Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-18 10:18 [p.29265]
Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of presenting a petition that was started by Joan Howard, a member of my community who lost her son, Kempton Howard, to gun violence over 15 years ago.
She seeks this petition to create and support a national program for helping loved ones of murder victims, fund and promote programming that diverts young people away from gangs and crime, and that takes steps to ensure equal access to opportunities for young people across Canada and to strengthen and enhance the Canada Border Services Agency's ability to stop gun smuggling.
I stand with my community in fighting gun violence and making sure we have a safe community.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-18 13:18 [p.29292]
Mr. Speaker, I was listening with interest to my colleague's presentation, but there were a few parts that were missing, on which I would like his comments.
The first part is that he talked about the climate action incentive, with which I understand an average family of four in Manitoba would be receiving $339. Not only that, in rural areas, where there are those extended drives for people who live farther away from cities, there is in fact a top-up as well, so there can be some additional support for those families. The Parliamentary Budget Officer did a study, which found that eight out of 10 families would be receiving more through this plan than they would be spending. Could I hear some comments on that?
The other missing piece is that the price on pollution is not the entire climate action plan. There is a lot more being done. There are many investments. I am sure that the member is aware of them. Perhaps he could comment about the great work that is being done on those programs, including phasing away coal and creating jobs in the meantime.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-12 15:23 [p.28997]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 20th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, entitled “Online Secondary Ticket Sales Industry”. This is an issue that impacts fans across all our communities as well as the artists and the athletes.
I want to thank committee members. This is our final report. We worked so well together, and it was wonderful to have such a great clerk and analysts, who worked with us to make these reports.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-11 13:41 [p.28910]
Mr. Speaker, I was very happy to hear my colleague across the way speak about the importance of jobs and supporting different industries. Of particular importance are our cultural industries across our country. I know this as I am chair of the Canadian heritage committee.
I would like the member to comment on Magazine Canada's response to the USMCA. It said:
Magazines Canada’s nearly 400 members across the country congratulate [the] Prime Minister...[the] Minister [of Foreign Affairs]...[the] Minister [of Canadian Heritage] and the Canadian negotiating team for their successful preservation of the cultural exemption in the USMCA.... We are especially pleased that the cultural exemption applies in both the analogue and digital spaces. This digital inclusion will be critical to Canadian magazines and other cultural industries in the years to come.
The magazine points out that there is about a $1.7-billion contribution to Canada's GDP from the magazine industry.
Could the member respond to the notion that this is a success for our cultural industries?
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-07 11:49 [p.28754]
Madam Speaker, my colleagues in this place have heard me speak before about the importance of proper nutrition, and I am sure that we all share in the belief that kids need access to healthy food and good nutrition habits to thrive and be productive. Kids in Canada and all around the world deserve access to healthy food.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development please update the House on what Canada is doing to make sure that kids around the world have proper nourishment?
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-04 15:02 [p.28504]
Mr. Speaker, the dream of owning a home seems increasingly unrealistic for my constituents in Toronto—Danforth.
While many of my constituents are trying to save for what will likely be the largest investment of their lives, we continue to see people who are failing to pay their fair share.
Could the Minister of National Revenue update us on the government's progress in combatting tax evasion and tax avoidance in the housing market?
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-03 16:05 [p.28426]
Mr. Speaker, in today's debate we are hearing people, especially on the Conservative side, talk and complain about the fact that a union has a voice at the table.
What does my friend from Glengarry—Prescott—Russell think about having employers, unions and companies at the discussion table so that we can get the whole picture of what we need to do?
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-03 16:06 [p.28426]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the Conservative opposition motion presently being debated.
The issue of how to properly support the media is something I have had the opportunity to work on and think about quite deeply over the past years while I have been here in Ottawa. I am a member of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. When we started, one of our first studies was in fact on local media. It was an in-depth study where we really looked at what we should be doing. We heard from media across our country, from the unions, the employees and business owners. They all spoke to us about a need to ensure that we continue to have a vibrant local media across our country.
I would like to thank the chair of the committee at the time, the member for Vancouver Centre, as she led us through the study. We made 20 recommendations. Included in those recommendations were the very items we found in budget 2019 about making changes to the tax act to allow not-for-profit media foundations to have charitable status, and tax credits. It is nice to see work being done at committee and how that can translate into policy going forward.
As well, when we were doing that study, there was a report by the Public Policy Forum called the “Shattered Mirror”. Interestingly, as a part of that report, they also included a review entitled “the Copyright Act's fair-dealing rules to strengthen rights of news originators to control their intellectual property” as one of their recommendations, as well as some of the recommendations we had in the committee report on that. It is interesting that the “Shattered Mirror” report reflects future work that was done by the committee. I am now the chair of the committee. We have also studied copyright rules and made recommendations on that issue.
