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Results: 1 - 15 of 494
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for saying that he believes in climate change. We can no longer deny this phenomenon.
Young people from across Canada have taken to the streets to demand that the federal government take much stronger action than what the Liberals are doing. However, in their motion today, the Conservatives are not proposing any sort of plan to combat climate change. They will be presenting their plan tomorrow, but they are not proposing anything right now.
That is not very constructive, particularly since we know that the Conservatives were unable to meet their own targets during the 10 years they were in office. They regulated the sectors, one by one, to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they never regulated the largest polluter, the oil and gas industry.
What is more, they never dared to eliminate the fossil fuel subsidies. It is therefore somewhat hard to believe that the Conservatives have a credible plan, and it is even harder to believe their criticisms of the Liberal government, because they are not bringing any alternative solutions to the table to debate today.
What does the Conservative Party have to offer on climate change? We know that there is a climate emergency. We are working to make sure future generations have a planet worthy of the name, where they can breathe, drink water, go swimming and continue to work the land.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Madam Speaker, I do not see what the government has to brag about, given that we know 63% of rural regions do not have access to high-speed Internet. This has been a source of frustration for years. Internet service is becoming a must for farmers, students and all rural business owners. Economies depend on it.
Fourteen municipalities in Salaberry—Suroît have written to us to say that the situation is untenable. High-speed Internet is available in the village cores, but further out in the country, service is intermittent, inaccessible or too slow. In Franklin, an Internet connection costs $90, and the big companies are under no obligation to serve rural residents.
In the 2019 budget, the government promises to invest millions of dollars until 2030, but it fails to require the big companies to serve small rural regions. Furthermore, co-ops like Coop CSUR get no regulatory assistance from the CRTC to deliver their services. Co-ops are motivated not by profit, but by a desire to help people. However, no one is helping them. The government has been aware of this situation for years, but it is not doing a single thing to fix it.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Sherbrooke for his very informative speech and for calling out Liberal members when they are being disingenuous about omnibus budget implementation bills.
These days, in 2019, rural communities are extremely under-serviced. With all due respect to my colleague opposite, 14 municipalities in my riding have written us to say how hard it is for them to get high-speed Internet. Sometimes it is impossible. That is what Bianka Dupaul, director of Coop CSUR, told us. That co-op was born out of a need for Internet access in a rural region and the fact that corporations did not want to provide services in areas with sparse populations.
Thanks to Coop CSUR, 100 kilometres of fibre-optic cable was deployed in four municipalities in my riding. However, CRTC rules, which always favour corporations, make it very hard for Coop CSUR and other co-ops to have access to aerial infrastructure. Since that infrastructure is owned by the corporations it is hard for the smaller co-ops to access it. They have to negotiate with the corporations. The costs are exorbitant and the wait times for accessing the infrastructure are endless. As a result, the small co-ops cannot get off the ground, even though they do not seek to make a profit.
How could today's motion help small co-ops like Coop CSUR, which is run by Bianka Dupaul?
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, the member opposite keeps repeating that there are new investments in budget 2019, but has he really read the budget 2019 announcements? There is no requirement for big companies to serve rural areas, which means that rural areas do not have high-speed Internet access. Sixty-three per cent of rural municipalities do not have this service. This is a problem, which is why we moved this motion today to address it.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have here a petition initiated by the Elizabeth Fry Society that calls on the Government of Canada to respect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognize that some children are being excluded.
These children are facing discrimination with regard to child benefits because their parents are homeless, incarcerated or grappling with addictions or other problems, for example. These children may live with different families and move around a lot. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to ensure that these children are also protected.
The petition was signed by many people from New Brunswick.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert for defending this cause so passionately and articulately all these years.
I would like to hear what he has to say about the impact on jobs in the regions. There is a lot of talk nowadays about information democracy. In the regions, it is especially important to have independent media outlets that are treated the same as web giants, so they can stay in business. God knows the regions are grappling with a labour shortage.
Could my colleague tell us about the repercussions on jobs in the regions and on young people hoping to get into journalism?
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, and that of many young people across Canada, the most important issue is the environmental crisis.
The government recognized that there is a climate emergency. Today, a group of young people called ENvironnement JEUnesse is in Montreal to launch a lawsuit against the federal government for its failure to respect the environmental rights of young people. This group is made up of youth aged 35 and under who want to file a complaint in court.
