Order. Unfortunately, we have reached the end of the period permitted for questions and comments.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel has three minutes to speak.
Mr. Speaker, I am really pleased to rise today in support of today's motion to protect water and public health in rural communities. This is an excellent motion, and I applaud the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel for bringing it forward. She is bringing forward a sound policy idea.
As we heard in her speech tonight, she listened to her constituents and identified a gap in policy. Working with her community along with outside experts she came up with a creative policy solution to solve the problem. This is a perfect example of responsible representation by an MP and I am proud to say that the MP for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel is one of my NDP colleagues. It is great work.
Motion No. 400 seeks to study the establishment of financial support programs to bring homes connected to a septic system up to a standard, with the aim of improving public and environmental health. This kind of program would make Canadians in rural communities, who are often left out of city initiatives, a priority. It would carry benefits both for the environment and the economy.
The federal government invests millions of dollars to bring municipal wastewater treatment systems up to standard, but more than a quarter of all Canadians, mainly in rural areas, are not connected to these city treatment systems. They depend instead on home septic systems. As it stands, 25% of Canadians are forced to pay out-of-pocket to maintain their septic systems on top of the taxes they pay for the municipal services they do not use.
Some may wonder why the member for Halifax would be standing to speak to the motion. My riding does include rural communities that are not part of the municipal wastewater system. I am pleased to tell the House that the motion has been endorsed by some communities in Nova Scotia.
I also support the motion from my perspective as the NDP environment critic. From an environmental and health perspective, a consensus exists that outdated septic systems in low income rural areas pose a threat to water quality and public health. Updating these systems is quite expensive and often too costly a project for Canadians.
The government understands the importance of maintaining high standards for wastewater treatment in cities. We need to establish the same high standards for our rural constituents. We have to develop a funding program for homeowners who do not have the means to ensure that their septic systems meet those environmental standards.
The member for Westlock—St. Paul said earlier in the House that he did think the motion was in federal jurisdiction. He said that government members would not be supporting the motion, keeping in mind of course that it will not be a whipped vote and that members will be free to vote as they want. With respect, saying that the motion is not within federal jurisdiction is just a way to duck the issue. This is a perfect opportunity for federal leadership.
I checked the website of the member for Westlock—St. Paul. He celebrates things on his website like $9,000 that went to the Cold Lake Public Library flooring renovation and $23,000 to the Gibbons curling rink for upgrades. Members might be wondering what in the world flooring upgrades and curling rink upgrades have to do with federal jurisdiction. That is a good question. These kinds of projects are federal issues and do fall within federal jurisdiction because the money comes from a community infrastructure fund. Why would the federal government not show leadership on something like Motion No. 400? Why would it duck this issue? Why would it not take real leadership and stand up for the health and environmental protection of our rural communities?
Motion No. 400 would be an important step toward increasing the equality of services for both rural and urban taxpayers. Rural living is becoming more expensive and services are becoming more difficult to access. Citizens in these areas are often unable to reap the benefits of many of the federal programs that we do see coming forward. We need to give rural Canadians the support they need to maintain the same standard of living as city dwellers, rather than force them to relocate to cities.
Further, the motion would help to protect both water quality and public health. Outdated sceptic systems are a major source of pollution in rural communities. They have been shown to contribute to the growth of bacteria in our water. By leaving these sceptic systems in their current state, we risk contaminating our drinking water, which of course poses a serious danger to the health of Canadians.
Water contamination can affect not only drinking water, but also aquatic ecosystems and beaches. A number of rural communities depend on this kind of tourism, and the economic losses that come with water contamination are serious.
In addition to supporting local economies, this measure would be of personal financial benefit. It could relieve rural Canadians of a disproportionate financial burden and allow them to participate more fully in their local economies. The motion would go a long way to solving those kinds of problems.
All of this means that rural communities would be strengthened if these measures were to be taken. The motion is a real and tangible way to improve the quality of life of rural Canadians, and it is actually part of a larger package of policies that the NDP is proposing to help rural communities.
The motion was inspired by a resolution of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that flagged as a problem the lack of federal support for septic system upgrades. On behalf of their constituents, who are really our constituents, they are pressuring the federal government to act on this issue. The federation, along with over 70 individual municipalities on just the first day of debate, have all expressly supported Motion M-400.
