence.
At that time members discussed and debated the progress of the Canadian mission and ways in which Canada and the international community could improve the protection of civilians in the near and long terms. At that time the NDP walked out of the meeting and declared the mission to be at a standstill.
Just over a week after that meeting, most of the Libyan people, including those in Tripoli, were freed from the control of the Gadhafi regime. The NDP could not have been more wrong.
Despite the progress that has been made, Libya and its people still need our help. The job is not yet done. The reasons Parliament voted to endorse military action still exist, and so it is our position that Canada's role in Libya must continue.
We must remain committed to protecting civlians under threat of attack in Libya and continue to work with NATO allies and partners until the goal of the mission has been met. We must continue protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas. We must maintain the no-fly zone and we must enforce the arms embargo.
As it did in many countries swept up in the Arab awakening, change in Libya came suddenly. Mild, peaceful protests were met with overwhelming force and violence by an autocracy that had long maintained its control through fear and its monopoly of power through the use of violence.
The Gadhafis, first the father and then the son, promised “rivers of blood”. They promised to make the people of Libya pay in blood. They called anti-Gadhafi protestors “rats” and mercenaries who deserved the death penalty. They called upon forces to cleanse Libya house by house.
The Gadhafi regime chose to wage war on its own people and included acts of sexual violence to further the regime's military goals. Canada has been at the forefront of those demanding that the regime halt attacks against its own people and ensure that perpetrators of crimes are brought to justice.
Canada was among the first to call for the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court and strongly supported the creation by the human rights council of an international commission of inquiry into violations of human rights.
When used as a weapon of war, rape is a war crime. When used to systematically attack, suppress and terrorize, rape can be a crime against humanity. We condemn these attacks without reservation. These despicable acts underscore why Canada is, and should continue to be, part of the NATO mission.
Libya is a country in the grip of fundamental change. International consensus for action has come in the form of clear and very effective UN Security Council resolutions.
The Canadian and international response that followed the passage of resolutions 1970 and 1973 is one of which we can all be justly proud, and we must stay the course, not only in finishing our military mission but also in helping to assure the final outcome.
Libya's success will establish examples for the entire Arab world about how the traditions and values of the Arab world, an ancient and honoured culture, can make the transition to freedom, democracy, genuine rule of law and human security. These are the foundation stones of economic and social development.
As the Prime Minister has stated, “We presume no right to tell the Libyans how they should govern themselves, nor do we have unrealistic expectations”. It is not our place to tell the Libyans how to rebuild their country. We now expect the new government of Libya to fulfill its commitments to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
We remain committed to supporting these next steps to assist the Libyan people in their determination to rebuild a peaceful and prosperous society.
In Libya today, as the old regime is justly swept into the dustbin of history, the people are coming face to face with these very challenges. The role of Canada and the international community is to help Libyans meet them and find Libyan solutions for a Libyan future.
Members across the way have been saying that Canada's military role in Libya is finished. They say that we have done our part.
As I said previously, the reasons for which Parliament overwhelmingly supported our mission still exist, and so do the conditions that prompted the UN and NATO to act. Civilians in some parts of Libya still face the threat of Colonel Gadhafi and his regime. They still need our protection. Our part is not done yet. For this reason, I urge all members to support the motion.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:33 [p.1471]
Mr. Speaker, I want to let the hon. member know why we are in Libya. The reason for being in Libya is to protect the human rights of the Libyan people, and our job is not finished yet.
It is all about helping the Libyan people and the wonderful society there, the women out there, the children out there. Besides doing our part to ensure a new government, we have also acted swiftly to support those affected by the violence in Libya.
I would like to let the hon. member know what Canada has done there to date. Canada's total humanitarian response to the crisis in Libya is over $10 million. Canada is helping to address urgent medical requirements, basic humanitarian needs and the repatriation of those people who are displaced into neighbouring countries and who need our help urgently.
We are working toward that, and I would--
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:35 [p.1471]
Mr. Speaker, that is the very same reason we are in Libya: security. That is what is needed there.
If this mission is not extended, how are we going to help? For various reasons, we need to extend the mission so that we can help the Libyan people in Libya.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:36 [p.1471]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to let the hon. member know that I am very proud of the work our government is doing.
