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            • MPnews news Active Stocks Trader's Buzzers: Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG), Williams Companies ... - wsnewspublishers
              ... Dr. Matthew Coon Come , Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee); Christine Moore , Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Témiscamingue; Manon Cyr , Chair of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government and Mayor of Chibougamau ...and more » read more
              Aug 03, 2015 3:11 am> |
              • MPnews news Active Stocks Trader's Buzzers: Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG), Williams Companies ... - wsnewspublishers
                ... Dr. Matthew Coon Come , Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee); Christine Moore , Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Témiscamingue; Manon Cyr , Chair of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government and Mayor of Chibougamau ... read more
                Aug 03, 2015 3:11 am> |
                • MPnews news Goldcorp inc. officially inaugurates its Éléonore Mine, a world-class gold ... - Canadian Mining Journal
                  ... the Crees (Eeyou Istchee); Christine Moore, Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Témiscamingue; Manon Cyr, Chair of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government and Mayor of Chibougamau; Chief Dennis Georgekish of the Cree Nation of Wemindji; ...and more » read more
                  Jul 31, 2015 8:51 am> |
                  • MPnews news Goldcorp inc. officially inaugurates its Éléonore Mine, a world-class gold ... - Canada NewsWire (press release)
                    ... the Crees (Eeyou Istchee); Christine Moore, Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Témiscamingue; Manon Cyr, Chair of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government and Mayor of Chibougamau; Chief Dennis Georgekish of the Cree Nation of Wemindji; ...and more » read more
                    Jul 31, 2015 8:01 am> |
                    • MPnews news Who is Christine Moore? - The Patriotic Vanguard
                      Christine Moore (born October 21, 1983) is a Canadian politician. On May 2, 2011, she was elected as the Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Témiscamingue for the New Democratic Party in Quebec during the 2011 Canadian federal election.[1] She defeated ... read more
                      Jul 21, 2015 9:52 am> |
                      • MPconblog bruce_stanton 102 post Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act

                        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.

                        • MPndpblog Thomas Mulcair 205 post Ulrick Chérubin

                          Mr. Speaker, today the community of Amos and all of Abitibi-Témiscamingue are in mourning. Like everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, I was truly saddened this morning to learn of the death of Ulrick Chérubin, the mayor of Amos and a towering figure in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

                          Born in Jacmel in Haiti, Mr. Chérubin attended university in Quebec and was a teacher in Amos for 30 years before being elected mayor in 2002. Mr. Chérubin was an extremely congenial man who was synonymous with the town of Amos and Abitibi-Témiscamingue. He was truly loved by everyone in Amos. It is ironic that Mr. Chérubin left us in the very year that the entire community of Amos is celebrating its centennial.

                          I join the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue and the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou in extending our deepest condolences to his wife, Immacula, his son, Ulrick Junior, his family and friends and the entire community of Amos.

                          • MPndpblog Yvon Godin 1390 post Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act

                            Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

                            I will begin by congratulating the hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, neighbouring my riding of Acadie—Bathurst. These ridings share Chaleur Bay, which is recognized by UNESCO as one of the 10 most beautiful bays in the world.

                            I also thank him for his work on major issues, which we are also facing, since we share Chaleur Bay. For those who do not know, this bay has lobster. People like lobster. There are also all sorts of beautiful fish, as well as crab, and we want to protect them. We have a responsibility to protect them because they are fishers' livelihood. People also like to eat them.

                            I rise today to talk about C-3, An Act to enact the Aviation Industry Indemnity Act, to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Canada Marine Act, the Marine Liability Act and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

                            Even though we support this bill at third reading, we are extremely disappointed that the Conservatives rejected our proposals to broaden the scope of this bill. We proposed amendments, unlike the Liberals. They wanted to propose some at second reading, but they missed the boat, to use a Maritimes reference.

                            Our approach shows that we are ready to make tangible and comprehensive changes to protect our coasts, whereas the Conservatives are not. I would like to expand on the Conservatives' lack of credibility when it comes to marine and air safety issues.

                            If the true purpose of Bill C-3 is to promote greater tanker traffic safety, why did the government not seize the opportunity to cancel the cuts in the latest budgets and the shutdown of marine safety programs?

                            The Conservative government wants to protect our coasts with this bill, but let us look at its record: the closure of the B.C. spill response centre, the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station and the gutting of environmental emergency response programs.

                            It does not make any sense for the Conservative government to cut programs at marine communications and traffic service centres and environmental emergency response centres, because we know that tanker traffic tripled between 2005 and 2010 and is expected to triple again by 2016. Pipeline expansion projects are also expected to increase crude oil shipments from 300,000 to 700,000 barrels a day.

                            When faced with these facts, it is difficult to believe that Canadians' concerns are really being taken seriously.

                            I would like to remind hon. members that the scaling back of Coast Guard rescue capacity and facilities has affected more than just British Columbia. The Conservative government has threatened to cut facilities across Canada, including those in the eastern part of the country. Most notable is its irresponsible decision to close the Newfoundland and Labrador marine rescue centre.

                            The Conservatives also planned to close the marine search and rescue centre in Quebec City, which, like the Newfoundland and Labrador centre, often conducts rescue and emergency relief operations. In fact, it responds to nearly 1,500 distress calls a year.

                            As a result of public protest and the hard work of my NDP colleagues, the Conservatives were forced to reconsider their decision to close the marine search and rescue centre in Quebec City, and it is still open today.

                            I would like to commend my colleagues and the people of Quebec, who stood up to show how important this centre is.

                            If the Conservatives really want to protect Canada's oceans with this bill, why not broaden its scope?

                            The measures that the NDP wants to see in a bill to safeguard Canada’s seas include reversing Coast Guard closures and the scaling back of services, including the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station.

