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Results: 1 - 15 of 136
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-11-17 15:06 [p.2007]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the member's question and I appreciate her advocacy on behalf of young Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Our government will continue representing and supporting young people because we know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all Canadians, disproportionately in certain segments, and young people and students are no exception. That is exactly why we came out with the Canada emergency student benefit. That is why we put a moratorium on Canada student loans. For young entrepreneurs, we increased funding to Futurpreneur Canada. Canada summer jobs are still open so that young people can obtain their Canadian work experience.
We will continue working on behalf of young people, and I look forward to working with the hon. member so that we can deliver for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-11-02 15:08 [p.1539]
Mr. Speaker, when the pandemic hit, one of the first approaches our government took was to make sure we were responding to all Canadians, including students. That is why we put forward a $9 billion program to help students.
When it comes to this specific matter, I will be working closely with my colleague to ensure that we look into it and we will be able to respond to the member directly with any details. We want to ensure that students and youth have the resources and supports they need.
We are a government that will continue to focus on the health and safety of all Canadians because we know that, when it comes to COVID-19, we are not out of the woods yet. We will continue working hard on behalf of all Canadians.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 14:39 [p.1225]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to share with the member and all Canadians that when it came to the response to COVID-19, this government put out a $9-billion program for students as well as youth. The federal government stepped up in partnership with provinces and territories, because when it comes to the response to this pandemic, it is really important that we all work closely together. We are still in the midst of this pandemic.
When it came to the Canada emergency student benefit, over 700,000 students benefited. When it came to making sure that student entrepreneurs would be able to benefit, we increased funding to future entrepreneurs. When it came to making sure that students could pay back their student loans, we actually put a moratorium on student loan payments, as well as interest. The list goes on.
We are all working in this together, and the Bloc should realize it is going to take all of us to fight this pandemic. We have a lot more work to do.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 17:44 [p.1244]
Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by acknowledging that the House sits on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin Anishinabe.
It is a privilege to be here to take part in the second reading debate of Bill C-6, introduced by my colleague, the Minister of Justice, on October 1.
The bill's intent is clear: to ban conversion therapy in Canada.
Conversion therapy is rooted in the wrongful premise that an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression can and should be changed to a narrow ideal of what is natural or normal.
Conversion therapy is harmful and degrading, and it has no place in Canada.
Today, I again call on all members of the House to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ2 individuals who are subjected to one of the most heinous and violent attacks on their gender identity, namely, conversion therapy.
It is important we all do everything we can to protect the Canada we know and love. Our communities should be places where everyone is free to be authentically who they are, free from violence or discrimination. On behalf of all those who are being hindered in their ability to truly be themselves, to love who they love and to live fulfilling lives and fully contribute to our society, I ask all members to support the bill and send it to committee.
Too many people in Canada are still the innocent victims of conversion therapy. That is not the Canada we want. We must abolish this practice once and for all and we must do it quickly.
Everyone in the country is standing shoulder to shoulder right now, as we face one of the greatest challenges in our history, the COVID-19 pandemic. As a society, we are blazing new trails. There is no clear path laid out. As a government, we are more determined than ever to build on this collective solidarity to build a more inclusive Canada. The pandemic has opened our eyes. It has revealed unacceptable injustices. It has made the most vulnerable communities even more vulnerable, and it has hit the LGBTQ2 community particularly hard.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that there is still much work to be done to build a truly safe and inclusive Canada. Since March, we have been navigating this crisis together. We all remain cautious and follow the advice of local officials and public health authorities.
Faced with a crisis of this scope, we must rethink our laws and policies and expand our efforts to be inclusive. That is the commitment our government made in re-introducing bill.
The Speech from the Throne emphasizes that the country we are protecting against COVID-19 is a country that is proud of the contribution of its LGBTQ2 communities, an inclusive country. I am sure my colleagues in the House would agree that the best Canada is an inclusive Canada. We must do all we can to achieve equity and inclusion for all Canadians. I am dedicated to this objective and, as members likely know, it forms an important part of the mandate given to me by the Prime Minister.
My parents immigrated to Canada before I was born and worked hard to provide a good life for us. Their belief was that in Canada anything was possible. We all have the possibility of living free from prejudice and discrimination, of expressing our identity and exercising our rights. People deserve the freedom to be who they are, free to love who they love. We all have a role to play so that LGBTQ2 persons feel safe and welcome, to be their authentic selves.
