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Liberal MP for Regina—Wascana (Saskatchewan)
Won his last election, in 2015, with 55% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Motions for Papers October 19th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I would ask that this notice of motion for production of papers be transferred for debate.
Disaster Assistance October 18th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, last weekend, I met with many Cape Bretoners along with both members of Parliament from the island, four MLAs, the premier, and ministers to see first hand the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Many in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador have been hit very hard, but they are resilient people. Neighbours are helping neighbours, and they are ready to rebuild.
The Government of Canada has received and replied to requests for disaster financial assistance from both provinces. Our officials are now working on identifying all of the eligible costs, and once that work is complete, we will ensure that both provinces receive all of their funding just as quickly as possible.
Public Safety October 6th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the RCMP announced a settlement with the women involved in these cases, including an independent compensation process under the guidance of former Supreme Court Justice Bastarache. The commissioner also issued a solemn apology.
This historic moment is testament to the courage and perseverance of the women who led this effort and the deep desire of all parties to move forward to ensure that all RCMP members have the safe and respectful work environment they deserve and that Canadians expect.
Public Safety October 4th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, at round table meetings this year in Regina, Ottawa, and Halifax, we heard directly from public safety officers that they need better prevention of operational stress injuries, more research and awareness, no stigmas, and better diagnosis, care, and long-term support for first responders and their families.
I want to thank the member for Oakville North—Burlington and all the members of that committee for their report. We are in fact moving forward with the development of a national action plan to ensure that the brave women and men that we rely upon to keep us safe every day have the support that they need when they need it.
Disaster Assistance October 4th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the previous government did in fact cut back on emergency support programs.
We are in the process of correcting those errors. There is a cost-sharing formula in place for dealing with current emergencies. The municipality makes the request to the province, and the province makes the request to the federal government. Rest assured, the Government of Canada stands ready to help.
Public Safety October 3rd, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the vast majority of that ministerial directive, which is a public document, deals specifically with the prohibition of torture. It deals in part with the issue of information sharing. On that point, we have invited Canadians to review that part of that ministerial directive and give us their advice on whether or not those present terms and the offences around them are acceptable.
Public Safety October 3rd, 2016
Mr. Speaker, a major step in that regard is Bill C-22, which is before the House right now. It will establish the new committee of parliamentarians to provide greater oversight, to ensure that Canadians are properly kept safe, and, at the same time, that their rights and freedoms are guaranteed.
We welcome the report from the Privacy Commissioner. That report will be an integral part of the national security review, which is under way at the present time, to make sure this framework is consistent with what Canadians want.
Madam Speaker, the mandate of the committee laid out particularly in section 8, makes it very clear that the committee members can pursue any activity carried out by a department and look at any matter relating to national security. It is a very broad power. If they are not getting the co-operation from officials or representatives that they think they need to have, then the committee will make that determination and the chair of the committee should approach either the responsible minister or the Prime Minister to demand the satisfaction that the chair and members of the committee would deem to be appropriate.
This is a process that is going to depend on very vigorous participation by the committee members. The task that they are taking on is extraordinary and certainly unique in Canadian experience. They will have powers that no other group of parliamentarians has ever had before. The responsibility is onerous. I fully expect they will pursue their duties in a very vigorous, aggressive way, and if they are not receiving the co-operation that they think they deserve, then they should tell the Prime Minister and he will be accountable for making sure they get the co-operation.
Madam Speaker, it is included. The entire national security architecture and framework for the Government of Canada is the subject matter of this consultation. All Canadians are invited to make whatever representations they may wish to make about any dimension or aspect of the national security framework. Nothing is excluded.
The Privacy Commissioner has mentioned the subject matter that he wishes to drill down into in great detail and we will be anxious to hear what he has to say. Other Canadians have said they want to talk in detail about the whole process of peace bonds because that obviously is an issue that gained some prominence during the course of the summer, particularly in the wake of the tragic events in Strathroy. That is a subject that other Canadians will want to debate as well.
Other Canadians have said the committee of parliamentarians is a good idea, but we also need to fill some other gaps in the architecture such as, for example, the ability to have some supervision and oversight specifically with respect to CBSA. That is another topic that Canadians are raising.
The discussion paper opens the general subject matter and begins the debate, but other Canadians will have a great many other things they want to raise and that is perfectly and completely and legitimately a part of the process. We are very anxious to hear what Canadians are going to say. Over 7,000 have already participated.
Madam Speaker, on the member's first point about the sponsorship of the legislation, I am sure he will recognize that the legislation, because it would create a committee that will fit within the machinery of government, is the prerogative of the government House leader. On the very front page of the bill, it indicates that the government House leader is the sponsor of the bill. Under the rules of the House, it is only that minister who can give the introductory speech and if that minister does not give the introductory speech, he or she is not in a position to cede their position to anybody else. It is appropriate parliamentary procedure for the sponsor of a bill responsible for the machinery of government to give the opening speech, not that it matters a heck of a lot because I have the opportunity to participate in this debate, as all members of Parliament do.
I was glad to receive the honourable gentleman's letter in March. He now seems to be aggrieved that I have accepted a number of his recommendations. He cannot have it both ways. He offered a number of suggestions and many of them are reflected in Bill C-22.
I look forward to the committee work on the legislation, which will drill down into the details of various sections. If members of the opposition parties wish to provide further advice, we will be anxious to hear it. We will also be anxious to hear from subject matter experts and from Canadians who also need to have their input paid attention to.