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Results: 1 - 13 of 13
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, this is the Canadian Coast Guard's 60th anniversary of serving Canadians by helping mariners in need, protecting our marine ecosystem and ensuring safe passage through Canada's waterways. I was thrilled to hear that the Canadian Coast Guard College held its first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019, welcoming 51 graduates from its officer training program into the Canadian Coast Guard.
Canadians owe these graduates an enormous debt of gratitude for the future challenges they will face. Would the minister kindly inform the House of the important work done at the college and the importance of the Canadian Coast Guard College in Canada?
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate two towns in my riding on upcoming milestone anniversaries. Heart's Delight-Islington is celebrating its 50th anniversary of amalgamation, with celebration events happening between July 29 and August 7. Nearby Heart's Content is celebrating 55 years of incorporation, from August 1 to August 7.
Members can find these two towns on Route 80 on the west coast of the Bay de Verde Peninsula. Both are coastal communities, and while they may be small, both are full of heart, no pun intended. The people are friendly and hard-working. They always welcome visitors with open arms. While visiting, people can see beautiful sunsets and lighthouses and eat fresh seafood any day.
I want to congratulate both towns on their magnificent milestones. I look forward to visiting later this summer.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I too share some of the views of my colleague here in the House. I know the French language is extremely important across the entire country. I have four grandchildren who are enrolled in French immersion programs, and they are there because their parents and I as a grandparent encouraged them to do so. One of the things I regret is I did not have the opportunity to study French when I was in school, or at university, for that matter.
In my view as an MP in Ottawa, the French language today is extremely important. For example, the mayor of Blanc Sablon in Labrador was at a transport committee meeting talking about the fixed link from Newfoundland to Labrador, which is a tunnel that would be a great project to connect Labrador and the island portion of Newfoundland. The important part of that is that the mayor is French, and of course the north shore is very much French, and the people feel like they are losing their identity to a certain extent. They were there in support of that kind of project, because they want to see the highway to Quebec finished and they want to keep that connection. In fact, they want to grow that connection.
I strongly supported them, and I still do, in chasing that kind of project. It is important to them and to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
We talk about the balance we need when we talk about the numbers of seats in the House. I ask the member if indeed what we see is a fair balance.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Speaker, in listening to this debate, I think about representation across the country. We are talking about 78 seats in Quebec, but if we think about the rural parts of the country in smaller provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador, which is geographically large, but in terms of population, of course, it is small, we have seven seats in the House of Commons. We come here to do our lobbying for the province, vote on different legislation, and so on. We would love to have more seats. In fact, we are dwarfed by provinces like Quebec and Ontario, larger provinces with huge populations, which I understand, but in terms of representation, I think Bill C-14 strikes a good balance. We would also like to encourage more seats in Newfoundland and Labrador. We would love to have another seven, but the reality is that if we were to allow the system to continue as it currently exists, we would fall even further behind in terms of striking a balance in representation.
I would ask my colleague if he sees Bill C-14 as striking a good balance in terms of representation across the country.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, 2022 has been designated Come Home year in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I am inviting everyone to come visit or return to our beautiful province and discover all the unique and wonderful things Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer.
There are endless things to see and do in our province and in my riding of Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. Along our stunning coastlines, people can go whale watching, puffin watching and iceberg hunting, and see breathtaking cliffs and vistas. They can visit our UNESCO global geopark on the Bonavista Peninsula to look into the geological past, or maybe see the northern lights or hike one of the many breathtaking trails. They can visit our picturesque rural outports and perhaps catch their own codfish for supper. They may even get to dance a jig or get screeched in.
Whether born in Newfoundland and Labrador or not, we hope everyone comes and experiences the culture, beauty and hospitality of Newfoundland and Labrador. Long may our big jib draw.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the member for Hochelaga.
I appreciate the opportunity to take part in today's debate on Bill C-8, an act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures. This bill is about making sure we have the tools we need to protect Canadians.
For two years, Canadians have been grappling with COVID-19. Two years ago, this pandemic triggered the steepest economic contraction in Canada since the Great Depression. At its worst, it cost three million Canadians their jobs as our GDP shrank by 17%.
