April 24, 2015
Ottawa, ON- Today, the House of Commons passed MP Brad Butt’s Motion 587. The motion establishes a Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month to recognize Genocides that have been previously recognized by the Canadian Parliament.
Three of the four commemoration days already take place in April (Yom Ha-Shoah, Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, and Rwandan Genocide Memorial Day), which is why April was chosen for this commemorative month.
“I am pleased to see my Motion passed today in the House of Commons. We have an obligation to remember, and to learn from, some of the darkest events in human history. By doing so, we renew our commitment to do everything we can to prevent such events from happening again,” said MP Butt.
All four of these Genocides are featured in Canada’s National Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg.
April 24, 2015, Ottawa, ON- MP Brad Butt’s opens debate on his Motion in the House of Commons. His remarks are as follows;
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to lead off this important debate on a motion that would re-affirm this House’s support for the recognition of historical genocides
It would also call upon the Government to recognize April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month.
Mr. Speaker, in August 1941, shortly after British intelligence broke the “Enigma” code, and began intercepting first-hand Nazi reports of mass slaughters and remorseless brutalities in occupied Ukraine and Russia, Winston Churchill spoke to an international audience in a live radio broadcast.
He said: “We are in the presence of a crime without a name.”
In the United States, the noted legal scholar Raphael Lemkin – a Jewish refugee from Nazi-occupied Poland – heard Churchill’s words.
Two years later, in the hope that naming the crime would help to prevent it, Lemkin coined the word “genocide” – defining it as the systematic destruction of all, or a significant part, of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group – and tirelessly campaigned for its recognition in international law.
Finally, in 1948, after the systematic nature and horrific scope of the Nazis’ mass crimes had been more fully grasped, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Mr. Speaker, Canada has been a party to this convention for more than 60 years, and our resolve to combat and prevent genocide around the world continues to be strong and steadfast.
Seven decades after the liberation of the Nazi death camps, our country remains committed to helping prevent future atrocities by combating oppression, hatred and xenophobia, and teaching future generations about the lessons of genocide around the world.
Canada has been profoundly shaped by survivors of genocide, who have first-hand experience with the horrific crime, and have resettled across the country.
That is why this Parliament has officially recognized the historical genocides that have affected many Canadian immigrants and the ancestors of many Canadians.
Those genocides include the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor, and the Rwandan genocide.
Mr. Speaker, the Holocaust Memorial Day Act, which was passed in 2003, recognizes the unique atrocity of the Shoah, during which six million European Jews – including 1.5-million Jewish children – lost their lives, and millions of other European civilians were slaughtered because they belonged to groups deemed expendable, according to the Nazis’ heinous ideology.
The Armenian genocide resolution, adopted 11 years ago this month, recognized the terrible suffering and loss of life endured by the Armenian people in 1915 as a genocide, condemning it as a crime against humanity.
The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act was passed in 2008. It established the fourth Saturday in November as an annual day to remember one of the greatest tragedies of the last century: The deliberate starvation of millions of men, women and children in Ukraine between 1932 and 1933 by the Soviet regime under Josef Stalin.
Finally, in 2008, Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution commemorating the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans – targeting ethnic Tutsis and political moderates, including ethnic Hutus – and designating April 7 as a Day of Reflection on the Prevention of Genocide. Parliament had previously declared April 7 a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Rwandan genocide in 2004.
Mr. Speaker, with the designation of April each year as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month, we would be specifically remembering these unfathomably tragic historical events.
At the same time, we would be more broadly acknowledging that genocide betrays the fundamental value of human dignity.
Genocide does not begin with the mass murder of a people.
Its seeds are planted with hatred, racism, and a denial of human rights.
We must be vigilant and never allow such horrific crimes to be forgotten or repeated.
We have an obligation to remember, and to learn from, some of the darkest events in human history.
By doing so, we renew our commitment to do everything we can to prevent such events from happening again.
In the words of author, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel:
“‘An immoral society betrays humanity because it betrays the basis for humanity, which is memory… A moral society is committed to memory.’”
