Notes pour une allocution
Brad Butt, Membre de Parlement
à l’occasion du Gala pour la visite du
Pape Tawadros II
Le 22 September 2014
Thank you for the warm welcome.
Je suis ravi d’être ici au nom du Gouvernement du Canada.
I am also delighted to be here with my colleagues from the Parliament of Canada Senator Pierre-Hughes Boisvenu and MP Frances Scarpaleggia.
What an incredible pleasure it is to be here in Laval. We also welcomed His Holiness to my home of Mississauga where he was greeted like a rockstar! On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my warm wishes to the Coptic community in the Great Montreal Area as you welcome His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.
Canada is home to approximately 50,000 Coptic Orthodox Christians; with several thousand settled and thriving in Quebec.
Il y a 10 jours, notre premier ministre, le très honorable Stephen Harper a rencontré pour la première fois sa Sainteté, le pape Tawadros Deux à la nouvelle Cathédrale copte orthodoxe Saint-Marc, à Toronto.
Lors de leur rencontre, les deux dirigeants ont discuté de l’importance de la liberté religieuse et du pluralisme, ainsi que les menaces qui se posent actuellement par de nombreuses communautés religieuses minoritaires dans l’ensemble du Moyen Orient.
The Prime Minister said:
“I had a very productive discussion with His Holiness Pope Tawadros II during which we spoke about concerns of Coptic Christians in Egypt.
Canada continues to call for greater freedom for minorities to worship in peace and we remain dedicated to defending religious freedoms around the world.”
It was a key opportunity to engage on urgent issues facing the Coptic community in Egypt, and Christian and other minority religious communities throughout the Middle East.
I am proud to outline the work done by the Office of Religious Freedom (ORF), which our government established in 2012. The ORF has partnered with the Coptic community to promote and strengthen religious freedom and to protect all those threatened and persecuted around the world.
Please know that under Prime Minister Harper’s leadership, Canada will continue to stand with Copts and with other religious minorities who face extremism, terrorism, and persecution.
I would like to express our government’s appreciation for this very special visit.
We are honoured that His Holiness has dedicated a full month to travel to congregations across Canada, and we know that Canadian Copts are showing him the very best of Canadian hospitality.
This evening is a wonderful example.
May God Bless all of you here tonight, may God Bless Egypt and may God Bless Canada.
Signature of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Korea and launch of a new Strategic Partnership
On September 22, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Korean President Park Geun-hye celebrated the signature of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Korea, and launched a new Strategic Partnership.
Our Government is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country. In these uncertain times, our prosperity depends on our ability to take advantage of economic opportunities in emerging markets.
We have therefore launched the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history. In less than seven years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries and is negotiating with many more.
The most recent Speech from the Throne committed to expanding trade in the Asia-Pacific region to benefit hardworking Canadians and businesses, especially our crucial small and medium sized enterprises (SME) and industries across the country.Today we are delivering on that commitment with this agreement.
The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is an historic initiative that will:
- strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific;
- increase the prosperity of both countries; and,
- result in job creation and enhanced opportunities for Canadian and Korean businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, as well as investors, workers, and consumers.
This free trade agreement is an ambitious, state-of-the-art agreement, covering virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-Korean trade, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement and intellectual property, as well as labour and environment cooperation.
Canada and Korea have committed to develop a new Strategic Partnership that will enhance cooperation based on the shared values of democracy, market economy, respect for human rights and rule of law.
This Partnership will lay out a strategic direction for stronger relations in key areas of common interest including energy and natural resources, science, technology and innovation, and Arctic research and development.
Speech by Brad Butt, MP, Mississauga-Streetsville
September 16, 2014
Take Note Debate – Situation in Iraq
Mr. Speaker, Canada is deeply concerned by the recent increase in violence in Iraq and its humanitarian consequences.
Canada condemns, in the strongest terms, the targeting of civilians and religious minorities.
And we are deeply concerned by reports of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.
That is why we continue to call on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law.
In late August, I visited the cities of Erbil and Duhok, Iraq as part of an observer team sponsored by the Rev. Majed El Shafie and One Free World International.
We personally met with Internationally Displaced Persons – IDPs – on the ground in the UNHCR camps that have been established.
Mr. Speaker, their stories are heart-wrenching. We sat on the ground and in the tents of our fellow human beings and their plight is unbelievable.
This is an unspeakable tragedy for which there is no excuse.
And, the humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate as armed clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and government forces, drive displacement.
