Mr. Speaker, thanks to our government, Canadian families can be assured that their hard-earned money is making it way back to their bank accounts. Our plan is simple, and we stand by it. We trust parents to invest in their children and spend their money as they see fit.
Soon families in my riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River will receive almost $2,000 annually per child under the age of 6 and $720 per year for youth age 6 to 17.
The NDP and the Liberals, on the other hand, want to take this money away and spend it on big government bureaucracy instead. They would take this money away from families and hike taxes.
Despite the opposition and third party Liberals, who have positioned themselves against middle-class families, I am proud that our government is giving money back to each and every family with children in Canada.
Order, please. Members who have not been recognized will take their seats. The hon. member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River is on a point of order. Members know that points of order can be raised at any moment, provided they are legitimate points of order.
We will hear the member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House today and say that every single family with children under 18 of my riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River will benefit from our government's new measures to assist Canadian families.
Only our Conservative government understands that Canadian families know best how to spend their hard-earned money. Under our plan, every family with children will benefit from the enhanced universal child care benefit to the tune of almost $2,000 for every child under six and $720 per year for every child between six and 17 years of age. Likewise, the family tax cut will result in over $1,100 for the average Canadian family.
What do the Liberals and NDP promise? Less money in Canadians' pockets and more money in the pockets of bureaucrats. The Liberal leader even said that he could convince Canadians to accept a new tax hike and promised to reverse our tax relief.
Although the Liberals would make life more expensive for hard-working Canadians, our Conservative government delivers on our promises, and we are proud to be the only party that stands up for Canadian families.
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to promoting the interests of Canadian consumers and the protection of their private information.
In an increasingly digital world, it is important that we have strong privacy protections in place to ensure organizations are treating the private information of Canadians appropriately. Many of these protections are already found in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, commonly known as PIPEDA.
However, a lot has changed in the more than 13 years since PIPEDA came into effect. Our government is taking important steps to ensure organizations are accountable for how they handle the personal information of their clients and customers in today's digital world.
That is why on April 8, we tabled Bill S-4, the digital privacy act. The bill introduces new measures to update our private sector privacy legislation, which sets out specific rules that businesses and organizations must follow whenever Canadians' personal information is lost or stolen.
Recently, we have seen a disturbing example of this problem south of the border with Target Corporation. Just before Christmas last year, Target learned that malicious software had been installed on the company's computer systems, allowing the personal information of some 70 million customers to be stolen, including 40 million payment card records.
It is because of situations like these that we must continue to ensure Canadians' personal information is safe. Data breaches can happen in many different ways and to any type of organization, large or small. Data breaches can result from improper disposal, for example, of paper documents sent for recycling instead of shredding or computers resold without scrubbing hard drives clean, or it can be stolen through sophisticated cyber attacks like those experienced by Target.
Unfortunately, this is a growing problem. Last year saw an all-time high for the number of data records lost or stolen worldwide. The Verizon data breach investigations report estimated that in 2012 between 575 million and 822 million records were compromised in data breaches.
We know that cybercrime is a growing problem in Canada. Last October a study reported that cybercrime cost Canadians some $3 billion over 12 months, up from $1.4 billion the previous year.
That is why our government has already put a number of significant measures in place to combat cybercrime and protect our digital infrastructure, such as Canada's cyber security strategy. In addition to this, Canada's anti-spam law will begin to come into force July 1, later this year. This law will help Canadians deal with unwanted commercial emails, and will also protect Canadians from cyber threats, like malware and fraudulent websites that seek to steal their personal information.
These measures are significant, but more is needed. We must ensure organizations have strong incentives in place to implement strong data security. Currently in PIPEDA there is no obligation for businesses and organizations to inform customers and clients when their personal information has been lost or stolen. This means if a company loses people's credit card information, that company is not obligated to tell them. With the digital privacy act, our government is proposing to correct this.
Stolen data can be used to create false identities that are used in criminal activities. They can be used to hack onto online banking services. In the wrong hands, lost or stolen health information, employee records, even criminal records can create countless problems to those who have had their personal information compromised.
I also want to state, Mr. Speaker, that I will be splitting my time with the member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.
