Consult the new user guides
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the new user guides
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 68
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, unfortunately, my speech will have to be curtailed, which is something that should have been thought of before the Liberals came up with Bill C-32.
The fall economic statement, which could have done so much to help people in need, does absolutely nothing to address the real crises that Canadians are facing, like inflation, the cost of living and more taxes. Where it could have stopped new taxes and tax hikes and stopped new spending and wasteful spending, it fails to do so and only adds to the inflationary economy. The people of Saskatchewan cannot afford these out-of-touch policies that take their hard-earned money out of their pockets and put it into government coffers.
Each and every household in this country is feeling the effects of the Liberal incompetence when it comes to managing inflation and the cost of living. This year alone, government revenues have increased to $41.1 billion. Where is that money coming from? It is coming from the single mother who is skipping meals to make sure that her kids have enough to eat each week. It is coming from the families who have to pick between putting gas in their cars or keeping the lights on that month, because they are all paying higher taxes.
These are things the Prime Minister does not worry about and has never had to spare a thought for in his entire life. He is completely out of touch with his inflationary deficits, which are now at half a trillion dollars. It is clear that he has no problem profiting off the backs of Canadians and leaving the issues for future generations to deal with. He does not have their backs. He is profiting off their backs.
As we all know, this is Christmastime and a festive season for many. People are trying to get out, celebrate and help where they can. However, they are concerned, especially when a report that came out yesterday said that the cost of their food is escalating and, in 2023, prices will be 5% to 7% higher. Families will pay $1,065 more for groceries in 2023.
My wife goes out of her way yearly to assist with baking for hospitals, charities and people who have lost loved ones, as well as my family. Yesterday, she was making some cookies and went to buy some supplies. One box of graham cracker crumbs, two small cans of Eagle Brand condensed milk, two oranges, two lemons, a small 125-millilitre bottle of artificial vanilla and two 450-gram sticks of butter, which fit into one bag, was a total cost of $82.54. That is a lot of money for cookies, and next year it is going to be closer to $100.
The Liberals are killing rural communities and are doing it without even batting an eye. Measures like the carbon tax are killing businesses both small and large, including farming operations that have stood the test of time for generations. It is a tragedy to see family farms having to sell off their operations just so they can pay the bills. Many ranchers and farmers are close to walking away from the industry because of these escalating input costs.
As we all know, the Prime Minister has a pattern of promising something and doing the complete opposite. Many years and many billions of dollars ago, he said that he would not exceed $10 billion of debt. How soon people forget. The Prime Minister has now added more debt than all previous prime ministers combined. Furthermore, an alarming 40% of all new spending measures, roughly $205 billion, has nothing to do at all with COVID.
Ultimately, it is going to come down to what I call the “heat or keep” principle. In Saskatchewan, winters get brutally cold with temperatures dropping down into the minus forties multiple times during the season. In fact, as I speak today, it is below -30°C. Thanks to measures like the carbon tax for the last few years, people have been wondering if they can afford to heat their homes, a concern that no Canadian should have to grapple with. Now, because of the ever-rising interest rates and inflation, they are wondering if they will be able to keep their homes. The Prime Minister could never begin to imagine the stress that is felt by those who have to decide to heat or keep, but this is what it has come down to.
If we take a look at the numbers, the outlook is grim. Families who are financially on the brink who bought a typical home five years ago with a typical mortgage that is now up for renewal will pay $7,000 more a year. This is completely unsustainable and has the potential to financially devastate many hard-working homeowners who are just trying to live the life that they have earned and deserve. For example, someone with a mortgage of $400,000 amortized over 25 years with a monthly payment of $2,400 is not eligible for the relief that the Liberals are touting as the solution to the problem.
Speaking of the carbon tax, this could be a great opportunity for the government to actually help Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet. The Liberals could make the decision to cancel the tripling of the tax, but they will not.
Another big issue that I have with this economic update is that it fails to adequately address the Inflation Reduction Act that the U.S. passed in August, specifically with respect to investment in emissions reduction technology here in Canada.
