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Results: 1 - 15 of 67
View Todd Doherty Profile
Madam Speaker, I congratulate my hon. colleague on his maiden speech.
I am from a forestry riding in the province of British Columbia, in which 140 communities are dependent on forestry. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost just in the last year alone. The Liberal government has dithered away time and has not secured a new softwood lumber agreement.
I would ask my hon. colleague why he thinks the Liberals missed a key opportunity to negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement in this new agreement.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Madam Speaker, as we have seen with the past government, and indeed with the current government, the Prime Minister feels this is his House. We know differently. This is the House of the electors who elected the 338 members of Parliament. We are here to be their voices.
I want to ask our hon. colleague to once again share with those who are tuning in today the importance of opposition days. I honestly think our colleagues across the way do not get it. Perhaps Canadians need to fully understand what the opposition days mean.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, the WHO director general said this today:
This virus does not respect borders.
From China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Australia and Brazil, the coronavirus is spreading to all corners of the world. People are dying, and Canadians are rightly concerned about their health and safety.
The government needs to assure Canadians it is doing everything in its power to protect our country from this global health emergency. The U.S. has implemented restrictions, denying foreign nationals entry into the country if they have visited China within the last 14 days. Our allies have taken unprecedented steps to protect their citizens and contain the virus.
Has the government considered the same restrictions?
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, approximately eight million Canadians suffer from addiction. Most suffer alone and in silence, but my friend Natalie Harris is trying to change this.
Throughout my time in Ottawa, I have had the honour of meeting countless mental health champions. Few have touched my life the way that Natalie Harris has.
Natalie's struggle with PTSD and addiction has been well documented, but what people do not know is how truly amazing she is. Natalie is a kind and compassionate individual whose journey from the abyss to her work today is a testament to her driving will to survive and help others.
Natalie's new project, writing get-well cards for those suffering from addiction, is a direct effort to help those in need and at the same time raise awareness of this important issue.
Tomorrow, after caucus from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., please join colleagues from across all party lines as we host Natalie in the Speaker's lounge in West Block, Room 233-S.
We are working together to bring awareness to the terrible disease that is addiction. It is my hope that the words of encouragement we offer may help to build confidence, break the cycle of addiction and maybe, just maybe, we will save a life.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, one of the things we have seen time and again in the previous session, and again in this session so far, with the government is that it likes to talk about consultation. It likes to say that it has consulted with Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Does our hon. colleague know if indeed the RCMP and CBSA front-line officers were consulted with respect to Bill C-3?
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, our hon. colleague from Langley—Aldergrove is a new member of Parliament. I want to ask him his opinion.
I listened intently to his intervention on Bill C-3. What has his experience been with the Liberal government in the last three months, since his election? When the Liberals say they are going to consult, can we trust them to really do that? Can we actually trust the government to do what it says it is going to do?
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand today to speak to Bill C-3.
The bill before us was introduced in the dying days of the last Parliament as Bill C-98, and the Conservatives supported it at through all steps.
Bill C-3, while it is an important bill, undoubtedly will be seen as another Liberal failure with respect to consultation. We saw this time and again in the last Parliament. Promise after promise was broken or unfilled. I think we will see the exact same thing with Bill C-3.
I want to bring to the floor again, and I do not think we can say it enough, the voices of the Wet'suwet'en. I would never say that we are speaking on behalf of or for the Wet'suwet'en, but it is important we bring their voices to the floor.
I would remind the House and my colleagues that the House is not ours. It does not belong to us or the Prime Minister. The House belongs to the electors who voted in the 338 members of Parliament. Those are the voices that really matter here.
Today we are debating Bill C-3 when our country is seized with a crisis. What we have seen over the last three weeks is no leadership whatsoever from the Prime Minister.
Yesterday, we had a motion before the House, on which we will vote on Monday. Speaker after speaker, at least on the Conservative side, brought the voices of the Wet'suwet'en to the floor of the House. A lot of people have stood in the House, with their firsts in the air, saying they are standing with the Wet'suwet'en. The reality is that they are not standing for the real voices of the Wet'suwet'en.
