Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-18 13:09 [p.29291]
Mr. Speaker, I thought all along that the member for Winnipeg North just liked to debate so he could hear himself. However, I digress.
I am pleased to speak today to the Conservative Party of Canada's opposition motion on the topic of climate change and the environment. I will be sharing my time with the member for Perth—Wellington.
I want to say that only the Liberal government could talk about the environment for four years, break its promise to meet the Paris accord on climate change and end up taxing Canadians to cover up its incompetence, overspending and environmental management.
As I get into my presentation, for those who know me and my background, I have always strived to put forward ideas and solutions to the many issues facing my constituency and our nation. While I am not as good as giving one-liners or the pithy comments of social media that seem to attract the most attention, in my own way I have tried to reach out and build consensus to get things done.
Today, I want to apply that attitude to the larger issue of the environment, conservation and climate change. Like many members in the chamber, I represent a constituency that is geographically large. All across Westman, farms and communities dot the prairie landscape, as they have for many generations. Almost half of the people I represent live outside the city of Brandon in the 20-plus municipalities located in the riding.
These are some of the most hard-working, down to earth and determined people we will meet anywhere in this great country of ours. Living in rural Canada has its unique challenges. With those challenges also comes a way of life like none other. Our connection to the land, air and water is strong, because our livelihoods quite literally depend on it.
As someone who farmed for most of my life, I firmly believe that if we take care of the land, it will take care of us. My father raised my brother and me on those words, and I have lived by them. I want to immediately dispel any notion that farmers or rural folks who oppose the carbon tax do not care about the environment. They do care. They care about it immensely. They just have a serious issue about being forced to pay a new tax imposed on provinces that will disproportionately impact rural people.
Let us put ourselves in their boots for a moment. Many families must drive long distances to get to work. Many seniors have to drive into Brandon to go to either the doctor or the optician. Parents have to drive their kids to various towns for sports or choir practice.
Let us never forget students at Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College who still live on the farm or in their rural community and make the daily commute to the city to attend classes. These are not optional things that people can just decide not to do or do less. There are no subways or bus routes for their purposes. Trust me; if people did not have to drive in our blustery winters, they would not.
From the very beginning, I believe the government has mishandled the rollout of the carbon tax.
First and foremost, many Canadians, particularly many of the people I represent, have trepidations about the federal government's priorities at the best of times. Saying the federal government is about to impose a new tax but not to worry because people will not feel the pinch, while at the same time it will combat climate change, is not the best way to get buy-in from those who have skepticism.
Second, when we tried in vain to get the financial data out of the Minister of Finance, it was so heavily blacked out that it was meaningless.
Third, when the Province of Manitoba put forward a plan that would have reduced carbon emissions, the federal government rejected it. Officials were told that no matter how many tonnes of CO2 their plan would reduce, it had to include a $50 a tonne carbon tax.
My province tried to work in good faith with the federal government and was told to go pound sand. No wonder it has decided to launch its own court case. If that is the way federalism now works in this country, it is not hard to understand why premiers are concerned about the Liberal government's other initiatives, such as Bill C-48 and Bill C-69.
It also troubles me that, in Canadian politics, the litmus test on one's commitment to the environment is now centred on supporting a $50 a tonne carbon tax. While that may be the case in some circles, I can assure MPs that everyday Canadians do not use this lens when talking with their family and friends. It is not that my Conservative colleagues or people who oppose the carbon tax do not care about the changing climate; it is that we do not believe the carbon tax is the best way of addressing it.
Tomorrow, our leader will outline the vision and present an alternative to what is being imposed by the current federal government. Due to the already challenging political discourse on this issue, I can only imagine the over-the-top language being drafted now in response. I want to urge the Liberals to hold off on issuing their canned response before the speech has even been given. The Liberals have been waiting ever so patiently, so I fully expect that they will be paying close attention. I want the government to recognize that there are more ways to deal with climate change than applying a tax on the fuel that families put in their minivans.
