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    • MPndpblog Peter Julian 241 post Committees of the House

      Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments, but he seems to underplay what has been a dramatic and tragic rise in youth unemployment. He sees table 4 in the report, like we all do, which shows the rate of youth unemployment when the Conservatives took office, or just after, at 15.7%, rising in 2013 to 20.1%. The increase has been dramatic in provinces like my own province of British Columbia, where it is 66%.

      These are tragedies. As the member for Chambly—Borduas spoke about just a few minutes ago, there is scarring that takes place permanently with that degree of youth unemployment. We already have record levels of student debt across the country, so young people are now mortgaged in many ways. They have record levels of student debt, and now, under the current Conservative government, we are seeing record levels of youth unemployment.

      How are they going to pay down their student debt? How are they going to actually move to a career when we have unemployment rates that are skyrocketing under the current Conservative government? Why have the Conservatives not undertaken the suggestions that have been put forward by the opposition, including by the NDP, that would actually serve to reduce the high levels of youth unemployment we are seeing in this country?

      • MPndpblog Peter Julian 191 post Committees of the House

        Mr. Speaker, I notice table 4 in the report talks about the unemployment rate for young people. The first side of the table shows the unemployment rate when the Conservatives came to power, and then we see, as the member mentioned, what it is now. There is a staggering increase in unemployment among young people. It has risen from 15.7% when the Conservatives took power to over 20% now. Those numbers have been reflected in staggering increases in youth unemployment rates in many provinces, including my province of British Columbia, which has seen a 66% increase in the number of unemployed young Canadians. There are staggering increases.

        We often talk about the Conservative government doing so little for young Canadians, and the figures are right there in black and white. We have seen a staggering increase in unemployment among young people, yet recommendations are not put into effect. Could the member for Chambly—Borduas comment on how the Conservatives can see that staggering increase in youth unemployment, yet do nothing about it?

        • MPconblog BarryDevolin_MP 68 post Privilege

          Before I go to the hon. member, I will just remind all hon. members that there is a particular motion before the House, and questions and comments should be relevant to the business that is specifically before the House.

          The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

          • MPndpblog Joe Comartin 27 post Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve Act

            Resuming debate, the member for Chambly—Borduas. I must inform the member that he will have just three minutes for his speech.

            • MPconblog bruce_stanton 11 post Justice

              The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

              • MPconblog bruce_stanton 63 post Veterans Hiring Act

                Order, please. Just a polite reminder to hon. members, if they can direct their comments to the Chair from time to time, it helps the Chair to give some time signals and helps the member to guide their comments and stay on track time-wise.

                Questions and comments, the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

                • MPndpblog Irene Mathyssen 1573 post Business of Supply

                  Mr. Speaker, from the time many in this House can remember, there has been CBC/Radio-Canada. It has meant the national news at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Hockey Night in Canada, the Wayne and Shuster Comedy Hour, Mr. Dressup, Anne of Green Gables, great dramatic series, and stars such as Eric Peterson, Gordon Pinsent, Mary Walsh, Tommy Hunter, and Cynthia Dale. We were and are able to be engaged by the news, to be enthralled by the drama, and to laugh at ourselves with the likes of Rick Mercer.

                  Today we have an important motion before this House, a motion that speaks to the survival of CBC/Radio-Canada. Our national broadcaster does indeed play a key role in informing, entertaining, and uniting Canadians. However, over the past 20 years, our precious CBC has been the victim of many rounds of cuts, whether it was the $400 million cut in 1995 by the Liberal finance minister or the $160 million in budget 2012, the CBC is now clearly wounded and staggering under the impact of these cuts. It has meant lost programming and lost jobs. In the last week, we have seen an additional loss of programming and jobs. Canadian productions such as Arctic Air are no more, and over 600 people have lost their jobs at the CBC. These are creative people who told our stories and added so much to our sense of community and culture.

                  There were always questions in regard to why there were such punitive cuts by this government and the previous one. I have an answer. It could be that the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada to inform Canadians upset government.

                  It is true that on this side of the House, the official opposition has felt the sting of exposing Conservative and Liberal corruption, and so too has the CBC. Whether it was the in-and-out scandal, illegal election fundraising, robocalls, the Senate scandal involving both Liberal and Conservative senators, temporary foreign workers, maligning a Supreme Court justice, or creating an unfair elections act, the government has been determined to undermine the CBC and its reporting mechanisms with witch hunts and budget cuts.

                  Today I want to speak on behalf of our national broadcaster and the immeasurable value that comes with providing sustained and stable funding for the CBC to fulfill its mandate, legislated by this House when that was a value we all held in common. That was before ideology trumped democracy, transparency, and giving every Canadian a voice.

                  The mandate of the CBC, and I quote from the Broadcasting Act of 1991, is to:

                  ...provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains; (m) the programming provided by the corporation should (i) be predominantly and distinctively Canadian, (ii) reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions, (iii) actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression, (iv) be in English and in French, reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities, (v) strive to be of equivalent quality in English and in French, (iv) contribute to shared national consciousness and identity, (vii) be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and (viii) reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada;

                  Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the member for Chambly—Borduas.