The Conservatives say that existing federal funding meets this need, but the municipalities are vigorously disputing this claim. We have evidence from different municipalities saying that existing programs do not solve this socio-economic problem, and that the funding does not come close to the demand that exists. Federal investments in infrastructure simply do not target the distinct and widespread need for financial support for rural sceptic system upgrades. Current investment in this area is in no way comparable to what is spent in urban areas. Federal and provincial governments have contributed up to 85% of the cost to upgrade municipal water systems, but rural Canadians are forced to bear the full cost of upgrading their sceptic systems themselves, simply because of where they live.
I really hope, despite the fact that we have had some indications the government will vote against the motion, that all members will give serious consideration to this arbitrary inequality that leaves rural Canadians with a disproportionate economic burden.
The federal government must carefully consider the implications of the current financing system for rural Canadians. As parliamentarians, we must take a good, hard look at the problem that families cannot afford to replace their sceptic tanks and maintain water quality in their communities. We have to explore the opportunities that could provide these Canadians with the financial support they need for important investments.
Canadians across the country have signed a petition calling on the government to consider establishing a financial support program to upgrade outdated sceptic systems for families in need. I echo their support of this motion, because I believe that rural Canadians deserve the same quality of service, the same health protections and the same ability to participate in their economies and society as every other Canadian. I believe that Motion M-400 does just that, so I am proud to support it.
Mr. Speaker, I already congratulated the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.
I find that the government is being a bit disingenuous today. A member is not only proposing that we have a more extensive debate, so that we can work together to develop the necessary tools, but she is also giving the government a chance to take this and run with it. But now she is being accused of not acting in good faith because she is not capable of getting her own party on board. We have to call a spade a spade. This is a good motion and is a good way of doing things.
The government simply has to put the problem into context. Not everyone has access to municipal infrastructure. Twenty-five percent of homes, especially in rural regions, do not have access to the municipal sewer system. Instead of waiting until sewage becomes a problem, when we see the worst case scenario, we are calling for preventive measures.
I am part of the government that created the first one-third, one-third, one-third infrastructure program, and there were different components. Not everyone has a pipe running to their house, but we need to find a way to ensure that they have a good quality of life.
This is especially important because water quality is not the only thing at stake: it is also an environmental issue. Given that the Canadian government is already moving forward on other environmental measures, I am convinced there must be a way to reach an acceptable, respectful agreement that recognizes all jurisdictions.
The Government of Canada has done it before. We created something as part of the third component. We had green infrastructure. When I was minister of sports, we found a way to invest in recreational tourism. Recreation is under provincial jurisdiction, but there is also amateur sport, so we found a solution. The same thing applies to the environment.
My colleague is right: the situation is different here. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Fédération québécoise des municipalités lobbied for that cause, and I think it is a good thing.
Our role is to make people's life better and easier, and to create an environment that fosters agreements. That is why I asked my colleague a question—I am not sure she understood me. I wanted to know whether she had already talked with officials from the Quebec government, as they are used to this type of thing.
Municipalities are indeed creatures of the provinces, as was said at the time. However, we are facing a different set of circumstances. With the situation as it is today, we all have to work together without constantly coming down with “acute constitutionalitis”. We can do what is appropriate. Jurisdiction over the environment and infrastructure is shared and I do not see why we could not find a solution. Why make it simple when we can make it complicated, as the government does?
Instead of my colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel being lectured on procedure, she should have been congratulated, and not half-heartedly. She wants so much for this motion to be adopted that she is even giving the government a chance to seize the opportunity by telling her they will set up a program. There is no need to enact legislation when you create a program. The minister responsible for infrastructure should sit down with his counterparts, hold a federal-provincial-territorial conference to determine how things can be arranged, and create a program. An infrastructure program has already been proposed. Can it be adjusted, since 25% of houses do not have access to the municipal infrastructure level? It seems to me that we can find a solution. This is what we call common sense.
They will be pleased to hear me talk about common sense, since Premier Harris used to talk about common sense in Ontario. I offer them that at no charge. They do not have to pay me any royalties for it.
