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Results: 1 - 15 of 30
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, we Canadians are generally accepting and tolerant people. We celebrate our multicultural and pluralistic society, we value our diversity and we live in relative harmony with many different traditions, religions and cultures.
Throughout the world, most people, like us, care about the same things. They care about family, friends and their communities and they care about having a better life for themselves and for those they care about, whether it is better physically, emotionally or spiritually. By recognizing this sameness, we recognize a value that unites us.
While multiculturalism and pluralism tend to emphasize our differences, we can celebrate our sameness from our diverse traditions, religions and cultural beliefs, and that sameness can help us to understand our complex, difficult and sometimes disparate world from our common aspirations, a place not of differences but a place of connections and hope.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean for sharing his time with me. It has been a delight to sit here this afternoon and listen to the debate and the profound, sometimes heated, disagreements about values and the same heated disagreements about the process. It has been interesting to follow.
As I reflect on the small newspapers in my community, three of them have not survived over the past number of years. The one that has survived has survived with layoffs, with the volume inserts increasing. They are about an inch thick in some cases, with advertisements from places like Walmart and Home Depot and a myriad of others. They still report on local issues, service clubs, community events, local sports, cultural events and fundraisers, and they connect and inform the community in an important way. I think we all agree that they are an important part of our communities. That is something we share throughout the House.
How did we get to the point we are at today? I was interested to find that in the United States, in 1949, they introduced something called the fairness doctrine. It had two basic elements. It required people to devote some of their air time and some of their print time to controversial matters of public interest and to ensure that contrasting views regarding those matters were evident. It required those to be present in each instance.
The main agenda of the doctrine was to ensure that viewers and readers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints, consistent with the things we talk about in the House and that we talk about in democracies. As John Stuart Mill said, one may understand one's position perfectly well, but unless one understands the opposite position equally well, one is not informed enough to make a decision between the two. That is important to look at with respect to the doctrine. That doctrine was taken out of the U.S. in 2011, but the principles are still looked at by a number of media outlets.
Here we have had a number of reports done. The Public Policy Forum, on January 2017, published “The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age”. It looks at the digital age, the type of change that is taking place and its impact, particularly in small communities across our country. Subsequent to that, the heritage committee, in June 2017, issued a report entitled “Disruption: Change and Churning in Canada's Media Landscape”.
All these reports have obliquely, if not directly, called on government to take action to protect the connection of local communities and to protect the notion of what we need to see. We do not want to see one newspaper for the world. We do not want to see Sirius radio reporting on the whole world. We want the focus on our communities, where we live and where we connect.
Reference has been made to the fact that 41 dailies and 235 weeklies have closed over the past few years. Some 10,000 positions have been lost. That is 31% of jobs in the field.
I was interested to read recently a report by the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project. It found that 95% of newspaper endorsements in the 2011 election were for Harper. That was every daily in Canada that endorsed a party, except the Toronto Star, which endorsed the NDP that year. That was roughly three times Harper's standing in the opinion polls at the time, Carleton University Professor Dwayne Winseck wrote in his report.
In the 2015 election, things were not quite as monolithic, but 71% of all newspaper endorsements still went to Harper, and 17 of 23 newspapers that endorsed a candidate endorsed the Tories.
As we look at the debate today, it almost seems that there is identity-based decision-making taking place. We are in agreement that we want there to be no biases or favouritism and that we want total transparency on the issues coming from government and presented by the media. I agree that it is essential that our democracy rely upon the respect and independence of journalists.
I have no doubt that a proper balance of perspectives would be achieved with the composition of the panel. As I have said, there are biases on both sides and assumptions on both sides. Each of us has our biases and ways of proving that what we believe to be true is true.
The organizations that will appoint the members of the panel are operating at arm's length from government. All three reports I referred to have called upon government to act, and we are doing it in that fashion.
We are talking about professionals. We are talking about their expertise and their knowledge for the benefit of the news industry. The best thing government can do is leave the panel to do its work and report back in due time, and that is what is going to happen.
The motion before us suggests that journalists may be able to be bought. It assumes that workers should not be involved in their own decisions, which is contrary to everything we say in terms of the policy development we are working with in government. I disagree with that. A bankrupt press, which is entirely possible if we do not do this, is not a free press. It is no press at all.