                            We also want the Conservatives to cancel the cuts to the marine communication and traffic service centres, including the marine traffic control communications terminals in Vancouver and St. John's, Newfoundland. We have before us a bill that seeks to protect our oceans and tankers, but the government is closing the most important organizations for monitoring them.

                            We are also calling on the government to cancel the closure of British Columbia's oil spill response centre. It is unbelievable that the government would put forward this bill in the House of Commons and at the same time seek to close the oil spill response centre in British Columbia. Earlier, I was saying that crude oil shipments would increase from 300,000 to 700,000 barrels a day. Marine traffic is growing and the Conservatives are cutting the organizations that might be able to prevent catastrophes.

                            We are calling on the government to cancel cuts to the Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research. The Conservatives even want to make cuts to a research centre. We are also calling on them to cancel cuts to key environmental emergency programs, including oil spill response in Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia.

                            It is scary. It is scary to see where the government is going with this. Canadians should be scared to see what is happening on the energy and oil fronts. It is not new, and each year we see an increase in the use of our rivers and oceans, both the Pacific and the Atlantic. The government is shutting down everything that has been put in place to protect and monitor these bodies of water.

                            We are calling on the government to reinforce the capacity of petroleum boards—which is currently nil—to handle oil spills, as recommended by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board needs to build in-house expertise to manage a major spill, including an independent safety regulator.

                            We want the Canadian Coast Guard to work collaboratively with its U.S. counterparts and conduct a parallel study to examine the risks additional super tanker traffic would cause in Canadian waters.

                            If the Conservatives really wanted to take marine safety seriously, they could have—and should have—expanded this bill. We know that the Conservatives are making these modest changes in an attempt to calm British Columbians' well-founded fears about new oil pipeline projects and the inevitable increase in oil tanker traffic that would result from new pipeline construction.

                            The people of British Columbia are right to be worried about potential spills resulting from the increase in tanker traffic. Oil spills have proven inevitable with oil tanker traffic. The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation has recorded nearly 10,000 accidental oil spills globally since 1970.

                            That should tell the government to be careful. Given all the cuts it has made in various areas, it is, as I said earlier, very scary.

                            The government needs to shoulder its responsibilities. This bill does not go far enough. We will support it because, while it is not much, it is better than nothing. However, it should go further.

                            • MPconblog BarryDevolin_MP 37 post Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

                              Order. Again, I remind all hon. members to address their comments to the Chair rather than directly at their colleagues.

                              The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

                              • MPndpblog Jack Harris 1623 post Energy Safety and Security Act

                                Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague, the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue, for graciously sharing her time with me in this important debate about Bill C-22, an act respecting Canada's offshore oil and gas operations that would also enact a nuclear liability and compensation act and make consequential amendments, including repealing the existing Nuclear Liability Act.

                                I also want to congratulate my colleague, the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl, for his very forthright and passionate speech on this issue and on the industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, which has been so important to the fiscal position of the province and has provided opportunities for legions of workers, both in the offshore field itself and in engineering and related matters, bringing about great prosperity for Newfoundland and Labrador.

                                I am pleased to speak to this bill because it is an opportunity to talk about this issue and its importance within the Canadian context.

                                We hear a lot about western Canada. I went to law school in Alberta. I am very aware of the importance of that industry there and the oil sands, as well, but I think sometimes it overshadows the role that east coast oil and gas plays in total production and its importance to the overall Canadian scene.

                                We are concerned, of course, as is every country and anyone else aware of the consequences of potential oil and gas spills, both on land and at sea, about the danger of pollution and the danger of a spill that could have a catastrophic effect. We saw that in the most recent Macondo case in the Gulf of Mexico, which had huge consequences for Gulf, for the fishers in the area, for the communities, for the environment, and for all of the sea life affected by this particular spill. As as result, the need to take a close look at the liability regimes has been brought into sharp focus.

                                We support the bill at second reading. We want it to go to committee. We think that significant improvements have been made here. I do not know if it has been mentioned before, but the words “polluter pay” actually appear in the bill. I think that is the first time they have ever appeared in a bill in Canada. It is something that our leader has spoken about as a basic principle of our party when it comes to sustainable development. One of the hallmarks of sustainable development is that to make it sustainable, it is the polluter that should pay if there are any consequences of its economic activity, and not the public.

                                Here, we have a significant rise in liability from what has to be considered a ludicrous amount of $30 million, to $1 billion in the case of offshore oil and gas, and generally from $40 million to $1 billion in the case of the Arctic, for no-fault risk.

                                Some people might say, “Well, if it is not our fault, why should we have to pay at all?”

                                The reason is that they are the author of the activity they are engaging in to obtain profit and they have to pay the consequences if something goes wrong.

                                It is not as simple as “no fault” or “your fault”. As a lawyer, I know that deciding who is at fault and what the fault is, is often a very long, tortuous, and expensive process. In case of the kind of activity we are talking about here, we need to know that the initial responsibility rests with the person who causes the damage, that the damage is going to be fixed, and that people who need compensation are going to be compensated. A no-fault system allows that to happen.

                                The at-fault position is that there is not a limit on liability. The limit, I guess, is the ability of the operator to pay. That also comes into effect and we need to know that people who are engaged in this kind of activity, which is dangerous to the environment and to life and limb, are responsible and capable operators and companies that can actually carry out this work.

                                I say life and limb; it is often overlooked that the Deepwater Horizon project that blew up and caused this big damage also cost 11 workers their lives in that explosion. It is still a very dangerous activity, as we know from the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982 and the Cougar helicopter crash recently and another crash a couple of decades ago. It is a dangerous activity that requires serious and responsible actors in the business, and so we would want to make sure that they are responsible for the damage they cause.

