House of Commons Hansard #246 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

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The House resumed from December 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:13 p.m., pursuant to order made Tuesday, December 5, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-58.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #432

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think you will find unanimous consent of the House to adopt the following motion: That, in the opinion of this House, in keeping with the declaration signed by over 100 prominent figures and companies in Quebec, the government cannot allow foreign giants to avoid the taxes that all Canadian companies must charge, that it must right this injustice, which penalizes our cultural businesses, our artists, our artisans, and our workers, and that it has a duty to protect Quebec and Canadian culture.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, government orders will be extended by eight minutes.

Foreign AffairsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Barbados on Air Transport” done at Bridgetown on May 9, 2017. An explanatory memorandum is included with the treaty.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 11 petitions.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege for me to be here, on traditional Algonquin territory.

On this day in 1989, 28 years ago, 13 female students and a female administrator at the École polytechnique de Montréal were tragically murdered simply because they were women.

On this day in 1989, 13 young women and a female administrator at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal were tragically murdered simply because they were women. The shooter walked into the engineering school, into the classrooms, and separated the women from the men, not to spare the women but because he was directly targeting them as feminists. Twenty-eight years later, Canadians continue to come together to remember and mourn this tragic loss.

Today, from coast to coast to coast, candles will be lit, roses will be laid, and tears will be shed as the names of these 14 young women remind us that gender-based violence is still a reality for far too many. The shocking impact of the Montreal massacre shook our country, immobilized Canadians, and led Parliament to designate December 6 as a day to remember the potential we lost with these young women's deaths.

Annually, this day falls during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. It starts with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and ends with international Human Rights Day on December 10. Today, the names of these 14 young women will be echoed across the country.

Today we honour those 14 women who were so needlessly taken from their loved ones in 1989. They are Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

Today we recognize the ongoing tragic impacts of gender-based violence, and we honour those victims whose names and stories we may never know, and the families and communities devastated by these tragedies.

To those who are still vulnerable, such as members of the LGBTQ2 communities, indigenous women and girls, newcomers, and women with disabilities and exceptionalities, we will not tolerate discrimination and violence. To those Canadians who lost someone on December 6, to survivors and families of those impacted by gender-based violence, we know that these senseless murders have their roots in misogyny and have placed feminism under attack, and yet they have contributed to this moment in our history when feminism is something we are proud of.

While we cannot change the story of those 14 young women, we remember them and reaffirm our resolve to do better, and to be better, for the women and girls with us today and tomorrow. We know there is still much work to do. The need is made evident through the recent #MeToo movement, but there is hope. Il y a de l'espoir. There is hope for a future where we are all respected, where violence is not accepted, where women and girls are secure with choices and opportunities to pursue their dreams.

To support this vision, our government is working with Canadians to build an inclusive, respectful society by stepping up and speaking out to stop gender-based violence. We thank those who mobilize and who provide support, healing, shelter, and much-needed advocacy. We invite Canadians to share what they will do to end this violence by using the hashtag #MYActionsMatter and to take the pledge that 38,000 voices have taken to date to help end gender-based violence.

We are acting through the first federal strategy to address and prevent gender-based violence, through the challenging but important work of a national inquiry into what happened to our stolen sisters, through a national housing strategy that recognizes that housing is a social determinant of violence, and through investments in shelter spaces across the country.

We each have a responsibility to stand up against misogyny, sexism, and hate, and it starts by creating a culture of respect. This means engaging everyone, including men and boys. Together we can honour the lives lost on December 6, 1989 by working to prevent this violence before it begins.

There are white roses on the desks of MPs in this House, and I hope you get one too, Mr. Speaker. These roses are symbols of the actions and the power each of us have, not just inside this House but outside, to be part of the solution.

We are living in important times. Every day, every week, and as recently as this week, survivors of gender-based violence are coming together, speaking as one, standing shoulder to shoulder. They are finding their voice and their courage through one another. We thank them and say to them that we believe in them, that we will stand with them always.

Today we mark our country's enduring connection to 14 women who were silenced while pursuing their dreams. We cannot change their story, but we can honour their memory and ensure that every Canadian woman and girl has an opportunity to pursue her dreams without the threat of gender-based violence.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, at École Polytechnique in Montreal 28 years ago today, in the late afternoon on December 6, 1989, 14 young women lost their lives after being shot, and another 10 were seriously injured. This terrible tragedy marked the Canadian psyche in every province and territory and will remain etched in our collective memory forever.

We will never forget the day these women were murdered simply because they were women. Since 1991, December 6 has been officially recognized by the federal government as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in order to draw attention to all forms of violence against women.

Violence against women already existed in our society, in many forms, prior to that tragedy. Now, 28 years later, it still exists, and has even escalated, taking on new forms. In addition to murder, as well as domestic, psychological, and sexual violence, things like bullying, cyberbullying, and the trafficking of women and girls have also emerged over the years.

All forms of violence against women must be denounced, considered extremely serious, and severely punished. Violence against women is unfortunately all too common around the world, so we need to make it the number one concern of our society as a whole, with men being a key part of the solution.

