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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 159

CONTENTS

Tuesday, April 4, 2017




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 159 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

    I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the October 24, 2016, by-election in Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner.
    This document is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

[English]

Interparliamentary delegation

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the fourth part of the 2016 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and its parliamentary mission to Malta, the next country to hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, held in Strasbourg, France, and Valletta, Malta, from October 10 to October 19, 2016.

[Translation]

Act respecting the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Criminal Acts

    She said: Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to introduce my bill, the act respecting the federal ombudsman for victims of criminal acts. The responsibilities of the ombudsman for victims of criminal acts have evolved since the position was created in 2007, so this bill would make the position equal to that of the correctional investigator in terms of independence and accountable directly to Parliament.
    It will henceforth be independent from the Department of Justice to ensure that the rights of victims of criminal acts, as laid out in the four pillars of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, are fully respected. Under this bill, the position of the ombudsman for victims of criminal acts will no longer be defined as a program, thus ensuring its long-term existence.

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

[English]

Petitions

Algoma Central Railway 

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise once again in this House to table a petition to the Minister of Transport regarding the Algoma passenger train, which has not been operating for quite some time. The petition is from the riding of Sault Ste. Marie, and it is also signed by petitioners from Garden River.
     It is important to note that 75% of properties in proximity to the rail line are inaccessible except by rail service. There has been a huge economic impact in the area, especially for the tourist outfitters. This also impacts first nations' access to remote regions of their traditional territories. The cancellation infringes on the federal government's obligation to have consultation with first nations. The Algoma passenger train has been the only safe, affordable, all-season way to access the Algoma wilderness rail corridor for over 100 years.
     The petitioners are asking the Minister of Transport to put the Algoma passenger train back into service to ensure the mission of Transport Canada to serve the public interest through the promotion of a safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada.

Shark Finning  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two petitions today. The first is from residents within Saanich—Gulf Islands calling on the government to take action to ban the possession and sale or distribution of shark fins in Canada.
    Shark finning itself has been illegal in Canada for some time, but the import of shark fins for markets within Canada is contributing to the extinction of shark species around the world.

  (1010)  

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from residents more broadly of Vancouver Island who are proposing a very, I think, significant and innovative approach to protecting our green infrastructure, that is the naturally occurring watersheds that protect drinking water.
    They acknowledge that the E&N land grants put under federal control land throughout Vancouver Island that could be converted to community ownership of these watersheds. The petitioners call on Parliament to work with the Province of British Columbia, first nations, municipalities, regional districts, and landowners to begin a process for the protection of community drinking-water watersheds on Vancouver Island by putting them under public ownership.

[Translation]

National Defence  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present petition e-565, which has been duly certified. It was initiated on September 22, 2016, by Marie-Claude Michaud, the executive director of the Valcartier Family Centre. I would like to acknowledge the presence of that organization on the Hill today, to take part in the tabling of their petition.
    This petition is intended for the Department of National Defence to show the importance of the families of our soldiers, our military personnel, who fight overseas every day in the defence of Canada. We also have to think about their families. Our country's family resource centres do a great job, and they should be recognized. The department must be able to give family resource centres the support they need and officially recognize them.
    The petition has 1,087 signatures, and I am pleased to present it today.

[English]

Questions on the Order Paper

    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[The Budget]

[English]

The Budget

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance  

    The House resumed from April 3 consideration of the motion that this House approve in general the budgetary policy of the government, of the amendment, and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct pleasure to rise in the House to speak to a unique and historic budget.
     Budget 2017, “Building a Strong Middle Class”, paints a clear picture of our government's priorities. These priorities include investing in skills, innovation, and infrastructure and establishing a fairer tax system. It also includes a comprehensive listing of new programs and initiatives and how they will help middle-class Canadians succeed. It provides an accurate picture of the economy and the fiscal anchors we are using to help guide us. Most importantly, it outlines an aspirational vision of what we together are building: an inclusive, diverse nation ready to excel in the economy of tomorrow with a plan that works for the middle class, our most valuable economic engine.
    However, it is 2017, and it is well past time that Canada's feminist government put the full weight of our intentions in writing. Budget 2017's gender statement represents the government's first comprehensive effort in reporting on a gender-based analysis of budgetary measures. It is a real opportunity to show how we considered and prioritized outcomes for women. Hon. members in the House do not need to be convinced that this work is essential, because it is. I do not need to remind the House that the effort we are taking to promote women is not about partisanship. With this gender statement, we are challenging the basic assumption that budgets are always gender-neutral. They have not always been, and we mean to change that. In fact, we need to change it.
    In this period of slow economic growth, empowering women to become economic drivers equal to men would have a real and positive effect on our economy. Let us consider the facts.
    Recent history has shown that as women have become more educated and more established in the workforce, Canada's economy and the incomes of both men and women have grown. Canadian women are among the most educated in the world and make up 47% of the labour force, yet women are still paid less than men in exactly the same positions. Compared to gender wage gaps in countries similar to Canada, our record is less than stellar.
    Women are also less present in certain sectors, particularly the trades. Conversely, they are overly employed in lower-paying occupations. Executive level positions are most often held by men. On company boards, women are a minority.
    Most important of all, we know that women and girls are more likely than men to experience poverty, violence, and harassment. As policy-makers, it is our obligation to consider and take action to address the inherent bias that persists in these areas, not only because it makes economic sense but because it is the right thing to do.
    Well before budget 2017, our government started taking action on gender-based challenges. This included increasing the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit to boost support for the most vulnerable seniors, who are disproportionately women. This year we go much further, with actions that focus on innovation and inclusive and sustained growth for women and all Canadians. That includes $7 billion toward early learning and child care and over $11.2 billion for a national housing strategy over the next 11 years.
    Before I had the honour of being elected to serve in the House, I was a municipal councillor for close to a decade. I am proud that this budget continues the work of budget 2016 in providing the support communities need to grow in a sustainable and inclusive way.
    Public transit and truly affordable housing are critical infrastructure for communities like Pickering and Uxbridge. Just this previous weekend, the Prime Minister announced that more than 300 projects have been approved in Ontario under the public transit infrastructure fund. Through this fund, Durham Region received over $17.5 million in federal support. That means that residents in Pickering and Uxbridge, including students and seniors, will be better able to access important community facilities, services, and workplaces. The Prime Minister also announced that our government will invest more than $1.8 billion in GO Transit regional express rail projects in the greater Golden Horseshoe area. These investments are shortening commute times, decreasing air pollution, and growing our economy.
    I am also proud that budget 2017 will fund a national housing strategy that provides a road map for governments and housing providers across the country. This has been a major priority for our region of Durham. This strategy will focus on a renewed partnership between the government and our provincial and territorial partners while creating a new $5-billion national housing fund to address critical housing issues and to better support vulnerable citizens.

  (1015)  

    In 2017 we all must do our part to combat and prevent homelessness. Budget 2017 takes an important step in addressing this issue by renewing and expanding federal investments.
    One of the areas in the budget that I am most proud of is the investment and support we are providing to young people. Back home I speak with residents regularly who want the government to create the conditions for young people to succeed in our economy. Budget 2017 would see the launch of an ambitious initiative to support up to 10,000 new work integrated learning and co-op opportunities per year. This investment would help ensure more young Canadians are able to get the skills and experience they need to attain that well-paying career after they graduate.
    As a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, I was particularly proud of the budget's work on creating a fairer tax system. Canadians agree that building a fair, more inclusive society includes raising taxes on the wealthiest individuals and closing tax loopholes that disproportionately benefit the richest Canadians.
    I want to thank the Minister of National Revenue for accepting all of the finance committee's recommendations on combatting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance schemes. Last year's investments in the CRA to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance have already been working. Budget 2017's additional investment in supporting the CRA's work to crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance is expected to have a revenue impact of $2.5 billion over five years. That is expected to yield a return on investment of five to one. It is also in addition to a number of actions that strengthen the integrity of our tax system.
    As I conclude, I would be remiss if I did not mention the investment of $30 million in budget 2017 to complete, enhance, and maintain the Trans Canada Trail in partnership with provinces and individual Canadians. This is of particular importance to me because Uxbridge, a community that I am proud to represent, has been named the trail capital of Canada. This is a point of pride for my community, and I am thrilled to know that more Canadians would be able to enjoy our trails and natural scenery.
    Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague could answer a question about the infrastructure bank. We have P3 Canada already in place that leverages public sector dollars, and $15 billion is coming out of communities for this infrastructure bank. As this is a priority for the government and it is not going to get funded until 2028, could she explain how exactly that is a priority and why they are not using the existing system to get those infrastructure projects built?

  (1020)  

    Madam Speaker, infrastructure is truly important to our government, and to me in particular, given my background.
    The key is that municipalities are being funded with infrastructure dollars. As I mentioned, Durham region in my community alone just this past week received over $17.5 million for transit.
    What is critical and important is that the infrastructure bank is new and historic as a way to invest in larger projects, projects that perhaps could not be funded through traditional means. It is important as we continue our partnerships with municipalities and local governments that we take it slowly in exploring how the infrastructure bank and this new stream of funding major projects will work. That does not mean municipalities are not receiving support from the federal government. In fact, we have made historic investments in infrastructure, something of which I am extremely proud.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, softwood lumber will be subject to a surtax as of April 24. Since September 2016, we have been asking the government to introduce loan guarantees. We really need to have a plan B to protect our forestry industry. The current situation is serious. The Union des municipalités du Québec asked for loan guarantees, as did Quebec forestry associations and the Government of Quebec. Deals have been signed with Ontario to reinforce the message sent to the Trudeau government.
    Just because the word “wood” appears in the budget twice, that does not signify any real willingness on the part of this government. No money, no plan B, and no loan guarantees were included in the budget to protect our softwood lumber industry.
    I would like to know what my colleague thinks of that and what the government intends to do. Is it waiting for the industry to be brought to its knees before it will fix this situation?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am proud of the efforts our government is making. In fact, at the onset since forming government, when it comes to softwood lumber and other important industries and trade initiatives, we have stepped forward to deal with these issues. We are working with all partners. I look forward to the recommendations and steps that our government is going to take to ensure that Canadian producers and Canadians are protected.
    Madam Speaker, in going through the budget, it is exciting to read big numbers, like $11 billion for housing over the next 11 years, but when I break down page 151 of the budget, in all categories of housing cumulatively, we do not get to more than $300 million before the next election. This is a pattern through the whole budget, on infrastructure spending, on climate action. Everything is after the next election.
    I would ask the hon. member why we do not see more urgency in getting these projects going now and not basically telling us that we have to re-elect the current government to see the programs.
    Madam Speaker, multi-year budgets are good fiscal planning to ensure that we are taking reasonable steps to fund our priorities, but also keeping in mind that we saw a decade without growth. This is a prudent approach that Canadians expect of this government.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to the budget that was recently tabled by the Liberal government. First, I would like to inform you that I will be sharing my time with my friend and colleague, the member for Burnaby South, who will be taking the second half of our party's time.
    I will begin by commenting on what the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands just said.

  (1025)  

[English]

    The leader of the Green Party just made a statement that I found spot on, that the Liberal story narrative, the Liberal arc, is classically the following. The Liberals make a bunch of promises during an election campaign, things like democratic reform, let us say, and then, one by one, they do not keep those promises, but as it gets closer and closer to the next election, they say that the world will come to an end unless the Liberals are re-elected because they were just about to get to it. I guess we could call that particular Liberal approach the “we are just about to get to it” budget, because that is what we have here.
    Benjamin Franklin had a famous saying that people loved to quote, and it is true. He said that were only two certainties in life: death and taxes. I can say that there are only two certainties in Liberal administrations, debt and taxes, because that is what we see in this budget. It is not so much a question of how it is the Liberals have already planned to have a deficit of over $100 billion only 18 months into their administration and they are announcing that they will never ever see a balanced budget, despite the promise during the election campaign that they would only have an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny deficit and then, by the next election, they would be back to balanced budgets.
    What we are seeing is just what the leader of Green Party correctly described as the Liberals' take on things. They are so good at spinning their stuff they would even have Canadians believe that consistent deficits with nothing in return are actually a progressive value, that somehow that is what left-wing administrations do. Actually, that is what Liberal administrations do. People who are progressive hold the following to be their key value: to make sure that they are there consistently and reliably. Let me provide a counter example.
    After seeing the success of the CCF NDP's health care plan in Saskatchewan, Canadians were happy to see universal free public medical care applied across the country. It was a fifty-fifty federal-provincial plan. What is it now, now that the Liberal government is imposing Stephen Harper's cuts in health care? We are down to less than 20% of the federal government share.

[Translation]

    This is a classic example of the tail wagging the dog because the Liberals are telling us that not only are they going to go forward with Stephen Harper's cuts but that, from now on, the federal government will be dictating what the provinces can and cannot do when it comes to health care. We all witnessed this vicious cycle of quick spending to score cheap points and the inevitable backtracking where the government is forced to make cuts under Paul Martin.

[English]

    This is the cycle of the Liberals. We have seen it time and again. They pose as progressives, yet they fought against the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage during the campaign. They posture as environmentalists, but Environment Canada says that it will not even meet Stephen Harper's woefully inadequate targets for greenhouse gas emissions. By the way, that is the only thing that matters.
    I was in Paris when the Prime Minister threw out his arms and proclaimed that Canada is back. That produced a lot of head-scratching in the room, people saying that they did not know Canada had ever left. What we had was a Prime Minister trying to communicate that thank goodness he was there because now things would finally change on the environmental front.
    Here is the reality. The only plan the Liberals have is Stephen Harper's plan, and they will not meet Stephen Harper's target. People do not have to take our word for it, because Environment Canada confirmed that over the weekend. I guess that is what the Liberals meant by real change. They keep Stephen Harper's targets but they just do not meet them.
    The Liberals pretend to be feminists. When one knows that one of the principal impediments to equality in the workforce is the lack of quality affordable child care, one knows that emphasis has to be put on child care. How much money is in the budget that was just tabled for child care? There is not one cent. My colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé asks how much. There is not one cent in this budget for child care for next year.

  (1030)  

[Translation]

    The Liberals are saying that, if we just give them a chance, they will get there eventually. It is a bit like the promise they made on housing. They are saying that they are going to make a huge investment in social housing, to the tune of $22 billion, but when is that going to happen? It will not happen until after 2022. That is the game they are playing. They got elected by promising to do a certain number of things, such as changing the electoral system. They did not keep that promise. They promised to restore home mail delivery, but they did not keep that promise either. They pretend to do those things. Two years later, after many broken promises, when people start to wonder what is happening and reminding them that they promised to restore home mail delivery and change the voting system in this country to make it fairer, they start making promises for after the next election campaign.
    Let us not forget that, in this budget, the Liberals cut exactly $1.25 billion from the environment portfolio. Yes, members heard me right.

[English]

    Despite all their preening, posturing, and their cardboard cut-outs on environment, the reality is that in this budget the Liberals cut $1.25 billion in what they had promised in the fight against climate change. Canada will never be able to meet Stephen Harper's weak targets, much less our obligations under the Paris accord. That is the reality of the Liberals.
     I do not underestimate their ability to spin a yarn in their own favour. I have grudging admiration for it. However, sooner or later the reality always comes back to haunt them, as it did with this most recent budget, which I think we could give a subtitle of the “we will get to it” budget. They are promising, as the Liberal arc always does, that it is going to happen sometime in the future.
    I remember that after 13 years in power and four consecutive Liberal governments, Liberals wailed and moaned and whined about the injustice when they were defeated in 2006 because Canadians were going to be deprived of the Kelowna accord and of child care. When we reminded them that they were thrown out not because of child care but because of corruption, they said that they were just about to get to child care and the Kelowna accord. They were just about there and how unfair it was that they were not re-elected.
    Meanwhile, today in Canada, six out of 10 people who lose their jobs are not eligible for employment insurance. Nothing in this budget addresses that. We have a finance minister who tells young Canadians to get used to it, that the job churn and lousy, low-paid, part-time precarious work are their lot in life. There is not a single measure in this budget to address that. That is the reality. See you in 2022, Madam Speaker.

[Translation]

    What is being proposed for public transit is unbelievable. The Liberals are creating an infrastructure bank in order to steal money from taxpayers and make access to assistance even harder and twice as costly. There is not a single word in this budget about major infrastructure projects, including the Caisse de dépôt's electric train. Not a word and not a penny.
    To top it off, the Liberals are getting rid of the public transit pass tax credit. When did they say they were going to do that? During the election campaign and again three weeks ago, they promised to get rid of the tax loophole for corporations.

[English]

    We saw it again yesterday. So much for the middle class: $32.6 million U.S. in bonuses for Bombardier, keeping the CEO stock options; that is how they pay themselves. That is the reality. Right now we know what the Liberals are all about, and that is why it is important for Canadians to start paying attention, because they have to go.

  (1035)  

    Madam Speaker, the member likes to talk a lot about what is not in the budget rather than celebrating what is in the budget. I can see why he would be green with envy as for what is actually in the budget: $180 billion to be spent on infrastructure; $625 million to veterans; $2.7 billion into training; $225 million over the next four years to identify and fill skills gaps; $11 billion to affordable housing; $6 billion to home care; $5 billion to mental health initiatives; $950 million to innovation clusters; $1.26 billion to innovation for agriculture; digital; advanced manufacturing; and the list goes on and on.
    I would like to know how much the member feels he could have accomplished by trying to balance a budget and also get things done for Canadians. This government has made the commitment to make those investments in Canadians to create the jobs for the future and to help our businesses grow.
    Madam Speaker, the member gives me the opportunity to remind him that balancing looks at both sides of the balance sheet. The NDP was proud to say, and it was an obvious truth, that Canadian corporations were not paying their fair share. We are the only party in the House with the courage to raise corporate taxes, and we maintain that was the right thing to do.
    I ask that the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington point out to us where in the Liberal platform they informed Canadians that they would be removing the tax credit for public transit. Where did the Liberals ever tell the average working Canadian who is doing a good thing by taking public transit, lowering traffic, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, that the supposedly pro-middle class, pro-environment government was actually going to remove the one tax credit that was an incentive for people to use public transit instead of their private cars? Where was that in their platform?
    Madam Speaker, we talked about the proudest things that the Liberals were coming out with in the budget being the child care initiatives and the national housing strategy. Of course, we know that in some of the major urban centres affordable housing is very problematic. Being that the budget is pretty much totally back-ended, could he explain how this would impact those who are most vulnerable who really need those opportunities?
    Madam Speaker, the member's important question goes right to the heart of what this “we'll get to it” budget really is about. The promises that are there for housing are for years and years down the road. What will happen immediately is that people will lose their tax credit for public transit. The Liberals are getting to that right away.
    With regard to child care, we know it is something that has been crying out for action for a long time, yet the Liberals are again shovelling this forward. There is not one penny for child care for next year. I remember during the election campaign the NDP made it a key part of our platform. It was costed; we had a rollout and good, solid, public administration. The Liberals said that would take far too long. What they are proposing is taking twice as long as anything we ever proposed, and they have not done a thing since they formed government.
    Madam Speaker, Canadians and scientists alike understand the urgency of taking action on climate change.
    We often think of it as a race against time, but the truth is that it is really two races. First there is the race to reduce our carbon emissions and limit their impact on our climate. This is a race with the highest possible stakes: ecological and social upheaval, food security, mass migration, and natural catastrophe.
     However, there is a second race, too, and that is the race to lead the transition to a new post-carbon economy. In the second race, the stakes are jobs and prosperity for our communities, success for our businesses, knowledge and technical advancement, and the benefits that come from leading the world.
    On the one hand, it is a race to avert disaster, and on the other other, it is a race to seize opportunity. In both races, the stakes are enormous. In both races, the key is a shift to clean energy. In both races, unfortunately, Canada is running behind.
    Today, Canada produces only 18% of our primary energy from renewable resources. Sweden and Norway manage to meet 45% of their energy needs with clean energy, outstripping Canada by two and a half times. In Iceland, the figure is a staggering 88%.
    Now, it is not for a lack of talent. Our country has some of the most cutting-edge companies in clean energy. In my own riding, I am thinking of Ballard Power Systems, with its fuel cell technology; Nano One, which is changing how the world is making battery materials; and just a few blocks away, Bullfrog Power, with its innovative approach to funding renewable energy.
    It is not a lack of resources holding us back, either. We have huge potential reserves for wind and solar, for tidal and geothermal energy, and to extract even more from our hydro.
    If talent and innovation are working in our favour, and if our reserves of renewable energy potential are so tremendous, the question remains. Why does Canada still lag? What is lacking, frankly, is commitment and strategy at the highest political levels in Canada. I am sorry to say we saw that lack of commitment in the latest budget from the government.
    For years Canada had a federal government that held renewable energy in nearly overt contempt. Anything that did not burn oil, gas, and coal was not worth the time of day as far as the Conservatives were concerned. Then came the Liberal government, and I will say this for it: it talked a very good line. If feel-good rhetoric and symbolic gestures were energy sources, Canada would be the next OPEC, but they are not and we are not.
    Instead, the budget we are debating actually removes over $1 billion from funds the government had promised for the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Apparently sunny ways do not extend to solar power.
    They do not extend to conservation of energy efficiency either. One of the most important energy insights in the past 50 years has been that a kilowatt conserved is even more valuable than a kilowatt generated, because it does not require the overhead of generation and transmission. However, this budget offered nothing to help Canadians reduce their emissions and lower their energy bills by retrofitting their homes. This kind of program has proven, time and time again, to cut emissions and save money while creating well-paying jobs. Not tapping that potential, while cutting back on investments in clean growth, is a failure of vision, a failure of leadership.
    That is why I introduced my private member's motion, M-123, calling for a national clean energy strategy. This is a call for Canada to act urgently to rally our full array of resources to make the most of the opportunities clean energy offers and to meet the challenge of climate change head on. To succeed, a clean energy strategy has to be collaborative to the core. Imposing top-down solutions has a bad reputation in Canada, and rightly so.
    Instead, Ottawa should be working with provinces, territories, municipalities, aboriginal communities, and with both public and private sector energy providers. For one thing, we know there is far too much wisdom and expertise among Canadians to let it all go to waste by ignoring it. For another, we need all hands on deck to make our transition to post-carbon energy successful. That means buy-in from all quarters, and we will not get that unless everyone has a hand in shaping solutions.

