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Results: 1 - 15 of 148
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am kind of new to this place. It seems odd to me that so many ministers cannot be here for question period but can show up for the vote.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to two amazing people from my riding, Sergeant Daryl Minifie and Sergeant Darren Reid.
On Saturday, I presented Daryl with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his ongoing work for other veterans. He is currently legion president as well. I also presented Sergeant Darren Reid with a Legionnaire of the Year Award for his local and national work in support of all veterans.
Daryl and Darren are both Afghanistan veterans, members of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters and actively involved with Flesherton Markdale Branch 333 of the Royal Canadian Legion. Both of these men have served their country with honour and distinction.
I am honoured to ask you, Mr. Speaker, and every other member in this House to please join me in thanking them for their tireless work in support of veterans everywhere.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, I rise on this bittersweet day to speak for the last time in this storied institution.
On June 28, 2004, the fine people of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound elected me for the first time. It is an honour and a privilege that I have never taken lightly. They have sent me back here four more times.
I was born and raised on a farm in Amabel Township, the oldest of seven children. I attended a one-room rural school for six years before moving to a huge three-room rural school for grades seven and eight. I then attended Wiarton District High School. In May of 1972, while in grade 11, due to irreconcilable differences, along with a bit of Irish stubbornness, I left school while still only 15. It is not something I am proud of, but sometimes we all make mistakes in life. We have to live with those decisions and learn from them.
The reason I even mention this is that one of the things that makes Canada so great is that, with hard work and determination, we can be anything or do anything we put our minds to.
I had always wanted a farm, so after taking a couple of farm business management courses at Georgian College, and with the help of my parents, I started to piece together my future. Later that summer, I met this cute blonde girl from the other side of the tracks and on August 26, both at age 16, we had our first date. Three years later, on July 26, 1975, we got married. We raised our three sons, Brett, Curt and Cole, on our 330-head cow calf farm just south of Wiarton in Keppel Township.
I never had political aspirations but politics seemed to find me. In November 1991, I ran for township council as a councillor. I also served terms as deputy reeve and reeve in Keppel Township before being elected as the first mayor of the amalgamated Township of Georgian Bluffs in 2000 and then elected warden of Grey County in 2002. After being re-elected as mayor in November of 2003, I decided to seek the CPC nomination on March 2, 2004. I was successful and the rest is history.
Here we are, 15 years later, after five federal elections. I am very proud of having two private member's bills passed in this House unanimously: the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act and the Transboundary Waters Protection Act. I also worked very hard to see the end of the long-gun registry in 2012, something that was very important to my riding.
I have always been a constituency MP. That is what got me elected and that is what has kept me elected.
I will not miss the weekly trips to Ottawa or the political BS that comes with this place, but I can tell members I will sincerely miss the many good people I have met in my time here, like former colleagues Loyola Hearn of Newfoundland; Gail Shea of P.E.I.; Denis Lebel of Quebec; Stella Ambler and Daryl Kramp of Ontario; Leona Aglukkaq of Nunavut; Merv Tweed of Manitoba; Lynne Yelich of Saskatchewan; Rick Casson, James Rajotte and Monte Solberg of Alberta; and John Duncan of B.C. We still stay in touch and we will always remain friends.
The many Hill staff I have worked with, and this is only some of them, are such great people that I want to name some of the ones I have had special relationships with over the years. They are Amy Mills, Kelly Williams, Ann Marie Keeley, Kim Purchase, Regan Watts, Bryan Rogers, Semhar Tekeste, Luwam Ghebre and Sean Murphy, just to name a few. They are the people who do the work behind the scenes and are sometimes not appreciated. However, I have valued working with them.
I have worked across party lines with people like the member for Sydney—Victoria, heck, I have even been to his farm, and the member for Cape Breton—Canso, who could not be here today I understand. However, while I have tried to overlook the fact that he is a Liberal, I just cannot accept the fact that he still cheers for a hockey team that has not won a Stanley Cup in over 52 years instead of cheering for my beloved Boston Bruins. It is just shameful. As well, I have worked with the member for Malpeque, whom I have butted heads with on the agriculture committee many times, but I have always respected him as we both always worked hard to try to make things better for farmers and agriculture across this country.