I want the Liberals to recognize that applying a carbon tax on the energy used to drive farmers' grain only adds further cost to the industry that is already facing challenging commodity prices and markets that slam shut. I want them to start listening to farmers who have ideas that can reduce and sequester carbon without applying a new tax. The agricultural industry has made great strides in environmental management that benefit society, virtually by its own innovation at its own cost. There are proven models out there that have had tangible and meaningful results.
I have always been a proponent, as examples, of implementing an alternative land use services program and the expansion of wetland restoration programs. For those who have not listened to the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, I can assure them his message about eating more beef and how it is good for the environment is grounded in empirical science.
Over the years as a farm leader, an MLA and now an MP, I have dealt with many issues that impact our environment. Back home, people do not apply a litmus test to determine our commitment to an issue. We focus on bringing people together to work on solutions. Perhaps one day those values will rub off on all of us in this chamber when we must wade through our differences.
I want to give just one example from which we can learn. Manitoba has been prone to floods for as long as history has been recorded. Being at the bottom of the basin, we have had to deal with spring runoff and localized flooding that has impacted communities for generations. It was a Progressive Conservative premier, Duff Roblin, who implemented a series of public works projects that protected communities in the Assiniboine and Red River basins, and particularly impacted the flooding that would have occurred in the city of Winnipeg in 1997. Since then, there have been significant enhancements to flood protection up and down the Souris, Red and Assiniboine rivers. I want to say that this issue in Manitoba is non-partisan.
Our previous federal Conservative and provincial NDP governments both invested in projects that protected the city of Brandon and the towns of Melita, Reston, Souris, Deloraine, Elkhorn and Wawanesa. We also expanded the Red River Floodway, which was completed under budget.
It was after the most recent flood that many people in the Assiniboine River basin decided that we needed to work together. Under the leadership of Allan Preston and Wanda McFadyen, they spearheaded an initiative that brought the governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota under one organization, alongside municipalities, farmers and conservation districts. We all live within the same watershed, and we had to stop working in silos.
We know a one-size-fits-all approach to water management does not work, and that is why a one-size-fits-all approach will not work with a carbon tax. That is why it was so frustrating to see how the federal government tossed aside the climate change plan put forward by Manitoba. Without a change in attitude, more and more Canadians will look at the rigid position taken by some in the government and tune out. We also know that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. The current approach does not reflect that reality.
I firmly believe that Canada is well positioned to provide these solutions. Tomorrow we will start outlining our alternative to the carbon tax and begin the conversation on what will replace it. I encourage my Liberal colleagues, particularly those who represent rural areas, to join me in supporting this motion. I ask them to please stand up for their constituents, repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environmental plan.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-18 13:20 [p.29292]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her very pertinent question. However, coming from a government that has missed its Paris target by 79 megatonnes, it is not sound management.
We also know the tax package the Liberal government has come up with has fallen very short. The Parliamentary Budget Officer was very clear about the decrease that would be required in greenhouse gas emissions in order for Canada to meet the Paris climate target. He also said we would need a tax of about $102 a tonne to meet that target, versus the $50 a tonne the government is talking about today.
Therefore, the current government does not have a real plan for environmental management; rather, it has a tax plan, and that tax plan has failed, which I thank my colleague for pointing out. It has failed in all the provinces in which the government said people would be better off with the tax than without it. The best thing to do is leave the money in people's pockets, so they can make environmental management changes in their own operations, as the agricultural industry has done over the past 50 or 100 years.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-18 13:22 [p.29293]
Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge the fact that we have the ability to be a leader in the world with respect to the management of our climate. As a Conservative member who is sitting on the Arctic climate change committee, I am very aware of the changes that are taking place in that part of the world, and in all areas. The member mentioned Sweden and Norway. From my experience in those two countries, I know that because the Gulf Stream goes right up the coast of Norway, its average temperatures in the winter are 0°C to -6°C. This winter, we hit -50°C six times in Manitoba. There is a difference in the temperatures and in the climates we have to deal with in these areas.