                                The act itself has some significant limitations. I am still puzzling over why one would say we are going to raise the liability from $40 million to $1 billion and then say the minister can waive that requirement. There does not seem to be any particular conditions as to when he or she might do that, and so one wonders why it should be there at all.

                                I can see the lineup now. Everyone would want an exemption because they would say they cannot really afford that or would not be able to get insurance or not be able to operate. Everything would supposedly come to a standstill if that were enforced. The minister is going to have a lot of people at the doorstep, looking for the exemption.

                                In the United States, the limit is $12.6 billion. In Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, and in numerous countries, there is no liability limit. In those countries, Norway and the United States being good examples, this has not prevented the development of robust and successful offshore oil and gas developments. We need to know why Conservatives are asking for that, but we would have a great deal of difficulty supporting that kind of exemption unless they convince someone that it was limited to one or two particular circumstances that may make sense. I do not know what they are. We have not heard the case for that yet.

                                However, we do see some progress here. The $1 billion, in fact, was an amendment suggested by the NDP in the last Parliament when a piece of legislation was brought forward, never really seriously, because it was left on the order paper for a year before the last election, but $650 million was proposed. The NDP recommended it be put at $1 billion at that time, which of course did not happen and the bill died on the order paper. This is a step forward, but there is a very strong case for unlimited liability and certainly a number more than $1 billion, and that is something to discuss at committee.

                                When we are talking about oil and gas development and pollution problems, there is the issue of spill response and what the capability is of dealing with an oil spill if it occurs. There is significant concern about that in the Atlantic and the existing regime right now. In fact, in a 2012 report, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development was critical of the industry and critical of the regulators, both in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador, for not being in a position to take over responsibility for oil spills if they occurred. In the case of Newfoundland, a study started in 2008, just to define and determine what the operator's capability was regarding oil spill containment and activity, has not been completed.

                                Officials tried to determine what the capability was. They had to review the spill response capability of operators. They said they were going to do it, but they have not done it. They said they were going to do it by March 31, 2013, after five years in the making. As my colleague from St. John's South—Mount Pearl pointed out about a month ago, officials still have not produced that report.

                                The member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl, the member for Burnaby—Douglas, and I met recently with the C-NLOPB, which promised to have this report out very shortly. We look forward to that. We do need to know that if there is any kind of a spill, the oil companies have the capability to respond to it, to give the public confidence that this industry can be operated in safety and that the environmental concerns are taken into account.

                                I see that my time is up and I look forward to any questions and comments members may have.

                                • MPndpblog Claude Gravelle 801 post Support for Volunteer Firefighters Act

                                  Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue for her leadership on Bill C-504. She is a real MP who shows leadership for Abitibi—Témiscamingue and for Canada as a whole.

                                  My riding of Nickel Belt comprises mostly small communities. There are some full-time firefighters in Sturgeon Falls and some in Valley East. They are supplemented by volunteer firefighters.

                                  I cannot believe what I am hearing from members on the government side and members of the third party about this piece of legislation. Bill C-504 is about federal leadership.

                                  Let me talk a bit about Nickel Belt. I have a big riding that starts in the north in Foleyet, which is serviced by volunteer firefighters, and it goes to Mattagami and Gogama. I will stop at Gogama right now.

                                  I received an email today from a firefighter from Gogama. I just wanted to know roughly how many calls those firefighters had per year. Gogama is a very small community of a couple of hundred people. The firefighters get 60 to 70 calls per year involving motor vehicle accidents, extrications, fires, medical calls, and all kinds of calls that volunteer firefighters would respond to.

                                  There are even smaller communities in my riding, like Cartier, Onaping, and Levack. I will stop at Levack for now.

                                  Levack has always been served by volunteer firefighters. Levack-Onaping is a special case because there are several mines in the area that are serviced by volunteer firefighters. They have been called to these mines to put out some fires. Those mines employ hundreds of people. I want members to imagine what would happen if one of those mines was burning and the firefighters could not show up. What if the place was to burn down? What would happen then?

                                  I heard a Conservative member talking about the economic action plan. I am talking about a bill for firefighters, and he was talking about the economic action plan.

                                  I am not going to be like the member for Mississauga—Streetsville and tell members I saw this, because I really did not see it, but I can just imagine how many bonfires were started because of the economic action plan, by people sitting around throwing books about the economic action plan into the fire just to warm up. That is just about all those books are good for, especially the last one because there is nothing in it. It is just an imaginary budget.

                                  I am going to move on to Killarney, which is another town in my community served by volunteer firefighters. I have skipped over several communities to get to Killarney because it had a special cause not too long ago. Killarney is a tourist area. People work in the summer there and are on EI during the winter. As a result of government changes to EI, the volunteer firefighters did not want to volunteer anymore because they felt they were being punished.

                                  As I only have a minute left, I want to read an email I received from another community in Nickel Belt:

                                  The only thing I can add at this time is that many of our members, including myself, have been told under no circumstances can we respond to a fire emergency while on shift at work. This at times is a perilous situation.

                                  Can members imagine that? If they have kids or grandkids—they must have some family—I want them to imagine their house burning down and volunteer firefighters being unable to respond to the call.

                                  I say the same thing to the Conservative and Liberal members. I ask them to imagine having a car accident and needing to be extricated, except volunteer firefighters cannot help because they cannot leave their place of employment. What a real shame it would be to lose lives because employees could not leave their job sites to save lives or extinguish fires. What a real shame that would be.

                                  • MPndpblog Alex Atamanenko 1766 post Situation in Ukraine

                                    Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention that I will be splitting my time with the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

                                    First off, I would to thank the member for Selkirk—Interlake and the member for Etobicoke-Centre for having requested tonight's emergency debate.