I also want to thank my staff, both present staff who are here today and former staff. Dianne Ackert has been with me for 12 years. She is unable to be here, as her mom is very ill and in the hospice. Our thoughts are with her mom. Chad Richards has been with me for seven years; Shea Angus, four years; Pam Sparkes, three years; as well as Kim Davis, who is also here, who has joined us in the last year. I thank all of you for your hard work over the years.
I also want to recognize former staff, and some are here today, Anna Marie Young, Genielle Hay, Dianne Byczok, Madi Murariu, Deborah Ingraham, Carol Weir, Kyleigh Benninger and Clarissa Sookram-Whipple, whom I am still thankful to call friends as well. I also want to thank my EDA, my five campaign managers and all the volunteers who worked tirelessly on my behalf in five elections.
To my present colleagues, what a team. It is indeed an honour to have worked with all of you. Please stay in touch. To my leader, I am proud that we were both elected on the same day in 2004, and I look forward to seeing you become Prime Minister in October.
I want to thank my and Darlene's good friends, Lisa and Carm Myles, who drove seven hours last night to be here today. As well, I wish them a happy 36th anniversary today. However, there is something wrong when people drive to Ottawa on their anniversary but we appreciate their being here.
I want to thank my siblings, Linda, Tom, Jerry, Brad, Mary Lou and Paul, my nieces and nephews, and their spouses, for their support over the years, as well as my two biggest fans, my mom and dad, who are no longer with us but I know are watching down on us today.
To Colonel Alex Ruff, who has earned the right to try to replace me in October, thanks for being here today and good luck this fall.
Lastly, to my wife Darlene. Your mom told you to never marry a farmer or a politician. You ended up with both, so being a bit of a black sheep, how did that advice work out for you? You have always supported me in everything I have tackled. I could not have done this without you. Thank you.
In closing, I have been so fortunate to have served in this grand place for 15 years and to have been a part of some great accomplishments, but I also reflect on some sad times. Losing my great friend, Jim Flaherty in April 2014; the shooting on October 22, 2014; and losing my seatmate, Gord Brown, just over a year ago will always stay with me.
However, it is time for me and my family to move on. It is time for me to spend more time with my four beautiful grandkids. Chesney, Shailan, Brookelin and Liam, here I come. It is time for more fishing and hunting, and much, much less politics. After 10 elections, my wife and I are both electioned out. Darlene says that my “give a darn” button is busted. She is right.
It has truly been a slice, Mr. Speaker, but I am out of here.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, for the member for Sydney—Victoria, yes, my wife and I enjoyed our last trip there. I searched and searched to find eggs in stores that did not have the name of “Eyking” on them.
Having said that, a lot of the time in politics partisanship goes way too far. We all put our socks and underwear on the same way, no matter what our different beliefs are, and I enjoyed that. The member mentioned lobster. An old friend of mine who I used to hunt with but who has moved on had a saying, “If you don't want me to come, don't invite me”. So yes, we will be there.
My hon. colleague from the NDP is right. We served on committee for a year or a year and a half. I have a lot of respect and time for him. We may have disagreed there, and that democracy is all about that. However, the respect was always there, coming from both ways. I sincerely thank him for his comments.
My hon. friend and colleague from Niagara Falls talks about the Niagara Escarpment Commission. Yes, those were tough years to deal with. While my hon. colleague tried to destroy the escarpment, I did my best to help save it.
I have short story. I knew the member for Niagara Falls had been in this place for nine years, from 1984 to 1993, and I had no idea he was going to put his name forth. When I called him to tell him I had won the nomination, he said, “Mine's tomorrow night.” I said, “Thanks for telling me.”
I am going to miss all my colleagues in this place, and I thank him for his comments.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of tabling petition e-1924, signed by 2,450 Canadian citizens.
This is a petition to the Government of Canada stating that whereas the Government of Canada has broken the laws that cover the right to privacy, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, by authorizing Statistics Canada to collect the personal, financial and banking information and history from Canadian banks and credit bureaus for 500,000 citizens and residents, and the government has no right to our private financial information, and the act is both illegal and immoral, the Government of Canada and Statistics Canada do not have the right to this information without our signed authorization for the privacy act, we, the undersigned taxpayers of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to cease and desist collection of information of Canadian citizens' private financial affairs and demand that the Government of Canada put an immediate end to Statistics Canada's compelling Canadian financial institutions and credit bureaus to transfer any financial information, detailed or otherwise, from any taxpayer to Statistics Canada.
View Larry Miller Profile
My apologies, Mr. Speaker. I think I started before the light came on and then after that a bunch of ministers came in and started yapping over there and you could not hear me.
