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Results: 1 - 15 of 69
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2019-04-12 11:57 [p.27054]
Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a cornerstone of our government's relationship with indigenous peoples. In 2016, our government became a full supporter of the declaration, without qualification.
Our government is moving forward on key legislative initiatives that support the implementation of the declaration. We have also supported Bill C-262 as an important next step. Can the parliamentary secretary update the House on the status of this important legislative measure?
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2019-04-12 12:10 [p.27056]
Mr. Speaker, this is quite timely. I rise today to present two petitions on behalf of the residents of Thunder Bay—Rainy River in support of Bill S-214, the cruelty-free cosmetics act, which would ban the sale and manufacture of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients in Canada.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-12-11 14:13 [p.24720]
Mr. Speaker, as we approach the end of the year and the closing of Centre Block, I would like to take this time, on behalf of all members of this House, to thank the dedicated parliamentary personnel who work hard to make our jobs possible. All parliamentary staff embody a high level of professionalism, such as Constables Robert Poirier and Michelle Renaud of the Parliamentary Protective Service. Both will be retiring this January after 30 years of service. I think I speak for all members here when I thank them for their hard work and dedication to duty and wish them all the best in the future.
I would also like to thank the staff and the supervisor of catering services, cafeterias and the parliamentary dining room, Dino Storti. Dino has provided over 14 years of excellent service to members of all parties in both Houses. It is because of him and his team's tireless efforts that events and receptions here can go off without a hitch. We appreciate his hard work.
The parliamentary personnel's excellence is a service to all Canadians and this country. On behalf of all of us here, I thank them very much. May they all have a very merry Christmas and an extraordinary new year.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-11-07 15:06 [p.23388]
Mr. Speaker, just last month, my colleague's private member's bill, Bill C-326, which focuses on drinking water guidelines in Canada, moved to the Senate for first reading. As members will know, decades of neglect have left drinking water systems on first nations reserves in Canada in an unacceptable state. This is why our government is committed to ending long-term drinking water advisories on all public systems on reserve by March 2021.
Can the Prime Minister please update this House as to the actions being taken to ensure reliable access to clean drinking water on reserves?
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-10-23 14:05 [p.22733]
Mr. Speaker, October 23 concludes the second anniversary of the launch of the Secret Path, a 2016 multimedia project by Gord Downie and graphic artist Jeff Lemire.
The Secret Path was inspired by the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12–year–old Anishinaabe boy who died on this day, October 23, in 1966. Chanie froze to death while running away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, a building where I once worked as executive director of Grand Council Treaty #3. Chanie, at the time, was trying to return home to his family that he was taken from over 600 kilometres away at Ogoki Post of the Marten Falls First Nation.
Today, all of us in the House and Canadians from coast to coast to coast share the loss with the Wenjack family and we thank the late Gord Downie for using his voice to share Chanie's life with Canadians. By listening to and sharing the stories of residential school children, we will ensure they are never forgotten.
Meegwetch.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-06-01 11:37 [p.20068]
Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition recently said that the Conservatives have done a great job in the past. However, they have ignored Jordan's principle, which was passed by Parliament in 2007, and refused calls for a national inquiry. We are focusing on forging a relationship based on a recognition of rights respecting co-operation and partnership. We will let our record stand.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-06-01 11:43 [p.20069]
Madam Speaker, our government welcomes the recommendation of the Auditor General on addressing outcome gaps on reserve dating back to 2001. Unlike the former government, which ripped up the Kelowna accord and imposed top-down solutions on first nations, we are making significant investments in health, education, housing, water, child and family services, and economic prosperity.
We are working with first nation partners on a national outcome-based framework and transformation on education on reserves. We will continue to work with first nations to improve.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-06-01 11:44 [p.20070]
Madam Speaker, we recognize that mental health challenges facing indigenous people, particularly youth, are deep-rooted and complex. We recognize that implementation and delivery of our programs and services must be driven by culture and strengths of the community.
We have invested in 45 community-led mental health wellness teams, serving 326 communities, up from 11 in 2015, and dedicated first nation and Inuit hope and wellness lines.
We will continue to work with first nations and Inuit partners, in collaboration with provinces and territories, to advance targeted strategies to prevent the tragic loss of life.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-06-01 11:53 [p.20071]
Madam Speaker, our government remains committed to co-developing a distinction-based indigenous housing strategy with our first nation, Inuit, and Métis partners. That is why budget 2018 invests $600 million over three years in first nations housing, $500 million over 10 years for Métis housing, and $400 million over 10 years for Inuit housing. This funding is a significant step toward addressing the housing needs in indigenous communities.
