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Results: 1 - 15 of 62
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians need to know that our justice system is fair, accessible and efficient, and that includes the judiciary.
Can the Minister of Justice explain to us why Bill C‑9, which recently received the unanimous approval of the House, is a crucial step toward achieving that objective?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, with the increase in the cost of living, students and recent graduates are having a hard time making ends meet. They are the future of this country, and we need to support them. They have expressed their concerns.
Can the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance tell the House what the government is doing to help students and recent graduates?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that the strict and ineffective policies of previous governments did not succeed in protecting our communities. Instead, they contributed to the overrepresentation of indigenous people and racialized and marginalized Canadians in our justice system.
Can the Minister of Justice inform the House of the practical measures our government is taking to do away with those policies?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be here today to talk about the importance of Internet services and the need for consumer protection in the telecommunications industry.
The Government of Canada knows that now more than ever Canadians rely on telecom services for work, school, finances, health care and just staying connected to one another. All too often I hear Canadians' frustrations regarding their telecom services. I will continue to hold Canada's telecom service providers accountable and keep Canadians updated on the work our government is doing to strengthen the reliability of our networks as well as increase affordability, competition and consumer protection in this sector.
We are here today to discuss private member's bill, Bill C-288, an act to amend the Telecommunications Act regarding transparent and accurate broadband services information. I support the intent of the bill and agree that consumers need access to clear information about how broadband services are performing, so they can be confident that what they are paying for is what they are actually getting.
In fact, consumers also need more information about the cellular coverage provided by mobile services. Our government is already taking action. We will work to ensure the actions we have already taken to address this topic work in tandem with this legislation to improve outcomes for Canadians and can be implemented quickly.
I firmly believe that consumers must have access to clear information about how broadband services are performing, so that they can be sure that they are getting what they are paying for. In fact, consumers also need more information about the mobile services that provide cellular coverage.
In May our government tabled in both Houses of Parliament a draft policy direction to the CRTC on a renewed approach to telecommunications policy. The proposed policy direction is legally binding and directs the CRTC on a range of issues. These include putting in place new rules to improve competition, enhancing the rights of consumers and their access to information, speeding up the deployment of high-quality broadband networks, and promoting lower prices and better telecom services for Canadian consumers.
The policy direction also asks service providers to collect, publicly report and make available to consumers information on the services they offer. It also requires them to test the technologies that are used the most in rural regions, such as fixed wireless. What is more, we are asking the CRTC to develop and implement a standardized and robust approach for reporting mobile wireless coverage.
Another key part of the proposed policy direction would require the CRTC to take measures to promote clarity and transparency of pricing information and service plan characteristics in marketing materials. This will allow consumers to better understand their choices in the Internet market.
The CRTC has worked on that. For example, it introduced a program called measuring broadband Canada, which involved testing a number of broadband performance metrics, such as download and upload speeds, the impact of peak periods and latency for Internet service providers that offer the highest subscription fees.
The program was flawed, however. Participation was voluntary, and the study did not take into account the reality of rural regions. Internet services using fixed wireless technology were not included in the tests, which left many Canadians, especially those in rural and remote regions, without any information on the performance of their Internet service.
Our government understands that the CRTC needs to ensure that it is not only testing broadband performance generally, but addressing the gaps in the previous tests. We have measures under way to make sure this happens. We are in agreement that the CRTC needed additional direction to ensure consumers are fully protected, and the binding policy direction will achieve that in parallel with the new legislation.
The proposed direction was tabled in both chambers of Parliament on May 30, 2022, for a minimum of 40 sitting days and has been the subject of extensive public consultation. I will soon present the final version, which takes into account what we heard from the Governor in Council. It will then be published in the form of a decree that will be legally binding for the CRTC.
The policy direction requires that testing be done on a regular basis and clarifies that participation is mandatory for ISPs. It also captures more technologies by including mobile wireless in addition to broadband Internet.
The direction will soon be finalized and the government will be able to easily update it as the market and technologies evolve. If new technologies emerge, we can ask the CRTC to take measures to test them. I think that everyone here recognizes that this is a very important issue. We want to show Canadians that we are working with our colleagues to improve the telecommunications sector's response to consumers' needs.
For these reasons, I am also supporting adjustments to the proposed policy direction text so that it takes into account language from this bill and makes clear that we recognize the importance of regular, mandatory broadband performance testing. This approach will demonstrate that Parliament is working together to progress diligently toward important goals for the telecom sector.
The direction contains many other important initiatives that will encourage competition and benefit consumers. For example, it will eliminate regulatory uncertainty for small competing service providers and strengthen their business case so that they can offer more services on the market. It will also order the CRTC to improve access to telephone poles and similar infrastructure, which we know is important for the construction of new broadband networks.
The policy direction also instructs the CRTC to increase the public's awareness of the telecommunications complaints organization so that consumers have recourse if they are treated unfairly by a telecom provider. It will require the CRTC to proactively and systemically improve the accessibility of telecommunications services for Canadians with disabilities.
I am pleased that the policy direction can work together with the proposed legislation to make progress in this area for Canadians.
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, an independent press is one of the pillars of our democracy. This is fundamental, and I believe it is our duty to protect it. Protecting it begins with ensuring that these individuals are paid properly for what they do. Can the Prime Minister update us on what our government is doing to ensure the vitality of our media?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the cost of living has gone up in the past few months in Canada. Canadians have to tighten their belts to make ends meet.
Can the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance tell the House what the government is doing to help Canadians with the rising cost of living?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are also being affected by rising inflation across the globe. Our government remains committed to this fight and is constantly looking for solutions that will help Canadian families.