The whole process of the Paris accord is something the government has adopted. We voted in favour of it. The levels the present government is targeting are those the Conservative government brought forward. Certainly, at the time we brought them in, they were obtainable targets. However, the government has missed the mark by a mile, and is still adding a tax on people that is not going to benefit them.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-13 14:41 [p.29063]
Mr. Speaker, the Manitoba-Minnesota transmission project would bring clean, green Manitoba energy to coal-burning Minnesota. After five years of consultations, and approval from both Manitoba's Clean Environment Commission and the National Energy Board, the Prime Minister still refuses to approve this project. He is too proud to approve a project from a Conservative provincial government that is better for the environment than anything he can come up with.
When will the Prime Minister put aside his ego, get out of the way of clean, green Manitoba energy and approve this project?
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-11 12:12 [p.28897]
Mr. Speaker, my Liberal colleague asked my colleague, the critic in this area and shadow cabinet minister in opposition regarding trade, about all the things he liked in the agreement. Of course, he mentioned chapter 19.
However, the government has failed to mention another very important area, which is softwood lumber. There is still not an agreement in that area. I wonder if the member could comment on that.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-06 12:47 [p.28683]
Mr. Speaker, I would ask my colleague to go back to the mitigation that he was speaking about. I have a situation in which small businesses in the recreation area have had to purchase inventory for the coming season because winter is over, but the steel tariffs have increased the cost of carrying an inventory of recreation vehicles, boats, campers and that sort of thing. In this one case that I am looking at, it may not be as much as the greater steel industry, but $35,000 to one small business is a lot of money. I would like the member to expand on what he thinks we could do.
In his speech and in answers to questions, he mentioned the $2 billion that the government has obtained from the tariffs that it imposed, but I want to follow up on it again with regard to mitigation and how we could best convince the government to make it part of an amendment and move it forward before we pass this legislation.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-05 22:31 [p.28644]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, for sharing the block of time we have here this evening. It will allow me to zero in on one issue. He said that there are many that I might speak about, but I am going to zero in on one this evening.
In the Liberal's budget implementation bill, the government snuck in a major change to Canada's refugee laws. In fact, the Liberals did not even want to send division 16 to our immigration committee for review. Luckily, our former Liberal chair, who I believe is very much opposed to his own government's changes, was able to get it referred to our committee.
I want to set the stage for why the proposed changes are too little and too late. There is a good chance that they will be deemed not compliant with the Singh Supreme Court decision from the 1980s.
Since the between-ports border crossers started to enter in the numbers we have seen in these past couple of years, the Liberals have literally done nothing to close the loophole in the safe third country agreement with the United States. While there are MPs in this House who want to scrap the agreement in its entirety, our public servants, who are in constant contact with their American counterparts, still firmly believe that the United States is upholding the spirit of the agreement.
What we do not know is if the Liberal government has tried to renegotiate the agreement. Trying to get a straight answer out of the immigration minister is harder than getting the finance minister to tell us when the budget will be balanced.
I also understand that division 16 caused great consternation in the Liberal caucus. This was a major pivot from their previous stance that we could not do anything because of obligations and international law. Somehow this change, which came out of nowhere, seems to have been given the green light by the justice department.
The proposed Liberal changes have been panned by virtually every immigration professional in Canada and are not likely to withstand any sort of court challenge. We have asked for the government's charter review of the legislation, and it has yet to provide it. What the government did provide was a very high-level response that said it was compliant.
Multiple witnesses testified at our immigration committee and said that these changes might even add to the administrative backlog and the burden on the refugee system by directing people through the pre-risk removal assessment process. This change also raised concerns that the pre-risk removal assessment process would be conducted by departmental officials rather than by the independent and quasi-judicial Immigration and Refugee Board.