One of our government's roles is to move towards this objective. By re-introducing this bill, we are taking a major step. We are moving towards the elimination of conversion therapy, which is unacceptable in Canadian society today.
The changes to the Criminal Code proposed in Bill C-6 will go a long way to protect the dignity and equality rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians.
The bill proposes to criminalize certain aspects of conversion therapy. This harmful and outdated practice seeks to change a person's sexual orientation by forcing them towards heterosexuality, to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour and to change a person's gender identity to conform to their sex at birth.
It is important to note that the proposed changes are not intended to reach far beyond a rational scope. We recognize that it is crucial to protect those who offer affirming and supportive guidance or advice to anyone who has questions or is coming to terms with who they are. In the same spirit of wanting all Canadians to be true to who they are, we also want all Canadians to be free to follow their faith as they interpret it for themselves of their own volition. Our legislation aims to balance this to support and protect the rights of all Canadians.
We need to address the myth that gay, lesbian, queer, trans and non-binary identities are pathologies that can and should be changed. Diverse forms of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation are simply part of human diversity. The proposed legislation aligns with our government's commitment to put an end to conversion therapy in Canada by amending the Criminal Code with new penalties for those who conduct the practice, in particular, against minors.
We must adopt legislation that protects the dignity and equality rights of all Canadians, especially those of LGBTQ2 individuals and youth. This legislation will ensure that every Canadian is not afraid to be who they are and to live a full life.
The types of changes we are now proposing to the Criminal Code are also aligned with approaches already implemented elsewhere, and I will offer here just a few examples.
Ontario, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have enacted legislation specifying that conversion therapy is not an insured health service and have banned health care professionals from providing treatment to minors unless they are capable of consenting. Some Canadian municipalities, such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert and Strathcona County have also banned businesses from providing conversion therapy within their city limits.
Internationally, Malta is the only other country known to have criminalized aspects of conversion therapy, while the United Kingdom and its LGBT action plan has committed to further explore the issue. In the U.S. several states have put in place bans that resemble provincial and municipal bans in Canada.
I would like to thank all those dedicated to building a fairer and safer society. I would like to especially thank my colleagues, our partners and stakeholders, who are working hard to ensure that Bill C-6's amendments to the Criminal Code are adopted.
The amendments that we propose in Canada are yet another step along the way toward a safer and more inclusive country. I am proud of the concrete actions our government has taken to date.
Our Prime Minister apologized to LGBTQ2 people in Canada for the past injustices experienced at the hands of their government. Our government passed legislation, Bill C-16, to protect against discrimination based on gender identity and expression. We transformed the former Status of Women Canada into a full department, the Department of Women and Gender Equality, with an expanded mandate to advance social, political and economic equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
We made a historic investment of $20 million to help build the capacity of Canadian LGBTQ2 organizations to address the unique needs and persistent disparities facing LGBTQ2 communities, and, proudly, my appointment in November by the Prime Minister as Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, supported by Canadian Heritage, where the LGBTQ secretariat is now housed.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I led several round tables with key stakeholders from across the country to discuss LGBTQ2 issues. We spoke primarily about conversion therapy. The Minister of Justice also spoke about this issue with different stakeholders, in particular his provincial and territorial counterparts.
As members can see, the process leading to the proposed change to the Criminal Code to address the harmful practice of conversion therapy has been informed by the lived experiences of LGTBQ2 communities. This work has come from LGBTQ2 communities. It has come from advocacy. It has come from a place of struggle and pain but also of resiliency and strength. Most important, we are indebted to survivors for their bravery in helping and pushing this road forward for us and with us.
As I have mentioned a few times, our government is committed to continuing our conversations and working together until the full implementation of these proposed changes to the Criminal Code.
We also recognize the importance of continuing our work to prevent conversion therapy, to support the communities to make them even stronger and more resilient, and to deconstruct the myths about sexual orientation and gender identity. Together, we must end the stigmatization and discrimination of LGBTQ2 communities.
We are here today as a direct result of the collective strength of survivors and their steadfastness in the face of adversity. We honour them and those who came before them.