Mr. Speaker, as time passes, it becomes even more imperative for moral societies such as ours to remain firm in our commitment to memory.
Without active efforts such as those proposed by Motion M-587, there is always the risk that the memory of historical genocides could be lost, minimized, or even denied.
Indeed, in recent years, we have seen an unfortunate rise around the world in the heinous practice of Holocaust denial, and in the denial of other genocides.
The only appropriate response is to strongly reaffirm our collective commitment as a society to remember and commemorate genocide, to educate future generations about the poisonous effects of hate and intolerance, and to uphold the importance of preventing such atrocities from ever re-occurring.
Indeed, while the nation at the centre of any genocide holds the primary responsibility to protect its people from such atrocities, the international community also has significant responsibilities.
Mr. Speaker, Canada has been a world leader in Genocide commemoration and education.
We have opened the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, supported resolutions on the prevention of genocide at the Human Rights Council, and served as 2014 chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, among many other recent initiatives.
The motion we are debating today is in the spirit of ensuring that our country continues to set an important international example.
I call on all members of this House to support Motion 587.
Thank you very much.
April 24, 2015- Ottawa, On
Good afternoon everyone/Bon après midi a tous,
Parev Polorit Parliament Hill. T’vogh Astvats orhni dzez bolorid.
We are all gathered here today for a very significant but very solemn occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
It is very fitting therefore that the House of Commons will debate my Private Member’s motion this afternoon to designate the month of April as Genocide Awareness, Prevention and Condemnation month in Canada.
It is important that we commemorate these tragic events in world history and that we seek a path toward recognition and reconciliation.
Last August, I visited Armenia as part of a delegation of One Free World International. I have visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum and I have laid a carnation at the site. And I shed tears for the 1.5 million people killed in this horrific time in human history.
Like you, I pray for better days ahead in this dangerous world where we see even today acts of genocide against peoples in Iraq, Syria and Libya at the hands of ISIL.
May God continue to bless each and every one of you, may God bless Armenia and may God bless Canada.
Today, April 21, 2015, the Harper Government introduced Economic Action Plan 2015 to support jobs and growth, help families and communities prosper, and ensure the security of Canadians.
- Economic Action Plan 2015 will create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
- It is a balanced budget, just as we promised, and it cuts taxes for hard-working individuals and families.
- It is a prudent and principled plan that will see Canadians more prosperous, more secure, and even more confident in our country’s place in the world.
- Canadians can rest assured that under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada’s fiscal house is in order
Economic Action Plan 2015 will:
- Fulfil the Harper Government’s promise to balance the budget in 2015. The Government will return to balanced budgets while maintaining the lowest federal tax burden on Canadians in over half a century.
- Support jobs and growth by making Canada more competitive and allowing job-creating businesses to thrive; making new and innovative investments that build on the Government’s historic support for infrastructure; and training a highly skilled workforce that responds to the evolving needs of employers.
- Help families and communities prosper by continuing to provide tax relief and other support for hard-working families and individuals while enhancing opportunity for all.
- Ensure the security of Canadians by supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and protecting Canadians from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.
Balancing the Budget:
- The deficit has been reduced from $55.6 billion at the height of the Great Recession to a projected surplus of $1.4 billion for 2015–16.
- The Harper Government paid down $37 billion in debt before the Great Recession, an important reason why Canada’s total government net debt burden is the lowest of any Group of Seven (G-7) country and among the lowest of the G-20 countries.
- Balanced budget legislation will be introduced to enshrine in law the Harper Government’s responsible fiscal management policy that is creating jobs and putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
- A balanced budget allows the Harper Government to cut taxes further for Canadian families and individuals.
Supporting Jobs and Growth:
- Reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent by 2019—putting an estimated $2.7 billion back into the pockets of job-creating small businesses and their owners between now and 2019–20.
- Providing manufacturers with a 10-year accelerated capital cost allowance to encourage productivity-enhancing investment in machinery and equipment.
- Increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $1 million for owners of farm and fishing businesses.
- Improving access to financing for Canadian small businesses through the Canada Small Business Financing Program.
- Expanding the services offered through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada to help small and medium-sized businesses.
- Providing $14 million over two years to Futurpreneur Canada in support of young entrepreneurs.
- Supporting the Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs to help women business owners succeed.
- Helping innovative companies grow and create jobs through the Venture Capital Action Plan.
- Supporting provinces and territories to facilitate the harmonization of apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.
- Investing in world-class research and development by providing over $1.5 billion in funding over five years to advance the Government’s renewed science, technology and innovation strategy.
- Continuing to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the New Building Canada Plan.
- Investing $750 million over two years starting in 2017–18, and $1 billion per year thereafter, for a new Public Transit Fund aimed at building new public transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and fight gridlock in large cities.
Helping Families and Communities Prosper:
- Increasing the Tax-Free Savings Account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for 2015 and subsequent years.
- Reducing the minimum withdrawal factors for Registered Retirement Income Funds to permit seniors to preserve more of their retirement savings to better support their retirement income needs.
- Supporting seniors and persons with disabilities by introducing the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help with renovation costs to make their homes safer and more accessible, so that they can live independently and remain in their homes.
- Enhancing access to post-secondary education by expanding the eligibility for Low- and Middle-Income Canada Student Grants to students in short-duration programs.
- Making the Canada Student Loans Program work for families by reducing the expected parental contribution under the needs assessment process.
- Supporting the most vulnerable in our communities by providing $150 million over four years, starting in 2016–17, to support social housing in Canada by allowing social housing providers to prepay their long-term, non-renewable mortgages without penalty.
- Improving access to print materials for the visually impaired.
- Providing $5.7 million over five years to help secure new market access for Canadian seal products.
- Ensuring veterans and their families receive the support they need by: providing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit to moderately to severely disabled veterans; expanding access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance for disabled veterans; enhancing the Earnings Loss Benefit for disabled part-time Reserve Force veterans; creating a new tax-free Family Caregiver Relief Benefit to recognize caregivers; and increasing the level of individualized support to veterans.
- Extending Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill and dying family members.
Ensuring the Security of Canadians:
- Increasing National Defence funding by providing the Canadian Armed Forces with close to $12 billion over 10 years, thus ensuring that Canada can continue to field a combat-capable military ready to serve at home and abroad.
- Supporting the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces by providing National Defence with up to $360 million in 2015–16 in order to counter ISIS.
- Countering terrorism by providing additional resources to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canada Border Services Agency.
- Enhancing Canada’s capacity to gather foreign intelligence.
- Protecting the integrity of our borders and facilitating legitimate travel to Canada for low-risk travellers from select visa-required countries.
- A typical two-earner Canadian family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015 because of the Harper Government’s tax cuts and increased benefits.
- The Government has lowered taxes every year since coming into office. In fact, the overall federal tax burden is now at its lowest level in more than 50 years.
- Over 1.2 million more Canadians are working now than at the end of the recession in June 2009. The majority of these net new jobs have been full-time positions in high-wage, private-sector industries.
- Canada has demonstrated one of the best economic performances among G-7 countries over the recovery.
- Real GDP (gross domestic product) is significantly above pre-recession levels—the best performance in the G-7.
- The World Economic Forum rated Canada’s banking system as the soundest in the world for the seventh year in a row in its annual Global Competitiveness Report.
- According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G-7 and 46 per cent lower than those in the United States.
- Bloomberg has ranked Canada the second most attractive place in the world to do business.
- Four credit rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and DBRS—have reaffirmed their top ratings for Canada, and it is expected Canada will maintain its AAA rating in the year ahead.
On April 17, 2015, FedDev Ontario Minister Gary Goodyear, along with MP for Mississauga-Streetsville Brad Butt and MP for Mississauga South Stella Ambler, announced an important investment that will accelerate the development and commercialization of new, first-in-Canada medical devices to be used by physicians during heart procedures.