Even with budget 2019, we have not succeeded in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. On the contrary, they have increased by 12 million tonnes. According to the government itself, we will not meet our 2030 targets for 200 years. We are falling far short, and there is a lack of vision and leadership. We need to take action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, the association for people with intellectual disabilities in Suroît, known as APDIS, is hosting the fifth annual Festi-Bières festival, which will be held at Delpha-Sauvé park in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield from June 7 to 9. Festival-goers will be able to taste beers, ciders and other drinks, as well as enjoy live music, all for a good cause.
The money raised at this event will fund the Défis-Logis project to build an eight-unit building for people with intellectual disabilities. The Défis-Logis is a new solution designed to create a stable, permanent living environment for residents that more than meets their need for privacy and socialization, all under respectful supervision. APDIS hopes to raise $45,000 at the event, which is not to be missed.
I thank the organizers, Greg McKenna and Johanne Noël, as well as their volunteers, who have put so much energy and love into this project. I will see you starting tomorrow, June 7, at Delpha-Sauvé park.
I wish happy Festi-Bières to everyone.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I was first elected on May 2, 2011, as part of the famous orange wave. It came as a shock, but it was also an honour and a privilege to represent the people of my riding and stand up for my values in this honourable House.
I would like to thank the people of Beauharnois—Salaberry for giving me that first opportunity to dive into politics and have this fabulous, intense, enriching and altogether human life experience. It has been a pleasure to serve them.
My first speech in the House was on a topic that was as dear to my labour activist heart then as it is now. On June 24, 2011, Quebec's national holiday, I spoke out against the Canada Post bill. The NDP stood up to the Conservative government of the day for three days in a row so that unionized postal workers could negotiate their working conditions with the Crown corporation executives. That was my first ever three-day Thursday.
My second speech was just as emotional and powerful. In September 2011 we were debating Bill C-4, a Conservative government bill on boat people. This brought about a two-hour conversation with my mother on how my family came to Canada after fleeing persecution in the wake of the Vietnam War. She recounted their escape, the attacks by pirates, their fight to survive, their life at the refugee camp, their arrival in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and the welcome they received. This is the Canada I know, a Canada that gives a family of refugees the opportunity to prosper and that allows their daughter to become a two-term member of Parliament.
As one of the few members of Parliament of Vietnamese origin, I had the opportunity to meet with diverse Vietnamese communities in Canada and to work with them to acknowledge how much the Vietnamese have contributed to the diverse Québécois and Canadian culture and to fight for human rights in Vietnam, in particular. During my eight years in the NDP, I was mentored by some formidable and passionate members of Parliament, colleagues with whom I grew up and with whom I learned to be more self-assured. Most of all, I laughed a lot in all of our battles here in Parliament. It takes a healthy dose of humour and self-deprecation to alleviate the stress of this frenzied political life.
My first challenge was to discover my riding. It took time and effort to understand the challenges of the different regions and also to discuss subjects that I knew little or nothing about: the world of agriculture ever present in the riding, the business world, which scared me to death, the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne.
After the riding boundary was changed, the region of Soulanges was another area to be studied and understood. I travelled around the RCMs by bike, on foot and by car. I thank the 400 community organizations who work hard with limited means. I thank the mayors of the 31 municipalities who are the foundation of our democratic fabric and without whom nothing works, and the entrepreneurs, whom I found so intimidating at the beginning. I thank them all for giving me material for my speeches, for advising me, often at the last minute, when I was drafting my bills, or for turning my attention to the issues they were concerned about.
I thank all the constituents who attended the countless public consultations or sent comments on my work by responding to the monthly mailings. Their contribution was invaluable to democracy and my ability to represent them in House of Commons every day. I hope they will continue to be as active and involved with the next MP. I thank them for placing their trust in me a second time in the 2015 election. To me that second election was an acknowledgement of my ability to stand up for the interests of the riding.
When it comes to agriculture, I fought tooth and nail with my NDP colleagues to protect supply management in its entirety and ensure that dairy farmers received compensation every time they were sacrificed in the signing of free trade agreements. We worked hard with my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé and others and used pressure tactics against diafiltered milk. Unfortunately, this could come up again because of the treaty negotiation with the United States and Mexico.