Yesterday I heard from two chiefs from my riding. One was the former chief of the Haisla Nation. He thought I should ask the Prime Minister about aboriginal titles and rights and to whom he thought they belonged. They belong to the first nations communities.
The Wet'suwet'en and 21 nations voted in favour of the Coastal GasLink. They voted for bands, chiefs and councils to represent them. Those chiefs and leaders within their communities voted in favour of lifting their communities out of poverty. They chose economic prosperity, not economic despair.
Ellis Ross wanted me to ask the Prime Minister why so many leaders outside of first nations were standing against lifting their first nations up? They voted in favour of something that could bring so much hope to and opportunities for these communities. In northern B.C., these types of game-changing opportunities are few and far between.
Yesterday, the Liberals said that they would not support our motion, because we used the term “radical activists”. They believed that we were talking about our first nations, that they were radical activists.
The other chief asked me why it was okay to have the Rockefellers and the Tides Foundations limit opportunity for first nations. This is the truth. He said that if the Prime Minister was standing in front of him, he would give him a piece of his mind. I am paraphrasing, because it would be unparliamentary to say the exact words.
It is disappointing that the voices of the Wet'suwet'en, who voted in favour of lifting their communities out of economic despair and who chose hope, are being silenced. They are not being heard; they are being discounted. We are here today because of that.
While Bill C-3, an act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, is important, we should be continuing to bring the voices of the Wet'suwet'en to this floor, ensuring they are heard. That is what is important.
Therefore, I move:
That the House do now adjourn.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague across the way started with the statement that his party is here to work. Well, that is new. It did not work for him before. Honestly, that is the best he has?
We always stand with our front-line workers, those who are tasked with protecting our borders and our communities. They do whatever they can to uphold peace and the rule of law, so we will always stand with them.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, in my speech today, my speech yesterday and the comments I have made, I said the voices that matter are the voices of the Wet'suwet'en. That is really the crux of my motion. The only voice that matters is that of the Wet'suwet'en. This is a Wet'suwet'en issue.
I said it yesterday and I will say it again: The Wet'suwet'en need to have dialogue among themselves, whether among the hereditary chiefs or the elected band chiefs and councils. The communities elected the chiefs and council to represent them, and it is the communities and the chiefs, including hereditary chiefs, who voted in favour of prosperity.
I am not saying that the “no” side is not important, but there has to be dialogue with the Wet'suwet'en, not with the radical activists like Tides and Rockefeller, those influencing the protests.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Mr. Speaker, the government should be seized with our economy, which has been seized for the last 14 days. It is not going to take days and weeks; it is going to take months to recover.
We already are seeing job losses that impact Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Our producers are being impacted. Our economy is predicated not only on the ability to produce great food or products, but also on getting those products to market. Our economy has been seized because of the weak and zero leadership we have seen from the Prime Minister over the last 14 days.
View Todd Doherty Profile
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-211, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (assaults against health care professionals and first responders).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am truly honoured and humbled to be here today to introduce this bill.
In my mind, heroes do not wear capes. They wear shoulder flashes and badges that say nurse, RN, LPN, RPN, firefighter, paramedic, EMT or ambulance. They put their uniforms on every day knowing full well that they are going to experience human tragedy, and they are going to see sights and experience smells that may live with them for a lifetime.
When we call 911, we know that they will answer our call for help. They put their uniforms on every day to help us all. They fix our broken bones, they bandage our cuts, they restart our hearts and they hold our hands as we catch our last breath.
We should be doing everything we can to ensure that these altruistic individuals have the tools they require to do their jobs and to remain mentally healthy as well as physically healthy. We should be doing everything in our power to ensure that they never have to fear violence in their workplace.
Sadly, the rates of violence against our health care professionals and first responders are growing at a staggering rate. Today is about the nurse who is punched, kicked, spat at or thrown to the floor. Today is about the paramedic who is thrown down a flight of stairs, kicked and attacked while trying to save the life of a patient.