Today, even in spite of ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, we are on a strong footing. Canadians have put saving lives first. This has meant one of the lowest mortality rates in the G7. As of March 25, over 85% of Canadians five years and older are fully vaccinated.
The Canadian economy has seen the benefits of prioritizing our health. The Canadian labour market rebounded strongly from the omicron wave in February. We have already more than recovered lost jobs, a healing that took eight months longer than after the much milder 2008 recession. In fact, as of February, we have recovered 112% of the jobs lost during the pandemic period, compared to just 90% in the U.S., and faster than after any other recession. Encouragingly, growth was broad-based, supported by solid underlying fundamentals and an ongoing rebound in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.
However, even with these encouraging signs, we know that businesses, especially small businesses, continue to need support. That is what Bill C-8 delivers, support where it is needed. Many small businesses continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic. They are playing a critical role by making sure their workers and clients are safe. They understand that proper ventilation makes indoor air healthier and safer, helping reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Many continue to make further improvements to their indoor air quality, to protect their workers and customers. However, they are finding that investing in equipment to improve ventilation can be costly. That is why Bill C-8 is proposing a refundable small business air quality improvement tax credit of 25% on eligible air quality improvement expenses incurred by small businesses. This measure would make it more affordable for them to invest in safer and healthier ventilation and air filtration.
Businesses would receive the credit on eligible expenses incurred between September 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022 relating to the purchase or upgrade of mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and the purchase of stand-alone devices designed to filter air using high-efficiency particulate air filters, up to a maximum of $10,000 per location and $50,000 in total. That is not just a good deal for businesses; it is a good investment in the health and safety of Canadians.
Our government has delivered significant fiscal policy support to Canadians during this pandemic, with $8 out of every $10 spent to fight COVID having been spent by the federal government. This has contributed to a rapid and resilient recovery so far.
The vast majority of the government's recovery plan is targeted towards growth-enhancing and job-creating initiatives such as the Canada emergency business account, which has been one of the key government supports for small businesses throughout the pandemic.
The CEBA program has provided interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses to help recover their operating costs during times when their revenues have been reduced. In total, the CEBA has provided over $49 billion in support to nearly 900,000 small businesses affected by the pandemic.
In January, our government announced that the repayment deadline for the CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended from December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2023 for all eligible borrowers in good standing. This extension would support short-term economic recovery and offer greater repayment flexibility to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, many of which are facing continued challenges due to the pandemic.
Repayment on or before the new deadline of December 31, 2023 will result in loan forgiveness of up to one-third of the value of the loans, which means up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness. Bill C-8 would set a limitation period of six years for debts under the CEBA program to ensure that CEBA loan holders are provided consistent treatment no matter where they live.
The new measures in Bill C-8 would also build on the significant support for businesses that became law with the passage of Bill C-2 in December. Bill C-2 was built on the understanding that with the spread of the omicron variant, public health restrictions had to remain in effect in certain regions across the country to contain its spread, and that many of these restrictions would have an impact on businesses. With Bill C-2, our government made sure that economic support was available to them if and when they needed it.
While lockdowns have now eased across the country, the application period for the local lockdown program remains open to provide wage and rent subsidy support of up to 75% to employers who have had to reduce the capacity of their main business by 50% or more.
To expand access to the program at the height of the recent restrictions, we temporarily lowered the revenue decline threshold for eligibility from 40% to 25%. Expanded eligibility for these wage and rent supports ran from December 19, 2021 through to March 12, 2022.
For businesses facing other pandemic-related losses, support is also available through the tourism and hospitality recovery program and the hardest-hit business recovery program. Many tourism-related businesses in Bonavista—Burin—Trinity were able to take advantage of that support, and I am told many tourism businesses across the entire country were able to take advantage of that support.
By supporting businesses through these challenges, these programs are protecting people's jobs and allowing people to stay connected to their employers. As the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said, this keeps people strong; it keeps families strong and it keeps businesses strong. That is what we need to keep our economy strong.
In conclusion, like all Canadians, we hope that lockdowns and capacity restrictions will continue to become a thing of the past. We know that Canadians are tired of COVID-19, but the unfortunate reality is that COVID-19 is not quite tired of us. We put supports in place so that public health authorities could make the right, albeit difficult, decisions, knowing that the federal government would be there to support workers, small businesses and other employers in their communities when needed.