One of my personal victories is the agriculture investment announced in the last budget. My team came up with the slogan: at the federal level, we eat locally. For more than six years now, I have been fighting to get a local foods procurement policy. I introduced two bills on this and in the March 2019 budget, we finally see investments to buy local food in schools and to develop and support distribution channels such as public markets. Through the support of many organizations, nearly 3,000 signatures on my petition, and emails of support, we were able to put enough pressure on the government to agree to include these measures in its recent budget.
This is a step in the right direction, but I still dream of seeing a buy local policy take shape someday.
Lastly, an important aspect of my work has been solving problems, whether it is a constituent not getting a service they were entitled to or an issue like the Kathryn Spirit, which was a problem 114 metres long and weighing 12,300 tonnes. My office has handled over 1,500 constituent cases, problems involving the Canada Revenue Agency, old age security or the guaranteed income supplement, and temporary foreign worker files. More and more Canadians are calling their MPs for help when they are unable to get a response through the usual channels. After all the public service cutbacks, that is the unfortunate reality.
One major case was the Kathryn Spirit, my region's biggest headache. This huge wreck had been towed into Lake Saint-Louis in 2011 without proper authorization by the company Groupe St-Pierre. This was blatant proof that corporate self-regulation does not work. The wreck was resold to a Mexican company and then abandoned. This case also highlighted the limits of the federal government, which declined to get involved every time, up until the very last second. At the end of the day, the polluter won. The company that had brought in the vessel ended up with at least $11 million of public money in its pockets. As they said on Infoman, this is like someone dumping trash in the neighbour's yard and then getting paid to take care of the mess they made. All in all, this incompetence and mismanagement of public funds cost taxpayers $24 million. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of Canadians, elected officials and local journalists, this problem is now behind us.
Now, let's talk about struggles and victories in Ottawa. As a young woman who has served in the House since 2011, I know what a challenge it was to get people to take women and young people seriously.
In 2014, four NDP female colleagues and I had to fight to have the right to bring our children inside Parliament and breastfeed them until the age of 18 months. We won that fight.
The next fight was to get a family room in Parliament. We won that one too. I would like to thank my colleagues, including Nycole Turmel, the former whip, for fighting alongside us and not only making this room a reality, but also creating better conditions for mothers who want to go into politics.
I am also proud to have launched the women in the lead event, which, since 2016, has welcomed 80 to 150 women every year to share what they have experienced in decision-making positions and talk about female leadership. There is still a lot of work to do to attract more women to politics, especially in terms of work-life balance. It is hard when we must vote or sit until midnight, like we do at the end of each session. There has been some progress, but we need to keep going.
It is also important to highlight my efforts to promote the French language. I am proud to have debated in French in committee and in the House of Commons over the past eight years. I am also proud of having created the Réseau des jeunes parlementaires de la Francophonie.
I would be remiss if I did not talk about youth and their passionate commitment to a number of issues. It is often said that young people are the segment of the population that is the most active and involved in the community right now. That is true, and we need to listen to them, because they challenge our ways of thinking and doing things. However, our decision-making structures are still lacking in young voices. That is why I introduced a bill in the House of Commons to create a commissioner for young persons.
I also want the government's youth policy to include an action plan, instead of just paying lip service. I want the Prime Minister's Youth Council to let young people say what is going well and what is not without having to go through the Prime Minister's communications office.
Lastly, I want to talk about the environment, an issue that is of vital importance to young people. This issue has no colour. It is not green, red, blue or orange. It really is everyone's responsibility. I think the work that the NDP did by unveiling its green platform last week is very ambitious and worth exploring.
I am very proud to have started the first forum on clean energy and industry in 2014 with my colleagues from New Westminster—Burnaby, Drummond and Edmonton Strathcona.
In closing, I am honoured to have served as the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry and Salaberry—Suroît for eight years. I am going to get very emotional when I leave this place in a few weeks. I could never have done this work without the invaluable help of the dedicated assistants I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with over the past eight years.
I want to thank my current staff, Edith Gariépy, Glen Cyr, Amélie Leduc, Jean-Marc Fagelson and Katherine Massam.
I also want to thank everyone who has worked for me over the past eight years, including the assistants, volunteers and interns who made my work look good every day, in good times and bad. I also want to thank the teams in the House leader's office and the whip's office, who work behind the scenes and look after us so well every day. I will miss them, but I will see them again.