                                    It is of the utmost importance that we have such a debate tonight, because tomorrow morning, the Ukrainian Parliament will be in session. Everyone is wondering if it will enact martial law, which may include a blackout.

                                    It is important that we are doing this tonight.

                                    I would like to start by thanking my relative, Vitaliy Milentyev, who is the current president of the Alberta chapter of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce. I have been receiving updates on the tragic situation in the Ukraine from him. In fact, last week my brother George and I were able to watch news clips from Ukraine when we spent some time with Vitaliy. What we saw was very disturbing.

                                    I would like to share some background information that he sent to me today. However, first I would like to thank the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for its excellent briefing notes, which will be reflected in the debate tonight.

                                    Also, I would like to emphasize that the outrage we are seeing in Ukraine is not confined to Kiev. It has been several days since anti-government protests have swept across central and western Ukraine, taking over regional administrative buildings. On January 25 and 26, two key industrial eastern cities, Zaporozhye and Dnepropetrovsk, which are traditionally seen as largely supporting the ruling party, have seen thousands of people rally on their main squares. In Zaporozhye, protestors are chanting slogans like “get out”, “Zaporozhye, wake up”, and they are singing the national anthem of Ukraine. There were also repeated calls for the governor of Zaporozhye region, Oleksandr Peklushenko, to resign. What we are seeing is not something that is confined to one part of Ukraine.

                                    Here is some background information that I received today on what has happened since Yanukovych resumed power in 2010. Being backed by a majority of faithful MPs, he immediately appointed his close allies to the key positions in the country: chief justice of the constitutional court, head of a national bank, head of the ministry of finance, and head of customs and revenue service. Essentially all ministries and government departments are now headed by his subordinates.

                                    The following transgressions of Yanukovych were also observed by the people of Ukraine, covered in media, and yet they have received no attention from the government.

                                    There was the imprisonment for questionable charges of Yulia Tymoshenko and other leaders of the opposition, and key political figures. He first squeezed out the owners of large businesses, then smaller and smaller businesses. Any semi-successful business in Ukraine that shows any profit is now a target for Yanukovych's raider attacks.

                                    Yanukovych's family, in four years, has become one of the richest and most powerful families in Ukraine by far. His son and son's friends are managing the empire. He has used taxpayers' money to build lavish residences for himself in national parks and heritage sites. There have been billions of dollars spent in open sight with absolutely no regard to public questioning of such expenses.

                                    These are examples of what has become of a country ruled by one family.

                                    I also have here a plea for help that I and my cousin Vitaliy received today from a friend of his who represents an intellectual elite of the Ukrainian legal system. He is one of the few judges with consciousness and dignity. Here is what he said:

                                    Dozens of thousands of Ukrainians have been protesting in sub-zero temperatures for over 2 months now. (it's -15C in Kyiv now).

                                    He continued:

                                    Ukraine has clearly been mismanaged. The last “drop in the bucket” was a package of laws passed by the parliamentary majority almost two weeks ago that clearly violate basic constitutional and human rights, freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

                                    The tension is escalating. The area of “Independence Square”...is growing every night. More and more administrative and ministerial buildings are being occupied by protestors. Clashes with riot police have turned deadly last week. Police have started grabbing people (often non-protesting bypassers) and throwing them behind bars. The count of jailed people is in the thousands now.

                                    I fear for members of my family who are also there and involved in this protest.

                                    He continues to say that the “Government of Canada, (along with the Governments of other countries) should immediately interfere and call to seek for compromise as the most realistic approach to resolving the crisis and to prevent any further bloodshed”. It is much easier, according to the judge, “to prevent a civil war than to deal with its consequences (take Syria as the most recent example).”

                                    He also reminds us that we need to remind Yanukovych and his affiliates of the sanctions that can be introduced in the case of escalation of violence and offer political asylum to those clearly persecuted by the government. Dozens of prominent Ukrainian figures who oppose Yanukovych's regime are now under constant pressure by threats from law enforcement, and some of them have unfortunately disappeared. The worst is feared. Some had to flee the country with their families in fear for their lives.

                                    I would like to take a moment to offer a quotation from my newly elected colleague, the MP for Toronto Centre. It is important. She has a good summary of what is going on in the country:

                                    Ukraine today is poised between the establishment of a deeply rooted, hard-earned democracy and a return to bare-knuckle authoritarianism. The outcome is critical for Ukraine, of course, and the Ukrainian diaspora around the world, but it will also have a powerful demonstration effect in Russia, other former Soviet republics, and everywhere in the world where civil society is struggling against dictatorship. What happens in Ukraine matters to the prospects for democracy around the world. The good news is that we can make a difference. In Ukraine we are seeing the struggle for human dignity, for the rule of law, for freedom of expression and association in its clearest form.

                                    I would like to thank my colleague for that. I did not have time to read her whole article.

                                    I would like to run out my time by reading from an appeal of the people of Ukraine to the international community, entitled “...Please Act Now”. It is dated January 24, 2014 at 2:14 p.m.:

                                    This is our last plea for help. Tomorrow they might disconnect our phones and Internet, announce a state of emergency and kill us while the international community remains silent, upholding European values on paper only. People are dying for them in Ukraine, and will continue to die. Citizens of Ukraine, representatives of civil organizations, active participants in the peaceful protest on the Maidan...in Kyiv and across the whole country appeal to the international community, national governments and international organizations to decisively intervene in the current situation in Ukraine in order to help Ukrainians secure peace and civil rights in this part of Europe. We need your help to stop this bloody, brutal and evil war, which criminal government authorities wage against their own people. The response to the protesters' actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs...Security Forces is outrageous. Police strongly violate human rights, secured by international conventions and Ukrainian legislation, particularly by using live ammunition and water cannons. At least five people have already been killed by sniper's bullets and torture by criminal thugs hired by the authorities to fight activists, and the fate of many others has not been determined. Hundreds of protesters were severely injured, among them dozens of medical workers and journalists, who have been intentionally shot by snipers from “Berkut”(riot police), mainly targeting their eyes. MIA Security Forces have kidnapped the severely wounded right from the hospitals, handcuffed, tortured and humiliated them. We ask you to note that despite the terror against protesters arranged by authorities all over country, and specifically in Kyiv, people's resistance, with only one exception, remains peaceful.

