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Results: 1 - 15 of 25
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-03-26 11:42 [p.5359]
Madam Speaker, SaskTel is the largest phone company and Internet service provider in the province of Saskatchewan. Last week, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that this Crown corporation will not be using Huawei to develop the province's 5G network. Instead, SaskTel has decided to go with Samsung, a South Korean firm.
If the provincial government of Saskatchewan can say no to Huawei, then why can this government not do so?
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-03-23 12:18 [p.5106]
Madam Speaker, the official opposition does not accept the amendment.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-03-23 12:30 [p.5108]
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. As much as I hate to interrupt one of my colleagues, I would like to inform the Speaker that all Conservative speaking spots today will be divided in two.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 11:01 [p.4057]
Madam Speaker, Ronald McDonald House Charities is looking to expand services for families across Canada. When a child becomes sick, it takes a terrible toll on the whole family. This burden is made so much greater by the fact that hospitals with pediatric services are often located a significant distance from the family’s home.
This is where RMHC steps in to provide accommodations, meals, peer support and other services to the entire family while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital. RMHC is seeking federal funding to expand its network of houses across Canada, including a potential location near the Regina General Hospital.
On behalf of the people of Regina and southern Saskatchewan, I would like to salute Ronald McDonald House Charities and encourage the government to support this worthwhile cause.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 13:14 [p.4080]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure today to speak to Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.
This has to be one of the most enjoyable debates I have had the opportunity to participate in this chamber. With such a vast and diverse country like ours, it is interesting to see the different local content from the far corners of our country.
This is near and dear to my heart, not just because of the content on the screen but because of the experiences of the persons who are involved in creating the content. That includes the background extras.
I had the very good fortune of being a background extra in several productions in my hometown in Regina, in the surrounding area. It all came about by chance, but it really did open my eyes to the so-called gig economy that has been in the news much more lately during the pandemic.
I was walking through the mall one day in Regina and I saw a guy, who has since become a good friend of mine, sitting at a table and a sign that said, “Sign up here to be in TV shows”. I asked him what it was all about. He was the casting director for a local company called Partners in Motion, which makes movies and TV shows in Regina and in southern Saskatchewan. He told me that I looked like a police officer and he had a spot for me in the documentary series called Crime Stories. They needed background extras to re-enact these crimes and they could cast me in the role of a police officer to arrest some criminal for the documentary series. It sounded like fun and a good way to make minimum wage on the side, so that is what I did. It really opened my eyes to how many people in my community had hobbies or gig jobs being background extras in TV shows.
Over the course of the following months and years, I arrested many different people in that crime series. I got to be a soldier in war. In a particularly memorable experience, I got to be a background extra in Corner Gas: The Movie. People tend to talk about Corner Gas, the TV show, but there was a major motion picture a few years ago, based on all the characters in Dog River, Corner Gas. It was certainly very memorable to walk up and down Main Street in Rouleau, Saskatchewan. I played towns person number seven in that movie. Much to my dismay, I was not nominated for an Oscar that year, but in the sequel perhaps my name will come up.
I have not seen anything in the bill to address the gig economy and people who work in the industry on a casual basis. I strongly suspect that this is something not specific to Regina, Saskatchewan, but specific to people who work in the industry all across our great country.
I think we could do Canadians a lot of good by withdrawing this bill and rewriting it from scratch to ensure that everyone is included in it and to ensure we have the best legislation we can for Canadians.
Therefore, I would like to move the following amendment. I move:
That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word "That'"and substituting the following: “Bill C-10, An act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, be not now read a second time but that the order be discharged, the bill withdrawn and the subject matter thereof referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.”
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 13:21 [p.4081]
Madam Speaker, I have particular concerns about the delegation of authority to the CRTC and the lack of accountability in not just the CRTC, but in other arm's-length government agencies.
As the hon. member may be aware, I currently serve on the transportation committee. We have been having a considerable amount of difficulty with Nav Canada with respect to the closure of air traffic control towers. Although it is an agency created by an act of Parliament, there seems to be a serious lack of accountability for this government agency. I do not want to see the same situation transpire with the CRTC, so the best thing to do is to proceed with the amendment that I tabled a minute ago.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 13:23 [p.4081]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for this question.
The most important thing is to have the best bill for Canadians. As I stated a few minutes ago, I believe that we should start over with this bill.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 13:25 [p.4082]
Madam Speaker, the fundamental question we have to ask ourselves is whether democracy is a good thing or a bad thing. Is it good to debate these bills so we get the best laws for Canadians or is it not?