After ignoring concerns about how the Liberals reacted to the influx of people walking across the border to claim asylum, they took almost two and a half years to introduce legislation. In fact, they stuck it into the budget implementation bill, and our immigration, refugee and citizenship committee was not even permitted to amend it. The Liberals pushed it through and tried to limit any political fallout. It sounds just like how the Liberals presented the deferred prosecution agreements issue in the SNC-Lavalin affair.
To add to the confusion, there are conflicting media reports as to whether the Liberals have reached out to the Americans to amend the safe third country agreement. According to the CBSA, they have had fruitful discussions with their American counterparts, but neither the Minister of Border Security nor the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship have told us if they want to amend the safe third country agreement.
Moreover, the Auditor General just gave the Liberals a failing grade on how they have handled Canada's refugee system. The Auditor General was clear that the government “did not process asylum claims in an efficient and timely manner.”
The audit revealed that the Liberals did not adequately respond to the influx of border crossers from the United States, and the Auditor General uncovered serious inefficiencies, which are contributing to significant delays.
Due to these delays in processing claims, there has been an increase in total costs for all levels of government for such things as housing, social assistance and health care. This report confirmed that the Liberals were incredibly slow to react. They should have responded immediately, rather than delay for two years.
The Auditor General conducted this review because of “the rising number of asylum claims that is testing the ability of Canada's refugee determination system to process claims in a timely manner.”
According to the report, if the Liberals do not improve the system, the backlog and wait times will continue to grow. They are projecting that if the number of new asylum claimants remains steady at around 50,000 per year, the wait time for a decision will increase to five years by 2024, which is more than double the current wait time. It goes without saying that these delays are costing taxpayers millions of dollars and putting tremendous strain on the resources of our provinces and municipalities.
In the report, it was determined that roughly 65% of all asylum hearings are being postponed at least once before a decision is made. This means that individuals seeking a decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board are facing increasing wait times to determine if their claim is valid or they will be issued a deportation order.
The Liberals have only themselves to blame. The Auditor General was clear when he stated the postponements “were due to administrative issues within the government's control.”
The Auditor General also brought to light that while the government records the identity documents of those seeking asylum claims, some were indecipherable and could not be read.
Furthermore, the Auditor General took a sample of the asylum claims and reported the government failed to check for criminality or to determine the identity of 400 individuals. He concluded that neither CBSA nor the immigration department tracked whether criminal record checks were always completed.
There is a vacuum of leadership at the very top that is now permeating throughout the entire government. If the Liberals cannot properly manage our immigration and refugee system, it is time for a new government. They should stop blaming others and take responsibility. They have had years to make the necessary changes to improve efficiencies, and now the entire system is backlogged for years to come.
If the Liberals think their proposed changes in the budget implementation act are a step in the right direction, they should listen to the litany of people who are speaking out and saying it will only create more confusion. What we would have liked to have seen is a clear commitment to fix this situation once and for all.
It was just last year that I wrote to the Parliamentary Budget Officer to request a full financial analysis of border crossers into Canada. The request stemmed from the lack of financial information provided by the Liberal government.
Since January 2017, over 40,000 border crossers have been intercepted by the RCMP in Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. The PBO revealed that the border crossers cost taxpayers $340 million in 2017-18, $368 million this year, and if similar numbers come across next year, it will cost another $396 million. It is projected to cost at least $1.1 billion in just these three fiscal years, while costs will only continue to go up as the wait times for processing through the Immigration and Refugee Board have ballooned.
These numbers are just the federal government's expenses, and they exclude the hundreds of millions of dollars in costs being borne by provincial and municipal governments for housing and for welfare payments.
The numbers in the report are quite staggering. If the Liberals do nothing to either close the loophole in the safe third country agreement or deter border crossers, we can expect that the overall price tag will only continue to grow.