It is absolutely unbelievable that today in Canada between 30 and 50 women are still murdered every year. In Quebec, roughly 15 women are killed by their spouse or ex-spouse every year, the same number of women who were killed at the École Polytechnique. What have we done since December 6, 1989? What have we done as a society, as a government, as individuals? Very little, when we consider how much there is left to do.

It is sad to see that, as a group, the women and girls who are victims of violence are getting younger and younger, and that we have failed to prevent this violence from escalating or slowing the lightning pace at which it has continued to destroy lives. People have been silent about violence against women and girls for far too long, and this has made it taboo. Because victims are isolated in a prison of violence and silence, violence against women has been allowed everywhere, in communities throughout the country, in families, in schools, and in workplaces. It has also quickly pervaded social media, and much faster than the measures taken to prevent it.

It is appalling to see that in Canada, in 2017, only one woman in 10 reports their abuser, the rights of victims are neither known nor protected in the same way as the rights of criminals, and the sentences handed out have been reduced.

There has been a lot of emphasis on condemning violence against women, but what actual steps have been taken? What has been done to fuel that drive to fight violence against women and support the brave women and girls who speak out?

We need to implement meaningful measures and commit to making sure that all women and girls in Canada feel safe and know people will listen to them and respect them. We need to send a clear message to perpetrators: in Canada, violence against women and girls is a serious crime. We must change Canada's Criminal Code to reflect that as soon as possible. As legislators, it is our duty to pass legislation amending the Criminal Code to protect women in domestic abuse cases. There is still no law that allows for preventive arrests in order to prevent a murder.

One of the four pillars in the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights brought in by the former Conservative government in 2015 is the right to protection.

This right has to be backed by legislation to further protect women and equip police officers, otherwise more women will become victims of homicide and will feature in our speeches the next time December 6 comes around.

I am sure that everyone here in the House wants the action part of this national day of remembrance to be taken literally, for action to be taken. The safety of women and girls is not a partisan issue. Combatting violence against women and girls is an individual responsibility, but mainly, it is a collective one. We must all work on this together.

Let us never forget Polytechnique and let us spare a thought for the women who have died at the hands of their attacker, including recent victims Julie, Chantal, Daphné, Gabrielle, Clémence, Véronique, and far too many others. We will remember them. We will take action. We owe it to them.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, twenty-eight years ago, 14 women were killed in the École Polytechnique massacre. Engineering students were murdered because they were women and dared to aspire to a so-called man's job. It is a tragedy we will never forget. These women held such promise.

This is not just a terrible story from the last century. Despite all the struggles of the past decades, women and girls continue to face crisis levels of violence in Canada right now. Young women between the ages of 15 to 35 are at the highest risk of violence. More than 500 women and children are turned away from domestic violence shelters daily. These are women who ask for help and are turned away.

Indigenous women are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than non-indigenous women. Indigenous women are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous women. Women living with a disability experience violence two to three times more often than other women. Domestic and sexual violence cost our country $12 billion a year. Rates of violence against women remain largely unchanged over the past two decades. It is a terrible legacy.

Let us also be clear: poverty and economic injustice make women less safe. Without financial security, women are forced into unsafe work and precarious work. Without financial justice, some women stay in abusive relationships because they have no option. Violence against women puts women into poverty and denies women their voice, and that denies Canada the benefit of what these women have to offer.

Our country is impoverished by the absence of women's voices from our national conversation, legislatures, and parliaments. That is a real cost of violence against women and sexism. We give deep thanks to the front-line, heroic, brave organizations that, on a daily level across the country, support victims of violence in our communities. Their actions matter.

Canada should ensure these organizations have permanent funding to operate domestic violence shelters. Canada should lead national coordination of police responses to violence against women so that women have equal access to justice no matter where in our country they live. Canada should do everything it can to help the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry succeed, and support families of survivors. Canada should legislate pay equity for work of equal value, fix employment insurance, fund universal affordable child care, all of these things, because economic justice for women can help end violence against women.

Today, we all celebrate the silence breakers ringing the alarm on sexual violence in the workplace, reporting it, and accelerating the fastest growing social movement we have seen in decades.

The best way to remember the 14 women murdered on this day and to mark the Polytechnique tragedy is to use the power we have as parliamentarians, the great privilege we have, to act to eliminate discrimination and violence against women. Our actions matter. New Democrats stand with all Canadians to end violence and to ensure never again.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member for Repentigny to add her comments?

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, your names continue to be a rallying cry. When we hear your names, we come together. When we remember you, we stand against violence. When we remember you, we say: never again, no more killing sprees, no more hate, never again.

Like a cross on the side of a highway that marks the painful memory of the needless death of a loved one, December 6 cannot be ignored. December 6 must not become just another day. Above all, December 6 must not, as a certain pro-gun group wanted, become an opportunity to advocate for some petty, self-interested and callous causes. No, December 6 is sacred. This day belongs to these women: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte.

To us, Quebeckers, this day is a symbol of our boundless grief, indignation, and anger, and of our boundless sadness. It is also a day of action. In 2015, over 15,000 women in Quebec were the victims of domestic abuse, victims of homicide, assault, confinement, and sexual assault. The violence continues, but it must stop. Too many lives have been lost or destroyed forever.