Clearly the Liberal Party of Canada will support this motion. There are ways to arrange for a program without treading on jurisdictional toes. If the official opposition needs us to, we will offer to work with them to try to make the government understand that this is in people’s interest, because we are all first-class citizens.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel. She is truly a strong voice in the House.
She just spoke not only on behalf of her riding, which she represents so well, but also on behalf of Canadians living in rural areas across the country.
There have been signs that the Conservatives may support this motion, at least I hope they will.
My question for the hon. member is quite simple: does she think this is really a matter of quality of life for rural areas of the country and that they should finally be put on equal footing with the country's urban areas?
Order, please. There is too much noise in the chamber. I would ask the members to continue their conversations outside the chamber.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge River said there should be an appeals process before serious convicted foreign criminals are deported from Canada. Is she not aware that there is an appeals process in the criminal justice system? A Canadian citizen or a foreign national who is charged with an offence can go before a Canadian criminal court. If found guilty, they can appeal that conviction. In fact, they can also, in most cases, appeal the sentence. Does she not understand there already is an appeal in the criminal process?
The second question I have is for the hon. member who spoke just before the hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge River.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel who spoke earlier said that the current definition of a serious crime under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is one involving a sentence of at least six months. She said that that was inappropriate, that it was too harsh.
Her colleague said that six months was too high a bar for a sentence leading to the deportation of a foreign criminal. Does she agree? Does she think we should raise the bar from six months for triggering the deportation of foreign nationals?
Mr. Speaker, here we go. The NDP has been claiming all along that it knows the current system for removal of foreign criminals is too slow and should be streamlined, but it never supports any specific measure to do so.
Now we have an NDP member saying that foreign nationals who have grown up in Canada should not be subject to deportation if they commit a serious crime. Not only does the NDP oppose our measures to streamline the deportation of convicted serious foreign criminals, it is actually in favour of making it even more difficult or in fact barring the removal from Canada of convicted serious foreign criminals.
The member for Vancouver Kingsway had suggested that under law a serious crime was defined as one that lead to a penal sentence of two years or more. I would point that member and the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel to section 64(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that says, “For the purpose of subsection (1), serious criminality must be with respect to a crime that was punished in Canada by a term of imprisonment of at least six months”.
I just want to clarify. Is the member suggesting that foreign nationals who have been convicted of a serious criminal offence, as defined by the immigration act, should not be deported from Canada?
I appreciate the hon. member withdrawing the term.
It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, Aboriginal Affairs; the hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Aboriginal Affairs; the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue, National Defence.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.
Bill C-36 deals with the complex and challenging subject of elder abuse. It is difficult to paint elder abuse with one brush because it comes in many forms: physical, sexual, financial and psychological. The scale of the abuse can vary dramatically. It can be something that has been happening over a lifetime or occur when a senior becomes frail and vulnerable. The source of the abuse can be caregivers, spouses, children or even strangers looking to take advantage of a vulnerable, lonely person. Often the abuse is hidden, not spoken of, and this is a great tragedy.
One program or one measure cannot address the varying needs of our older loved ones who are suffering from abuse. We need a comprehensive plan that will address the needs of all seniors and in particular those who are being abused.
That being said, I want to speak in support of Bill C-36. The bill is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction. New Democrats had proposed something similar to this in the 2011 election campaign and I am glad to see that Conservatives are taking some of our suggestions.
However, what we had proposed to tackle elder abuse was a complete package, some points of which we see in the bill. We need something more comprehensive, including an elder abuse hotline; the creation of elder abuse consultants, modelled on a Manitoba government initiative; and changes to the Criminal Code of Canada to ensure appropriate sentences for perpetrators of elder abuse. This package would involve working with the provinces in order to develop, implement and fund such proposals.
Unfortunately, Bill C-36, as it stands, will not have the desired impact on reducing elder abuse without the other steps that need to be taken. By merely adding on to the Criminal Code an aggravating factor for sentencing when a crime impacts someone due to their age and other personal circumstances, we are missing an important opportunity to create a system of support for seniors facing abuse.