Since January, an estimated 1.7 million people have been displaced throughout the country, which represents one of the largest cases of internal displacement in the world.
Basic services, including health care and water infrastructure, are disrupted, resulting in acute humanitarian needs.
The intensity of fighting in ISIL-held areas has resulted in a security situation that does not allow humanitarian organizations to operate, and the persecution of minority groups, including Christians, Yazidis, Shabak and Turken Shia, is an ongoing concern.
Current displacement near the Kurdish region of Iraq has been only the latest development in a trend of large-scale displacements across Iraq that go back to the beginning of the year.
In early 2014, conflict displaced an estimated 475,000 people in Anbar province. Then in June, an estimated 571,000 people were displaced from Mosul. And in August, an additional 662,000 were displaced from the Sinjar area, when tens of thousands of Yazidis remained trapped for several days in dire humanitarian conditions.
The size and pace of displacement has overwhelmed local communities, including in Duhok Governorate, which is hosting more than 400,000 internally displaced persons.
We met with local officials in Duhok and are well aware of the needs. I know that Canada will help in providing assistance for housing and medical needs particularly as the winter season approaches.
On August 12, the United Nations declared the situation a “level 3” emergency, underlining the gravity of the crisis. As a result, the humanitarian response in accessible areas is being rapidly scaled up and humanitarian leadership will be bolstered.
Approximately 35 percent of the internally displaced Iraqis are living in vulnerable locations including schools, churches, mosques, and unfinished buildings.
We met with the largest group of IDPs in a half built school in Duhok the last day we were there.
There is a concern that the schools being used as shelter may not be able to reopen as scheduled, which means that 850,000 children will begin to fall behind with their education.
Mr. Speaker, Canada is actively working with partners to address children’s needs and to see what more it can do.
We are currently working through experienced partners such as Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help provide child-friendly environments for displaced children and to give them the psychosocial support they need.
We believe that, when adults fight, children’s education should not suffer, and the continued academic growth of children must be secured, even in the face of conflict.
The flows of IDPs also placed considerable strain on health structures, and many health facilities are overwhelmed with large caseloads.
In addition, food security is a growing concern in Central and Northern Iraq because normal supply routes have been interrupted by conflict and insecurity.
The next harvest is at risk in the areas affected by the conflict, and that accounts for nearly a third of Iraq’s wheat production.
Millions of Iraqis are likely to face food shortages later this year unless these challenges are resolved.
A key challenge for the humanitarian community continues to be the difficulty of being able to get into conflict areas to reach the people who need their help.
The sheer number of different locations people have fled to, as well as their mobility, adds a layer of complexity that makes matters even more difficult for humanitarian organizations.
Mr. Speaker, Canada is working through experienced humanitarian partners such as the United Nations humanitarian agencies, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations to get life-saving assistance to those who need it.
To date Canada has provided more than $28 million in humanitarian assistance support to Iraq, of which $18.8 million will address needs from the conflict, and $9.6 million will be used to address the needs of Syrian refugees, who have sought refuge in Iraq due to the conflict in their home country. We work to provide support across a range of needs to ensure that there are no gaps.
Canada’s funding is helping to meet the health, shelter, water and sanitation, protection and food needs of affected Iraqis, as well as relief supplies, and camp construction through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
We are also addressing the protection and education needs of displaced children and those whose schools are being used as emergency collective shelters.
For example, our funding is helping to support mobile health clinics through Plan Canada, as well as providing medical supplies through the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Canadian Red Cross is currently looking to determine what more can be done.
Our humanitarian partners provide very specific assistance, such as transportation to areas of safety, or child-friendly spaces, and take steps to ensure that particularly vulnerable people, such as the disabled, the elderly, and children, have access to life-sustaining services.
On August 28, a first planeload of humanitarian relief supplies was deployed from our warehouse in the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, to Erbil. It contained kitchen sets, jerry cans, tents, blankets, hygiene kits and mosquito nets.
And, we anticipate that the second planeload of $365,000 in humanitarian relief supplies will be sent very soon.
Although the current UN Emergency Appeal is fully funded, it is anticipated that further funding will be needed, and for a significantly greater amount.
Mr. Speaker, Canada is currently the fifth largest donor in response to the crisis. And it is worth noting that we are also the fifth largest donor to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, which has provided more than US $10.8 million in response to the Iraq crisis.
We will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that emergency humanitarian assistance is provided to Iraqi civilians in need.
