Rodger CUZNER

CUZNER, Rodger, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Cape Breton--Canso (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
November 4, 1955
Website
http://rodgercuzner.liberal.ca
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=6fa03d6c-bbe7-4e72-b1de-3f877b6bcb02&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
rodger.cuzner@parl.gc.ca
Profession
organizer of events

Parliamentary Career

November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Bras d'Or--Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (January 13, 2003 - December 11, 2003)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Cape Breton--Canso (Nova Scotia)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Cape Breton--Canso (Nova Scotia)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Cape Breton--Canso (Nova Scotia)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (November 3, 2008 - September 6, 2010)
  • Chief Opposition Whip (November 3, 2008 - September 6, 2010)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
LIB
  Cape Breton--Canso (Nova Scotia)
October 19, 2015 -
LIB
  Cape Breton--Canso (Nova Scotia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment , Workforce Development and Labour (December 2, 2015 - )

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 288)


April 1, 2019

Mr. Rodger Cuzner

Mr. Speaker, again, my colleague across started his initial comments saying that the people on the government side would like to forget last fall and the legislation. In fact, there is one thing that I will not forget. It is the sanctimony from the NDP when they stood and fought against it.

It was a last-step solution. However, we know that NDP governments have brought in back-to-work legislation 15 different times. The member for London—Fanshawe, the member for Hamilton Centre and the member for Vancouver East all passed back-to-work legislation.

The one that really gets it for me is back in 1995 during the railway strike. I will read from Hansard, which says, “I want to make it clear that though we object to back to work legislation, we think it should be passed in all stages today. The strike has gone on long enough.” That was in response to legislation that came to the House in 1995.

Do members know who said that? It was this member's father. There is a time to bring in back-to-work legislation and Bill Blaikie was a member who I had a huge amount of respect for. He knew it at the time and I would encourage his son to maybe have that conversation.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Post Corporation
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April 1, 2019

Mr. Rodger Cuzner

Mr. Speaker, if unmitigated gall were a currency here in Canada, I know we would have a lot of Conservatives driving Cadillacs because of what they did with the finances of this country.

When I look at Stephen Harper, I see he added $150 billion to the national debt. In 2009 it was a record $55 billion that he added to the national debt. We saw that year over year.

We know that our debt-to-GDP ratio has improved considerably since those Harper years. We will continue on this path to grow the economy and to make sure that young Canadians have the skills that they need to get those jobs and that those job opportunities are there for all Canadians.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Finance
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April 1, 2019

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague and I can certainly agree on the fact that in the best-case scenario both sides are able to sit down at the bargaining table and come out with an agreement that is of benefit to all. Unfortunately, there are instances that arise where such is not the case and an agreement is elusive. That is when governments have to take action.

As we have previously said, back-to-work legislation is a last resort solution. It is something that this government certainly did not take lightly. We did everything we could to support and encourage Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to reach that negotiated collective agreement. Throughout the process, which was going on for well over a year, the parties were assisted by federal conciliation officers, mediators and a special mediator. Alas, despite these efforts, the parties were unable to reach a new agreement.

As a last resort, the government tabled Bill C-89 in November 22 of last year. This set out the process by which the parties were required to work with an independent mediator-arbitrator and the employees would return to work. On November 26, Bill C-89 received royal assent, the rotating strikes ended and all postal services resumed on November 27.

Since Canada Post and CUPW were unable to agree on a mediator-arbitrator as per the process outlined in the legislation, our government appointed a former chairperson of the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to serve as the mediator-arbitrator to assist the parties in reaching a new collective agreement.

It seems to me that it is worth noting that the member across has conveniently forgotten about the many changes our government has brought forward for workers because this is about workers. We have passed legislation to modernize federal labour standards in this country, which have not been updated since the 1960s. These changes stem from extensive consultations with stakeholders who have told us the same thing, time and time again: The way Canadians work has changed, but federal labour standards have not.

The modern set of labour standards we have introduced will better protect Canadian workers, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as workers who are in part-time, temporary or low-wage jobs and it will help set the stage for good-quality jobs. This modern set of standards will also help ensure employees in precarious work are paid, treated fairly and have access to labour standards by introducing equal treatment protections.

These are just some of the measures that we have taken to show respect in our approach to labour as a government and in developing the labour laws that are needed for today's workforce, but also respecting collective bargaining, making sure that Canadian workers are shown respect and that the Government of Canada is there not to put its thumb on the scale.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Post Corporation
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April 1, 2019

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if I could first clarify for all those in the House this evening, there were a couple of misstatements by my colleague.

He talked about the management of the economy. The fact is that this government has created 800,000 new jobs since coming to government in 2015. The fact is that unemployment rates are at record lows. The fact is that the youth unemployment rate is at its lowest level since records have been kept. When we look at under-represented groups in our workforce—women, persons with disabilities and indigenous Canadians—we see that those unemployment numbers are at all-time lows, so we can feel a great deal of pride.

The other thing he mentioned was the fact that we changed the OAS eligibility age back to 65 after the Conservatives had moved it up to 67. That will keep 130,000 Canadians, the most vulnerable Canadians, from the poverty lines. That is what that measure will do.

Since we came to office, the government has invested in the things that matter to Canadians and to middle-class Canadians. One of our first actions was to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians, while over nine million Canadians are benefiting from the middle-class tax cut.

We introduced the Canada child benefit, or CCB. Compared to the system of child benefits that it replaced, the CCB is simpler, more generous and better targeted to those who need it most. Indeed, nine out of 10 families are receiving more in child benefits than they did under the previous Conservative system. As a result, the typical middle-class family of four is receiving about $2,000 more in support than they did in 2015. This year, on average, families benefiting from the CCB will receive around $6,800 to help with the high cost of raising children. This benefit amount will continue to rise with the cost of living, as it has been indexed to inflation as of July 2018, two years earlier than promised.

It is worth reminding Canadians that the Conservatives voted against every one of these measures.

We have a plan to invest in and strengthen the middle class and to grow the economy, and the results are certainly beginning to show. There are strong employment gains for women, persons with disabilities and indigenous Canadians. The pace of job gains in these areas has been significant over the last three years.

Building on this momentum, we recently introduced in budget 2019 the next step to this plan. Our debt-to-GDP ratio has continued to come down. We know that in 2009, under the Conservatives, it was up to about 38%; it is back down now to about 31.5%.

We are on the right course. Canadians know that we are on the right course, and they will demonstrate that come October.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Finance
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February 4, 2019

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way made a comment about the sports tax credit, which had been referenced earlier.

When there is a tax credit or incentive, there is the hope to prompt some kind of a positive response. That is why that measure would be brought forward. However, if we look at the participation rates from 2000 on, participation rates, year over year, in sport were pretty steady. After the Conservatives introduced the tax credit in 2007, there was no discernible increase in 2008, 2009 or 2010. The one year we had an increase was in 2003, and that was because the women's hockey team won the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City. That happened because the previous government had believed in investing in facilities, leadership and coaching.

Does the member not see that targeted investments make far greater sense and pay far greater rewards than boutique tax credits?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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