                  The Conservatives like to claim that the CBC operates at arm's length from the government as a crown corporation but at the same time have no problem hauling departmental officials from the CBC into committee to appear on behalf of the CBC. This happened at ethics committee and status of women, just to name a couple.

                  The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages has stood in this House to claim that the cuts to programming and staff at the CBC are a result of decisions the CBC made on its own, not the government, and that it is basically up to the CBC to keep up with the market and provide programming Canadians want to watch, as if the death by a thousand cuts that began with the Liberals has nothing to do with the government underfunding. It is a little like claiming that someone who walked away from the food store died from starvation because they refused to eat. It is technically true, but it misses the bigger picture by a country mile.

                  Over the past weeks and months I sat in the heritage committee and listened to Canadian musical artists, creators, performers, producers, and distributors speak on the issues faced by the Canadian music industry today. They all speak to the same sentiment that Lawren Harris acknowledged a century ago, in 1921, that the arts represent a fundamental building block in the identity of a country. He said, “The greatness of a country depends on three things: Its Words, its Deeds and its Art”.

                  We consistently hear arguments against public funding of the arts that go along the lines of, “Let the market decide”, “These are austere times”, “We need to focus on the fragile economy”, and “We don't want tax increases”. I have heard members of the Conservative Party at committee say things like, “I would love to be paid to play the violin” or “I'd love to be paid to play hockey”. However, we know that only a small percentage of people are paid to play hockey.

                  While I agree that it is the government's mandate to promote heritage, it is also the government's mandate to make sure that people make a living promoting that heritage. If it is not profitable, then why do music creators create?

                  What I have heard from the witnesses at committee is that these arguments leave out the very real and measurable benefits of creating a healthy, sustainable economy based on exploiting the gifts of every citizen, including those who create the art that defines us as Canadians and those who work to make it accessible worldwide. We consistently heard from expert witnesses in the study that the arts have value, not only for the pleasure they provide but for the real and substantial contribution they make to economic development in Canadian communities and right across the globe.

                  Refusing to recognize this fact is narrow-minded. Conservatives who hold to the idea that we cannot afford to invest in the arts or Liberals who cut funding in order to pad corporate tax breaks are being penny-wise and dollar foolish.

                  Mark Monahan of Bluesfest, in his April 29, testimony to the heritage committee, stated that the one thing missing from the federal funding picture right now is the focus on economic development with existing funding for the arts. Those funds are not really focusing on the deliverables like economic development and tourism.

                  On May 6, Tracy Jenkins of Lula Lounge stated:

                  ...we need to simultaneously foster a culture of professional music journalism. With changes to the publishing industry and cutbacks to the CBC, many of the writers and broadcasters who used to celebrate and critique Canadian musical arts are no longer active.... Finally, going back to the importance of supporting a diversity of musical cultures, we would like to point out that CBC Radio has been crucial in helping us to develop audiences for our programming and the artists we present. We have really felt the impact of the loss of the initiative to do live recording for a future broadcast as this was an effective vehicle for reaching new listeners across the country and affirming the importance of artistic contributions being made by culturally diverse Canadian artists.

                  It seems to me that if the Conservatives understood that they would not be slashing funding to the CBC; rather, they would be making our national broadcaster part of their economic action plan. We hear about that action plan all the time. What about culture? What about art? What about the CBC?

                  The problem as I see it is not that Canadians do not appreciate the contribution of the arts to a healthy society or of the CBC as Canada's national broadcaster in uniting us in identity. The problem is that we have not done a very good job in making the connection between the thriving arts community and a thriving economy, between stable, secure funding for a national broadcaster as a fundamental building block to a Canadian society that we can all enjoy, prosper from, and share in. Why do the Conservatives not get that?

                      • MPconblog bruce_stanton 39 post Northwest Territories Devolution Act

                        The member for Chambly—Borduas will have two minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on this motion.

                        • MPconblog bruce_stanton 48 post Drug-Free Prisons Act

                          The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas will have five minutes for his speech when the House resumes debate. Of course, the time allotted to questions and comments will be 10 minutes.

                          • MPconblog bruce_stanton 105 post Drug-Free Prisons Act

                            Before I recognize the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas to resume debate, I have to inform him that I will have to interrupt him at around 6:30 p.m. because that will be the end of the time allotted for government orders. I will tell him how much time we have left and the hon. member will be able to finish on another day.

                            The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

                            • MPconblog bruce_stanton 231 post Business of Supply

                              Before we resume debate, I do see that our next two speakers will be proposing to divide their time.

                              Just as a comment, I know it has been a few weeks since we have been in this place. Hon. members may realize, especially when we are going into a split time, there are five minutes permitted for questions and comments. The Chair typically looks to see how many members, for example, may be standing to participate in the questions and comments and based on the numbers that are standing, will kind of gauge how much time to permit.

                              Generally speaking, we would ask members, not knowing how many others may wish to participate, to try to limit their time to about a one minute question and perhaps a one minute response, thereby giving more time for other hon. members to pose questions to the member who had just spoken, just as a general rule of thumb.

