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Results: 1 - 15 of 242
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-19 10:34 [p.15337]
Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech by the member opposite. She talked about missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, as well as street gangs, and then went on to say that this bill is based on misinformation and does not provide true solutions to real problems. I would argue that it is a real problem when victims in this country are not treated with the respect they deserve, and part of that respect includes receiving justice for those who have committed crimes against their loved ones.
My question is perhaps a more personal one for the member. I would like to know if she has heard any concerns from victims themselves, if people have told her it is fair that when criminals are given life sentences that they should indeed serve those life sentences.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-19 11:14 [p.15343]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians in Mississauga South want lower taxes, more jobs, and a growing economy. The Liberal Party leader offers none of that. His high-tax plan for Canadians will cut jobs in my community, across Canada, across every sector, and it will weaken the economy.
Just recently, the leader of the Liberal Party stated that he would introduce a $1,000 payroll tax on all Canadians. For families and seniors in Mississauga South, this could be devastating. He believes that taking money away from Canadians is what is best for them, that he can spend it better than they can. Well, on this side of the House, we believe in standing up for all Canadians and putting money back into their pockets.
The Liberal leader's reckless schemes make it obvious that he is simply not ready to be prime minister.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-19 11:47 [p.15350]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister announced a major contribution from the federal government to help improve transit in the city of Toronto and the GTA, including Mississauga.
Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs please inform the House on the impact this announcement will have for the people of Toronto and the surrounding region?
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-16 15:40 [p.15166]
Mr. Speaker, an actual victim of early and forced marriage had this to say about the bill:
Forced into an abusive marriage at 17 and unable to leave it for 18 years, I can attest to the fact that a forced marriage is effectively a life of slavery. I congratulate the Canadian government for taking a bold step on behalf of women who have nowhere to turn for help.
This was said by Aruna Papp, a woman I had the great honour of meeting. She was a victim of this barbaric practice of forced marriage and commends this government for taking action. I am wondering if the hon. member opposite has a comment to make on Aruna Papp's statement.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-16 16:12 [p.15170]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to speak in support of Bill S-7, the zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act.
In October 2013, our government committed to ensuring that early and forced marriage does not take place on Canadian soil. Bill S-7 delivers on that promise. This bill proposes to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code in order to enhance the existing protections against harmful and violent practices that are perpetrated primarily against women and girls. I would like to take this opportunity to situate this bill in the context of the many substantive measures that this government has taken to address violence against women and girls in Canada.
As Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration explained before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, all violent acts committed against women and girls are unacceptable in our democratic Canada. Our government has taken and continues to take action to address various forms of violence against women and girls. Bill S-7 supplements Canada's robust responses to violence against women and girls by addressing some areas where gaps have been identified, such as the response to early and forced marriage, and strengthens the legislative tools in relation to other forms of gender-based violence, such as polygamy and so-called honour killings, as well as spousal homicides. This bill addresses certain forms of violence against women and girls that reflect antiquated notions of women as property or as mere vessels of family honour and reputation. These notions are clearly inconsistent with fundamental Canadian values of equality between men and women.
The zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act introduces important legislative measures that would protect potential and actual victims of early and forced marriage. Bill S-7 proposes to set the absolute minimum age of marriage at 16 in the Civil Marriage Act, and to codify in that same act the requirements that a marriage involve free and enlightened consent and that all previous marriages be dissolved prior to entering into a new marriage. This bill also introduces changes to the Criminal Code to criminalize active participation in an underage or forced marriage and to criminalize removing a child from Canada for these same harmful purposes.
Moreover, Bill S-7 expands the peace bond regime in the Criminal Code to provide for a new court order designed to prevent an underage or forced marriage from taking place in Canada, or to prevent a child from being taken out of the country to be forced into a marriage. In addition, Bill S-7 proposes to limit the defence of provocation, as we have heard a number of times this afternoon, in the Criminal Code so it could not be raised in cases involving so-called honour killings and in many spousal homicides where the alleged provocation often consists of verbal or offensive but otherwise lawful behaviour.
Finally, this bill puts forward important changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that would specify that a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible if he or she practises polygamy in Canada.
I would like to take a few moments to point out how the proposed amendments in this bill would align Canada with many like-minded countries around the world.
