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Results: 1 - 15 of 161
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-06-08 14:46 [p.14698]
Mr. Speaker, it is clear the Liberal leader has only one plan for the economy and that is to raise taxes. In contrast, we have lowered taxes and created new voluntary options for Canadians to save, such as the tax-free savings account.
Would the Minister of Finance please give this House an update on the government's plan to help Canadians save while lowering taxes and creating jobs?
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-06-04 14:08 [p.14599]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today.
As many of my colleagues in the House are aware, Canada is celebrating 400 years of francophone presence in the province of Ontario. In fact, the famous explorer, Samuel de Champlain, travelled the Mattawa River, which runs through my beautiful riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming, as he crossed Ontario.
The community of Astorville in my riding has been working hard in preparation for the celebrations. This September, Astorville en Fête will celebrate 400 years of francophone culture as well as its 130th anniversary. There will be a fair, a grand concert, a French Canadian gourmet dinner, a parade, dances and much more.
I congratulate the hard-working organizers of the event and invite Canadians across this land to come to this extraordinary francophone celebration.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-06-02 14:48 [p.14483]
Mr. Speaker, Canada under our Conservative government remains strong, proud and free.
Can the Minister of Industry update this House on how our government is ensuring that Canada remains a global leader in international space exploration?
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-06-02 16:51 [p.14500]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill S-4, the digital privacy act, which has been referred back to the House by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
Last year, our government launched digital Canada 150, an ambitious plan for Canadians to take full advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. It is a broad-based, ambitious plan to take full advantage of the digital economy as we celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2017. It is the next step to build our nation and connect Canadians to each other.
As the digital economy grows, individual Canadians must have confidence that their personal information is being protected. That is why, under digital Canada 150, one of the five pillars is known as “protecting Canadians”. The digital privacy act would provide important and long-awaited updates to our private sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, commonly known as PIPEDA.
PIPEDA provides a legal framework for how personal information must be handled in the context of commercial activities, while also setting guidelines for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. These rules are based on a set of principles developed jointly by government, industry groups, and consumer representatives.
The digital privacy act would strengthen marketplace rules set out by PIPEDA in important ways. In addition to protecting and empowering consumers, amendments would clarify rules for businesses and reduce red tape. These guidelines would also ensure that vital information is available to Canadian businesses, so they have the necessary tools to thrive in the global digital economy.
Balancing the individual expectations for privacy and the needs of businesses to access and use personal information in their day-to-day operations is important, and Bill S-4 gets it right. It would ensure individuals that, no matter the transaction, their personal information would continue to be protected under Canadian law.
The need to update rules for online privacy continues to grow. Breaches of personal information held by retail giants like Target and Home Depot, where the credit card information of millions of Canadians was stolen, underscore the need to strengthen PIPEDA with mandatory breach requirements.
The bill before us would do exactly this by establishing new requirements for organizations to inform Canadians when their personal information has been lost or stolen and there is a risk of harm. The privacy commissioner must also be notified. An organization that deliberately covers up a data breach, or intentionally fails to notify individuals and report to the commissioner, could face significant fines as a result.
Let me now take a minute and point out some of the ways in which the bill before us would create an effective and streamlined regime for reporting data breaches. The digital privacy act would establish a clear and straightforward test that businesses must apply to determine whether or not they are required to report a breach. If a business determines that a data breach creates a significant risk of harm to a customer or client, then it must report this information both to the individual affected and to the privacy commissioner. If the organization determines that a data breach does not pose a risk of significant harm—that is, their data security safeguards were compromised but they avoided a situation where their customers are exposed to threats like identity theft, fraud, or humiliation—then that organization must keep a record of the breach.
The requirement to maintain these records, even if the breach is determined not to be serious at the time, would serve two purposes. First and most important, it would require companies to keep track of when their data security safeguards fail, so that they can determine whether or not they have a systemic problem that needs to be corrected. An initial breach may not be serious because the information lost is not particularly sensitive. The next time, however, the company and the individuals affected may not be so lucky. Keeping track of all breaches would help companies identify potential problems before individual privacy is seriously harmed.
