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Results: 1 - 15 of 59
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-13 13:48 [p.10816]
Mr. Speaker, the committee sat for months on this bill. There is one discrepancy that I want answered before this comes out, and nobody knows the answer.
The Canadian Heritage department officials say that $150 million will go to media in Canada through Meta, Google and so on. The PBO says that it is $329 million. Which is the right? Is it the Canadian Heritage estimate or the PBO estimate that has it at $329 million, 75% going to the big conglomerates like the CBC, Rogers and Bell? Which is the right number, the Department of Canadian Heritage or the PBO?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-13 15:48 [p.10836]
Madam Speaker, right off the top, I want to state the Conservatives agree that Meta, Facebook and Google should pay. I keep hearing the Liberals, NDP and Bloc say that the Conservatives do not believe that. We do. I will talk about it in my speech, because we do believe that Meta and Google should pay. As for what they are going to pay, let us find out, because there is a big difference between what the government thinks publishers are going to get and what the PBO thinks is going to be available.
Bill C-18 came out of committee just last Friday, and this week I think we are going to see its quick passage. I really enjoyed the intent of the bill when it came out. When it was first introduced over a year ago, I loved it. It was all about helping local media. I was part of that media back in Saskatoon for years on the television side. However, Bill C-18 was about local newspapers then. That was the objective of Bill C-18 when it was first introduced over a year ago.
Our Conservative team then invited Saskatchewan and Alberta newspaper associations to testify at committee. We need Meta, Facebook and Google to pay for news. I have stated that. However, what we heard from Steve Nixon, executive director of the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association, was that the bill needed to include one-person operations to really make an impact on saving the news industry in Saskatchewan. Steve Nixon mentioned in committee that only four or five operations are going to be eligible in Saskatchewan. Through amendments, those with one and a half people and over will get money from Meta and Google. We wanted it at one, but we did not get that in committee.
Dennis Merrell of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association said that only 50% of Alberta weeklies would qualify for money under Bill C-18. There are one-person newsrooms in Alberta, but they do not count. They would get no money out of this bill. Two people are needed to qualify.
The bill had all the right intent to preserve rural reporting of news, yet we did not get there. Unfortunately, the bill was hijacked early with the lobbying of the CBC, Bell Media and Rogers. They found a way to convince the Liberal government that they needed more money.
Many already made deals with Meta and Google before we even started in committee. This was kind of funny, because Colin McKay, representing Google, came to committee and admitted it already had 150 publishers signed up. Those with the ability to make the deals beforehand have made the deals. They saw what happened in Australia, so they made deals before the bill was even introduced, and they get the first cut of the money.
How much did these agreements go for? We do not know and probably will never know. Torstar, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Le Devoir and others have made one-off agreements with the tech giants. The little guys, whom I feel for, are left to defend for themselves. They may have to join others to negotiate. If not, they are done and will close.
We agree with Kevin Desjardins, president of Canadian Association of Broadcasters, who said there will be winners and losers with Bill C-18. It did not have to be this way, but I would say before we got started on this bill, it was all decided beforehand.
I believe, as the Conservatives believe, that the CBC should not be involved at all in Bill C-18. The CBC is already funded by the taxpayers of this country to the tune of $1.2 billion, yet the government, in the fall economic update, gave it another $42 million, with $21 million to deal with this year and another free $21 million to deal with next year.
Let us level the playing field. How do we do that when the public broadcaster already gets $1.2 billion and an additional $42 million? We can say we are going to level the playing field, but tell that to rural Manitoba. Tell that to rural Saskatchewan, Alberta or even Ontario, where they are trying every day to make payrolls.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that the public and private broadcasters would get $248 million of the $329 million paid out annually through this bill. It is possible that the CBC will be the single biggest winner. Why should that happen? As I said earlier, it gets more than enough funding through the taxpayers of this country.
