disable ads

Mar 12th

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Hamilton Mountain

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to give voice to the frustration, and dare I say, anger felt by many of my constituents about the Conservative government's decision to cancel door-to-door mail delivery and install community mailboxes.

    Petitions continue to flood in, and I am pleased to be able to table 20 more today that were circulated at a recent public meeting organized by municipal councillors to lend their support to our campaign to save Canada Post. My federal NDP colleagues and I have been at the forefront of that fight since January of last year. We all know that we cannot save a business by cutting services and raising prices.

    The petitioners are appalled that the Conservatives would allow Canada Post to eliminate home delivery for millions of customers, set up community mailboxes without taking residents' legitimate concerns into account, put thousands of employees out of work and then have the gall to raise the price of stamps.

    Our postal service helps connect us, and these cuts will unfairly impact the most vulnerable in our society, including seniors and people with disabilities.

    For all of those reasons, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to stop these devastating cuts to our postal service—

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Simcoe North

    Order. The chief government whip on a point of order.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | British Columbia, Langley

    Mr. Speaker, I am saddened to inform the House that 25-year-old Danille Kerpan was tragically killed by a drunk driver, a driver who chose to drive while impaired. Danille's family was devastated by this.

    Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have also lost loved ones killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers.

    Families for Justice is also calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Thornhill

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to the supplementary estimates C, 2014-15.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Davenport

    Mr. Speaker, while we on the opposition side do generally support the recommendations of the report, we have provided for the House a supplementary opinion, because we believe that there are a number of recommendations that are not made or that are omitted, and that there are number of recommendations that do not go far enough.

    As an example, the railway companies should conduct risk assessments and route planning, and operate their trains at lower speeds where it is of risk to the public. In addition, we believe that the government should provide greater oversight to the railway companies and greater inspections.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | Saskatchewan, Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 10 petitions.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the Transatlantic Parliamentary Forum, held in Washington D.C., the United States of America, December 2 to 3, 2013.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:10 am | Ontario, Hamilton Mountain

    Mr. Speaker, for all of those reasons, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to stop these devastating cuts to our postal service and look instead for ways to modernize operations.

    The Conservatives continue to find millions of dollars for their well-connected friends, it is time they found a way to keep the mail coming to our doors.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 7:10 am | Ontario, Markham—Unionville

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition signed by many constituents who expressed strong concern regarding the remarks by the member for Willowdale on the subject of Iranian Canadians. This petition is itself backed by an online petition, which is signed by more than 2,400 Canadians.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:10 am | British Columbia, Taschereau

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. The first one has been signed by people who live in the Vancouver Kingsway area and all over Vancouver. It is a petition led by Ted and Cora Alcuitas. They have a lot of signatures from St. Mary's Parish in Vancouver, in my riding.

    They are concerned and want the House of Commons to adopt international aid policies that support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in their struggle against hunger and poverty and ensure that Canadian policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers, that they protect the rights of small family farmers in the global south to preserve, use and freely exchange seeds.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, Frontenac

    With regard to diplomatic postings by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada: (a) what is the total number of vacancies in diplomatic postings; (b) which positions are vacant; (c) how long have each of the positions identified in (b) been vacant; (d) at which stage of the recruitment and posting process are the positions identified in (b); (e) what is the average length of time taken to fill a diplomatic posting in each of the last five calendar years; (f) what percentage of diplomatic postings in each of the last five years has been filled from within the Foreign Service; (g) what percentage of ambassadorial postings in each of the last five years has been filled from within the Foreign Service; and (h) what percentage of diplomatic postings requires ministerial approval?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | British Columbia, Beloeil-Chambly

    Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day again for Canadian Parliament. This is the 91st time the government has used closure, or time allocation, in this Parliament. It goes beyond any previous government in Canadian history. It is twice as bad as what was the previous worst government in terms of open intolerance of democratic debate in this House. The only solace for the Canadian population is that Canadians know that in 200 days, they will be able to vote the current government out of office and bring in a government that actually respects parliamentary traditions.

    With the last three closure motions and time allocation, we have seen a real intolerance of debate. We have seen with Bill C-51 that the government is systematically refusing witnesses who could bring a lot to bear on the bill, which is a controversial piece of legislation. Yesterday in the House, the minister might as well have told Yukoners that the government will not accept any amendments to Bill S-6. The Conservatives want to make a show of going up to Whitehorse but have absolutely no intention of actually listening to witnesses and bringing amendments to Bill S-6.

    My questions to the minister with respect to Bill S-7 are simple. Will the government hear from witnesses who want to come forward on this bill? Will it actually entertain amendments, or will it show the same disdain it has shown with so many other pieces of legislation by refusing amendments put forth by parliamentarians?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, Halton

    Mr. Speaker, Canada Post has been working diligently on the pay equity file to ensure accurate data and process payments as quickly as possible.

