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Results: 1 - 15 of 72
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-11-19 14:14 [p.2128]
Mr. Speaker, in my riding, we have the largest health care tribute mural in Canada in my riding. It was created by local artist David Derkatz and depicts a local nurse and doctor fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.
With the second wave upon us and the numbers of those infected and hospitalized exceeding levels seen this spring, we must reflect on what is next. Front-line health care workers, including those working at Windsor Regional Hospital, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, long-term health care facilities, those providing health care services in people's homes or those delivering services in the community, have been battling the pandemic daily for more than eight months now for all of us, with many more months to go before it is over.
We should take a moment to reflect on how their work life has been altered since the start of this pandemic and think about the emotional highs and lows they have endured as they fight COVID-19, sometimes being the final person someone sees before passing from this world.
For those who have not been wearing masks, it breaks public health orders and creates problems for those who are doing their jobs to protect us. We must all remain vigilant and do our part. If people love their families, friends, neighbours or even themselves, please wear a mask. Let this not all be in vain.
I thank our health care workers.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-11-04 14:51 [p.1666]
Mr. Speaker, Canada's largest federal infrastructure project is the Gordie Howe International Bridge, being built in my riding. The project will feature art representing the local history of the area. It will include European and indigenous art, but will unjustly exclude the historic and extremely important Black community. This very location was the epicentre of the Underground Railway for escaping slavery to freedom. African Canadians are being written out of our history by the Liberal government, a demonstration of systemic racism.
Will the Prime Minister commit right now, today, to making sure that he fixes this problem, turns it around and includes the African Black community's history? He can do it now. Do we have his commitment to make sure it gets done?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-11-03 16:10 [p.1634]
Madam Speaker, one of the things that has been affecting small businesses during the pandemic and even prior to that is the predatory practices of the credit card companies. Their outrageous behaviour prior to COVID-19 saw interest rates up to 28%, some at 19% and some even in the 15 percentile. Then we had better operators like Vancity, for example, which during COVID-19 went to 0%.
The question I have for the member is whether or not he thinks there is room and there should be legislation or at least some type of a window provided to lower credit card interest rate fees and the service charges on small businesses. Those charges are absolutely outrageous and criminal when we look at them compared with other countries. Canada has some of the highest fees and rates, which are a drain on small businesses as they have moved to more operations. Whether it be credit cards or Interac, all those fees are going on.
I would like to hear the government's response to this. It is one of the things we have really not seen much from it on. It should have been dealt with before the pandemic, and it should be dealt with right now because they are getting more business than ever before.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-11-03 16:41 [p.1638]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his work in the tourism industry.
One of the concerns that I have raised is with the credit card companies, especially when small operators are paying exorbitant fees and service charges. We have seen in COVID-19 much of the industry having to resort to Interac. Credit card fees are often the highest in the world. In fact, in Australia there is regulation for those fees. We have upwards of 28%, ordinary cards are at 19%. There are good operators, co-operatives like Vancity, that actually went down to 0%.
What does my colleague think about the fact that during the pandemic, credit card agencies have actually made record profits and windfalls off the backs of a lot of small businesses and operators? Should that not be looked at?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-11-03 17:36 [p.1646]
Madam Speaker, my colleague is absolutely correct. When we look at the matter in front of us today, we see that the United States and other countries have moved to a regulated market. The result is that Canada has become a bastion for organized crime activity. Canada has become the laggard in regulation.
Canada has also become the neglecting party when it comes to dealing with the money we have to spend to fight organized crime. I would like the member to talk about that. How complex and organized do we have to be, and how much must we spend in taxpayer dollars, to fight the illegal market the parliamentary secretary is so comfortable with?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-11-03 17:47 [p.1648]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on Bill C-218. I want to start by thanking my former colleague and friend Joe Comartin who brought the bill forward in previous Parliaments. I have had it since then and I want to thank the member for bring it forward again in partnership. As we have heard, even from the Bloc, it is due time for this strong legislation.