If this particular law has not been amended for many years, then four days do not strike me as a particularly long time to debate the bill. If we are going to be living with this bill for many decades to come, then four days do not strike me as a particularly long time to debate it.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 13:58 [p.4086]
Madam Speaker, Mosaic Stadium in Regina, home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, sat vacant through 2020, empty of fans and their beloved players during the pandemic. It is my hope that some day in the not-too-distant future, Rider Nation will once again gather safely, sit shoulder to shoulder and cheer on the green and white as they pummel the Winnipeg Blue Bombers or any other inferior team. To get to that future moment in the bleachers under a bright blue prairie sky, the teams of the Canadian Football League are going to need sources of revenue, the lack of which led to the cancellation of last year's football season. That is why I am pleased to speak in favour of Bill C-218, the safe and regulated sports betting act.
Many of the merits of this bill have already been explained in detail in the House by my friend and colleague, the hon. member for Saskatoon—Grasswood. One of the most persuasive arguments in favour of Bill C-218 is the good that could be done if the $14 billion in revenue generated every year in Canada by single-game sports betting were redirected from underground or offshore entities to lawful distribution in Canada.
Currently, as the member for Saskatoon—Grasswood has pointed out, the governments of Saskatchewan and other provinces take revenues from lottery ticket programs such as Sport Select and Pro-Line to help fund amateur sports and other community activities. These gambling services, known as parlay betting, require bettors to place wagers on multiple sporting events.
For example, if I want to bet on the Saskatchewan Roughriders to beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, I cannot bet on just that one game. I also have to bet on one or two other games that I may not be interested in watching, and if I do not pick those other games correctly no payout is made. I can inform the House from personal experience just how annoying and frustrating that can be. Even with these limitations, parlay betting generates approximately $500 million in revenue in Canada every year.
Let us consider the $500 million generated annually by parlay betting, and then think about the $14 billion generated annually by single-game sports betting in Canada. What could be done with that extra $14 billion? One institution that could benefit from the extra revenue is the Canadian Football League and its nine member teams. If the CFL incurs all the costs of putting on the games that people are going to be betting on, it seems reasonable that the league and its teams would want to negotiate some sort of revenue-sharing agreement with their provincial governments for some of the revenues generated from single-game sports betting.
The Canadian Football League and its predecessors have been part of Canadian culture for almost as long as confederation, with the Canadian Rugby Football Union having been founded in 1884. The Grey Cup trophy has been around for over a century, having been donated by Governor General Earl Grey in 1909. Since then, this trophy has been presented every November to the winner of the championship Grey Cup game, with the only interruptions being for World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic, and the current pandemic, which cancelled last year's football season.
On a personal note, one of my fondest childhood memories is of watching the 1989 Grey Cup game on TV in my parents' basement with my older brother and the neighbour kids as the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the newly opened Toronto SkyDome. I apologize to any members from Hamilton if that brought back some bad memories.
As we come out of the pandemic, many Canadians, including me, would like to see life get back to normal. That includes seeing the Canadian Football League play the 2021 season. I would like to remind the House that another option to enable the CFL to play this season is simply to provide it with a massive taxpayer subsidy. In fact, this is exactly what the league was asking for last spring: anywhere from $30 million to $150 million.
I cannot help but think that it would be nice if we could have our cake and eat it too. It would be nice if we could save this great Canadian institution without being a burden to taxpayers. I believe that decriminalizing single-game sports betting would allow the Canadian Football League the opportunity to do exactly that.
I would like to now discuss how Bill C-218, once passed into law, could create a voluntary source of revenue to help the Canadian Football League, its member teams and other organizations recover from the major economic disruption of the pandemic.
Quite simply, many organizations, including some professional sports teams, had already negotiated revenue-sharing agreements in the past with their provincial governments for parlay betting, such as Pro-Line and Sport Select. If single-game sports betting were to be decriminalized and regulated by provincial governments, it would present a real opportunity for the Canadian Football League and its member teams to negotiate future revenue-sharing agreements for the revenues generated from single-game sports betting.
If such a framework had been in place prior to the pandemic, then perhaps last year's CFL season could have been saved. The problem faced last year by the Canadian Football League is that its business model depends on gate-driven revenues, such as ticket sales, concessions and parking. Other sources of revenue, such as TV contracts and merchandise, are just not enough to make the league economically viable.