The PBO outlined in his report that the average cost per asylum claim will grow from $14,321 to $16,666 by 2019-20 as the backlog continues to grow.
The reason for this increased cost is that while asylum claimants are in the country waiting for their refugee hearing, they are eligible for various government services. Moreover, as asylum claimants are denied by the Immigration and Refugee Board, the individual can appeal that decision, which could end up costing $33,738 by the time the appeal is done.
The PBO also revealed that only 18% of border crossers have had their refugee board hearing, and out of the failed claimants, only a fraction have been removed from the country.
Because of this influx, there has been significant pressure on resources for all organizations involved in this process, which has led to delays in the processing of these claims.
To wrap up, not only do I oppose division 16, but I also want the Liberals to immediately get to work to renegotiate the safe third country agreement. Then and only then will we be able to restore confidence in our refugee system and stop ill-thought-out changes of the kind we find in this budget implementation act.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-06-05 22:42 [p.28646]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for the question he has put forward and congratulate him on his new position as the chair of the immigration committee.
However, to answer his question, no, I am not in favour of division 16. If he was listening to my speech, he would have learned that we think still stronger measures are needed to be more clear in how these border issues are being handled.
On the issue of people who have come across between the border crossings, the government has come up with an idea right out of the blue, which I think half of its own caucus was surprised to see come forward. I think there needs to be consistency in dealing with this issue.
As my colleague for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola said a while ago, that consistency is lacking in this budget, and the situation facing the border crossers right now is another point of inconsistency with the way the government has handled it. One of the things the Liberals took two years to do was to even talk to the Americans about whether or not they could begin the process.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-05-28 18:20 [p.28171]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for using her private member's hour to put forward Motion No. 173. Dedicating November as an awareness month would bring much-needed attention to this terrible disease, which inflicts millions around the globe.
Everyone in this chamber knows someone who has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is not something that is happening to other people in some far-off place; it is happening right here in our own communities. We know how the disease negatively impacts their quality of life, and in far too many circumstances it can lead to serious medical conditions.
While we still do not have a cure, in most cases people are able to treat and manage their diabetes. Due to the generosity of Canadians, millions of dollars in research have helped scientists and doctors make significant medical breakthroughs. Their discoveries have resulted in new and innovative therapies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. It is my sincere hope that one day we can develop a cure and alleviate entirely the suffering of those who struggle with this disease.
While some progress has been made, the number of people across the world suffering from diabetes has quadrupled in the past 30 years. In many respects, we are failing to reverse this trend. Even though preventative measures such as having a healthy diet and staying active are good deterrents, there are still no guarantees.
For those who have diabetes, the insulin and the specialty diets people must eat can get very expensive. There are significant costs people must absorb, and that is why I found it disturbing when the Liberal government started to deny diabetics from claiming the disability tax credit. While proclaiming a diabetes awareness month is good and all, when rubber hits the road, the government has unfairly treated thousands of Canadians who suffer from diabetes.
I want to share the story of a young lady who came to my office in Brandon. Kelsey Levandoski contacted me after the Liberals denied her claim for the disability tax credit. Kelsey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8, and she knows first-hand the challenges of living day to day with her diagnosis. She reached out to seek help and to try to convince the government to fix the mess it created.
Kelsey was frustrated to see her claim be denied, but she was also thinking about others who found themselves in the same situation. In fact, she mentioned that she was worried about those with lower incomes. She was concerned about how they would be able to manage after this very ill-thought-out decision.
While she estimates that managing type 1 diabetes could cost up to $1,500 a month, through her health coverage at work, she is still spending $300 out of her pocket. She must purchase syringes, insulin, glucose meters and test strips to manage the disease. After totalling that up for the entire year, that is a tremendous cost for a person to absorb.
Kelsey followed the regulations and after consulting with her doctor, she met the criterion of 14 hours per week laid out by the Canada Revenue Agency. For some unknown reason, and after dodging a multitude of questions, the Liberals still have not given us any reason for why they denied her and many others.
