- MPndpMar 24, 2011 3:25 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I recognize that I only have two or three minutes left, so I am going to have to compress my comments.
I first want to congratulate the member for her bill, Bill C-612. I think it is a very important bill. I want to also recognize the member for Kildonan—St. Paul for her work with her bill.
Just so that the members know, human trafficking is the third largest grossing sector of organized crime, after drugs and arms. Therefore, it is very important that the member has dealt with some specific changes to the Criminal Code. However, the one that I would like to point out that impresses me the most is the fact that the bill would allow for the confiscation of any proceeds of crime related to the commission of the offences of procuring and trafficking in persons.
That is important. We see this happening in my home province of Manitoba as well, where we passed legislation that confiscates the proceeds of crime. If we can seize the houses, the bank accounts, and the money from criminals who are dealing in drugs and dealing in this type of activity, or any criminal activity, we can take away their reason for doing the activity in the first place. That is a very important part of the process here.
I believe I will have more time in the second hour, so I will deal with other issues then. However, just in the off chance that I am not returned in the election, I want to say that I have enjoyed working with all 308 members in the House here and I want to wish all 308 the best in all their future endeavours.
- MPndpMar 24, 2011 9:55 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, the member would know that our total debt at the moment is around $543 billion and that the government is just coming off adding another $56 billion to that. This year it will be another $43 billion, and the next year it should be a $34 billion deficit. This is at a time when interest rates are actually low. What is the government going to do when interest rates start moving up, which must happen over the next couple of years, and interest payments start going up astronomically?
The government is doing all of this at a time when corporations are getting tax reductions and ones like the Royal Bank of Canada are paying their president $44 million a year.
Does any of this make sense to the hon. member?
- MPndpMar 24, 2011 9:40 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, the member will know that there are many lost opportunities in the budget. He was in Winnipeg recently and he knows we are about to open a new airport facility there. However, unfortunately last year alone over 50,000 Manitobans were fleeing across the U.S. border to fly out of Grand Forks because of high Canadian taxes. The same is true for British Columbia and points in Ontario, where people cross the border to fly out of the United States. The fact is our airport taxes, as at the last budget, are the highest now in the world.
Why has the government missed the opportunity to address what is a growing problem and deal with having Canadians fly out of Canadian airports rather than American airports?
- MPndpMar 24, 2011 7:10 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by machinists from the Air Canada overhaul base in Winnipeg. Over 500 full-time employees may find their jobs ending up in El Salvador. Air Canada failed in its duty to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by selling its overhaul bases to Aveos in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.
On December 14, 2010, the Air Canada Council claimed at the transport committee that Aeroman, the Aveos subsidiary in El Salvador, could not do Air Canada maintenance in El Salvador. This is totally untrue, as Aeroman performs maintenance on exactly the same aircraft that is overhauled in Winnipeg, namely the A-320 series and the Embraer.
The El Salvador facility could maintain 87% of Air Canada's fleet. In fact, the El Salvador facility is expanding from four to sixteen lines. Just so that members know, Aveos has only four lines in Vancouver, four in Montreal, one in Toronto and five in Winnipeg, for a total of fourteen. In El Salvador alone it will have sixteen lines, more than all of Canada combined.
The workers who have signed the petition want Air Canada to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by reverting to ownership of its overhaul centres.
- MPndpMar 23, 2011 2:45 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for all the work that he has put into Bill C-620 so far. As he has indicated, it is a bill that would provide more voice and choice to the victims. I think we can all agree that is a worthwhile cause. It would also give the Parole Board more discretion. I would think that we would want to send the bill to committee.
The only problem, as the member knows, is that we may only be here for another couple of days. However, I want to encourage him, when the election is over and he is back in the House maybe on this side of the House, who knows, to take the opportunity to reintroduce the bill as soon as we get back. I think we would be very pleased to support it to get it to the committee stage.
Has the member done any wide-ranging consultations and--
- MPndpMar 22, 2011 7:00 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition has been signed by over 500 machinists from the Air Canada overhaul base in Winnipeg. These employees may be finding their jobs ending up in El Salvador over the next period of time. Air Canada has failed in its duty to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by selling its overhaul bases to Aveos, formerly known as ACTS, in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.
On December 14, 2010, in the House, the Air Canada Council and Transport Committee claimed that Aeroman, the Aveos subsidiary in El Salvador, could not do Air Canada maintenance in El Salvador. This is totally untrue, as Aeroman performs maintenance on exactly the same aircraft that is overhauled in Winnipeg, namely the A320 series and the Embraer.
The El Salvador facility shops can maintain 87% of Air Canada's fleet. In fact, the El Salvador facility is expanding from four to sixteen lines. Just so members know, Aveos has four lines in Vancouver, four in Montreal, one in Toronto and five in Winnipeg, for a total of fourteen. In El Salvador alone it will have 16 lines, more than all of Canada combined.
Aircraft overhaul schedules are months and years in advance, so it is easy to schedule the work in El Salvador. In fact, we consider that machinists in Canada cost Air Canada $90 an hour and in San Salvador only $40 an hour. We can see where this is going.
Workers want Air Canada to comply with the Air Canada Participation Act by reverting to ownership of its overhaul centres.
- MPndpMar 21, 2011 4:05 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Chair, I want to thank the member for Ottawa Centre and the member for St. John's East for their involvement on this issue. I think they have improved the resolution a lot. The fact of the matter is that UN resolution 1973 is actually precisely what we needed in this situation, and I do, by the way, like the parliamentary oversight and the parliamentary approval aspects of our particular resolution here in the House.
However, I am concerned about how long our commitment is for the fighters that we have sent over right now. Do we have an option in our resolution that is before the House right now of getting ourselves out of it in a specified period of time, be it weeks or months?