The fact is that the Liberals have missed every single emissions reduction target they have set, yet they are still not doing enough to incentivize investment in clean technology. That is shameful. The United States has a 45Q tax credit that is straightforward, easy to understand and provides industry with certainty over things like regulation prices and timelines. By contrast, the measures created by the Liberal government are largely ineffective due to the high level of bureaucracy involved, with a mess of programs and credits layered on top of each other that create confusion and lack clarity.
We have already seen projects worth billions of dollars choose to operate in Texas over Alberta because of the ease of doing business in the U.S. The Liberals are choosing not to listen to industry experts who are prepared to assist and advise on clean tech like carbon capture and storage, or CCUS, because they do not want to be associated with the word “coal”. Is it the industry they are trying to kill, or is it the emissions?
Surely it is the emissions and the fact that CCUS can do it is something that we should be investing in. It is something that this economic statement does not move forward on and assist all Canadians by investing with private money, not public money.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, there are five CBSA crossings in my riding, and over my seven years as a member of Parliament, I have heard many times from my constituents about both positive and negative issues with the CBSA, and even more so lately with COVID and the shutdown of borders. In particular, the issue right now is when they are going to go back to their regular hours, but that is another conversation. It is not the conversation today.
The Liberals have been saying for the past seven years that this is going to happen, yet it has taken this long just to get here. Why has it taken so long to get the bill to this stage, and why is it being rushed at this point?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his analogies about sports. It was so nice to hear him talk about that. It brings some excitement into the House.
The member talked a little about what this economic statement is, and it is really just a reannouncement of spending. It was interesting to hear the Liberals use the word “spending” today instead of the word “investments”. I also appreciate the member mentioning the word “inflation”, because I did not realize it was used only 115 times in the economic statement.
However, the members talked about a senior he had seen and looked straight in the face. I would like to hear more of how that senior responded to the inflationary cost of their home heating, which is anticipated to be coming this winter.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “accountability” as “the quality or state of being accountable”, and further says, “especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions”.
Does the member not think the Canadian public is expecting us to be accountable for the money that was spent on the ArriveCAN app? Who is better than the Auditor General to look into that?
I would also like her thoughts on how the present Liberal government has been lacking in accountability over the past seven years.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague from Red Deer—Mountain View's words of wisdom. The great orator Paul Harvey said, “Self-government won't work without self-discipline.”
The plastics industry has been a regulator for many years and has done tremendous work on regulating its industry. The member talked about the issues of toxic substances, etc. I wonder if he would agree that part of what is missing in this legislation is the fact that, while we put toxic products on schedule 1, part 1 or part 2, we do not have any mechanism in the legislation that would take them off it, the steps to take them off the schedule if it were found out scientifically that the products were not toxic. I wonder if the member would have any comments on that.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, my friend from Beauport—Limoilou spoke on a number things. She talked about working together. Then she talked about the legislation, how the wording was so open to interpretation and how there was a lack of clarity and vague terminology throughout it. She talked about getting this to committee where we could sit down and bandy this about among ourselves.
Does she actually think it is going to happen? Canadians are expecting that we are sitting around, putting out ideas back and forth and coming to a mutual agreement. I wonder if the member believes that is actually going to happen.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Mr. Speaker, while the government sits back and watches Canadians struggle thanks to their lack of action on the just transition, I would like to highlight a group that is doing outstanding work surrounding the Liberal's phase-out of coal-fired power.
South Saskatchewan Ready, an economic partnership that represents nine communities, commissioned a feasibility study on the devastating impacts of the transition. Not only did that study recently win the 2022 Constantinus International Award, as the Canadian champion. It was also awarded the Gold Medal at the international level.
All federal funding to assist with the transition will end in March 2023, and the region stands to lose over $350 million dollars in GDP and a 67% drop in population. Only 3% of the federal funding provided has been for economic development, and combined with the Liberal's out-of-control inflation and cost of living, this will be the death knell for these communities.