Our government is proud of the role Canada has played in supporting the Libyan people in their struggle to realize a new Libya. After 42 years of brutal dictatorship and one-man rule in that country, the Libyan people have taken important steps to secure for themselves a brighter future. While the job is not done yet, the Libyan-led efforts to realize their country's potential still continue to advance.
We now expect the new government of Libya to fulfill its commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. That is what I would like to let the hon. member know.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians were horrified to learn of the savage beating inflicted on Rumana Manzur, a barbaric act of violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Manzur and her daughter, but prayers are not enough.
Violence against women destroys families and weakens the fabric of society. Canadians know we are addressing violence against women and girls.
Since taking office, our government has invested more than $30 million in projects to end violence against women and girls in communities across the country. We have increased funding to end this violence to its highest level ever.
We are addressing these barbaric crimes by supporting programs like the Indo-Canadian Women's Associations' elimination of harmful cultural practises project. This initiative will empower immigrant girls and young women.
Violence should not be and will not be tolerated.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the longer this work stoppage continues, the more economic losses are incurred.
Would the member opposite please explain to Canadians why his party does not care about the economic recovery. Would he please also tell Canadians how long he would like to see this work stoppage go on before the losses are too great?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the International Indian Film Academy Awards come to Canada this week. The IIFA awards will showcase Indian culture and cinema, with Bollywood stars.
Being held for the first time in North America, the show is expected to be seen by a billion people worldwide.
Canada is the home to a vibrant, over one million strong Indo-Canadian community that plays a vital role in economic and cultural landscape. Under our government, Canada and India enjoy excellent bilateral creative relations and are further strengthening ties across a wide range of sectors, including education, energy, science and technology, culture, agriculture and the environment.
The IIFA awards are an excellent opportunity to reflect on the tremendous contributions that the Indian diaspora have made to our country's rich and diverse heritage.
I ask all members to please join with me in extending best wishes to IIFA for a successful and entertaining event.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not think human smugglers should be permitted to exploit vulnerable refugees. Every year thousands of people wait in line for a chance to come to Canada legally, but these criminals extort thousands of dollars in order to help people jump the queue.
Could the minister of immigration please tell the House what our Conservative government is doing to put a stop to all of this?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, Canada has been a world leader as we continue along the path to economic recovery.
Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance comment on what Canada is doing to ensure our fiscal advantage?
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake.
I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on budget 2011. Before I begin, I would like to thank my constituents for putting their trust in me to again represent them in the House of Commons.
The budget we have before us today represents the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. It builds on our government's previous successes. In January 2009, Canada found itself in the midst of a global economic recession, the worst since the Great Depression more than 80 years ago.
Our government responded swiftly with Canada's economic action plan to deal with the crisis. The results speak for themselves. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Canada has weathered the recession better than any other country in the world. With Canada's economic action plan, we protected jobs and made long-term investments that are allowing the economy to emerge stronger than ever before and created over half a million jobs since July 2009.
Now it is time for the next phase of our plan. We will be focused on the economy, on creating jobs, reducing the deficit and making key strategic investments.
I spent a lot of time listening to Surrey residents. Their message was loud and very clear. The economy is the number one issue facing Canada and our government. Our Conservative government rightly has a reputation for sound financial management. Prior to the global recession we kept the budget balanced, we paid down the debt and we cut taxes.
In fact, since coming to office in 2006, our government has cut taxes more than 120 times. Over one million Canadians have been removed from the tax rolls. The average Canadian family is paying $3,000 less in taxes each and every year.
We did all of this while investing new money into social programs and bringing our military out of its dark ages with important investments in modern equipment. Thanks to our prudent management of the nation's books, when the global recession hit we were in the financial position where we used stimulus spending to spark the economy without doing permanent damage to the books.
The stimulus spending has now come to an end and it is time to return to balanced budgets. Budget 2010 contained a three point plan to accomplish this goal, winding down temporary stimulus, putting in place targeted spending, restrained measures and reviewing government administrative and overhead costs.
We will not balance the budget by cutting transfers to the provinces for important social programs, like health care and education. That is the Liberal way, not the Conservative way.
With budget 2011 federal support to provinces and territories will reach an all-time high of over $56 billion, which is almost $2.2 billion more than last year. For B.C., this totals over $5.4 billion in 2011-12, or $1,182 per capita. There is almost $3.8 billion through the Canada health transfer, an increase of $216 million from last year. The health transfers will continue to grow annually through a 6% escalator.