How long of a notice period would we have to give our coalition partners to withdraw from the agreement?
I have asked the government member that particular question but did not really get a specific answer, and perhaps there is no a specific answer. I just thought I would ask the member if he knows that, and if he does not, whether he could pursue that question to see whether we could get some sort of a review period put into the agreement.
- MPndpMar 21, 2011 2:50 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Chair, as a father with a son who has recently gone to Afghanistan, I am taking a heightened interest in the issues in this area.
We are supporting resolution 1973, primarily because it is a UN-supported resolution, unlike in past conflicts we have had. We are still in Afghanistan after almost 10 years. Therefore, there is a concern about the length of involvement because of our previous involvements. That is why we are insisting on parliamentary oversight and approval, which is absolutely a big plus.
Could Canada withdraw at any time or is there a time limit? At a certain point, if we get into this, after a few weeks or a few months, do we have the option of withdrawing our troops?
- MPndpMar 21, 2011 12:25 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by a machinist from the Air Canada overhaul base in Winnipeg. Over 500 full-time employees may be finding their jobs ending up in El Salvador.
Air Canada failed in its duty to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by selling its overhaul bases to Aveos, formerly known as ACTS, in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.
On December 14, 2010, Air Canada counsel, at the transport committee in this House, claimed that Aeroman, the Aveos' subsidiary in El Salvador, could not do Air Canada maintenance in El Salvador. This is totally untrue as Aeroman performs maintenance on exactly the same aircraft that is overhauled in Winnipeg, namely the A320 series and the Embraer. The El Salvador shops can maintain 87% of Air Canada's fleet.
In a confidential J.P. Morgan information memorandum from February 2007, which attracted equity investors into the company, it detailed the expansion plan in El Salvador going from four to sixteen lines.
Aveos has four lines in Vancouver, four in Montreal, one in Toronto and five in Winnipeg, for a total of 14. In El Salvador alone, it will have 16 lines, more than all of Canada combined. San Salvador overhauls exactly the same narrow-bodied planes, the A320s, as Winnipeg and Montreal does.
In fact, page 28 states that the narrow-bodied aircraft can travel to Central America for service. The report states that the aircraft overhaul schedules are months and years in advance, so it is easy to schedule the work in El Salvador.
When we consider the machinists in Canada cost Air Canada about $90 an hour and in El Salvador--
- MPndpMar 21, 2011 12:05 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-640, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (remuneration of directors and officers).
Mr. Speaker, I am introducing an amendment to the Canada Business Corporations Act regarding the remuneration of directors and officers. It is called the Canadian shareholders act.
The shareholders act would make corporations more accountable to the shareholders of corporations by giving them a direct say in the salaries, stock options and other compensation to the top executives and officers of their companies. This amendment would provide for a special resolution as defined by the Canada Business Corporations Act, which requires a two-thirds vote of the shareholders for passing approval of top executive pay, which applies to the approximately 196,000 federally-regulated Canadian corporations.
We have seen an outrageous increase in top CEO pay since the 1990s, as well as over 400% increases of $10 million, $20 million, even over $40 million a year in a single decade. For years, investment funds and shareholder associations throughout Canada have been asking for greater accountability in executive remuneration for the sake of greater responsibility toward its shareholders' investments.
It is time that the government stands up for ordinary Canadian shareholders who depend upon their investments for their modest pensions, while top executive pay skyrockets shamelessly into the stratosphere of tens of millions of dollars. It is time for corporate responsibility to shareholders who own the companies and it is time for the Canadian shareholders act.
- MPndpMar 21, 2011 11:10 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, according to Maclean's magazine, in the 12 year period between 1995 and 2007 there has been a 444% salary increase for the highest paid CEOs in Canada.
The following are just a few examples of how profits of millions of Canadian shareholders were spent. In 1995, the CEO for the Royal Bank received $2.2 million and in 2007, it was over $44 million. In 1995, the CEO for Petro-Canada received $1.3 million and in 2007, it was $17 million. In 1995, the CEO of Air Canada received under $2 million and in 2007, the CEO for ACE Aviation, which owned Air Canada, made $43 million.
It is time that the millions of ordinary Canadian shareholders are protected from such outrageous executive compensation and that CEO compensation be approved directly by a two-thirds vote of the shareholders who own the companies.
- MPndpMar 21, 2011 8:20 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I understand that the regulations are being put into place but I am concerned about the size requirements on the warnings. Many of us my age and older, and maybe some even younger, have difficulty reading the current labels on different products. We practically need magnifying glasses to read them. I just wonder whether any size requirements will be provided.
There is an 18 month phase-in period for these regulations. I wonder why it has taken so long to do that and where we are in the process of phasing in the regulations.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 1:30 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I fail to see what anything the member has said has to do with the Bloc motion before us. I would ask you to call the member to order and direct the member to direct his comments toward the motion on the floor today.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 10:40 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, the election scandal of 2006 involved only one party being raided by the RCMP and being charged. No offences were committed by the Bloc, the NDP or the Liberal Party. And, guess what? It all stopped in 2006 because by the 2008 election even the Conservatives knew it was wrong and they did not do it again.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 9:55 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, the Elections Canada scandal, which we have been debating the last few days, is all about the Conservative Party overspending its limits in the 2006 campaign. In fact, only the Conservative Party had the RCMP raid its office to gather documents. No other party was charged in this situation, because the Liberal Party, the Bloc and the New Democratic Party did not overspend. This was peculiar to the 2006 election.
Since then there has been one other election, the 2008 election. There were no charges emanating against any party in the House. Clearly even the Conservatives can learn from their mistakes.