Today is about ensuring that we stand up for them because violence is not part of their job description.
View Todd Doherty Profile
That the House stand in solidarity with every elected band council on the Coastal GasLink route, the majority of hereditary chiefs, and the vast majority of the Wet’suwet’en people, who support the Coastal GasLink project, and condemn the radical activists who are exploiting divisions within the Wet’suwet’en community, holding the Canadian economy hostage, and threatening jobs and opportunities in Indigenous communities.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope.
Today is about the voices of the Wet'suwet'en. Over the last 14 days, we have heard that a lot of people are standing in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en. Today we are bringing the real voices of the Wet'suwet'en to the floor of Parliament to ensure that the other side of the story is being told.
I could stand here and talk about the 900,000 tonnes of product that is shipped every day on our railways or the 88.1 million passengers who are moved annually on our railways. I could talk about the fact that Canada is a trading nation and our economic prosperity is predicated on our ability to produce good products and get them to market.
I could mention that over the last 14 days we have seen a lack of leadership. We have seen zero leadership from the Prime Minister. I could talk about how this has damaged our economic standing in the global market.
However, today I am going to focus on the voices of the Wet'suwet'en, the voices of the 20 first nations, the elected bands and the hereditary chiefs. Over 85% of the Wet'suwet'en voted in favour of the Coastal GasLink project, voted in favour of economic prosperity.
I live in northern British Columbia adjacent to the territories that the Coastal GasLink project is going through. I have many friends who are Wet'suwet'en. I have many friends who are Tsilhqot'in. My family is from the Tsilhqot'in First Nation. We are in northern British Columbia, where our economic opportunities are few and far between. Our forestry industry is in dire straits. We have seen job losses in the tens of thousands and 25 mill closures in the last year. When we see groups sign on to hope and economic prosperity, we want to make sure their voices are heard.
The Wet'suwet'en, whose voices have not been heard so far, are being vandalized and harassed. As a matter of fact, three of the hereditary chiefs were kicked out because they supported the Coastal GasLink project.
Today is about the 875 million dollars' worth of contracts that have been let on this project so far. Many of them are joint ventures between first nations and non-first nations. Today is about the 400 indigenous and first nations people who are employed by the Coastal GasLink project. That is over one-third of the employees. Today is about the over $1 billion of economic opportunity and partnerships the first nations have signed on for with the Coastal GasLink project.
I know that my colleagues across the way will say that we do not stand with hereditary chiefs and that we are failing to recognize the hereditary chiefs who voted against this. I will remind the House that all 20 elected bands signed up for the Coastal GasLink project. Eight of the 13 hereditary chiefs signed up for the Coastal GasLink project. There were five hereditary chiefs and their families who said no to the project.
This is a Wet'suwet'en issue. It has been said before by members on all sides of the House and by the media that this is a Wet'suwet'en issue. I agree with that. The Wet'suwet'en have to sort their house out; they have to figure this out.
What is the result of inaction? The result of no action is exactly what we are seeing today. The Prime Minister jetted all over the world for 14 days, 13 days or nine days, however long it was, and hid overseas. He is refusing to acknowledge that we are in a crisis.
If the blockades were removed today and our goods and services all of a sudden opened up, it would take not days, not weeks, but months upon months for us to recover. We are already seeing job losses with CN and VIA Rail. Yesterday VIA Rail announced 1,000 job losses, layoffs. In making that announcement, the CEO said that in its 42 years of existence she had never seen a service disruption of this magnitude.
Those lost jobs are not just non-first nation jobs. They are first nation jobs too. These workers are employed as truck drivers. They are the folks laying pipe. They are working to do whatever they can to make a better living for their families and put a roof over their heads.
In the three minutes I have left, I want to bring forward the voices of the Wet'suwet'en.
Robert Skin, who was elected to the council of the Skin Tyee First Nation, said, “With the benefit agreement that [the Skin Tyee] did sign, I see us being in a better place even within the next five years.”