I encourage members of the House to stand up for a free press and for a well functioning democracy and to stand up against the motion we have before us.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the heritage committee has been discussing this exact issue, and there may well be recommendations with respect to that.
We understand, depending on what metrics one chooses to believe, that the numbers for things like YouTube and Facebook advertising are in the billions of dollars, if we were to introduce ways of capturing some of that revenue by taxing them rather than allowing them to function independently.
That is clearly something we are looking at and something we will be bringing forward at the appropriate time.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, if the option is that we are not going to have a press at all, I think that is our fear. We need the local press to be there so that we have that voice.
There are certainly lots of things that are subsidized across democracies to ensure that they do not become totalitarian. We need to ensure that and have an arm's-length process to put that in place. That is exactly what we are doing.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the United Nations recently released its report on biodiversity. The headlines read, “Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’”; “One million species face extinction”; and “How to fix nature to avoid human misery”. Innumerable scientific studies have documented the human cost of climate change, yet many people and parties, even in this House, remain stuck in denial, with no plan to save nature and thus humanity. Will the parliamentary secretary please give us specifics with respect to the action that is being taken by our government to protect nature and thus humankind?
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, throughout our national dialogue on the country's energy future, generation energy, Canadians have told us that inclusiveness is a foundational principle of success, and across this great country, stakeholders who have contributed have made it clear that the time to act is right now. Indeed, putting gender equality at the heart of a global transition to a clean energy future is the key to achieving success.
Would the Minister of Natural Resources please update this House on the initiatives that have been taken to ensure that progress towards equality for women in the clean energy sector by 2030 is successful?
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, on March 5, our community lost a great advocate and a friend. Cliff Annable was a White Rock city councillor, the executive director of the chamber of commerce, a Rotarian and a volunteer on many committees and boards. He was recently honoured as a citizen of the peninsula in recognition of the many contributions he has made.
He was a role model and mentor for many young people, and he was a proud, doting husband, father and grandfather. He was a tireless passionate voice in and for our community. He loved people and was always interested in their lives and in sharing their stories. He made our lives more interesting, more fun and more meaningful.
He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wish to apologize for going some 20 seconds over during my S.O. 31 when I was speaking yesterday.
I also want to apologize to the people of my community because I did not finish that sentence, which was, “Our gratitude and thanks to Adele Yu, Cici Liang, Moti Bali and so many volunteers for the leadership and vision they provided and contributed to Canadian values and celebrating what it is to be Canadian.”
I wanted to add that and extend my apologies.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, wherever we go in this world, we will find most people care about the same things. They care about family, friends and community. They care about getting ahead, whether it be economically, socially, emotionally or spiritually.
In Canada, we proudly celebrate that sameness through different cultural beliefs, traditions and religions. We celebrate our diversity of perspectives and our common values. That is our Canada. In South Surrey—White Rock we are fortunate to have so many wonderful people working to make our community ever more welcoming and ever more grounded in those common values.
The vision of the Chinese Village Club is to connect people in order to provide a bridge of multiculturalism, a bridge that contributes value and understanding for all. The Surrey—White Rock Political Engagement Society's mission is to provide an understanding of Canadian democracy to assist Chinese Canadians to embrace and enhance Canada's multicultural identity and way of life.
Our community's multicultural festival of lights fosters support for the growth of multicultural understanding. It has presented the traditions of over 18 different cultures—
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, they tell the story of a frail 90-year-old grandmother trudging down a mountainside in search of water, pain and despair etched upon her face, and her 19 grandchildren trailing behind her.
They are responding to the devastating impact of AIDS in Africa, to the grandparents who now care for their grandchildren, many grandmothers and many more children.
Last month I had the privilege of being the master of ceremonies at the Greater Vancouver Gogos fundraiser. Gogo means grandmother and they are part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports Grandmothers in Africa.
These Canadian grandmothers and “grandothers” have, over their 10-year history, made a difference in the lives of so many. The Greater Vancouver Gogos has raised over $2.4 million to support community projects that support African grandmothers. The gogos are changing lives and they are saving lives. They are Canadian humanitarians making a profound difference in our world.