Why are the Conservatives wasting court time? Why are they wasting their donor donations on lawyers, fighting what appears to be a lost cause? Why not admit that they were wrong at the time and move on? They would not be in the mess they are in right now if they did not keep denying, acting like Richard Nixon. It is just getting them into more trouble.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 9:35 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, the government has been very carefully orchestrating, almost like a play, over the last few weeks. It is saying that it is not interested in an election. Yet, through accident, the only way to describe it, a document entitled: “Breaking Through--Building the Conservative Brand in Cultural Communities”, a Conservative ethnic paid media strategy, was delivered to the member for Edmonton—Strathcona.
In it the Conservatives clearly identify their program. They are trying to shake down riding associations in their party for a donation to the campaign. However, they do specify that the TV buy that they are talking about is pre-writ and it says “heavy deployment over two weeks starting March 15”. I presume in another few days we are going to be hearing ads on the stations on which they are advertising and the official launch is March 20 for the India cricket match.
Does the member agree that this presents a very compelling argument that the government really does want an election and it is simply working to engineer its own defeat?
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 8:55 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, there are 65 members who in the 2006 election spent over their limit and were able to claim rebates, illegally. This did not happen with any other party. It did not happen with the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party or the Bloc. It happened only with the Conservative Party. Interestingly enough, it did not replicate itself. It did not happen again in the election in 2008.
Why would a party whose candidates were caught red-handed five years ago continue to deny, sort of in a Nixon style, rather than try to settle? I know that it has been done in other jurisdictions. I am sure Elections Canada would be flexible enough that if a party came clean with its indiscretions, a settlement could be reached. But no, the Conservatives decided to deny, deny, deny. That has been their modus operandi in all aspects of government. At the end of the day, it is going to be their undoing. That is what I firmly believe.
I would like to ask the member whether she agrees with that.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 8:10 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the member said that the motion talked about the economic action plan. If he read the motion, he would see that there is absolutely not one word on that. The economic action plan is not even mentioned in this motion.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 8:05 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Clearly, the member has no intention of directing his comments to the motion at hand.
Perhaps I have to read it for him:
That this House condemn the government’s use of all the tactics and tools at its disposal to exercise unwarranted control over institutions that must remain independent of the government in order to aggressively push its conservative ideology, namely Parliament, by abusing the power to prorogue and belittling parliamentary committees—
That is what he is supposed to be directing his comments to. So far, he has not said one word that addresses this motion today.
- MPndpMar 10, 2011 7:15 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by machinists from the Air Canada overhaul base in Winnipeg. Over 500 full-time employees may be finding their jobs ending up in El Salvador. Air Canada failed in its duty to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by selling its overhaul bases to Aveos, formerly known as ACTS, in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.
On December 14, 2010, the Air Canada counsel at the transport committee claimed that Aeroman, the Aveos subsidiary in El Salvador, could not do Air Canada maintenance in El Salvador. This is totally untrue, as Aeroman performs maintenance on exactly the same aircraft as is overhauled in Winnipeg, namely the A320 series and the Embraer.
The El Salvador shops can maintain 87% of Air Canada's fleet. In a confidential J.P. Morgan information memorandum from February 2007, which attracted equity investors into the company, they detailed the expansion plan in El Salvador going from four to sixteen lines.
Just so members know, Aveos has only four lines in Vancouver, four in Montreal, one in Toronto and five in Winnipeg, for a total of fourteen. In El Salvador alone it will have 16 lines, more than all of Canada combined.
San Salvador overhauls the exact same narrow-body planes, the A320s, as Winnipeg and Montreal does. Page 28 states that the narrow-body aircraft can travel to Central America for service. The report states that aircraft overhaul schedules are months and years in advance, so it is easy to schedule the work in El Salvador.
When we consider that the machinists in Canada cost Air Canada $90 an hour and in San Salvador only $40 an hour, we can see where this is going.
Workers want Air Canada to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by reverting to ownership of its overhaul centres.
- MPndpMar 08, 2011 2:05 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the reason the Conservatives have been charged in this particular case is that they were actually spending over the limits. The opposition motion is very reasonable. It asks for the “immediate repayment of any and all illegally obtained electoral rebates that were paid out to candidates for the Conservative Party of Canada as a result of the 'in and out' fraud”.
The question is why not just simply pay it back?
It would not be the first time that parties, without mentioning any names, in other jurisdictions have been in trouble with the elections authority in their jurisdiction and have simply paid back the money. The Conservatives have had five years to do this. They could have done that.
The motion also asks to “remove all individuals facing charges for this fraud from any position of responsibility within Government or the Conservative Party of Canada”. What is wrong with that?
If they used some common sense, they could extricate themselves from a problem that they have developed for themselves. It continues to fester and snowball and it did not have to be this way.
- MPndpMar 08, 2011 10:20 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the disease is starting to spread. This morning in the transport committee a similar type of attempt was made to stifle debate on the basis that the subject matter was not before the courts but before a quasi-judicial board, a taxi board in Toronto. On that basis, the chair ruled that the committee should not hear evidence.
Where do we draw the line? Will the government make this argument in every committee, as it is now in the House?
- MPndpMar 08, 2011 7:05 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by dozens of Canadians and calls on the government to end Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.
Ever since May 2008, when Parliament passed its resolution to withdraw the Canadian Forces in 2011, the Prime Minister stayed on track until the Liberals approached him and offered to support him to continue with an involvement in Afghanistan.
Committing 1,000 soldiers to this supposed training mission still presents a great danger to our troops and an unnecessary expense when we are looking at a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost us over $18 billion so far, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors' pensions in this country.
In fact, polls show that a clear majority of Canadians want the military mission to end on schedule in July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.
- MPndpMar 07, 2011 12:20 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by dozens of Canadians and calls for an end to Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.
