Week in Review: June 18 – 22
Welcome to Elizabeth May’s parliamentary week in review! This weekly e-newsletter recaps her work in Parliament when the House is in session. Using the links below, you can watch videos of Elizabeth’s interventions in the House, keep up with her media releases, and read articles she has written.
This week, Elizabeth spoke on national security, gun control, abandoned vessels, and the right of provinces to conduct thorough environmental reviews. She held a press conference to reflect on the 2017-2018 parliamentary session, and joined MPs from across all parties to demand that the Senate pass a series of bills to protect animals.
The House has now entered its summer recess and will resume business in the fall. Stay tuned for the next Week in Review in mid-September!
* If you are having trouble viewing this email, please view online at: http://elizabethmaymp.ca/category/news/week-in-review/
Bill C-59: An Act respecting national security matters
Bill C-64: An Act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations
Bill C-71: An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms
Bill C-392: An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Fishing and Recreation Harbours Act and other Acts
Current Events: Families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border
The reports this week of children ripped from their mothers’ arms and interred in cages at the U.S.-Mexico border have been horrifying. Undoubtedly the public outcry forced the Trump administration to sign an executive order on Wednesday, June 20, to keep families together in detention, after endless evasions and denials of responsibility for making this crisis in the first place. But we cannot yet breathe a sigh of relief. Canada and the international community must sustain pressure on the U.S. until all families are reunited, asylum claims are heard, and immigration reformed sensibly and humanely.
The executive order does not prevent the Department of Homeland Security from holding families indefinitely. We must all be concerned that there is no clear pathway for reunification and that already some parents have been deported while their children remain in U.S. custody. More often than not, children and parents do not know each other’s whereabouts and communication has been impossible. There are no plans to repair the untold mental and physical damage inflicted on the more than 2500 children torn away from their parents. It does not even begin to tackle the situation for unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody, where abuse is widespread.
In light of these and many earlier atrocities that have attracted less attention, Elizabeth advocates for suspending of the Safe Third Country (STC) agreement. Under the STC, Canadian border agents can deport asylum seekers who have passed through the United States without first hearing their refugee claims, premised on the idea that the U.S. asylum system is safe and comparable to our own. Recent events have underscored how faulty this premise is, particularly since the Trump administration took office. As the Minister of Immigration, the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, reasses the U.S. asylum system, Elizabeth encourages Canadians to write to the Minister, the Prime Minister, and their MPs to show support for suspending this ill-conceived agreement.
But this is also a moment to reflect on our own domestic practices. Last year, 162 minors were detained in Canadian holding centres, albeit with their families. 28 migrant teens were jailed between 2010 and 2015 without having committed any crimes. More Indigenous children are in foster care than were in the residential schools at their height. We should do everything in our power to ensure these numbers reach zero as expeditiously as possible, otherwise we cast stones in a glass house.
Families detained at the border still need people to advocate for them, especially as legal counsel in the courts. This article contains many ideas for those keen to help. It will also be critical to monitor the companies that have been profiting from child detention centres, as they may soon shift business to families. While public backlash and organized actions outmatched a feckless administration this time, much work remains to be done.
Statements & Press Releases
In the News
(Cormac MacSweeney and Lasia Kretzel, News 1130, June 19)
(Samantha Wright Allen, The Hill Times, June 20)
(Interview with the National Observer, June 20)
(Rachel Aiello, CTV News, June 20)
(Holly Lake, iPolitics, June 20)
(Cindy E. Harnett and Katie DeRosa, Times Colonist, June 20)
This week, Elizabeth presented two petitions supporting the following:
She also presented two petitions from the students of Salt Spring Elementary School:
Elizabeth cheered on Kennedy Stewart (MP for Burnaby South) as he delivered his final petition in the House of Commons. He used the opportunity to call on the government to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline purchase. On that note, Elizabeth’s e-petition to halt the purchase of Kinder Morgan will continue to circulate over the summer. Help us reach 25 000 signatures by September! Be sure to visit the website regularly for updates on the government’s purchase.
Elizabeth presents petitions once the deadline for signatures has passed. After presentation in the House, the government has 45 calendar days to table a response.
You may read the governments’ responses to petitions Elizabeth has introduced here.
View and sign open e-petitions currently sponsored by Elizabeth here.
Learn about the e-petition process or create one of your own here.
Elizabeth May has introduced the following bills:
Bill C-387: This bill will establish a legislative framework for a national passenger rail service.
For a list of private members’ bills Elizabeth May has seconded, please visit elizabethmaymp.ca.
Tuesday, May 29
Thursday, June 7
Friday, June 22 to Sunday, June 24
Friday, June 22
Saturday, June 23
Sunday, June 24
Monday, June 25 to Tuesday, June 26
Wednesday, June 27
Thursday, June 28
Friday, June 29
Saturday, June 30