These were beautiful, talented, brilliant women with a bright future ahead of them, but hate took them from us. Hate tore them away from us. Hate deprived us of their presence. We still mourn their loss and we will never forget them. We will always strive to remain worthy of their memory.

That is why we categorically refuse to compromise when it comes to gender equality. We categorically refuse to compromise when it comes to ending violence against women. We stand firmly against subjugation and misogyny. We must preserve the memory of the women at École Polytechnique, and every victory for gender equality is claimed in their name, because these women were not victims. They were winners, and we miss them dearly.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands to add her word?

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of my colleagues. Today remains a day of tragedy, a day of immense sadness, for today marks the 28th anniversary of a terrible tragedy in this country.

It is almost unbelievable that it has been 28 years. I remember it so clearly. It still feels like it just happened, because the shock of it was so great that someone would enter a school where young women and young men were studying engineering and target and kill the women because they were feminists, because they were engineering students who were also women. I agree and share all the sentiments of the Minister of Status of Women, of our colleagues in the Conservatives, the New Democrats, and Bloc Québécois.

We are here together as members of Parliament, all with the same goal and the same desire to end violence against women. What can we do to stop violence against women? That is what we need to ask ourselves.

We ask ourselves the question and we come up with programs. My friend from Nanaimo—Ladysmith used many of the statistics I had in mind. We know the numbers.

My dear friend from Repentigny has put forward the deep pain of everyone in Quebec who remember this day. We know this day is sacred in the memory of those 14 women. However, it stands for more. All of us must be watchful and take on the duty of being aware when we see misogyny.

We wish we could put ourselves back in a time capsule and find that young man who, with his hatred and resentment against women students, shot and killed 14 women. We wonder what we would have done if we had been in that classroom. It is a horrific event that left its survivors scarred.

I want to think of them for a moment, the young men who were removed from the room and who to this day wish they had not been.

We stand together as Canadians against violence of all kinds. We stand against violence against women. We are keenly aware that more indigenous sisters, mothers, aunties, and daughters are at risk every day.

Together, as a House of Commons, we say “Never again.”

Violence Against WomenRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank hon. members for their very eloquent remarks.

I would like to add my admiration and respect for women who work in this House, those in my family, and those our country and the world.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 19th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to Bill C-344, an act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act, community benefit. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

Via Rail Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

seconded by the member for Laurentides—Labelle, moved for leave to introduce Bill C-387, An Act to continue VIA Rail Canada Inc. under the name VIA Rail Canada and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

She said: Mr. Speaker, this bill is very similar to one introduced earlier this session by the hon. member for London—Fanshawe. It carries some of the same characteristics, but it is different.

I have been working on it for some time, because VIA Rail lacks the legislative framework, a context within which we can ensure VIA Rail, as a crown corporation, is governed by the laws of Canada, with a mandate to expand passenger rail service, to modernize passenger rail service, and to ensure that our key routes as they now exist are protected.

While it shares much with C-370, in the name of the hon. member for London—Fanshawe, which I also support but I do not see this as competition in any way, it does contain other elements. Ideally, one would love to see these two bills brought together as one and brought forward by the hon. Minister of Transport, so it would have a good chance of passage.

I commend the bill to the House. I urge that we consider it at its next opportunity for second reading and debate. VIA Rail is a key part of our national identity. Passenger rail service is a key part of any national transportation plan, as is modernizing that service, ensuring we have service from coast to coast to coast, as we should have once the service to Hudson Bay is repaired. We have had passenger rail service in our country since our first prime minister established the national dream.

This private member's bill attempts to assure that this national dream endures.

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

Infant LossPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the tragedy of infant loss touches our nation and the lives of thousands of Canadian families each year.

In these times of great sorrow, organizations such as Hazel's Heroes, the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network, Baby's Breath, Cuddle Cots for Canada, the October 15 campaign, and Hope Boxes have all come alongside parents and loved ones during the mourning and their healing.

I table this petition today calling on Parliament to join that cause, to stand up and look for ways to better support parents who are dealing with pregnancy and infant loss.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 6th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour and pleasure today to table a petition on behalf of petitioners from Vancouver Island in support of my Motion No. 151 to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in aquatic environments.

The petitioners call on the government to recognize plastic pollution in aquatic environments and the fact that they pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of wildlife, sensitive ecosystems, communities, and the environment. They call on the government to create a permanent, dedicated, and annual fund for community-led projects to clean up plastics and debris, and additionally to reduce industrial use of micro-plastics, plastic debris, discharge from stormwater outfalls, and consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics.

Violence against WomenPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it being December 6, I am honoured to present the following petition on behalf of hundreds of people not just from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, but from the entire Montérégie region, as well.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Women are most at risk of having this right violated in their own homes, and in 2014, police forces in Quebec recorded 18,746 incidents of domestic abuse.

There is broad consensus in support of equality between men and women. In spite of the work we have done, domestic violence still exists and represents a barrier to achieving this equality.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to support the 12 days of action to end violence against women, from November 25 to December 6, 2017, and to take swift, meaningful action toward ending domestic violence.