  (1040)  

    Even more fundamental than that is the question of fundamental justice and self-determination, and it applies in particular to aboriginal communities. Too often, when energy questions arise, first nations in Canada are bypassed, ignored, patronized, or offered lip service. However, energy policy and resource use are inextricably tied to our land base, and land is fundamental to aboriginal title. There should be no question that aboriginal communities must be full partners in crafting our clean energy strategy—anything else is unthinkable.
    In the same way, when we talk about clean energy, it should not just be clean in terms of carbon and the environmental footprint, but clean ethically, as well. A project like B.C.'s site C hydro dam fails this test because without the consent of affected first nations it has no social licence to proceed.
    The goal of our strategy, then, should be to steadily increase our capacity to produce ethically and environmentally clean energy.
    The first step is to assess how feasible it is to increase that capacity to 100% of our energy needs; that is, through both increasing raw generation and reducing demand through conservation.
    Obviously, this will vary from region to region. However, people will probably be shocked to learn just how close we are in British Columbia. BC Hydro estimates that we are currently meeting 93% of our needs with clean, renewable energy.
    Once we have that sense of feasibility and timelines, let us set a realistic but ambitious target and, together, develop a plan to get there. At every step in that discussion, let us ask ourselves these questions. How does this help Canadian workers, communities, and businesses? How can we give them every chance to succeed and prosper? How can we ensure that we are helping workers and communities affected by the transition away from carbon-based fuels? What is needed to secure for them the kind of opportunities that come with being one of the world's leading renewable energy exporters?
    I mentioned regional differences. Different regions will, of course, have different specific needs, strengths, challenges, and priorities, and each region understands better than anyone else how these needs and priorities play out. Therefore the strategy should allow for a made-in-B.C. plan, a made-in-Alberta plan, a made-in-Quebec plan, and so on.
    Now, nobody who seriously thinks about these issues believes for one moment this will be easy; but anyone who thinks seriously about these issues knows it is essential.
     If we fail to act, if we continue down the path we have been headed, we do not get to avoid this transition. All we are doing is ensuring this transition, when it comes, will be an upheaval—unplanned, chaotic, and disruptive. Communities and, potentially, whole regions will fall through the cracks of a rapidly shifting economy. We are ensuring that other countries get to seize the opportunities instead of us. They get the jobs. Their businesses lock up the markets, build the research and technology capacity, and set the standards, not ours.
    Meanwhile, we continue to pay the ecological price of relying on fossil fuels: the spills that can devastate the ecosystem in communities; the environmental degradation; the poor air quality; and the damage to people's health and well-being.
    Of course, we reap the results of failure to act more quickly and more effectively to reduce the carbon load in our atmosphere. The disruptions and damage wreaked by climate change may well dwarf any of the other impacts I have mentioned.
    Compare this bleak picture to what we could instead gain, such as energy security: a sustainable, secure supply of safe, affordable energy throughout the country. Families need to know that they can heat their homes; schools and hospitals need to know they can light their corridors and power their equipment; and businesses need to know their offices and factories can operate reliably and affordably.
    We can bring an end to price shocks and the economic roller coaster of a commodity-based economy. This strategy can give us leverage to diversify economies and build a thriving and growing clean energy sector in communities throughout the country. The countries that make the transition now get early-mover advantage. This means they develop expertise and industrial infrastructure that create a virtuous circle, attracting investment and research that, in turn, strengthen our economic leadership.
    We can deliver cleaner air and water; we can end the ruinous devastation of our land that is too often the calling card of the carbon economy; and we can reclaim the mantle of global leadership that Canada has held before, technologically and economically and in the fight to end the destabilization of our planet's climate.
    Clean energy is ultimately about securing our future and doing it in a way that is quintessentially Canadian. It is about working together to ensure prosperity that can be shared by everyone throughout this country. That should be the goal of any budget.
    The most important measure of that budget's success is an economy that lifts everyone up.

  (1045)  

    By that measure, this budget represents a tragically missed opportunity. Let us not let these opportunities pass us by.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with the member on the importance of climate change. I think the approach our government has taken has been very balanced. The investments we have made into climate resiliency infrastructure are important. Investing in innovation in green technology is important, and so is putting a price on pollution. Our government's approach has tried to reach a balance so that it does not have a massive effect on our economy, while at the same time it tries to deal with the climate change issues.
    Would the member not agree that through a balanced approach, trying to achieve our Paris targets and at the same time trying to grow our economy can happen hand in hand?

  (1050)  

    Madam Speaker, the balance I am thinking about in this budget is the platform that was presented to Canadians in the last election and in this budget. They seem completely imbalanced. We have promises that Canadians voted upon in good faith, and now they are not being delivered on.
    In my riding of Burnaby South there has not been a single unit of affordable housing built by the government, nor will there be a unit built by the next election. That is because the money is so back-end-loaded in this budget. That applies if we are dealing with issues such as affordable housing, but it also applies to things like climate change. Again we see that money that was promised has been extracted from this budget. Over and over again, we see broken promises.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments, especially for those around the green energy strategy.
    The Conservative government started signing agreements in 2007, and then in 2010 there was another one with Sweden. We funded genome innovation clusters research, digital research, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and of course we set up the green infrastructure fund.
    As the member said, in his community there are some clean energy facilities, as there are in mine, such as a biofuel facility and Endurance Wind. Many cities are doing a lot of work. The foundation was put in under the Conservative government for a lot of these things to be funded, and through PPP Canada as well.
    I wonder if he could talk a little bit about bringing all of these pieces together under a national strategy for clean energy.
    Madam Speaker, what we are seeing on the other side is really a lack of vision. I have been here since 2011, and I have said this before: the last government under Stephen Harper was at least organized, while this Liberal government seems to be scrambling from issue to issue.
     The Liberals seem to be unprepared to be government. We are seeing this in the lack of bills that get through this House. We see it in the lack of an overall vision. On the file for which I am responsible, science, we see piecemeal policies being put forward. We see budgets that are not comprehensive, and then we have broken promise after broken promise.
    I agree with the member. What we really need is overall strategies for how we transition. Then perhaps we could talk about how this would look in future governments, but as far as I am concerned, this government is all talk and no action.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I know that renewable energy is very important to my colleague. I wonder if, like me, he noticed in the budget that the government is not renewing the eco-energy program to help make homes more energy efficient. There is also no initiative for building green homes. This could not only provide homeowners with better energy efficiency, but also create jobs, while lowering heating bills.
    Does the hon. member agree that this budget generally lacks a progressive vision with regard to environmental protection?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we hear the promises and there was a great bluster when we signed the Paris accord and all those promises were made by the Liberal government, but then we see the practical implication of that, which is cutting bus pass tax credits.
    Actions are not meeting words here. It is a great shame. There was a great opportunity, a great will to more forward to tackle climate change, but we are seeing failure from the government. We need a comprehensive strategy.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Avalon.

  (1055)  

[Translation]

    With spring in the air, I rise in the House with great optimism to speak to budget 2017. However, before saying anything more, I would first like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents. I have had the privilege of rising in the House for more than a year thanks to their confidence in me. Today, I want to thank them.
    I am very proud of the people in my riding and they are the reason why I became involved in politics. I have said it before and I will say it again, my riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin is enriched by its people. I was proud of what budget 2016 gave my constituents and all Canadians, including the Canada child benefit, which has helped lift 300,000 of our children out of poverty.
    Today, I am just as proud of budget 2017 for the following reasons. First, it shows compassion to our veterans and the most vulnerable Canadians. It manifests a visionary confidence in our youth and our businesses. The Canada child benefit is a fair and compassionate initiative that targets our children and remedies an unacceptable vulnerability.
    Many of the measures announced in budget 2017 reflect the same values, beginning with measures for our veterans. We are announcing a new veterans' education and training benefit. We are also committed to enhancing the career transition services program so veterans can successfully transition to the civilian workforce. Veterans and their families have made many sacrifices. In return, we need to ensure that they do no become vulnerable.
    I have been a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons With Disabilities for over a year now. This fall, the committee spent several of its meetings discussing affordable housing, so committee members were very pleased with budget 2017's significant support for affordable housing to ensure the security and independence of some of the most vulnerable members of society, such as seniors and people with disabilities who need accessible or adapted housing.
    Another file that I have spent a lot of time on over the past few months in committee is technology, specifically, digital literacy as a springboard for our youth and our most vulnerable citizens. The government responded to that need in its new budget with a $22.3-million investment over five years to set up a new accessible technology development program. This program will make it easier for Canadians with disabilities to participate in the digital world and its economy.
     There is support for seniors too. Our government announced a $29.5-million investment over five years for a new digital literacy exchange program to support non-profit organizations to implement initiatives that teach basic digital skills and so on to seniors. Imagine classes in Laval where seniors can learn how to use iPads. Imagine an individual who transcends his or her disability and develops a smart phone app to help others.
    Budget 2017 sends a clear message that our government is looking to the future, but is not forgetting to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society benefit from technological progress.
    I want to talk about the future, since we often hear that our youth best represent the future. Young people will also benefit from the government's vision. In fact, our government announced a $50-million investment over two years to support a program for youth, from kindergarten age up, teaching them how to write code and giving them the tools they need for the digital era.
    This means that we are investing in our young people and giving them the means to become the next big innovators in digital technology, and not just one or two, but a dozen of them.
    Robert Kennedy talked about a tiny ripple of hope, but that one measure alone represents a tidal wave of hope and potential for the future of our society. I have talked about the importance of such a measure many times in committee. Seeing it become a reality in budget 2017 makes me so proud. This measure comes with two other major investments in our young people. The PromoScience program will get a boost. This existing program is designed to give kids hands-on learning experiences in order to promote the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
    As a former teacher, I am also pleased to see that we are working on expanding eligibility for student loans and grants. Our budget supports students, but it also supports our young, ambitious entrepreneurs. We are investing to renew funding for Futurpreneur Canada to support the next generation of entrepreneurs through mentorship and funding.
    The budget supports both current and future entrepreneurs because we are investing in fostering international trade opportunities for Canadian companies.
    Clearly, with the announcement of such measures for our entrepreneurs and our economy, we have cause to be optimistic in the riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin and from coast to coast.
    I will close by coming back to what I said about the budget last year. I said that budget 2016 helped build our society brick by brick. Budget 2017 will allow us to continue to make our society a place where we strive to take better care of the most vulnerable. Budget 2017 allows us to do so with compassion, while facing the future boldly and confidently. That is how we will continue to strengthen the middle class.

  (1100)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I was really pleased to hear my colleague's words about addressing the issues for the most vulnerable, so I would like him to give us the rationale behind the removal of the transit credit for the most vulnerable, the people who use transit, and the rationale behind the fact that there is no money for child care in the budget for next year. Also, on the national housing strategy, the dollars are not flowing until after the next election. While I am really thrilled to hear about helping the most vulnerable, can he tell me how he can square that?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my opposition colleague for the question.
    Our government is committed to the well-being of our seniors. Last year, we increased the guaranteed income supplement for seniors living alone. This year, as I said in my speech, we announced significant support for initiatives related to affordable housing, thereby promoting the security and independence of seniors who need improved accessibility in their home.

  (1105)  

    Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. He spoke about the future and the most vulnerable Canadians, but he only touched on the issue of veterans. That is probably because there is not much for them in the most recent budget.
    The government really missed an opportunity to implement the recommendations of our veterans, especially with regard to the need to provide them and their families with permanent financial security.
    We can find nothing in the budget that gives them financial security. I would like to know how my colleague explains that.
    Madam Speaker, I will talk about something that I am very interested in and that goes to my colleague's question as well.
    I invite her to read the results of the defence policy review when they are released. It just so happens that they address the issue of veterans. I am convinced that this document will give us the tools and information we need to move forward and better support our troops.
    The well-being of our troops and veterans is always a top priority for this government.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, my question is related to infrastructure. As the member is fully aware, Canada's historic amount of investment in our infrastructure will in fact assist our middle class in growing, and will invest in Canada in every region of our great nation. I wonder if the member could provide his thoughts on the important commitment we have seen from this government toward Canada's infrastructure, because all communities benefit from it. Could he provide some of his thoughts on just how important Canada's infrastructure is?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    Among the other measures in budget 2017, there is a $1.26 billion investment for the creation of the strategic innovation fund, which will help our businesses continue to make Canada a leader in innovation, clean technologies, and many other vibrant and emerging sectors.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I welcome the opportunity today to speak in support of budget 2017 and all the work our government is doing that continues to build a strong middle class of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    I am pleased with the continued investments by our government in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador and, more specific, in my riding of Avalon. We continue to make significant investments in infrastructure and in our communities, but we are also making good investments in our youth, working Canadians, and seniors.
    Following in the footsteps of budget 2016, this budget offers immediate help to those who need it most and helps ensure everyone has a real and fair chance of success.
    A strengthened middle class means that hard-working Canadians can look forward to a good standard of living and better prospects for our children. By investing in the projects Canada needs and the people who can build them, we can strengthen and grow the middle class and make our communities an even better place to call home.
    Over the past year, our government has put in place a plan to grow the economy in a way that works for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Taxes were raised on the wealthiest 1% so we could cut taxes for the middle class. We introduced a new Canada child benefit that would give more money to nine out of 10 children and lifts thousands out of poverty.
    My home province of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to struggle with the financial mess that was caused by years of previous provincial overspending and financial mismanagement. Unfortunately, Newfoundland and Labrador suffered from years of an unco-operative approach and no collaboration with the previous federal government. A total lack of trust and personal vendettas with the previous administration set our province years behind.
     As an example, after the last federal election we found the allocated federal infrastructure funding was never applied for or provided to Newfoundland and Labrador. A total lack of trust and disrespect saw some $350 million of infrastructure funding not being invested in our communities.
    Things have changed, and I am proud of the co-operation between all levels of government.
    Just this past Friday, I was delighted to stand with one of my provincial colleagues and the mayor of Placentia to announce a strategic investment whereby all three levels of government contributed to ensure much needed improvements to the Placentia Culture and Heritage Centre would be completed, and I did the same thing just two weeks ago in the town of Holyrood.
     It is great. We are co-operating and we are getting things done.
    However, it is not all about big infrastructure projects about which our constituents are talking. In my riding, people come up to me every day and express their gratitude for the things their federal government is doing for them, but is everything great? No it is not.
    Our fishery and those involved in the industry are going through a difficult transition. We are transitioning from a lucrative shellfish-based industry to the realization of a future industry based on groundfish and aquaculture. We are very fortunate to have a Minister of Fisheries in Ottawa who has a keen interest and understands the complexities of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishing industry. I am very confident that his decisions around the quota reductions in the shellfish resource and his cautious approach to ensure the return of healthy groundfish stock is done with the best intention of the resource and the people who work in the industry.
    Our government has stepped up to the plate to help Atlantic Canadians in the fishing industry with the Atlantic fisheries fund. This $325 million investment will transform and drive innovation in the fish and seafood sector in Canada, with a focus on developing the sector to better meet growing market demands for sustainably sourced, high quality fish and seafood products. The fund will position the sector for even greater future success by supporting national market access, creating jobs for the middle class, and supporting coastal communities that rely on the sector.
     The Atlantic fisheries fund will encourage innovative ways to harvest, process, and deliver the highest quality and sustainably sourced fish and seafood products from Canada's wild capture and aquaculture fisheries.
    Our most recent budget contains important new initiatives that will help middle-class Canadians be more productive in the workforce and more adaptable to ever-changing family dynamics.
     I want to speak for a few minutes on some of these initiatives, including changes to the employment insurance program that promotes new training opportunities and assists with the aspects of lifelong learning and making employment insurance more flexible for families around caregiving and parental benefits.

  (1110)  

    I also want to speak about our new investments in child care and housing. These initiatives are important to Canadians but more specific, they are important to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
    Budget 2017 is the next step in our government's ambitious plan to make smart investments that will create jobs, grow our economy, and provide more opportunities for middle-class Canadians. Our budget put Canada's greatest strength, its skilled, talented, and creative people, at the heart of a more innovative future economy, one that will create middle-class jobs today and tomorrow. We will equip Canada's workers with the tools they need to succeed in the economy of the future.
    We are committed to better support adult workers returning to school, who face the high cost of post-secondary education, along with the financial pressures associated with daily life and raising their families. Our budget outlines how we will significantly boost federal support to provinces and territories by $2.7 billion over six years to help more unemployed and underemployed Canadians access the training and employment support they need to find and keep good jobs.
    Furthermore, we will ensure Canadians receiving EI are able to get the training they need without fear of losing the critical benefits they may depend on to support themselves and families.
    Recognizing that Canada prosperity will increasingly depend on young people getting the skills and training needed to access the good, well-paying jobs of the future, we are further increasing our investments in our youth employment strategy.
    Family caregivers are so important in every one of our communities. As such, we will better support caregivers by creating a new EI caregiving benefit of up to 15 weeks. This new benefit will cover a broader range of situations where individuals are providing care to an adult family member who requires significant support in order to recover from a critical illness or injury.
    Parents of critically ill children will continue to have access to up to 35 weeks' benefits, with additional flexibility to share these benefits with more family members.
     Parental benefits are such an important advantage for young families functioning in our workforce. Proposed changes will allow parents to choose to receive EI parental benefits over an extended period of up 18 months, but will also continue to be available for the existing 12 month benefit. Our government believes in offering flexibility to make the lives of young Canadians that much easier.
    Child care is another huge pillar of budget 2017. I am very proud of our additional $7 billion investment over 10 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country. Over the next three years, our investments could increase the number of affordable child care spaces for low and modest income families by supporting up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces. This will make it more affordable for parents to return to work, with thousands of parents more likely to enter the workforce once child care is made more affordable.
    As housing needs vary greatly by community, our government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to ensure the unique needs of communities all across Canada can be met. Over the next 11 years, $3.2 billion will be provided to support key priorities for affordable housing. These priorities could include the construction of new affordable housing units, the renovation and repair of existing housing, rent subsidies and other measures to make housing more affordable, safer, and accessible for seniors, persons with disabilities, and other individuals requiring accessibility modifications.
    I was very pleased to stand last year to support budget 2016, which had a huge and real impact on our youth, working Canadians, and our seniors. I am equally pleased to stand now, on behalf of my constituents in the riding of Avalon, to support brand new and very strategic initiatives in budget 2017.