The Government of Canada’s investment will allow Baylis to commercialize and manufacture three new medical device product lines and improve productivity for in-house manufacturing. This will enhance Baylis’ global competitiveness and strengthen Ontario’s medical device cluster.
- The manufacturing sector is a major contributor to Canada’s economy, employing more than 1.7 million Canadians, of which nearly 750,000 live in Ontario. It also accounts for half of the business R&D in Canada and generated sales of $621.7 billion in 2014, including $286.6 billion in sales for Ontario.
- Nearly 80,000 manufacturing establishments exist across the country with more than 32,000 manufacturing establishments exist in southern Ontario.
- The Harper Government has provided 1.4 billion dollars or tax relief to the manufacturing sector and total business tax costs in Canada are now the lowest in the G7.
- Baylis Medical Company is expected to create 30 research and development jobs and 60 manufacturing jobs at the company’s facilities in Mississauga, Ontario. This is in addition to new jobs created through the company’s Canadian supply chain.
- The Government of Canada officially launched the AMF in Ontario to support manufacturers as they work to increase competitiveness, invest in innovation and boost productivity across the province. The AMF is delivered by FedDev Ontario with an allocation of $200 million over five years.
Presentations at the Forum were made by; Service Canada, City of Mississauga, PEAPN, Investors Group Financial Planners, Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre and CARP. These presenters spoke on a wide variety of topics including; OAS, CPP, GIS, city seniors programs, elder abuse, financial planning, home care and more.
The attendees also got to participate in a Taoist Tai Chi lesson. “I want to thank those who helped at our Seniors Forum. The residents really appreciated the free, friendly service and information they got to take away from it,” said MP Brad Butt.
The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced that Veterans Affairs Canada is taking immediate action to improve how it serves Veterans and their families. The service excellence plan will boost Veterans’ access to case managers. The Minister was joined by Member of Parliament for Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, Jacques Gourde.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) will deliver on its service excellence commitment by reducing caseloads to an average of 30 Veterans for each VAC case manager and will hire more than 100 permanent case managers in order to provide improved one-on-one service. VAC frontline employees will work in locations where they are needed the most.
By increasing the number of case managers, workloads will be balanced, allowing case managers to dedicate more time and attention to meeting the individual needs of Veterans.
The Minister also announced that VAC would continue to work with the Department of National Defence (DND) to access medical records as quickly as possible in order to reduce the amount of time Veterans wait for decisions on disability benefits applications.
Today’s announcement builds on recent commitments, including:
- the new Retirement Income Security Benefit, which would provide moderately to severely disabled Veterans—those who need it most—with continued assistance in the form of a monthly income support payment beginning at age 65.
- the new Family Caregiver Relief Benefit, which would provide eligible Veterans with a tax-free, annual grant of $7,238 so that their informal caregivers—who are often their spouse or other devoted family members—will have flexibility or relief when they need it while also ensuring that the Veterans’ care needs are met.
- the proposed new Critical Injury Benefit, which will provide a $70,000 tax-free payment to recognize and compensate the most severely injured or ill Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans.
- broadened eligibility criteria for the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) which, together with the PIA Supplement, provides approximately $600 to $2,800 a month in life-long monthly financial support to Veterans whose career advancement opportunities have been limited by a permanent service-related injury or illness.
- enhanced benefits for injured part-time Reserve Force members and Veterans, who will now be assured the same minimum income support payment through the Earnings Loss Program as full-time Reserve Force and Regular Force Veterans.
- Hiring additional case managers means improved access to case management and mental health support for case-managed Veterans and allows case managers to dedicate more time and attention to the needs of seriously ill or injured Veterans.
- The majority of case managers will be hired within the next 12 months and will work where they are most needed.
Have you ever met a volunteer whose work in the past year had a profound impact on your community?
Now’s your chance to recognize their accomplishments and nominate them for a Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award!
The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards celebrate the enormous contributions volunteers, not-for-profit organizations and businesses make to their communities.