I have the newspaper delivered to my house every day. It is funny, but I was reading the newspaper and thinking about what we were going to saying in the debate. It is not a fossil. Newspapers are not fossils. This a way that Canadians get the news that we rely upon. It has an important role in raising civic awareness and keeping Canadians informed. No matter what the size of the communities that we live in, no matter our distances from larger population centres, we rely on important local news to make decisions, to see how we look at the world, planet and our local communities.
Canadians still rely on newspapers and other news outlets today. We have just changed a lot of the way that we do it. As I mentioned, I was reading a newspaper this morning in its physical form, but more and more people are scrolling from article to article rather than turning from one page to the other. In fact, Canadians are among the most engaged and best-informed citizens globally. We should be proud of that.
In international surveys, such as the well-respected Reuters Institute digital news report, Canada ranks highly in consumption and trust in news sources. For example, in 2018, Canada ranked fifth out of 37 countries that were surveyed for trust of the news that people read. More importantly, the numbers for Canada are rising. There was a 9% increase in trust from the previous year. The survey also showed that a majority of Canadians, 60% to be precise, are concerned about what is real and what is fake on the Internet when it comes to news. That is really important. Canadians are concerned about making sure they are getting news that is in fact true, with the whole issue of fake news having become something of a concern.
Another well-known measure of trust in the news is the international Edelman trust barometer. This annual survey confirms digital news survey results concerning trust. There was an increase of 8% in Canadians surveyed who declared trust in the news industry. Traditional news outlets, like newspapers, ranked the highest, at 71% level of trust, while news via social media was at the bottom, with 31% of trust from Canadians. Most importantly, 21% of Canadians consumed news regularly compared to the previous year. Clearly, the world is increasingly faced with misinformation and social media bots, and Canadians are relying more and more on trusted news outlets to deliver honest and independent reporting on the issues of the day.
The challenge that these outlets are facing is not one of trust levels, but it is rather about how we are consuming our news. It is the economic model that has been radically altered, and we are hearing that from creators across industry. Today when we are talking about the news, we are talking about a massive shift towards online news consumption.
Today, only 9% of Canadians pay for online news, according to a writer survey. Canada ranks 27 out of 37 countries surveyed in that respect. Much needs to be done to encourage higher rates of online subscriptions, and that is what is so interesting about the steps being taken. The fall economic statement of 2018 included measures to specifically encourage Canadians to subscribe to digital news outlets. The statement addressed that shift directly.
With that type of model, providing measures to encourage Canadians to subscribe, the choice remains with individual Canadians as to whether or not to take a subscription with one outlet or the other. They still have the choice. Some outlets are more conservative and some have been endorsing the opposition party over the last four cycles, and then others are more progressive. It is up to Canadians to choose which one they want to subscribe to. That is the model that has been put out there.
We are also providing tax credits to these news outlets for the cost of employing professional journalists. That is important. We need to ensure that we have support for these journalists. These tax credits are available to all of the qualified journalistic organizations in the news industry, regardless of the scope or the lean of their reporting.
As has been said from the outset by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Canadian Heritage , any government action in support of news media will rest on the principle of ensuring respect for the independence of the press. That is why we are putting together an independent panel to advise on the criteria that should be applied to define these qualified journalistic organizations.
To ensure the independence of the panel from any influence of government, eight non-governmental organizations were each asked to provide the name of one individual they believe has the necessary qualifications and expertise to contribute to the work of the panel. All eight organizations represent part of the news industry.
Four of them represent the owners and publishers of news outlets: News Media Canada, representing daily and community newspapers and online news sources; the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, representing the multicultural and multilingual press; the Quebec Community Newspapers Association, representing English-language newspapers in Quebec; and the Association de la presse francophone, representing French-language news sources in the other provinces and territories.
The other four represent journalists and employees, who also have an important stake and a vital role in the future of the news industry. They are the Canadian Association of Journalists, Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Fédération nationale des communications, and Unifor, which represents more than 10,000 employees in the news media sector.
The objective is to hear the voices of all professionals involved in the sector: employers, publishers, official languages communities, ethnic media, big and small organizations, freelancers and bloggers. We do not just want CEOs around the table, but a diversity of voices.