  (1115)  

    Madam Speaker, the Liberal government has cut $8.5 billion from the National Defence budget this year. That is now $12 billion if we take into consideration what was cut last year.
    Last summer our caucus held coast-to-coast round table discussions with many communities. From these discussions, people told us very clearly that they wanted to see the military spending increased, and our military itself increased and modernized.
    Could the member please tell me how we can do this when the government has cut military funding in the last two years by $12 billion?
    Madam Speaker, it is hard to figure out the opposition. One day members are telling us we are spending too fast and too much. The next minute they condemn us for not spending enough, so I do not know which way they want it. They cannot have both sides of the cake at one time.
    We are making strategic investments in the Canadian Armed Forces. We are making strategic investments in our veterans, and we will continue to do that for the men and women who wear the uniform.
    Madam Speaker, I must thank my friend from Avalon, who I went with to the east coast with the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. We visited his community and we met with cod fishermen and fishermen in Miramichi to talk about the decline of the Atlantic cod and the Atlantic salmon. We found out that we had a lot in common on the west coast and the east coast. There was a lack of investment in restoration, in enhancement, and in salmon habitat protection.
    We know that it is a clear map to the return of our stocks in our fishery if we make critical investments. When I say critical, I am talking about the urgency of the situation. We had record low returns in the Somass River of sockeye recently, and we have seen a record decline in our fish on the west coast. We need our fish for the cultural and economic health of our communities.
    We know, as coastal people, the importance of our fish. Why has the government not invested any new money in enhancement or restoration, given the critical situation we are facing and the decline of our fish?

  (1120)  

    Madam Speaker, I would tell the hon. member that we all enjoyed that visit to my home community when we met with the fishermen. As I said in my speech, we are investing in the fisheries. For my home province and the Atlantic provinces, we just announced a $325-million fund. This fund will be available for processors, for fisheries, and for education. It will encompass it all, and the money will flow to all the provinces. We want to see the fishery of tomorrow be the real fishery of the future, and that is what the money will be used for. It will concentrate not only on what is taken out of the water but on what is in the water and stays there to make sure our stocks are healthy for the future.
    Madam Speaker, I was happy hear that the budget offers immediate help, but if we look at child care and at the housing strategy, there is no money this year. For homelessness, there is zero this year and zero next year. For cultural and recreational infrastructure, there is zero this year and zero next year. For disability accessibility, there is zero this year and zero next year. For creating Canada's clean growth economy, there is zero this year and zero next year. For skills training, there is nothing this year, and in some sectors, nothing next year. For skills innovation and middle-class jobs, there is nothing this year.
    Could the member please explain what he means by offering immediate help?
    Madam Speaker, again, I will go back to how I responded earlier to one of the questions. The same party condemns us for spending, and then when we bring in a budget, they ask why we are not spending it all this year. We were elected on a four-year platform, and we will continue to work on that and prepare for the future, whether it be for the middle class, education, or innovation.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time this morning with the hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.
    I welcome the opportunity this morning to speak in support of budget 2017 and all the work our government is doing to continue to build a strong economy in the country from coast to coast to coast.
    Before I get into my comments on the budget, I want to first congratulate all the volunteers and organizers who helped ensure that O'Leary, Prince Edward Island, was named Kraft Hockeyville 2017.
    O'Leary is a small community in my riding. I want to acknowledge the tremendous work of its volunteer committee, made up of members Della Sweet, Jo-Anne Wallace, Tammy Rix, Bill MacKendrick, and Dean Getson, for their tireless effort to ensure that this community would win Hockeyville 2017. It has already received $100,000 for facility upgrades to its arena. It will be hosting an NHL pre-season game between the Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils. This is a significant accomplishment for a small community with a population of less than 1,000. Therefore, I want to acknowledge this tremendous effort. It was an island-wide effort. Indeed, the effort was from coast to coast, as people were supporting it. I am pleased that I also took part in it.
    I briefly want to acknowledge budget 2017 and the positive impact on my home province of Prince Edward Island. The budget would increase transfer equalization payments by $10.1 million from the previous year. There would be $152 million through the Canada health transfer, which is an increase of $4.6 million, and $56 million through the Canada social transfer, which is an increase of $1.7 million.
    I am pleased that the government would provide Prince Edward Island with an estimated $45.1 million in the next decade, of which $24.6 million would be dedicated to better home care, including for addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements, and $20.5 million would be allocated to support mental health initiatives in the province. These are issues I heard a lot about during the campaign in the summer and fall of 2015: the issue of home care and support for our aging population, seniors; and the growing issue of mental illness and the need to provide more services. I was pleased that our government recognized that my home province was meeting additional challenges in these areas and required additional funding to make sure that the citizens of Prince Edward Island have access to health care that is equal to that enjoyed across the country.
    I want to touch briefly on a specific issue my colleague from Newfoundland spoke to a little earlier, and that is the significant new announcement by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans of $325 million to support innovative technological investments in the fish sector on the east coast, in fish processing facilities, and in training upgrades to bring this industry into this century. It is recognition that we must invest in technology to ensure that our first-class seafood is processed in the most innovative manner to allow us to stay competitive in the international market.
    As well, this budget would continue on from budget 2016 by allocating an additional $5 million to small craft harbours, which are essential to a successful fishery. This would follow on an investment last year of $149 million. These are strategic investments in strategic infrastructure on the east coast to support the very important fishery on Prince Edward Island.
    While addressing the budget today, I want to focus on three areas that I feel are important in our society. Those three areas speak to the heart of what a government is expected to do in the area of strong social policy and social supports.

  (1125)  

    Governments, after all, always have to meet the challenge of managing the affairs of a country with methods close to the private sector. At the same time, they have a social responsibility to ensure that people do not slip through the cracks and that they have access to programs and funding to ensure that they have equally productive lives in this country.
    I did a little research. The 2016 budget was an historic one, with the transfer of a significant amount of money to children in this country. I do not have to go into detail. There have been various debates in the House on this issue. Why I am referring to this is that when I look back at three very significant social programs in the country, they were all initiated by Liberal governments.
    The first family allowance in Canada was issued on February 20, 1945. Mackenzie King was prime minister of the country. The first family allowance cheques to Canadian mothers was $5 a month for each child under the age of five, $6 for children aged six to nine, $7 for those aged 10 to 12, and $8 for teenagers 13 to 15 years of age.
    My riding is small compared to some of the larger ridings in the country. In one month, in my small riding, our government's child tax benefit, and this is an estimated figure, is $2.31 million. It is money that goes to children in my riding of Egmont. That is a significant benefit to children, families, and single-parent families in my riding. That is one of the signature initiatives of our government. It started last year and we are continuing to build on it this year. It is $2.31 million for a program that was started in 1945 by a Liberal prime minister. It shows that our government recognizes that we have a responsibility to make sure that children have every opportunity in life. The Canada child benefit is the tool that does that. It is one of the initiatives I have been most proud of since I became a member of Parliament.
    As well, the first mandatory old age security system, in 1927, was under Mackenzie King. A non-contributory program, the system was later updated by Prime Minister St. Laurent in 1957 and by Prime Minister Pearson in 1965. It is interesting to note that universality was repealed for a while by the Mulroney government in 1989. Again, the old age security system, one of the hallmarks of Canadian society, was an initiative introduced by a Liberal government.
    I was pleased that our government was able to recognize that seniors most in need, single seniors, were depending on OAS and GIS, and we raised that by $90 a month in the last budget.
    The final issue I want to talk about briefly is the employment insurance system. I was pleased that in this budget, our government recognizes that a deterrent to skills training and higher education is that people on employment insurance cannot take training on their own initiative for fear of losing the benefits they depend on. We recognize this. It is an issue I long championed as a provincial politician. Why not allow people who are out of work to access training, upgrade their skills, and receive employment insurance at the same time?
    That is why I am proud to support this budget. These three social programs are pillars of what defines Canada as a nation, and I am delighted to support budget 2017.

  (1130)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, this morning, in the all-party anti-poverty caucus, a doctor told us about one of his patients whose mental and physical health had been affected by the presence of mould in her apartment and who was unable to find affordable social housing because the waiting lists are too long.
    In Hochelaga, as in Montreal, there are over 20,000 people on the waiting lists, and the situation in Toronto is even worse. Many people cannot afford decent housing and that is affecting them. However, what the Liberals are telling them in this budget is that, even though they are in crisis and there is mould in their home, they will have to wait because 90% of the money will not be allocated until after the next election and 50% of the money will not be allocated until two elections from now.
    How can the Liberals look those most in need in the eye and tell them that they will have to wait a little longer?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, that is a good question. At least our government has recognized that there is a crisis in housing in large urban centres, as in other communities across the country. Our government recognized that crisis by announcing the largest single investment in housing in some time in this country.
    The very issues that my hon. colleague referred to are issues that our government is sensitive to and aware of. We are the first government in some time to put a commitment in the budget to begin to recognize this situation across the country and to make investments in housing in major centres across the country.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for talking about youth mental health. For over a decade on the west coast, primarily in the Nuu-chah-nulth communities, we have had a high number of youth suicides. We have had many suicide attempts, and recently there was a significant spike in the Nuu-chah-nulth communities.
     We recently asked the government for funding for one full-time child and youth counsellor and one full-time adult counsellor. We asked for funding to build capacity for cultural healers, to include an opportunity for an intensive traditional healing space, and also for funding to build an apartment for external support services.
    The support staff are working overtime. We have some staff who have worked 21 days straight, and still there is no help. Not only have we not seen any money for first nations youth in this budget, but we have not even heard back from the minister on our request.
     Children are dying in our communities. This is not okay. In spite of its clear promise and multiple rulings from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the government refuses to end discrimination in funding for first nations child welfare. The member stood in the House and voted for our motion calling for an immediate investment of $155 million to close this gap, but the budget does not contain a nickel of it. Does the member believe that the government should comply with the Human Rights Tribunal and end this discrimination so that we can save these children's lives and provide the adequate resources that are needed right now, urgently?

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, the first priority of the government is to recognize that there is an issue and a serious challenge in parts of this country. Beginning during the election campaign and since this session of Parliament began, our government has made a number of commitments to begin addressing the wrongs that the former government put toward our first nations communities. A lot of work still has to be done, but in the last two budgets our government has recognized that this is a priority and that we have to put money into these areas. That is why I was pleased to see in the budget that we will begin looking at areas such as mental health issues across the country.
    Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague could provide some of his thoughts with regard to the Canada summer students program. We talk about trying to provide opportunities for young people, and with this government we have seen significant increases within that program that will have an effect in all of the different regions of Canada. Could the member provide some of his thoughts and reflections on the importance of that increase?
    Madam Speaker, I would be pleased to share my thoughts. My colleague, the parliamentary secretary, is correct in recognizing that our government, beginning last year, made a significant investment in youth employment across the country.
    That is extremely important in a rural riding like mine, where young people do not have the same job opportunities as in larger centres. It is important that the government provide funding to various non-profit organizations to allow them to hire young people who can get work experience in a field related to their education background.
    We have come a long way in that area, and I am really pleased with the numbers we have reached. They are significant investments, and significant numbers of young people are being employed through that program.
    Madam Speaker, I grew up in a rural area, and like the member for Avalon, rural issues are very important for me.
    The town I grew up in has about 1,000 people. It is about an hour from Montreal. It is not a large town, and it lost its school more than 40 years ago. The school, of course, is the anchor of a small town. The school was lost before I was born, and with it went a small number of economically critical good jobs, as well as the social and cultural focal point of our community. A few years ago, we got a gas station. Life, it seemed, was starting to look up.
    However, my hometown is one of the lucky ones in rural Canada. Our population is stable. Today I am a member of Parliament for my hometown and 42 other municipalities in the riding of Laurentides—Labelle. The riding is some 40 times the size of the Island of Montreal.
    The trouble with big ridings like mine is to understand the different needs we have in rural areas, so I really appreciate that the budget is putting billions of dollars into rural needs, very specifically, especially into our biggest issue, which is Internet access. For me, Internet access is the core of all of our issues. We can invest billions and billions of dollars into rural infrastructure, but if we do not have the Internet to back it up, it is not going to help with the bigger problems that we have. We need to ensure that families can bring their kids back.
    In my riding, we have people who finish high school and leave to go to college or CEGEP, because we do not have very much in our riding. They do not come back, ever, or they come back to retire many years later. When I ask the students at the end of high school who is planning to stay, none of them are. The issues, they say, are the lack of public transit in rural areas, the lack of post-secondary education, and the lack of Internet and cellphone service.
    Therefore, for me, the addition of $2 billion in the fall economic update for infrastructure is very important. That was just for deep rural needs. The budget made this money available for rural Internet projects.
    This is a really critical infrastructure program when added on top of the $500 million Connect to Innovate program from last year.

  (1140)  

    If I could just interrupt the member for a second, there is a lot of feedback on the speaker. I would ask if he could be a little more mindful that the microphone is there.
    The hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.
    Madam Speaker, I do not remember exactly what I was saying, but I was talking about the need for Internet in rural areas. Very often I see people who come to the riding, want to buy houses or set up businesses, look at beautiful properties, look at their phones, and see the famous red X because there is no signal. They ask the real estate agent if they can get online, and the answer is that they cannot get online here unless they want to use satellite, which has high latency and low reliability. People are looking for solutions, and I am really looking to solve these issues. The billions of dollars available for Internet will help that region.
    My riding in the north has the MRC county of Antoine-Labelle with a population of approximately 35,000. It has 17 municipalities. It is a large and not very wealthy region. We did a study last year to find out who had access to Internet, and fewer than one in three households had theoretical access to 10-megabit service. Even fewer than that are actually connected.
    What happens is that the kids finish high school, and they want to get online. They want to participate in the modern economy. They go to to the city and they simply do not come back. Then the parents want family to come visit, but they will not even come to visit as much as they used to. The cottage owners are having their grandchildren come less often than they used to because of this very serious problem.
    Related to this is cellphone service. If people do not have both Internet and cellphone service, we are not going to solve the communications issues we have.
    What do we do about all this? We have to invest. The federal government, provincial government, municipalities, and the CRTC have all committed large sums of money to grow the Internet, so I am very happy with that progress. The CRTC's statement just before Christmas that broadband has to be defined as 15-megabit service with unlimited data is a critical new threshold, because, quite frankly, nobody in my riding has that access.
    I am really hoping we can build on the huge progress in our budget, which moves a whole lot of things forward very well, and move this file forward as quickly as possible. Internet is critical, and I would like to make sure we get there.
    Another issue is public transit funding, which I think is terrific. I spent years, when I was living in Guelph, as a transit advocate. I believe that if we invest a lot of money in our transit systems, then we can get enough people out of their cars that we do not have to expand the highways infinitely.
    I always wanted to know if there is a line beyond which we do not need to pave any further. I have always been curious if we can find that line. We can build highways and roads in every direction as far we want, as long we want, as often as we want, but at some point we have to ask if we have enough, if there is a better way of getting around. Our budget and platform have committed large quantities of money over a long period of time to improving our public transit infrastructure. I really believe this is the direction we need to be going as a country.

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, I was pleased to hear about the importance of rural communities. Right across the country we are all affiliated with rural communities.
    I would like to ask the member for his thoughts about the almost 300 jobs from the rural community of Vegreville being removed to go into an urban centre, Edmonton; the $15 billion from communities, including rural communities, being pulled out of infrastructure to go into an infrastructure bank; and of course the removal of the credit for public transit that would help seniors and youth get around his community. Perhaps the member could comment on those items.
    Madam Speaker, I am not sure that the public transit credit did a whole lot in my community, where public transit is essentially non-existent. We have a system that I believe uses six retired school buses on a one-off fare system with no passes, so there is nothing that worked for the actual credit. Those six buses try to service 35 communities about four times a day. It is not a realistic system, so we need to figure out ways to move this forward and to better invest in rural areas. Rural is a rather large portion of this country, as my colleagues will definitely relate to. Rural needs are really important, and I always look forward to new investment in rural areas.
    Madam Speaker, one of the things on which my colleague is very consistent is advocating for rural Canada.
    I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand a very strong sense of passion in wanting, for lack of a better word, urbanites to better understand the importance of rural Canada, so I do applaud him for his efforts to make it a little bit easier for us to understand.
    The issue he talked about today was the Internet and the impact that it is not having in some areas of Canada. It is because of limitations, and that is one of the reasons why the government does need to invest in Internet.
    I am wondering if the member could just continue to provide a sense of why Internet is so important. When I listen to the member, I cannot help but think about the lost opportunities because of lack of access to the Internet in our rural communities. Could he maybe just add a few more thoughts with respect to that?
    It is true, Madam Speaker. Had I stayed at the end of school in the town where I grew up and which I now represent, I would not have the career that I had. I found really interesting work, on contract, working on the Internet from 2000, for almost a decade, as an editor for an online high-tech news website. With all my education, all my experiences having been the same, had I stayed at home I simply could not have done that.
    The economic opportunity loss for our youth in rural areas is very serious. The Internet file is the number one issue that people speak to me about in my riding. There are so many other issues that come up, but there are none that come up more often or more firmly than the lack of Internet access in our region.
    When I toured the 43 municipalities in my riding, all 43 of them, every one of them, said that their number one priority in the community was Internet. A town of 400 people spent $100,000 of their municipal budget on getting Internet access when it had a boil water advisory in its small aqueduct downtown for more than 10 years.
    If that does not tell members how important this file is for us, there is no way of expressing it well enough.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, if I understood the member correctly, he is saying that the elimination of the tax credit for Montreal metro passes, for example, does not affect him because he does not live there.
    I would like to remind him that he lives just one hour from Montreal and that, if fewer people take the metro in Montreal because this tax credit has been eliminated, the pollution will affect his community.
    Madam Speaker, obviously, it is important to look at all of the policies surrounding tax credits. I do not fully agree with my colleague.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, today, I will be sharing my time with the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. I apologize to the people who reside in Similkameen because I probably said it wrong. In any event, I am honoured to be here today to discuss the budget with all parliamentarians and with Canadians.
    Specifically, there are a lot of things in the budget that may be good for Canadians and may be good in 10 to 20 years, but I have a lot of concerns and I heard many concerns from our local residents of Elgin—Middlesex—London during our break week. However, I am actually going to start off with some positive things that I did see in the budget that I can actually applaud the government on, some good initiatives. Initiatives are one thing, but it is the implementation that is going to be the biggest hazzard here.
     I would like to applaud the government for the caregiver employment insurance. Over my time as an assistant, working many times with families who had critically ill children or critically ill parents or a family member who had been in a terrible car accident and was in the hospital, I saw that a lot of times that would create a lot of chaos for people in their homes. Having the opportunity to have this employment insurance allowing people up to 15 weeks so they could take care of a loved one is very important, especially when it is not compassionate care but we are looking at people who will indeed be better in a few months. I do applaud the government on this.
    I had a lot of people coming through. It might be someone's wife who is suffering from cancer, who needed to go to the cancer clinic, and so, being able to be there to support a family member is really important. I believe a lot of times we expect others to do it, but it is very important for families to have that opportunity, so I too would like to commend the government on the caregiver EI.
    Parental leave is another thing that we actually had in our 2015 budget, as well, extending it to 18 months. This is going to be a really tricky one, though, I believe, for the government. Although it is a really good, honourable thing to do, we have to recognize that there is a cost to extending it to 18 months to allow families to be able to nurture and raise a child for the first 18 months. We know that those persons taking off time to raise a child would have 33% of their income for the period of 18 months. A lot of times when we are dealing with that, we hear people say employment insurance at 55% is not enough and it is very difficult to get by. Therefore, we have to recognize that, for 18 months at 33%, there are going to be struggles as well.
    By no means am I saying that the government should be increasing or decreasing those amounts. I am just saying the government might end up in a real pickle and it should be very aware of that.
    I actually sit on the status of women committee. Just a few weeks ago, when we were talking about employment insurance, we were talking about men getting involved in the caregiving of their children. I believe the uptake currently on parental leave is 2% for men, meaning 98% for women. We really talked about equality and things of that sort. One of the things that I heard from witnesses was, “Well, they're going to have to have employers top up the employment insurance.”
    One of my biggest concerns is, when it is a government and these people are working for taxpayer dollars, there may be programs available to them in the public service that might top them up to 90%. I know that my sisters, as school teachers, were able to have that. They received the 55%, and then an additional 35% that topped them up to 90% of their actual earnings. We have to understand the effect and the impact that this may have on those people employed in the private sector. We have to be aware that, at the end of the day, it might end up costing employers more.
    Those are some concerns that I have in the long run. I believe the idea is very good, but at the same time, we have to see what we are going to be doing to private employers, people who work for non-taxpayer dollars who may not have those benefits available, because I do know that there are advocates out there saying it should be the employers. I think anytime we are discussing those things, we need to really take that into consideration.
    We talked a lot about the gender lens and the fact that this entire budget was looked at through the gender lens. I know there was an entire chapter in the 2016 budget. However, when we are talking about the gender lens in this one, I do not see it actually applied because I do not think that the government is taking into consideration what would happen. Is it going to be mothers who are going to be taking off those 18 months and then going back to a job?
    We also have to recognize that the Canada Labour Code has to be addressed, as well, because currently we can only take one year off; so that is another thing, as well. There are a lot of Canadians who are pleased with that but, at the same time, are extremely concerned, and it could cause a lot of issues.