    Canada Post has sent out payments to almost 10,000 individuals identified as eligible. Every current and former eligible employee that Canada Post has been able to locate a current address for has been paid. Canada Post is working with the Canada Revenue Agency to find others that it may not have current information for, in order to complete any outstanding cases.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | British Columbia, Skeena—Bulkley Valley

    With regard to the Venture Capital Action Plan for the fiscal years 2012-2013 to the current fiscal year: (a) of the commitment to invest $400 million in the Venture Capital Action Plan over 7 to 10 years, how much has been invested; (b) of the commitment to invest $250 million in new, large private sector-led national funds of funds, (i) what outcomes have been achieved, (ii) what are the names of the funds, (iii) how much money has been received so far; (c) of the $100 million commitment to recapitalize existing venture capital funds, how much has been invested, broken down by fund; (d) of the commitment to make an aggregate investment of $50 million in 3 to 5 high-performing funds, how much has been invested, broken down by fund; (e) what “additional resources” have been invested to continue developing a robust venture capital system and a strong entrepreneurial culture in Canada; (f) how many companies have applied for funding; (g) what is the total amount of funding that has been given out, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) electoral riding; (h) how many companies have been rejected for funding, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) electoral riding; (i) what is the success rate of funding applications, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) electoral riding; (j) what is the total amount of funding, broken down by application category of (i) clean tech and energy efficiency, (ii) information technology, (iii) healthcare; (k) what is the success rate of applications by application category of (i) clean tech and energy efficiency, (ii) information technology, (iii) healthcare; and (l) what is the average amount of funding granted, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) electoral riding?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, Simcoe North

    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1 there will now be a 30-minute question period.

    One minute will be allowed for each question and answer, and priority will be given to opposition members wishing to ask questions.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Nova Scotia, Halifax

    With regard to the government’s efforts from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, to promote Canadian energy exports: (a) what is the estimated dollar value of the government’s efforts and initiatives to support or expand Canadian energy exports (i) in Canada, (ii) in individual government diplomatic offices outside Canada, (iii) in other locations visited by government officials, designated contractors, consultants, or other individuals involved in supporting or expanding Canadian energy exports; (b) for the amounts mentioned in (a), what is the estimated dollar value, broken down by the type of energy directly concerned, namely, (i) direct exports of coal, (ii) oil (including, but not limited to, bitumen, condensate, and other petroleum products), (iii) natural gas, (iv) export or construction of infrastructure associated with fossil fuels or the export of energy generated from fossil fuels (e.g., pipelines or export terminals for liquefied natural gas), (v) export of technologies or services associated with fossil fuels or the energy generated from fossil fuels, (vi) export of energy generated from renewable sources (including, but not limited to, hydropower, solar power, wind power, biomass, and geothermal power), (vii) export or construction of infrastructure associated with energy generated from renewable sources (e.g., transmission lines to carry hydroelectric power), (viii) export of technologies or services associated with energy generated from renewable sources (e.g., solar module manufacturing technologies), (ix) export of infrastructure, technologies and services associated with energy conservation and energy efficiency (e.g., smart grids or more efficient industrial process design engineering), (x) other types of energy export support that do not correspond to the categories above (e.g., general energy export advice or activities to support the construction of a transmission line expected to carry electricity generated from multiple sources); (c) for the amounts mentioned in (a), what is the estimated dollar value, broken down by (i) location where costs were incurred, (ii) department or agency that incurred those costs; (d) what is the estimated dollar value of all government employee time used to support or expand Canadian energy exports, broken down by the following activities, (i) planning meetings and briefings, (ii) monitoring issues, (iii) preparing materials, (iv) offering logistical coordination, (v) planning visits by delegations, (vi) providing training, (vii) undertaking research, (viii) engaging with representatives, (ix) engaging in communications activities and preparing communications materials, (x) engaging with members of the public, (xi) meeting with stakeholders, (xii) any other uses of government employee or contractor time; (e) how much money has the government spent on the purchase of advertisements to support or expand energy exports, and how much government staff time was required to develop such advertisements, broken down by the types of energy export support enumerated in (b); (f) what contractor services, including advertising firms, government relations firms, legal firms, or other professional service providers, has the government retained to support or expand energy exports, broken down by the types of energy export support enumerated in (b); (g) what is the cost of all hospitality (including, but not limited to, food, catering, beverages, and location rentals) to support or expand Canadian energy exports, broken down by the types of energy export support enumerated in (b); (h) how much has been spent reimbursing travel and accommodation expenditures for (i) non-government employees, (ii) government employees, to support or expand Canada’s energy exports broken down by the types of energy export support enumerated in (b); and (i) what is the total estimated value of any other government efforts to promote Canadian energy exports, broken down by the types of energy export support enumerated in (b)?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, Parry Sound—Muskoka

    Mr. Speaker, the Directory of Federal Real Property is the central record and only complete listing of real property holdings of the Government of Canada.