First, in relation to early marriage, Bill S-7 introduces a minimum age of 16 below which marriages could no longer be legally conducted in Canada even with parental or court consent. There has been some misunderstanding about this provision of the bill, so let me be perfectly clear. The free age of marriage in Canada, or the age at which a child becomes an adult and can give consent to marry on his or her own with no additional requirements, is 18 or 19 years of age, depending on the province or territory where the marriage takes place. Bill S-7 does not change this. Instead, Bill S-7 proposes to legislate in relation to the absolute minimum age of legal capacity for marriage, which is a matter of federal jurisdiction under the Constitution. Currently, federal law sets age 16 as the lowest age for marriage only in the province of Quebec. Elsewhere in Canada, as there is no federal legislation, the old pre-Confederation common law applies. This bill proposes to close that loophole and set a national floor at 16, below which marriages may not be legally conducted.
If we compare Canada with similarly situated countries, we see that many have set the lowest age for anyone to marry at age 16, including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, and Norway. This is what Bill S-7 proposes to do.
Several other like-minded countries have set 18 as the age at which a person can marry without the requirement for consent from their parents or the courts. These countries have no absolute minimum age of marriage: Belgium, France, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and most of the United States. This is similar to the current law in Canada.
It is important to point out that many countries cited as setting the minimum age for marriage at age 18 actually have a similar legal structure to that of Canada. They set age 18 as the free age, or the age of majority, meaning that a person can marry without any other person's consent.
This is subject to a number of exceptions where a person below the age of 18 can marry with some form of additional consent or approval, and so it does not represent the absolute minimum age. In fact, very few countries have set their lowest age for anyone to marry at age 18. Switzerland is the only similarly situated country that we are aware of to have done so.
Bill S-7 addresses certain gaps in the range of existing measures to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in Canada. Our Conservative government is taking steps to strengthen our laws and to help ensure that no young woman or girl in Canada becomes a victim of early or forced marriage, polygamy, so-called honour-based violence, or any other form of harmful cultural practice.
I would be pleased to take any questions about any of these other important aspects of the bill as well.
I urge my colleagues to support this bill and align Canada with like-minded countries that are grappling with similar forms of violence against women and girls.
As a former member of the parliamentary Standing Committee on the Status of Women, I am just so proud to be able to support this very important bill. It would affect many hundreds of young girls going forward. These girls live in Canada and perhaps might have backgrounds different from my daughter's and her experiences growing up, but I think we have a responsibility to protect them from violence and barbaric cultural practices.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-16 16:22 [p.15171]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address the hon. member's question about provocation. While it may be true that it is not a defence that has been used, we would be codifying that the defence of provocation has to be substantive. For example, one could not use as a defence dating a person whom one's family does not approve of, as a reason or as provocation. Instead, under this legislation, an accused could only use that defence of provocation if the victim were committing an act of violence that led to an offence indictable by five years or more. We are making sure that, if someone says, “I am going to use the defence of provocation as an excuse for this honour killing”, that is simply not possible.
As for her earlier question regarding polygamy, absolutely it has been illegal in this country since 1890, but this bill would provide immigration officers the tools they need to render applicants for temporary and permanent residency inadmissible due to polygamy. It is a regulation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, not a provision in the Criminal Code.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-16 16:25 [p.15172]
Mr. Speaker, I would agree that this is all about protecting victims. I think sometimes the opposition does not understand that this really is a serious issue. This bill was necessary. There were 219 cases of forced marriage reported in a report released in August 2013. In a two- or three-year period, between 2010 and 2012, there were 219 cases. That is not just one victim too many; that is 219 victims too many.
This bill shows that our government will not tolerate spousal abuse, honour killings, and other gender-based violence. We will not allow any of that to happen as a pretext to immigration as well, and that is a very important point to note, which is addressed in this bill.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-15 14:59 [p.15068]
Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has consistently lowered taxes and created voluntary savings options, like the tax-free savings account. Our low-tax plan saves $6,600 this year for a typical family, but the Liberal leader has exposed his scheme to cut back tax-free savings accounts and hike taxes.
Could the Minister of State for Finance please clarify the government's position on mandatory payroll taxes?
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-06-05 11:09 [p.14641]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians can trust only this Conservative government to give them the ability to keep their hard-earned money to spend on their priorities.