I like the reference the international reputation and the work going on to fight illegal gaming across the world. That is a choice we have to make here right now. It is a choice we should have made before.
Unfortunately, the heavy lobbying by the professional sports organizations over a number of different decades have stopped Canada from moving forward. What has changed over the years is something the New Democrats saw taking place, which was the fact that this was moving across the globe and even into the United States. The court system was readjusting the Nevada circuit, which was borne out of criminal organization. It was finally broken down to provide this type of organized effort to regulate the industry across the United States, hence why the sporting organizations finally came to their senses and understood that we need a better plan.
Organized crime and those who prey on people have got away with this for far too long, not just in Canada but across the globe, because of an unregulated product. We spend millions of dollars in local areas to fight them and billions of dollars to fight them across the globe. When we look at the bill, all it would do is adjust something that is necessary at this point in time.
I have travelled across the country and have seen the people who have been affected by the unregulated market. The thugs, those doing the offshore betting and organized crime element, are not dealing with the social repercussions in regard to betting in general. In fact, we have to spend extra money just to fight those elements.
When we look at a province like Ontario, it is legal right now to bet on three games, but not on one or two games. The change has not happened here because of paternalism of a central government that goes back to colonialism.
We are asking that the provinces have a chance to fight back. The provinces need to make their own choices on what products and services they will offer their citizens. They will be the front-line people to deal with the repercussions if there is some negative activity with regard to single-event sports gaming. It will give them power and custodianship of a responsible product that is then put out. We are talking about the public good.
Right now, the system of three works against individual citizens. It is called a parlay bet because it is a rigged bet. It makes it very difficult for people to win and creates further problems and complications. This allows for us to come into the modern age of a regulated system.
Who are we fighting? We are fighting criminal activity from the organized elements connected to the Hells Angels and other organized crime. We are fighting those in the backrooms, basements and bars who run the numbers and make profits off the backs of people.
The alternatives are to bring in this regulated market. With the regulated market, we have revenue to deal with a number of different problems. We also have revenue that will bring public good.
For example, Michigan is the most recent to bring this into the United States. We saw that this was going to take place. It is putting its revenue toward helping firefighters who get cancer or other illnesses from the job. The rest of the money goes to education. Each province will get to chose what product it wants out there. It will decide how that goes out. Then it will decide where that revenue goes.
When we look at the history of this bill, it also comes from competition. Billions of dollars of legally regulated betting is now at risk. When we look at communities like Windsor or Hamilton and across the country, we have tourist destinations where people visit. Those places no longer have a product available. They have to compete with the United States and with the phone.
There is a sad story taking place here. There are the value-added jobs in the actual regulated sports industry business and all the entertainment that goes around it. Then we have all those doing the work for the web design, running the different scenarios and the work that goes on behind the analysis and activity that takes place.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
We get no benefit from that right now. We send tens of billions of dollars underground that then goes to human smuggling, violent crime, prostitution and drugs. Then we have to use our other revenue to fight that at the cost of millions of dollars locally and hundreds of millions of dollars nationally. It is time to change that.
That is why when I introduced my bill, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Labour Congress were on board with it. Think of that. We have the business and labour communities together. The provinces and a number of organizations are looking at this through the tourism lens. A number of different groups understand the status quo does not work and that is why Canada has been left behind. That is why Canada now has to compete with illegal activity.
Here are some headlines of some recent illegal activity: “9 arrested, $35 million of items seized in organized crime bust”, “Police bust illegal casino and spa north of Toronto, seize 20,000 sq. ft. mansion and $1M in cash”, “Police lay 228 charges in alleged illegal gambling ring tied to Hells Angels”.
This is what is baffling about the government's current position on this. If we look at the most recent article, there are all kinds of things in it that are quite shocking that are tied to the unregulated market. Here are the words: “Dozens of suspects are facing hundreds of charges”, “illegal gaming”, “two-year-long investigation”, “18 other agencies and police services” had to come together, “further acts of violence”, “five allegedly illegal gambling websites”.