We believe it is up to all organizations to put in place the safeguards to protect the personal data they have collected from their clients and customers. This is a responsibility that most take very seriously. However, with the changes we have proposed, if a company has its computer systems hacked and believes personal information has been stolen or if that information has been lost inadvertently, the company will need to take a number of steps.
If the company determines that the breach poses a risk or harm to individuals, it will need to notify the Canadians affected and make a report to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Organizations will also be required to document and keep a record of the event, including the result of its risk assessment. This would be required for every breach, even if the company did not think the breach was harmful. The organization would have to provide these records to the commissioner upon request, providing oversight and holding organizations accountable.
Let me provide an example. Say that an organization determines that a laptop containing customer personal information has been lost. It will be required to make a record of this loss. If the breach involves unencrypted sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, other financial or health information, for example, it would pose a real risk and potential significant harm to those involved. As a result, the organization would be required by law to notify the customers who were impacted.
The company would be not only required to tell customers when it lost information, it would also be required to report the loss to the Privacy Commissioner. The commissioner may then request a copy of the company's records to see if there is a history of similar losses that would be a cause for concern. The Privacy Commissioner would then have the option of opening an investigation into the matter.
It should be clear to all members in the House that implementing a requirement for mandatory data breach notification is a significant improvement to our private sector privacy laws. Our government believes there needs to be serious consequences for any organization that deliberately breaks the rules and intentionally attempts to cover up data breach. The changes that our government has proposed will also make covering up a data breach an offence. In cases of deliberate wrongdoing, an organization could face fines of up to $100,000. To be clear, it will be a separate offence for every person and organization that is deliberately not notified of a potential harmful data breach and each offence will be subject to a maximum $100,000 fine.
The digital privacy act would address the concerns posed by data breaches and has received good reception so far. In fact, the Privacy Commissioner commented that she welcomed the proposals in this bill. She said that it contained very positive developments for the privacy rights of Canadians. Even the member opposite for Terrebonne—Blainville said, “We have been pushing for these measures and I'm happy to see them introduced. Overall, these are good...steps”.
Our government has taken a balanced approach to the responsibilities placed on businesses and organizations, while protecting Canadian consumers by giving individuals the information they need to protect themselves when their information has been lost or stolen. The digital privacy act demonstrates our government's commitment to providing Canadians with the confidence that their privacy and personal information are protected.
Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to stand in support of the first nations control of first nations education act. I am proud to stand in support of my colleague, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. I am sharing my time with the member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.
The overriding goal of the first nations control of first nations education act is better outcomes for first nations students. First nations and our government agree that this goal is best achieved through first nations control over the education that is provided within first nations.
The introduction of this bill marks a historic event. The proposed legislation recognizes first nations control over first nations education as an essential to better outcomes for first nations children and for youth.
While the act sets out standards that would have to be met, first nations would have the authority to determine how best to meet these standards. For the first time, elementary and secondary first nations students on reserve would be guaranteed access to quality education, supported by a statutory guarantee for the funding that is required for that education.
I would like now to focus on the funding associated with this act.
To date, first nations youth have not achieved the same educational outcomes as other Canadians. According to the 2011 national household survey, only 38% of registered Indians aged 18 to 24 who were living on reserve had completed high school, compared to 87% of non-aboriginal Canadians.
Too many first nations students do not have the benefit of an education system that ensures they can graduate and become active participants in all the economic opportunities that exist in our country. Helping first nation youth to succeed in school and graduate is critical to increasing their participation in Canada's economy. Their talents and their ambitions should be part of the solution to Canada's looming labour shortage.
I was honoured to join the Prime Minister in February when he announced the funding of $1.9 billion to support major reforms of the elementary and secondary education schools through the first nations control of first nations education act. In addition to the current funding levels, this new funding would provide a better system and it would be provided through a streamlined approach.
We propose to consolidate existing and new sources of education funding into three funding streams: a core operating transfer that would have a reasonable rate of growth and would be able to provide statutory payments for this educational funding, transition funding to support implementation of a new legislative framework, and funding for long-term investments in on-reserve school infrastructure, specifically for new schools and for renovations of existing schools.
