MP Larry Miller responds to concerns
March 9, 2012
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A number of important issues that are of concern to many residents of Bruce and Grey counties have hit the media over the past couple of weeks. Changes to income tax refunds in Ontario, Bill C‐30 and race‐based hiring. I would like to take the opportunity to clarify these issues.
MP Larry Miller
Canadians were provided with misinformation from various vague and incorrect media reports about changes to their income tax refunds for 2011, which resulted in my office receiving many calls and emails from constituents. I want to assure you that the procedures to income tax refunds have not changed – you will receive your refund in a lump sum. The installment refunds reported by the media will only impact the recipients of the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTA) payments and is the result of a recent decision made by the McGuinty Government and NOT the federal government. Constituents wishing to issue a complaint should contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance or MPP Bill Walker.
Another issue that has generated a significant amount of calls and emails to my office is the introduction of Bill C‐30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act. Our government made a commitment to Canadians in the last election to keep our streets and communities safe. This is exactly what we are trying to do with both the omnibus crime bill and Bill C‐30. There is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about this bill. The biggest misconception is that this bill would give police the ability or power to monitor emails and online activity without a warrant. This has got a lot of Canadians fired up, including a lot of you in Bruce‐Grey‐Owen Sound. I can assure you that Bill C‐30 will not allow police to do this without a warrant. Nothing has changed in that regard.
The goal of this bill is to adequately protect Canadians from online exploitation – especially children. All of the provinces support this bill and have been asking for this for some time now. Canada’s current laws do not adequately protect Canadians from online crime. We want to update our laws while striking the right balance between fighting crime and protecting the privacy of law‐abiding Canadians. I want to be clear: the police will not be able to read emails or view the internet activities of Canadians unless there is just cause and only with a warrant issued by a judge. This bill specifically targets criminals, sexual predators, gangs and terrorists, who may try to exploit technology to hide their illegal activities. It will NOT violate the privacy of law‐abiding Canadians.
Lastly, a February 21st article by Brian Lilley claimed that the Government of Canada is continuing race‐based hiring, despite our government’s promise to put an end to this unfair practice. If Mr. Lilley is correct (and he is in the case of Parks Canada), the practice has to stop. Our government said the practice of race‐based hiring would stop and all government departments should be immediately moving to fair and merit‐based hiring.
As I said, Parks Canada is one of the guilty parties when it comes to race‐based hiring AND they readily admit it. They continue to hire applicants based on the colour of their skin and not based on merit. They use the same practice when advertising for contract services.
Recently, a contract to provide firewood to Bruce Peninsula National Park was tendered. However, if you were non‐native, your tender would not be recognized. Another example is the construction of the road into the new Parks Canada Visitors Centre just south of Tobermory. The powers to be at Parks Canada decided they would only accept tenders from contractors who were native. When the one and only bid came in at almost double the estimated cost to build the road, they re‐tendered and opened it up to all contractors. The result was a winning bid that came in at $300,000 to $400,000 below the first tender.
I believe that no one should ever be offered a job (or contract) based on their race, gender, age or sexual orientation. An employer should conduct employment competitions in a fair manner and offer a job to the most qualified individual.
I am all for encouraging economic development and opportunities for natives and native communities, but it has to be done in a less discriminatory way than the policy Parks Canada operates under.
Larry Miller, M.P.
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Monday, March 12, 2012