  (1150)  

    Finally, another positive thing is the targeted funding for housing. There is some funding that I saw in a little note talking about housing for persons who are leaving domestic violence. I would once again applaud that.
    During my time, during my work not only as an assistant but as a member of Parliament and within my own community, I recognize there are not the financial resources available to help victims of violence. One of the greatest things is the need for shelters. Having targeted funding that is going to help people escape violence and get into a safe home that is going to be assisted through the federal government, that is very positive.
    However, we also need to make sure that it is going to hit all 338 ridings. Domestic violence is not a rural issue. It is not an urban issue. It is not a first nations issue. It is an issue for all Canadians. We know that one in four young women are part of a sexual assault within their first eight weeks of post-secondary schooling.
    We have to be aware of all of these situations before we target this funding. We need to make sure it is available to everybody, and not just going to urban centres.
    We know some of the key issues. When we are looking at housing in rural areas, we may see the resources very limited. Just last week I was in the municipality of West Elgin, where we were looking at the Canadian index of well-being and discussing some of the resources or lack of resources that communities have.
    It was interesting because they were talking about all of the resources available to them in southwestern Ontario. One of the biggest and most important, crucial impacts that they have is the fact that there is no transportation to many of these services. They are not actually located in the municipality of West Elgin and the transportation for them is limited, because there is no busing other than that from West Elgin to Glencoe.
    If people need to have services in the city of London, the city of St. Thomas, or the city of Chatham, things like that are not available to them. It is not just the domestic violence piece, but it also has to do with mental wellness and mental illness. We have to understand that when we are doing targeted funding, we need to think of all Canadians and not just punt the money into government-held ridings. That is something I am very concerned with: we have to make sure we are looking at this as a broad issue and not specifically in one riding or another. It is something we all have to deal with.
    As I continue with this, I am going to look at some of the other concerns I have. I have talked many times about helping our youth. One thing we saw last year was that the tax credit for textbooks was removed, and this year we are seeing that the tax credit for transit is being removed. A few minutes ago I heard the member from Quebec say that it was not helping his riding.
    I live in the city of St. Thomas, actually the municipality of Central Elgin. We do not have a municipal bus there. I have a son who goes to school in Toronto, and because of the cost of living in Toronto, he is looking at living outside of Toronto proper. He will be moving into a community outside. Therefore, we really looked into transit, to make sure there was public transit available to him.
    Last week we heard the member of Parliament for Milton talk about the fact that those people using GO Transit will no longer be able to get those passes and credits that will help with those costs. It is not just for those people who are using GO Transit, but it is families like my own, families like most Canadians. A child leaving and going to post-secondary education is not going with a car. Therefore, important things like public education and transit credits are very important when people are living outside a large city and trying to travel in to their schools. This is just another cost to the student.
    We saw that the tax credits for tools are also gone. Anyone working in apprenticeships or the trades programs are kind of being nickle-and-dimed. They are not going to be able to take some of those initial expenditures and use them as tax credits.
    I am going to shift away from that and look more at Elgin—Middlesex—London. Last week I was speaking to some of our mayors. Immediately, they brought up the SWIFT program. It was interesting, because we speak a lot about the infrastructure and the need for Internet. What we saw in budget 2016 was a $2 billion amount to be spent on infrastructure for rural Canada. All we have seen in the 2017 budget is the money that was not spent in 2016 being transferred to the 2017 budget and still not getting out to Canadian rural municipalities.
    When I spoke to the mayors, the mayor from Central Elgin and the mayor from Southwold, I asked them specifically about the budget. These are people who would be very honest with me. If they were very happy with the budget, they would say, “Karen, it is a great budget.” Instead they said, “Karen, there is nothing in it for us.” As mayors, they found there was nothing for their municipalities. There was nothing in it for the farmers. Worrying about rural infrastructure, worrying about Internet, we are not seeing that.

  (1155)  

    Just six months ago the Minister of Innovation announced the SWIFT program that was put forward by our Western Ontario Warden's Caucus. We do not see it mentioned in the budget. The caucus is concerned this program will not be supported.
    As a person from rural Canada, as a person representing many municipalities with populations of 300 and 400, I am concerned that much of our money will go to larger municipalities and not to rural Canadians.

  (1200)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments by the member across the way, but I do not necessarily agree with all of them.
    There is a great deal for mayors, reeves and all Canadians to be happy about with respect to this budget. We see an ongoing commitment toward infrastructure. For example, just the other day an announcement was made of around 200 proposed projects just in the province of Ontario alone. Substantial projects are taking place in many different municipalities.
    The feedback I am receiving has been overwhelmingly positive on this government's decision to invest in Canada's infrastructure.
    Would the member not acknowledge that investment in virtually every region of our country is being well received for the simple reason that, generally speaking, Canadians understand and appreciate the importance of our infrastructure?
    Mr. Speaker, the member has to remember that our critic for infrastructure brought up the fact that infrastructure dollars were not rolling. We showed that last year when we talked about how much was going to be invested, how much actually went out the door, and how many shovels were in the ground.
    My mayors are looking for something that is not Ontario. They are looking for something for their communities.
    It is going to be very difficult for members of Parliament in this area to tell Ontario rural MPs and MPPs that they are getting a fair share. Unfortunately, as a rural resident, I do not see that throughout Ontario. It is very focused on the city of Toronto. I am not against Toronto by any means, but I am pro my community. Those are some of our concerns.
    The government has to start rolling out the infrastructure dollars rather than keeping the money in its coffers. If the federal government tells the province of Ontario that it is going to give it money, make sure it is not just going to the city of Toronto, but going to all municipalities throughout Ontario.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London for raising concern about the money for affordable housing being delayed getting out the door.
    A man who goes by the name of Elvis lives in my riding. Elvis is an alcoholic. For years Elvis would get intoxicated to the point where the community would have to call for an ambulance to take him to the hospital or he would have run-ins with the law, which cost the criminal justice system money. This literally cost us thousands of dollars a day and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to provincial, federal, and municipal governments. The Port Alberni Shelter Society has secured a unit for Elvis. For five years Elvis has been living in this shelter for $500 a month, or $6,000 a year. He is provided with a home, but it saves taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    In this budget, the government has announced over $10 billion in money for housing, but only $20 million of that will get out the door this year. That is about 20 houses in Toronto and Vancouver. That is not going to do a lot for people in rural communities.
    Maybe the member could talk about the cost savings in ensuring that people who need help have roofs over their heads and about those single parents who might even make the worst decision and who do not have a home.
     We have seen that all over Canada, Mr. Speaker. As part of a HUMA tour we took with respect to poverty reduction strategies, I remember going to a place where 80 people were living. It had four walls and 80 cots. There was no food. There was nothing to help those people. We do not have resources available for them. We also do not have resources available for addictions.
    I really appreciate the story of Elvis, because everybody in this room has an Elvis in their community. A lot of times it is about stopping it before it gets too far. The St. Thomas Psychiatric Network is in my community and it has seen decreases in its funding. It takes people off the streets and gets them into housing first, which is a great positive strategy. Could we do more? Yes, we absolutely could do more. There are some strategies that we could use, like the Housing First project.
    We have an issue when it comes to shelters. It is not just people from violence, as I spoke about, but people with addictions, or a variety of issues. We need to ensure the money gets out the door because the federal government has not invested in that. We need to ensure that money goes all over the country as well. Poverty is not just in urban areas but in rural areas as well.
    We need to create opportunities for housing as well as create opportunities for employment, which to me is number one.

  (1205)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin my comments this afternoon in this debate by pointing out I have some very serious concerns with the budget. I would like to take a few moments to explain exactly why.
     My concern is that I am seeing an alarming pattern. All governments and all elected officials will try to add a little pizzazz to their words, try to add a little flavour to their rhetoric so they sound like they are addressing the needs of the day. All governments will do that but, as we know, the current government is a big fan of buzzwords. In fact, it was humorous to read punditry columns the morning after the budget as they were all virtually united in expressing how boring and overused buzzwords had become with the Liberal government. In many respects, this was a buzzword budget.
     Getting back to my point, in last year's budget the go-to buzzword was “infrastructure”. Here is the thing. The Liberal government threw out a massive number of over $186 billion in infrastructure spending. However, when we look at the fine print, that is $186 billion over 12 years. Only $13 billion and change was proposed to be spent over the first two years.
     I mention that because we know the parliamentary budget officer could only identify just over $4 billion in infrastructure projects currently under way. Why do I mention that? Because in the budget presented a few weeks ago, we learned that over those same two years the Liberals would run up deficits totalling over $50 billion.
    To recap, the parliamentary budget office finds over $4 billion being spent on actual infrastructure, yet the Liberal government is adding over $50 billion in new debt. This basically means the whole infrastructure theme was a carefully designed sham, as the vast majority of that promised infrastructure spending has been punted down the road. That is the same problem we see in this year's budget for 2017. Yes, the buzzwords have changed, but the pattern of making big promises that are in effect kicked down the road has not.
    Let me give a few examples of this from the budget. “Helping working adults upgrade their skills” is something people would be very supportive of. How much new money did the Liberals actually budget for that in the 2017 budget? Absolutely zero, but $151 million in the 2019 election year.
    The next is “Investing in skills Innovation”. How much new money did the Liberals budget in the 2017 budget? Once again, the answer is zero, but guess what? The Liberals have budgeted $50 million in the 2019 election year. What a coincidence.
    How about “Expanding the Youth Employment Strategy”. Guess how much new money is budgeted in 2017? Once again, the Liberals budget zero for that in this year's budget. However, wait for it, the Liberals budget $96 million, but in which year? That is right, the 2019 election year because unemployed youth who need jobs today should have to wait around until Liberals need to be re-elected.
    The budget is simply playing politics with the lives of Canadians. I can cite many more examples where there are items in the budget that are not actually budgeted in 2017. In every case, surprise, surprise, there is money for these things in the 2019 election budget. Again, the budget is playing politics with the lives of people lives.
    Is it any wonder why one columnist describes the budget as being an empty wrapped gift box. All that is missing is the do not open until 2019 credit card.
     I mention the latter part because we know despite all these unbudgeted items, the Liberal government will be running a deficit in excess of $25 billion this year alone. We all know the Liberal government promised Canadians modest deficits of $10 billion per year, much as the Liberals promised to lower the debt-to-GDP ratio annually and, of course, to balance the budget in 2019.

  (1210)  

    On this last promise, the Prime Minister went on CBC, looked Canadians right in the eyes and said that the promise to return to a balanced budget in 2019 was set in stone. Today, the words “balanced budget” are dirty to the Liberal finance minister. A few weeks ago, the finance minister embarrassed himself, I would allege, by refusing to answer a very simple question from Peter Mansbridge as to when his plan would return Canada to a balanced budget.
    The fact is that the finance minister does not have a plan to return to a balanced budget. However, his department does. It told us that, at a minimum, having a balanced budget again would be somewhere in 2050. What did the finance minister do when he saw the report from his own department last October? He intentionally punted and hid this information from Canadians until it was posted on Friday, December 23 of last year.
    Why did he do that? Here is the most alarming part of it all. If we look at what the Liberal government said about real GDP growth in last year's budget and compare it to what it is forecasting in this year's budget, for every year the Liberals are in power, they have now downgraded real GDP growth expectations. In fact, the Liberals even show that real GDP growth in 2019 will actually be lower than it is today. In other words, even the Liberals own budget factually shows they know their own fiscal plan is failing.
    Keep in mind that we also know that business investment in Canada has declined every quarterly reporting period since the Liberal government came to power, and we all know why. Simply, it has made Canada less competitive. How? Because the Liberals increased costs on employers and job creators. Even when told by their own Department of Finance that increasing CPP would harm jobs and the Canadian economy for over 20 years, the Liberals did not care and did so anyway. Establishing a national carbon tax, when none of our major trading partners are implementing one also, makes us less competitive. Again, it is no surprise why Canadian business investment is in decline. It is actually at the lowest level since 1981.
    Now we have the Liberal government deciding to borrow money and picking the winners and losers for investment. All this has to be paid for, but the finance minister refuses to say how. We may have the first finance minister in Canadian history who believes that balanced budgets are bad, or that balanced budgets are dirty words. I will challenge the finance minister to prove me wrong, to come to this place and tell Canadians when and how he will balance the budget.
    That leaves me with my final thought.
     If the Liberals are clearly so opposed to a balanced budget, because, let us not forget that the parliamentary budget office caught and exposed them for trying to manipulate the balanced budget they inherited from the former Conservative government, why did the Prime Minister promise Canadians they would return to a balanced budget in 2019? I would submit that the Liberal Prime Minister knew this was what Canadians wanted to hear. In fact, there are growing examples, almost by the day, of a Prime Minister who is willing to promise anything in order to get elected. Today we have this budget, much like budgets that do not deliver what the Prime Minister has promised, promises set in stone.
    Nobody forced the Prime Minister into promising a return to a balanced budget in 2019. He made the decision to look Canadians right in the eyes and make that promise. While I cannot force the Prime Minister to keep his promise to Canadians, I will certainly vote against this budget. It breaks the very word the Prime Minister set in stone.
     If members on the government side wanted to truly make a difference and become part of history, they could do the same, if only to send a message. When someone looks Canadians in the eyes and makes a promise that is set in stone, Canadians deserve and expect to have that promise honoured.
    I ask members to please join me in voting against this budget, never mind the Prime Minister and his inner circle, who are really running things. Canadians deserve and expect the Prime Minister to honour his word.

  (1215)  

    Mr. Speaker, ideally, we must always balance our budgets. There are times when, in order to serve Canadians, we need to borrow a little money to invest in Canadians, to invest in our economy.
     What I find fascinating is how my hon. colleague wants to forget that the largest deficit in Canada's history was incurred by the previous government. A total of $160 billion was added to our debt by the previous government. Yes, there are times for a deficit, but the difference is that deficit was used for signs, fake lakes, and gazebos, while our deficit is being invested for Canadians in the economy, in infrastructure, and in jobs.
    Can the hon. member explain to me why he did not say a word when the previous government added $160 billion to our debt?
    Mr. Speaker, I came here in 2011, and I worked hard to encourage the government to meet its balanced budget commitment by 2015, something the Conservatives did without cutting health care, unlike the previous Liberals in the 1990s.
     I would also say that when the Conservatives first came to power, Mr. Harper and Mr. Flaherty put down $50-plus billion to pay down the debt ahead of time. When the largest dip in demand, the largest recession since the Great Depression came along, along with the G20, people made the decision to stimulate the economy. We built real infrastructure. We created net new jobs in this country. We exited the recession faster than everyone else. When we Conservatives say that we will take care of business, and we look Canadians in the eye, we mean it.
    Mr. Speaker, one thing that happened in the election which was very rare is that the NDP, the Conservative Party, and the Liberal Party all agreed on one thing, which was to lower taxes for small business people from 11% to 9%. In the last budget, the Liberals broke that promise. Then in this budget, the Liberals broke that promise. In fact, the minister said that it is a great sound bite and makes great headlines but it is not practical and not a priority for the Liberal government. There is nothing in this budget for small business. The only thing that was in the budget is the Liberals will double down on small businesses and focus on attacking them through their taxes.
    As a fellow British Columbian, the member knows how important small business is in British Columbia. Small businesses are the economic generators and job creators in our communities. Maybe the member could talk about how it is affecting business people in his community, and indicate if it is an important issue for him and his community.
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the member's work, particularly with respect to small business. Obviously, small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. They build jobs. They are very responsive to changes in taxes or policy because they have to be. They are not like large businesses that can take on costs and pass them on to the consumer.
    I would simply say that many people in my riding would like to see money set aside for endangered species, like Liberal promises. The fact of the matter is the Liberals said that they would do one thing, then changed that with respect to balanced budgets and tax policies on small business. Now private campgrounds and shared business practices, such as lawyers and doctors, are all paying more. In fact, billable hours are being changed in this budget. This is all being done without consultation, all without saying what they are doing, other than just to raise the money so that they can somehow be able to scrape two cents together to say that they can pay for these things.

  (1220)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the greatest respect for my friend and colleague across the way. However, of the throngs of people who are watching this debate today, I am sure most are sitting there with their laptop, iPad or phone, and can do something as simple as search on Google for past deficits by Canadian governments. They would see that certainly when the Conservatives came into power in 2006-07, they inherited about a $14-billion surplus from the previous Paul Martin government. Then in 2008-09, the Conservatives went on to add $5.8 billion to the debt. An outstanding year was 2009-10, as my colleague said, with a whopping addition of $55.6 billion. In 2010-11, there was another $33.4 billion, and $26.3 billion in 2011-12, and then $18.4 billion, for a grand total of $150 billion.
    I wonder if my friend and colleague managed to google that before he put the words of his speech together today.
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite must have been looking at his BlackBerry when his other colleague asked me pretty much the same question.
    When we Conservatives said that we would spend money, we spent it on infrastructure. It was during the time of the greatest recession since the Great Depression and all the G20 countries decided to do it together.
    The Liberal government is going it alone. It is not spending the money on infrastructure. At some point we need to have someone credible present a plan to return us back to balance. If the government cannot reduce and curb spending when the economy is not bad, what happens when we have another recession that is even greater? We will not have the money to pay for it.
    When we Conservatives make promises, we keep them with Canadians and we actually build infrastructure and jobs. With the Liberal government, it is all lip service.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg South.
    I must say that I am extremely pleased and excited with budget 2017. This budget focuses on the middle class. With this budget, Canadians will benefit. Nova Scotians will benefit. The people from Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook will benefit as well.
    This budget is a framework around many groups: seniors, youth, veterans. This budget is really one that is comprehensive and helps many Canadians. We will see that throughout the year, of course, but I want to talk about three main areas. The first one is family. The second one is seniors. The third one is veterans. It is very obvious we will talk a lot longer about veterans, because there are a lot of good things there. We have been working with veterans across Canada for a number of years.
    First, let us talk a little about the 2016 budget. The 2016 budget started the good work of our government, and it is a four-year plan. I want to talk about two major areas where budget 2016 is powerful. The first one is the CCB, the Canada child benefit. When I was campaigning from one area to the other across my large riding, people were very concerned. Young families were concerned about how they could continue to provide what their kids need. They were not able to. They were struggling. The CCB contribution benefit that our government put forward is extremely impressive. In my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, over 15,000 children benefited since it started in July 2016.
    Let us focus on the month of October 2016. Believe it or not, 15,000 children benefited. The government paid $5.2 million in that month alone to support families in my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. That in itself is impressive, but it is not only in my riding. There are 338 ridings, and they are all benefiting. Families in all those ridings are benefiting. That was a major help.
    The second one in budget 2016 that is extremely important to mention is the 7% tax reduction on the middle class. The middle class had been struggling for over 10 years with the former government without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In our first year in government we were able to bring forward a 7% reduction in taxes to help the middle class. Throughout the last six months I have been chatting with my constituents, and it is clear that is a major help.
    Also our government is the only government that was willing and able to put a 1% tax increase on the wealthiest Canadians. Our party was the only party that supported that.
    Budget 2016 puts a nice framework on what we have done. Let us look now at budget 2017 and focus on families.
    For a long time everyone in this House has heard over and over again the necessity to create child care spaces for young kids, preschool children. Back in 2005-06, it was the government under Paul Martin, and I believe the minister of the day was Ken Dryden, the famous goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens. If I did not mention that, I would be—
     Hon. Kevin Sorenson: He was a better goalie than an MP.
    Mr. Darrell Samson: Mr. Speaker, that being said, at that time the Liberal Party of Canada was getting ready to approve a child care plan, but the Liberals did not win the election. The Tories did, and then they went back to sleep. For 20 to 30 years, we had been talking about how important child care is, but it was forgotten. At that time, we had committed $5 billion over five years. That is quite impressive.
     What do we have this year, this time around? There is $500 million this year, but $7 billion over the next 10 years for child care in this country. There is not one riding in the country that would not definitely benefit from that investment. That is impressive.