Second, these records provide a mechanism for the privacy commissioner to hold organizations accountable for their obligations to report serious data breaches.
At any time, the privacy commissioner might request companies to provide these records, which would allow him to make sure organizations are following the rules. If companies chose to deliberately ignore these rules, the consequences, as set out under the digital privacy act, would be serious.
Bill S-4 would make it an offence to deliberately cover up data breaches or intentionally fail to notify individuals and report to the commissioner. In these cases, organizations could face fines of up to $100,000 for every individual whom they fail to notify. These penalties represent just one way in which the digital privacy act would safeguard the personal information of Canadians.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada strongly supports the proposed data breach rules in Bill S-4. He told the standing committee that:
...I am greatly encouraged by the government's show of commitment to update the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and I generally welcome the amendments proposed in this bill.
Proposals such as breach notification, voluntary compliance agreements and enhanced consent would go a long way to strengthening the framework that protects the privacy of Canadians....
Similarly, the Canadian Bankers Association voiced its support for these amendments, telling the committee:
The banking industry supports the requirements in the digital privacy act for organizations to notify individuals about a breach of their personal information where there is a risk of significant harm.... We also support the commissioner's new oversight powers to ensure that organizations comply with these new provisions.
I think it is clear that Bill S-4 would deliver a balanced approach to protecting the personal information of Canadians, while still allowing for information to be available in a growing, innovative digital economy.
Mr. Karl Littler, vice-president, public affairs, Retail Council of Canada, summed it up best, when he told the standing committee:
Generally speaking, Bill S-4 strikes the right balance between action to protect digital privacy on digital fraud and financial abuse, while recognizing the strengths of PIPEDA and its forward-thinking technologically neutral approach.
I think we have it right with the digital privacy act. Both business and consumers have been empowered in the digital age, but if Canada is to remain a leading digital nation, Canadians need to have confidence that their online transactions are safe and their privacy is secure.
Bill S-4, the digital privacy act, would strengthen the rules protecting the personal information that is essential to the conduct of business in virtually all sectors of the economy. The digital privacy act would go a long way to improving the protection of privacy for Canadians.
I urge hon. colleagues to join me in supporting this bill.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-06-02 17:00 [p.14502]
Mr. Speaker, clearly, the time to act is now.
These ideas have been around for a long time. We have debated them for quite a period of time. What Canadians are looking for is action. This is not a perfect bill by any means, but we do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Chantal Bernier, former interim privacy commissioner, says, “I welcome proposals” in this bill. The bill contains “very positive developments for the privacy rights of Canadians...”. “I am pleased that the government has” addressed such issues as breach notifications.
The current Privacy Commissioner, Daniel Therrien says:
...I am greatly encouraged by the government's show of commitment to update...[PIPEDA], and I...welcome the amendments proposed in this bill.
I submit that it is time to act, and that is precisely what our government is prepared to do.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-06-02 17:03 [p.14502]
Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, I believe that this bill strikes the right balance. I believe the time to act is now.
We certainly have ample support from across Canada: the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Bankers Association, Credit Union Central of Canada, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. All of these groups show a good, broad, strong base of support for this legislation, and I submit that the time to act is now.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-05-27 15:02 [p.14224]
Mr. Speaker, our government's universal child care benefits and family tax cut benefits 100% of Canadian families with children.
Can the Minister of Employment and Social Development please inform the House on how much money families are saving?
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-05-25 17:04 [p.14085]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this House to discuss an important piece of legislation that would protect the property rights of millions of Canadians. I am, of course, referring to Bill C-42, the common sense firearms licensing act. This legislation will, among other things, remove needless paperwork around the authorization to transport restricted and prohibited firearms and the arbitrary powers of chief firearms officers, and give elected government the final say over firearms classification decisions.
I would like to take this opportunity today to clarify some falsehoods, mistruths and inaccuracies that have been put forth by Liberals and New Democrats over the course of the debate on this legislation.
First, the Liberals put out an advertisement to try to bolster their sub-par fundraising numbers, which claimed that under the bill, the sky would fall and there would be handguns in the trunks of all cars at shopping malls and grocery stores from coast to coast. We all know this is nonsense. There are clear locations where restricted firearms can be taken that are laid out in the regulations under the Firearms Act, and anyone who has read the bill knows that those do not change.