    The directory can be accessed at the following website: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dfrp-rbif/introduction-eng.aspx.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, York West

    With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by Industry Canada since May 30, 2014: what are the (a) vendors' names; (b) contracts' reference numbers; (c) dates of the contracts; (d) descriptions of the services provided; (e) delivery dates; (f) original contracts' values; and (g) final contracts' values if different from the original contracts' values?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, Timmins—James Bay

    With respect to government funding allocated within the constituency of Timmins—James Bay: (a) what is the total amount allocated in fiscal year 2013-2014, broken down by (i) department or agency, (ii) initiative, (iii) amount; and (b) what funding projects were approved under FedNor between 2011 and 2014 inclusively, and what was their value?

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Ontario, Markham—Unionville

    With regard to frozen allotments: (a) which departments or agencies were directed by the Treasury Board to withhold spending on one or more specific initiatives in fiscal year (i) 2011-2012, (ii) 2012-2013, (iii) 2013-2014; (b) what is the official name for each frozen allotment in fiscal year (i) 2011-2012, (ii) 2012-2013, (iii) 2013-2014; (c) what are the details of each initiative subject to a permanent frozen allotment in fiscal year (i) 2011-2012, (ii) 2012-2013, (iii) 2013-2014; and (d) how much money was frozen for each identified initiative in fiscal year (i) 2011-2012, (ii) 2012-2013, (iii) 2013-2014?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Territories (yk, nt, nu), Western Arctic

    With regard to the government's support for the development and use of renewable energy for each year between 2006 and 2014 inclusive, what were the government's expenditures, broken down by (i) province and territory, (ii) department or agency, (iii) program?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | British Columbia, Abbotsford

    Mr. Speaker, with regard to international trade, the government’s top priority is creating jobs and economic opportunities for hard-working Canadians and their families.

    Investor state dispute settlement, ISDS, has been a core element of Canada’s trade policy for more than a generation.

    Trade and investment agreements protect Canadian investors abroad, including against discrimination and expropriation without compensation. They provide Canadian businesses with access to impartial recourse to an independent, international body to resolve disputes. ISDS allows Canadian investors to seek remedies directly for violations of investment protection obligations.

    None of Canada’s trade and investment agreements prevent any level of government in Canada from regulating in the public interest, nor do they exempt foreign companies that operate in Canada from Canadian laws and regulations.

    ISDS allows Canadian investors to bring claims directly against foreign governments. Therefore it is not possible for Canada to be a claimant in an investor state dispute. Canadian investors can and have been claimants abroad.

    Canada has been a respondent in 22 investor state disputes: twelve are concluded, two were submitted to arbitration but were withdrawn, and eight are ongoing. The Government of Canada is committed to transparency in ISDS and therefore posts online information about all ongoing cases. For details, see: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/topics-domaines/disp-diff/gov.aspx?lang=eng.

    ISDS allows Canadian investors to bring claims directly against foreign governments. Therefore it is not possible for Canada to be a claimant in an investor state dispute. Canadian investors can and have been claimants abroad.

    Approximately $27,350,446.22 has been spent relating to the defence of its legal claims as a respondent. In three cases, the tribunal ordered $1,650,200.55 of these expenditure amounts to be reimbursed to Canada. This amount is not reflected here.

    Since 1994, Canada has lost three investor state disputes as a respondent: S.D. Myers v. Canada, Pope & Talbot v. Canada and Mobil & Murphy v. Canada. In respect of these cases, Canada has paid the following: in the S.D. Myers v. Canada dispute, $6.9 million Canadian plus interest for legal costs and damages; and in the Pope & Talbot v. Canada dispute, $581,766 U.S., or approximately $6 million Canadian plus interest for a portion of the arbitral fees and damages. No payment has been made to date to Mobil & Murphy.

    To the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by litigation privilege, the federal crown asserts that privilege and, in this case, has waived that privilege only to the extent of revealing the total aggregate legal cost.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | Saskatchewan, Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:15 am | British Columbia, Taschereau

    With regard to lands owned by the government or crown corporations: (a) what is the total number of distinct properties that exist within the municipality of Vancouver, broken down by (i) name, (ii) address, (iii) current use; and (b) what is the total number of distinct properties that exist within the boundaries of the federal electoral district of Vancouver Kingsway, broken down by (i) name, (ii) address, (iii) current use?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:25 am | New Brunswick, Acadie—Bathurst

    Mr. Speaker, this may not be the last time that I say this, but I have sat in this chamber for 18 years and I have never seen a government that has shown such disrespect for democracy and the institution of Parliament. The government has imposed time allocation 91 times.

    I would like to remind the Minister of Immigration that he was formerly the ambassador to Afghanistan. We sent our young soldiers there to fight for democracy, a parliament and freedom of speech for Afghans. This same freedom of speech is not being afforded to us as parliamentarians. It is as though the Conservatives believe that they have all the answers and that they will settle this with an election. Basically they are saying that they do not believe in the democracy of Parliament or in debate and they do not want Canadians to hear arguments against their bill.