The key to addressing elder abuse in Canada is not stiffer sentences but addressing the root causes. The best way to combat elder abuse is to give seniors control over their own lives and ensure they have the finances to live in dignity. I have been listening to seniors and meeting with seniors organizations. I have heard over and over again how there is a desperate lack of funding for programs and a very real and legitimate fear that Canada is not prepared for the rapidly rising senior population.
The most important issue voiced over and over by seniors is that they want to stay, for as long as possible, in their own homes. They want to be in their communities, near their friends and family. I really do not think this is asking too much. It is very clear that we need a home care plan, a plan that ensures seniors can stay in their homes and that any modifications that need to be done to those homes are available at an affordable rate.
We also need to ensure that seniors can access services without having to travel great distances, especially as mobility becomes more challenging. A network of community hubs would be an effective way to ensure that access is there for them. This would also help combat the solitude that affects so many seniors, especially single seniors or those caring for their partners or another loved one.
Our seniors are asking for affordable and appropriate housing that will meet their needs as they age. As abilities change, our older loved ones need appropriate care within the community or residence in which they live. Access to families and their social networks is key to the health, well-being and safety of our seniors.
In addition to physical security is the need for financial security. Seniors fear losing control over their finances and over their personal choices. Family and those with power of attorney can take control and take choice away. They can, in fact, can take that senior's dignity away.
Our elders can be forced into housing they do not want and can be told to hand over those finances. Too often we allow this to happen for the sake of convenience or for our own fears for a senior's safety. Yet older Canadians should have a say and they should be able to determine the direction they wish to take. This, I believe, is the most important factor in eliminating elder abuse. With control over their own independence and finances, seniors remain in control of their lives, which makes them significantly less vulnerable.
The World Health Organization has recognized elder abuse as an important problem that needs to be addressed. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that between 4% and 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of abuse in the home. The organization argues that a number of situations appear to put the elderly at risk of violence.
In some cases, strained family relationships may worsen as a result of stress and frustration as the older person becomes more and more dependent. In others, a caregiver's dependence on the older person for accommodation or financial support may be a source of conflict and vice versa. Social isolation is a significant risk factor to an older person suffering mistreatment. Many elderly people are isolated because of physical or mental infirmities or through the loss of friends and family members.
In Canada, seniors are most likely to be abused by someone they know. Canadians seem to understand that. In an EKOS survey in 2009, respondents felt that most frequent abusers were a family member other than a spouse at 62%, and paid caregivers in an institution at 46%.
Knowing what we know about elder abuse and its prevalence, I am wondering what the government plans to do to actually prevent the abuse from happening in the first place. We do indeed need a plan to ensure that our seniors are able to live in dignity and have the financial security to make the choices that determine how they want to live their lives. The government did have a program in place, the elder abuse awareness initiative. While not addressing the root causes of elder abuse, it at least attempted to bring the issue to the forefront. However, the program has ended now and we are left only with the bill on the table before us.
I want to make it perfectly clear that the bill alone would do very little to prevent elder abuse in Canada. It is a step in the right direction and I suppose no matter how small that is it is a good thing. However, without other initiatives such as an elder abuse hotline, elder abuse consultants and a strategy to deal with the root causes of elder abuse, I am afraid the bill would only allow for harsher sentencing and not prevent the abuse in the first place.
In addition to the fallacy of harsher sentencing is the reality that abusers are rarely caught. We need better training for police officers to be able to spot abuse in the first place. Seniors are very hesitant to speak of what is happening to them, often because they fear identifying someone in their family or circle of friends as the abuser.
We heard from law enforcement officials that police officers need better training to allow them to secure the trust of an abused senior so that real remedies can be pursued. Prevention should be our first goal. For starters, prevention is much less expensive than the mounting costs of emergency health care, courts, lawyers and jails. Crass numbers aside, our main concern must be for the dignity of human life and preventing anyone from facing the long, hard road of abuse.
We owe it to our elders to ensure they have a retirement that has dignity. They have worked so hard building this country and are continuing to shape its future. How we treat our elders is indicative of who we are as a society. If we treat our elders poorly, then we are doing a disservice to Canada and Canadians. Our seniors deserve better. Our families deserve better.
