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Results: 1 - 11 of 11
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, today let us once again recognize the legacy of Terry Fox, one of Canada’s greatest heroes and certainly Port Coquitlam’s hometown hero. At the age of 18, Terry lost his leg to cancer, and after 16 months in and out of cancer wards, he decided he could not ignore the suffering that he saw.
In 1980, Terry began his Marathon of Hope. In 143 days he ran more than 5,300 kilometres and raised millions of dollars for cancer research. In his name, Terry's Marathon of Hope continues today, and Canadians have raised more than $850 million to find a cure.
His story inspires everyone. His dedication and courage remind us what we can accomplish.
As Canadians across the country participate in Terry Fox runs, Terry’s memory will lead us all forward, and together we will end cancer once and for all.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, over the years, I have had many conversations with content originators, mainly musicians, who have complained that in the current online environment it is almost impossible to make a living, and it is suffocating the Canadian music industry. I wonder if the member could tell us more about how this bill will help them to survive and thrive.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member to expound on the value of the decriminalization of small amounts of drugs in British Columbia for a limited period so that we can gather data and can expand this powerful approach to the rest of the country.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been clear. They want good jobs, a healthy environment and a strong economy.
Last week the Minister of Environment and Climate Change unveiled the emissions reduction plan, outlining the next steps toward achieving these priorities for all. Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell us the objectives of this plan?
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the important work that the Port Coquitlam Heritage Society has done in documenting and uncovering our shared Canadian history.
Thanks to funds received through the Canada summer jobs program, the PoCo Heritage Society was able to catalogue and digitize its collection of well over 2,000 objects, including Second World War uniforms and antique traditional Chinese medicine bottles from the 1880s.
Through the diligent work of its staff and volunteers, including grade 10 student Queena Li, it translated the Mandarin inscriptions into English and learned more about the lives of the thousands of Chinese workers who came to Canada searching for opportunities and a better life. The railway would not have been built without their significant contributions, and B.C. would not be part of Canada.
I thank all the staff and volunteers at the Port Coquitlam Heritage Society. Their work ties us to our shared past and allows us to reflect and build upon the work of those who came before us to create a better future.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to advise you that I will be splitting my time with the member for Willowdale.
I am addressing the House today in support of our government's invocation this past week of the Emergencies Act of 1988. I would normally say I am pleased to address this House, but today I am not pleased.
Today I am not pleased with the siege against Ottawa's residents, who have borne the brunt of the illegal occupation of their neighbourhoods. They have been living in fear, in fear that their apartment building may be torched by arson, in fear of being harassed, taunted or ridiculed on their walk to work or the grocery store.
I am not pleased for workers in Ottawa's downtown core, including the Rideau Centre, who have not been able to earn an income for three weeks now. I am not pleased for the business owners who had hoped to reopen after Ontario lifted its restrictions at the start of the occupation, only to have to shutter their businesses once again because of threats, intimidation and abuse by the occupiers.
I am not pleased for my staff, who are prevented from going to work out of fear and intimidation. The parliamentary precinct should be a safe place. Now it is not.
These are everyday Canadians who have been impacted by this illegal occupation. I am not happy for them. I am not pleased that these illegal occupiers are preventing our day-to-day interactions. I am not pleased that these innocent bystanders are experiencing hardships because of this illegal activity. I am sad for those who have had to undertake abuse, harassment and ridicule for following public health measures, the measures put in place to help protect our citizens and our health care system. Our doctors, nurses and health care workers are exhausted; I thank them.
I am sad for the hits to our economy, first hit hard by the pandemic itself and then again by the illegal whack-a-mole blockades spurred on by this siege in Ottawa. However, it is not only Ottawa that has been hurt. Ontario has been hurt, for example, by the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, forcing auto plant shutdowns among others. These illegal blockades are a blow to the economies of Alberta, where I was born and raised, as well as Manitoba and my present home province of British Columbia.
I know people are tired of public health restrictions. So am I, and so is pretty much everyone I know. I know that this pandemic is exhausting. It is challenging for all Canadians. It has been and will continue to be difficult for everyone. That frustration extends to the 90% of British Columbians who have rolled up their sleeves to receive the vaccine, yet such measures continue to be essential to reduce risk to our seniors and those who are immunocompromised, as well as to bring this pandemic eventually to heel.
I support B.C.'s measured approach to removing restrictions when and where possible, based on the state of the pandemic in the region. These actions are founded on good public health advice by highly qualified and experienced medical and public health practitioners. We must continue to listen to our public health officials so that we can continue to protect Canadians against this insidious disease, and that means protecting our health care systems and following public health guidelines.
Nobody likes the so-called vaccine passports, most certainly not me, but rather than seeing them as a divisive instrument, as many have chosen to do, we should see them as an opportunity that allows businesses, the economy and indeed travel to open up and carry on in a limited way, instead of having to completely shut down from time to time, as we had to do before we had such an abundance of tested, effective and safe vaccines. Nonetheless, they are the artifacts of the pandemic and they, as for the other pandemic-related measures, will abate in due course when the pandemic itself abates, not by merely wishing them away or demanding that the pandemic be ignored.
These are trying and emotional times, and it is in these most trying and emotional times that lawful, legitimate protests and sincere concern have been overtaken and overwhelmed. It is in these most trying and emotional times, with frustrations and tempers running high, that we have seen this unfortunate siege of Ottawa unfold, as well as many sympathetic whack-a-mole protests and blockades across the land.