In May 2008, Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw the forces by July 2011. The Prime Minister, with much help from the Liberal Party, broke his promise to honour the parliamentary motion and refuses to put it to a vote in the House.
Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training mission still presents a big danger to our troops and an unnecessary expense when our country is faced with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion so far, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors' pensions here in Canada.
In fact, polls show that a majority of Canadians do not want the military mission to continue beyond July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 10:05 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, we have seen this kind of positioning before by the Conservatives, where they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces. Although, with respect to the case of Karla Homolka, they were willing to separate that off and get it through in one or two days. It did work there. If it worked there, then why do we not try the same thing here?
We have made it clear that we are prepared to be expeditious with this part of the bill because it is essentially what is in Bill C-565, sponsored by the member for Trinity—Spadina. We have no problem with expediting that part of the bill because it is fairly straightforward. We would simply be extending the timeline for a citizen's arrest.
As I indicated, all those other points may or may not be valid amendments. By insisting that we keep these things bundled will basically slow the whole process down too much. Then the committee process will take an excessive amount of time and we may be unable to get the bill done as expeditiously as we could if we separated out that provision.
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 10:00 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the member raises a very valid point. The original provisions she talked about were from the original 1892 Criminal Code. Somehow we have gone from 1892 to where we are now and nobody has seen a reason to make these changes until now, just before the election.
It is not that we are opposed to these. Our critic has explained that we are talking about five separate provisions and there are these very different defences in each one of these provisions. Then it ties in and relates to the types of property and the severity of offences. It is almost like a Rubik's cube. To rush this through like the government wants to, there is a possibility that things will be missed. That is why we say we are prepared to deal with the one part of the bill in a reasonably expeditious way to support the government on that issue.
However, with regard to the other parts of the bill, we want to take a little closer look at them. Once again, we have not had any real objections on the part of those bills in the last 100 years and the police officers who enforce the laws have not really brought that to our attention as being a top-of-mind concern. Maybe there are some concerns, but we want a better explanation.
We will deal with that when we get into the committee, and I hope we can get the bill in there fairly soon.
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 9:55 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, we will send the bill to committee for clarification. We will have witnesses make presentations on the bill and deal with the various aspects of it.
We want people to do what they have done before. When a robbery is in progress, we want them to report it immediately to the police and not put themselves at risk. We want them to give the thief the money and protect their lives. We do not want to see examples of people trying to be heroes, whether they are chasing down the suspects at the time of the burglary or chasing them out of the store and apprehending them an hour or two later.
We do not want to encourage that kind of activity because police officers are paid to do a job. They are trained to do a job and they know how to do it. We want people to report the issue to the police. We want more action from the police. That is what frustrates these store owners. They phone and police officers do not show up or they do not show up quick enough.
That is why this law is good. It is will complement what is missing right now.
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 9:35 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 9:05 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by dozens of Canadians and calls on the government to end Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.
In May 2008 the Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw Canadian Forces by July of this year. The Prime Minister, with help from the Liberal Party, broke this promise to honour the parliamentary motion, and refuses to put it to a parliamentary vote.
Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training mission still presents a grave danger to our troops and a totally unnecessary expense when our country is faced with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion so far, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors' pensions here in Canada.
Polls show that a clear majority of Canadians do not want Canada's military mission to continue after the scheduled removal date of July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 8:50 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, Air Canada maintenance workers woke up to a shock today. The company has announced, I believe, 356 worker layoffs in Winnipeg. Vancouver is going to lose 101 workers. Montreal will lose another 72. Apparently, their jobs are now destined for Central America, just two days after the Minister of Transport, said that they would not. The minister said:
There will not be any job losses. Air Canada has said that it is going to maintain the overhaul centres in Winnipeg, Mississauga and in Montreal. It has to do so by legislation.
What is the government going to do to protect these jobs or is it breaking its promise to these workers?
- MPndpMar 04, 2011 8:00 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, over the last few days, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has assured us that there will not be layoffs of Air Canada heavy maintenance workers. However, contrary to the minister's statements, Aveos has already posted layoff notices for some of those very jobs.
For example, in Winnipeg, 58 workers will be laid off on May 12 and another 40 workers on June 30, for a total of 98, or almost 100 people. Vancouver will lose 101 workers on May 12 and Montreal will lose 72 on June 7.
Air Canada has already had heavy maintenance work done in the U.S. and China, and Aveos has begun international maintenance work in Central America. Air Canada's heavy maintenance contract with Aveos expires in 2013.
The workers at the Canadian facilities are very concerned that, after the contract expires, Aveos and the government will not honour the intent of the Air Canada act.
- MPndpMar 03, 2011 3:10 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be speaking once again to Bill C-393. I want to recognize Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the former member for Winnipeg North, who did a terrific job in this House for the whole 12 years she was here, particularly with respect to this bill.
It seems so typical that when we find issues like this, we always seem to be up against the Conservatives who are finding ways to oppose bills like this, seemingly always taking the side of big business and the drug companies, trying to put up roadblocks to the good work that was done by the member. Now I recognize there are a few members across the way who have supported the bill, but in a general sense, we predictably find the Conservatives supporting the corporate agenda.
I want to also thank the Bloc because it has made some amendments that actually change the bill in an extremely substantial way. Prior to this, we were looking at a five-year sunset clause. Five years is a very short period of time for something like this, particularly when we recognize how long it takes Parliament to get anything done in terms of legislation. Amending it to deal with a 10-year review seems a much more reasonable approach, and I want to thank the Bloc for that.