I thank the House for its time and indulgence this evening and will reiterate what is required: financial security. That means not reducing OAS by eliminating the age of retirement at 65, and introducing affordable home care and accessible long-term care. In other words, it means all of the things that are not happening in this country.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel has about seven minutes.
Before I give the hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel the floor, I must inform her that I will have to interrupt her at midnight when the time provided for government business expires.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.
Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel on her speech.
I totally agree with what she said in the House about the importance of a balance between users and creators. I think she will agree with me that this balance cannot be found in this bill. This is why we are against it.
I am hoping that my colleague might be able to share with us her views as to whether she believes that this lack of balance in this copyright legislation is similar to what I think is a general disregard that the Conservatives and their government have had for supporting arts and culture in Canada. If the government were interested in supporting creativity and cultural industries, some of the cuts we have seen, for example to Radio–Canada, to CBC, to the arts council and to Telefilm Canada, would not have taken place.
Does my colleague agree with me that it is part of a larger framework of a disinterest in the arts? I represent a region of the country where there is a vibrant artistic community and it is suffering under the current government.
Continuing debate, the hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel. However, I must inform her that I will have to interrupt her at about 6:55.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel has only 30 seconds left for her reply.
The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel has seven minutes left.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the member here that the member can ask me questions in the next round. I would also like to thank my colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel for sharing her time with me.
I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to a very important motion put forward by the very well-respected member for London—Fanshawe.
Let me begin by stating that I could use this opportunity to exclusively reiterate how the failure of both this government and the previous Liberal government to modernize the Investment Canada Act has directly impacted my community of Sudbury through foreign takeovers of Canadian industrial icons, Inco and Falconbridge.
However, I think it is more appropriate to focus on the broader narrative of the repeated failure of both Conservative and Liberal governments to implement a sound industrial policy which would put the middle-class Canadian family ahead of corporate greed.
Whether we are talking about Inco, which is now Vale, or Falconbridge, which is now Xstrata in Sudbury, U.S. Steel in Hamilton, White Birch or Mabe in the province of Quebec, or Electro-Motive Diesel in London, it has become abundantly clear that the Investment Canada Act is broken and needs to be fixed immediately.
The Act has been broadly criticized by economists, industry observers and the provinces for its lack of transparency, consultation, effectiveness and enforcement.
In fact, the Premier of Ontario recently called on the Prime Minister to review Canada's outdated foreign investment legislation. He noted that the government has acknowledged the need for change, but has done nothing tangible to rectify this. This was made clear by witness testimony from Industry Canada officials at the standing committee on industry in October.
One specific aspect of the Investment Canada Act, which is inherently problematic, is the extremely rigid confidentiality provisions. These have made disclosure under the Act difficult. From my experience, dealing with the Inco and Falconbridge takeovers in Sudbury, it is clear that the transparency of these takeover agreements is paramount for enforcement of the Act. The terms of the takeover are still not publicly available, further allowing foreign companies to keep secret the terms of the sale of the agreement.
My colleague from Nickel Belt has introduced legislation to remedy this issue, so have no fear. I would encourage those on the other side of the House to examine these bills and get behind the proposals contained therein.
To bring this back to the broader narrative, this is about economic choices made by the Conservative government. For instance, on January 1, the latest round of new Conservative tax giveaways to profitable corporations came into effect. These Conservative tax cuts helped pad the margins of already profitable corporations that have failed to create jobs for Canadians.
A case in point is the recent lockout and resulting shutdown of Electro-Motive Diesel in London, whose owner, the American-controlled Caterpillar, proverbially took the money and ran. Unfortunately, this situation is not a catchy pop song from the Steve Miller Band. Instead, it represents a disastrous state of affairs for the families of employees of Electro-Motive and employees of small and medium-sized businesses in London who rely on good jobs like those at Electro-Motive to stimulate growth and make ends meet for families as well.
The most shocking aspect of Caterpillar's decision to shut down the plant is that the company posted a record profit of nearly $5 billion in 2011, accounting for an 83% increase over 2010 profits. According to Reuters, these earnings blew away Wall Street expectations.