This is why the 2020 season was cancelled, and this is why the 2021 season is in jeopardy. However, if single-game sports better were legal in this country, and if the CFL had revenue-sharing agreements in place with their provincial governments, then this long-standing Canadian institution could be on stronger financial footing to come out of the pandemic and once again be economically viable.
The Canadian Football League is a benefit to many Canadians, over and above the players and fans. Every team at every stadium needs hundreds of workers to bring each game to life. I ask members to think of them all. Food and beverage vendors, security guards, tour bus and motorcoach operators, sports broadcasters, and camera operators all have a role to play in creating the contest on the field, the TVs and the tablets of fans all across the country.
I sincerely hope we will get out of this current pandemic as soon as possible, without a third or fourth wave. I would also like for there to be no more pandemics in the future. Then we can all get on with our lives, and there would be no need for the CFL to ask the federal government for a taxpayer-funded bailout to save the season or the league. If parliamentarians agree to pass Bill C-218 into law, then provincial legitimization of that $14 billion in annual gaming revenues could help improve the lives not just of the players and fans of the Canadian Football League but also those who are involved in other sports, cultural and community organizations across the country, as these revenues would be distributed legally under various provincially regulated frameworks.
In conclusion, I would like to thank my friend and colleague, the hon. member for Saskatoon—Grasswood for sponsoring this bill. Finally, if Bill C-218 is passed into law, I will bet $50 that the Saskatchewan Roughriders win the Grey Cup this year.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-05 14:33 [p.4091]
Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2021-02-02 14:57 [p.3910]
Mr. Speaker, Nav Canada has made the unilateral decision to close seven of this country's air traffic control towers. Last week it was revealed at committee that Nav Canada paid out $7 million in executive bonuses at the same time it was making the decision to close the towers.
The federal government holds three seats on the Nav Canada board. Can the minister tell us if the federal appointees voted for or against these executive bonuses?
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2020-11-26 14:59 [p.2528]
Mr. Speaker, various news outlets are reporting that Nav Canada is planning to shut down the air traffic control towers at airports in Regina, Windsor, Prince George, Whitehorse, Fort McMurray and Sault Ste. Marie. Air traffic control towers provide vital real-time information to pilots about weather conditions and runway traffic, the loss of which would put the safety of Canadians at risk.
Will the government commit today that there will be no closures of air traffic control towers?
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2020-11-05 14:49 [p.1748]
Mr. Speaker, the Alaska to Alberta railway will create 28,000 jobs, provide another route out of landlocked Saskatchewan and Alberta for our exports and lower the cost of groceries in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Will the government join the Conservatives in supporting this $17-billion private sector infrastructure project or will the Prime Minister let the application sit on his desk for six months, as he did with Teck Frontier?
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2020-11-02 15:00 [p.1538]
Mr. Speaker, three weeks ago, Westjet announced it was cancelling flights to Atlantic Canada and Quebec City. Officials at airports in Regina, Saskatoon and other mid-size airports across the country are asking themselves whether they are next. We are eight months into the pandemic and the nation's airports remain in the dark about a relief plan.
When is the minister going to stop procrastinating and deliver a real plan to save Canada's airports?
View Michael Kram Profile
CPC (SK)
View Michael Kram Profile
2020-11-02 19:25 [p.1572]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to follow up on a very exciting issue that I first raised in the House last month: the Alaska to Alberta railway.
I was glad to see in the news last month the announcement by the Alaska - Alberta Railway Development Corporation that it had secured the necessary American permit to move that project forward. This railway will be tremendously beneficial to Canadians for a number of reasons. First, the costs of this railway are all being paid for by the private sector. The Alaska - Alberta Railway Development Corporation is a private-sector business that is willing to put up $17 billion of investors' money to move that project forward. The only ask of the federal government is to rubber stamp that permit so that the project can move ahead.
Second, this project will create lots of jobs: 28,000 good, high-paying jobs for both indigenous and non-indigenous people in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and the rest of western Canada. As we come out of the pandemic, unemployed Canadians are going to need jobs to go back to, and the Alaska to Alberta railway can help create these jobs.
Third, this railway presents an exciting opportunity to connect Yukon and the Northwest Territories with the rest of Canada and to open up Canada's north. Residents in Yukon and the Northwest Territories pay some of the highest grocery bills in the country because foodstuffs have to be flown in to remote northern communities by airplane or trucked in during the winter across ice roads over frozen lakes and rivers.
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