An interesting note is that heritage department officials came up last week with the number that they thought Meta and Google would pay newspapers and those involved in Bill C-18. Their number was $150 million, which kind of surprised me a bit because the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a long time ago, said there was going to be a pot of $329 million. However, 75% of the $329 million will go to CBC, Rogers and Bell. The little guys will fight over the rest.
Unfortunately, these local newspapers are struggling now, and the national players have already lined up and made their agreements with Meta and Google. With the one-horse show we are seeing in rural Canada, too bad for local newspapers. They thought they were going to get help in Bill C-18 because the Liberals talked about it a year ago, saying this is a bill for newspapers. However, it turned out to be anything but.
Instead of looking through the classifieds, we know that everyone goes to social media. People sell their furniture on Facebook Marketplace. Companies put jobs on LinkedIn. Service classifieds go to sites like Craigslist. It has all changed; we see it. Papers have always made their money through the classifieds, but that no longer happens.
Then there is the concern about subscriptions. They are getting cancelled because everyone wants free stuff and they are getting it for free online right now with Facebook, Google and so on.
Finally, there is advertising. The Liberal Party of Canada spent $4 million on Facebook. It could have helped rural Canadian newspapers instead of spending that on Meta last year. The federal government spends a lot of money on Facebook, Google and so on.
Local papers used to be a primary target for government advertising and information about government programs. Years ago, they got some advertising and it helped them a lot. However, they got very little this time. When the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act was passed by the government, it gave most of the money to the big boys, such as Facebook, Google and so on. Much of the traffic does not go to the local newspapers now.
We have heard from industry on more than one occasion, both large and small outlets, that the government simply does not advertise as it used to. It does not make its way down to the local newspapers or outlets in any meaningful way. Instead, the government has turned more and more to online advertising on social media.
I heard about the issue when the government was advertising the COVID relief programs. Most of the money went to the big tech conglomerates, which is a bad outcome for local news. Many papers across this country have been forced to close up, leaving a void in their communities.
I am especially worried about the archives when a newspaper closes in a community. Where do the archives of that newspaper go? We should all be concerned about Canadian heritage. When a newspaper closes its doors, so does the history of a community. It is not replaced by Facebook and it is not replaced by Google. That should concern everybody in this country.
We heard testimony from department officials that funding is only afforded to the outlets with one and a half journalists or more. Many of these outlets will be left behind to perish. This is tough because we had a newspaper in Davidson, Saskatchewan, that sold for one dollar. It is still operating. Two years ago, it sold for one dollar and it is still producing local news in the Davidson area today. I feel that many of the papers in rural Canada will sell for one dollar, but the problem is that instead of selling, they are going to close their doors for good.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-13 15:59 [p.10838]
Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary should know that the CRTC has never regulated newspapers in this country. It has only dealt with television and radio. Now we are going to ask an agency to look after newspapers. The CRTC will decide who is going to win and who is going to lose. Ian Scott, the chairman, is leaving next month, so there will be a new five-year appointment coming up.
Is the CRTC capable today of regulating? We all know the answer already. It has difficulty in broadcasting. Can it afford to make the same mistakes that it made with broadcasting that I think it will make in the newspaper sector in which it has no background at all?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-13 16:01 [p.10838]
Madam Speaker, I am concerned. I said that right off the top. When Bill C-18 was introduced over a year ago, the bill was designed to help local newspapers in this country. Now we find out when we peel back the onion that public broadcaster CBC, Rogers and Bell, are going to get 75% of the funding from Meta and Google. Why are they at the trough?
We dealt with Bill C-10 and Bill C-11 before, which pertained to those industries. Bill C-18 was designed for newspapers, as we have found out with the department saying only $150 million will be raised. Is it $150 million, or what the PBO said is a bigger pot of $239 million?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-13 16:03 [p.10839]
Madam Speaker, a number of us in the House support local newspapers in this country. I would say 250 out of the 337 of us now, since yesterday, sponsor local newspapers with ads.