    However, it is a fundamental right in a democracy and the very purpose of Parliament. I am sure that when the Minister of Immigration was the ambassador to Afghanistan, he fought to give Afghans a parliament and freedom of speech. The Conservatives are stripping us of this constitutional right. What the government is doing is so very wrong. It is regrettable and Canadians are watching. It goes against our country's democratic tradition.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 7:25 am | British Columbia, Taschereau

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up the theme the hon. member for Winnipeg North was developing, and that is the issue of process and democracy in this place. I believe that the government has invoked closure on debate through time allocation more than 90 times in this Parliament. Over four years, that works out to 22 times per year. That, for Canadians who may be watching this, says that the government, 22 times a year, approximately, tells this House that we, as parliamentarians, cannot stand up in this place and represent our constituents and contribute to the debate and discussion in this place.

    The consequence of that is that amendments, necessary improvements to legislation, which are contributions from all parties in this House, particularly the opposition, are not made. That is why there have been a record number of government bills that have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in this country, including Bill C-31, which I, in committee, warned the government would be unconstitutional. Sure enough, that was found to be the case.

    In terms of making good legislation, I understand that the government has a majority, and ultimately it needs to get business done, and we, as a responsible opposition, co-operate with that. However, does the member not agree that good suggestions on this side of the House that can improve the legislation are things a responsible democratic government would want to welcome in this place, not for the good of the opposition but for the good of Canada and the good of Canadians?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:30 am | Ontario, Simcoe North

    The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:35 am | Ontario, Simcoe North

    Order, please.

    The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 7:40 am | Ontario, Markham—Unionville

    Mr. Speaker, in terms of Bill S-7, the Liberals will be proposing an amendment that, instead of the bill's short title referring to “barbaric cultural practices”, the word “cultural” be eliminated and it simply be “barbaric practices”.

    The reason for this is that such practices are not limited to any one community. There is Bountiful in British Columbia, which is Christian. There was a Jewish group in Quebec.

    The word “cultural” is taken to be demeaning to the Muslim community, among others perhaps. I know the minister is highly aware of insults to the Muslim community in which he has indulged, not appearing to know the difference between a hijab and a niqab.

    However, the general point is that I do not think the word “cultural” is necessary. It can be taken away. I wonder if the minister would agree to that amendment.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 7:45 am | Ontario, Simcoe North

    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.

    The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 8:30 am | Ontario, Simcoe North

    Order. There is a lot of noise in the House. We are back on orders of the day. The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue has been recognized and is partway through her remarks, so I would ask all hon. members who wish to carry on conversations to make their way out of the chamber to the respective lobbies.

    The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 8:30 am | Saskatchewan, Regina—Qu'Appelle

    I declare the motion carried.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 8:55 am | Ontario, Cambridge

    Mr. Speaker, the member misses the entire point of this legislation. The legislation is about preventing the victimization of women in the first place. Let us understand what is barbaric about this practice. It forces 14-year-old girls to get married to older men so that they can be raped over and over again. It is about preventing that from happening.

    How does the member respond to the fact that she complains about victims being revictimized? We are trying to prevent that. Victims themselves of this barbaric act have come out to support the bill. How can she continue with the rhetoric the New Democrats have come out with and state in this House that they will not vote to support at least one more measure to protect women and girls from being victimized in the first place?

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 9:00 am | Alberta, Edmonton—Sherwood Park

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

    I am thankful for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on Bill S-7. Implementing the measures in this bill would provide more protection and support for vulnerable individuals, primarily women and girls. It would do so by amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act, and the Criminal Code.

    I am sure we can all agree that Canada's openness and generosity does not extend to underage, forced, or polygamist marriages or to other harmful cultural practices that deny gender equality. In this country, we do not and should not accept spousal abuse, so-called honour killings, or other gender-based violence. As legislators, it is our duty to uphold the equality of men and women under the law. I would go so far as to say that this is a fundamental Canadian value.

    Nevertheless, we must recognize that thousands of Canadian women and girls continue to be subjected to violence and that barbaric cultural practices still exist as a reality for many Canadian women.

    The Criminal Code prohibits some of these harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation and most of the criminal behaviour involved in a forced marriage, including assault, forcible confinement, and uttering threats. However, to improve protection and support for vulnerable individuals, especially women and girls, it is important that the measures in this bill pass into law. These measures would include rendering permanent and temporary residents inadmissible if they practice polygamy in Canada; strengthening Canadian marriage laws by establishing a new national minimum age for marriage of 16 and by codifying the existing legal requirement for free and entitled consent for marriage and for ending an existing marriage prior to entering another; criminalizing certain conduct related to underage and forced marriage ceremonies, including the act of removing a child from Canada for the purpose of such marriages; helping protect potential victims of underage or forced marriages by creating a new specific court-ordered peace bond where there are grounds to fear that someone would commit an offence in this area; and ensuring that the defence of provocation would not apply in so-called honour killings and many spousal homicides.