  (1225)  

    The second thing under the family concept in the budget, which I am extremely proud of, is a national housing strategy. We have talked about it on and on in the House for years. They talked about it before I got here, and after I leave they will still be talking about it. Our government is putting forward a strong national strategy on homelessness and a strategy to support families that are less fortunate and to support seniors who want to stay and live in their communities.
    Those are major benefits. We are going to see all kinds of investments to repair and renovate housing and investments for new housing, which is so important. I know that my community would benefit from that investment.

[Translation]

    The third point relates to the issue of rural Internet access. People with low incomes often have a hard time paying for Internet service. Our government has allocated funding to address this problem. Cable companies will be able to create packages for lower-income families.

[English]

    The next category in the budget I want to talk about is seniors. Seniors have been talking about health care and the cost of prescription drugs. They have told me that they have to make tough choices between food, lodging, and prescription drugs. Our government is coming forward to invest in Health Canada to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
    The second piece I want to talk about is the compassionate care EI benefit. We would invest in those individuals and families who want to help those who are gravely ill. That would be over and above the 35 weeks already granted to support the terminally ill. That is another clear sign of our strength in that area.
    In the short time I have left, I want to move to veterans affairs. Quickly, 20% of the new money invested in the budget would go toward veterans. That is extremely important. These men and women have risked their lives for Canadians and democracy and continue to do so, and we need to recognize that. In Sackville—Preston, 23% of the people in my riding are veterans or military.
    The lifetime pension option is something I have heard about over and over again. That is being done, and it is extremely important.
    Transitioning from being in the military to being a veteran and how we can help in that transition is also very important. Already Veterans Affairs and DND are working together to simplify and streamline the process.
    Another one is the military family resource centres. We propose expanding the centres and providing outreach to make sure we help as many Canadians as we can.
    The emergency fund and the family well-being fund are things they have been asking the government for over and over again. They asked the last government for that support, and they were ignored, but our government is coming through.
     Just yesterday, I read that VIA Rail, for the 150th anniversary, will provide a 25% reduction for travel for veterans and military families. There is investment as well in the family wellness program. We will see VIA Rail start hiring up to 10% of its workforce from retired military members.

  (1230)  

    In closing, I want to say that seniors, veterans, young people, Canadians, Nova Scotia, and the people of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook will continue to prosper under budget 2017.
    Mr. Speaker, I would just like to comment on what the member shared in regard to families and the 7% decline in taxes. Along with that, we lost tax credits for young families. I have heard from three specific families in my riding who have said that they are so tired of hearing that these tax credits were only used by the wealthy. These three families are in the position of still hoping but are giving up on ever joining the middle class. Those tax credits meant that they were able to have their children in sports and music programs. The 7% reduction in taxes has more than been made up for those families by the loss of tax credits, by CPP and EI premiums, by carbon taxes, and by all kinds of barriers to buying a first home.
     What would the member say to these families who are saying, “We are not part of the middle class. We used those tax credits, and now the government is taxing us by taking them away”?
    Mr. Speaker, I could go on a long time and talk about carbon pricing and how it benefits Canadians in many ways. However, as I said in my speech today, the Canada child benefit is an enormous contribution to families.
    This is a big-picture plan. Over a four-year period, we know that the economy will be strong. We are listening to young families, we are listening to seniors, and we are listening to young people so that we are better able to respond. From some of the things I shared in my speech today, it is clear that we are on the right track and are going to make things better for all Canadians.

  (1235)  

    Mr. Speaker, one of the things I hear the Liberals talk about is tax cuts. I just want to let members know that in my riding, we have been having tax clinics, and the people who are making $45,000 are still looking for their tax cut. I just want to send that message over to them.
    One of the other things the Liberals mentioned is EI. In the budget, they talk about expanding maternity leave to 18 months from 12 months. That is great stuff. The problem is that it would be at a reduced rate. People would have to take a cut in family income for a longer period of time. Most important, and what has not been mentioned, is that if people took plan B, with the extra six months, they would be penalized when they went to collect their CPP later in life, because the current government has omitted the drop-out period for maternity leave in the enhancement. Can the member explain to me how this is fair to the middle class?
    Mr. Speaker, what is important about EI and the 18 months for maternity leave is that it would be an opportunity for Canadian families that want to stay at home a bit longer to support their families. Those are decisions they take as families. There are all kinds of decisions.
    Our budget is a step-forward budget. We do not climb three steps of a ladder at once. At least in Nova Scotia and in Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, we go up one step at a time to make things right and make sure we get it done, and that is exactly what we are doing here today.
    Mr. Speaker, I was glad to hear my colleague's comments that the Liberals were taking child care seriously. They were elected 16 months ago. Regarding child care, there is no funding this year. For the housing strategy, there is no money this year. On homelessness, there will be no money for two years. For disabled accessibility, there is zero this year and zero next year. We look at creating Canada's clean growth economy. There is no money this year and no money next year. For skills training, there is nothing this year. For innovation, there is nothing this year for middle-class jobs.
    When the member says that the Liberals take this seriously and want to get the economy moving, how is giving zero dollars doing any of those things?
    Mr. Speaker, this year alone, for child care spaces, we are adding $500 million, and it will be $7 billion over 10 years.
    There are all kinds of investments that begin at different stages. That is the normal flow. If anyone made commitments for five and 10 years later, it was the Conservative government. It only stayed 10 years, and it did not fulfill most of them.
     I am happy a change took place.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to take part in today's debate on budget 2017, which goes a long way to advancing gender equality in Canada.

[English]

    The inclusion of the first-ever gender statement in a federal budget is groundbreaking. In fact, an entire chapter is dedicated to this statement, demonstrating the value we see in gender equality.
    As the Minister of Finance has said, we published the government's first-ever gender statement, an assessment that ensures that all budget measures, not just those aimed specifically at women, help us advance the goals of fairness, stronger workforce participation, and gender equality. In many ways, the gender statement sets a new bar for openness and transparency by examining the ways in which public policies affect women and men differently. It also emphasizes the need for a more diverse workforce and for closing the gender wage gap.
    Canada continues to have one of the highest gender wage gaps of all the OECD countries. This is unacceptable. Canada should be a leader in closing the wage gap, and our government is committed to taking actions that will help close it. Budget 2017 includes a number of measures aimed at reducing this gap, encouraging greater workforce participation among women, and helping to combat poverty and violence.
    These measures include a new investment of $11.2 billion towards a national housing strategy; an investment of $7 billion in early learning and child care, as the previous speaker mentioned, over the next 11 years that will support access to child care and allow greater participation in work, education, and training, particularly by mothers; a new employment insurance caregiving benefit that will allow more caregivers, the majority of whom are women, to balance their work and family responsibilities; the adoption of more flexible work arrangements for federally regulated employees, including flexible start and finish times; and the ability to work from home, as well as new unpaid leaves, to help people manage family responsibilities.
    One of the key investments in this budget is a commitment of $101 million over five years to address gender-based violence. Gender-based violence remains an overwhelming barrier to equality and to ensuring that our communities thrive. We must address it. Our government is committed to doing its part to help end this violence and will soon be announcing a strategy to address it.
    To develop the best and most appropriate gender-based violence strategy, we must see the entire picture and exchange best practices. For this reason, we will gather evidence and engage our provincial and territorial counterparts to find the best path in moving towards a national strategy.
    Budget 2017 commits to a number of additional actions to increase safety and security, including investing in gender and cultural training for judges; investing in the family law system; creating a secretariat on LGBTQ2 issues; and investing in a new national housing fund that prioritizes vulnerable individuals, including survivors of domestic violence.
     As we discuss budget 2017, it is also important to keep in mind that it builds on some of the foundations established last year as part of budget 2016, measures that support women and their families. This includes, as has been mentioned, the new, tax-free Canada child benefit, which provides low- and middle-income families with more help with the cost of raising their children. Nine out of 10 families receive more help than they did before, under previous programs, with average benefits for these families rising by nearly $2,300 in the first year.
    The Canada child benefit is particularly beneficial for families led by single parents. These families are most often led by single mothers and tend to have lower total incomes. It is also important to note that most families receiving the maximum Canada child benefit are led by single mothers.
     Budget 2016 also increased income support for vulnerable seniors. Enhancements to the guaranteed income supplement have resulted in 750,000 single seniors receiving an increase of up to approximately $1000 each year. This enhancement is helping to lift 13,000 vulnerable seniors, including 12,000 senior women, out of poverty.

  (1240)  

    In conclusion, my comments today underscore just how strongly this government believes in moving our country closer to gender equality. Our government has a plan that builds on budget 2016 so women and girls can reach their full potential.
     Budget 2017 represents a tremendous opportunity for all of us and for our country to reach its full potential. Doing so benefits all Canadians by helping to build an inclusive, prosperous country that strengthens the middle class from coast to coast to coast.
    Mr. Speaker, although we hear a lot of rhetoric about gender-based analyses and how we have a government that is gender-friendly and doing more, it is 2015, and all the rhetoric we hear from the other side, we really do not see much action. If we look at the budget, we do not really have a gender-based analysis. It is just a chapter, a small section, thrown in at the back of the budget. We really do not have any extra measures for ensuring we have pay equity, for example. Probably the biggest failure is that the government has not taken a lead on ensuring we have more women representatives in the House of Commons.
    I put a private member's bill forward that would incentivize political parties to run more women in elections. The government voted against it, saying that it would bring something else in, and it has not. What will happen in the next election, despite all the rhetoric, despite the Facebook feminism by the Prime Minister, is that we will have the same number or fewer women in the House. I would like the member to tell us the concrete actions by which he thinks we can increase the number of women sitting in the House of Commons?

  (1245)  

     Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to announce in the House, probably for the first time, that three women were elected to the House of Commons last evening. They happen to be from my party, but they will increase the complement of women in the House, which is a very good thing.
    I agree with the hon. member. Twenty-six per cent of the House represented by women is not enough. I know we, as a party, are taking measures to improve that.
    Members will remember the 338 women who were welcomed to the House, the Daughters of the Vote, which was sponsored by our government and by Equal Voice. They took their seats in our places. We saw the future before us.
     Like the hon. member opposite, we need to increase women's representation in the House.
    For the last 10 years, gender-based analysis was given very short shrift by the previous government. The Auditor General called us out. We can do better.
    Mr. Speaker, currently close 1.3 million Canadians are out of work. Six out of 10 of those unemployed Canadians cannot access employment insurance benefits to help them get by. The government has made no new investments to improve access to EI benefits for those who need them the most.
    In the Alberni Valley right now, we have seen a massive layoff of mill workers. One of the mills is actually closed and we do not know when it will reopen. It cannot get fibre because of failed practices by the current British Columbia government. Raw log exports have gone up tenfold in 10 years. Our boats are getting loaded with our wood and our jobs are getting shipped out of here.
    In this budget, not only were we looking at ways we could better support those who needed to get their unemployment assistance, but we were looking for the government to actually find ways to help people in areas like the Alberni Valley, people in the forest sector in British Columbia, those who are facing a threat of losing their jobs and huge layoffs.
    Maybe the government could show some compassion and actually invest in these workers and extend their unemployment insurance benefits instead of bailing out on them like the province of British Columbia has done.
     Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the hon. member that this government has helped to create 250,000 new jobs in the past six months. The unemployment rate has gone from 7.1%, under the previous government, to 6.6%. I agree we have to do more.
     I do not know if the hon. member wants to cast his mind back to the previous budget in which we made major changes to the employment insurance program. The government undertook to reverse many of the changes that were made by the previous government, such as work sharing, longer weeks for certain regions of the country that were hit with high unemployment, including of course the Fort McMurray area.
    There is more to do, but this government is very intent on investing in the middle class, creating employment, and creating those jobs of the future.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I wish to inform you that I will be sharing my time with my excellent colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge, wtih whom I practice my English, as he works on his French with me.
    We francophones really appreciate the fact that the Conservative Party respects French and English equally.
    On March 22, 2017, the Liberal government's Minister of Finance presented a bare-bones budget that has no vision and creates a climate of uncertainty. His budget is entitled “Building a Strong Middle Class”, but I think it should be called “destroying hope for the middle class”. I am no finance, tax, or budget expert here in Ottawa, but I was smart enough to confirm a few things with experts who work with numbers in the tax field every day and can predict their impact.
    Now I would like to comment on a statement by Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, or CPA Canada. The organization said that the federal budget is missing a key target for future planning. In other words, the government has no idea where it is heading. CPA Canada president Joy Thomas said, “This latest budget raises concerns because there is no timeline to address these persistent deficits.” She added, “Establishing a target date to bring the budget back into balance would create a goalpost to guide the government in its financial planning. This would greatly assist in fostering business confidence, supporting essential programs and minimizing the burden on future generations.” So basically, no vision.
     Then there is the title of the budget analysis by Desjardins, a co-operative financial institution that is the pride of Quebec and Canada: “A lacklustre budget for the 150th anniversary of Confederation”. In other words, this is a ho-hum budget that does nothing to bolster the confidence of citizens, small businesses, or foreign investors. It conveys a blatant lack of vision. The Liberals have no plan.
     In addition to listening to what experts have to say, we parliamentarians pay a lot of attention to what is being said by the media, which has some subject matter and communications experts. The following are the comments of one journalist, Mario Dumont, who wrote an article entitled “A promise broken three times”. In that article, he said, “once elected, this government was supposed to run a modest deficit”.
    The Liberals were talking about “a small deficit of $10 billion” but, in their first year in office, they ran a deficit of $23 billion. We clearly do not have the same definitions of “small” and “modest”. What is more, the deficit was supposed to be temporary. Looking forward, we do not see any sign of when the Liberal government will allow Canada's finances to generate a surplus. From what we are currently seeing, there is no set date for that. It could be 2055, but I do not have much faith in that estimate. The Liberals said that they would run a small deficit before quickly balancing the budget again, but now they are saying that they will not balance the budget until 2055. The House will understand that I am skeptical about how serious the members opposite are about this. They are going to run deficits in order to implement structural economic measures, but it has been two years and I have yet to see any such measures.
    François Pouliot of Les Affaires wrote an article entitled “Federal budget: red as far as the eye can see”. Red is the colour of the Liberal Party and symbolic of debt. I am not an expert in interpreting finances, but writing things in red or in parentheses indicates a debt. Michel Girard wrote an article entitled “Canada: in the red for a long time”. That is what I just said. The Liberals do not have a plan, and we do not know when we will be able to get our head back above water.
    Even the journalists at CBC/Radio-Canada have reluctantly criticized the budget. According to Gérald Fillion, “Bill Morneau's second budget is anything but an easy, simple, agreeable, and understandable exercise for journalists. It was written to try to please everyone.”

  (1250)  

    The media recently reported that this government spent much more on public consultations in 16 months than Stephen Harper did in the 10 years he was in power. The Liberals like to please everyone, but that is no way to govern Canada.
     Liberal members also told CBC that people should trust the government to manage the budget and to ensure Canada's prosperity. As far as we are concerned, nothing in the world would make us trust the government.
    Emmanuelle Latraverse, a Radio-Canada journalist, said that it was not a budget, that it was a political document and that it was not a plan for governing a country.
    Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy best expressed the unanimous views of the media when she said “Like PM, like budget”: empty
    Let us remember the atmosphere in the House during the hours and minutes that preceded the budget presentation. All parliamentarians on this side, and probably some on the other side, were frustrated by the Prime Minister. Why? The Prime Minister does nothing, is nonchalant, careless, and arrogant. Furthermore, he fails to show leadership, respect, and vision. He is irresponsible. He acts like a dictator. Take, for example, his reform of House of Commons rules. That is another matter, however, one I will not get into.
    Let us not forget that this is the same person who once said that budgets balance themselves. Better yet, he said it was the right time to borrow money because interest rates were low. He is not wrong, but what are we going to do when the interest rates go up? There is no money left. We have our Prime Minister to thank for that.
    The Liberals are maxing out the credit card. Worse yet, they are filling out a form to apply for a second credit card because they can no longer pay off the first. That is where we are headed and it is unacceptable.
    Let me sum up the budget. The Liberals blindsided public transit users by getting rid of the public transit tax credit. They increased the cost of insurance for Canadian farmers. Not much has been said about that, but it is written in the policy paper. Canadian farmers will see their taxes go up because the Liberals eliminated the income tax exemption for insurers. Insurance companies gave our farmers and fishers some breathing room. The government is creating 40,000 child care spaces. It is interfering in provincial and territorial jurisdictions. What will happen in Quebec? Will the province lower its costs? It likely will, but there is nothing that will go directly into the pockets of our Quebec and Canadian families.
    Since I do not have much time left, I will skip to the end of my speech even though I have a lot of interesting notes to share with my colleagues. There is nothing here to support Canadian families, seniors, or youth. There are measures that will do nothing for our small and medium-sized businesses. This government has no idea where it is headed, unless it realizes that it is headed straight for a brick wall. The deficit has gone up exponentially for 2017 and is now at $28.5 billion. Talk about putting things off. Our children and grandchildren will be on the hook. Any individual who behaved like this would have to declare bankruptcy.
    This government is irresponsible. It is mortgaging the future of this great country. Farmers will face additional costs. There is nothing for the regions. There is nothing to help the people and businesses of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, nothing to support family centres. Today I presented an e-petition in support of people who are working hard to help the families of our soldiers who fight every day to protect this country. There is nothing about that in this budget.
    We will not be silent. The Prime Minister is irresponsible. He is spending like crazy, but he has nothing to show for it. That is the problem with this budget. As I said, I have a lot more information to share with the House, but unfortunately, I am out of time.

  (1255)  

    I would remind the hon. member that we do not use the last names of other hon. members in the House. The member referred to the Minister of Finance by name.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like some clarification, since I was quoting a title. Are we allowed to say the name of the person in such cases?

  (1300)  

    The rule regarding using the names of members of the House also applies to quotations. Members must substitute the title of the individual or the name of the riding he or she represents in place of the name.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my friend across the way needs to have a bit of a reality check and to maybe get outside of the Conservatives' speaking points to get a better appreciation of what the member across the way actually voted against.
    Let me give specific examples. He said that this government has not been helping Canadian families. The tax cut for the middle class helped millions of Canadian families. By the way, the Conservatives voted against it.
    The member said we are not helping seniors. We lifted literally tens of thousands of seniors out of poverty through the substantial increase to the GIS, again which the Conservative Party voted against. There is a very long list.
    Does the member not feel at times he should get out of the Conservative speaking points and see if there is some truth or reality to the situation?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague. We often hear him speak in the House, and it is always nice. He is a good parliamentarian, and I would like to congratulate him on his service.
    Now let us talk about the facts. During the election campaign, the Liberal Party promised a modest deficit of $10 billion. It is in their platform. However, in 2016-17, the deficit was $23 billion, and it will reach $28 billion this year. The Liberals said that they would balance the budget in 2019, but the individual responsible for budgets here in Parliament indicated in his forecasts that we will not return to a balanced budget until 2055.
    If the Liberals are going to quote facts, they should look in the mirror instead of accusing the Conservatives.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that my colleague from Winnipeg North was listening to my colleague's speech. I was in fact going to thank my colleague for citing several independent sources on the budget. My colleague from Winnipeg North certainly missed a big part of his speech.
    My question has to do with the government's penchant for announcing large sums spread out over several years, quite often beyond an election cycle. In the most recent budget, that of 2017, we even see some spending that has been pushed to 2027-28, or 10 years from now, in the middle of a third Liberal government term, should it be re-elected until then.
    Could my colleague speak to the increasing use of this practice of announcing major investments over ridiculously long periods of time? These large figures that are bandied about tend to mislead the public. The public gets the impression that the government is spending a lot of money, when in fact it is not. It is promising money that will not be invested until after the election.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague. As I said, my colleague opposite is a good parliamentarian, but he should try to listen a bit more.
    To answer my colleague's question about the government's approach to making announcements, there was the example in 2016 when the government promised billions of dollars in investments in infrastructure. In 2017, have my parliamentary colleagues seen any cranes, construction sites, or diggers in their ridings? No, there is nothing.
    As I said in my speech, the Liberals' approach is nothing more than window dressing. The Liberals are irresponsible and all over the map.