Meanwhile, the companies outlook for 2012 is similarly strong. This begs the question: If profits remain at record levels, why is the company taking the Conservatives' gift in the form of blind corporate handouts and immediately turning around and killing Canadian jobs without a second thought? Sadly, the Electro-Motive example represents a broader trend of failed industrial policy exacerbated by Conservative inaction on this file.
In contrast to blind corporate handouts, which the Conservative government is advocating, New Democrats believe that instead of tax giveaways to big oil and profitable multinational corporations, we should implement targeted tax savings for companies that actually create Canadian jobs.
In the case of Caterpillar, if these tax breaks had been tied to job creation or part of a better Investment Canada Act review, we might not be in this position. This would have meant that it could not take the money and run, so to speak. Instead, in order to qualify for tax breaks, any financial incentive which companies like Caterpillar receive should be tied directly to job creation.
The Prime Minister consistently prides himself on being an excellent steward of the Canadian economy. However, the real track record in terms of job creation reveals a gaping rhetoric reality gap between the Prime Minister's tough talk and meagre action.
For instance, Canada has nearly lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the Prime Minister's government took office in 2006. We have lost over 40,000 manufacturing jobs in the last year alone. In fact, Canada is currently at a historic low in terms of manufacturing jobs, dating back to when these statistics were first gathered in 1976.
Meanwhile, our labour force and population have grown significantly over this period. Obviously the pace of economic growth in this sector is being outpaced by demographic realities, not to mention the direct loss of jobs which has been observed under the Prime Minister's watch.
As I explained earlier, it is these types of well paying, stable jobs in manufacturing and other primary sectors which create spinoff benefits in these industries within a community. Yet the Conservative approach seems unwilling to link support for job creation in primary industries with the spinoff effects that this has on tertiary sectors and ultimately the prosperity of entire communities.
Finally, I find it striking that a large proportion of the communities which have been affected by the failure of the Investment Canada Act have ultimately elected New Democrat MPs in response to the government's refusal to take a stand on approach to building a sound industrial policy which focuses on job creation in primary industries like mining and manufacturing, while also creating spinoff jobs in sectors which thrive as a result of well paying, stable industrial jobs.
From the Sudbury region to Hamilton and Niagara, from Alma to London, these regions now all have strong New Democrat representatives who have consistently stood up for a sound industrial policy in Canada. It leaves one questioning whether the Conservative government understands the backlash and outrage expressed by members of communities affected by the utter failure of the Investment Canada Act to protect Canadian jobs.
As my experience in Sudbury demonstrates, the failure to implement a sound industrial policy can have substantial long-term impacts on all aspects of a community from jobs and a family's ability to make ends meet, to workers' rights, and even to donations to charitable organizations, as the pot of money available to these organizations tends to dwindle when a community suffers an economic downturn.
In closing, I would implore my Conservative colleagues to re-examine their failed approach to industrial policy by strengthening the Investment Canada Act and tying corporate tax cuts to direct job creation for the sake of their communities' long-term economic and social well-being. If factories like Electro-Motive are allowed to be shuttered right across Canada as a result of inaction on this file, I firmly believe that Canadians will turn to the New Democrats to protect their jobs, standard of living and ultimately, the Canada we all deserve.
Finally, as a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, I look forward to an opportunity to examine the Investment Canada Act at committee in the future so we can modernize the legislation and begin putting Canadian families ahead of CEO bonuses and failed industrial policy.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel for the tone and the content of her remarks. She made some insights in the context of this debate that are sometimes overlooked from a personal point of view. I liked her emphasis on consumer rights. I liked the attention to detail that she brought to the House on those issues as they affect the consumer. Ultimately, that is why we are gathered here today, to look after the best interests of those people who gave us their confidence in the last federal election.
I would like the member to expand on a very important point that she raised. She mentioned that the arts, culture and entertainment are an engine for economic growth that perhaps gets the least attention of any economic sector in our society today. As we lose smokestack industries, where are the new jobs going to come from? The answer is right under our noses. I argue this is being dealt with very clumsily by the government and even by the regulators as it exists today. I look forward to her personal reflections on this new engine for economic growth, the creators of arts, and the entertainment and cultural industries.
The electoral district of Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel (Quebec) has a population of 111,534 with 91,705 registered voters and 234 polling divisions.
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