I will close by thanking my friends, my family and my in-laws for supporting me throughout this wonderful adventure. I will be eternally grateful to my love, my beloved, my sidekick, my poet, my confidant, Mathieu, who agreed to be a stay-at-home dad for the past five years so I could thrive as a woman, an MP and a mother. I want to thank my daughter, Mila, who often had to share me and did not always understand why, if I was my own boss, I was not staying at home to play with her instead of going to work. Mila, I will be home soon.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I find it unfortunate that we are being imposed a 69th time allocation motion. This time, it is a 370-page budget implementation bill. If this is not a mammoth bill, I do not know what is.
When the Liberals were on the opposition side, they condemned the actions of the Harper government, which did not care about transparency or democracy, but they are doing the same thing today. The minister boasted that 46 members spoke to the bill, yet there are 338 members in the House. That is a far cry from full democracy.
In addition, we are now talking about the most important issue of our time, the environment. All the reports, including those from the commissioner of the environment, the OECD and the Department of the Environment itself, say that we will not reach our targets for at least 200 years. That makes no sense. Every Friday since the beginning of the year, young people have been taking to the streets. These are serious protests, yet the government cannot even be bothered to listen to what they are saying and take concrete action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions right now.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my colleague, who is also a young MP.
Does he think the government is doing enough on the environment? The government boasts that it is going to meet its targets, yet all the reports released to date, including one from Environment and Climate Change Canada, say that Canada is not on track to meet its targets, even though they were set by the Harper government.
Our greenhouse gas emissions went up by 12 megatonnes over last year. It would take Canada 200 years to meet its reduction targets. The government is still subsidizing the fossil fuel sector. It has no overall plan for moving jobs to renewable energy sectors. There is ample proof that six to eight times more jobs could be created in renewable energy than in fossil fuels.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Beauharnois company Terrassements MRD Inc. has been waiting for the results of the labour market impact assessment it requested since December 2018. The usual turnaround time is 102 days according to Service Canada, but it has taken 160 days in the case of Terrassements MRD Inc.
The company has lost $150,000 in contracts so far, and it is barely staying afloat. Temporary foreign workers should already be on site, but they are still waiting for customs clearance.
To ensure Terrassements MRD Inc. can remain in business, could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness speak to the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure that workers are allowed through the border by tomorrow, Saturday?
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question.
Given that the bill includes standards that the government is not required to implement, it could take several years before anything is done.
Does the member agree that we should add, as the NDP proposed, deadlines for implementing the standards and regulations in order to bring about real change and enable people with disabilities in every federal institution and federally regulated entity across the country to benefit from this accessibility act?
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I note a lot of inconsistencies in the speech made by the minister, who says she is moved by young people who are sounding the alarm and by scientists.
She wants us to rely on reports from IPCC scientists, among others, but her own department recently produced a report that says that, under the current government, greenhouse gas emissions went up by 12 million tonnes over last year.
The cost of inaction is estimated at $1.6 billion a year, and it could increase to $43 billion a year because nothing meaningful is happening to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
The Liberals are incapable of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. They are investing in the Trans Mountain pipeline, which triples oil sands production and adds seven times the number of oil tankers at sea, leading to even greater risk. This makes absolutely no sense.
Will they at least commit to eliminating fossil fuel subsidies?
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
Mr. Speaker, declaring a climate emergency sends an urgent warning that must be followed by concrete action, of which there is no mention in the government's motion. The time for half measures has long passed. If we want our government to take action to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, we must not stand idly by. We do not have 30 years to act, we have 11. It is our responsibility to take drastic action right now, as we are being asked to do by the scientists and young people who protest in the streets every Friday. We have to take our heads out of the sand and swallow our pride.
The members and political parties of this place must take stock of their actions. What have we done in the past 30 years? What have we done in the past four years?
Yesterday, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change was upset with the Conservatives. I believe she should instead be upset with her own government and her own record. Whenever she has to make a difficult choice between a polluting industry and the environment, she always chooses the polluting industry.
According to a recent report from Oil Change International, which examined energy investments from 2012 to 2017, Export Development Canada provided 12 times more support for the oil and gas sector, which received $62 billion, than for clean technology, which received a meagre $5 billion. Just last December, oil and gas companies received a new investment of $1.6 billion. This is a concrete example of how the federal government is not putting its money where its mouth is.
All the Liberals have to show for after four years is the purchase of an old pipeline for $4.5 billion. Scientists say that the project will cost three times more money. Let us also remember that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change was not even appointed chair or vice-chair of the cabinet committee on the environment and climate change. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions are up across Canada, as confirmed by the Department of the Environment.