It is clear that the Conservative opposition is merely playing politics with Canada's journalism and news sector, to the detriment of our democracy. They have a track record of doing so. In 2015, they made a special effort to have Postmedia newspapers across Canada endorse the Stephen Harper Conservatives, over the objections of staff and employees. The Conservative Party also bought the front page of these newspapers in the days before the 2015 election, deliberately misleading Canadians into thinking that the political advertisement was journalism. That it not how an independent press works.
It is clear that the Conservatives, regardless of the compelling human and democratic arguments in favour of supporting our struggling news sector, will continue to unabashedly play politics with the topic.
That is why I am opposing this motion. I will be focusing, with the House, on the important issues to Canadians. We have many issues that we should and could be debating. To be debating the composition of this committee is not the proper use of our time.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-03 16:17 [p.28427]
Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that this partisan panel being referred to has eight different associations as part of it. I would be surprised if any of these eight members would like to see themselves characterized as partisan. In fact, these are the people responsible for our democratic news. Different organizations and newspapers may have leanings one way or the other, but if we are characterizing our newspaper sector as partisan, as represented by these eight organizations that represent all sides and all parts of our media, that is a problem.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-03 16:19 [p.28428]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. It is true that we work well together in committee. Our committee works very hard. We have talked extensively about what we should do about the media and many other issues. Various steps have been taken in the past three or four years.
The Canada Media Fund received stabilization funds several years ago, and the CBC, for local news production, also received a large investment. Therefore, there have been steps taken all along.
I apologize for switching to English, but sometimes it is easier for me. Unifor represents over 10,000 employees. How can anyone think they are all partisan? The truth is that journalists represent all points of view. Unifor is a big union that wants to do good work for employees. It would be crazy to say it is completely partisan, yet that is what we are hearing today.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-06-03 18:29 [p.28446]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I feel like we have ventured very far from the topic of today, and I would ask that we return to it.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-05-28 10:08 [p.28107]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 34th report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security concerning Bill C-93, an act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis.
The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-05-16 12:15 [p.27926]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Louis-Hébert.
I stand today in the House to call on the House to declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency. To address that, we must not only meet our national emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, but we must go further. As I say that, I pause, because this is a real and scary truth, and fear is a difficult emotion.
When I was thinking about this debate today, I thought about when I was a teenager and saw a film called If You Love This Planet. It was about the dangers of nuclear weapons. What I felt when I saw that film was fear. Fear can be immobilizing, and that is a danger when we are talking about something like a climate emergency. We cannot be immobilized. We need to take action, and we need to take action now.
Today, as we participate in this debate, we are facing that fear and putting a direction and a course of action as to how we will respond, because our country is on a path to transition to a low-carbon economy. We are on that path and we cannot falter; in fact, we need to speed up. For me, seeing how we are proceeding with the transition to a low-carbon economy is what gives me hope and strength to know how we are going to move forward.
Today, I will outline some of the things we are doing. I do not have enough time to speak about all of the actions that are being taken, but I will be talking about the price on pollution, building retrofits, investments in public transportation and a zero-emission vehicle strategy, and phasing out coal-fired electricity. Those are all steps that are being taken right now as we transition toward a low-carbon economy.
Before we go further, I would like to address one factor that has given me reason to question, and I know that I have had questions from others about what our government's climate plan is, and that factor is the Trans Mountain pipeline. I opposed the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, but there is one thing I must emphasize. I disagree with people who say that this purchase negates all of the other work that is being done to transition to a low-carbon economy. It does not. There is much work that is being done right now, and there is much more that needs to be done. We need to keep pushing.
I give a shout-out to all the activists and environmentalists out there, because they are the ones who helped to clear the path and to push us down that path further toward a low-carbon economy. We need that strength. As we push forward, we also need to mark where we have come from, where we are now and where we want to go, what the further steps are. It is a road map. Without a road map, it can be dispiriting because we cannot just push without looking forward, looking backward and seeing what we need to get to success.
What have we been doing over the past three and a half years to transition to a low-carbon economy? The single most important piece, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is putting a price on pollution. Here I want to thank some of the environmental activists out there. Citizens' Climate Lobby has been wonderful in coming out and taking the time to speak to MPs and educate communities about the importance of a price on pollution. Its work has been tremendous.
Last year, Paul Romer and William Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize for economics. Both studied a price on pollution, and what they found was that it works. It works because it signals to consumers and to producers which services and which goods have a higher carbon effect on us. It also encourages innovation, and that is exactly what we need: We need to innovate.
When William Nordhaus looked for a place to point out as a success story, he pointed to British Columbia, which has a system very similar to the plan that is being rolled out nationally. He pointed to the fact that not only does British Columbia have a strong economy, but it has lowered per capita gasoline use and improved vehicle fuel efficiency. The price on pollution has worked, and it has been there for over a decade.