  (1305)  

    People are not being taken seriously. They are being disrespected. The Liberals say they are planning for the future, but they have already caused so much damage to Canada's economy in a single year.
    Indeed, dear colleague, I do not believe this to be acceptable. We should put our foot down and compel the government to keep its promises after presenting the budget, lest we, the parliamentarians, begin to lose all credibility. Naturally, not everything can be accomplished in one year, but this government has dismantled many things in that time. It has contradicted itself on many issues. It has passed the buck from one department to another, and nothing is materializing for Canadians.
    To answer my colleague, I hope that this practice will stop. My colleague mentioned three Liberal terms of office. I hope we will convince Canadians that the best thing for them is to elect a Conservative government next time.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, just as budget 2016 was a budget built of broken promises, so budget 2017 is an insubstantial rehashing and doubling down on last year's bad ideas, replete with the shameless repetition of catchphrases rendered meaningless by the government's actions to date.
    It is no secret that this budget was widely panned. I talked to a number of people in Calgary who could not understand how the government could run these large deficits without having anything to show for them and without any economic justification.
    One constituent said that the budget presented by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance under the disguise of support for the middle class is a hoax, an insult to the intelligence of Canadians. She went on to say that the Liberals are not building a stronger middle class, so they should stop with this insulting, embarrassing, foolish facade.
    Andrew Coyne called it a “nonsense-filled budget”.
    Perhaps the quote from last week's National Post sums it up best in describing the budget as “278 pages of flowery verbiage dressed up in the thin veneer of marketing speak. The whole thing will be forgotten by the weekend.”
    While it is mostly true that this budget is so thin on substance that the news cycle has already forgotten it, the debt that this budget piles on certainly cannot be forgotten that easily.
    I mentioned the government's penchant for meaningless catchphrases, so I will remind members of this House that the government promised unprecedented transparency, sound economic stewardship resulting in greater rates of growth, fairness for the middle class and those working hard to join it, and attentive consultation with all Canadians—all empty platitudes coming from the Liberal government.
    In the last election, Liberals also promised maximum deficits of $10 billion and a return to the balanced budget that the parliamentary budget office confirmed that the Liberals inherited when they formed government.
    What are these so-called modest deficits that were promised? Hearing any talk of anything modest from the Liberals should have been a red flag, but Canadians elected them anyway on a promise that the maximum $10 billion deficits would be incurred strictly in order to fund infrastructure projects that would immediately facilitate economic activity and real GDP growth.
    It did not happen. This budget with its $28 billion now structural deficit and no hint of even a timetable to return to surplus, along with downgraded growth projections, leaves no room for the government to deny that it broke the central promise of the last campaign. Liberals make no apologies for breaking their promise, and they have no intention of even trying to keep it. They are simply hoping nobody noticed.
    Canadians have noticed, and while Canadians are forgiving people and will forgive an honest mistake, they will not forgive a broken trust. It is widely known that when the Liberals do get thrown out of office, they are historically brought down by their own arrogance and corruption, yet arrogance and corruption are at the core of the Liberals' big government, government-knows-best political philosophy: arrogance in the technocrats' conceit that a small group of self-styled experts know better than millions of individuals making choices in their own interest; and corruption, which inevitably crops up when a small group of insiders has the power to control economic activity through regulation and to pick corporate winners and losers.
    The latter point is evident by the budget 2017 corporate welfare agenda. It boasts almost $1.3 billion over six years of investment in six main economic priorities, like clean energy, advanced manufacturing, and agrifood. To be clear, these may well be important fields of economic development, assuming these fancy-sounding terms can be defined and actually mean something. However, when it comes to business, when a government says invest, it actually means spend, which actually means subsidize.
    Likewise, when it says it will spend over $1.7 billion over six years on, among other things, spawning superclusters, offering state-supplied venture capital to favoured firms, and twisting procurement policy to let taxpayers bear the risk of testing out Canadian products, it means that the government will try to steer the economy toward its pet priorities with no regard to the desires of Canadians free to choose their own priorities in a free market.
    This opens the door for economic distortion and corruption, since interested firms will inevitably try to curry favour with the government in order to get their share of its subsidies, perhaps doing so at cash for access fundraisers. However, I digress.
    Returning to the main point about the budget, it is laced with simplistic, idealistic depictions of a world that the Liberals wish existed, instead of the complex reality at hand. Even the cover art on budget 2017 suggests a possible Freudian slip, showing the Liberals know that their promises are merely illusions.

  (1310)  

    We have the illusion of useful infrastructure actually being built by a government that is simply making endless project announcements. We have the illusion of timely medical care for the elderly under a government that ignores real threats to the sustainability of the single-payer system and has yet to deliver on its palliative care promises. We have an illusory guitar and a recording system in the hands of a creative young woman, apparently put there by the same government that eliminated the children's arts and fitness tax credits. We have the illusion of solar-powered fishing boats and effective wind power production under a government whose senior PMO advisers were the architects of the Ontario Liberals' disastrous Green Energy Act.
    The back cover doodles also depict the Liberals' vision of the world and their idealized economy. There is scientific equipment, wind turbines, bicycles, happy families, and recreational fishing boats, but there are no mines, no oil rigs, no farms, and no cut timber. There is no primary industry and no recognition of the millions of jobs that depend on natural resources.
    Speaking of wishful thinking, budget 2017 contains many aspirational phrases that ring hollow when set against the government's record. For example, on page 179 it says that “In Canada, we have made the choice to build an economy that works for everyone” even as the Prime Minister and his party can barely contain their disdain for the resource and agricultural sectors.
    Budget 2017 says on page 204 that “The Government remains committed to building a fair tax system that benefits the middle class and those working hard to join it”, yet the government cannot and will not define what that even means because it has no definition of “middle class”.
    One of my personal favourites is on page 214 of budget 2017. It claims that “The Government is committed to enhancing the transparency and accountability of federal borrowing activities to Parliament and ultimately Canadians”—this from a government that as we speak is trying to change the Standing Orders of the House of Commons without all-party consent.
    The ability of the government to speak of transparency with a straight face in the midst of an unprecedented attack on democratic parliamentary privilege would be hilariously ironic if the stakes were not so high. The Liberal government's vision of transparency would centralize even more powers into the hands of a small executive, would diminish Parliament's ability to hold the government to account, and would allow the party in power to unilaterally change parliamentary procedure for its own convenience.
    The government sees members of Parliament and their democratic prerogatives as a nuisance, oblivious to the fact that every member of Parliament, regardless of the caucus in which he or she sits, won an election to represent their constituents. The ones on this side of the House were elected by people who do not share the government's views, and those people have the right to have their voices heard in the House through the members of Parliament that they elected.
    I still cannot figure out whether the timing of this budget was meant to distract attention from the Liberals' power grab at PROC or the other way around. Both the budget and their actions at PROC are surely embarrassing to the government and would be better covered up by a stronger news story. The question is, which embarrasses the Liberal government more? Again, I digress.
    Instead of offering trendy buzzwords that signify nothing, the government should serve Canadians through practical and tangible measures. This budget repeats the word “innovation” some 200 times, but Canadians know that just repeating a word over and over again will not get unemployed Canadians back to work. Saying the words “venture capital”, “catalyst”, “supercluster”, or “infrastructure bank” on the cocktail party circuit might make a Liberal feel clever, but words will not balance a budget, grow the economy, or lift anybody out of poverty. Merely announcing or reannouncing infrastructure projects will not get shovels into the ground.
    Instead, the government should rein in its out-of-control spending and the tax increases that it requires. It should reverse course on taxes like the carbon tax and follow the example of Conservatives, who brought federal tax to its lowest point in 50 years while returning to a balanced budget on schedule.
    The government should reduce regulation to unleash the creative and innovative energy currently trapped in red tape. It should fulfill its own broken promise and reduce the small business tax rate, and it should reverse its ill-conceived and poorly timed job-killing payroll tax.
     Lastly, the Liberals should quit trying to think of new ways to nickel-and-dime money out of Canadians while flailing in a sea of red ink, broken promises, and rhetorical nonsense, all against the backdrop of an ethics investigation and an unprecedented attack on democratic accountability.
    This budget may well have been designed to be forgotten quickly. I wish it were so.

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, there is not much that was just said that I would agree with, but it is always nice to hear some other opinions, no matter how wrong they might be.
    One of the things that the member tried to get across, and one that I am a little sensitive to, is the issue of rural Canada, especially the Prairies. Pipelines are important to the Prairies. This was an issue that impacted all of Canada, but especially the Prairies. It is important that we recognize that the Stephen Harper government failed to build one inch of pipeline to tidewater. Let us compare that to what we have done in 18 months, or let us take a look at the canola farmer and the crisis that was taking place in China and the threat of hundreds of millions of dollars. It was this government that dealt with that.
    Why is it that the Conservatives were unable to get the job done when it came to servicing rural communities, especially those in the Prairies, while under this Liberal administration we are now seeing significant gains in jobs and—
    The hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.
    Mr. Speaker, I am not even sure what to make of that intervention and what it seems to be telling us. As my colleague said before, I have a strange admiration for the member for Winnipeg North and his ability to stand in the House and defend anything, including this budget.
    After many members of the Liberal caucus specifically campaigned to oppose any and all oil and gas activity, especially pipelines to the west coast, and sent out signals to the international market about phasing out oil sands, the hostility of many members of the Liberal caucus to that industry cannot be denied. The member's own government unilaterally set aside the previous approval of the northern gateway and imposed the northern tanker ban to kill the northern gateway project. For the member to still want to take credit for pipelines—none of which have been built yet, by the way—is quite unbelievable.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the rare times that Conservatives and New Democrats agreed on how to tackle climate change was through the home energy retrofit program that the Conservatives had in the last Parliament. Although we wished it had lasted longer and was not cut short, we know that it was one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions and help Canadian households reduce their monthly bills while creating good local jobs.
    In my community recently, Brian Glennie and Clair Schuman in Parksville hired a company out of Cumberland, which is in the Comox Valley, called Hawkeye Energy Solutions to install a solar roof so that they could reduce their energy costs, help tackle climate change, and be a partner in doing this. It creates jobs for local contractors and supports small business.
    Was the member surprised that the budget does not include any home energy retrofit program, so that people and homeowners in our communities can be partners in tackling climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, the extent to which we find agreement across these opposition benches is indeed unusual, but such is the budget at hand that it seems to bring everybody but the Liberals together.
    I am not actually surprised that the Liberals did not include that. This is the same Liberal government that has repealed all kinds of useful tax credits in a variety of fields, including the public transit tax credit. I guess Liberals are trying to nickel-and-dime Canadians in any way possible, whether it is on the retrofit of a home for energy efficiency, the transit tax credit, or the arts and fitness credits. They have never met a tax credit that they would not gladly take away in the interest of generating more revenue for the state.

  (1320)  

    Mr. Speaker, let me say how thrilled and pleased I am to stand here in the House and speak to budget 2017. It is a budget that gives much hope and promise for middle-class Canadians.
     Let me digress and go back to when I started to run in the past election and started going door to door in communities, going from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. I started in one of our priority neighbourhoods, Crescent Valley. The work that is being done in Crescent Valley is absolutely magnificent. The Crescent Valley association, led by Anne Driscoll, is doing a fantastic job.
    One thing that was loud and clear to me going door to door in Crescent Valley was that the housing needed upgrading and rebuilding and in many instances a total overhaul. The families were and are living in conditions that certainly needed to be upgraded. There were many people who talked to me about their current situations. I went back and talked to non-profit organizations in Saint John and surrounding areas, and there was concern that a lot of the operating agreements with the housing co-ops were expiring and there was uncertainty in the future.
    First and foremost with respect to housing, I want to commend and compliment people in my riding and in my region who are doing outstanding work on housing and helping those who need affordable housing to attain it. They include people like Kit Hickey, Randy Hatfield, Narinder Singh, Brian Marks, and many others who are working tirelessly every day to help those who are looking for housing in my riding.
    I am not proud to stand here today and talk about the fact that there are 1,300 people from my riding on a wait-list for affordable housing. That is not acceptable, so I am absolutely delighted to speak in support of budget 2017. I am excited about the commitment of $11.2 billion for a national housing strategy for our country. This is something that I advocated for and something we have worked tirelessly toward. I am a proud member of the HUMA committee, which has just finished travelling from coast to coast to coast. Certainly one thing that was very evident travelling across this country was the need for affordable housing, and the fact that as a country we need a national housing strategy.
    Our government signalled its intention to re-establish a federal leadership role in housing in budget 2016. As hon. members will recall, in addition to the existing baseline annual funding of over $2 billion, our first budget included funding of $2.3 billion over two years to address urgent housing needs across this country. This included a doubling of the investment in affordable housing, as well as targeted funding to improve housing for seniors and low-income households, northerners, indigenous people, and those fleeing situations of domestic violence. I am proud to say that this funding has already benefited more than 58,000 households across Canada. That is significant and transformational.
    Budget 2016 also provided funding for low-cost loans and new financing tools to encourage municipalities, housing developers, and non-profit housing providers to develop more affordable rental housing units. This funding will significantly expand the stock of affordable rental housing in Canada.
    I want to mention that I will be splitting my time with the member for Brampton South.
    We made it clear a year ago that these investments were only a first step as we took the time needed to develop a new, inclusive national housing strategy to help guide the way forward.

  (1325)  

    Budget 2017, I am thrilled to say, affirms this. Let me be clear. This is the largest single spending commitment in our budget. It is historic, and it will be transformational for many, many families across our country.
    To be formally launched later this year, the national housing strategy would provide a road map for governments and housing providers across the country, as well as focused support for those who need it the most, those living in poverty.
    In the coming weeks and months, we will be meeting with provinces and territories, housing stakeholders, and indigenous leaders to discuss how we can best work together to ensure a coordinated and truly national strategy. This is key and is of utmost importance.
    The strategy would be delivered by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation through a number of initiatives, which I would like to highlight for hon. members. Let me begin with our commitment to a renewed housing partnership with the provinces and territories.
    Our government recognizes that housing needs vary across the country, and we are committed to working with provinces and territories to ensure that the unique needs of all communities are met. These priorities may include the construction of new affordable housing units, the renovation and repair of existing housing, rent subsidies and other measures to make housing more affordable, and initiatives to support safe independent living for seniors and persons with disabilities.
    The national housing strategy would also include a new housing fund to address critical housing issues and prioritize support for vulnerable citizens, including seniors, indigenous peoples, victims of domestic violence, persons with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, and veterans. Administered by CMHC, the fund would receive $5 billion in federal funding over the next 11 years. It signals the government's renewed role, finally, in a housing policy for our country. Further details will be announced when the national housing strategy is launched later this year, but it includes a new co-investment fund to encourage greater collaboration and investment among diverse partners to prioritize large-scale community renewal projects.
    It would also support innovative approaches to housing development and a strong, sustainable affordable housing sector. CMHC' s direct lending activities would be expanded to include low-cost loans for renewal of social and affordable housing. This is in addition to the budget 2016 lending program I mentioned earlier, which will support construction of new rental units.
    In addition to these new investments of $11.2 billion, the government is also preserving baseline funding related to the expiry of long-term social housing operating agreements. The use and renewal of these funds will be determined over the next year.
    Hon. members who represent northern ridings will know that the housing challenges in that region are unique and complex. Budget 2017 proposes to invest $300 million, starting in 2018-19, to provide stable and predictable funding to the territorial governments, to help offset the higher cost of construction, and improve housing conditions across the north.
    Budget 2017 also includes an additional $4 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018-19, to build and improve housing, water treatment systems, health facilities, and other community infrastructure in indigenous communities. This builds on the $554 million provided in last year's budget to address urgent housing needs on reserve and the more than $10 million we are investing in new shelters for first nations families affected by domestic violence. We will be working with first nations, Inuit, and Métis partners in the coming months to determine how the budget 2017 funding will be allocated.
    Finally, budget 2017 includes a proposed investment of $241 million through the national housing strategy to help CMHC improve housing data collection and analytics, expand housing research, and strengthen our ability to make informed policy decisions. Long-term funding would also be provided to Statistics Canada to develop and implement a new housing statistics framework.

  (1330)  

    I have talked primarily about the proposed investments in budget 2017 that relate specifically to the national housing strategy. It is key and critical for my riding to have this national housing strategy. I was proud to travel the country from coast to coast to coast to help in implementing this. I am proud to stand today and say that our government is actually backing a national housing strategy which will be good for all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to listen to my colleague from Newfoundland. I appreciate the fact that as a businessman, he knows what he is talking about. I have some issues that I would like to address.
     I would like to know what my colleague thinks about the NHL's decision to cancel participation in the Olympics, but unfortunately that is not the issue today.
    What I would like to know is, as a businessman, what does my colleague think about the Minister of Finance having no plan for a zero deficit?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to stand today to talk about hockey and certainly the Saint John Sea Dogs hockey team that is blowing through the first round of the playoff series and on to the second round in chase of another Memorial Cup for the organization.
    To answer my friend and colleague's question, investment over the past 10 years in infrastructure, in particular, before we were elected, was at a deficit. We saw it in Saint John—Rothesay. We saw a lack of investment in a lot of our critical infrastructure. That was investment that needed to be done.
    I stand behind our finance minister. He is doing a fantastic job. He has a vision for our future, a vision for our country, and I have absolutely no problem justifying how we are moving forward.
    Mr. Speaker, there are organizations in the riding of Courtenay—Alberni working hard to end homelessness, such as the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, Dawn to Dawn, the Port Alberni Shelter Society, and the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness. These organizations are all working hard to get people off the street and into housing so we can save money, reduce costs in our health care system and our criminal justice system, and to help support our economy.
    The member talked about historic investments in affordable housing. Right now we are learning that the Liberals have committed to over $8 billion in housing, but in fact, 90% of the money for housing will not go out the door until after the next election.
    Why are the Liberals playing political games on this file while there are thousands of vulnerable Canadians who are struggling to find affordable housing, especially in rural communities which are being forgotten?
    Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. People who run shelters in Saint John—Rothesay and are involved in the non-profit sector are absolutely thrilled with this budget.
     What was needed was a long-term investment. We are committing to a 10-year investment. One can say that it is back-end loaded, but I would say it is front-end loaded. When one pays rent over 10 years, it depends on which way you want to look at that.
    Our investment is strategic and historic. The fact is that we are making this investment, as opposed to the party opposite that was going to run in austerity and would not have had a cent to invest in affordable housing or those living in poverty. I am very proud to stand and support our budget.
    Mr. Speaker, I am going to pick up on a point made by my friend from Courtenay—Alberni. I am not out of sympathy with the efforts of the government to emphasize affordable housing. It is really nice, after 10 years of the previous government, to have a government that understands affordable housing. I certainly know there are many members opposite who care about it as passionately as we do on the opposition benches. It really is difficult to have it described as a long-term vision when it is so clear in all the categories, whether it is spending on climate change, infrastructure, child care spaces, or help for the homeless, that very little money will be spent before the next election.
    If it had been described differently, if the government were making a historic contribution to fight homelessness of $300 million before the next election, that would be honest. I have to say it seems to be a bit of a shell game to say that the government is spending $11 billion on helping to deal with the homelessness crisis, but only $300 million will be spent before the next election.