    In my remaining time, I would like to offer some details about the important measures Bill S-7 proposes.

    First, I will address polygamy, a practice that has been illegal in Canada for many years and that represents a clear affront to Canadian values. Although it is against Canadian law to practice polygamy or to enter into a polygamist union, which is a form of marriage involving more than two persons, that is not the case in a number of source countries for immigrants to Canada. With that in mind, Bill S-7 would create a new inadmissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for practising polygamy. This would enhance the ability to refuse visa applications and to also allow removal orders to be made where there is evidence that the person is or will be practising polygamy in Canada on those grounds alone.

    Additional measures in Bill S-7 would amend the Civil Marriage Act to address the problem of early and forced marriages. These measures would include setting a national minimum age of 16 for marriage, codifying the requirement that those getting married must give their free and entitled consent to marry each other, and codifying the requirement for the dissolution of any previous marriages.

    There are measures in Bill S-7 that would help prevent forced or underage marriage by amending the Criminal Code. If these measures pass into law, it would be a criminal offence to knowingly officiate at an underage or forced marriage, to knowingly and actively participate in a wedding ceremony at which one party is marrying against his or her will or is under the age of 16, and to remove a minor from Canada for a forced or underage marriage.

    Bill S-7 would create a new peace bond giving courts the power to impose conditions on an individual when there were reasonable grounds to fear that a forced marriage or a marriage under the age of 16 will occur.

    Finally, measures in this bill would also amend the Criminal Code to address so-called “honour killings”. So-called “honour-based” violence is perpetrated against family members, usually women and girls, who are perceived to have brought shame or dishonour to the family. Under the Criminal Code, someone charged with murder can raise the defence of provocation in order to obtain a reduction to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Measures in Bill S-7 would amend the Criminal Code so that legal conduct by the victim cannot be legally considered as provocation. This would preclude accused murderers, including those involved in honour killings, from trying to reduce the charges they face by using the argument that a victim's legal conduct provoked them into a heat of passion and that they killed while in that state.

    In summary, the measures in Bill S-7 would strengthen our laws to protect Canadians and newcomers to Canada from barbaric cultural practices. That is why this bill is so important. By supporting these measures and ensuring that they pass into law, Parliament would send a strong message that we will not tolerate on Canadian soil any practices that deprive anyone of her or his human rights.

    I have no doubt that everyone in this House would agree that in our capacity as representatives of the people of Canada, we have an obligation to always support victims of violence and abuse and to do everything that we can to prevent such practices from happening in this country. That is why I urge all members in this House to support these necessary measures and ensure that Bill S-7 passes into law.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 9:10 am | Alberta, Edmonton—Sherwood Park

    Mr. Speaker, in the title “culture” does not refer to any one individual culture. In fact, many of the issues we are concerned about are clearly present in a number of different cultures.

    A number of people who have been accused of these horrible and barbaric practices tell the court that how they treat women or how they treat their daughters is part of their culture, so it is important to point out exactly what this is.

    This question is coming from a party whose leader, the Liberal leader, did not want to call these practices barbaric. We will say exactly what this is. They are barbaric cultural practices and they have no place in Canada.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 9:15 am | Alberta, Edmonton—Sherwood Park

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Calgary for the work she has done in protecting women's rights in the country.

    I would point to the fact that many of the victims, especially those in forced marriages, are young women who are forced into marriages that they do not want to be in. This legislation would send a clear message to family members who may be forcing them into a marriage that it is illegal and not allowed here in Canada. It also gives information to the victims that they have rights in our country and can come forward.

    It could be dealt with as a criminal matter, but it could also be dealt with through a peace bond. A peace bond could be put into place if an early or forced marriage might be taking place. There would be protection there. They could also be protected from being taken out of the country to be forced into a marriage outside Canada.

    Having these laws in place would allow Canadian women to know their rights and would allow our police forces and others to also understand how to deal with these situations. This measure would ensure that all these barbaric cultural practices would not happen on Canadian soil.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 9:55 am | British Columbia, Taschereau

    Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to my hon. friend's speech and there were a few points I think ought to be clarified.

    If I understood him correctly, he indicated that the Liberal Party would support the bill because it thought it actually had some merits to it. One of the things he mentioned was he thought it codified a minimum age for marriage. I actually do not think that is correct. I am fairly certain we already have laws in every province in the country and federally as well that set a minimum age for marriage and require parental consent if there is an attempt to marry under those ages.