The government needs to stop pretending that its harmful, job-killing policies are actually taking meaningful steps to help the people of southeast Saskatchewan.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Mr. Speaker, very seldom will I agree with the gentleman on most issues, but when he says Canada is the best country in the world to live in, I am 100% behind that, and I appreciate that.
With that said, in Souris—Moose Mountain, throughout my whole riding, I have not had anyone come and talk to me about the monarchy. I appreciate the member's comments on that. What we have heard about is basically the economy, inflation rates and the big cost to individuals in a rural community.
The member touched a bit on how he is hearing similar things, and I am wondering if he could expand upon that for us today.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for talking about how she is prepared to work with the opposition to try to make changes to the legislation as it goes to committee. That is a good sign.
We see in the legislation the scheduling of toxic products. It talks about how to put products onto schedule 1 or schedule 2, but what it does not talk about is how we take them off when scientists find out that a product is no longer toxic.
Would the member be prepared to move forward with putting in legislation that would change that to allow steps to be put in place to make certain that toxic products that are no longer considered toxic can actually be removed?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise in the House today as we debate Bill S-5, a piece of legislation that would make significant changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, otherwise known as CEPA. CEPA has not had any major modifications made to it since it was passed in 1999, so there are a lot of aspects of this bill that would have major impacts on the lives of Canadians and on industry, especially as they relate to certain substances and materials.
When people think of the word “legislation”, they expect wording that is clear and concise. Given that bills are eventually enshrined into our laws, it is reasonable to assume that much thought and intention has gone into the words that are being used, and that there is no opportunity for confusion or room for interpretation that could lead to problems for the government in the long term.
One part of the bill that falls under that category, in my view, is the right to a healthy environment, which is in the preamble and not in the legislation. I want to be clear that all of my Conservative colleagues and I firmly believe in and support the right to a healthy environment for each and every Canadian. We are so fortunate to live in a country that contains so many different ecosystems and is filled with natural beauty from coast to coast to coast. It is understandable that we want to be sure that our healthy environment is present and thriving all across the country, not just today but for future generations as well.
The challenge with this is that it is undefined. Having wording that is open to interpretation on such an important matter like this could create issues down the road. If this piece of legislation needs to be revisited years from now because of a lack of clarity, it will cost the taxpayer money. The ideal situation would be to add a definition now or when the bill goes to committee to ensure that we are not going to run into any issues and that there is clarity over what this important right really means.
We also want be sure that the use of vague terminology without a proper definition does not potentially lead to litigation. I do not believe that this is the intent of the bill, so this needs to be tightened up to provide absolutely certainty regarding the definition.
I bring this up because most Canadians watching this are expecting to see us around a table working out some good legislation. In fact, the Minister of Agriculture is quoted as saying the “real role” of the opposition parties is to improve legislation and programming. Hopefully the government is prepared to make some amendments to this going forward, with consideration given to our feedback.
It sure sounds good in the media to say that this right is important and is a priority, but if there are no measures for progress and no benchmarks outlined in the legislation, how is anyone going to know that we have actually done the work? It seems like including the right to a healthy environment in Bill S-5 is more about getting a good sound bite than actually improving the lives of Canadians and our environment.
Another thing that I am concerned about with respect to this particular part of the bill is that it gives the minister two years to come up with an implementation framework for the right to a healthy environment, when we know that it took five years just to consult with the public. If this is an essential right, why is it going to take so long for the minister to come up with a simple definition of what this right looks like? To me, it cannot be a priority if it is going to take years to come up with a framework around the issue, let alone the time it would take to actually implement it.
Why does the government struggle so hard to do more than one thing at a time? This part of the bill is yet another virtue-signalling policy that does not do a single thing to help the environment and does a disservice to Canadians. What the Liberals do not understand is that this needs to be done correctly, transparently and in a timely manner, something we have learned the government is unfortunately incapable of doing.
Another aspect of the bill that I have some concern about has to do with plastics, specifically with the word “toxic” being removed from the title of the schedule but still being referred to everywhere else in the legislation. Again, this creates confusion and a lack of clarity for anyone who might read the bill going forward. It also seems to me that the time and money being spent on this would be put to better use if they were invested in things like recycling and clean technology, rather than vilifying an industry and product that every single person in the House uses every day.