There are a number of issues that we can deal with on the bill. I know I do not have a lot of time, but we are talking about over 16,000 lives that are lost in the world to HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other treatable infectious diseases, according to the Global Fund. In 2009, 33.3 million people around the world were living with HIV-AIDS; 1.8 million of them died from the infection and 260,000 of them were children. Ninety-seven per cent of the people infected with HIV-AIDS live in low- to middle-income countries. Almost 15 million people infected with these diseases were in need of antiviral drugs and only 5.2 million were treated.
It is significant that we have seen in the last three or four years, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in the United States make a commitment while they are still alive to give give away half of their $50 billion fortunes and challenging other billionaires in the United States and, I believe, even around the world to participate with them. But the foundation of Bill and Melinda Gates, supplemented by half of Warren Buffet's money, showed some very good direction. They could have picked many different causes in the world, but they chose Africa and the AIDS issue as a point to concentrate on when other groups and other governments were not interested in that. Thus I want to compliment them.
I also want to compliment all of the people who were involved in the development of this bill and getting it to this stage.
- MPndpMar 03, 2011 10:15 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, we have heard very little from members of the Liberal Party today, other than their spokesperson, the member for St. Paul's, who provided us with a bit of revisionist history this morning when she suggested that somehow the Conservatives had stacked the Senate with partisan appointments. On the other hand, however, the Liberals had members in the Senate but they were not partisan.
I want to remind the member for St. Paul's that it was in 1984, when the orgy of appointments were made by John Turner at the behest of former Prime Minister Trudeau, which led to a game-changing debate in that election, when Mulroney was able to attack Mr. Turner on the basis that he could have said no when he filled the Senate with Liberal hacks and fundraisers.
Basically, the Prime Minister is continuing that long established tradition by the Liberal Party over the last 100 years, and we want that to stop.
Does the member have any further observations about the lack of Liberal interest in changing the Senate?
- MPndpMar 03, 2011 7:05 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by dozens of Canadians calling for an end to Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.
In May 2008 Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw Canadian Forces by July 2011. The Prime Minister, with the help of the Liberal Party, broke that promise to honour the parliamentary motion, and refuses to put it to a parliamentary vote in the House.
Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training mission still presents a danger to our troops and an unnecessary expense when our country is faced with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors pensions here in Canada.
Polls show that a clear majority of Canadians do not want Canada's military presence to continue after the scheduled removal date of July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.
- MPndpMar 02, 2011 4:35 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to Bill C-473 today, having spoken to it once before at second reading. I realize that the bill has now gone through the committee process and amendments that were contemplated at the time have been resolved. So, we are at the point now where we have to make a decision as to whether we support it at third reading and send it off to the Senate.
It appears, so far anyway, that the Bloc and the Liberals are deciding against supporting the bill primarily because the legions have shown concerns about it, primarily over the issue of private property rights. I have to say that I have several very active legions in my consistency, and I regularly attend each and every event they invite me to. I have not heard any concern from them about this particular issue.
For all the reasons that the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore gave in his argument, I would support his arguments 100%. In some ways we feel the bill does not go far enough because if the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore had his way, Bill C-208, would be much tougher and would basically outlaw the practice. However, this bill that the member for Perth—Wellington has introduced is a very nice compromise. I do not see why the NDP caucus would have any problem supporting it. Essentially, as I understand it, we are basically allowing the military museums in this country the first right of refusal, which they should have, to buy the medals and to put the medals on display. Only if they do not want to purchase the medals, then the family, or individual, would have the option of doing what they wish with them.
I know we are very limited in time today, but I really did want to deal for a few minutes with a very important case, that of Tommy Prince, who is one of the most decorated aboriginal war heroes, having served in World War II and the Korean War. This man became so famous after his death, and I will read a list of the various streets and awards that have been named after him since his death.
However, the fact is that he was not treated that well in his life when he left the services. Reading about his activities during the conflicts and during the wars that he was involved in, this man was a number one soldier. He did things that are pretty hard to believe, such as operating in sort of a black ops capacity behind enemy lines and doing some pretty spectacular things. After getting out of the forces and going back to civilian life he was treated very poorly, to the point where his medals, I believe there were 10 of them, ended up being sold.
A number of years later, his family went on a fundraising drive in order to buy the medals back. The medals were purchased at auction for around $72,000 and are now being displayed in the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg where people can see them.
Tommy Prince was, as I indicated, one of Canada's most decorated aboriginal war heroes. He served in World War II and the Korean War. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the First Special Service Force, consisting of Canadian and American troops trained at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana, to form what became known as the famous Devil's Brigade.
Prince and other men in his unit were chosen for their rugged outdoor background and received the most vigorous training schedule under live fire ever undertaken by an army unit. All members of the elite squad, similar to the American Green Berets started in the 1960s, were trained to be paratroopers and received intense instruction in stealth tactics, hand-to-hand combat, the use of explosives for demolition, amphibious warfare, rock climbing, mountain fighting and as ski troops. They are described as the best small force of fighting men ever assembled. As a member of the Devil's Brigade, Prince was involved in fierce combat duty and numerous dangerous missions in Italy and France.
Some of the honours that have been bestowed on him since his death in 1977 include: Sgt. Tommy Prince Street in Winnipeg; Tommy Prince Barracks at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario; Tommy Prince Drill Hall at the Land Force Western Area Training Centre in Wainwright, Alberta; Government of Canada Sergeant Tommy Prince Army Training Initiative for aboriginal recruiting; the Tommy Prince award, an Assembly of First Nations scholarship.
To my friend the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie, I point out that there is a Tommy Prince scholarship at Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, which is given out on an annual basis and will be given out in the next few months.
There is a school named after him at Brokenhead Reserve. There is a mural on the wall at 1083 Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg; the Tommy Prince Cadet Corps in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Tommy Prince Veterans' Park also in Winnipeg.