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, again, to run a government, to look at the big picture, there has to be a long-term investment. I am absolutely thrilled that our finance minister and our government stood up and put their money where their mouths are with a long-term 10-year investment, a strategic investment in a national housing strategy. I just came back from travelling coast to coast to coast. If one talks to people across the country on the front lines, those dealing with people in need day in and day out, they are absolutely thrilled with our commitment. They are thrilled with our investment. This is going to change the lives for tens upon hundreds of thousands of families living across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to budget 2017, our government's next step to building a Canada that works for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
    Take Noor and Kate, a young couple who are headed toward settling down, getting married, and having their first child. Let us say they live in my riding of Brampton South. For them, our budget means that if they choose, Kate can receive EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before the due date, which is up from the previous eight weeks. Once the baby is born, there are more flexible EI parental benefits available, including the choice of stretching the benefits period over 18 months.
    To respond to one of the biggest costs for parents and families, we will be investing $7 billion in affordable child care spaces. We are looking to create 40,000 spots for children like Noor and Kate's little one.
     Kate takes the GO Train to work, and Noor takes a bus. We will be investing $20.1 billion in public transit over the next 11 years, which means that the buses and GO Train that Kate and Noor use will improve.
    These are the kinds of investments that make a difference in the day-to-day lives of hard-working families in Brampton South. This is on top of all the things for families that came in budget 2016, like the more generous, automatic, monthly Canada child benefit.
    According to data from the Department of Employment and Social Development with approximately 23,500 children in Brampton South, there was an average monthly payment of $680. This totals over $9 million being sent to low- to middle-income families in Brampton South in 2016 to help with the cost of raising kids.
    On top of the approximately $8,160 that Kate and Noor will be getting once the baby is born, they also benefit from the middle-class tax cut we unveiled in 2016. On average, single individuals who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $540 every year. For Kate and Noor, that is $540 more in their pockets.
     All of these things focus on putting more money in people's pockets and investing directly in our best Canadian resource, our middle class.
     If things get tough for Noor and Kate, budget 2017 has a number of measures that build a stronger safety net for them. We are thinking of how to get people back on their feet solidly and quickly, so they can get back to supporting their family, building towards their retirement, and contributing to the Canadian economy.
     In fact, we have already seen in the seven months preceding the budget, a quarter of a million new jobs created in Canada. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 6.6%. Our plan is working.
    Budget 2017 has measures to help those who are struggling. In the case that Kate unfortunately loses her job, our budget has committed a significant amount, $2.7 billion, to the provinces and territories to help those unemployed or underemployed access training or employment supports to find and keep good jobs.
    Our El benefits for the unemployed are also geared towards those like Kate so they can go back to school to get the training they need without the fear of losing the critical benefits they depend on to support themselves and their families. We are increasing the El in total by almost $900 million over five years to make it more flexible for families like Kate and Noor's family. If Kate has any issues with her El claim, we are putting tens of millions into improving access to El call centres and to improve claims processing times.
    As Canadians know, to be successful in this day and age, there need to be opportunities for lifelong learning, so that their next job is also a better job. We will better support adult workers returning to school who face the high cost of post-secondary education along with the financial pressures associated with daily life and raising their families. If Kate goes back to school part-time in order to get the skills she needs for a good job, her EI benefits will still be there for her.

  (1340)  

     Under budget 2017, she also now qualifies for financial assistance from the federal government, unlike under the previous system, which did not support students with dependent children or part-time students. Therefore, she can apply for Canada student loans and grants to help with the cost of going back to school.
    We are investing $225 million over four years to identify the skills gaps to be best prepared for the new economy. Kate will be able to find a place where she can make a long career because it is something that we are lacking enough talent in right now. This will help to promote job security for her. She will be a needed commodity in a field that needs more people who are newly trained and ready to work.
    In fact, as a student again, Kate will also possibly be able to get a co-op position, something in which budget 2017 is investing $221 million.
    We hope to create 10,000 work-integrated learning placements that link people from their education into an industry in which they can succeed.
    So far I have talked about how budget 2017 speaks to the experience of many in my downtown riding with young kids, who commute into work and who need flexibility in how they decide to arrange their life when things get difficult.
    On top of that, we are thinking about how families actually work. When times get tough, they turn to family and they turn to those around them. In my riding of Brampton South, family and community go hand in hand.
    That is why we are making significant measures for caregivers. We are creating the Canada caregiver credit to better support those when they need it most. This is a new, non-refundable credit to help caregivers, whether or not they live with their family member, to help pay for the burden of caregiving responsibilities. There is $310 million in total tax relief for families with caregiving responsibilities over the next five years.
    If Noor's mom lives up the street and he goes there to take care of her and he has to take time off work when he could have been at work making money, he can get credit on his taxes for that important work.
    More than that, if Noor and Kate think it is best to bring in a medical caregiver to Canada from elsewhere, in budget 2017 we have eliminated the $1,000 LMIA fee.
    Also, since Noor and Kate's total income is less than $150,000 altogether, they do not have to pay the LMIA fee for caregivers anymore either. Then Noor's mom can have regular medical attention, which means he can be at work while Kate is at school.
    As their current living space is draining their savings, they put in a request to be placed in affordable housing. With our historic investment of $3.2 billion in affordable housing, we are going to bring down the long wait times for a placement and help the provinces and territories to build new projects to increase access.
    Over the years, their little one will grow up doing things we would not have imagined, like learning code in elementary and high school. We are investing $50 million over the next two years for that.
    Also, the opportunities of the future will be global leading, through our investments in strategic innovation, superclusters, clean tech, artificial intelligence, smart cities, and future entrepreneurs.
    While the budget has so much for infrastructure, veterans, public safety officers, community infrastructure, and other important measures, and I could speak about so much more, I find myself thinking about how it will help people like Noor and Kate. There are so many people like them across Canada who are at the core of our success.
    People in my riding will benefit greatly from budget 2017 now and into the future. I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to talk about this, and I look forward to continuing to share this news in the weeks and months to come.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member spoke a lot about young couples and the benefits for them. However, these young couples will be watching the government, and it has no understanding of fiscal responsibility and no idea of when it will balance the budget. In fact, some of these new parents she was speaking of might not see the current government balance a budget by the time they become grandparents. What kind of a lesson does this member think the government is providing to those young families who are now learning to balance their own family budgets?
    Mr. Speaker, what my constituents should really be focused on is the number of things in budget 2017 that will benefit my riding. On top of the Canada child benefit and the middle-class tax cut, among dozens of other measures in budget 2016, budget 2017 will make a real difference for the middle class and all those working to join it. Also, budget 2017 will affect everyone, with such measures as affordable housing, which also has an effect on the member's riding.
    Mr. Speaker, one thing that the Liberals have failed to mention in this budget is their promise to close the stock option loopholes for the wealthiest CEOs in our country, which cost Canadian taxpayers over $750 million a year. They talk about their record investments into housing, and how they will spend over $8 billion. However, when we find out the details, we see it will only be $20 million this year. That is about 20 homes in Toronto and Vancouver. People are living on the street in my riding. Canadians are not fools. They see what the government is doing in its choices. The government has said that budgets are about decisions and about making choices. Why is the government choosing CEO tax loopholes over people living on the street? That is the question I have for the government.
    Mr. Speaker, this budget is focused on the middle class and how to grow the economy. I think our government did a very good job. Budget 2017 helps to build a stronger Canada. It also helps us invest in things that were neglected by the previous government for 10 years. It will help build up our infrastructure. It will also help all of our communities thrive.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Brampton South for her speech and interventions today, as well as for all of the work she is doing on behalf of her constituents. I wonder if she could comment on the investments made in support of Canadians. She has mentioned housing, day care, the Canada child benefit, and the need to build up our country by making sure Canadians are successful, wherever they are living in the country, whatever their background is; that everyone has a chance to be successful within the country given the investments that budget 2016 and now budget 2017 are putting forward.
    Mr. Speaker, this is a historic budget, and I will tell members why. We have put $5 billion on the table for mental health, which is really needed by our communities. I am thrilled, and I think everyone is thrilled, about that investment, and I applaud the health minister for that. That is something we can all come together to support. Every year, on the Bell Let's Talk and World Mental Health Day, we speak up about the issue that one in five people are affected with.
    Also, there is a historic investment into affordable housing and child care. Medical caregivers also have a big effect on our communities, and there are so many co-op placements. It is really a historic budget, and we should all support it.

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    The Liberals claim that this budget is all about the middle class and those working hard to join it. Let us talk about precisely that subject and examine some of the systematic wealth transfers the government is undertaking, to move money from the middle class and those working to join it to the most wealthy and well-connected people in Canada.
    Let us start with the carbon tax, which will charge $30 a tonne at the beginning and rise to $50 a tonne of emitted CO2 by the time it is fully implemented. That will undisputedly increase the cost of almost everything. According to finance department documents, it will increase the cost of gas, home heating, and groceries, and create a “cascade” of higher prices throughout the economy.
    Who will that affect? According to Statistics Canada, poor families spend a third more of their household income on the things that tax applies to than do rich households. That is because many of the costs I just laid out are fixed for families. It does not matter if people are rich or poor, they have to heat their homes and turn on the lights, and they have to eat.
    The more discretionary products that people enjoy, like going on long vacations or enjoying a luxurious time with their family at a fancy resort, would not consume nearly as great a percentage of the resources that are taxed under this regime, so the percentage impact on the incomes of poor families is much higher than on the incomes of rich families, the very definition of a regressive tax.
    Who will get the money? We know that in none of the provinces across the country will this tax be revenue neutral. Even British Columbia, which has the least damaging regime, is taking more in taxes than it is giving back in tax relief. Other provinces have convoluted schemes that require lobbyists, consultants, and political influence for anyone to get that money back.
    For example, in Ontario, people can get some of their carbon tax money back if they apply for a rebate on a $150,000 electric car. Now, that is going to be great for the millionaires and billionaires who drive Teslas, but not so great for minimum wage-earning secretaries or hairstylists struggling to pay for their kids' basic needs.
    We know that those who are well lobbied for, well organized, well connected, and just plain wealthy will get the lion's share of the proceeds of this tax. It is a wealth transfer from the middle class and those working to join it to the wealthiest one per cent.
    Then let us move to the national debt. This budget adds $25 billion to the national debt. What does that bring? It brings interest. To whom does it bring interest? It brings interest to those who can afford to buy government bonds. Who are those people? Are minimum wage-earning people buying governments bonds? Are single mothers struggling to pay for their groceries setting aside money to buy government bonds? No, of course they are not.
     In fact, the budget gets rid of the Canada savings bond, which used to be a vehicle of savings for Canadians, and that is an acknowledgement that it is not everyday Canadians who lend to the government anymore; it is wealthy institutional investors who like the risk-free return that government bonds offer, because they are backed up by a taxpayer guarantee.
    Therefore the higher-income people will necessarily benefit more from the billions of dollars in interest payments taxpayers will fund on this year's $25 billion deficit.
    Then there is the infrastructure bank. The Liberals have proposed an infrastructure bank that would offer loan guarantees and subordinated equity to large institutional investors building public infrastructure in Canada.

  (1355)  

    I have no problem with the private sector building public infrastructure. I do not even have a problem with the idea that it might benefit from the value it adds to the economy. However, profit cannot come without risk. At the end of the day, the profit-maker must be the risk-taker. However, the infrastructure bank is designed to lift the risk off the balance sheets of the wealthy investors and put it on to the backs of taxpayers. That is what loan guarantees do. If the project fails and it cannot repay its funds, there is a guarantee from the taxpayers to pay it back. A subordinated equity position would ensure that the taxpayer contribution to an infrastructure project would be the first dollar lost and the last dollar to get a return on.
    For example, if the infrastructure bank led to the construction of a toll bridge and that toll bridge made money, the private investors would get the profit of that money. However, if that bridge lost money by going over budget or coming in under revenue, then the taxpayer would take the loss. That is what subordinate equity means. It means the taxpayer would be subordinate to the wealthy interests that profit from this program.
    Then there is all this talk about innovative, accelerated, synergistic, supercluster, all the science fiction in the budget. They give as an example of that the $372 million taxpayer funded loan to Bombardier that was supposed to be really innovative, create lots of innovative jobs. In fact, 4,500 Bombardier's Canadian employees have lost or will be losing their jobs, while six executives are sharing $32 million in current and deferred compensation.
    If the government had required that the executives only make $200,000 a year, which the is the Liberal definition of “rich” out of its platform, then there would have been enough money to hire hundreds of additional employees at the median income rate that is defined by the budget to which I am speaking right now.
    If this corporate welfare were really about jobs and not about lining the pockets of well organized, well lobbied for, well lawyered, and well connected insiders, then there would have been guarantees for that public money to translate into real jobs for middle-class workers. There were no such guarantees. In fact, precisely the opposite occurred. The 1% of the 1% of the 1% made off like bandits. The billionaire Bombardier-Beaudoin family got reinforced with the taxpayer dollars funded by middle-class people in our country.
    These are but four examples of how this big and growing government has created a feeding frenzy with those who have the influence and the money to benefit from all the proceeds that are going out the door.
    We know that if we want to help the middle class and those working to join it, we do it by lowering taxes, opening up free enterprise, getting rid of all the favours, and allowing people to achieve great things based on their merits

[Translation]

    It being 1:52 p.m, pursuant to order made Monday, April 3, the question on the amendment to the amendment is deemed put and a recorded division is deemed requested and deferred until later this day at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Great Lakes are, indeed, one of our greatest natural resources. Twenty per cent of the world's surface fresh water exists in our Great Lakes and represents drinking water for 10 million Canadians and 25 million Americans. That is why I am so proud that in this budget, the government has committed $70.5 million over the next five years for our Great Lakes.
    I want to highlight for the communities of Ajax and Durham just how important that is. The watersheds in my region are the Carruthers Creek and Duffins watersheds. Durham is home to some of the most dynamic watersheds in the country. They are important in cleaning out and remediating water before it gets into Lake Ontario and playing an essential role in water quality.
    I am proud of the government's commitment and that Ajax is home to such an important resource.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, tax on tax. It sounds like a taxpayer's worst nightmare, and the Liberal government is the bogeyman.
    Budget 2016 projected GST revenues to increase by 21% over five years. Budget 2017 projects GST revenues to increase by 24%. The reason? When the Prime Minister said that carbon taxes would stay with the provinces and territories, he forgot to tell Canadians that GST collected on carbon taxes would go to Ottawa.
    I am proud to be working with Vernon city councillor Bob Spiers, promoting e-petition 713 to fight this tax-on-tax plan. I also thank the member for Langley—Aldergrove for introducing his private member's bill, Bill C-342, to end the Liberals' tax on taxes.
    While the government searches for ways to extract taxes, Canadians can count on the Conservatives to stand up for what is right. Help us fight tax on tax, support e-petition 713, and support Bill C-342.

[Translation]

Palliative Care Home

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend all of the volunteers who participated in the fundraiser for Maison des Collines on March 15. Since 2009, the steering committee has been working tirelessly toward its goal of building Maison des Collines, a six-bed palliative care home in the Collines-de-l'Outaouais RCM.
    This facility will meet the needs of patients and seniors, their family members, and the entire community. The organization partnered with the Au Vieux Duluth restaurant in Gatineau to serve 620 meals and raise over $20,000 in donations.
    Congratulations to the volunteers, particularly Dr. Richard Gold and Denis Joanisse, as well as to the entire organizing committee. Thank you to all those who donated to Maison des Collines.

[English]

Co-operative Housing

    Mr. Speaker, last break week, I took the opportunity to go door knocking and canvass constituents in my great riding of Vancouver Kingsway.
     I visited one of the many co-operative housing complexes in Vancouver, the Still Creek/Kaslo Gardens Co-op. Folks raised a variety of issues with me, ranging from climate change to child care to public transit, but by far the most common was the pressing need for affordable housing and the solution that co-operative housing offered as a proven model of providing quality homes in a community setting at reasonable prices.
     Still Creek and Kaslo Gardens are shining examples, with spacious two-, three-, and four-bedroom units, grouped around common green spaces. They provide safe play areas for children, foster close neighbours, and mix residents of every age, income level, family type, and culture.
    Co-op housing is a fabulous way to provide stable, affordable, and attractive housing. I call on the federal government to invest land and funds to bring this outstanding model to as many Canadians as possible, as soon as possible.

[Translation]

Sébastien Lapierre

    Mr. Speaker, today is one of the best days of my life because, this morning, I have had the privilege of accompanying Sébastien Lapierre on his visit to Parliament Hill. On January 9, 2017, Mr. Lapierre became the first Canadian to reach the South Pole on a solo expedition.
    Imagine travelling 1,200 km over 42 days and five hours with all that equipment, facing howling winds and temperatures of -50°C, completely alone.
    The people of the Quebec City region are lucky to benefit each day from the courage of this exceptional man who works as a firefighter there. Like Mr. Lapierre, I am originally from the beautiful Saguenay region and I too was a cadet when I was young.
    Most importantly, we both share the desire to promote the vital importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
    I congratulate Mr. Lapierre on behalf of all Canadians.

  (1405)  

[English]

Ronald McDonald House

    Mr. Speaker, last week, my first great-grandchild was born. My granddaughter Stephanie and her husband Justin welcomed Emma-Rose Muss into this world.
    Baby Emma-Rose had some internal problems, and her birth needed close monitoring. Like so many rural Canadian families, her parents stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver. Baby Emma-Rose is doing fine.
    Fifteen Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada give families a place to stay close to a hospital where their children are being treated. Ronald McDonald family rooms are located at strategic hospitals, giving families a place to rest and recharge. McDonald's supports these facilities by contributions from every happy meal it serves across Canada and through McHappy Days.
    From my family and all Canadians, I want to thank the Ronald McDonald foundation for the help, compassion, and family support it gives to rural Canadians.

Sleeping Giant Brewery Company

    Mr. Speaker, last week, I visited Thunder Bay's own Sleeping Giant Brewery Company and learned about its campaign to support women in business and the arts.
    On International Women's Day, the company invited women to come in and brew their Camperino beer. One dollar from every Camperino beer will be donated to start an education bursary for female entrepreneurs in memory of Jeannine Ross-Armstrong, who was tragically taken from us all far too soon. Jeannine contributed a great deal to the community of Thunder Bay, and this is the start of what will become an annual tradition to honour her.
    I thank Sleeping Giant Brewery Company for giving back to our community and supporting women in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, on April 1, I had the honour of hosting a town hall on our government's national housing strategy with the member for Spadina—Fort York.

[Translation]

    People are very grateful for the historic investment of $11.2 billion set out in the budget for affordable housing because it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to afford housing in Toronto and Don Valley East.
    The government listened to Canadians, the provinces, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. We hope that the provinces and the municipalities will be quick to take advantage of this.

[English]

    The residents of Don Valley East were very happy with our government's commitment to improving housing across the country. My constituents know that the national housing strategy will have a positive impact not only on millions of Canadians but on their neighbourhoods and communities.

Canadian Chiropractic Association

    Mr. Speaker, I invite colleagues to join me in welcoming the Canadian Chiropractic Association, whose members have come to Parliament today to meet with decision-makers and raise awareness of the role that back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions play in Canada's opioid crisis.
    Currently, Canada is the second-highest consumer of prescription opioids. Every year, over 2,000 Canadians die from the overuse of opioids, which accounts for 50% of all annual drug-related deaths.
    Canada's new draft opioid prescribing guidelines call for all health providers to prioritize non-pharmacological alternatives before making the decision to prescribe. With back pain as a key driver of opioid prescribing and excellent evidence supporting the use of clinical alternatives as first-line therapy, Canada's chiropractors are here to talk about a better approach to pain management for Canadians.
    Canadian chiropractors, as spine, muscle, and nervous system experts, play an important role in helping relieve the burden of back pain and MSK conditions.

Manitoba Flooding

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share my thoughts and concerns, and indeed those of all members of the House, for the communities of Manitoba affected by flooding of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. For the first nations communities impacted, our first priority is ensuring they are safe, secure, and out of the path of floodwaters.
    Over the weekend, with the aid of the Canadian Red Cross, community members impacted by rising waters were evacuated to Winnipeg, Brandon, and other local centres until levels recede. Officials are in contact with the communities in the region and are providing additional support for ongoing flood preparation.
    The thoughts of all Canadians are with the residents of Manitoba affected by the flooding, as well as with the first responders who have been working to keep them safe. As Manitobans, we are resilient, and have a strong tradition of community and co-operation.

  (1410)  

Canadian Ports

    Mr. Speaker, it is exciting to recognize Canada's 18 world-class port authorities in recognition of Western Hemisphere Ports Day, because our ports create 250,000 direct and indirect jobs and are responsible for $400 billion in trade each and every year. Half of that, $200 billion, flows through Vancouver, creating $6.1 billion in wages for Canadians. Recently a Deloitte report benchmarking European maritime hubs against global leading maritime hubs named Vancouver, for the first time in our history, as a global giant. Vancouver is becoming a maritime investment hub and a competitive jurisdiction for maritime companies to locate jobs and make investments.
    Canada is a Pacific nation, it is and always has been a trading nation, and our ports benefit Canadians each and every day.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Juno awards gala was held on Sunday evening to recognize the efforts of Canadian artists who stand out in the music industry and who shine a light on our beautiful Canadian culture.
    I congratulate all the winners and I thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage for her impassioned, heartfelt, and emotional speech, which she delivered in French, the language of Molière.
     That is what I would have liked to say in the House today, but I cannot.
    The Minister of Official Languages did not bother to speak French, but then again that part of her title was eliminated. A minister from Quebec who boasts about defending both of our country's official languages fell short of her duties and obligations. What a missed opportunity. Defending French takes more than hiding behind fine words. Every time she speaks publicly, she has to do so in both official languages—
    Order. The hon. member for Fredericton.