That is what is happening with Hells Angels and others. They have moved not only to thuggery on the streets but organized activity online. There were people gunned down in Toronto. A homicide is tied to this. There were 21 firearms seized, along with cash, vehicles, jewellery, vacation homes and gold and silver bars. That is what we are fighting against. There were 28 people charged with a total of 228 offences in this one bust alone. What the government is doing right now is not good enough. It is not good to put this onto another Parliament. We cannot compete out there with this activity.
Then there are the good things that can happen with a regulated market. Caesars Windsor, for example, has organized jobs with benefits. Money is going toward dealing with gaming addiction, which is super important to deal with in all of this. There is no way Hells Angels and other organized criminals are giving to the United Way. They are not giving to the charities and saying they will help them deal with the addiction problem. They are extending credit, giving people more products, giving them a raw bet, putting them further in debt and also making people dealing with this feel shame due to their admission of doing an illegal activity. The type of support that is necessary for people should be out there and people should not feel shame when dealing with it.
That is what is upsetting about the parliamentary secretary's intervention on this. We are telling all of the people who have those addiction issues that they have to keep it underground. For mental health issues, supports for families, all of those things, there needs to be money to deal with them. It is the responsibility of the provinces and the federal government, in this place, to deal with this. This is an opportunity for them to use revenues for the public good.
I mentioned what Michigan is doing, but I can say that right now, with COVID-19, we can do one of two things as the sports leagues emerge and as the betting activity stays at home, and we are all waiting. We can give them a bonus. That is what is happening. They are getting a bonus under COVID-19 and they are not going to be paying the big profit tax that maybe some other companies will. Those in organized crime are not going to saunter up to the table and say they will give money for infrastructure, health care and education. They are going to squirrel away that money either in Canada or somewhere else in the world and use it for all the other illegal activities.
From just the few stories I have noted, we are going to have to pay more money to the RCMP and to provincial and municipal police to fight this. That is what has taken place. It is time to change, time to come of age and time for us to grow up.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-27 15:16 [p.1317]
Mr. Speaker, there is an interesting aspect with regard to the Conservative logic. Some Conservatives claim they are against it. They say they may have to vote against it going to committee to work on those things. I do not understand the Conservative logic about not applying the vote across the entire party to get it to committee so it can study those things.
How does the member reconcile the fact that if Conservatives vote against it, it cannot even go to committee to be amended?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-26 11:21 [p.1195]
Madam Speaker, Liberal member Lou Sekora introduced this bill in 1999 and the year 2000, followed by Judy Wasylycia-Leis from the NDP in 2002, 2003 and 2008, and the NDP's Malcolm Allen in 2009 and 2013. The most recent efforts have been very much appreciated and well received in the House.
We have had majority governments during that time and a lot of opportunities. Does the member feel confident that we have learned lessons in this chamber, going back to the original mover Mr. Sekora in 1999, and that it is time to act and throw away the irresponsible delays that have taken place?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-26 11:41 [p.1197]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-210, and I also want to commend the work of the member for Calgary Confederation on the bill. There is no doubt that it has been around several times. This most recent effort is commendable given the fact that this Parliament is on an extended tour at the moment, from just the week before when we had confidence votes. Hopefully we will see something take place this time.
I would disagree that this is not a political issue. If it were not a political issue, it would have been done ages ago. If it were not a political issue, it would have been completed in the Senate as opposed to the Senate finding other business to do when there was plenty of time to get it done. The former minister of health, Jane Philpott, and the cabinet voted against the bill saying it was provincial jurisdiction. That is where there needs to be some recognition.
I think the Bloc's intervention was very strong today on this matter, because this is about giving provinces some control and some capabilities and an enhancement of responsibilities. It allows them now, through the Canada Revenue Agency, to enter into an agreement to be responsible for their citizens. It does not make anything have to happen. It provides the course, the window, the opportunity and most importantly the hope for organ donation in this country to go up.
We have heard from a number of different members that we have a low rate. We have a low rate because there has not been enough education. I do not think it has been a normal custom in Canadian society and it has been a struggle for us to get this in hand.