Our government is committed to closing the unacceptable housing gap for indigenous people.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-05-25 11:36 [p.19685]
Mr. Speaker, community members are our absolute priority. We have been working with public safety, national defence, and the Canadian Red Cross to ensure that the urgent evacuations of Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations are occurring as quickly as possible since the state of local emergency was called on Tuesday.
The evacuations from Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Pauingassi First Nation are now almost complete. We are ensuring that essential supports are in place for evacuees, and this includes mental health supports as needed. The government operations centre will continue to monitor and assess the wildfires as the situation evolves.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-05-04 11:09 [p.19117]
Mr. Speaker, today a group of students from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay are visiting Parliament Hill. DFC is a unique school that was established by the parents and elders in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory of northwestern Ontario and serves youth from many different first nations throughout northwestern Ontario.
At Dennis Franklin Cromarty, students have the unique opportunity of attending a first nation high school within the city of Thunder Bay. The mission of DFC is to ensure students develop a strong sense of identity in the distinct language, culture, and traditions of their communities, while also achieving academic excellence.
I want to welcome the students here today, and say to them meegwetch for the work they do.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-05-04 11:53 [p.19126]
Mr. Speaker, everyone, including first nation governments, support transparency and accountability. We held 27 engagement sessions from coast to coast to coast, and heard clearly from first nations that top-down solutions do not work.
We are moving forward with the co-development of the mutual accountability framework, which was a recommendation for the new fiscal relationship report that was developed with the AFN. Mutual transparency and accountability will only be approved by working in true partnership with first nations.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-05-03 18:02 [p.19100]
Madam Speaker, I stand today to express the support of our government for Bill C-374,, an act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, composition of the Board.
I begin by acknowledging that our debate today takes place on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people. As my hon. colleagues recognize, acknowledging the traditional territories of indigenous peoples represents a small but significant step in our journey towards reconciliation.
The legislation now before us proposes to take another step in this journey by improving the way that Canada commemorates the persons, places, and events that have shaped Canada's history since time immemorial. I commend my colleague, the hon. member for Cloverdale—Langley City, for bringing this private member's bill forward. I believe this is only the third time ever that a private member's bill has received royal recommendation, and it is a testament to my colleague's hard work that the bill received unanimous support from this chamber in the report stage vote.
For my colleagues to fully appreciate the context of Bill C-374, it is important to note that the Historic Sites and Monuments Act was first proposed in a Speech from the Throne in November 1952 to give a statutory basis to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which had been established in 1919. The act was put forward in response to recommendations in the Massey Commission report of 1951. The bill received royal assent in 1953.
The mandate of the minister responsible for Parks Canada includes deciding which sites, events, or persons are commemorated for their national historic significance. To help make these decisions, the minister relies on the recommendations of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
The current board includes a representative from each province and territory and one representative from Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, and Parks Canada.
Under the proposed legislation, the composition of the board will now include one representative each for first nations, Inuit, and Métis. To appreciate the impact of this change, it is important to have an understanding of how the board operates.
The board's main role is to receive and analyze nominations for historic designations. Each year, the board receives about two dozen nominations from members of the public, community groups, and other organizations. The vast majority of official designations originate with nominations sent in by the public, which reflects the interest of Canadians in the history of this land.
The board meets about twice a year to review nominations and make recommendations to the minister as to whether a subject merits designation. In making their recommendations, the board considers whether a person, place, or event has had a nationally significant impact on Canada's history, or illustrates a nationally significant aspect of our history. In virtually all cases, my predecessors and I have accepted the board's recommendations.
Once an official national historic designation is bestowed, Parks Canada organizes a ceremony, and installs and maintains the bronze plaque, which is the usual form of commemoration. This process serves Canadians well.
Today, our country's network of heritage designations includes nearly 1,000 sites, 700 persons, and 500 events. Canadians and visitors to our country appreciate these designations because each one represents one part of the larger stories of Canada. They honour our roots and accomplishments. They reckon with darker chapters of our history. They also describe our aspirations: how we have seen ourselves in the past, how we see ourselves in the present, and how we want to be seen in the future.
In this way, they link past, present, and future. This idea is particularly relevant at a time when so many Canadians are re-thinking the country's relationship with indigenous peoples. For millennia, indigenous peoples thrived in communities across the landscape we now call Canada.
Since the arrival of Europeans a few centuries ago, much of this history has been either ignored or downplayed. There can be no doubt that indigenous peoples have made and continue to make important contributions to the country, yet if one were to travel across the country and visit every historical plaque or historic site, I am confident that person would get an extremely limited sense of the history and contributions of indigenous peoples in the country.