You are shaking your head, Madam Speaker. Are you are not one who puts an ad in a newspaper? I am sure the member for Edmonton Strathcona is one of them, because she knows the importance of local media, especially around Edmonton.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-06 16:39 [p.10517]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak to the fall economic statement this afternoon.
I have to say that I am, along with many Canadians, deeply disappointed in the fall economic statement because it was an opportunity to provide real leadership to Canadians, give relief to small businesses in this country and take action to address the rising costs we are seeing coast to coast to coast.
It seems that the Deputy Prime Minister has forgotten that we are in the worst cost of living crisis we have seen in a generation. Inflation, as we have talked about for months in the House, is at a 40-year high. Gas prices are still at record levels, especially diesel. Housing is more expensive than it has ever been.
Where did this crisis start? This time, the Liberals cannot blame the person by the name of Stephen Harper. They have had seven years to correct this. They want to blame global economic conditions, and sure, maybe that has a bit to do with it. However, what is the real root of the inflationary crisis we find ourselves in today? What has made everything worse in this country? The Liberals know, but they do not want to say. They know that the crisis has been caused by years of massive out-of-control Liberal deficit spending.
I was here in 2015 when the Liberals came into power, and Conservatives left them with a balanced budget and a very good economic forecast. That was left to them by a responsible Conservative government. They, in seven years, squandered it. I get it. The Prime Minister could not help himself. His agenda was failing, so he needed to try and buy votes every way he could think of.
However, the chickens have now come home to roost. The price of chicken, by the way, has doubled since the Liberals took office in 2015. All that spending they have done in the last seven years has driven inflation to a 40-year high. Canadians coast to coast to coast are struggling mightily.
Canadians are having to choose between filling their cars with gas, putting food on the table and heating their homes. A paycheque today does not go as far as it used to. Liberal inflation, combined with Liberal tax hikes, means that Canadians need to do more with less.
What does the government propose? It proposes to make everything worse in this country. This economic statement introduces another $20 billion of inflationary spending to drive inflation up even further. It also includes hikes to EI premiums next month and to CPP contributions, taking more money off of everybody's paycheque.
Instead of stopping their tax hikes, the Liberals are pushing forward with their plan to triple the carbon tax in 2023. That is right. In the dead of winter, the Liberals will be raising the cost of fuel, home heating and groceries.
Food bank usage, as we all know, is already at an all-time high in this country, with a 35% increase in the last year. In my city of Saskatoon alone, with a population of about 250,000, about 20,000 people a month visit the food bank. The city of Saskatoon used to be the economic engine of Canada.
Executive director, Laurie O'Connor, admits the numbers she sees coming through her door every day are very concerning. The donations of food and purchasing power have significantly decreased because food is so expensive. It is going to only get worse.
Members may recall that the 13th edition of Canada’s Food Price Report came out yesterday. It says a family of four will see their food bill go up by over $1,000, reaching about $16,000 a year. According to Stuart Smyth from the University of Saskatchewan, who helped in the report that was released yesterday, a family of six will pay over $21,000 in 2023 for food.
The problem is right in front of the Liberals' faces, and they have simply ignored it.
In Saskatchewan, the temperature today hit between -30°C and -40°C, and it is early December. People of my province are trying to figure out what temperature they can afford to set their thermostat to. If we think about it, in the last week in Saskatchewan, it was -30°C to -40°C already, and we are not even at January temperatures.
I want to know what the Prime Minister would say to the families who are already struggling to put food on the table when they see the last few dollars they have being used up when they move the thermostat up. The Prime Minister and the Liberal government has failed those families. They have failed retirees and the people living with disabilities who are on a fixed income.
What should the government be doing today?
First, without question, it should cancel all planned tax hikes and stop any government-mandated increases to the cost of living, with no hikes at all to payroll taxes and no tripling of the carbon tax. Canadians simply cannot afford any more of this Liberal tax increase.