Our government has committed $1.25 billion in core operating transfers over three years, beginning in 2016, which includes funding for language and cultural programming, increasing annually on a 4.5% escalator and on a statutory basis. This funding is in addition to the current expenditure levels and would support first nations in providing their children access to an on-reserve education system comparable to that provided for children in the provincial system.
Statutory funding would be allocated to first nations based on their chosen governance model under the first nations control of first nations education act. Those governance models include community-operated schools, a first nation education authority, or a provincial school board.
Allocations to recipients will be largely formula-driven, supporting both the on-reserve school system and tuition arrangements with school boards or provinces where first nations students are attending provincial schools.
Core funding amounts may only be spent on educational services, such as paying principals, teachers, and other staff; classroom and school supplies; operating and maintaining schools; guidance and counselling; busing and other services to students; and paying tuition fees for students going to provincial schools.
First nations have long called for control over first nations education and for the inclusion of language and culture as essential to education for first nation students. Statutory funding for first nations that includes funding for language and cultural programming into the educational curriculum responds to this call. The bill would allow first nations to develop or build on the programming for their language and cultural priorities. This includes curriculum development, teaching tools, and program design and activities to integrate language and culture into the teaching environment.
At the same time, first nations will have the responsibility for meeting minimum standards set out in legislation and regulation.
The second stream, known as the enhanced education fund, would provide of $160 million over four years, starting in 2015-16. This targeted funding will support transition to the new legislative framework and encourage innovation.
The education enhancement fund would provide funding to first nations to establish the new educational authorities, develop service agreements, support early adopters of this act, and strengthen the partnerships that they may develop.
Our government will work with first nations to ensure that there is a smooth transition for communities and educational organizations as we move forward on this education system.
The third stream, the new education infrastructure fund, would provide funding of $500 million over seven years, starting in 2015-16, to build and renovate schools. This multi-year education fund would provide dedicated funding that is focused on improving on-reserve education facilities through construction and renovation of schools and on gaining efficiencies in the way they are designed, procured, financed, and constructed.
It is also important to understand the timelines over which funding will flow. When Bill C-33 receives royal assent, there will be a great deal of work required over the next three years to put into place the regulations to fully implement the new system. We will have to work together to make this happen.
On top of the annual funding for services and infrastructure, budgets 2008, 2010, and 2012 included additional investments in education, yet the significant gaps in education outcomes remain between first nations students and the population of Canada as a whole.
Reports by the Senate, the Auditor General, and the national panel on first nation education all came up with the same conclusion. All recommended structural reform and sustainable funding.
As the government has committed to in economic action plan 2014, stable, predictable, and sustainable funding is essential to achieving the reforms that are needed so that many more first nations children can succeed and thrive in school.
Unfortunately, it seems the NDP is putting its partisan interests before those of the kids I hear from and the parents who call my office, concerned with regard to the challenges their children are facing. The members who are opposing this legislation seem to be willing to delay the important actions that need to be undertaken. Time and time again, the NDP has failed, I believe, first nations children because of the delays it has been willing to be part of.
While money is critical, it is also clear that the problems in first nations education cannot be solved with money alone. By putting education systems in place, first nations schools will be able to improve access to services and develop efficiencies in the delivery that education.
A significant challenge facing first nation education is that many schools on reserve are unable to benefit from the economies of scale that provincial schools can achieve through provincial education systems. One of the ways that this new funding is intended to address these challenges is by providing the option to first nations to aggregate into first nation educational authorities similar to those found in the provincial systems.
First nation students want and deserve a chance to have a quality education that will provide them with the building blocks to succeed in their lives. They must not wait any longer.
There will be five minutes available for the member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River for questions and comments when the House next resumes debate on this motion.
Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of the mining industry and the significant role it plays in providing over 400,000 good jobs for Canadians. Canada is a global leader in this sector, with the mining and minerals accounting for over 20% of Canada's exports.
The mining sector in my riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River is very important to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal mining workers. Mining workers and communities across Canada know they can count on the government's support. Can the parliamentary secretary please update the House?
The electoral district of Desnethé--Missinippi--Churchill River (Saskatchewan) has a population of 67,937 with 43,160 registered voters and 153 polling divisions.
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