                                    I have learned also that the government has been using what we call les agents provocateurs. In other words, they are hiring young thugs, who are poor or young people who do not have any money, dressing them up and getting them to take part on the side of the demonstrators to make it look as if demonstrators are committing the violence. That certainly has to stop.

                                    I will continue with the appeal:

                                    It has been two long months during which the government authorities of Ukraine have violently reacted to the peaceful protest of millions of Ukrainians. Partial radicalization of public attitudes in Kyiv is the outcome of brutal actions by police during crackdowns on the peaceful demonstrators on the 30th of November and 1st of December, absence of a response by the authorities to the EuroMaidan's demands, systemic repressions towards participants of the protests across the country, and adoption of illegitimate laws, that literally reify dictatorship in Ukraine. Violent resistance started when police blocked a peaceful protest against the abolishment of the rights of Ukrainians for non-violent protest, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and fair trial.

                                    As I am out of time, I should add, Slava Ukraini.

                                    • MPconblog DavidSweetMP 963 post An Act to Bring Fairness for the Victims of Violent Offenders

                                      Mr. Speaker, it is an honour in the House to speak to Bill C-479, an Act to bring fairness for the victims of violent offenders. I am dedicated and passionate about seeing this bill through because the changes it would bring about for victims and their families are overdue. Today marks one step closer in the legislative process in seeing these changes become a reality.

                                      First, I would like to thank the hon. member for Scarborough Centre, who is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, for her strong support the last time we debated Bill C-479 in the House. In her role, she has been a strong advocate for victims in her community and across the country, and I congratulate her on her work.

                                      The parliamentary secretary, the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice were busy this past summer, hearing from victims across the country. We look forward to hearing more from them in the months ahead on the federal government's support for victims.

                                      I am proud that Bill C-479 complements our government's work to support victims and their families from coast to coast to coast.

                                      I would also like to thank and acknowledge the hon. members for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, Winnipeg North, Alfred-Pellan and Abitibi—Témiscamingue for the support they offered in the House to bring this bill to committee. I appreciate their kind words on my intent in bringing forward this bill. While they have raised some points that will be further debated in committee, I have no doubt that their hearts are in the right place.

                                      All of us on both sides of the House should desire to do everything we can to bring about fairness for victims and their families and act on some of the recommendations of the victims ombudsman. Contrary to the member for Malpeque's comments, this bill is not about the Criminal Code, but the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and victims' rights. This is all about that.

                                      I offer special thanks to the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Sue O'Sullivan, for meeting with me and my staff and for all of her advice and support in the development of this bill. Many of the provisions of Bill C-479 stem from the recommendations made by Ms. O'Sullivan and her office. I appreciate and respect the work that she and her team do on a daily basis to advocate for victims. It is tough, emotional and unrelenting work and they do it effectively, professionally and compassionately.

                                      I have also heard from victims. To me, that is the ultimate litmus test of this bill. When they tell me that it will make a difference and that we are on the right track, I know that this makes sense.

                                      Please allow me to conclude this debate at second reading where I began. That is by reiterating my intent in bringing forward this bill. As I have said at each stage of the process, it was an eye opening and heart-wrenching experience at a hearing of the National Parole Board of Canada in the summer of 2010 that led me to introduce this bill. Invited to observe as a guest of my constituents, I witnessed first hand how the system revictimized the people who had already suffered enough for a lifetime. Since that time, I have witnessed many more meetings, all just as gut-wrenching and painful.

                                      Constable Michael Sweet's story and his family's reasonable request to have more information has profoundly affected me as well. Their point is well taken that their father and husband's life was taken from them publicly. The offenders were tried publicly, with all of the evidence being introduced publicly. Victims, their families and all Canadians should have some public assurance that those convicted of violent offences are doing what they can to be rehabilitated and become contributing citizens.

                                      If an act to bring fairness for the victims of violent offenders eases the revictimization of just one family, it will be worth it, but I am convinced that it would do much more.

                                      Merry Christmas. Joyeux Noël.

                                      • MPconblog RickNorlock 869 post National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act

                                        Mr. Speaker, as we heard from across the aisle, I will take the little kick in the pants from the official opposition. I know its members support this bill. I accept that. I thank them and all of the members across the way. I especially thank the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, who I know is an avid fisherman, hunter, and trapper, and who cares very much about the environment and making sure that those activities continue to be part of our Canadian heritage.

                                        On September 22, 2009, there was a press release that came out of the White House in the United States of America. I will not read it all, because many of the members here spoke of what the President of the United States said.

                                        Toward the end, he stated:

                                        Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 26, 2009, as National Hunting and Fishing Day. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize this day with appropriate programs and activities.

                                        This is one small part of the reason I brought this bill forward. It is to match the laws of this country to those of the United States for the Americans who come up to every one of our ridings in this place that have fishing and hunting camps or cottages. They invest, and they enjoy our natural bounty of fish and game and contribute greatly to the economy of our country.