And Canadian officials will continue to monitor the situation closely and assess the security and humanitarian challenges facing the Iraqi people.
We met as well with our Ambassador to Iraq Bruno Saccamoni and I am pleased to report that our people on the ground are well aware of the needs and are playing a very important role. Further, we have development staff on the ground in Northern Iraq, and will soon finance a series of development initiatives to help communities maintain basic services such as education, water supply and waste management, in response to the recent flow of IDPs coming into the country.
Mr. Speaker, it was a profoundly moving experience for me as a Member of this House to visit Iraq and meet with the victims of these ISIL attacks. May God continue to bless them all and may we all pray for peace and better days ahead.
Streetsville Village Square
MISSISSAUGA – After $3 million and months of on-and-off construction, Streetsville Village Square is back in action.
The revamped public space is now a breath of fresh air with a covered stage, sound system and new lighting for residents and visitors to enjoy.
A focal point of the area is the fully restored cenotaph, which was repaired with $100,000 in funding from the federal government.
Speaking at the soft re-opening of the square on Saturday (Sept. 13), Mayor Hazel McCallion told the crowd that the war memorial is sacred and the redevelopment was carried out with that in mind.
“In the plan (the architect) recognized that (the cenotaph) would be set aside and given special attention and recognition,” said McCallion, adding that it always bothered her when people used the spot for skateboarding or sitting down to eat ice cream.
McCallion also apologized to the businesses surrounding the square for the hiccups during the two-year redevelopment process, which had to be reeled back because the initial contract was “way above budget.” Once that was cancelled and another contractor was signed on, there were additional delays when the ground was dug up.
“When you dig up any part of Mississauga that’s in existence for a while, you find problems…some things went ahead without permits many, many years ago,” she said.
McCallion also touched on how the re-opening of the square held a special place in her heart as she previously served as mayor of Streetsville from 1970-1973.
“(Streetsville has been) a major part of Sam’s (her late-husband) and my life. I just love the area,” she said.
Ward 11 councillor George Carlson said the idea to revamp Streetsville Village Square has been in the making for nearly eight years and he hoped the square will bolster the local economy as well as generate dozens of jobs.
“We’re no longer a village that makes bricks anymore, we don’t seem to have much in the way of mill work…but we do seem to have something other people don’t have and that’s a heritage village that we need to take advantage of,” he said.
Mississauga-Streetsville MP Brad Butt added: “I know it took some time and there were some bumps along the road, but there is an old cliché that says, ‘Some things are just worth the wait,’ and this clearly is an example of something that was well worth the wait.”
An official opening of the public space is slated for next spring.
OTTAWA, September 11, 2014
Today, Brad Butt, M.P. for Mississauga-Streetsville, issued a statement encouraging Canadians to participate in charitable activities and community service across Canada:
“On this day in 2001, the world looked on in horror as our neighbours in the United States suffered one of the most shocking terrorist acts in history. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost, including 24 Canadians, and the world would never be the same.
“As Canadians, we rallied to the sides of our American friends, opened our hearts and homes, and helped them to recover. There is no better example than the small community of Gander, Newfoundland, which took in so many thousands of stranded travelers and provided them with food, shelter and compassion.
“In memory of that tragic day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a call to action. He asked us all to come together through charitable activities and community service, in order to remember the lives that were lost and to pay tribute to the great courage and sacrifice of so many during those events.
“As Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville, I know the dedication of the citizens of our great city of Mississauga. It is inspiring to see both individuals and groups come together in our community in support of common and meaningful causes.
“Today, we thank all volunteers who give of their time, put their skills to work, demonstrate acts of kindness and compassion, and willingly make sacrifices to better the lives of others. The dedicated volunteers of Mississauga inspire us to rise to the occasion and join them in such meaningful work.”
On Wednesday, September 10th, 2014, Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville, co-hosted a Crime and Justice Town Hall meeting with MP Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice.
The Town Hall meeting focused on four key pieces of legislation; Bill C-13: Cyberbullying, Bill C-26: Tougher Penalties for Child Predators and Bill, Bill C-32: Victims Bill of Rights and C-36: Response to Bedford. If you missed it here is the presentation:
Bill C-13 will:
- Amend the Criminal Code to prohibit the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
- Impose a maximum penalty of five years for the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
- Allow a judge to order the removal of an intimate image from websites.
- Allow a judge to impose restrictions for a specific time on the use of the Internet for the person convicted.