That is why Bill C-8 is so important. It would continue to do what is necessary to sustain the recovery and provide help where it is needed, to create jobs and set the stage for strong growth for years to come.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Speaker, when many of the programs were put in place and agreed to by most members in this House, they were put in place in response to the emergency created by the pandemic and COVID-19. As a result, many of the programs were rolled out rather efficiently and quickly, creating some challenges. Nevertheless, we need to focus on the fact that these supports, like CEBA, rescued many businesses from failure. Therefore, Bill C-8 will continue to offer the great support that businesses and individuals expect across this country.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Speaker, I share the hon. member's concerns around family doctors, particularly as we hear stories about the loss of family doctors in rural Newfoundland and Labrador and rural Canada. That includes every province in this country. There is no question that there are challenges, but the federal government recently transferred $2 billion to help with some of the supports that were needed as a result of backlogs in health care in this country.
I understand there are further discussions to be had somewhere in the not-too-distant future about how we can address health care challenges in rural Canada and right across the country, many of which were backlogs created by the emergency that we dealt with, called COVID-19.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Speaker, teachers and others are being impacted by our not passing Bill C-8. There are many items in this legislation that impact teachers, farmers and others, and that is why we are here debating Bill C-8 today and why I encourage all members of this House to support this legislation and pass it for the good of all Canadians.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, April is Parkinson's Awareness Month. Here in Canada, more than 100,000 people live with this condition, and this number is on the rise globally, with Canada experiencing among the highest prevalence rates.
While most people living with this condition are older than 60, individuals 50 or younger can develop early-onset Parkinson's. As well, it also takes some individuals many years to be diagnosed, since there is no diagnostic test and it can mimic other conditions.
In Canada, more than 30 people are diagnosed with Parkinson's every day, and we expect to reach 50 new diagnoses per day within the decade. Parkinson Canada is a fantastic advocate for all Canadians living with Parkinson's. They also provide many useful resources to help improve the quality of life for those who live with this diagnosis.
I want to acknowledge Parkinson Canada's amazing work this month, and all year long, and every person in Canada who so bravely lives with this condition. I want to let them know that our government will continue to be partners with them.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, reducing wait times for veterans has been our government's top priority. We are making progress, but we know that too many veterans still wait too long to have their claims processed by veterans affairs.
Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs update us on what our government is doing to reduce wait times and provide faster service to Canadian veterans?
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a true hero we recently lost in my riding of Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. He was the last remaining survivor of the sinking of the SS Caribou, veteran Hedley Lake.
From Fortune, Newfoundland and Labrador, he served with the British Royal Navy during the Second World War and later was deployed to Korea. He was one of the 101 survivors of the German attack on the Newfoundland passenger ferry in 1942. At age 24, he did everything possible to save as many lives as he could following the fatal torpedo attack.
Loved by everyone in his hometown, he lived a full life to the age of 103 and brought so much joy and wisdom to everyone he met. I visited with him a couple of times and proudly presented him with a certificate for his 100th birthday, which brought a huge smile to his face. He truly appreciated it.
On behalf of the House, I want to send condolences to Mr. Lake’s family and to the entire town of Fortune on this great loss.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour a great man we recently lost in Newfoundland and Labrador: Mr. Frederick B. Rowe.
A father, a grandfather, an educator and a politician, he had a passion for politics and spent his life dedicated to improving grassroots democracy here in our province. He leaves behind a strong legacy of community building.
Mr. Rowe had a long career in politics, including being elected as an MHA for two provincial districts and later becoming a long-time director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party. He was known as a true grit with a lot of tenacity. He built many bridges of co-operation and friendship along the way. He was a lover of sea explorations and humorous stories, and a great lover of his children and grandchildren. He embodied a lot of the characteristics that make Newfoundland and Labrador so proud and unique.
On behalf of this entire Parliament, I want to send condolences to his wife of 61 years, Sandra, to his entire family and to everyone who was touched by his decades of public service.
Results: 1 - 13 of 13

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