                                        I thank the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River for his wholehearted support for this bill. I thank the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue, who said how important hunting and fishing were to her and her family and pointed out the fact that women are now an important part of the hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage of this country.

                                        I also thank the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette for his heartfelt support of this bill and his reasons and passion for that.

                                        Finally, I give thanks to my friend from Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for his party's support for the bill.

                                        As the member who previously spoke said, hunting and fishing are sort of a rite of adulthood. I will use the term, and I know some people might object, but it is a rite of manhood in my family when one's son or daughter catches his or her first fish or harvests his or her first moose or deer. It is part of our DNA. It means so much to a father and son, and to a grandfather, to see his children and grandchildren do this.

                                        It was mentioned before by the member from Manitoba that it was part of the founding of his province. This hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage is part of what Canada is. Our country was founded because the Europeans really loved beaver for making warm clothing. That started the whole trade. However, I will not repeat what the member said.

                                        This bill is really a motherhood bill. It recognizes the importance of this. We have many other days we recognize.

                                        Members heard in prior speeches about the billions of dollars spent annually by people who fish and hunt recreationally. Members heard about those who trap and seal, and the importance of sealing to our northern communities, whose sealing tradition has been their very subsistence for years. We, as a country, support this. Because this bill means something, there is all-party support. It does not cost anything. It sends a signal to all Canadians, especially new Canadians who are coming into a country that has such abundance. We need to protect that.

                                        The previous speaker said that it is the hunters and fishers who are the true conservationists. There are still ducks, moose, and deer all over. The member from Newfoundland mentioned how many moose there are. These are things to be treasured. They are to be harvested because the good Lord expects us to be good stewards. To be good stewards means that we can enjoy nature's bounty, but we are good stewards of it. That is what this bill is about.

                                        I encourage all members of Parliament to put aside our partisanship, put aside our rancour, think about the people in our ridings who enjoy these activities, and please vote for this bill.

                                        • MPconblog bruce_stanton 121 post Afghan Veterans Monument

                                          I thank the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt for his intervention. I do not think in this case it is a point of order because it really speaks to a matter of debate about the facts that have been exchanged in the House here this evening in debate. Therefore, as is usually the case, we do not really look at that as a point.

                                          There is no decision to take on that, so we will continue. Resuming debate, the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

                                            • MPlibblog Rodger Cuzner 1283 post Support for Volunteer Firefighters Act

                                              Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to get up and speak to this particular bill on behalf of the party. I want to commend the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue for bringing this forward for debate. She has brought it forward as a well-intentioned bill; but certainly, as my colleague from Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo has indicated, there are aspects of this bill that remain unaddressed or vague or somewhat strange in the number of ways it could be applied. I am just not certain as to where the problem was that precipitated the bill's coming forward, so I was surprised to see it coming from a member who represents a rural constituency.

                                              I have 50 volunteer fire departments in my riding. They go from Dominion to Donkin to Guysborough, Cheticamp and Port Hawkesbury. Every community has a volunteer fire department. We all stand and offer respect and gratitude to those who offer themselves up to help look over their family and friends in those rural communities. I have done a fair amount of work with the volunteer firefighters, not just in my riding, but nationally I was able to bring a private member's bill forward in the 37th Parliament. The essence of it was a tax deduction for those who put in 200 hours. The Conservatives took that and put it in a bigger omnibus bill. It was probably a rose among many thorns, so we were not able to support it at that time, but had it been broken free I know that my colleagues in my party would have supported it.

                                              At that time, I was able to speak with a great number of volunteer fire department chiefs from across the country and a great number of volunteer firefighters. Never over the course of those discussions did this ever come out as an issue. Certainly in my consultations with the fire chiefs, they have been consistent year after year. Brent Denny from Cape Breton regional fire services has been a strong advocate for the fire chiefs. He is on the national executive and continues to do great work for that organization and for firefighters. They have been consistent year after year in identifying their key concerns, asking for government to designate 10 MHz of spectrum on the public safety broadband, which would provide volunteer fire services and first responders with state-of-the-art communications. This is something they have been advocating for over the last number of years. Improvement to fire services on first nations communities is another issue. They have banded together and are trying to rally for the creation of an independent national fire marshal for first nations communities.

                                              We are very much aware of those initiatives, but this particular one was never heard coming from those whom it would most impact. Since receiving the private member's bill, I have communicated with those people and they still do not see it as being something that is, pardon the pun, a burning issue.

                                              With regard to my party, I want to recognize the work by the member for Wascana who succeeded in passing Motion No. 388. This motion introduces a one-time $300,000 benefit for firefighters who were killed or disabled in the line of duty. It also provides firefighters with priority access to vaccines and medications, very similar to what front-line health care workers have to their avail now.

                                              It calls for the inclusion of firefighter safety in the National Building Code. Again, that motion that was presented by the member for Wascana reflected issues and concerns that have been brought forward by firefighters and representatives over the years.

                                              The other thing that concerns me, and I would think it should concern the members of the NDP as well, is that what we are doing is we are asking the government to change the Canada Labour Code. We know the Canada Labour Code is the bedrock, the foundation, for the relationship between employers and employees. We know it is fundamental.

                                              We have seen the government put forward legislation in this chamber that has been an outright offence to that relationship. We saw the changes that it wanted to undertake in moving from a card check system to a system with a secret preferred ballot. That is a complete change to the relationship between employer and employee.

                                              We have heard from unions that said if the government were to change the Canada Labour Code, it should be done through consultation and consensus. It should not be one-offing. The Sims report that was tabled in the late 1990s said we should not be political with this. The government of the day should not be involved in this. The relationship between employer and employee should be one that is built through consultation and consensus.

                                              If we are going to attack the government for their wrong-minded approach on those changes to the labour code, then I think there has been a certain degree of consistency on the part of the opposition.

