On June 22nd, just before the summer recess, Some members of Canadian Association of Chinese Reporter (CACR) visited Parliament Hill and had a interview with Senator Victor Oh.
Question: Can you please introduce the responsibility of the Senate for us? As some Chinese don’t know what the Senate does.
Victor Oh first introduced the Canadian political system in detail, and the assembly was composed of two parts of the Senate and the House of Commons (House of Representatives). The senator history, the rights and duties of the senator.
The Senate is appointed by the government, and the House of Commons is elected by the Canadians. Since the voter turnout in Canada is very low, only 68.5%, usually the House of Commons represents only 68.5% of the Canadian voices, so the Senate is particularly important that representing most Canadian voices, representing ethnic minorities, multiculturalism, and elite representatives from all walks of life. Members of Congress are elected every four years, and the senator is very stabilized, the election process is also very complex before, once the Senator is appointed, the term is very long. In addition to the motion that can not be mentioned in the financial case, the Senate can raise any motion. The Senate can amend any motion that the House of Commons has sent.
Question: Recently, the mainstream media in Canada e.g. CBC, Toronto Sun, CTV global and other media made a lot of reports about the pass of the federal budget in the Senate, can you explain the Senate authority based on this matter?
There is a hidden content in a section of this year’s financial budget bill C-44 (see this link), that is the hidden tax on alcohol, which says “increasing the excise duty rates on alcohol products by 2% and automatically adjusting those rates annually by the Consumer Price Index starting in April 2018.”. The Senate made several requests for amendments to remove this automatic tax increases on alcohol, defying the Liberal government’s request to pass the legislation intact, but the House of commons rejected it, in the end, the bill C-44 passed under the auspices of the Liberal Party.
Victor Oh said recently Canadian local media CBC, Toronto Sun, CTV Global have been concerned about the budget bill C-44 passed, which lead in a argue whether the Senate has the power to modify or deny the House of Commons motion. The Senate has the power to supplement and amend the motion in accordance with the rights of the Senate which is conferred by the Canadian Constitution. At the Senate meeting, Senator Honoulble Serge Joyal made a special speech on this subject, Serge Joyal served in the Canadian Senate since November 26, 1997, responsible for legal and constitutional affairs, rules of procedure, procedures and rights And other matters, familiar with the Constitution and the past case, to prove that there have been several precedents in the past, the Senate has the power to reject inappropriate motion.
Although the budget was passed under the auspices of the ruling party, but through this budget, let more people understand the Canadian political system, and the Senate has the power to modify and supplement the motion, showing the strength of the Senate.
Question: Canada-China relations now enter the Golden Decade, how do you see the future of Canada-China relationship and the Canada’s role in “The Belt and Road Initiative”?
The relationship between Canada and Mexico is in tensions, North American free trade agreement is not optimistic since Donald Trump came to power. The United States first taxed Canada products, and then dissatisfied with the Canadian milk, the Canadian government to the pastoral subsidies, the United States and tax. Canada faces more and more difficulties, and Canada’s product is mainly exported to the United States, we will have no way out if US limits Canada’s export.
Many Senators believe that Canada should strengthen cooperation with China, there are more opportunities in China as a new emerging market. Now the European countries are optimistic about Chinese market. The US has more than 800 billion trade with China each year, but Canada only has 80 million, a zero is missed. Europe has a great number of trades than Canada even though we are closer to China geography than Europe, so Canada should strengthen cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, Canada has joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the current government should come up with a decent economic policy to carry out practical cooperation with China.
The Canadian government should pay more attention to China’s “The Belt and Road Initiative” strategy, take full advantage of “The Belt and Road Initiative” to bring development opportunities in Canada to promote cooperation between Canadian companies and the Asia-Pacific countries to achieve mutual benefit and win-win, which will be a great help to Canada’s trade and economic diversification, raising the anti-risk ability in Canada’s economic field.
Many Canadians also see that Canada should have new Asia-Pacific strategic under the pressure of increased uncertainty in the United States, avoiding to be marginalized.
Question: Can you please introduce the two motions you proposed that just passed recently?
Senator Victor Oh told journalists about the two bills that he had just adopted this year under his proposal, one is the Rouge National Urban Park, the other one is Bill C-6.
Senator Victor Oh said that the Rouge National Urban Park is a manifestation of Canadian identity, which has witnessed our natural, historical, rooted, cultural and all ethnic contribution to Canada. “I encourage more extensive cooperation between policy makers, local governments, urban planners and other stakeholders to ensure the protection of the natural environment and benefit all Canadians.
As Canada’s first national urban park, Canada, even the whole North America’s largest urban wild park, covering 79.1 square kilometres, 19 times the New York Park, 16 times the Stance Park, from the lake has been north to 16th Street, after Toronto, Markham and other towns. The Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto is famous for its wildlife and hiking trails, and it is a place to enjoy the wilderness experience at a distance from the metropolitan centre. There are a lot of farms and peasants in the park. Over the past 40 years, the government has renewed their lease contracts every year, and now it is possible to modify the lease for 30 years so that they can plan their farm plant. Because the park is very fertile land resources, is the most suitable for farming soil, this land accounted for only 0.5% of the country. There are 7500 acres. It is difficult to keep it down, July 1 to become a Canadian birthday gift.
The amendment to the Bill C-6 removes the requirement that the naturalization applicant must be at least 18 years of age and provide the right to apply for naturalization for children who are not parents or guardians or who are unable or unwilling to apply for their parents. Victor Oh said that the bill is about to become a law that will bring a positive and positive impact to the lives of many people. “This will be an important chapter in the promotion of children and youth rights in Canadian history, and I am deeply honoured and delighted in contributing to this modesty.”
I am convinced that Canada has the responsibility and obligation to ensure the rights of children and adolescents. I am proposing this amendment to ensure that children who meet all application criteria and have permanent resident status, especially vulnerable groups, are entitled to the same nationality. The bill was endorsed by the United Nations Women and Children’s Organization.