Last month we learned that the Liberal leader wants to bring in a mandatory expansion of the Canada pension plan. This is absolutely unacceptable to the people of my riding of Mississauga South. His plan would kill jobs and hike taxes on hard-working Canadians. My constituents understand that this would mean that an individual earning $60,000 would have to pay $1,000 more in taxes.
Our government rejects this, the people of Mississauga South reject this, and on this side of the House we cut taxes, we do not raise them.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-05-29 11:02 [p.14339]
Mr. Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to tell you about a small but important measure taken in my riding of Mississauga South recently, one that will affect many of my older constituents and one that will improve their quality of life in a meaningful way.
Last week at Port Credit Legion Branch 82, I was joined by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to bring word that this Conservative government, through the enabling accessibility fund, would help the Legion make its beautiful waterfront property on the Credit River more accessible for those in wheelchairs and those who need to get extra help getting into this great place where friends and veterans, young and old, gather to join in camaraderie and friendship and tell many stories, sometimes even over a beverage or two.
Even better, through the new horizons program, funds will also be contributed toward new fryers and a ventilation system so that the famous Friday night fish fries can be held once again.
The Legion is a great Canadian place, and I will be delighted, as an associate member and as the member of Parliament, to take part in a few Friday night fish fries this summer.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-05-27 14:05 [p.14213]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are incredibly generous. I would like to thank all Canadians today for their volunteer efforts and give a special shout-out to one company that takes a leadership role in promoting volunteerism in its workforce.
Each year through Telus' Annual Days of Giving, employees give of their hearts and hands to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the communities where they live, work and serve. Since Telus began its Days of Giving in 2006, it has mobilized more than 94,000 Canadian team members, retirees, family and friends to volunteer at over 3,000 activities. They have volunteered more than six million hours in total.
Telus' team is making a meaningful social impact in communities across Canada. To celebrate its 10th anniversary of giving back, Telus has created opportunities for us all to give back in a meaningful way. To all my colleagues who participated today, they should take pride in knowing that the school backpacks they filled will find a home with so many youth who would otherwise start the year at a disadvantage.
Please inspire others to join in and help Telus as it tries to complete one million acts of good through its Telus Days of Giving.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-05-27 15:05 [p.14225]
Mr. Speaker, the Toronto police have laid the first charge under the government's cyberbullying legislation. Could the Minister of Justice update the House on the action our government is taking in this area?
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-05-12 14:47 [p.13794]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all Canadians, we are delighted that on May 2, Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the birth of their second child, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.
Can the Minister of State for Social Development please tell this House how the Government of Canada is marking this wonderful occasion?
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-05-11 11:44 [p.13689]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Motion No. 411.
I had the privilege of being the chair of the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women, also known as the special committee for missing and murdered aboriginal women. We heard testimony from witnesses and family members and, at times, it was overwhelming to hear about the tragedies, the grief and the extreme heartache. It would have been impossible to take part in that study and not be moved by the gut-wrenching stories of suffering and grief experienced by the families of aboriginal women. All committee members listened to the evidence, and what we heard was compelling.
Root causes were examined, solid recommendations were made and our action plan was the result. This is the action plan that the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women tabled in the House on September 15, 2014, which was created based on the recommendations that came out of our committee report.
This Conservative government takes the issue of violence against women very seriously, and I would like to speak to some of the measures we have put in place, as well as the action we have taken to address this very serious issue.
There are three main areas in which the government is taking action that were highlighted in the action plan, again, as a result of the recommendations from the special committee.
First, we are taking action to prevent violence against aboriginal women and girls. Specific actions set out in the action plan include the development of more community safety plans across Canada, including in regions that the RCMP's analysis has identified as having high levels of incidents of violent crime perpetrated against women and girls. There are also projects to break intergenerational cycles of violence and abuse by raising awareness and building healthy relationships, as well as projects to engage men and boys, which empower aboriginal women and girls to denounce and prevent violence.
Second, our government is taking action to assist and support the victims of violence. In particular, family and police liaison positions ensure that family members have access to timely information about cases is part of the action plan. There is also specialized assistance for victims and families, and awareness regarding positive relationships in the sharing of information between families and criminal justice professionals.
Third, the action plan highlights our action we are taking to protect aboriginal women and girls, with initiatives such as funding shelters on reserves on an ongoing basis, supporting the creation of a DNA-based missing persons index and continuing to support police investigations through the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains.