In our society, every individual has a unique and important role to play to make Canada inclusive and safe, a Canada where every person can thrive. Not so long ago, solidarity with LGBTQ2 communities was not part of any government agenda. Today, we are trying to promote LGBTQ2 equality, protect the rights of LGBTQ2 individuals and fight discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities. All these commitments require that our elected officials listen to the communities and work tirelessly to create the Canada that we want to leave to future generations.
We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it and do better. Like everyone else, I still have a lot to learn and a lot to do. Like everyone else, I am here to ensure that every human being is respected because I have hope that we will one day live in a country where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, period.
While the past has not always been easy, today is a hopeful day. By acting on historical injustices we are building a better future for all. It is our duty to do everything we can to make a better future for the children in this country. When children arrive in the world they are full of love. They have not learned to hate. A child is taught to hate or discriminate, taught to be ashamed of who they are, and taught there are only certain ways to live. We have to provide a better future, a different future, for the next generation. We know that with these proposed amendments to the Criminal Code we are helping LGBTQ2 people feel safe and enabling them to participate fully in Canadian society.
Our work does not stop there. We are determined to continue the dialogue and work closely with LGBTQ2 communities right across the country.
I have a mandate to consult with LGBTQ2 communities to lay the foundation of an LGBTQ2 action plan that will guide the federal government's work on important issues affecting them. My mandate also involves investing more in LGBTQ2 organizations.
This will offer future opportunities for community-led interventions, because one of my goals is also to build stronger and more resilient LGBTQ2 communities through local, regional and national organizations that can respond to the evolving needs of their communities.
Together, we can help create a country where everyone is free to be who they are, and where human rights are human rights for all. Our Prime Minister often says that, in Canada, diversity is our strength. We are a diverse country made up of people from all types of backgrounds. Our Canada includes everyone, of every colour, of every background, of every identity. LGBTQ2 people exist in our communities. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues and families. They are people, people we love and cherish.
The proposed amendments help get us once step closer to equality and recognition for LGBTQ2 people. We need to ensure that Canada is a country where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, can live in equality and freedom. Our task is clear. The time to act is now. I urge all members to support this historic ground-breaking legislation as we advance protections for LGBTQ2 communities together.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 18:01 [p.1247]
Mr. Speaker, this legislation was created by communities for communities. As the member of Parliament for the riding of Waterloo and as the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth I speak to many constituents and stakeholders. It is important to act now. This is an opportunity. We can send this legislation to committee so it can be further studied, but what is clear is that conversion therapy does not have a place in Canada. It needs to be banned so people can live their authentic lives. The damage that has been done to certain generations has already happened, but we can act to ensure future generations never have to go through this destructive practice.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 18:02 [p.1247]
Mr. Speaker, the bill that we introduced and that is before us today is another step in ensuring that every individual can be their authentic selves. I recognize that members have comments and questions and the committee can consider those and do its work.
In my opinion, it is very important that we, as members, move forward with this bill, which will protect children and young people. The bill also establishes parameters to protect non-consenting adults. However, consenting adults can continue to make their own decisions.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 18:03 [p.1247]
Mr. Speaker, it is clear that, as a country, we still have a lot of work to do. I offer my commitment to ensure that this work is done, which is why, in my comments, I shared that I have a lot to learn but I also have a lot to do. Today, we have an opportunity to see this legislation advance to committee to see conversion therapy banned in Canada. Will our work end there? No, but what it will do is establish another step.
To the member and the individual he is referring to, I think it is absolutely horrific that took place. I am ashamed that that takes place in our country to this day. The COVID-19 pandemic has actually shone a lot of light on the inequities that exist, and that is exactly why we know that there is systemic discrimination and racism that exists in our country. We will do whatever we can to fight it. I feel that I have the member's support and that he will work alongside us to make that happen.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 18:05 [p.1247]
Mr. Speaker, I will start by commending the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for doing the important work, as a member of Parliament, of listening and engaging. We have very tough conversations as elected members, and it is important that we not only listen to people we agree with but also to people we can learn from.
The member for Kitchener—Conestoga has ensured that every constituent, every organization within the Waterloo Region has the opportunity to have their voices heard, and I want to commend the leadership of organizations within our communities. They know that they have a full voice at the cabinet table, which is why the appointment as Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth was so exciting.
