Gerry BYRNE

BYRNE, The Hon. Gerry, P.C., B.Sc.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Birth Date
September 27, 1966
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Byrne_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0b9b8066-e727-478e-b825-a12571e8f726&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
environmental technologist, policy adviser

Parliamentary Career

March 25, 1996 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources (July 10, 1997 - August 31, 1999)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (January 16, 2002 - December 11, 2003)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health with special emphasis on Drug Review Agency (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health with special emphasis on Drug Review Agency (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
May 2, 2011 -
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 113)


February 24, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne

Mr. Chair, the hon. member has confused the message and the debates a lot. If I could offer some perspective, having been to Israel and attending the Knesset, the debate in Israel is pretty intense at times. Israelis are very forward thinking. Israel is a very democratic nation that serves its best interest by serving democracy. There is always debate.

However, to suggest that if one offers criticism to Israel, that somehow one is anti-Semitic has never been an utterance that has ever occurred on the floor of this chamber through the course of this debate. What we have said, collectively and very clearly, is that anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon that is born in hatred. It is not born in criticism, not in public discourse of fair minded people and fair minded values. It is born on hatred. It incites violence and it will create an era of intolerance.

If that is the message that has confused her in this chamber, I also feel it becomes so painfully clear that the message could be confused elsewhere. That is why we have to speak out so loudly, so forcefully and so clearly to define anti-Semitism as a hatred and a violence that will not be tolerated. Those who seek peace, who seek discourse, as we did at Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, who embrace all cultures and all citizens will all have a place. That is the lesson maybe we can all take home from this.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Rise in anti-Semitism
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February 24, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne (Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Lib.)

Mr. Chair, I would be pleased to split my time with the hon. member for Mount Royal, who is, I believe it is fair to say, our Parliament's scholar, historian, and collective conscience on human rights issues and who has been a great architect of the Ottawa protocol. I would love to hear a little more of his thoughts on that particular topic.

I have appreciated the discussion here tonight. It has been very valuable to me, and there are two essential messages that have come forward that must be communicated.

One is that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated no matter where it occurs, whether it be on the borders of Israel, in a European capital, or, God forbid, here on Canadian soil.

The second message, of course, is that this cannot be empty rhetoric. This message has to come with a resolve to protect and with a call to action. To those who are threatened by anti-Semitism, we must be firm: never again.

Members might wonder what exactly the member of Parliament for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte from Newfoundland and Labrador would be able to offer to this particular debate. I have an interesting perspective to offer.

I am an Irish Newfoundlander, and many Newfoundlanders are Irish. In 1968, my constituency decided that the best person to represent us in this chamber was a man named Jack Marshall.

Jack was Jewish. There were a lot of Jews in my riding, but we did not vote for him because he was Jewish, and we certainly did not vote against him because he was Jewish. He was the best person for the job. In fact, he was so very popular and such an effective advocate for veterans right across this entire country, as he was for his constituency in each and every matter that was important to it and to the people of Humber—St. George's—St. Barbe at the time, that the prime minister of Canada had to elevate him to the Senate, because that was the only way to free up the seat. He was a phenomenal representative.

His successor was a kind of a twist of irony. A by-election was held when Jack Marshall was elevated to the Senate, where he so well served this country and every veteran that ever served in uniform. His successor was a young man by the name of Fonse Faour, a Lebanese Canadian who was 24 years of age. We did not vote for him because he was of Lebanese descent, and we did not vote against him because he was of Lebanese descent; we voted for him because he was the best person for the job. Therefore, I come from a perspective that all things are possible. That is the way we are.

With that in mind, I went to Israel last year. I wanted to learn more. We received some great briefings and met with the Canadian representative to the Palestinian authority. Four days into the trip, Hamas started firing rockets into Israel, indiscriminately, for the sole purpose of killing innocent civilians. Hamas, the terrorist organization, was doing what it does.

That was the most profound experience that anyone could possibly imagine. It was transformative for me.

Anti-Semitism is real. It is very active in this world. The events in Montreal prove that it is on the rise. Is it on the rise everywhere? I think it is.

Yesterday, because I have been an outspoken advocate for peace and for the right of Israel to exist and to protect itself, I received a message from within my own constituency suggesting that I was acting like a Nazi for my beliefs and my sincere conviction that peace can happen, that Israel has the right to exist, and that action against anti-Semitism must be taken.

These are the perspectives that a man from Newfoundland and Labrador who sits in this chamber can offer to this debate. Not only do we have to communicate that anti-Semitism is not to be tolerated, but we have to send a message to the Jewish community, to those who would advocate for peace and for harmony, that we will not stand idly by, no matter what corner of the globe or part of Canada we are from.

I will conclude with that one perspective. This is an issue that should captivate us all. We have a duty to action and a duty to protect, and it is inherent in each and every one of us.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Rise in anti-Semitism
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February 6, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne (Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in the government's response to a report by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans concerning small craft harbours, a suggestion—no, a promise—was made to the House and to the thousands of volunteer members of our country's harbour authorities that the government would not cut the very lifelines needed to manage these harbours for the mutual benefit of both DFO and the communities. Yet, in Newfoundland and Labrador, that is exactly what is happening: cuts to staff, cuts to training, and cuts to DFO offices.

Why the double-cross of our harbour authorities and the volunteers? Why was Parliament deceived?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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January 26, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne

With regard to the statutes, regulations, policies and practices governing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans related to the issuing and administration of commercial fishing licences and fisheries resource allocation decisions: (a) what is the definition of (i) a commercial fishing licence, (ii) a commercial fishing permit; (b) what are the differences between a commercial fishing licence and a commercial fishing permit in terms of (i) the rights and responsibilities of the harvester holding either a licence or a permit respectively, (ii) the rights and responsibilities of the Minister in terms of resource allocation policy; (c) what is the definition of the “Last-in – First-out” (LIFO) policy; (d) how often has the LIFO policy been acted upon in determining allocations of annual quotas to either commercial fisheries licences or to permit holders that have experienced any year-over-year decline in the total allowable catch, broken down by (i) year, (ii) each such regulated harvesting category within any of the fisheries management areas of each fisheries stock area within the Newfoundland and Labrador, the Gulf, the Maritime and the Quebec regions of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, further broken down in turn by (iii) species fished, (iv) individual fisheries management area within the species stock area within the past ten years, including the total quota levels for each such species and for each such fisheries management area within each stock area in each year; and (e) in each of the occurrences reported in answering (d), for each of the past ten years described, what was the total number of fish licence holders or permit holders who were directly affected by a reduction in quota on a year-over-year basis and were subject to the application and enactment of the LIFO policy, broken down by (i) species, (ii) individual fisheries management area within each fisheries stock area?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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January 26, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne

With regard to public revenue: for each government organization, including a department, agency, or Crown corporation, (a) when providing a good or service, does that organization charge a fuel surcharge or any other charge or fee related to the cost of fuel; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, (i) what is the nature or description of the good or service provided for which a fuel surcharge or related fee is charged, (ii) in each case, when was the fuel surcharge or fee first instituted, (iii) how often is the fuel surcharge or fee adjusted, (iv) what were the dates of each occasion on which the fuel surcharge or fee was adjusted or set since January 1, 2011, (v) for each adjustment or setting of a fuel surcharge or fee referred to in (iv), what was the amount established on that date for the fuel surcharge or fee?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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