Adam Beach is going to star in a movie to be made about Tommy Prince's life. Adam Beach and members of his family are friends of my family and are known to us in Winnipeg. They are a very successful family. He has made a number of movies in Hollywood.
I would like to briefly detail one or two examples of the type of activities that Tommy Prince did behind enemy lines.
In Italy he set up in an abandoned farmhouse about 200 metres from the enemy assembly area, well behind the enemy lines, with 1,400 metres of telephone wire connecting him to the force. He had a clear view of the enemy emplacements and he was reporting on them so the force could shoot at the guns. Artillery duel followed as the allies attempted to knock out the guns reported by Prince. While he was reporting they were shooting at him. One of those rounds cut the telephone wire. When the duel died down, Prince donned civilian clothing, grabbed a hoe and in full view of the German soldiers pretended to be a farmer weeding his crops. He slowly inched his way along the line until he found where the line was damaged and, pretending to tie his shoelaces, rejoined the wires together. After finishing the repairs he made a show of shaking his fist at the enemy and then toward the allied lines, returned to his lookout where he continued giving reports over the telephone line for the next 24 hours while the allies were knocking the German batteries out of action. He spent three days behind enemy lines and for his actions he was awarded the military medal and citation. Medals were given to him by the president of the United States and King George VI.
We are talking about somebody who was right at the top of his game. There are other examples that I could give during the Korean conflict of similar acts of bravery on the part of this individual.
When he was honourably discharged on June 15, 1945 he went back to his reserve but life was not good. All the adulation he had received and the success he had in the army did not follow him into his private life. He had some kind of business with a truck that did not pan out in the long run. The point is the man died having to sell his medals. The family had to eventually buy them back for $75,000.
We support the bill. It is a good--
- MPndpMar 02, 2011 2:15 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, when the minister made his presentation on the bill some time ago, he indicated the changes to be brought about by the bill but insisted that the lump sum provisions would be kept as an option. The NDP's argument has been that when we are dealing with injured people, particularly younger injured people, they have a great temptation to take a lump sum payment.
Not only has the federal government presented this option but also the Conservative government in Manitoba a number of years ago brought in the same option for workers' compensation. It was basically a way for it to walk away from the problem. If people signed off on a lump sum payment, the government avoided liability at a very low cost, because while the lump sum looks like very big amount of money, the reality is that disability lasts a lifetime. These are young people who are going to live many years.
The government is deluding itself if it feels that somehow it is solving the problem by offering lump sum payments because at the end of day, when all of that money is spent, and in a lot of cases it will be spent very quickly, the people who are disabled are going to feel shortchanged by the government and will come back and ask for more.
Therefore, I do not think we should be offering a lump sum, whether for workers' compensation or this situation here.
I would like to ask the member if she has any comments in that regard, because I sense that the Liberals and the government want to keep the option of a lump sum.
- MPndpMar 02, 2011 12:50 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member on his presentation on Bill C-55.
The government has made some improvements over the previous Liberal government, but these improvements took a long time coming. As a matter of fact, it was only through the efforts of people like our critic, the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore who basically lives and breathes these issues and fights constantly on behalf of the veterans of this country, that we get improvements from the government.
My concern is that it was a big mistake for us to adopt any form of lump sum payment. The government likes the lump sum because it thinks it can walk away from the liability. We are dealing with a lot of young people who get injured, are under a lot of stress and it is attractive for them to opt for a lump sum. However, when the money is gone, and there are lots of examples of how the money disappeared very quickly, the problem still remains and the government would have to come back at some future point to take care of the problem.
Does the member agree that lump sum payment issues should not be part of this process?
- MPndpMar 02, 2011 12:30 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by dozens of Canadians and calls on the Government of Canada to end Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.
Effective May 2008, Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw our forces by July 2011. The Prime Minister, with help from the Liberal Party, broke his promise to honour the parliamentary motion and furthermore refuses to put it to a parliamentary vote in the House.
Committing 1,000 soldiers to training missions still presents a danger to our troops. It is also an unnecessary expense when our country is faced with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion so far, and that is on the conservative side. This is money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors pensions right here in Canada.
In fact, polls show that a clear majority of Canadians do not want Canada's military presence to continue after the scheduled removal date of July 2011.
Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 2:30 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today in response to the motion by the member for Ottawa—Orléans.
I listened to the member's last go-round on November 24 last year. I know the proposer of the motion, the member for Ottawa—Orléans, has done a lot of work on this motion. He made a very impassioned speech last go-round about his involvement in the issue.
He pointed out correctly that the forest products industry is a major generator of employment in Canada, that it is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for over 600,000 jobs in Canada. It has annual revenues of over $50 billion. It actually represents 2% of the GDP of the country. The member points out that Canada is the largest, most successful forest products exporting nation in the world.
Over the course of his remarks, the member also talked about his involvement in planting trees, his family's history of planting, and that of his son.
I talked about the situation we have in Manitoba right now with our boreal forest and the argument about whether the Bipole III power lines should go down the east side of the Manitoba lakes or not. I pointed out that it was his provincial party, the opposition in Manitoba, that was favouring this move to run the power line down the east side of the area. The Manitoba government is trying to turn the area into a preserve.
The member said he would check with Dorothy Dobbie, whom we both know. I have known Dorothy for many years. I actually know her husband and her kids. She, too, is quite involved in forestry and gardening issues in Manitoba, and certainly on a national stage as well.
I do applaud him because for many years we have had a very poor attitude towards natural resources in this country, but I am not going to say all over the world, because we have much evidence of the Europeans and Scandinavian countries back in the 1970s having a very positive attitude toward reforestation. People could not clearcut over there. Trees had to be replaced as they were harvested. Every tree harvested had to be replaced.