If the Liberals thought they could get away with it, they were sadly mistaken. While they attempted to dodge responsibility and pretend there was nothing to see here, they were quickly called out. It was soon afterwards that despite their denials, they had indeed changed how the CRA applied the eligibility criteria.
Even the Senate committee on social affairs studied this issue and tabled a report with 16 recommendations calling on the government to simplify the application process and clarify the eligibility criteria. I sympathize with and understand the frustration of many Canadians when the Canada Revenue Agency does not provide any justification for why they were denied.
While the Senate report was issued over a year ago, still nothing has been done. It begs the question: What will it take to get the Liberals to start acting on the recommendations?
The Liberals completely ignored the concerns of Diabetes Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and they are continuing to drag their feet. They have given the cold shoulder to those who are clearly eligible to claim the disability tax credit.
While we succeeded in overturning CRA's decision for Kelsey, it is unfathomable that the Government of Canada would treat people like this. I thank Kelsey for bringing this issue to my attention. The total sum may not seem like a lot of money to some, but to her and many others, it certainly is.
I was taken aback by those who reached out to my office to express their anger at the Liberals over this decision. I was also very moved that Kelsey's father took the time out of his busy schedule to come to my office to let me know that he appreciated all that we did for his daughter. I never thought we would ever see the day when the government thought it was okay to give million-dollar handouts to big corporations and yet think it would be okay to target those who lived with diabetes.
While I will always go to bat for my constituents, I want this issue resolved and fixed immediately. Just yesterday, there was a media report that the disability advisory committee was demanding CRA explain why there was a 53% spike in rejections for various individuals claiming the disability tax credit. According to the committee, it has documentation that says the number of rejected claims for disability tax credits rose by 53%.
To fix this injustice once and for all and to ensure the Liberals never treat diabetics like this ever again, my friend, the Conservative member from Calgary Shepard, introduced the fairness for persons with disabilities act. His legislation would amend the Income Tax Act to reduce the number of hours necessary to be eligible for the disability tax credit and to expand the activities that could be used to calculate that time.
These common sense changes would improve the existing law, as it would say, in black and white, that people who managed their illness at least three times a week, for a total duration averaging not less than 10 hours a week, would be eligible for the disability tax credit. Furthermore, it would list that the intake of medical food and medical formula could be used to calculate the total time needed to manage the disease.
The bill would be enshrined into law so that someone like Kelsey would never have to worry again about a future Liberal government denying her ability to claim this tax credit. It would assist thousands of Canadians who suffer from diabetes and stop politicians stripping them from accessing this tax credit.
That is where we find ourselves.
I hope the hon. Liberal member moving this motion is taking her own government to task in how it has treated diabetics. If the Liberals will not listen to me, Kelsey or even Diabetes Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I implore them to at least listen to their own caucus members.
A diabetes awareness month is a start, but it is not the end. It will not immediately help those who need it and it certainly will not get the Minister of National Revenue to do something about it. However, I am in support of diabetes awareness month being put in place.
I want my Liberal colleagues to go into caucus tomorrow morning and get their government to expedite the changes for which my friend from Calgary Shepard has called. They should stand up for their constituents, stand up for what is right and stop reading the talking points the Prime Minister wants them to articulate.
Treating diabetics with respect and allowing them to claim the disability tax credit is not a partisan issue. Let us pass this motion and hopefully by next week, we can stand in the House and tell Kelsey and all Canadians who suffer with diabetes that we have heeded their call.
In the short time we have left before Parliament ends, we should rise to the occasion and not take no for an answer. Canadians are watching and they expect results.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-05-15 14:10 [p.27826]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Canadians of Ukrainian heritage as well as all Ukrainians around the world on the occasion of the Vyshyvanka Day. Every year as we mark this day, we acknowledge the importance of Ukrainian embroidery as a symbol of unity.