                                              I do not know enough about the bill, and I was hoping to learn more through this debate this evening. I have not seen anything in the debate to make me say, “Oh, I get it now. I see where the problem was.” I would hope that over the course of this debate the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue can bring forward some actual fact, some research, some position papers or voluntary positions put forward by those most impacted. Maybe she could give us some cases where hardship has been met by volunteer firefighters.

                                              In the time that we have had to look at this issue, we just have not seen that. If that comes out over the course of the debate, then we will certainly take that into consideration. Making a change to the Canada Labour Code is something we should not take lightly as legislators.

                                              I think my time is winding down. Each of us in rural communities, whether you are a paid firefighter or a volunteer first responder, know that probably the volunteer firefighters have it even tougher because they are expected to be trained. They have a full-time day job but are expected to be trained just as well as full-time firefighters. They are expected to deal with the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual impacts of being a first responder, of rushing into that house while everyone else is running out, showing up at the scene of a head-on collision on a highway, using the jaws of life or scraping an 18-year-old kid off the dash of a car. When those volunteer first responders do that type of thing, they then have to go back to the hall, change their gear and go back to work.

                                              We believe what they do is important, what they do is noble. We appreciate their efforts. If we believe that in some way this helps those firefighters, then we will support the bill.

                                              • MPconblog Cathy McLeod 1534 post Support for Volunteer Firefighters Act

                                                Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak on the second reading of Bill C-504, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code.

                                                First of all, I, too, like many people in this House, want to not only salute our volunteer firefighters, but our search and rescue folks, and the many people throughout our country who work in our rural and remote communities and ensure that we have a sense of safety. We know that when we have trouble they will be there for us. Again, I think all of us agree, and we salute the very important work that they do.

                                                The bill claims to protect the employment of volunteer firefighters working in a federally regulated business. I think it is important to note that according to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs an estimated 4.9%, or 4,200, of the 85,000 volunteer firefighters in Canada are hired by federally regulated businesses. We are talking about a very small portion of the workforce.

                                                There are 3,200 volunteer fire departments throughout Canada, with most of them serving small communities with less than 10,000 residents. In many communities, they are often the only local emergency first responders. As I said, if one has ever travelled through a community that is rural or remote, knowing they are there is critically important.

                                                I know that the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue tabled this private member's bill with the best of intentions. That said, I do have a number of concerns that I would like to raise.

                                                First of all, I think the changes proposed in the bill would actually create more problems than solutions. The sponsor of the bill claims it would help volunteer fire departments with recruitment and retention in smaller-sized communities. However, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, the biggest challenge that fire departments face is a lack of employment rather than unsupportive employers.

                                                Having a strong rural Canada and natural resource development is what we spent all day talking about. We talked about it impeding the ability for our rural and remote communities to enjoy the resources that would provide them with employment opportunities and the prosperity they deserve and want.

                                                It is also important to note that in the Red Tape Reduction Commission it was clear that in imposing additional regulations on employers, such as this bill would do, it would not only be counterproductive, but harmful. The costs of red tape and regulations have gone into the billions of dollars. It is a very onerous burden on our communities. Of course, that is why we are working to reduce the regulatory burden on Canadian businesses and provide them with the required flexibility to grow, create jobs and contribute to our recovering economy.

                                                Many may recall, in 2008, that we amended the Canada Labour Code to provide an unpaid leave for members of the reserve force. Some people might ask why we are not willing to do the same for the volunteer firefighter. However, I think there is an important distinction.

                                                Reservists are deployed for a longer but determined period of time, which makes a formal approach to managing their absences from work the best policy decision. Having the time to recruit, train and allow reservists to go for six months, a year, or whatever time of deployment, is a lot different from saying that someone must be allowed to walk out the door immediately, which is what is needed for our emergency response.

                                                Volunteer firefighters are frequently absent from work for short, but indeterminate periods of time. As such, the goodwill agreement between the volunteer firefighters and their employers is best suited to meet the needs.

                                                I noted a question earlier about the relationship with municipalities. As a former mayor, we had a volunteer firefighter department. There was generosity by the employers in terms of letting their employees go on these responses because they knew it could be them or a family member. The communities and the employers were incredibly generous, especially when it did not unduly disrupt what was happening.

                                                In some ways, Bill C-504 is a proposed legislative fix to a non-existent problem. Across Canada, only two provinces have adopted this legislation, and they are Quebec and Nova Scotia. Collective agreements are telling us the same story. When reviewing a sample of more than 3,000 collective agreements, only two contained provisions related to volunteer firefighter duties.

                                                Therefore, in the absence of a problem, the right approach to this is the status quo. We can trust employers and employees to come to an agreement which satisfies both the call of duty and local business needs.

                                                Furthermore, there are many questions that have been left unanswered with this proposed legislation. It fails to clearly define certain concepts and conditions. For example, when would an employer have good cause to prevent an employee from leaving work? It is very unclear. Does that mean that with good cause, an employer could dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote, or discipline an employee for serving as a volunteer firefighter?

                                                Also, when and how would an employee be required to inform the employer of his or her obligations as a volunteer firefighter?

                                                Bill C-504 also fails to specify for which volunteer tasks an employee could leave work. There are a large number of responsibilities for volunteer firefighters.

                                                My son is currently a volunteer firefighter, but they know he has to work it around his work schedule. He is a nurse in the intensive care unit and would have to travel 30 minutes to respond, so it would be very impractical in that case to have legislation that would compel his employer to allow him to go.

                                                We know that there are a variety of tasks. Our volunteer firefighters have emergency responses, of course, but there is training, equipment and fire hall maintenance, fire prevention and education, inspections, fundraising, administration, and so on. There are many tasks, and we have not really clarified what they could respond to.