Referring to the member for Winnipeg North who started all this, the only noise that gave him a problem in hearing, if there was a problem, was the heartbeat of the government whip when he fully realized that he was in trouble, running, tripping and flipping up the hallway to get members out of the camp cot cover-up.
We need to carry on here. My hon. friend across the way spoke about hearing. I have a hearing problem as well. I joke about it myself. However, the member for Winnipeg North has clearly tried to make bad hearing an excuse. It was an opportunity for him to try to delay this to get members in the chamber. I can name six or seven ministers, but I will not, who came in after, plus the Prime Minister. Therefore, let us get on with this.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Minister of National Defence for doing the right thing because he was not in here.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Larry Miller: I have the floor, and I cannot even hear myself.
Over my 15 years in this place, twice I walked in, in the middle of a vote and voted, knowing full well that I would have to own up to it, which I did. My parents brought me up telling me that, if people cheat at cards or whatever, they are only hurting themselves.
We have got the flavour of the day, being the Attorney General. We have the Minister of Public Safety, and a gentleman over there in a powder blue shirt has no tie—
View Larry Miller Profile
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to again speak to Bill C-77. This is important legislation that I believe has a good amount of support from all sides of the House.
Before I get into the heart of my remarks today, I want to take a few moments to applaud the hon. member for Vancouver Granville, the former attorney general, for the courage she showed yesterday at the justice committee. All Canadians have been watching this story very closely. The hon. member laid out a very clear picture of what has happened.
It is now crystal clear that the Prime Minister and his office carried out a coordinated effort to try to obstruct the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. It is shameful, and it needs to be looked into further.
The Criminal Code defines the charge of obstructing justice as anyone who “wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding.” Applying sustained pressure to the former attorney general once she had already made the decision to proceed to trial would 100% constitute a wilful attempt to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice.
The RCMP needs to look into this and needs to hold all of those responsible accountable for their actions, including the Prime Minister. The buck stops with him. It was his office and people in his government who carried out this pressure, and he needs to own up to it, something he is not very good at.
Further, the Prime Minister has to agree to call for a public inquiry so all Canadians can once again have faith in an independent judiciary.
View Larry Miller Profile
Madam Speaker, if my partisan colleague across the way had just given me another 10 seconds, that is where my next paragraph was going. The issue of carrying the course of justice is, in fact, not out of place within the context of the debate here today on Bill C-77, so there is relevancy.
Bill C-77 is all about carrying out the course of justice within our military in a way that protects victims. The legislation would bring forward changes to our military justice system that would give some protection to victims. That is something the Conservative government was working on, and as we heard earlier today from my colleague for Cariboo—Prince George, the bill is almost a duplicate of what we had proposed in the last Parliament.
As I said, the legislation would bring forward changes to our military justice system that would give some protection to victims, which is vitally important. Our previous government recognized this. It is why we brought in the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and worked to enshrine those rights within our military justice system.
Former Bill C-71, which did not pass before the last election, looked very much like the legislation before us today. Our proposed legislation would have given victims the following: first, enhanced access to information through the appointment of a victim liaison officer; second, enhanced protection through new safety, security and privacy provisions; third, enhanced participation through impact statements at sentencing; and four, enhanced restitution, meaning a court martial would be required to consider making a restitution order for losses.
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and that is on full display here. The Liberal government knows that what the Conservative government tried to do in the previous Parliament was the right thing to do, and that is why it is copying it with this legislation. However, there are a few differences that I would like to highlight.
Perhaps the most glaring difference between the two bills would be the addition of the Gladue decision, in relation to paragraph 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code of Canada, into the National Defence Act. This addition would mean aboriginal members of the Canadian Armed Forces who face charges under the National Defence Act may face lighter punishment if convicted.
There is absolutely no place in the Canadian Armed Forces and in Canadian society, for that matter, for discrimination of any kind. No one should ever be discriminated against based upon race, gender, religion, culture or any other factor. That being said, the insertion of this principle has the potential to result in different consideration of offences committed by aboriginal forces members than for those committed by non-aboriginal forces members. This could lead to sentences that are less harsh, could undermine operational discipline and morale in the forces and could even undermine anti-racism policies.
I truly believe, and I think all of us in this place do, that judicial systems, military or otherwise, operate most effectively when the defining principle is equality before the law. By definition, equality applies to all. If we want true equality before the law, we cannot have separate levels of standards or sentences for some segments of the population. It must be applied uniformly.