Today and in the coming weeks, Canadians of Ukrainian heritage will wear their embroidered shirts to remind one another of the struggles they had to overcome to establish an independent state, which Canada was the first to recognize.
Vyshyvanka unites all Ukrainians living at home and abroad. It serves as an important reminder of the ongoing challenges Ukraine is facing today. We will always stand with the people of Ukraine in their struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation of Donbass.
On behalf of Canada's Conservatives, I thank all members of the Ukrainian community in Canada for organizing and taking part in the multiple events commemorating this special day.
Happy Vyshyvanka Day.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-04-11 14:09 [p.27000]
Mr. Speaker, last week I travelled through northern Saskatchewan to meet with farmers in Spiritwood, Big River and Meadow Lake.
Their message was loud and clear: their concerns are being ignored and they want a member of Parliament to champion their interests in Ottawa.
There is huge anxiety out there, and it is real.
They are troubled that Canada has lost its largest canola market and they do not know why their MP is doing nothing to get this issue resolved.
They know the carbon tax disproportionately hurts rural communities and will raise the price of everything.
I can only imagine what they would have to say about the Liberals giving Loblaws $12 million to buy new freezers and fridges out of taxpayers' dollars.
As well, they know the tanker ban and the no-new-pipelines bills will hurt the economy and kill jobs.
Our Conservative team will always stand up for rural Canadians, and we will oppose bad policies and out-of-touch politicians who ignore their concerns.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-03-22 11:01 [p.26469]
Mr. Speaker, in early March Westman was swept up in a curling frenzy as Brandon hosted the 2019 Brier, its first since 1982. It was at that Brier that the Patch was invented. I have been to a few Briers since then, and I have to say that this may have been the best one yet.
I wish to thank Curling Canada for choosing the Brandon bid, and I want to congratulate the sponsors, curlers and all of the volunteers who rose to the occasion and made this event a huge success for curling fans and the city of Brandon. In particular, I want to thank Nate Andrews, Jackie Nichol and Ryan Shields, who co-chaired the Brandon Brier. With the help of an army of volunteers, they hit it right on the button.
I would also like to congratulate Team Koe for winning in spectacular fashion. I would be remiss not mention that Kevin has now tied the record for the most Canadian men's curling championships by a skip. I know that Team Koe will make us proud as they will now compete in their home province for the World Men's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, starting on March 30.
Go, Canada, go.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-03-20 17:08 [p.26200]
Madam Speaker, before I begin to lay out my arguments as to why I support this opposition motion, I want to say how disappointed I am with the Liberal MPs on the justice committee who shut down the investigation into the alleged political interference with the former attorney general. The Liberal majority on the justice committee shut down its own justice committee to cover up the truth, which is truly undemocratic, if not illegal.
As extraordinary as the former attorney general's testimony was, we cannot forget that the Prime Minister is using his power and his office to ensure that we do not hear the rest of the story. It is unfathomable that the Prime Minister will not permit the former attorney general to answer direct questions regarding meetings and interactions after he removed her from her portfolio that she herself acknowledged were relevant.
If there was one day to walk into this chamber and check our political allegiances at the door, it should be today. The basis of my speech today is to convince Liberal MPs that they should vote in favour of calling on the Prime Minister to waive full solicitor-client privilege and all cabinet confidences to allow the member for Vancouver Granville to tell the rest of the story. We must get to the bottom of the alleged political interference that was put on the former attorney general by the Prime Minister himself and other Liberal government officials, as determined from the provided testimony. Anything else would be a grave injustice to the rule of law and to the democratic principles we were elected to uphold.
I know that constituents have been calling my Liberal colleagues. I know constituents have been calling our members as well. I know that our Liberal colleagues' constituents have been calling, emailing and speaking to them about this serious allegation of political interference.