Second, it needs to stop creating new inflationary spending. We know that government spending is only going to make inflation worse. If a minister wants to spend more money, he or she should have to find the equivalent savings in their budgets. Even the Deputy Prime Minister mentioned that a bit in the fall economic report. However, while she did mention it, the Liberals gave the CBC an additional $42 million over two years. Why? It is because the CBC had a tough time during the pandemic.
This is the type of spending that has got to stop in this country. The CBC, the public broadcaster, already gets between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, but they will then be given an additional $42 million over two years. Plus, we found out today that it is going to be at the trough when Bill C-18 gets cleared through the House. The public broadcaster will be one of the biggest beneficiaries from Google and Facebook when that bill passes through the House.
When the Prime Minister was first elected he promised that deficits, as we all recall, were not going to exceed $10 billion and that he would balance the budget by 2019. We all know that was a farce.
The pandemic is not the only thing to blame here. Forty per cent of the government's new spending measures had nothing to do with the last two years of COVID. Since coming to power, the Prime Minister has introduced $205 billion in new inflationary spending, which had nothing to do with COVID, and I just mentioned the public broadcaster.
The cost of the interest payments on the federal government's debt has doubled. The payments are nearly as high as the cost of the health transfers to the provinces. Imagine what could be done today if that money were directed elsewhere.
Instead, due to this Liberal mismanagement, we have interest rates that are increasing faster than they have in decades. In fact, we expect another 50 basis points tomorrow by the federal Bank of Canada. Mortgage payments, as we all know, are going sky high. Therefore, anyone who bought a house a few years ago and has to renew their mortgage could pay up to $7,000 more a year. Many Canadians cannot afford that. Some, unfortunately, are losing their homes.
While the Liberals are focused on making the problem worse, Conservatives are going to propose some solutions for Canadians. Instead of printing more money, a Conservative government would create more of what money buys. We will get more homes built and make Canada the quickest place in the world to get a building permit. Young Canadians who have never been able to afford a home and start a family under the Liberals will find a more competitive and more affordable market under our Conservative government.
A Conservative government will make energy more affordable. We will repeal the anti-energy laws and axe the carbon tax. We will not punish Canadians for heating their homes or simply driving their kids to activities, if they can even afford those activities in 2023.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-06 16:49 [p.10519]
Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that if they do not have to pay the interest, and we can defer the interest payments for I do not know how many years, that would obviously help the students of today going to school. At the same time, who is paying the interest on those loans? It is going to be Canadians.
I can say that it was a good gesture to help not only university students but also students going to college who are taking part in the trades we have in this country. It was a good gesture. I do not know how long we can go on with it because of the Liberals' spending. We are seeing interest rates rise almost every two or three weeks in this country because of the money they are spending.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-06 16:51 [p.10519]
Madam Speaker, yes, health care is essential in this country, but we have seen, coming out of the pandemic, that there is excruciating pain in every hospital in this country. The pandemic was not easy for every hospital in every province in this country.
We are fighting the shortage of doctors and nurses. It would be nice if we could take out of the air an extra hundred doctors and put them in the city Saskatoon, but that is not possible. We will see where it is going to go. It is an interesting time, as we are coming out of the pandemic. With the Liberals' spending, it is going to be tougher to get out of it because of the interest rates that we are going to see in the next little while.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-06 16:52 [p.10519]
Madam Speaker, I am fairly confident that in the province of Saskatchewan we have really moderate housing costs compared to everybody else in the country. I feel for those people starting out who are living in Vancouver and Toronto and the GTA, where it is without question nearly impossible to start under $700,000 or $800,000. In my city and my province, that would get people a pretty good house these days.
Canadians really do want to save for housing. It is going to take a little time. I am really disturbed by the interest rates. I lived when they were 12% to 18% in the 1970s and 1980s. It was hard. The younger folks, if I can say this, have never seen 12% to 18% interest rates. They have to get used to it because the way the government is spending, we are getting there faster than ever before.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-12-01 15:04 [p.10304]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. The one-time handouts by the Liberal government are not a solution to financial insecurity. The government continues to give its friends lucrative contracts, raising the price on groceries, gas and heating just to subsidize its reckless spending. Canadians are rightly concerned about their financial future.