                                                In conclusion, Bill C-504 is far too ambiguous. For these reasons, the government simply cannot support it.

                                                I ask members to please not get me wrong. We recognize the very crucial role that our volunteer firefighters play in our communities and have taken action through such things as the provision of the volunteer firefighter tax credit. As the House may remember, that provision is available for firefighters who provide at least 200 hours of eligible service per calendar year at one or more fire departments. I am very proud to say that it benefited more than 30,000 firefighters in 2011.

                                                The chiefs, firefighters, and volunteer firefighters in my communities have been asking for this volunteer firefighter tax credit for many years, but I have never had one of them approach me with the suggestion that there was any issue with their ability to come and go from work, especially in terms of the goodwill relationship.

                                                In short, we have taken measurable action to support the men and women who bravely serve as our volunteer firefighters. They absolutely deserve our respect. They respond to emergency calls. They rescue people in distress and often save lives. Bill C-504 would not provide genuine protection, but would create confusion and inequity while putting an unnecessary burden on businesses across Canada.

                                                We are certainly committed to ensuring that workplaces remain safe and productive and contribute to a prosperous Canadian economy. We will continue to work towards this commitment, but for all the reasons I mentioned earlier, our Conservative government cannot support this legislation.

                                                Again, I do appreciate the member's reasons for bringing this bill forward. Her intentions were very honourable, but the best thing to say in summary is that this is a legislative solution in search of a non-existent problem.

                                                • MPndpblog Peter Julian 229 post Business of Supply

                                                  Mr. Speaker, I would like to salute my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue, who is now part of our natural resources team and who, each day in the House, stands up for the people of Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

                                                  There is a real contradiction here. There is no balance right now. As the member just said, pipelines are not as safe. The number of pipeline leaks has doubled. Our record on climate change is horrendous. We rank 58th out of 61 countries, just above Kazakhstan. Canadians know full well that we can do better and that we need to do better.

                                                  We need a government that realizes that we can take care of our environment, create jobs with green and clean energy—which has enormous potential—and that we can also upgrade the value of industries such as the oil industry, where those value-added jobs are currently going.

                                                  The majority of oil used to be refined and produced in Alberta. Now, with the Conservative plan, very little of it would be. We are concerned that tens of thousands of jobs will be lost. We need to take a balanced approach, and the NDP will do just that in 2015.

                                                  • MPconblog Cheryl Gallant 931 post Disability Tax Credit Promoters Restrictions Act

                                                    Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, it is my pleasure to rise today and conclude the debate on my private member's bill, Bill C-462, an act restricting the fees charged by promoters of the disability tax credit and making consequential amendments to the Tax Court of Canada Act.

                                                    My bill seeks to balance the needs of Canadians with disabilities and promoters alike by also contributing to a fair, functioning marketplace for those who do wish to use the services of a disability tax credit promoter.

                                                    Bill C-462 is necessary because changes that were made in 2005 placed benefits receivable on a retroactive basis. This change created a new incentive for those claiming to be consultants to work with Canadians on their applications, as the dollar amounts on a 10-year retroactive tax refund can be significant and can reach $10,000 to $15,000.

                                                    Let me be clear: this is not an attempt to crack down on those who are legitimately claiming the credit or to deny claims; rather, it is an attempt to make sure that those who do qualify and those who require the tax credit are able to receive it without paying unfair charges.

                                                    The disability tax credit promoters' industry is currently totally unregulated and has produced a system that is increasingly ripe for abuse. In the past, government has determined it appropriate to regulate the tax preparation marketplace. The hon. members for Kings—Hants, Jeanne-Le Ber, and Cape Breton—Canso are concerned that the legislation does not specify what the maximum fees would be or how they would be set. I chose not to set a maximum fee in the legislation because I want to allow for consultations with disability groups, medical professionals, and legitimate tax professionals to help inform this decision. I want to ensure that those disabled Canadians who need help with their applications can get it. We are not imposing unnecessary red tape on doctors or legitimate tax preparers.

                                                    I would be pleased to receive direction from tax professionals with respect to the fee level, and I agree with the member for Kings—Hants that the maximum fee should reflect the complexity of the case in hand. We will ensure that the maximum fee structure will be set in an open and transparent process, involving a broad range of stakeholders.

                                                    Members of the public and tax credit promoters will also be given a chance to share their views once the regulations are drafted. They will be given plenty of notice so that they can adapt to the new regulations when they come into effect. I know that the hon. members from Montcalm and Abitibi—Témiscamingue also raised concerns about this issue in second reading debate.

                                                    As the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, which includes CFB Petawawa, I am acutely aware of the effect that disabilities can have on the livelihoods of Canadians. The soldiers of my community are at greater risk for a number of disabilities because of the unique challenges of their duties. My decision to introduce this legislation is a direct result of the aggressive tactics employed by some promoters, who objected to my decision to issue consumer alerts. I started issuing consumer alerts in my riding last year when I found out that some individuals were being charged 20%, 30%, or as much as 40% of the tax credit. Based on the unanimous vote that Bill C-462 received to be referred to committee, I know that other members agree with my concerns.

                                                    These kinds of charges are unfair, especially when we consider that the purpose of the disability tax credit is to support Canadians living with disabilities.

                                                    I want my constituents and indeed all Canadians to know that they can access their federal member of Parliament for assistance regarding any federal tax credit without being charged a percentage of the credit.

                                                    In conclusion, I wish to thank all members for their support of Bill C-462.

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Abitibi—Témiscamingue

The electoral district of Abitibi--Témiscamingue (Quebec) has a population of 102,795 with 80,456 registered voters and 251 polling divisions.


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