In my municipality, there has been some really good work with the Windsor Regional Hospital and the “Be a Donor” campaign and the Trillium group, but at the same time, we rank very low. I come from an area that has high cancer rates. The high industrial contaminants related to pollution and the type of work we did creates sickness and illness that is beyond some of the norms across this country and North America. Therefore, we would be a recipient of this, but we still struggle to get that message out.
The member for Calgary Confederation deserves credit for bringing this back in a Parliament that might have a shortened life in general because of the conditions of a minority Parliament, but it does provide an opportunity for us to get work like this done. Let us not ignore that the bill did pass very recently in this chamber. It went to the health committee, where it had good support, and then it moved back to the chamber and ended up in the Senate again.
We need to find a way this time to be extra determined if there is going to be all-party support for this on the surface, because the surface does not always show the real thing. Behind the scenes, there could be other things taking place. Hence, that is why we saw the bill die in the Senate last time because it was not seen as a priority.
I know this because I have seen many private members' bills, some I have been the custodian of, that have gone to that place. It is not good enough for the government to blame, like the parliamentary secretary did, the Senate, when the fact is that their work moves further, quicker and faster. That is why we have an abysmal record in this chamber of private members' bills dying a death in the Senate because it did not get dealt with.
It is unfortunate because there are some very excellent senators. Regardless of my feelings with regard to the other chamber and whether it should be democratically elected or not, there are strong, capable individuals who have been appointed. There are strong, capable individuals who have won their election in the few cases there have been. There are strong, capable individuals in the most recent selection process who are working on behalf of Canadians. However, the reality is that there is still political partisanship and games with regard to the ordering and the system in the Senate, which has several layers of committees and groups breaking apart. We cannot ignore that.
How do we actually fix that situation?
We unify even stronger in the House, pass it quickly at committee and get it back here in the chamber, or we could move it through unanimous consent. I will leave that to the member for Calgary Confederation to decide if that would be the appropriate way to go. I would support that because it already had its due diligence and its day here very recently.
It has been well recognized. I will give the government credit for this. There is money sitting right now that could help people and it has been funded. Just as I am critical, I am also very encouraging and respectful of the fact that we have money that is available for a program. In my 18 years here, I do not know many programs like this that would come through as a private member's bill and already have funding sitting on a shelf somewhere. It just cannot be triggered by legislation. I do not think I have ever run across something like that before. It shows there is a sound support structure within our public institutions and bureaucracies to move this along, and that the way this has been done is well respected.
The real holdup at the end of the day is us. The real holdup is Parliament through process. The real holdup is the Senate. What is behind the times and lagging and failing people right now is us as an elected body and the other place, which have to deal with this to get royal assent to get this done.
Everything else has been done to save lives, and they count for anyone, the two-year-olds and 30- and 40-year-olds. I have seen these cases because I served them when I was formerly an employment specialist on behalf of persons with disabilities.
When somebody got an organ transplant, I saw what it did for their life. Not only did it give them hope and opportunity for themselves and the immediate circumference of their friends and family, but it also led to what I did as an employment specialist, which was help them find employment in the community. There needs to be some work on and recognition of that because it benefited not only the individuals, but also the people introduced to this person who had had this second chance at a full life. When employment was added to their curricula of activities, they become taxpayers and contributed back.
We see that these people have not only a recognition of what they have gotten from the community, but also a respect for the unconditional love that was provided when somebody filled out a form and gave them that gift. We see that not only through their emotions and their eyes, but also through their gestures.
Most recently, we had in this country the Kidney Walk. With COVID-19, we cannot do walkathons the way we would normally do them because of social distancing. The organizers of the Kidney Walk put a process in place where people got their shirt and a pin with their number on it, as I did. They then put them on and went out, wherever they wanted to, by themselves to find their walk. It was fun.
It was different because people reflected on it. I have done a lot of walkathons over the years, but this was really different. I was out by myself, just thinking about it. They said to pick the time, whenever, and just a few weeks ago, Canadians raised over $600,000 on that alone, despite everything. The people involved are often people who have had an organ transplant, or they are a family member or somebody else associated with them.