He also said:
These protesters are getting one side of the story. They want to stand up with their fists in the air, but I say come and listen to us and get the other side of the story before you go out there and stop traffic and stop the railroad. All you are doing is alienating our people who are trying to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.
This is a voice I want to bring to the floor today.
I have a constituent who works at CN as a locomotive engineer. He was the first to go west from Smithers out to Prince George on a 12,000-foot coal train last Friday when the blockade came down. He asked me a question: If all these other groups are supporting the Wet'suwet'en and the Wet'suwet'en have agreed to remove the blockade to facilitate the dialogue, why did the federal government not do the same thing as the B.C. government and agree to have dialogue but only if the illegal blockades were removed first?
Chief Larry Nooski, of the Nadleh Whut'en, said:
Coastal GasLink represents a once in a generation economic development opportunity for Nadleh Whut'en First Nation. We negotiated hard...to guarantee that Nadleh people, including youth, have the opportunity to benefit directly and indirectly from the project, while at the same time, ensuring that the land and the water is protected.
First nations chiefs and leaders are on record saying that during the six years of consultation, they would go to Coastal GasLink if they had questions. They walked the lands and decided together what this project meant. Their concerns were met with answers and the company listened. These are the stories that are not being told, which is what today is all about.
Hereditary Chief Helen Michelle of Skin Tyee First Nation of the Wet'suwet'en has stated, “A lot of the protesters are not even Wet'suwet'en.... Our own people said go ahead” to Coastal GasLink. She also said, “We talked with the elders.... We talked and talked, and we kept bringing them back.... We walked the very territory where CGL is going.... We are going to give it the go-ahead.”
Hereditary Chief Theresa Tait-Day of the Wet'suwet'en nation said, “In the case of Coastal GasLink, 85% of our people said yes, we want this project.”
Marion Tiljoe Shepherd, the descendant of a hereditary chief, said, “All of these protesters don't have the right to close down railways and ships. It's not right. Go away. I want them to leave.”
Shepherd also stated:
People are starting to speak the truth about what they feel. People want to work. The chiefs are supposed to talk to the clans and the clans are supposed to make the decisions. It's not going that way.
Those are the voices of the Wet'suwet'en and they are the reason we are here today.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Madam Speaker, these numbers are from the Wet'suwet'en themselves, the Wet'suwet'en who voted in favour of this project. The numbers I quoted today are from the Wet'suwet'en, the Wet'suwet'en voices themselves. Over 85% of the Wet'suwet'en voted in favour of this project. Eight of the 13 hereditary chiefs voted in favour of this project. Twenty first nations voted in favour of this project.
Those are the numbers I want to leave my colleague with today.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Madam Speaker, I am sorry, but perhaps I misheard my colleague.
First and foremost, I brought the voices of the Wet'suwet'en to the floor today, the voices of the Wet'suwet'en who support this project. The small group that does not support this is funded by foreign activist groups that have now staked claims in protests all over our country and fund activism. These are the economic disruptors. We have seen buses come from the U.S. with people who take part in these protests.
My colleagues do not have to believe me, but I challenge them to listen to the Wet'suwet'en voices that are on record. They should do a Google search. We all have iPads or other electronic means to source the data. Members should listen to the true voices of the Wet'suwet'en, who say they support this project. Their families support this too, but they are living in fear of vandalism and physical and verbal harassment from these groups that do not even belong to their communities.
That is the reality. That is what is happening on the ground in our communities in northern British Columbia. That is what I want people to understand.
View Todd Doherty Profile
Madam Speaker, I do not think anybody on this side of the House is advocating for violence or trying to incite violence. If my hon. colleague, who I respect greatly, had listened to my comments, he would know that I talked specifically about the dialogue that needs to take place within the Wet'suwet'en and the need to respect the words of all Wet'suwet'en.
We need to make sure we hear the voices of the Wet'suwet'en who support this project and the 20 first nations that support economic prosperity. They support lifting their communities out of economic despair. They support opportunity for their youth, not just for today but in the future. We need to listen to those voices. That is the only way we will be able to move this project forward.
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