The Department of the Environment said it will take Canada 200 years to reach its targets for 2030, which is only 11 years away. According to the Environment Canada report, these targets will only be reached in 2230. This makes no sense.
The Conservatives, the NDP, the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois all need to incorporate climate change action into their policy agendas. We all need to have a plan for limiting the impact on Quebec and Canadian families.
We need to act now and revolutionize our ways of thinking, because the facts are stark and troubling. The temperature is expected to rise by 5°C to 6°C, one million animal species are facing extinction, and we are seeing more and more natural disasters each year. The flooding is still not fully under control. Forest fires recently broke out in Ontario. Last year, Quebec experienced one of the deadliest heat waves in its history. The list goes on. Everyone knows what we are going through.
Every Friday, thousands of kids and teens march through the streets to demand that the provincial and federal governments take concrete, measurable action and follow up to monitor our progress. Scientists say there is not enough follow-up. Normand Baillargeon has been interviewed on this subject many times. Canada has no costed plan for meeting its targets, the same feeble targets that the Liberals criticized when they were first set by the Conservatives. Over the past year, our GHG emissions have risen by 12 million tonnes. Young people are reminding us that we are heading in completely the wrong direction.
If strikes do not get the message across, legal action might. On June 6, we will find out if ENvironnement JEUnesse gets the go-ahead to sue the government for infringing on the environmental rights of people age 35 and under. They are also demanding concrete measures and an action plan, and they want the Liberals and provincial and national governments to meet their obligations.
Everyone keeps saying that the environment is the number one issue for young people. It affects us all, of course, but young people will have to live with the consequences of what we choose to do and not do at this point in time for longer.
Now the government says we should declare a state of emergency. It is sounding the alarm, but there are no concrete measures in today's government motion.
Why is there no date? Nobody knows when the Paris Agreement targets will be met. Why are there no solutions to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies right away? The Liberals say they put it in their budget, but fossil fuel subsidies are not going away for years and years.
Why is the government not investing in renewable energy industries? Many environmental groups are saying that we should. I would like to quote Équiterre, since the Liberals like to brag about recruiting Équiterre's co-founder, Steven Guilbeault, as an adviser. According to Équiterre, investments in renewable energy create six to eight times more jobs than fossil fuel investments.
Our country agreed to dramatically cut fossil fuel subsidies. Before the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, every Quebecker and every Canadian was giving $100 to the oil industry. That is more than the United States' $60 per capita average. The Liberals have committed to continuing the process over the next six years by buying the Trans Mountain pipeline and increasing that amount from $100 to $600 in tax dollars per Canadian. That money is going to end up in the pockets of multinationals that do not need it.
That money could be used to invest in more equitable markets and green energy, but the government continues to focus on fossil fuels. The Trans Mountain pipeline will triple oil sands production and increase oil tanker traffic sevenfold. That does not make any sense.
How will such decisions help us meet our Paris Agreement targets? The Liberals are unable to answer those questions.
I am not making this up. On February 10, we invited the constituents of Salaberry—Suroît to draft motions that may eventually be presented to the Government of Canada. It seems like the Liberals are at an impasse. They no longer know how to come up with creative legislation.
I have some of the motions drafted by my constituents on February 10. They call for clear product labels that show their environmental impact and make them easier to recycle; targets to be set for the transition to a circular economy; binding greenhouse gas reduction targets in legislation requiring compliance with the Canadian government's commitments under the Paris Agreement on fighting climate change; legislation requiring disclosure by major banks and Canadian pension funds of their investments in fossil fuels; and a mandatory national system for assessing building energy efficiency, which would require amending the National Building Code of Canada.
I would now like to acknowledge in the House the citizens who drafted these motions. They worked with the following five resource people who volunteered their time: Lorraine Simard, Laurent Lenoir, Lorraine Caron, David Funk and Karel Ménard. I thank them very much for their time.
Furthermore, entrepreneurs in my riding would appreciate some help with some products they believe can support the energy transition. However, Canada is not doing much to promote these new technologies and innovations. The government prefers to give $12 million to Loblaws.
For the time being, there are no plans to update the National Building Code of Canada to reflect climate change. There is clearly a lack of political will to take drastic action.
To use a term Quebeckers relate to, we do not need a quiet revolution, but a meaningful, far-reaching green revolution.
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