The legislation being presented here, as I noted earlier, has been around for many years. I noted the Liberal member who originally put forth a bill related to this was Mr. Lou Sekora in 1999 and 2000, just prior to my coming to this chamber. To suggest that we have unanimous support for this and that we actually have no politics behind it is not right, because it never got done.
I do not want to go back on a blame train with regard to why it did not take place with Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Malcolm Allen or, most recently, Liberal members, who introduced it and then saw cabinet vote against it. What I want to do is recognize that, because it is a potential pitfall we could face going forward to get this done. Let us not ignore that.
We can have these moments in this chamber when we feel good about coming together to speak about this, but if we do not get the job done, then we are part of the problem and not the solution. If we keep talking about this, with its real human existence connection among children, adolescents and seniors, then we have an obligation to follow through with those words to make sure the deed is actually done. We have to give the government credit for the fact that there is money on the shelf waiting for this, and it actually could help people right away.
If we look at Australia, Belgium and Spain, we see the results. When we move to a system like this with discussion about it and also inclusion, the numbers for organ donations go up because people feel better educated about it. They know that the process has been fully vetted through their parliamentary system and their democracy. They know there has been inclusion and consultation, such as what we had at the health committee before.
However, again, if we do not actually move on this, if we just give it lip service and do not have a plan to get it done, especially in a Parliament that potentially has a limited time, it could happen or maybe it could not. While maybe this Parliament will go on, as I have seen some minority governments go on for years, we all know the terms and conditions that we have right now.
As I conclude, I want to thank the member for Calgary Confederation and all the members who intervene here, but it is only worth something if we get it done. If we do not get it done this time, then we are just part of the problem that goes back to 1999.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-26 13:12 [p.1210]
Madam Speaker, just last year there was a case in which a young man was brought into a workplace that was receiving government assistance. He was confronted about being gay and asked to convert to keep his job. These situations are still real.
How does the hon. member feel about someone like that now having to walk away from a job? They are pursuing it in other ways now, but what would she say to a youth who thought they were going to be working at a dream job, and then actually has to face that circumstance and leave the job?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-26 18:03 [p.1247]
Mr. Speaker, I want to share a scenario that did take place. A young man applied for a job at a not-for-profit agency that got funding from the federal government. The agency required him to sign a form to say that he was not gay, and this intervention took place at the work location. This took place in the last year.
I would ask the minister: What would the bill do to protect those individuals? What does the government think about the fact that this still takes place? What should happen to those organizations that are receiving federal funds but still have conversion therapy at the workplace?
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-23 10:25 [p.1154]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for recognizing Georgina Jolibois and her work. The way the minister did it was very classy and respectful for Georgina, who worked tirelessly on this and also was, in the spirit of what this day is trying to do, very collaborative. She was very dedicated to reaching out to not only the communities, but also this place.
The bill, as the minister knows, died in the Senate. It is very important that we move this bill forward in unity as a Parliament. I would ask the minister whether he is prepared to work to ensure this bill moves quickly through the House and the Senate.
I again thank him for recognizing Georgina. I saw how hard she worked on this, the effort she put into it and what it meant to her. It means a lot to everyone and it is important that we move forward, but only by recognizing the past and having the past included in our future.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-23 12:19 [p.1173]
Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present.
The first is specifically on gasoline prices. The petitioners are calling for accountability in the pricing of gasoline. This chamber passed a legislative process for that and it was never implemented. It was a gas price monitoring agency. Monitoring and recording is something the U.S. does. The petitioners are asking for a similar type of work.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-10-23 12:20 [p.1173]
Mr. Speaker, my second petition is with regard to the auto industry. The petitioners are calling for a national auto strategy. We have been losing our significant market share of the auto sector. Even though there have been two good announcements recently because of Unifor negotiations with regard to plants in southern Ontario, we are still losing our percentage of market share across the world. The petitioners are calling for a national auto policy.
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