    My real question is this. We have seen the Conservative government, particularly lately, play the worst kind of wedge politics where the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet and government are specifically segregating Canadians by their religion, their religious attire or their particular cultural preferences, whether it is the member who was referring to people as “brown people and whities”, whether it is the Prime Minister talking about cultures that do not support women, or religious clothing. However, the member has spent a long time, I think very accurately and well, identifying the wedge problem and the offensive part of using the word “cultural” in front of “barbaric practices”, yet the Liberal Party is going to support the bill anyway.

    Therefore, I would ask him to clarify that for us and for Canadians watching. Why is the Liberal Party going to support a bill that he acknowledges right in the title plays right into the Conservative practice of segregating Canadians and trying to wedge culture against culture, when he so clearly acknowledges that these barbaric practices that the bill deals with have nothing to do with culture? However, the Liberal Party will play along and allow this very offensive practice of wedge politics to continue by the Conservatives. Could he explain why he is doing that?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 10:15 am | Ontario, Beaches—East York

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member for Don Valley East specifically about the polygamy aspect of the legislation, because he mentioned the frightening statistics. While I understand that it has been illegal in Canada since 1890, does the bill provide extra tools for immigration officers to deal with these cases? If so, could he explain to the House how this would benefit Canadians and why this was included in the legislation?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 10:30 am | Ontario, Parkdale—High Park

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand and be part of this debate today on Bill S-7, which intends to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other acts. The short name of this bill is the “zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act”. I am pleased to speak to this today. I will be sharing my time with the member for Newton—North Delta.

    I think all of us the House would agree that domestic violence is a problem in all of Canada, not just in some communities as this bill seems to imply. We see violence at all socio-economic levels in society, in all cultural communities. It is not just among certain populations. Clearly, I think we would all agree that no woman should be subjected to gender-based violence, regardless of her race, religion or citizenship status. That violence would include being subjected to a forced or underage marriage.

    I will preface my remarks by saying that if the government sincerely wants to address the issues of violence against women, first we would call on it to immediately hold an inquiry into the more than 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. That would be a good start. Second, it should bring in a national action plan to end violence against women in Canada. Those two measures would go much further than the Bill S-7, which would be to benefit all women in Canada.

    The issue the bill pretends to address, which is underage and forced marriages, is not really addressed. What gets heard by people who are learning about the bill, and certainly by the communications that surround this bill, is that it targets a particular culture. People hear that as being very xenophobic, very unwelcoming. Of course, we all stand together in opposing underage marriage, forced marriage and gender-based violence.

    Let me be clear that Bill S-7 contains no new tools or resources to help front-line workers and organizations, the very people who are actually working with the women who are the victims of forced and underage marriage. They have expressly argued against the provisions of the bill because they know it would help fewer rather than more women in that situation.

    Not only would this bill not solve the problem of gender-based violence that it seeks to address, but if passed, could very likely and in all probability make the situation worse by driving those victims of forced and underage marriages further underground, leaving them even less able to seek assistance.

    In 2013, a clinic in my area in downtown Toronto, the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, released a report on forced marriage after conducting an analysis of the surveys that it gave to support providers in order to collect data on forced marriages. It was a survey of the people who worked with and directly helped victims of forced marriage. Of the recommendations accompanying the report, one in particular was not to further criminalize forced marriage, that these women were already very marginalized.

    That may sound counterintuitive. Why would we not say that this is against the law? Because most of the perpetrators of forced marriage are in fact their family members, their husbands and sons, et cetera. Victims reported their hesitation to criminalize members of their own family. That is a very real situation with which communities deal. In fact, victims reported that they would be “hesitant to seek any outside assistance if this would result in criminal...consequences for family members”. We must remember that these may be women who have children with the people who have forced them into this marriage situation.

    No one is suggesting that forced marriages should be allowed; clearly, they should not be allowed. No one is suggesting that they do not ever occur in Canada; they do occur in Canada. We believe there is a role for government. However, rather than helping the victims of gender-based crimes, which is based in a rather patriarchal view of the role of women in society, the government is too focused on criminalizing this behaviour, locking people up and throwing away the key, instead of eliminating it.

    Since this legislation has been introduced, we might ask if there is not other legislation that already covers this situation. The government could have beefed up the enforcement of existing legislation, because obviously polygamy and forced marriage is already illegal. For example, uttering threats, forcible confinement, procuring a feigned marriage and polygamy are already prohibited and illegal. Spousal and child abuse are aggravating factors. The Civil Code of Quebec and the common law of other provinces already require free and enlightened consent for marriage. In other words, this provision already exists in law so the bill is redundant. All the bill serves to do is sensationalize this issue without getting to the root of the problem and helping people.

    I referenced a report from the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. The government could have implemented many of the recommendations in that report. For example, it found that 50% of the clients who sought its services were not even aware of their existing rights with respect to forced marriage. Therefore, educational campaigns about their rights aimed at service providers, such as social workers, police, teachers and guidance counsellors, to help them understand the warning signs and the pressures faced by victims of forced marriage would have gone much further in terms of preventing forced and underage marriage than the bill does.