Just think for a second about how essential plastics are in our day-to-day lives. The houses we live in, the cars we drive, the public transit we take and the technology that allows us to do our jobs, like phones and computers, all rely on plastic.
Plastics are also irreplaceable in many fields of medicine and science, and without them, we would not have had the necessary PPE that was used during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as things like IV lines, IV bags, intubation tubes, feeding tubes, syringes and valves, respirators and ventilators, oxygen masks, rehabilitation equipment and suction cups, not to mention the children's toys that placated families when they were sitting at home and isolated. While I understand that plastic is not perfect, it makes no sense that our government continues to vilify a product and an industry that continually makes our lives better and easier, and allows us to live as comfortably as we do.
I was fortunate to be given a tour of the Heartland Petrochemical Complex near Fort Saskatchewan while it was in its development stage, and as of July 5, it was officially opened. In fact, the Minister of Tourism and Associate Finance Minister was in attendance.
This polypropylene plant will generate 65% fewer GHGs than average global plants. It also uses air cooling and not water cooling, which reduces water use by 80%. This facility will result in food packaging, textiles, health care products, medical supplies and more. Furthermore, it is able to reduce GHGs as it now has two carbon capture and storage units, and it is building a third, thus protecting the environment. It avoids shipping propane via truck, train and ship to overseas producers who will create the plastic beads that are shipped back to Canada. This reduces emissions and the risk of safety issues. Let us not forget that this government gave $49 million for this complex.
I would like to speak to Senate amendments 17 and 18, which would create new obligations for industries that use living organisms in their work.
The new obligations would require both the minister and the industry to conduct private consultations for each living organism produced in Canada. I am no laboratory scientist, but I was a regulator at an industry for many years before becoming a member of Parliament. One thing that I firmly believe, based on that experience, is that the industry should regulate itself. As soon as the government starts getting overly involved, things start getting complicated to the detriment of the industry and the taxpayer, due to the extra level of red tape and the inherent cost associated with it.
While there are areas of Bill S-5 that do cut red tape, which I am certainly supportive of, these particular amendments would do the opposite by creating a redundant process. In my view, the government should be focused on making things clearer and more straightforward through the removal of these extra, unnecessary steps, rather than adding more. We know that the bill is not much more than an effort to modernize bureaucracy rather than one that is focused on environment policy, so I am unsure as to why the government would want to increase the burden for the industry, which already does a world-class job with its public consultations.
Furthermore, this additional step would not do anything to improve the already stringent safety measures that are used by the industry today. Doing double the consultation does not equal double the safety or protection against harm. It would also have the potential to set a dangerous precedent for chemicals in general, which is something that is a major concern. Ultimately, we need to realize that there are existing regulatory processes and practices in place, and that the people who are best placed to carry out these practices are the experts, the industry.
The last part of the bill that I want to touch on is the provision that would allow for any person to request the minister assess whether a substance is capable of becoming toxic. I believe it is essential that all appropriate safety measures are taken with respect to substances, but I have serious concerns that this policy could open the door for hundreds if not thousands of requests given the wide scope of it.
This government has a dismal record when it comes to clearing backlogs, as I am sure many veterans who have been waiting years for their disability benefits could tell us. The last thing they need is yet another backlog to clear, which would also likely come with financial implications and cost to the taxpayer due to the need to hire more people to assist in processing these requests. It is a mess waiting to happen, and I strongly encourage that this measure be reconsidered so that we can avoid yet another bureaucratic nightmare.
The fact of the matter is that, while this government tries to convince everyone that it is the ultimate champion of Canada's environment, it has missed every single emissions target it has set, and has only hurt hard-working Canadians through ineffective policies such as the carbon tax. My constituents have zero trust left in this government's ability to make life better for them, so I do hope that the Liberals will listen to the feedback given on Bill S-5 and make the necessary changes for this piece of legislation to do the job it is intended to do.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, knowing the level of knowledge this gentleman has, I am sure he is well aware of the fact that the original legislation was put forward by his government back in the last Parliament and that the Senate has proposed some amendments to it. The unfortunate part is that, although some of the amendments being proposed may have good steps, some of them do not, and those steps need to be taken as we move forward.