I can tell the member that we will continue to do this work, because our work is not done yet. This is just another step, and we still hear concerns in this debate. Human rights should be human rights for all, and that is why this proposed legislation should go quickly to committee so that it can be studied and scrutinized. It should then quickly go to the Senate so that it can become law and we can ban conversion therapy once and for all.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 18:07 [p.1247]
Mr. Speaker, I just want to start off by saying that this is the same legislation we had introduced, and that is why this legislation has been viewed by all members of Parliament in this House.
I have heard this comment made a couple of times, that some fellow Canadians do not know about this destructive practice. What we are sharing and what members within the LGBTQ2 community are expressing and sharing is that this destructive practice exists in Canada. It is a clear choice: either it belongs or it does not.
For our government, it is clear. We need to ban conversion therapy. People should be free to be who they are, and to love who they want to love. Committees will do their important work, and I am sure amongst members on the committee, they can determine who will come in as witnesses. I encourage this bill to go to committee so that that work can be done. I hope we have that member's support to see this bill advance swiftly.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-26 18:09 [p.1248]
Mr. Speaker, a lot of work has gone into introducing and reintroducing this legislation.
I am really proud of this legislation because we consulted with stakeholders, members of the community, academics, experts and the list goes on, prior to introducing the legislation. We know that conversion therapy has no space in Canada. We also understand that there are people who are trying to understand themselves and having these conversations.
That is why these amendments will not criminalize those who would provide affirming support to persons struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, nor would the amendments criminalize private conversations between consenting adults.
What we do know is that there are numerous individuals who have been forced to undergo a therapy that is not a therapy at all. This legislation does protects them so that they can be their authentic selves, and we ensure that we do not have another generation that have lost their ability to be their authentic selves.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-22 14:43 [p.1118]
Mr. Speaker, I should remind all Canadians and all members that it was actually a $9-billion plan that our government put forward for students and youth. That plan included the Canada emergency student benefit, and 700,000 students were able to obtain that benefit.
Canada summer jobs were increased, with 84,000 jobs approved and still ongoing until February. I would encourage students to keep applying.
We doubled Canada student grants for full- and part-time students. We instituted a six-month moratorium for interest as well as payment on Canada student loans. We made investments to ensure that—
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-19 14:46 [p.865]
Mr. Speaker, our government will continue to be here for students, and that is why we have a full voice at the cabinet table. Since the pandemic hit, over 700,000 students have been supported through the Canada emergency student benefit. We doubled the amount of Canada student grants for full- and part-time students, and we instituted a six-month moratorium on Canada student loans, which includes the payment as well as interest. There is a new investment of $186 million in the student work placement program to help more post-secondary students across the government get paid work experience related to their field of study. We have increased funding for first nations, Inuit and Métis students for post-secondary funding. Our government will—
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-19 15:07 [p.869]
Mr. Speaker, I want to let the member know that this matter is top of mind for our government. Our government will continue to condemn the violence we have seen. We will work with all departments and agencies. We know that the Marshall decision needs to be upheld and that is why we will ensure that it is.
We are working with a nation-to-nation relationship to ensure that we find a good way forward. As the Deputy Prime Minister has said, the majority of Canadians recognize the importance of this issue. We are working on it and will continue to do this important work.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-08 14:44 [p.760]
Mr. Speaker, our commitment to helping Canadians throughout this pandemic has been clear from day one.
When it comes to supporting youth and students, we will continue to be there for them. That is exactly why we brought forward a $9-billion plan in support of students, including the Canada emergency student benefit, including making sure there was no payment of Canada student loans, including interest, and increasing the number of jobs through the Canada summer jobs program.
We recognize that there is a diversity of needs for young people, and we will continue to work with them and be there to support them throughout this entire pandemic.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-10-06 14:50 [p.630]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to answer this question and to provide the House and all Canadians more information. It was our government that brought back an anti-racism strategy, the strategy that was actually forgotten about and let go by the previous government.
We recognize that diversity is our strength in Canada and we have to have a plan forward. Yes, we set up the anti-racism secretariat and we are grateful to have the leadership of Peter Flegel on that file. He is working with community groups from coast to coast to coast.
Since 2018, we have officially recognized the International Decade for People of African Descent. We have also provided $25 million—
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