In these most trying and dangerous times, the Ottawa Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police and others elsewhere in the nation were unable to take the kinds of actions that are now under way. Now we can bring this siege to a peaceful conclusion through the Emergencies Act, with resources made available and authorities clarified.
Our government took this bold step this week to ensure that law enforcement is adequately resourced to end the illegal occupation peacefully and safely. Yesterday we finally started to see happen what most Canadians wanted to see happen for the last several weeks: removal of those involved in these illegal occupations, peace restored, and a return to having a safe city in which to live and work.
It is paramount that Canadians understand what this act does and does not do. It is critical to understand that the measures derived from the Emergencies Act are specific, focused and proportional. Crucially, they are time-limited and include adequate democratic checks and balances. A key to this is a built-in 30-day sunset clause, whereby the measures are subject to ongoing oversight by a parliamentary committee, with Parliament maintaining its right to revoke the declaration of an emergency as it sees fit. Furthermore, a public inquiry to determine the circumstances leading to and measures taken during this unprecedented emergency must ensue afterward.
Most significantly, the Emergencies Act does not involve the military, nor does it in any way suspend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and this is explicit in the act. These rights particularly include peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and the right to life, liberty and security. The preamble of the Emergencies Act is crystal clear on this. It states:
...and whereas the Governor in Council, in taking such special temporary measures, would be subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights and must have regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly with respect to those fundamental rights that are not to be limited or abridged even in a national emergency...
As a longtime active member of the Tri-Cities Chapter of Amnesty International, I fully respect and celebrate the Canadian reality that all Canadians have a right to protest, to speak their minds and to hold their elected representatives accountable. Even so, when we talk about rights, it must be clear that we do not have a right to block critical infrastructure like highways and hospitals. We do not have the right to intimidate, threaten or bully our fellow citizens, nor to deprive them of the safe enjoyment of their homes or disrupt their work or businesses.
Let must just mention that attempting to intimidate us with a manifesto demanding the removal of Canada's elected government is patently absurd, has no basis in any law anywhere and is not democratic. This is foolish anarchy, if not bluntly seditious, and it is a far cry from anything resembling the freedom that the siege purports to proclaim.
I know that most of those who support the protest themselves, whether that includes the blockades or not, are not anarchists or extremists. Most are sincere, everyday Canadians who are frustrated with restrictions. I get that, and I sympathize. Unfortunately, harassment and threats continue, and it is also clear that these linked events right across the country have been infiltrated by groups of white supremacists, Nazi sympathizers, people who are Islamophobic, anti-Semites and other garden variety racists, bigots or extremists. They leave an ugly and indelible taint wherever they are involved.
An excellent example is the seizure in Coutts in recent days of a significant cache of weapons held by individuals tied to extremist organizations. We also see dangerous behaviours, such as the man who drove a lifted pickup truck through a police barricade at Peace Arch crossing, and there are more examples. These and other threats underscore the embedded presence of small, systematized and perilous groups willing to intimidate and commit violence to achieve their own objectives, which typically do not reflect respect for our people, rights and institutions but do require our heightened vigilance.
However, even with the Emergencies Act in effect, I must emphasize that people can still protest and can certainly still disagree with the government, but they cannot join—
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, what we are facing today is a threat to our democracy, to our economy and to peace, order and good government in Canada, and this is unacceptable. The measures that have been put in place in recent days are time-limited and subject to ratification by Parliament. They will also be brought before the courts in due course.
We cannot make a blanket statement of the kind that the hon. member is proposing.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, the Emergencies Act was brought into force at this time to deal with a very specific, focused and narrow problem, one that has come to the fore in the last several weeks and that law enforcement officials have been unable, because of conflicting jurisdictions and lack of resources, to deal with appropriately. We have seen already during the course of the last day and continuing today the ability of these law enforcement officials, who are now enabled with the appropriate resources and co-operation among forces across the country, to bring to the situation the necessary assets to put it back in the box and get us once again—
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, unfortunately, they do not let me write the cheques. However, I certainly would support the ongoing assistance of all levels of government that need help during this time, as we have been able to do during the course of the pandemic itself, to deal with emergent situations and with emergencies as they arise so that we can all get through this in good order and safely as Canadians.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with family doctors from the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice Society who won the $100,000 grand prize for Canada’s vaccine community innovation challenge. Their “Physician on a Mission” campaign amplified the voices of family doctors in Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam and beyond as trusted community members to encourage vaccinations by using physicians’ personal stories and expertise. Videos were produced in English, Cantonese, Korean, Farsi and Arabic, with family doctors addressing common questions about COVID-19 vaccines, helping new mothers and reminding us to get our second shot. This initiative has empowered Canadians to make informed decisions about their health and to protect each other.
Congratulations to Dr. Yun and the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice Society. I thank them for their innovative and impactful work in keeping our communities healthy.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, as I rise for the first time in this Parliament, I want to thank the residents of Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for putting their trust me to represent our community once again.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight Haley Hodgson, author of “O CANADA, How We Vote”, a children's book about the Canadian electoral process. This fantastic book showcases our Canadian diversity and encourages discussions with young people about equality, democracy and equity.
Haley is also one of my 2021 Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam Community Champions award recipients. The award recognizes unsung heroes such as Haley in our community.
I encourage everyone to read this great book with the little ones in their lives.
I thank Haley for all that she does to build and better our community.
Results: 1 - 11 of 11

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