Will the government finally listen to Canadians and stop its inflationary spending?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-11-29 13:22 [p.10151]
Madam Speaker, I was on the school board for over 10 years, and I am really happy with the amendments the Conservatives made for off reserve urbanites, if I can say that, because in school divisions across this country, that is a big issue.
I would like the member to address those who have come off reserve and are now unnoticed when they get into the big city. I like the amendments proposed by the Conservatives.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-11-29 16:02 [p.10180]
Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General report that was published two weeks ago points to the abject failure of the Indigenous Services Canada department to implement any of the concrete changes related to how it handled the emergency planning for first nations communities. They were recommended in the audit of 2013.
In 10 years, the department could not change its approach to make the lives of indigenous people better. How confident is the member of the Liberal government that it would act on any of the recommendations made by the national council for reconciliation?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-11-25 11:07 [p.10023]
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the 57th Vanier Cup, the Canadian university football championship, and it is a dream match-up that will occur in London, Ontario: the University of Saskatchewan Huskies against Laval's Rouge et Or. Both teams finished seven and one during the regular season, and both teams won in playoffs last weekend, setting up the third time they will meet in Vanier Cup history.
Saskatchewan are led by Scott Flory, their head coach. He has the Huskies back for a second straight time trying to win the national championship. I think we can expect a high-scoring game tomorrow. Saskatchewan led the country with 348 yards per game, thanks to fifth-year quarterback, Mason Nyhus. Rouge et Or are led by HEC Crighton Award winner, Kevin Mital, who led the country this past year in receptions and yards.
These are the stars of the future. I wish good luck to both teams tomorrow in the 57th annual Vanier Cup.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-11-24 12:34 [p.9960]
Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to speak to Bill S-4. I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Tobique—Mactaquac. We are looking forward to hearing his comments as well.
As we all know, the goal of this bill is to increase the efficiency, the effectiveness and the accessibility of the criminal justice system in response to the challenges that we had with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has contributed to the enormous backlog that we have in the criminal justice system today.
The Conservatives have been raising concerns about delays and potential for criminals to simply walk free due to the Supreme Court's decision on Jordan. That decision said that no more than 18 months could pass between laying a charge and the end of a trial case in provincial courts or 30 months for cases in superior courts. We have seen a number of cases throughout Canada, provincially, certainly exceeding the 18 months over the last couple of years.
In the interest of serving justice, why would we not implement all the modern tools and resources at our disposal today to maximize productivity?
The resources being considered include amending the process for peace officers to apply and obtain a warrant using telecommunication rather than appear in person and expanding the ability to conduct fingerprinting of the accused at a later date, in exceptional circumstances, should fingerprinting not previously have been taken. The justice would have the discretion to determine what would be considered necessary in these circumstances.
Also being considered is expanding the power of courts to make case management rules permitting court personnel to deal with administrative matters for accused who are not presented by counsel. We currently have a case in Saskatoon to which this certainly applies. Currently, this only applies to those represented by counsel.
Also being considered is expanding the ability for the accused and offenders to appear remotely by audio conference or even video conference in certain circumstances and the allowing of the participation of prospective jurors in the jury selection process by video conference if deemed appropriate and if the prosecutor and the accused consent, as well as using electronic and automatic means to select jurors.
Some of these modernizations are beneficial from both a safety and a financial perspective. For example, participating virtually would cut down on the transportation time and the cost and the resources needed to transport and protect the accused.
As we know, transportation costs are skyrocketing, it seems like every day. We all know that. It is not an insignificant consideration, considering the price of diesel and gas, especially in remote and northern communities.
The federal ombudsman for victims of crime has also raised a number of concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the justice system, which must be carefully weighed in the consideration of Bill S-4.
The ombudsman pointed out that accessing justice in remote areas of the country, where bandwidth and Internet access remain an issue, could have a negative impact on the delivery of justice. We would not want to see that.