However, the member for Yukon did his due diligence. During committee study of this important bill, he asked the Assistant Deputy Minister for Community Safety and Countering Crime, a non-partisan public servant, if the Liberal advertisement was accurate, and her response was no. We all know the penchant of bureaucrats for speaking in circles. That is pretty clear and simply condemnation of the leader of the Liberal Party and his inaccurate material.
We also heard from the Liberal member for Trinity—Spadina making a moral equivalency between hunters and terrorists. This type of ridiculous hyperbole would be offensive if we did not consider the source. This was the very same member who had previously called for a ban on the sale of bullets as a solution to gun crime.
Let us look at the facts. Based on the evidence from Statistics Canada, Canadians are 26 times more likely to die from a slip and fall than a firearms accident or homicide. They are 24 times more likely to die from a car accident, three times more likely to die while swimming, and equally as likely to die in a bicycle accident as a death involving firearms.
Clearly the Liberals do not have the ability to set appropriate priorities when balancing private property rights against public safety. Perhaps a ban on bicycles would be the next big Liberal policy.
When we talk about factual inaccuracies, New Democrats do not fare much better. First, the leader of the NDP has said that he would bring back the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. He even said that he wanted to track every firearm in Canada. This is despite the fact that the NDP member for Timmins—James Bay was very clear when he said that the NDP would never bring forward measures to require registration of shotguns and rifles.
Rural Canadians want to know who is it who really speaks for New Democrats, because they seem to have different messages in downtown Ottawa and Montreal than they do in rural Canada.
It is not only confusion in their own ranks that New Democrats suffer from. They seem to also have a disconnect with reality. The NDP member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca said a number of times that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness personally authorized the reclassification of the Swiss Arms and CZ-858 rifles. This is clearly inaccurate. However, I wanted to take the time to do the due diligence. I looked up the database of all orders in council, and I could not find a single one pertaining to this one.
Clearly, what occurred is a unilateral reclassification by the Canadian firearms program, with no notice to elected officials. It is important that we change this immediately as it flies in the face of democratic principles. These unfortunate comments were made by the same member who berated two expert witnesses in the public safety committee before ending his tirade with, “Well, I'm not sure there's any point in continuing to ask you any questions, then, if you're right on everything you've already said to us.” It is clear that there is an anti-gun bias across the aisle. These people simply will not rest until they have prohibited all firearms in Canada.
However, it seems that the NDP and Liberals continue to believe that hunting and sport shooting are the remit of backward rural folks. The fact of the matter is that they are wrong. A low estimate puts about four million Canadians being involved in these activities each year.
I will quote Greg Farrant with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, who said before the public safety committee:
Firearms owners in Canada are judges, lawyers, farmers, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, accountants, even federal politicians,...[who] live in and represent urban ridings. They are not criminals. They are not gang members. Rather, they are lawful firearms owners who obey the law.
However, it is clear that the message has not yet sunk in across the aisle. Some Liberal and NDP members have taken the debate on firearms issues as an opportunity to engage in a drive-by smear of outdoor enthusiasts by saying that those who want to be able to obey clear rules are part of an American-style gun lobby or are advocating for a return to, as one NDP member from Quebec said, the wild west gun laws. This is patently ridiculous and offensive to the millions of law-abiding Canadian gun owners. However, they will hear from their constituents in a few short months from now on whether there is support for safe and sensible measures, such as the bill before us today.
I look forward to telling my constituents why I support cutting red tape on law-abiding Canadians. I hope that those who choose to oppose this much-needed bill will be able to face the questions that are undoubtedly coming their way.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-05-25 17:13 [p.14086]
Mr. Speaker, this bill is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. I was proud to have the intent of this bill introduced in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming last summer. The minister indicated that is the direction we are working on, reducing red tape and reducing all the idiotic, archaic rules. That is what we intend to do.