The Government of Canada will also continue to work closely with the provinces and territories, police services and the justice system, as well as aboriginal families, communities, and organizations to address this serious and tragic issue.
Thirty new justice and public safety measures to keep Canadians safer have been introduced since 2006. They have not been re-announced. For example, the action plan to which I have been referring makes significant investments to support the creation of the DNA missing persons database, as well as more community safety plans through Public Safety Canada, and better tools and resources for first nations leaders to address the problem itself on reserve. First nations leaders asked for this support at committee. We listened and we acted on it.
Yes, sadly, in Canada, aboriginal women and girls face disproportionate levels of violence. This vulnerability to violence can be associated with a number of socio-economic problems facing their communities, such as poverty, relationship violence and substance abuse. These are some of the root causes that we also looked at in the special committee.
As first responders to many aboriginal communities in Canada, RCMP officers often respond to difficult calls involving violence against aboriginal women, so I would like to take a moment to discuss the role of the RCMP.
The RCMP works collaboratively with other Canadian police services, provincial and territorial governments, aboriginal and non-aboriginal agencies, and the public to address the health and safety of aboriginal women and to investigate and resolve outstanding cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women.
We heard from the RCMP at the committee as well. Since 2001, a number of police task forces have been established in areas of the country where more significant numbers of these cases have happened. Project Devote in Winnipeg, Project E-PANA in northern and central British Columbia, Project EVEN-HANDED in Vancouver, and Project KARE in Edmonton are great examples of RCMP-led multi-agency task forces that diligently investigate cases of homicides and missing persons in Canada. These task forces have been successful in advancing investigations and solving a number of cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
The RCMP focuses its operational efforts on preventing and resolving missing persons cases through multi-agency community engagement, victim support, and effective coordination of timely and quality investigations. Its operational policy directs police officers to give operational priority to a missing-person complaint or report and to investigate all cases of missing and murdered persons within its jurisdiction, regardless of sex, ethnicity, background, or lifestyle. One example of a tool the RCMP might use is the national public website canadamissing.ca to inform and seek tips from the public.
In 2013, Bob Paulson, the Commissioner of the RCMP, initiated the compilation of all available police data related to missing and murdered aboriginal women on behalf of the Canadian law enforcement community. Something that was requested, and clearly needed, was a central gathering of evidence and numbers so that we had reliable statistics related to the high incidence of these cases. The result was the national operational overview, which was published in May 2014. This provides the most accurate account to date of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
We now know definitively that missing and murdered aboriginal women are overrepresented vis-à-vis their proportion of the Canadian population. The numbers show that aboriginal women accounted for 16% of female homicides and 11.3% of missing women. This is three to four times higher than the representation of aboriginal women in the Canadian population.
This research enabled the RCMP to identify both key characteristics and key vulnerability factors of the missing and murdered aboriginal women victims. The overview also highlights that the rate of homicide perpetrated by strangers against aboriginal women is low, at 8 %, practically the same as for non-aboriginal women at 7%. This information is guiding the police community in its investigations as well as informing the government and partners in the development of future prevention, intervention, and enforcement policies and initiatives.
Public awareness is very important. We spoke to the witnesses at committee and I have talked to ordinary folks in my riding who are concerned about this issue and have been watching the excellent coverage and assistance the CBC has been providing in identifying cases and raising public awareness. I would like to acknowledge that effort and thank the CBC for that, because public awareness is a very valuable tool. When Canadians understand the severity of a problem, they encourage us to look for solutions, which is exactly what this government has done with this action plan.
I am thankful for the opportunity to talk about the action plan and the three main pillars of the action plan as well as the work we did on the special committee on missing and murdered aboriginal women, which was a non-partisan, all-party, comprehensive study that looked into this serious and tragic situation.
We all have a role to play in protecting aboriginal women, and I thank members for the opportunity to speak to this issue today.
View Stella Ambler Profile
CPC (ON)
View Stella Ambler Profile
2015-05-04 15:17 [p.13391]
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by 167 constituents of Mississauga South who ask that the Government of Canada and the House of Commons commit to adopting international aid policies that support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty.
Also, they would like the government and the House to commit to ensuring that Canadian policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers and that they protect the rights of small family farmers in the global south to preserve, use, and freely exchange seeds.
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