The simple truth, of course, is that Canada's network of historic designations reflects a rather narrow view of the past, a view rooted in our colonial history. In recent years, however, Canadians have begun to take a more critical view of our history. Many now recognize that indigenous peoples have long been prevented from participating equally in and contributing fully to this country's prosperity. We must change this sad reality to unlock Canada's full potential. Through reconciliation, I am confident we can achieve this goal.
Our government is committed to achieving reconciliation with indigenous people based on the recognition of rights and through mutual respect, co-operation, and partnership. Reconciliation involves a multi-faceted, deliberate, and ongoing process—a journey. That is why our government is committed to implementing the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission helped to educate Canadians about Indian residential schools and to raise awareness of how past policies continue to harm this country today.
Budget 2018 proposes to provide $23.9 million over five years, starting this fiscal year, to implement call to action 79, regarding the commemoration of heritage in Canada. The funding will support the integration of indigenous views, history, and heritage in the heritage places and programs managed by Parks Canada.
The legislation now before us is an essential step in the journey to implement call to action 79 by establishing ongoing first nation, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Along the way, we must acknowledge the wrongs of the past, learn more from our history, and work together to implement indigenous rights. Bill C-374 is a step in that direction in the area of historical commemoration.
The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development reviewed Bill C-374 and endorsed the proposed legislation with a series of technical amendments. The amendments clarify a few points about expenses incurred by board members and the expertise of board candidates. I am convinced that these amendments would strengthen the bill and serve the best interests of Canadians.
I expect that every person here today supports reconciliation with indigenous peoples, but I am convinced that we will make little progress toward this goal until we critically re-examine our history and take stock of the stories we have told and those we have not.
The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plays an essential role in the commemoration of our history. The inclusion of indigenous peoples and indigenous representation on the board would help us bring greater perspective to the telling of the stories of Canada and foster reconciliation with indigenous peoples across this land. For these reasons, I urge all members of the House to endorse Bill C-374 at third reading.
Meegwetch.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-05-01 14:07 [p.18987]
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the remarkable student-led initiative in the city of Thunder Bay, which is helping preserve the Ojibwe language, Anishinaabemowin, and increase its accessibility to the new generation of speakers.
The Preserve Our Language Project was started in 2016 by three indigenous students at Bishop E.Q. Jennings School. Rayne, Gene, and Tarcisius, with the help of principal Mike Filipetti and native language teacher Joan Esquega, designed the first Ojibwe keyboard for Macintosh computers. Two years later, these students continue to innovate by working with Google to create the first Ojibwe keyboard extension for Google and Chrome users.
This project is an example of the resilience of indigenous youth across Canada and offers an inspiring model for indigenous nations across the world who are working to preserve their languages. To these young, innovative, inspiring students, I say, “meegwetch”.
View Don Rusnak Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Don Rusnak Profile
2018-04-23 19:34 [p.18646]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional lands of the Algonquin people.
As the Prime Minister has said, there is no relationship more important to Canada than the relationship with indigenous peoples. Our government is deeply committed to addressing HIV-AIDS and hepatitis C in Canada, including in first nation communities in Saskatchewan. Budget 2017 included initial investments of $37.5 million over five years to support the prevention and control of HIV and hepatitis C among first nation and Inuit communities. Our government is also investing an additional $3.35 million in 2017-18 to directly support first nation communities in Saskatchewan.
Further to this, our government has been working closely with first nation partners, communities, and leadership in support of implementing know your status initiatives within Saskatchewan. Know your status is a community developed, client-based approach that brings sexually transmitted or blood-borne infection-related services to locations that are best for the client. The know your status model employs a multidisciplinary, multisectoral, and cross-jurisdictional approach, making it easier for clients to receive the support they need.
I am proud to say that by 2021, our government will have nearly doubled the investment in know your status to support the health of first nations communities in Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan there are currently 23 local testing sites, 19 harm reduction sites, and 13 mobile specialized community health nursing and outreach services.
Measurable indicators have been set to ensure support of existing fully implemented programs, completing the development of partially implemented programs, and supporting community readiness. In 2016, the number of HIV tests in Saskatchewan increased by 11 % among first nations, and the number of harm reduction sites increased by 27%.
Our government strongly believes that indigenous families should have seamless access to health services provided by both the federal and provincial governments to make sure that nobody slips through the cracks. To achieve this, the non-insured health benefits program provides first nations and Inuit with medical transportation to access medically necessary health services that are not available locally. Once a patient reaches a provincially run facility, inter-facility transfers that are necessary to the patient's care are paid for by most provinces.
The closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company falls within provincial jurisdiction. The department is aware of the challenges with access to transportation in some areas of the province as a result of this closure. Departmental officials have worked with new transportation vendors in some areas to secure provider arrangements. Funding has been provided to some communities to purchase and operate vans designated for medical travel.
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