We were not doing that here. As a matter of fact, we were just finding out this last week that the Ontario government and other governments were spraying Agent Orange through the forests of northern Ontario. Now the young workers who are were standing there getting the spray on them when they were teenagers are in their 50s and developing cancers and other health problems tied to this Agent Orange problem.
That is certainly the attitude we had during those years. The forest companies had their tracts of land, and their attitude was that they were going to spray the trees. They would load up airplanes with Agent Orange, mix it all up and spray it to kill what they considered to be trees of inferior quality. I would hope that we would not do things like that today and not try to harvest the best trees in the forest at the lowest possible cost. That is the way we used to look at things.
I am really pleased that we are changing our minds, little by little. We owe it to the environmental movement that has pushed us along. I am really pleased to see there are Conservative MPs who are taking a real interest in this, because the Conservative Party has not historically been overly concerned about the environment relative to our party over here. They have been known as pro-development and in favour of mowing the forest down and worrying about it later.
Even Conservatives can change. I am not suggesting that the member opposite has made any changes, because I think he has been solid from day one on this particular issue. However, it has not been normal for me to see a lot of Conservatives really actively concerned. Maybe they were concerned, but they were not actively promoting these kinds of issues—
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 2:10 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his presentation today on the bill.
We have been listening for at least two days now to speeches and presentations on this bill and we have yet to hear from any government members. If we were able to hear from government members, we could at least ask questions of members of the government who have negotiated this deal and who are bringing it in. However, we are left asking questions basically of ourselves. We are not getting any answers from any of the Liberals or the Bloc members, who have simply rolled over and followed the Conservatives on this issue.
Speaker after speaker for our party have listed all the problems with this negotiation. There is no reciprocity. There is no attempt to even get reciprocity on the issue. That would have slowed down the process a lot. It would have got us probably a better deal. We got an exemption, but in a way the exemption simply defeats the purpose of the bill. We are flying point to point in Canada, for example, Toronto to Winnipeg or Toronto to Vancouver, and we are flying over American airspace, we are flying right over all those sensitive installations, buildings and big cities that they are worried about, and it does not seem to be a problem. It is only if we are flying to another country over U.S. airspace that we have to give this information. So, there are a lot of questions here that are really unanswered.
In terms of PNR issues, we have best practices with agreements with other countries that we follow. They could have taken that wording and used it in this deal. They did not do that. Hence, the very poor approach at negotiating here.
This is a really bad deal. I think the Liberals should smarten up; the Bloc should smarten up. They should pull back a bit and start asking more questions. We should renegotiate the whole thing because the flights that were supposed to stop on December 31 have not.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 1:25 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, it is clear that the government messed up in the negotiations. It made a very poor deal. The government could have gone for reciprocity and caused the Americans to back off when demanding information on their 2,000 flights a day versus the 100 that we have to give them.
The government has admitted that the Americans were prepared to let it keep the information but the government was not prepared to spend $500 million or so on the computer system that would need to be set up to keep the information.
The bottom line is that we should get our existing systems working better. We have a no-fly list that does not work. We have the member for Winnipeg Centre on the no-fly list. Former Senator Ted Kennedy is on the no-fly list. We need to clean up that list first.
We also need to get the trusted shipper program working. The American Pilots' Association says that we have 1,000 trusted shippers who are not so trusted because they are sending all sorts of packages and letters onto the airplanes that are not even checked. There is a huge exposure there but we are ignoring that while we are chasing stuff that really does not--
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 12:40 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for his presentation on Bill C-42.
We have not heard any representations from the government on this during the last couple of days. I would be very interested to see a government member stand and speak to this bill, so that we could actually ask some questions.
I believe it was the lone Liberal who spoke to the bill who spoke about how some amendments were made, and one of them was a two-year review. I had to ask her a question about what we were going to find out from a two-year review when we are the ones giving the information to the Americans. What we want to know is, if they are going to review it, what are they going to do with the information?
All our review is going to show is that we gave them X amount of data. However, we will have no idea what they did with that data. If members think for one moment that the Americans are going to answer the questions and tell us what they did with the data, and what the result was of turning it over, they have to be dreaming.
I think this review is basically dead in the water. It is just a way for the Liberals to roll over and support the government, and at least have some explanation for their support base as to why they did it.
I do not know why the Liberals are not asking more questions. I do not know why the Bloc is not asking more questions. There are a lot of questions that should be answered before we pass this legislation.
I wonder if the member has any further comments about this issue.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 10:50 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the government has bamboozled the Bloc and the Liberals into supporting this bill on the basis that it was needed for security and that the Americans demanded it by December 31 or the 100 flights a day from Canada would stop.
I always thought that the reason for the Canadian and the American no-fly lists was to keep the people who were a potential security risk off the planes. With all the security and screening processes we have at the airports, and the fact that we have a no-fly list, which is supposed to keep all the bad guys off, this would mean that we are giving information about the good guys. That is what we are doing here. We are providing information about the good guys.
The fact that this was so important that we were going to shut down Canadian aviation if we did not pass this bill has all proved to be nothing but an apparition. Today is March 1 and nobody is talking about shutting down flights.
It is time the Canadian government went back to the Americans to say, “If we are going to give you information on 100 flights a day, then we want reciprocity with information on your 2,000 flights a day that are flying over Canada”, and then see what they have to say about that.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 10:35 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I am interested in the amendment that deals with the review. She talked about the two-year review and then the subsequent five-year review. Reviewing legislation is good. We have seen that happen in a number of cases, although sometimes when the time comes to do the review it does not get done.
How will this review happen? This is a process where information would be given to the Americans. What exactly will we be reviewing in two years? Will we be reviewing how much information we sent the Americans? We certainly will not be able to review what they did with the information.