Here I give a shout-out to the activists, because this is where we need to stand strong together.
The price on pollution is essential, but there is a lot of pressure right now to dismantle that system. There are court cases in Saskatchewan and in Ontario. I was very pleased that we won the court case in Saskatchewan in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, but there is a lot of pressure. Right now, in Ontario, the Ontario government is rolling out a $30-million ad campaign to convince people that a price on pollution is not the way to go. Rather than using the money for planting trees and fighting climate change and doing what we need to do, the Ontario government has chosen to use that money to fight the climate plan, to fight this essential building block.
This is an active battle. The price on pollution must stay. We need it as an essential building block for a low-carbon economy. To everyone who believes we need to do this and believes there is a climate emergency, we need to come together and fight to make sure the price on pollution stays.
As I was studying the sources of our emissions and what we need to do, one thing I found surprising was that it is buildings that are the largest CO2 emitters in cities. In fact, in the GTHA, 44% of our emissions come from buildings. A lot of work is being done right now to address that issue. Some of it relates to retrofits, model building codes, energy efficiency regulations and innovation. All of these are important steps in trying to reduce the emissions coming from our buildings.
The largest source of the greenhouse gases coming from our buildings is what we use to heat and cool them, and in Toronto there have been federal investments in the Enwave deep lake cooling system. That system cools all of downtown Toronto's hospitals in a low-carbon way. It does not produce all of those emissions, which is exactly what we are trying to move away from. It also cools many of Toronto's downtown buildings, including university buildings and office buildings. Through federal investments, we have allowed that system to expand, and that is exactly the innovation we want to see.
We have also put in place energy efficiency regulations to improve the energy performance of over 20 categories of appliances and equipment. This will decrease GHG emissions by about 700,000 tonnes by 2030.
Another thing I care about deeply is emissions from transportation, and I have been working on this issue. About 25% of Canada's emissions come from transportation. Our government has made historic investments in public transit, and we are also deploying electrical vehicle charging stations and implementing a zero emissions vehicle strategy. All of these things will come together as part of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
I am a TTC rider and I use public transit. I know that the system in Toronto faces many problems related to overcrowding and maintenance issues. In my own community, we feel deeply the need for a relief line.
Our government has made investments there. In fact, almost $5 billion was allocated for public transit in the city of Toronto. However, there are some hiccups right now with the provincial government, and that is causing some complications. Despite this, I can say that all of my Toronto colleagues and I are championing and will champion the city's public transit system. We will stand by our city leaders to make sure Toronto gets what it needs to have a strong transit system.
So far, we have funded maintenance, which, as I said, was much needed, and we have addressed the need for buses. We have helped to purchase electric buses, and we have also invested in active transportation, such as in expanding bike sharing and bike parking. I would love to see a national active transportation strategy.
The last piece is about coal. I note that 11% of Canada's electricity supply is from coal-fired electricity, but it is responsible for 72% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.
Ontario moved away from coal-fired plants many years ago, and we felt the difference. We used to have 50 smog days a year, and we are now down to zero. That is a tremendous difference, and it has an impact on our health. It is something we need to do.
We are moving on a just transition away from coal-fired plants. In talking to members today, I am building out that road map.
We have a long road to travel, but we are on it, and we need to work together to make sure that we continue in our transition to a low-carbon economy.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-05-16 12:25 [p.27927]
Madam Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that what we are talking about today is what we need to do here in our country. We are doing what we need to do to make a just transition to move away from coal-fired plants by providing employment opportunities for workers in that field as well as by building the infrastructure we need.
We are also part of a worldwide alliance to help other countries to move away from coal-fired plants. We have done that with the U.K., and many other countries have joined us as signatories, so we are also part of an international effort to move away from coal-fired electricity.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2019-05-16 12:27 [p.27928]
Madam Speaker, I agree that we need to be transitioning away from fossil fuels. That is a lot of what I was addressing specifically today when I spoke about what we are doing to transition to a low-carbon economy. That is what we are moving toward: zero-emission vehicles, more public transit, more active transportation.
In fact, in Toronto, Transform TO's aim is for 75% of commutes under five kilometres be done through active transportation. That is how we in cities can work toward reducing our footprint.
It is an absolutely essential piece. We are working on it, and there is more to do. That is what I admit and state clearly. That is why I am reaching out to people.
However, I have stood here and clearly said that the pipeline does not negate the work we have done. There is a lot of work being done. What we need to do is keep doing it and push further on that path.
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