    There is no allowance for the wives and children of an individual found to be committing these crimes. What happens to them? Those who are found to be engaged in a forced marriage are deported, whether or not they are the perpetrator or the victim of the marriage, which seems very unfair and makes it much less likely that anyone would report that situation or go to the police. That leaves little room for women who are fleeing violence or want out of that situation to officially report that they have been subjected to a marriage against their will. This is especially so if they have children.

    Another way the government could have addressed this problem would have been to add forced or underage marriage to the definition of family violence for the purpose of seeking housing. That would have provided women greater flexibility to leave this kind of oppressive situation as they would be given preference for housing along with other people fleeing domestic violence.

    Simply put, the legislation does nothing to address the real problem of forced and underage marriage. There is no help for victims, only the threat of deportation and the criminalization of their family. There is no help for enforcement. It would be a very different bill if the government only sought to prosecute by using the laws that are already on the books. There is no help for organizations and government service providers who work with newcomers and citizens to identify and prevent forced and underage marriage to assist victims who are fleeing these situations.

    After 10 years in office, the Conservatives have taken Canada in the wrong direction, and the bill just continues along that path. The Conservatives are taking Canadians down the wrong path. Canadians can trust the experience and the principled leadership of the New Democratic Party leader to replace the Prime Minister and address the real issues of gender-based violence in a meaningful way.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 10:40 am | Ontario, Parkdale—High Park

    Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. The executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, for example, says:

    We wish the government had consulted with some of us prior to drafting this legislation, and we hope that there will be respectful consultation between the government and community groups so that a concerted effort can be made to address the issues of violence against women.

    There are several community agencies that deal everyday on the front lines with newcomer women who are affected by violence, who are affected by forced marriage, who are facing all kinds of challenges. If the government had had the respect to hear from their experiences and their recommendations, we could be debating a very different bill today.

    I would ask my colleague opposite to consider the experience of front-line women and to respect that. Let us work together to try to get rid of the xenophobia in the bill and help the women who the bill supposedly is designed to help.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 10:40 am | Ontario, Beaches—East York

    Mr. Speaker, first, I do not understand why the NDP sees things in the bill that are not there and seems to be blind to the things that are in it.

    The last time the bill was debated in the House, members of the official opposition kept saying that the bill would marginalize victims. The truth is that actual victims of these barbaric practices, like Aruna Papp, an amazing woman whom I have had the honour to meet, and Lee Marsh support the bill. How does the opposition justify using this kind of rhetoric when actual victims are coming out and supporting the bill?

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 10:55 am | Ontario, Windsor—Tecumseh

    The 5 hours for 20-minute speeches has now expired.

    All speeches that will follow will be ten minutes with five minutes for questions and comments.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 11:00 am | British Columbia, North Vancouver

    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. On March 18, 1965, federal Senate Bill S-45, sponsored by lawyer and actuary Senator Wallace McCutcheon, was given royal assent, thus creating the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

    For decades, actuaries working at the heart of some of the country's most important employers, including banks, pension plans, and insurance companies, have been a quiet, powerful force involved in building and strengthening Canadian business and society.

    As experts in risk management, who are responsible for assessing the financial impact of uncertain future events and providing advice in that regard, their role has never been as important as it is today.

    On March 18, the government, on behalf of all Canadians, would like to congratulate the institute on 50 years of actuarial excellence in Canada.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 11:00 am | Ontario, Hamilton Centre

    Mr. Speaker, Hamilton is ready to welcome the Juno's to our city this weekend and to share Hamilton's thriving art scene with people from across the country.

    One of Hamilton's premier art events is the Art Crawl, on James Street North. Once a less desirable and more rundown part of town, James Street North has been revitalized by the influx of grassroots art galleries, studios, shops, and restaurants. On the second Friday of each month, thousands of people come out to celebrate the arts community. The amazing history of Art Crawl's organic growth is captured in the documentary Hearts, a film about Hamilton's Art Crawl, which features the people and places that make James Street North so special.

    I would like to particularly recognize Bryce Kanbara, Colina Maxwell, Dave Kuruc, Matt Jelly, Kevin MacKay, Zena Hagerty, Dr. James Dunn, Cody Lanktree, Graham Crawford, Alex Zafer, Cynthia Hill, Dane Pedersen, Tim Potocic, and Rich Oddie for their contribution to the documentary and for all their time and dedication to fulfilling the vision of “Art as the New Steel”.

    The next Art Crawl is tomorrow, Friday, March 13, and I invite everyone to come out and join one of Canada's most diverse and dynamic cultural experiences.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 11:00 am | British Columbia, West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish all Canadians, especially those of Iranian descent, a happy and joyous Norouz.

    For those Canadians of Iranian background who chose to make Canada their home, they chose a nation that represents freedom, democracy, prosperity, peace, and a strong embrace of one another's ancestry and culture.