You can nominate someone in the following national and regional categories.
- Emerging Leader recognizes new volunteers who help build stronger communities through leadership and have made a positive difference in their community in a short period of time. This award is for those who have volunteered for no more than three years.
- Lifelong Achievement recognizes individuals who have dedicated their life to volunteering and have inspired other volunteers, led volunteer groups or made other exceptional achievements through volunteering. This award is for those who have volunteered for a period of at least 20 years.
- Community Leader recognizes individual volunteers or groups of volunteers who have taken a lead role in developing solutions to local challenges.
- Business Leader recognizes businesses that demonstrate social responsibility in their business practices.
- Social Innovator recognizes not-for-profit organizations that demonstrate innovation in addressing social challenges.
Recipients are recognized at an award ceremony and chose an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award).
Submissions are accepted from April 13 to June 30, 2015.
To learn more about the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards and submit a nomination today through www.pm.gc.ca/awards or call 1-877-825-0434.
On April 10, 2015, MP Brad Butt and MP Stella Ambler co-hosted a veterans roundtable with the Hon. Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, at the Streetsville Legion for all Mississauga veterans.
During the roundtable recent government initiatives to enhance support and services for veterans and their families were highlighted. These highlights include;
- The new Retirement Income Security Benefit, which would provide moderately to severely disabled veterans, those who need it the most, with continued assistance in the form of a monthly income support payment beginning at the age of 65.
- The new Family Caregiver Relief Benefit, which would provide eligible veterans with a tax-free, annual grant of $7,238 so that their informal caregivers, who are often their spouse or other devoted family member, will have flexibility or relief when they need it, while also ensuring that the veteran’s care needs are met.
- Effective April 1, 2015, broadened eligibility criteria for the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) which, together with the PIA Supplement, provides approximately $600 to $2,800 a month in lifelong monthly financial support to veterans whose employment potential and career advancement opportunities have been limited by a permanent service-related injury or illness.
- Effective April 1, 2015, enhanced benefits for injured part-time Reserve Force Veterans, who will now be assured the same minimum income support payment through the Earnings Loss Program as full-time Reserve Force and Regular Force Veterans.
- The proposed new Critical Injury Benefit (CIB) which will provide a $70,000 tax-free award to support the most severely injured and ill Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and veterans.
“I am pleased Minister O’Toole is taking the time to meet with veterans in Mississauga-Streetsville. Today’s meeting was a great opportunity to learn about issues facing those who have served and their families,” said Brad.
On March 30, 2015, Minister O’Toole introduced the Support for Veterans and their Families Act, to provide new support for CAF members, veterans and their families. Proposed new services and expanded eligibility for existing programs are expected to benefit thousands of veterans and their families today and in the future.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement following the passage of a motion in the House of Commons to extend and expand Canada’s mission to counter the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):
“Our Government believes that we must act to protect Canadians against the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.
“As a result of ISIL’s specific threats against Canada and Canadians, our Government has worked closely for the past six months as part of a broad international Coalition, including our closest allies, to help degrade and disrupt ISIL’s ability to inflict harm.
“While the Coalition has succeeded in stopping ISIL’s territorial spread, the global threat that ISIL poses remains. In particular, we cannot stand on the sidelines while ISIL continues to promote terrorism in Canada as well as against our allies and partners, nor can we allow ISIL to have a safe haven in Syria.
“That is why I am pleased that the House of Commons has passed a motion supporting the Government’s decision to extend and expand Canada’s military mission against ISIL for up to 12 months.
“The mission will remain focused on targeting ISIL from the air and advising and assisting Iraqi Forces to fight ISIL more effectively on the ground.
“This mission by our Canadian Armed Forces is complemented by significant humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering this terrorist group is inflicting on innocent civilians – including women, children and vulnerable religious and ethnic minorities.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I offer our nation’s profound gratitude and unequivocal support to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces engaged in Operation IMPACT and to their families. We are honoured by their service, sacrifice and bravery.”