This will probably be the first of a number of bills, but this is a good start and a good direction. We are moving to reduce red tape and the stigma of treating law-abiding hunters, sport shooters and farmers like common criminals.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-05-25 17:15 [p.14086]
Mr. Speaker, the bill has a number of parts. The bill, in my view, is a good start to reducing red tape. We are going with all the parts. We are not reducing one part or another part. We are going with all the parts because we believe that this is a comprehensive good start to reducing red bureaucratic tape. We are going to continue with this start and we will continue in this direction over the coming years to further reduce red tape against law-abiding hunters, farmers and sportsmen.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-05-25 17:17 [p.14086]
Mr. Speaker, that is one of the essential parts of the bill, that the PAL and POL would be merged. I think it is one of the hallmarks of the bill. Certainly, when I listen to gun owners, long gun owners, in my riding, that is one of the bugbears of existing legislation. We helped to improve that with this legislation by merging the POL and the PAL.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-05-11 14:10 [p.13710]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals do not think that people earning up to $60,000 a year are middle class. The Liberals think that people who earn up to $60,000 are too rich and, therefore, should pay higher taxes.
The Liberals clearly have no idea of how to make life better for the middle class, small businesses, and seniors. They want to replace our family tax cut with a family tax hike. In fact, they admit that their plan has a $2 billion hole, which we know they will fill by taking away tax-free savings accounts and income splitting for seniors.
We will not let them do this to the people of Canada or the people of Nipissing—Timiskaming. The people of my riding work too hard to be double-taxed by the Liberals. Clearly, this side of the House is the only side that stands up for the middle class.
View Jay Aspin Profile
Mr. Speaker, our government's family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit will benefit 100% of families with kids. The vast majority of benefits go to low- and middle-income families. The leader of the Liberal Party plans to take this all away. Instead of giving the majority of low- and middle-income families a break, he will be taxing middle-class families, taxing small businesses and taxing seniors. The opposition's position is clear: raise taxes on the middle class. That is why we are the only ones Canadians can trust to lower taxes and balance the budget. The good people of Nipissing—Timiskaming know that our family tax cuts lower their taxes and the Liberal tax plan or hike increases their taxes.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-04-23 13:39 [p.12936]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Mississauga South.
I am pleased to rise in this House today to speak to budget 2015, introduced this week by our government.
In response to the greatest global downturn since the Great Depression, our government introduced the necessary and strategic investments to keep Canadians working and maintain confidence in the economy. These investments paid off as Canada rebounded out of the recession faster than any G8 country, with the best results. Indeed, since 2009, Canada has generated the greatest real GDP growth; created more than 1.2 million net new jobs, 80% of which are full time and in the private sector; maintained the greatest performance of private sector investment; and maintained the lowest debt to GDP ratio.
This last point is particularly important. Whereas many nations tried to fight the recession by flexing fiscal and monetary policy almost without limit, our government, under the leadership of our Prime Minister, prudently balanced strong public investments to support the economy with necessary reductions in federal discretionary spending. The result is that our Minister of Finance stood in this House this Tuesday and announced a $1.4 billion surplus along with a $1 billion contingency. The result is that, without the implementation of this government's disciplined and prudent cost-saving measures, the current deficit would have been $17.2 billion.
The result is that our economy is healthy, strong, and growing. Circumstances of other nations have proven that neither reckless spending nor severe austerity is the answer. Success comes from long-term, disciplined leadership.
I am particularly proud of the fact that this government did not balance the budget on the backs of honest, hard-working Canadians. Nor have there been any cuts to critical services such as health care or key programs such as infrastructure, which remain at a historical high. No, we balanced the budget while simultaneously reducing the tax burden on Canadian families to record lows.
The GST was lowered from 7% to 5%. Small-business taxes have been cut. Various tax credits have been introduced for caregivers, volunteers, and those with disabilities. We introduced the tax-free savings account, raised the minimum income Canadians can make before federal rates are levied, reduced the lowest income tax rate, lessened EI contributions, and introduced assistance for first-time homeowners. I could go on, but the bottom line is this. As a direct result of our government's policies, for the typical Canadian family of two parents with two children, there are savings of an average of $6,640 every year.