    While our government has condemned the actions of the Iranian government for its human rights record, its support of terrorism, and its drive for nuclear arms, we stand squarely with the Iranian people and in the corner of Canadian Iranians, who on a daily basis contribute immensely to our social fabric in academia, business, culture, and so many other avenues of Canadian society.

    Norouz is a time for people to refresh and rejuvenate themselves. Once we are open to that sense of renewal, we can look beyond the coldness and darkness of anger and bitterness and get on with the springtime in people's souls that will bring peace, solh; love,eshgh; and freedom, azadi.

    Norouz pirooz; happy Norouz.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 11:05 am | Quebec, Montcalm

    Mr. Speaker, our government is deeply proud of the leadership Canadian scientists are displaying on the world stage. Last week, as we celebrated International Women's Day, we saw one of our own scientific innovators, Dr. Molly Shoichet, recognized as one of five recipients, from around the world, of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award. She is a global leader in an area of Canadian health expertise, stem cell science. She has distinguished herself not only as a role model for women and girls around the globe but as a world-class innovator who stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best in her field.

    Our Canadian scientists have consistently been on the front lines expanding our knowledge and finding new ways to improve the health of Canadians. We are forever proud to recognize the achievement of notable Canadian scientists. We congratulate Dr. Shoichet.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 11:10 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in remembrance of the tragedy that unfolded off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador six years ago on March 12, 2009.

    On that fateful day, 17 of 18 passengers and crew lost their lives when a Cougar helicopter, Flight 491, crashed into the frigid North Atlantic Ocean while en route to the SeaRose FPSO and the Hibernia platform.

    Among the 17 who died were my constituents Wade Drake and Burch Nash, both from the Burin Peninsula in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have long looked to the sea to make a living, whether by fishing or working in the oil industry. Unfortunately, all too often the sea has claimed the lives of many men and women who bravely risked their lives to provide for their families. The sadness that continues to be felt by the spouses, children, and members of the extended family of the 17 victims who died so tragically is shared by all who remember the tragedy.

    I ask all members of the House to join me in remembering this solemn occasion and again offer our sympathies to those who lost loved ones.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 11:10 am | Ontario, Thornhill

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader's divisive comments this past week continue to draw fire from both the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA, and B'nai Brith Canada.

    The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs says that the Liberal leader's comparison of current debates to the turning away of Jewish refugees in the 1930s and 1940s is “inaccurate and inappropriate”.

    B'nai Brith Canada says the Liberal leader's comparison is wholly inappropriate and states:

    Such language is divisive and only does a dis-service to Canadians interested in dealing with pressing issues of the day.

    B'nai Brith also says the Liberal leader:

    ...is the latest in a long line of politicians who fall into the trap of drawing highly-inappropriate and offensive Nazi-era comparisons by using the term ‘none is too many’ haphazardly.

    The Liberal leader's comments are divisive. We hope the Liberal leader will do the right thing and apologize for them.

  • retweet
    MPcon
    Mar 12, 2015 11:15 am | Alberta, Jeanne-Mance-Viger

    Mr. Speaker, the government has not made a final decision on the continuation of our mission against the Islamic State. Obviously, when we make a decision, we will move a motion in the House for debate, as we have done every time we have deployed troops for this type of mission.

    Nonetheless, it is important to point out that Canada has a role to play against this genocidal terrorist organization, which has declared war on Canada and poses a real threat to our security and global security.

  • retweet
    MPndp
    Mar 12, 2015 11:15 am | British Columbia, Skeena—Bulkley Valley

    Mr. Speaker, if Canadians can bear to do so, it takes some time to look at the terrible Conservative record when it comes to the economy. Truly, it is a record only a mother could love.

    We have record highs in temporary foreign workers and record-low job quality for Canadians. We have record-high household debt and record-low access to employment insurance. The Conservatives continue to hurt the economy, but it is Canadian families who pay the price.

    Somehow the Conservatives have managed to go from bad to worse. In this House last night, we had a New Democrat motion calling on the next federal budget to help create good-paying jobs for Canadians, yet the Conservatives found a way to vote against it. Which part did they hate the most? Was it that we are calling for good-paying jobs for Canadians, or was it that we are calling for a budget at all, which seems to be such a problem for the current government?

    It is time for the Minister of Finance to get off the bench and do his job. All the economists he is relying on are saying that the excuses are over. Let us get to work and give Canadians a budget that helps get them back to work.

    If the Conservatives are so unwilling to do it, let us just wait until the fall of 2015. New Democrats will be happy to give Canadians the government they deserve.


  • 1 2

Date Range

  • order:
  • date range: -
Much improvements will be coming to the new hansard section, currently only basic functionality exists.
Support Politwitter.ca
disable ads
Newsletter
user online (87) viewing this page (1)
view mobile version
FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS
Processing time: 0.0312 seconds