There is over $1.5 billion through the Canada social transfer. For my province of British Columbia, this payment represents an increase of $349 million since 2005-06. This long-term growing support helps ensure that British Columbia has the resources required to provide essential public services.
With this budget, we are building on our plan laid out last year to balance the budget. With our government-wide strategic and operating review, we will balance the budget by 2014-15.
Building on the ambitious agenda of continuing tax relief, the next phase of Canada's economic action plan takes additional steps to reduce taxes for Canadians and businesses. These tax measures will provide taxpayers in B.C. with approximately $270 million in tax relief over the following five years. This includes a new family caregiver tax credit that will provide almost $103 million in relief, and a new children's arts tax credit that will provide almost $68 million in relief.
The next phase in Canada's economic action plan also takes steps to improve the fairness, neutrality and integrity of the tax system, closing tax loopholes and limiting tax planning opportunities.
Our government recognizes our seniors as valuable members of our society who contribute a diversity of skills, knowledge and experience to their families and communities. Canada's seniors helped build and make this country a great place for all of us to live. That is why we are supporting our seniors in a number of different ways, including: over $2.3 billion in annual tax relief; removing over 85,000 seniors from the tax rolls; introducing pension income splitting; doubling the pension income credit to $2,000; increasing the age credit amount by $2,000; and establishing the tax free savings account, which is particularly beneficial for seniors.
In this budget, we are taking additional steps to support our seniors. We are enhancing the guaranteed income supplement so that low-income seniors will receive additional annual top-up benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples. This will help more than 680,000 seniors across our great country. We are enhancing the new horizons for seniors program with an additional $10 million to promote volunteerism, mentorship and the social participation of seniors, and to expand awareness of elder abuse. We are extending the targeted initiative for older workers and eliminating the mandatory retirement age for federally regulated employees to give seniors more choice.
Our Conservative government knows that seniors are a diverse group with different interests and concerns. We are committed to ensuring that policies, programs and services meet the evolving needs of all seniors. Taken together, the initiatives we have introduced will help to ensure that more seniors can live with dignity and security as they grow older.
Another key point of this budget deals with public funding for federal political parties. I am speaking about the annual per-vote subsidy introduced by the former Liberal government in 2004. Governments have a duty to use taxpayer dollars wisely, especially in a time of fiscal restraint when families are struggling to make ends meet. That is why we are now following through on our government's campaign commitment to phase out per-vote subsidies for political parties.
The government will introduce legislation to eliminate the subsidy in 51¢ increments starting on April 1 next year until it is completely eliminated by 2015-16. It will generate savings of up to $30 million. Our government has always opposed direct taxpayer subsidies to political parties and believes that political parties should rely primarily on their supporters for their funding.
When one considers everything that we are proposing, it is no surprise that this budget has been so favourably received all across the country. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities declared that budget 2011 delivered a vital commitment to cities and communities to develop a new, long-term federal infrastructure plan.
Our members appreciate that this budget is focused on ensuring that our officers have the tools and resources necessary to protect our communities effectively and efficiently. This is a good budget that ensures safety, security and prosperity for all Canadians.
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and congratulate him on his election.
This budget is good for Canada. It is good for Canadians. It is good for my constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells. This budget includes child care. It has something for everyone, including farmers, students, families, seniors, businesses and aboriginals. There is $97.2 million to support various aboriginal initiatives.
There is a diverse range of organizations, public interest groups, and commentators that are applauding budget 2011 as a positive plan to create jobs and promote economic growth. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said:
The extension of the two-year write-off for investments in manufacturing and processing technologies announced in today's federal budget is critical to sustaining Canada's economic recovery.
This tax measure gives manufacturers the confidence to invest in their future by boosting productivity and enhancing technologies.
Let us see what--
View Nina Grewal Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate this member as well on his election.
Under the leadership of the Conservative government, Canada has weathered the global recession better than nearly all other industrialized countries. I am very proud of our government. Indeed, with the help of Canada's economic action plan, we have emerged as one of the world's top performing advanced economies.
Here are the facts. Canada has had seven straight quarters of economic growth with nearly 540,000 new jobs created across Canada. We are proud of our record. We are proud of our government and we are proud of our Prime Minister.
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