- Modernize existing investigative powers to enable police to more efficiently and effectively obtain electronic evidence that exists on the Internet or other technologies.
Beyond amendments to the criminal code our Government understands that additional measures need to be put in place in order to protect communities and educate Canadians on the possible harmful effects of cyberbullying.
Introduced in the House of Commons on 26 February 2014, this bill amends the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with sexual offences committed against children and young persons by increasing the mandatory minimum penalties and maximum penalties for such offences. Bill C-26 also makes the following changes to the law:
-It increases maximum penalties for violations by child sexual offenders of prohibition orders, probation orders and peace bonds.
-It requires courts to impose consecutive sentences on offenders who commit sexual offences against more than one child.
-It amends the Canada Evidence Act 2 to ensure that spouses of accused persons can be called as witnesses for the prosecution in child pornography cases.
-It amends the Sex Offender Information Registration Act 3 to increase the reporting obligations of sex offenders who travel outside Canada.
-Child Sex Offender Registry. It enacts the High Risk Child Sex Offender Database Act to establish a publicly accessible database that contains information with respect to persons who are found guilty of sexual offences against children and who pose a high risk of committing crimes of a sexual nature.
- Right to information: Victims would have the right to general information about the criminal justice system and available victim services and programs, as well as specific information about the progress of the case, including information relating to the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of the person who harmed them.
- Victims will no longer be treated as “just another witness.”
- Rights to protection: Victims would have the right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, to have reasonable and necessary measures to protect them from intimidation and retaliation, and to request their identity be protected from public disclosure.
- Right to participation: Victims would have a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process, and to present a victim impact statement.
- Right to restitution: Victims would have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for all offences for which there are easy-to-calculate financial losses.
Our Government responded to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Canada v. Bedford to ensure the Canada’s laws and the criminal justice system continue to address the significant harms that flow from prostitution to those engaged in prostitution and to other vulnerable persons, while protecting Canadian communities.
On Tuesday, September 9th, 2014, Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville, hosted a roundtable on Bill C-24 with Costas Menegakis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, at the Peel Multicultural Centre. The roundtable was widely attended by local community organizations and local residents.
- Canada has a high naturalization rate: more than 85 percent of eligible permanent residents in Canada go on to become citizens.
- As a result of reforms to the Citizenship Act, applicants need to be physically present in Canada for a total of four out of their last six years. In addition, they need to be physically present in Canada for 183 days per year for at least four of those six years.
- The old citizenship fee did not reflect the actual processing cost. Changes ensure applicants are responsible for the actual processing cost.
- Under the new streamlined decision-making model, citizenship officers will decide all aspects of a citizenship application. Under the old model, obtaining citizenship was a three-step process that involved duplication of work.
- By 2015-2016, processing times will be one year and backlogs will be reduced by 80%.
- Since 2006, Canada has welcomed over 1,300,000 proud new Canadians. Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications in 2013, the highest volume ever.
Language and Residence Requirements
- The ability to communicate effectively in either French or English is a key factor in the success of newcomers to Canada. This has been borne out in a number of studies looking at the connection between language ability and successful integration into Canadian society.
- As a result of changes in Bill C-24, applicants now need to be physically present in Canada for a total of four out of their last six years. In addition, they would need to be physically present in Canada for 183 days per year for at least four of those six years.
- These changes to the Citizenship Act require applicants to file Canadian income taxes, if required under the Income Tax Act, in order to be eligible to apply for citizenship.
- Ongoing large-scale fraud investigations conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have identified more than 3,000 citizens and 5,000 permanent residents linked to major investigations—a majority of them related to residence.
- In addition, nearly 2,000 individuals linked to the citizenship fraud investigations have withdrawn their applications.
- The United States and Australia have a similar fast-track mechanism for members of the military as a way of honouring their service and addressing deployment challenges.
- Citizenship is being granted retroactively, dating back to January 1, 1947 (or April 1, 1949 for Newfoundland) or to the year of birth in the case of persons born after January 1, 1947 or April 1, 1949.
- People born or naturalized in Canada before 1947 who subsequently lost their British subject status and did not become citizens on January 1, 1947 are having citizenship automatically given to them.
- British subjects ordinarily resident in Canada prior to 1947 who did not become citizens on January 1, 1947 are having citizenship automatically given to them.
- Children born abroad in the first generation to any parent who was born, naturalized or British subjects ordinarily resident in Canada prior to 1947 are having citizenship automatically given to them.