When was the last time major news networks broadcast a parliamentary committee from start to finish? When was the last time millions of Canadians read the transcript or followed a committee meeting as closely as this one that took place mere weeks ago? For those who thought this was an inside Queensway story or a story being listened to only by Ottawa insiders, I have news for them. This is not an academic lesson or a political science lecture. This is reality. People are watching. People are paying attention, and people want answers. They do not want the Liberal or Conservative biases. They just want the facts.
If MPs do not stand up today and vote in favour of this motion, I do not know if Canadians will ever get to the full, unaltered truth. Maybe that cover-up is truly what the Liberals want, to turn a blind eye to the truth.
I know that if Liberal MPs vote in favour of this motion and the former attorney general is allowed to speak, this could very well put many Liberal members in jeopardy come October. However, if we are only here to make sure that we are re-elected rather than to seek the truth and defend and demand justice, even when it makes us uncomfortable, I would argue that it is time to hang up our coats and call it a day. The strength of one's convictions should allow each and every member in this House to set aside partisanship, even if just this one time, to stand and be counted when it matters most.
We were not elected to protect those in powerful positions. Our job is not to sweep injustice under the rug as if it were only a nuisance. We were elected to defend the very pillars of our democracy, the rule of law, and to always put the interests of Canadians first.
In politics, there are tough choices. Today is one of those gut-check moments when a little introspection would do us all a little good. I want all Liberal MPs to think about how they would vote if this alleged inappropriate pressure was placed on an attorney general under a Conservative or New Democratic government. We all know the answer to that question. We all know that the argument that “it wasn't illegal” is contemptible and downright disingenuous. If there is a bar in determining what is right and what is wrong, then this is a sad day in our democracy.
The reason this issue has been on the front page of every newspaper and in every newscast is that this is not a member of the opposition making these charges. It is the former attorney general, a current Liberal MP, who is willing to put everything on the line.
In all my years of politics, I have never witnessed anything so stunning as the testimony of the former attorney general at the justice committee. There are a million reasons the government and the Prime Minister would prefer that she not tell the rest of the story.
However, I cannot for the life of me think of a single reason, other than to speak the truth, for her to want to come back to the justice committee and ensure that we know exactly what transpired. I will let that sink in for a moment.
The former attorney general knew full well that there were obvious challenges when she previously testified, but she put all that aside. She has faced relentless attacks from some who wish she would just go away. Some have even gone as far as smearing her or attacking her motives. There are some who could care less about the truth and are only worried about their own political survival. Throughout all this, she has risen above these most difficult and trying circumstances.
This is why I am appealing to my Liberal colleagues to vote in favour of this motion. The former attorney general was willing to speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may. I implore her fellow Liberal colleagues to show the same audacity. They should join their fellow Liberal colleagues who have spoken out.
No one is asking any member of Parliament to rip up their Liberal membership or bolt from caucus. I am not asking that they defect or endorse Conservative principles either. This has nothing to do with ideology or even the next election. All I am asking is for members to give their Liberal colleague and former attorney general the chance to be able to tell the full story. I am asking them to let her provide the necessary testimony for the ethics committee to do its job.
For those who think the former attorney general needs to leave her caucus, I remind them that she did not suddenly wake up and decide she was no longer a Liberal. She is a proud Liberal, and the fact that she wants to run again this October is a testament to her principles.
We must rise to the occasion and put aside our political fidelities. Let us call on the government to waive full solicitor-client privilege and all cabinet confidences and let the former attorney general finish her testimony.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-03-21 17:14 [p.26395]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
I want to acknowledge that I may have had a lapse, given that I asked for a point of order after you started reading the previous motion. It is perhaps the same lapse that the member for Winnipeg North had earlier when you started reading Motion No. 126.
My colleagues from Durham, New Westminster—Burnaby, Barrie—Innisfil and Perth—Wellington made a very good point. What we witnessed two votes ago is a very serious situation. If we do not see the video of who on the Liberal side was legitimately here for the vote, and if 52 Liberal members were not here—
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