With respect to plastics, I would agree with the member if someone had the knowledge to come up with another product, but at the present time we are moving propane and other dangerous chemicals via ship, truck or train, and putting the lives of Canadians at risk when we could actually be producing it here in Canada. We can produce these nice wee pebbles that can be used to produce many products that we need, such as the parts we need for our vehicles, our new electric vehicles, or other items we have in this country.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, I really enjoyed working with my colleague on the government operations and estimates committee and what she brought to the committee.
She is right. I have two grandchildren, and I am so proud of them. My youngest grandchild is only four months old. I want to see them have something here as we move forward, and those are steps that need to be taken. That is what I think part of this legislation needs to have, and I love to hear comments on that from the Bloc and the member on the Liberal side who talked about working together. Those are the steps I think need to be done. We need to sit here, put those issues out there and banter back and forth, because that is what the public expects us to do and wants us to do.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, we need to look at the aspect of plastics as we move forward. I agree that there are steps that can be used to utilize that, but it ultimately comes down to people doing the—
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, I request a recorded vote.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
Madam Speaker, I am happy to have the opportunity to second this important bill that is being sponsored by my colleague, the member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
Bill S-245 is one key step towards ensuring the inclusion of Canadians as citizens who have fallen through the cracks due to a gap in legislation. This group, commonly called the lost Canadians, is actually one that I was nearly a part of, so I feel that I am uniquely placed to be able to speak about this issue from a first-hand point of view.
I would like to thank my colleagues for their work on this file. This issue has been championed by many over the years, not just by politicians, but also by advocates for the affected individuals and families. Most Canadians are completely unaware that this has even been an issue, aside from those who have been directly impacted by it. I know when I talk about this subject to my friends, they look at me strangely as if they have no concept of what I am talking about.
I deeply appreciate the efforts that have been made in the political sphere to close up this gap and to ensure that everything possible is done so that no more Canadians fall through the cracks and become lost going forward.
The Canadian identity is one that comes with many implications and connotations, almost all of them being overwhelmingly positive. Canada is known across the world for many things, and one of the most common things is the kindness of our citizens and a willingness to help out whenever it is needed. This alone makes me proud to be a Canadian, and I feel strongly that my citizenship in this country has actually become a very formative part of who I am as a person and how I view my community and those who live within it.
Canadian citizens have rights and responsibilities which date back over 800 years to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 in England, and they are as follows: freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of speech and of the press; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association. These rights that every Canadian citizen is entitled to are key factors when looking at what exactly encompasses a Canadian identity.
As a citizen, I know that I am protected by the rule of law in this great country, and that gives me a sense of security and peace of mind as I go about my day-to-day life. For many Canadians who have been left in limbo due to gaps in legislation like the one Bill S-245 is addressing, they may not have this security, and many would not even know it until they went to renew a passport or other federal document.
Imagine someone living their entire life believing without question that they are a Canadian citizen, only to find out much later on that they are not, or that their citizenship has been rescinded through no fault of their own. I know that I would be devastated to think that the only country I have known as home does not see me as a citizen, despite having a career, paying taxes and participating in activities that make up the very fabric of a Canadian identity. This is precisely what has happened to what we call the lost Canadians, who, through a gap in legislation, were not included in changes that were made to try and address this issue.
In 1977, under the new Citizenship Act, children born abroad on or after February 14, 1977 received their Canadian citizenship if one of their parents was a Canadian citizen, regardless of their martial status. If, however, the Canadian parent was also born abroad, the child had until the age of 28 to apply to retain their citizenship, and if they did not, their citizenship would be stripped from them.