Balancing the budget has never been just about sound and responsible fiscal management. It has been about principle. Our government promised Canadians that it would balance the budget, and Canadians sent the government back to Ottawa in 2011 with a clear majority and a mandate to do just that. This budget also would cement another promise made to Canadians, that of introducing income splitting for families. The principle of this government has been and remains that we keep the promises we make.
With my remaining time, I would like to highlight specific initiatives from the budget that would particularly benefit my constituents in Nipissing—Timiskaming.
For seniors, we would reduce minimum withdrawal rates for registered retirement income funds, or RRIFs. We would introduce a new home accessibility tax credit. Seniors and persons with disabilities would be able to claim up to $1,500 in tax credits for specific home renovations.
For families, we would increase the TFSA contribution limit to $10,000 so Canadians could improve their investments and have easier access to cash flows when they need them. I would just point out for the opposition members that it is the majority of middle-income Canadians who will benefit from TFSAs, not the wealthy. The facts are that 11 million Canadians have TFSAs and 60% of them make $55,000 or less.
We would expand the eligibility for student loans to make post-secondary education more affordable. There would be $184 million for students applying to short-term programs, and $119 million to reduce expected parental contributions to loan programs.
We would expand EI benefits for Canadians who need to leave work for compassionate care purposes. Benefits would be increased from six weeks to six months.
Budget 2015 confirms the family tax cuts and benefits introduced last fall. They are income splitting and increasing the universal child care benefit and the children's fitness tax credit.
For small business, we would improve access to financing. Available financing would be increased to $1 million from $500,000, and eligibility would be broadened from $5 million in revenue to $10 million in revenue. We would further cut taxes on small business, reducing the tax on small business by 2% from 11% to 9% over 4 years.
We would further reduce the EI premiums. The surplus gained by the EI fund would be reimbursed to employers and employees to lower EI rates.
For the space sector, we would invest in Canada's satellite industry with $30 million to support satellite research and development projects through the Canadian Space Agency. As my hon. colleagues may recall, I have recognized Nipissing—Timiskaming's entry into the space sector on several occasions, and I am very pleased that the government continues to mark its growing importance to our economy. These investments would ultimately serve to expand the space industry in Nipissing—Timiskaming and create high-paying, high-skill jobs.
We are further recognizing the increasing importance of space to Canada's economy and security. For aerospace and manufacturing, we would accelerate aerospace supply chain competitiveness and performance. We would continue to provide accelerated capital cost allowance measures to help manufacturers grow and create jobs.
For agriculture and agrifood, we would promote Canadian farm exports and improve competitiveness, with over $18 million to expand the Canadian Market Access Secretariat and provide more support to farmers trying to access foreign markets. Some $12 million of additional funding would go toward expanding the agrimarketing program to increase the demand for Canadian agricultural goods. We would also increase the lifetime capital allowance for farmers from $750,000 to $1 million.
Finally, for infrastructure, we would continue the improvement of the $53 billion new building Canada plan announced in March 2014. An additional $750 million would go to improve public-private partnerships in addition to continuing to provide $5.3 billion per year for provincial and municipal projects. The new building Canada plan expands on the $33 million building Canada plan introduced in 2007, which included increasing contributions from the gas tax fund, which supports municipal projects, as well as making it permanent.
We remain on the right track. Canada's fiscal position is the envy of the world. Taxes continue to fall for families and small businesses, and key investments in infrastructure, research, and development continue to be realized. The budget is balanced, and further measures have been introduced to ensure that it stays that way, with immediate penalties to senior government leaders who fail to keep it so. Furthermore, Canada is now uniquely positioned to attack its sovereign debt and will do so by applying unused contingencies to it to maintain at least a 25% debt to GDP ratio.
All of this is to say that, in budget 2015, promises made are promises kept.
View Jay Aspin Profile
View Jay Aspin Profile
2015-04-23 13:50 [p.12938]
Mr. Speaker, clearly TFSAs are broadly based. Eleven million Canadians have TFSAs, 60% of whom earn incomes of $55,000 or less. This is a measure that is directed at the average Canadian. Most Canadian families will benefit by it. Canadians as a whole will support this as a firm measure in our current budget to help families.
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