I congratulate and thank Barbara Thomas and the gogos, great Canadians making our world more caring and more livable.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I recently met with community members and representatives of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. They were all particularly concerned about protecting our land, water, oceans and wildlife.
Like many British Columbians, I recently heard the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announce that we were investing $7 million to expand Canada's iconic Darkwoods Conservation Area in the Kootenays of British Columbia.
Would the Prime Minister please explain what further actions are being taken to protect our nature, our biodiversity, our Canada?
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to get up and speak to Bill C-75, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other acts and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
My particular interest is the Youth Criminal Justice Act. I spent 25 years working with the Criminal Justice Act in British Columbia, starting out as a youth probation officer working on the streets of Surrey, riding with RCMP officers and responding to calls, particularly on youth violence and domestic violence. I was also a foster parent for a number of youths who had been in conflict with the law. Most importantly, I was the warden of our largest youth jail in British Columbia for 10 years where I worked with youth who were on overnight arrest, remand and longer-term sentences, including a number of very serious offenders. While having that experience, I also went back to university to get a Ph.D. and was appointed an adjunct professor in criminology at Simon Fraser University. It is a position I hold today, and it has allowed me to look at these concerns and issues facing us from a conceptual framework as well as from a practical experiential model.
On the Youth Criminal Justice Act, we have been very good in Canada in being able to reduce the number of youth coming into custody. Our numbers 25 years ago were substantially higher on a per capita basis, but the development of a number of alternative measures has made our system much more responsive to the nuances and needs of young children and youth in particular.
Some good research has been in place over the past 15 to 20 years, particularly the Cracow study, which was originally funded by NATO and has been standardized in Germany as well as British Columbia. It is a longitudinal study looking at the issues that become prevalent when youth come into conflict with the law and the challenges responding to that. As a result of this longitudinal study that has been tracking youths for up to 15 years now, we are much better informed in terms of the actions we should be taking in dealing with them.
There are five profiles or pathways that have become evident in this research that inform the way we should be responding to the needs and nuances of youth. In some instances, we are able to look at and make some relatively accurate predictions with respect to the propensity of a youth to come in conflict with the law, even pre-conception.
There are environmental influences, such as the presence of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, which are overwhelming in terms of the number of youth who come into conflict with the law.
There are a number of neurological and developmental disorders which are precursors, such as ADHD/ADD and fetal alcohol syndrome, and in certain communities these conditions are epidemic. They have been particularly evident within a number of our indigenous communities.
Certainly domestic violence has a strong link as well, and there is alcohol and drug addiction. There are a number of samples in the jail that I was responsible for, but up to 90% of youths coming into custody had been using hard drugs.
There are personality disorders, aggressive disorders, dependency disorders, anti-social personalities, psychopathy. These types of disorders are also very prevalent. In fact, where we were finding youths getting into conflict with the law in their early teens, it is becoming younger and younger. We are finding now that some parents are taking their two-year-old children to children's hospitals saying they cannot control them anymore. When that happens, because of the medical model, we tend to mask it with the utilization of drugs and manage it in that fashion, but later on in life it manifests itself as they come away from the drugs in all kinds of deleterious and negative behaviours.
Also, many youth come from high needs, such as single-parent homes, high economic need, domestic violence, family and child abuse, and 60% to 70% come out of foster care.
Therefore, the proposed legislation we are talking about in terms of addressing the needs through the Youth Criminal Justice Act looks at how we can provide more community-based responses. We can look at alternative measures so that there are more choices provided to the courts and the Crown counsel when youth come before the courts. Certainly, every bit of the modern research being done tells us that we can have a far more profound impact by ensuring that we create alternatives that are responsive to the diagnosis and the needs. However, we have not reached the level we need to in order to ensure that we respond to that.
I think that probably a hundred years from now, people will look back and say that everything was a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. People will look at us the way we now look at the fact that in the past people were burned at the stake or stoned to death and they thought that that was a good response to things.
I think that as we become more responsive to changing our legislation, we will have more creative responses, instead of just saying that we are going to lock people up or put them in solitary confinement and those types of initiatives, which obviously are not working terribly well. I am delighted that we are providing more options within that framework, that we are giving the courts other options and that we are giving communities the chance to respond to the nuances and needs of youth as they come before the court system.