Section 8 of the Citizenship Act read:
Where a person who was born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 is a citizen for the reason that at the time of his birth one of his parents was a citizen by virtue of paragraph 3(1)(b) or (e), that person ceases to be a citizen on attaining the age of twenty-eight years unless that person
(a) makes application to retain his citizenship; and
(b) registers as a citizen and either resides in Canada for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of his application or establishes a substantial connection with Canada.
This law was passed, and then it seems it was forgotten. There was no follow-up from the government, and no process or instruction was released on how a person could go about reaffirming their citizenship. No forms were created for this. In fact, those who were affected were never even told that a retention requirement existed. This was a massive oversight that eventually led to a number of Canadians becoming stateless without their knowledge.
I was nearly one of those lost Canadians. I am eternally grateful that my father found out about this and contacted me so that I could take the necessary steps to ensure that I would not lose my status.
Again, I cannot imagine the dismay I would have felt if I only realized after trying to obtain or renew my passport that I was no longer considered a citizen of the only country that I have ever known. I was lucky that I was born before the set dates that were put in this additional legislation, but so many who have found themselves in this circumstance were not. This issue needs to be remedied as soon as possible.
One of the reasons I wanted to speak to this bill is that I recall what I went through in 1977 when this issue first came to light for me. What I experienced is not even close to the struggles that the majority of lost Canadians went through.
When I first encountered and heard about this legislation in 1977, I was a young student at the University of Waterloo. I heard about how I might be losing my citizenship if I did not do a whole bunch of paperwork, provide documents and get things all straightened out. As a youngster at that age and not understanding politics, legislation or any of those kinds of procedures, it threw me for quite a loop, especially as I was more concerned about getting my degree. It made me start to wonder what was going on and why it was going on. It was very distracting.
I was born in England to two Canadian parents who were posted overseas. My father was serving this country as a member of the military, so of course my mother was there with him during their time in Britain. That probably does not seem like a big issue. People hear that and say that someone born to two Canadian parents should be able to have citizenship through that avenue.
The problem is that my father was born in India to two Canadian parents. Therefore, when this legislation in 1977 came out, it put a panic in me due to the fact that I could be considered a second-generation Canadian, depending on how that was interpreted. That put a lot of fear into my mind as to what I had to do and the steps I had to take to figure out this whole situation. I was forced to deal with a bureaucracy that I did not understand and did not feel I had the time or wanted to get involved with. I had no idea where to go or whom to talk to, and there was no information that was easily available for me to figure it out and get answers as to what extent it impacted me.
At no point during this time did a bureaucrat or government employee say that I did not have to do this. My perception was that, after 1977, the Government of Canada put out that, by the age of 28, I had to determine whether I was going to reaffirm my Canadian citizenship. If I had forgotten to do that, I could have been in a situation where I lost that citizenship. Unfortunately, many of those lost Canadians had to deal with that exact situation. Furthermore, I was away at university and my mom and dad were not close to me. The reality is that I had to recognize that I was born before the dates proposed and at that time I did not. Lost Canadians lost their citizenship without even knowing because they likely never even saw or heard of the legislation until some time well after the fact when they were applying for a passport.
I know I cannot use props in the House, but I do have a citizenship card that I would like to read from, which I have kept in my wallet for 40 years. On this citizenship card, is my picture and, yes, I did have hair. It has my age and a number, and it has my height, my sex and my eye colour. On the back, it says, “Certificate of Canadian Citizenship”. It has my name and it says:
This is to certify that...is a Canadian citizen under the provisions of the Citizenship Act and as such is certified to all the rights and privileges and is subject to all the duties and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen.
I say that because I have had to have that card and my brothers do not have that card. They did not have to have it. There are many lost Canadians who do not have that aspect because they never even had the opportunity to do that.
This is something that is very unfortunate and it is why this legislation is so necessary. We need to recognize these lost Canadians and get them back the citizenship that they deserve and they are entitled to. The time period that this bill addresses is roughly 50 months. The affected individuals need to have the understanding and reassurance that they are respected Canadian citizens despite this gap in the legislation.
Results: 1 - 15 of 68 | Page: 1 of 5

Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data