Surely the member does not expect the Americans to send us a report card, although maybe she does. After two years, we will ask the Americans to please send us a report on how they dealt with the information we sent them. Clearly, we will want to know what happened to the information that we sent them. We will not get any information from the Americans about that no matter how many times we ask.
All a review would tell us, in my opinion, is what we already know or should know, which is how much information we are sending to the U.S. but not what the final result is of having provided the information. That is what I am having some trouble getting my head around in this case, but maybe the member could give me some further information on that amendment and the others.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 10:20 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the information is not something that one would want to have sent to security agencies unless it is done on the basis that it would be rendered anonymous.
That is how we deal with PNR information under an agreement, for example, between Canada and the EU. When our negotiators negotiated with the Americans, why did they not say that Canada had already signed on with the EU and supported the practice of proper PNR information handling? Why did the government not suggest that the clause in the agreement with the EU be used?
The PNR information under the Canada-EU data protection system allows for time periods for the data to be kept. The data has to be disposed after a certain number of days. There are limits on the individualization of the data so the data is rendered anonymous. The security services build up the profiles they are looking for, but the information is not attached to any one individual.
This is the global standard for international treaties on PNR agreements. Canada signed on to this agreement with the EU. Countries right around the world have signed on to this. Why would we give up a gold standard that we have supported for many years on the use of PNRs? When it came to the Americans and security, the government disregarded all of that.
Canada is going to send whatever information is in the PNR, and that information can vary. There is different information on each PNR. The member for St. John's East asked what was in the PNR. It depends on what the travel agent typed in when the booking was made. Each person is different. People have different medical problems that might be indicated in there, or they might have different meal preferences. All sorts of different information could be in the PNR that would be dealt with here.
This is not the way to deal with the issue. The government should take the legislation back to the drawing board.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 10:15 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the member is correct. That is exactly what it is. The interesting thing about it is if both the American and Canadian no-fly lists are accurate and up-to-date, then any people on those lists would not and should not be on planes in the first place. The people we are concerned about will not be on the plane so their PNR information will not be transferred to any foreign government or, in this case, the American government. We will be giving all of the data on people who are not on the no-fly list and are on the plane in the first place.
When I asked about reciprocity, the government indicated to me that the Americans were prepared for us to keep our own data. We have negotiated one exemption already for point to point flights over U.S. territory between two cities in Canada. Therefore, why would we not negotiate reciprocity? One hundred flights a day fly over the United States and two thousand American flights fly over Canada. Why did the government not say to the Americans that if it gave them our information, then they would have to give Canada their information? The government says that it will cost too much to develop a computer system to deal with all that information. The government just rolled over and signed on to the deal the way the Americans wanted it.
- MPndpMar 01, 2011 10:05 am | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by dozens of Canadians calling for an end to Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.
In May 2008, Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw Canadian Forces by July 2011. The Prime Minister, with agreement from the Liberal Party, broke his oft-repeated promise to honour the parliamentary motion and furthermore, refuses to put it to a parliamentary vote in the House.
Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training mission still presents a danger to our troops and an unnecessary expense when our country is faced with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors' pensions here in Canada.
Polls show that a clear majority of Canadians do not want Canada's military presence to continue after the scheduled removal date of July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.
- MPndpFeb 28, 2011 3:25 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, the fact that we are still debating this bill on February 28, 2011 is proof that the scare has not worked. The government introduced the bill on the second last day of sitting in June. It told us that we had to pass the bill by December 31 or the planes would stop flying. Not only are the planes still flying but we even managed to get an exemption from the U.S.
The Americans were not planning on giving us an exemption for flights from a point in Canada to another point in Canada that flew over American airspace when those flights can be close to sensitive sites such as large cities. What is the American government's intention when it gives an exemption which could cut the heart out of what it is trying to accomplish?
The United States has not stopped the flights. The government should withdraw this bill and negotiate a better deal.
- MPndpFeb 28, 2011 1:50 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with the member. I thought that this issue would have gotten them quite excited. Under normal circumstances, I would have expected the Liberals to be very active on a debate like this and the Bloc to be similarly inclined. Why they do not see or have the concerns that we have on this is a fairly big surprise.
We have the experts' opinions about how the agreement could be improved, so we are not saying not to have an agreement here, but we are saying to have one that fulfills the best practices using the PNR agreement clauses in some other agreements. That would be a big improvement: asking for reciprocity, asking for further exemptions, asking for further clarification. The government says it cannot afford the computer system or else it would keep the data itself. The Americans are saying that we can keep the data ourselves; we must just provide the computer system.
Why are we not looking at something like that?
- MPndpFeb 28, 2011 1:45 pm | Manitoba, Rousseau
Mr. Speaker, it really is a mystery to me as to why the Conservatives are so quiet on the issue. I know their supporters were very vocal on the whole issue of the long form census, yet with an issue such as this they are particularly quiet. I know there are concerns over there and concerns within the party too. I gather they decided to simply ignore the obvious. The bigger surprise to me is why the Liberals and the Bloc are not raising concerns on this issue.
Air Transat is still flying through U.S. airspace. Everybody was supposed to stop flying. The world was going to come to an end on December 31. Well it did not. There was not going to be an exemption when flying from one point in Canada to another. We were not going to get an exemption, but guess what? We got an exemption.
The government has to develop a bit of a backbone. It has to go back and try to negotiate a better deal. The Conservatives may actually surprise themselves and do better if they actually tried. We should not sit back passively and allow them to get away with this when we really do not know what the long-term liability of this legislation is going to be.
We pointed out some of our concerns and some bad practices in the past, but we do not know what the total ramifications are going to be. The members seem to be content to let things develop.
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