Obviously, we have to maintain safety and ensure that our communities are safe. There are some youths who are identified as being psychopathic and have behavioural issues that we cannot manage adequately without having some type of confinement. That is an important element of the approach that we take. We want to reduce incarceration for those people who are not representing risk to the well-being of our citizens.
That is an important part of the way that these modifications to the Youth Criminal Justice Act are leading us. They are leading us in a very progressive way. In many ways, Canada has been a leader in looking at different models. There was a suggestion and a movement in the 1980s toward total de-incarceration and total community-based response. Massachusetts led that.
There were a number of de-institutionalized models that happened in different pockets of Canada and they were not successful. They were not successful because they were not recognizing and identifying those youths who did constitute a risk to the community at large. Fortunately, this act allows us to hold onto that while developing the other parts of our system that have been shown to be so positive and that research is now supporting in a positive and meaningful way.
Having the public more actively engaged in alternative measures has been an important part of that type of resolution. We have seen the development of a myriad of community-based models for responding to the types of needs that these youths present. Certainly, this act provides again the opportunity for both the Crown counsel and police to screen out at different points those who are at lower risk and do not constitute a need to be put into state custody to do that.
By modernizing and streamlining our system, we are responding more adequately and appropriately to the nuances and needs of our communities at large and, importantly, to the nuances and needs of those youth who are in conflict with the law. We are finding ways to respond to the research, allowing us to provide the services that they need to become actively and positively engaged in our system and in our society.
We have seen many successes of youths who were dramatically at risk committing horrendous offences who are now very positive role models who have changed dramatically. Talking to those youths about their experiences and what they have been through, it is very revealing in terms of supporting what has happened and in terms of the research we are seeing. Their experiences are saying when they made those connections with people who are meaningful and had that relationship with them, structured it for them and held them in a place of support, that they then started to see and become connected with people in a meaningful way.
This legislation allows us a great capacity to do that. It allows us the opportunity to ensure that we provide that support while maintaining the security and safety that we need for our communities, while at the same time providing an empathetic, caring community and society that does respond to those needs.
Therefore, I am delighted to support Bill C-75 with the actions that it takes to ensure that we do have a safe, more compassionate and caring society, which I think is something that we all espouse.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the I missed the beginning of the member's remarks, but I think I caught the end of them and the concern about the downloading onto provincial courts and the potential for their not meeting the timelines, and cases being thrown out of court. Certainly, this legislation would not contribute to that problem in any meaningful way.
Provincial courts have some responsibilities to appoint enough judges to respond to these needs. We looked at a number of alternative measures. As the alternative measures evident in and supported by this legislation are developed, we can take a number of cases out of the court system and ensure that those who pose the greatest risk to our society are held within the court system. We clearly need to have enough judges in place to respond to those cases.
We would reduce the impact on them by ensuring that alternative measures are developed in an active and positive way, and in a community-based fashion.
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that observation. Clearly, indigenous youth are overrepresented within our system, both in our youth justice system and child welfare system. Over 50% of them are indigenous youth, and we are certainly seeing them within youth gangs in the Surrey area and the challenges there. About 40% of gang members are from South Asian families. We have been actively working with them in responding.
The issue of administrative response to that is crucial to ensure that we are intervening at the right level. We should not intervene with radical, dramatic action when we are dealing with people who are starting to show some of the precursors to negative behaviour and activities.
Having an administrative response would ensure that we are able to move those individuals out of the system and respond to them adequately and appropriately. That is one way of ensuring some reduction in the burden on the court system.
The other thing is to ensure that we do respond—
View Gordie Hogg Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I have had an active dialogue with a number of communities, and certainly with first nations and the south Asian community. I have met with the leaders of five gurdwaras in Surrey who are very concerned about the activity of south Asian youth and how they are overrepresented in some of the youth gang activities. They will be delighted with my support for this legislation, because it gives an appropriate intervention point for both indigenous youth and south Asian youth, who are overrepresented.
The bill gives us a point where we can administratively respond to them in a positive, active fashion. This legislation provides us with a good opportunity to ensure that their lifestyle becomes much more positive. They could fit more actively into the lifestyle their communities want and are so active to support. We are giving them that option.
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