Furthermore, while I am pleased the government is moving forward with legislation to help the men and women who are currently serving our country, it must be reminded that our veterans need our support as well.
A recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed our veterans are paying for the mistakes of the government. The PBO's report, titled “The cost differential between three regimes of Veterans Benefits”, is clear proof that the pensions for life scheme by the government is falling well short of the mark when it comes to supporting the men and women who have served our country. The report confirms veterans with severe and permanent injuries will be worse off by an average of $300,000 under this scheme. This is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.
That said, it is my hope that Bill C-77 moves on to consideration in the Senate and that those in the other place will conduct a fulsome review of the bill to ensure that military justice reform works for all those who serve our country.
We cannot ever do enough for our veterans. A lot of veterans from the Second World War and many from the Korean War have left us and there will be more as time moves on. It is times like this, in their later years, when they need veterans services more than ever. I remind the government to change its attitude, change its ways and change Veterans Affairs so that the main goal is to serve these veterans instead of keeping the strings on the bank book unreasonably.
When Conservatives were in government, the same type of thing happened and it is happening now.
View Larry Miller Profile
Madam Speaker, the member is obviously trying to distort what I said. I simply pointed out that there is a difference. We should not start applying laws based on race, gender or whatever. In the military, if there are four soldiers, and two of them are aboriginal and two of them are not, and they make a mistake, two of them would have the potential of being treated differently than the other two. That is all I was trying to point out. I do not think that is right. I do not have a clear answer on it, but doing anything race-based is not acceptable, even less so in this day and age. That is all I was trying to point out.
View Larry Miller Profile
Madam Speaker, my colleague talked about the conditions under which somebody would make a ruling. I would point out that the conditions in the military for all members, male, female, native, non-native, whatever one's race or background, are the same. They are treated the same way, except for what is coming in the bill. That is all I am pointing out.
Again, I do not have the complete answer, but when we start treating people differently because of the colour of their skin, it is unacceptable in today's society, no matter how good one's intentions are.
View Larry Miller Profile
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for a great question. It is one I can relate to because that has happened to constituents in my riding.
Also, I want to officially, albeit belatedly, congratulate her on her new-found love later in life and wish her the best.
Coming back to the issue, I remember talking to my good friend Jim Flaherty, who was working on this at the time. Unfortunately, it did not get fixed, but it needs to be.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of Canada's best alpine skiers, Larisa Yurkiw. Born in my riding in the city of Owen Sound, Larisa is a world-class skier who represented Canada for over 10 years, including at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Larisa's accomplishments run deep. She made her World Cup debut in 2007 and has been on the podium three times. At the time of her official retirement in 2016, Larisa ranked third in the world. An accomplished athlete, business woman and academic, Larisa has done everything from fundraising her own budget and managing her ski staff to completing her MBA.
Over the next few days, Larisa is graciously volunteering her time with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa during their annual charity ski day. I ask all members to join me in recognizing her outstanding athletic career.
Larisa has made all residents of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, and indeed all of Canada, very proud. Well done.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize two individuals who have been important members of our community for years and who have recently celebrated significant birthdays.
Albert McConnell, of Kilsyth, who just turned 90, moved to Kilsyth in 1942 with his parents and six siblings, when he was just 16 years old. Ab immediately bought his first registered Hereford cows, and a few years later, expanded into sheep farming. Ab continued to farm beef cattle with his three sons for over 70 years, until he retired in 2015.
John Garvey, of Owen Sound, just celebrated his 95th birthday. John refereed hockey and broomball for over 50 years, retiring at age 80, but John continued to umpire baseball for over 70 years, retiring at age 90. He still golfs three to four times a week, recording scores a 40-year-old would be proud to achieve.
Please join me in celebrating Albert and John, two remarkable men from my riding.
View Larry Miller Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend and colleague from Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo for acknowledging that the Conservative Party will be supporting this bill at second reading.
The member thinks along the same lines I do, in that we find it very troubling that the Prime Minister pretends. I use that word because he talks the talk, but does not walk the walk. What happened to the now Minister of Veterans Affairs, the former attorney general, is obviously not something a true feminist would do to a female minister. The other troubling aspect is that he has said he supports native rights, native culture and so on, but his actions all speak contrary to that.
If the member could respond to that, I would appreciate it.
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