She also flagged the issue of ensuring that jurors remain anonymous and the potential to compromise their privacy with facial recognition software. For some victims and their families, it is an important part of their healing process to see the accused and the offenders in person or by video conference. In these situations, the use of a telephone would certainly deprive them of this opportunity.
The needs of the victim must, and I repeat, must always be weighed when considering an amendment to the Criminal Code.
Access to the Internet for rural Canadians has been a long issue in our country. The current government has promised for years to improve access to the Internet, and we know that this is a big issue in rural Saskatchewan, where I live, and certainly in remote and northern spots in Canada. It is blotchy at best, as it cuts in and out, and it has been an issue for the last seven years that the government has been in office.
Not everyone has access to the Internet. We saw this during COVID where schools tried to participate in classrooms and some did not even have access to a computer. There are issues with the Internet, which is a concern for prospective jurors to appear by video conference during the jury selection.
A jury summons, as we all know, is a very serious responsibility. However, I think many Canadians simply cannot take time off, particularly if one is a small business owner. It is near impossible for many to be compensated properly. As we all know, time is money and for the majority in our country, the two are certainly hard to fit in when someone does open that letter up and has been selected for jury duty.
Our legal system, without question, and we have talked about it for the last two days in this place, needs to improve. Bill S-4 aims to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of the criminal justice system in response to the challenges that we have heard of over the last two years with the pandemic. The bill would also clarify and somewhat broaden the circumstances under which accused individuals, the offenders and others involved in criminal proceedings, may appear by audio conference or video conference.
I want to step back and have members think about the horrible incident we had at the James Smith reserve in my province of Saskatchewan, where, unfortunately, 11 people lost their lives over a warrant that had been out for months for Myles Sanderson.
If members recall, Sanderson became one of the worst mass murders in Canadian history. That day was September 4. Sanderson murdered 11 and injured 18 others during an early morning killing spree. In total, when Sanderson did die, he had been charged with 125 crimes. James Smith is a small community, roughly about 1,900, in northeast Saskatchewan. Therefore, when we see tragedies like this occur, we often have to ask ourselves if we could have prevented this. The warning signals were there for months, if not years.
It is not a coincidence that, since 2015, the violent crime rate in Canada has gone up 32%. This is a staggering statistic that for which the government must answer.
The community of James Smith is now left to pick up the pieces of this senseless act. The community has been victimized. Victims should be given at least as much consideration as offenders, but in Bill S-4, they are not even mentioned once. This soft-on-crime agenda by the Liberal government is not serving justice in our country.
The bill follows other pre-pandemic efforts to modernize the criminal justice system and reduce the delays in court proceedings. Delays in the criminal justice were already a serious issue before the pandemic. The measures contained in Bill S-4 would both modernize and make it more efficient, hopefully, for certain aspects of the delivery of justice.
Several family members have come forward in recent weeks with traumatic stories from the James Smith Cree Nation tragedy. Their stories are a crucial part in the healing process in the delivery of justice on that reserve. These are people we must be mindful of when crafting, carefully, this legislation. If we get the bill right, it will balance the need to improve efficiency with the rights of the people it serves, and always consider the victims and their families as a cornerstone of any justice legislation.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2022-11-24 12:46 [p.9961]
Mr. Speaker, I brought up the victims, because they are not mentioned in Bill S-4. The tragedy in James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan happened on September 4. Now we are at the end of November. Many families and relatives have been victimized more than ever over the last three months. We have not spoken to that.
Every day, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix or other news organizations in Saskatchewan talk about the healing process. It might take months, if not years, if ever to forget what happened when Myles Sanderson took the lives of 11 people.
There is no question that we need to modernize the justice system. If we had the time, we probably should modernize the House of Commons. We get stuck in our ways over the years and the decades, but this is one thing on which we can all agree. The justice system needs to end the backlog and get people in front of the courts sooner rather than later.
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