                              I will be watching for that a little more carefully. Questions and comments time is not a time to extend one's speech. There are other opportunities to do that.

                              Resuming debate, the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

                              • MPconblog Earl Dreeshen 873 post Criminal Code

                                Mr. Speaker, I am humbled to rise today to wrap up this debate on Bill C-444, my private member's bill.

                                It is not often we get to work specifically on behalf of a constituent in such a significant way, by making a change to the Criminal Code of Canada. First and foremost, I want to thank the brave young woman and her mother who inspired me to table this bill. There are also many folks on the Hill I would like to thank for the support and encouragement they have extended to me along the way, as well as for the personal work they have put into our debates on this bill. This also includes my wonderful staff, here in Ottawa as well as back in Red Deer.

                                As I have said, this bill is about sentencing. It speaks to the need for tougher penalties for personating peace officers and public officers, and it is in line with the fundamental sentencing principle of proportionality, which is stated in section 718 of the Criminal Code. We must preserve the trust and respect that citizens have for police officers. When citizens see a police uniform, they trust the authority that comes with it. We are giving the tools that they need to deliver harsher sentences to criminals who breach this trust to cause harm.

                                Within the parameters of the maximum sentence for this particular offence, the decision of what sentences are appropriate will still rest with sentencing courts. We know that a number of factors come into play in a sentencing decision, such as the criminal record of the offender or the severity of harm caused to a victim.

                                Aggravating circumstances are just one more factor that sentencing judges are required to consider when the Crown is successful in a conviction. Sentencing achieves a number of results, and one of them is support for victims. The rights of victims need to be protected. They must know that there are serious consequences for criminals who have hurt them.

                                I extend my heartfelt condolences to any Canadian who has been a victim of someone maliciously personating a police officer to do further harm. I dedicate this work to those victims.

                                I thank my colleagues for their support. If I still have a moment, I would like to thank the following members for their contribution to debate: the Minister of Justice; the members of the Standing Committee on Justice for their thoughtful study and debate, and their support; the seconders, the members for Sault Ste. Marie and Oxford; the members who contributed their time in speaking here in the House, the members for Gatineau, Mount Royal, Montcalm, Brome—Missisquoi, Charlottetown, Beauport—Limoilou, British Columbia Southern Interior, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Louis-Hébert, Nanaimo—Cowichan, Chambly—Borduas, Northumberland—Quinte West, Edmonton—St. Albert, Windsor—Tecumseh, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, as well as the Associate Minister of National Defence.

                                There is a special symbolism of having every member present in this House stand to show their support, not just for a bill but for victims and police officers throughout this great nation.

                                However, because of the uncertainty that surrounds the closing days of any session, I would be proud to use this opportunity to stand on behalf of all members and to accept unanimous consent if the House so chooses.

                                • MPndpblog Joe Comartin 57 post Combating Terrorism Act

                                  Is there difficulty with the system? Does the member have his BlackBerry on his desk?

                                  I think that the member for Chambly—Borduas is ready to respond.

                                  We will go back to the hon. member for Winnipeg North to finish the question.

                                  • MPconblog BarryDevolin_MP 58 post Nuclear Terrorism Act

                                    The hon. member for Manicouagan has eight and a half minutes left for questions and comments.

                                    The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

                                    • MPndpblog LindaDuncanMP 315 post National Hockey Day Act

                                      moved for leave to introduce Bill C-488, An Act respecting a National Hockey Day.

                                      Mr. Speaker, this is the second time that I have brought this bill to the House. I am very grateful that my bill is being seconded by my wonderful colleague, the NDP critic for sport, the member for Chambly—Borduas, a great advocate for sport and for our winter national sport, hockey.

                                      The intention of the bill is to recognize the role that hockey plays in our communities. It is a game played by all ages and by all sexes. It is important for the government to recognize this winter sport and encourage the engagement of everyone, including new Canadians, to encourage new Canadians to get out on local rinks, to flood their backyards and get to know their neighbours by inviting children over.

                                      Hockey has played a major role in Canadian identity historically and into the future. The intention of the bill is not to put focus on those professional hockey players that people like to fight over, it is quite the reverse. It is to encourage people to get out and watch their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or their neighbour's kids and cheer them on. Everyone participates.

                                      The intention is to declare the third Friday in February national hockey day. Regrettably as a backbencher I cannot say that this will be a statutory holiday, but I am sure that the government would love to adopt the bill and make it so.

                                      (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

                                      • MPndpblog Joe Comartin 107 post Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act

                                        Order. I would point out to the member that he should address all of his comments to the Chair, not to individual members of the House.

                                        Before I give the floor to the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas, I would like to inform the House that we will now go to 10-minute speeches and five-minute periods for questions and comments.

                                        The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

                                        • MPconblog BarryDevolin_MP 100 post Fair Rail Freight Service Act

                                          Pursuant to Standing Order 38, it is my duty to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Ahuntsic, Aviation Safety; the hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Aboriginal Affairs.

                                          Resuming debate, the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

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Chambly—Borduas

The electoral district of Chambly--Borduas (Quebec) has a population of 116,925 with 93,922 registered voters and 251 polling divisions.


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