Can the minister tell us how important it is to pass Bill C-31, which will help Canadian children have access to affordable dental care and bring much-needed relief to those who are having a hard time paying their rent?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, our government has been there from the very beginning to support small businesses across Canada. They are the heart of our communities and the backbone of our economy. That is why it is crucial that we all work together to give small business owners the support they need to succeed.
Can the right hon. Prime Minister remind Canadians what our government has been doing to support small businesses?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, yesterday we observed the day of action to raise awareness of the national crisis regarding missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
Reports show that they are more likely to experience violence than any other Canadian. At yesterday's gathering on Parliament Hill, families and survivors called on our government to support their healing and justice initiatives.
Could the hon. Prime Minister update us on what is being done to end this crisis?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians and Quebeckers deserve to feel safe in their communities. The tragedies caused by gun violence over the past few months only highlight how important it is to take measures to combat gun violence.
Can the Minister of Public Safety tell us about the measures our government is taking to create safer communities?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon for the time he has dedicated to this legislation.
As we know, our government has made a strong commitment to bring newcomers with their family members from overseas. Maintaining the bonds of family is not only essential to our immigration system. It is paramount to the well-being of Canadian society in general and, perhaps, most importantly, family reunification is a fundamental Canadian value.
For me, I was also raised by my grandparents. I would not be who I am without them as I stand here today.
Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the world. We strive to keep families connected wherever possible.
With families by their sides, newcomers can better integrate into Canadian society and contribute to the success of communities from coast to coast to coast. The last two years have been tough for everyone. After the uncertainty and isolation of the pandemic, people are especially keen to reconnect with their loved ones. The love and support of parents and grandparents in particular are factors in the success of newcomers and those who are well-established here as permanent residents or Canadian citizens. This is why Canada has a special class of visa available for parents and grandparents who wish to visit their family for longer periods of time. The parent and grandparent super visa is a multiple-entry visa, valid for entry for up to 10 years.
In June of this year, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that the visa would be enhanced to allow for stays of up to five years at a time. That is an increase from two years. The super visa also holds the possibility of multiple extensions so that now a parent or grandparent can stay up to seven consecutive years. A long-term, flexible visa means that applicants and their families might be subject to additional criteria before their applications are approved. This includes undergoing an immigration medical exam, purchasing private medical insurance and making sure that the applicant will receive minimum financial support from their Canadian or permanent resident child or grandchild.
As previously mentioned, the minister announced enhancements to the super visa in June of 2022 and, as part of those changes, the minister is now able to designate foreign medical insurance providers to provide insurance coverage for super visa applications.
It is important to ensure that these visitors, who are more at risk of changing health circumstances, are protected with reliable and secure emergency medical coverage while visiting Canada for a long period of time so that they are not denied medical treatment or asked to pay hospital bills right out of pocket. The minister made this change to provide more flexibility to super visa holders while also ensuring that these parents and grandparents have adequate coverage while in Canada. I am confident that any foreign insurance companies designated by the minister will undergo a robust verification process to ensure that super visa holders are adequately protected.
Bill C-242 also requires the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to table a report on reducing the income requirement that the child or grandchild must meet for the parent or grandparent to qualify for a super visa. As we affirmed during debate in the last stage of the bill, the government supports these changes. As I have already said, the necessary steps to implement them were taken in June 2022 through ministerial instruction, which came into force in July.
Along with many other members here, I would be glad to see a report tabled in Parliament on the income requirements for the super visa. The minimum necessary income requirement is in place to ensure that the host child or grandchild is able to provide for the basic requirements of their visiting parent or grandparent while they are in Canada. That said, we must always be willing to look for opportunities that may lead to greater program flexibility and, ultimately, more families being able to reunite with one another.
What needs to be clarified is the fact that Bill C-242 proposes to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, effectively enshrining these changes to the super visa in law. We continue to believe that entrenching changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act would hamper the ability to be responsive to potentially different needs of parents and grandparents in the future. Any future enhancement to the super visa could potentially take years to go through a legislative process.
The changes that were made in June exemplify how effective and rapid this instrument is when an improvement is needed. Setting things in stone in IRPA would completely negate this expediency. Ministerial instructions allow the government to respond rapidly to the needs of clients as opposed to a slow-moving legislative procedure.
In closing, the government strongly recognizes family reunification as an integral part of our immigration system. Helping families reunite with loved ones is a priority for our government. Canadians have asked for this, and we have responded. Thanks to the changes brought into force last June, parents and grandparents may now stay in Canada for many, many years without having to leave the country. With approximately 17,000 super visas issued every year, the super visa is an accessible option for the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to reunite in Canada. I remain confident that the super visa in its current form maximizes benefits to families.
For this reason, while the Government of Canada supports many of the principles outlined in private member's bill, Bill C-242, we recommend that the authorities remain under ministerial instruction and not in legislation. This would preserve our ability to best serve our current clients and those who are to come in the future.
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, this year, planting season was stressful and filled with uncertainty for our farmers. The increase in the cost of inputs limited our producers' ability to invest in their operations.
Given this particular context, can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food inform the House of the most recent measures implemented to help our farmers?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the unjust war in Ukraine is having a tremendous impact on countries all around the world.
This war has led to a global food shortage. The conflict, combined with the effects of climate change and the pandemic, is threatening to push tens of millions of people into food insecurity, hunger and famine, especially in Africa.
Could the hon. Prime Minister tell the House what Canada is doing to help the people facing this kind of crisis?
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the tourism sector has been through two extremely difficult years, and now it is time to talk about how important this sector is.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance tell the House what the government is doing to put this industry, which is crucial to Canada's economy, front and centre?
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