[English]

St. Petersburg Metro Explosion

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the St. Petersburg metro was the scene of a terrible bomb attack that killed 14 people and injured many more. Many remain in critical condition. We strongly condemn the use of violence in any form.
    Canada is home to over 550,000 Canadians of Russian descent and with Russian ties. I rise today to share our deepest condolences with the families and friends of those killed in this cowardly attack, as well as our thoughts and prayers with all those injured and of course with the Russian people.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, starting today, the City of Hamilton and Vibrant Communities Canada are hosting the third annual poverty reduction summit. The summit will bring together major business leaders; community organizers; mayors; municipal, provincial, and federal governments; indigenous leaders; and, most importantly, persons who have experienced poverty.
    We all know that one of the most important pieces of poverty reduction is safe, affordable housing. There are 5,700 families on the waiting list for affordable housing in Hamilton.
    A recent United Nations committee report called on the government to substantially increase the availability of affordable housing. In Hamilton, 5,700 families on a waiting list is unacceptable. I am encouraged by the government's promise to fund affordable housing, both in Hamilton and across the country. Let us hope this is a promise the government can actually keep, but the funding has to start now and not after the next election. In Hamilton, 5,700 families are counting on it.

By-elections

    Mr. Speaker, spring has sprung and the snow is melting, and Alberta is still true blue.
    The residents of Calgary Heritage and Calgary Midnapore sent a clear message to the Liberal government yesterday. The voters said goodbye to the Liberals' so-called sunny ways, which for many Albertans have only led to darker days, and looked ahead with hope in their eyes to many more days of clear blue skies.
    In yesterday's by-elections, Albertans broke through the buzzwords, ignored the selfies, and took a strong stance against the Liberal government. Albertans clearly rejected the Liberals' massive deficits, reckless spending, and plans for a job-killing carbon tax.
    I know that running in an election is incredibly gruelling. I want to thank Stephanie Kusie, Bob Benzen, and their teams for all their hard work. Congratulations go to Bob and Stephanie. I know they will both be outstanding representatives for their ridings and strong voices for the Canadian taxpayer.

  (1415)  

By-elections

    Mr. Speaker, soon five new members will join us here on Parliament Hill and take their seats in this place. I will take this moment to speak to all the candidates and the campaigns that have been working so hard on behalf of their constituents, to congratulate them for their hard work, their diligence, and their commitment to public service.

[Translation]

    I myself was elected in a by-election. Like other parliamentarians, the time, energy, and commitment we put into a campaign are tremendous.

[English]

    To all the volunteers who knocked on doors and made phone calls, thank you. To all the candidates who called and listened to the people of their ridings, thank you.

[Translation]

    I would like to congratulate our five colleagues, three of them women, who will soon be sworn in. Now it is time to get to work.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Aerospace Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims he is frustrated with Bombardier for using tax dollars to boost the paycheques of its executives. Frustrated? This is his deal. This is actually the Prime Minister's deal, so if he is frustrated with anyone, he should look in the mirror, because he is the one who did the deal with no strings attached. He gave Bombardier hundreds of millions of dollars while it was laying off thousands of people.
    Why is the Prime Minister giving millions of dollars to CEOs and leaving taxpayers with the bill?
    Mr. Speaker, the investment that was made, the repayable contribution of $372.5 million, was to promote research and development, and the strings were very clear. It will help create 1,300 good-quality, high-value-added jobs. That is exactly what our government has committed to doing.
     We are focused on innovation and on the aerospace sector. We want to support the small- and medium-sized ecosystem of businesses that are connected with that industry. We are going to continue to invest in the sector and make sure we create good-quality, high-value-added jobs.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did this while he was telling Canadians to send more of their tax dollars to Ottawa. His latest budget nickel-and-dimes Canadians for everything from beer to their bus passes.
    It would be one thing if we knew that the money was being used to create jobs or maybe to balance the budget, but instead part of it is going to Bombardier so that it can pay its CEOs millions of dollars.
    Why, with all of this, should Canadians give one more cent to the Prime Minister? Why should they trust him with their money?
    Mr. Speaker, we have a plan, and it is working for Canadians. That plan is to make sure that we focus on jobs.
    Since the member opposite talked about jobs, in the last seven months there were 250,000 good-quality jobs created from coast to coast to coast. There were 900 jobs at Bell Helicopter, plus an additional 100; GE Welland, 220 jobs; Thomson Reuters, 1,500 jobs; GM Canada, up to 1,000 engineering jobs. Most recently, at Ford, 800 good-quality jobs were secured because of this government's investment in the automotive sector.
    Mr. Speaker, how can this minister or the Prime Minister continue to defend this deal? They gave public money to a company that is giving millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives while it is laying off 14,000 people. How can he possibly continue to defend this deal?
    Mr. Speaker, we always have and we always will continue to defend the aerospace sector. This sector is so critical to the Canadian economy. It contributes $28 billion to our national economic prosperity. Over 211,000 jobs are connected to the aerospace sector.
     That is why we made a repayable contribution worth $372.5 million in research and development, which will help secure up to 1,300 good-quality jobs. We will never shy away from focusing on investing in Canadians, focusing on supporting the aerospace sector, and growing the economy and creating good-quality jobs.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, people are outraged by the arrogance of the deal between Bombardier and the Liberals and the lack of respect for taxpayers. Thousands of Bombardier workers have lost their jobs. The Prime Minister is responsible for the deal, and he continues to defend it.
    How can the Prime Minister give millions of dollars to corporate executives and stick taxpayers with the bill?
    Mr. Speaker, I understand Canadians' concerns. At the same time, it is very important for our government to support the aerospace industry. That is why we invested $372 million in research and development. That investment will create jobs and help small and medium-sized businesses. That has always been one of our government's priorities.

[English]

Standing Orders of the House of Commons

    Mr. Speaker, the arrogance is staggering when it comes to this issue, but now we are seeing it here in Parliament, where the Prime Minister has decided that question period in Parliament is nothing more than an inconvenience for him. He does not like the idea of being questioned or being held to account for his actions. That is why he is now trying to use his majority power to ram through changes to the rules of the House, and the only purpose for those changes is to make his life easier.
    Why is the Prime Minister so scared to face the accountability that every other prime minister before him had to face?
    Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, we committed to modernizing Parliament and making it a 21st century workplace.
    As a direct result of the Harper government's approach to Parliament over 10 years, we promised Canadians we would bring a new approach to Ottawa to ensure that their voices were also heard in this place. In our discussion paper, we put forward some ideas that would bring about this change. I have been meeting with the other House leaders and am hopeful that we can build on these conversations. As promised to Canadians, we are committed to modernizing the House of Commons.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister committed to forming a government that, unlike the Conservatives, would be “open to discussion and debate”. He also vowed that he wanted to end the concentration of power initiated by his father.
    The Liberal proposals include the Prime Minister showing up just once a week. Imagine that.
    I am forced to ask the government House leader a question that she will likely get a lot if the Liberals force through their parliamentary power grab. How does she feel having to cover for the Prime Minister?
    Mr. Speaker, I am actually very proud to be serving alongside a Prime Minister and a team that have taken a different approach to doing government. I am proud to stand with a government that has taken on unprecedented levels of public consultations—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, order. We cannot hear the answer. We need to hear the answer. The government House leader has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that is listening to Canadians and actually responding to the very real challenges that they are facing.
    On the discussion paper that we released, that I released, it is a conversation worth having. We all know that this place can function better. We know what the previous government's attempts were in this House. We believe that we can improve the conditions in this place so that every member of Parliament has the opportunity to be part of a conversation, to be part of a debate. I will continue to advance, and have, those important conversations.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government could have simply said that it would not unilaterally change how our democracy works. Instead, it is about to force this power grab on us.
    Does the Liberal government at least understand the precedent it is setting?
    Is it really ready to abandon the traditional rule of consensus, only to advance its own short-term interests?
    Mr. Speaker, as I just said, during the election campaign, we committed to modernizing Parliament and making it a workplace worthy of the 21st century.
    As a direct result of the Harper government's approach to Parliament, we promised Canadians that we would bring a new approach to Ottawa and ensure that their voices were heard in the House.
     In our discussion paper, we put forward some ideas that would support this change. I encourage all members to work together.

  (1425)  

[English]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, speaking of Liberals helping themselves, there is more news today regarding the Prime Minister's illegal vacation to a private island.

[Translation]

     We have learned that the Liberal government gave taxpayers' money to a close friend of the Prime Minister in order to cover the expenses of a technician on the private island. This payment proves that the rest of the trip was actually a gift accepted by the Prime Minister and several other Liberal friends.
    Will the Prime Minister rise today, finally take responsibility, and admit that he broke the law?
     Mr. Speaker, as has been the case for previous prime ministers, the Prime Minister is always in contact with his office and routinely receives documentation during all travel, domestically and internationally, whether on personal or government business.
    The Prime Minister must always be ready to carry out his official duties. As was already mentioned, the Prime Minister was on a family holiday with a long-time friend.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals initially tried to hide the details of this illegal vacation. When it was revealed, the Ethics Commissioner started not one but two official investigations.
    The Prime Minister continues to claim it is all okay, move along, nothing to see here, because the Aga Khan is a close family friend. Are Canadians supposed to believe that the trip would have been more inappropriate if they were not so close?
    Mr. Speaker, as has always been the case for previous prime ministers, the Prime Minister is always in contact with his office and is routinely provided with necessary resources during all travel, domestic and international. Whether on personal or government business, the Prime Minister must always be ready to do the important duties he has as Prime Minister, and this has been the case for that office always.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we are celebrating our country's 150th anniversary. Never before has a prime minister been subject to an investigation like the one being conducted at present.
    When the Liberals came to power, they talked about doing things differently. They are not walking the talk. They talk a lot about sunny ways, transparency, and co-operation. The majority is imposing what is in its own interest on Parliament. That is not how Canada has functioned for 150 years. That amounts to a lack of respect for the opposition.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we are celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. This is a really important year.
    For the first time in the history of our country, we have gender parity in our cabinet. For the first time in the history of our country, we have a woman in the role of the government House leader. For the first time in our country, we have people working together, a government responding to the very real challenges that Canadians are facing.
    We will continue to work hard for Canadians. We will continue to respond to the very real challenges they are facing. I am very proud of the leadership of the Prime Minister and the work this government is doing.

[Translation]

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, we are in the House of Commons, the place where Canadians send their elected officials to speak on their behalf, and we are getting answers like that.
    We all know that this year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Liberals do not seem to realize that because they are abandoning the approach taken by all former prime ministers. No prime minister has ever shown such disrespect for the opposition as the Liberals are demonstrating right now.
    The member mentioned the election campaign. The Liberals said that they would run a deficit of $10 billion and would balance the budget by 2019. They also said that they would reform the electoral system. They do not do what they say they will. They are not being consistent.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.
    Our government's top priority is to make wise and responsible investments to strengthen the middle class, grow the economy, and prepare Canadians for the economy of today and tomorrow.
    We can see that our plan is working. Over the past seven months, the economy has created over 250,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate has dropped from 7.1% to 6.6%. We are moving forward and we are happy with the progress being made.

  (1430)  

[English]

Standing Orders of the House of Commons

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are outraged and they are expressing their concerns about the Prime Minister's power grab. Even the media has condemned his actions.
    Today after question period we will be voting on a motion calling on the Liberals to finally commit to not changing the Standing Orders unless they have agreement from the opposition parties.
    Will the Liberals do the right thing and once and for all stop this attempt to ram these changes through? Will they agree to our motion?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned time and time again, in the election campaign, we committed to modernizing Parliament and making it a 21st century workplace. As a direct result of the Harper government's approach to Parliament over 10 years, we promised Canadians that we would bring a new approach to Ottawa to ensure that their voices were also heard in this place.
    We respect the work of the committee. We respect that the Conservatives yesterday wanted to have a debate on the Standing Orders, something we have been asking for for quite a long time, rather than discussing the very good budget that we introduced, budget 2017, that will be helping middle-class families and those working hard to join it.
    We look forward to working with members opposite. We will continue to work—
    The hon. opposition House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, it is those kinds of non-answers that are eroding our democracy.
    What gives the Prime Minister the right to disrespect Parliament and ram these changes through? What gives him the right to silence anyone who dares criticize him? What gives him the right to trample all over this House of Commons?
    At a minimum, will he allow his backbenchers a free vote on this motion that affects them so directly, or will he trample all over your rights too?
    I remind the opposition House leader to always direct her comments to the Chair.
    The hon. government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, we encourage all members to have a voice in this House. We encourage them to represent their constituents. That is exactly what we were elected to do. That was not the—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    We want to encourage the voice of the person who has the floor, not everybody else's voice.
    The hon. government House leader has the floor. Let us have a little order.
    Mr. Speaker, we will always encourage our members of Parliament to represent their constituents. That is exactly what we were elected to do. That was not the approach of the previous government. We know that the Harper government did not take that approach when dealing in this House. We believe that we can modernize this place. We will continue to work better together. We encourage all members on all sides to have this very important conversation. However, we will not give a veto to the Conservatives over our campaign commitments.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, the ethics of the Prime Minister's bohemian billionaire island holiday bash are getting murkier by the day. We now know that the government reimbursed the Aga Khan for at least one government employee's stay on this private island. Why are government per diems being paid to the Prime Minister's billionaire friend?
    Will the Prime Minister admit finally that his middle-class boasting does not wash when he treats the public purse like his personal piggy bank?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have answered this question, I will remind the member that, as has been the case for previous prime ministers, the Prime Minister is always in contact with his office and is routinely provided with necessary resources during all travel, domestic and international, and whether on personal or government business.
    What Canadians have elected this government to do is to deliver on a plan to grow the economy and to create jobs. In the last seven months, over a quarter million good, full-time jobs have been created for Canadians. That is exactly the growth they are expecting. We will continue to advance what they have mandated us to do.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister brought a government technician with him on his trip to the Aga Khan's billionaire island. We also know that the employee's per diems were paid out to the Aga Khan, which is of course flying in the face of accountability.
    Did the employee actually do any work for the taxpayers? That is what we want to know. Are the taxpayers on the hook or is the government's position that the Aga Khan is merely an Airbnb?
    Mr. Speaker, this government was elected on a plan to grow the economy, to support middle-class Canadians, and those working hard to join them. That is exactly why we lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians by increasing taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians.
     Irrespective of the Prime Minister's schedule or planned events, the Prime Minister must always be prepared to carry out his official duties. That is why he is always given the necessary resources, regardless of when he is travelling, whether for personal or business reasons.

  (1435)  

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, I guess this island was an all exclusive.

[Translation]

    People are tired of seeing the wealthy hide their money in Barbados or the Cayman Islands. If the Liberal government were serious about tax havens, we could get at least $8 billion. With that, we could offer university studies to our students or pharmacare to everyone.
    Getting this money back is a priority for the NDP because it is our money. The Liberals voted in favour of our motion on this, but they have done absolutely nothing since then. Is this the old Liberal tactic of putting on a show while continuing to help their millionaire pals?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to see that the party opposite is aligning its thinking with ours. In the last budget, which we have just tabled, we invested $524 million to continue to fight tax evasion and tax shelters. Last year, we got $13 billion with the $444 million we invested. We will continue with our work.

[English]

Employment

    Mr. Speaker, last week, reports were released that CIBC is cutting 130 Canadian jobs and outsourcing them to India in a move to save money. This comes from a bank that made $1.4 billion in profits last quarter.
    Will the minister agree with me that this is completely unacceptable when so many Canadians are still looking for work? With a budget with investments that are ringing hollow for many, what is the government doing to create jobs in Canada?
     Mr. Speaker, we presented a budget that focused on Canadians, that focused on skills and innovation, to create opportunities and to create jobs. This is to build on the first successful budget that has really shown a clear indication that the job market is getting better in Canada. More than 250,000 jobs have been created over the last seven months. In particular, this budget is going to focus on additional opportunities built on the past, which is about creating jobs and opportunities. I am confident that we will continue to see positive trends going forward in the economy, in trade, in the retail sector, and in the job market.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, when the defence minister was in Iraq in 2015, he said, “I haven't had one discussion about the CF-18s”. However, an email from Global Affairs states that at a December 2015 meeting, the Iraqi defence minister pleaded with the Liberal government to reconsider withdrawing Canada's fighter jets, on numerous occasions.
    How can the defence minister blatantly ignore the requests of the Iraqi government and then turn around and knowingly mislead Canadians about it?
    Mr. Speaker, we have revamped our mission in Iraq. Whenever we send troops on operations, our government and I take it very seriously. That is why I spent two separate trips going into the region, talking to our coalition partners, talking to the regional leadership there, to make sure we have a plan that is actually going to have an impact. That is the plan that we had: making sure we have the right troops on the ground, the right intelligence. The results are showing that the work of defeating ISIS in Mosul is happening on the ground now. That is the plan that we had, and I am very proud of that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, when we hear the minister talk about the withdrawal of CF-18s from Iraq, it is as if the request came from the allies.
    In a heavily redacted report from the Department of Foreign Affairs, we learned that the Iraqi defence minister was very concerned about the withdrawal of the CF-18s and asked Canada to reconsider its decision several times. The response of the Iraqi government in an official document of the Canadian government is very different from what the minister said.
    Who is telling the truth, the Minister of National Defence or the officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have had numerous discussions with my coalition partners and the Iraqi leadership, including the peshmerga, to get a good understanding of what is happening on the ground, to look at what we needed to do in the future. That is exactly what we have done. We put a plan in place that actually provides value to the coalition, and those are the results that we are having right now. We will continue to be a responsible partner to any coalition we belong to.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, the minister is not listening to our coalition partners. Nobody can believe him anymore.
    Let me read a direct quote from the foreign minister of the Kurdish regional government. In November 2015, he said:
    We would like to tell [Canada] that the air strikes have been effective.... They have saved lives. They have helped destroy the enemy.
...if it were for us [to decide], we request that to continue.
    Only in the defence minister's fairytale land of alternative facts could this be interpreted as support.
    Why is the defence minister blatantly misleading Canadians yet again?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that, when it comes to being a good coalition partner, we have to talk with the coalition and look at the situation on ground to be able to actually understand what the needs are. They asked for intelligence. We are making sure we have the right type of trainers.
    I would also like to be able to respond to the member opposite by saying this is the reason we are having an impact on the ground, the reason we are having the good results in the Mosul operation, because of the great work we have done on the ground and because of the right intelligence we have put on the ground.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we are not asking if the mission is going well or if the soldiers currently on the ground are doing a good job; we know they are doing a good job. We want to know whether the Iraqis asked to keep the CF-18s in Iraq, yes or no. The minister is saying no, but the Iraqis are saying yes.
    Who is telling the truth?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I said, I had many discussions with the previous minister of defence from Iraq, as well as the current one. We spoke with the coalition partners and have also taken a regional approach, because that is what we need to do to be a responsible coalition partner. I have worked in coalitions before. We need to be able to provide the right resources at the right time, and that is exactly what we have done.

[Translation]

International Development

    Mr. Speaker, no one understood that the expression “Canada is back” could also mean “Canada is lagging behind”. However, this is absolutely the case when it comes to international aid.
    Instead of joining the leading group of countries that devote 0.7% of their GDP to the fight against extreme poverty, the Minister of Finance is plunging us into an era of austerity whose mantra is the age-old refrain, “Do more with less.”
    Does the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie approve what her colleague from the Department of Finance is saying, or will she stand up to demand more?
    Mr. Speaker, as you know, we conducted a broad consultation last year. Our partners asked us for three things: leadership, good policies and funding.
    We have already proven our leadership on several occasions. Just think of the global fund: with our partners, we have managed to amass $13 billion to wipe out AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We were asked for good policies, and $650 billion was committed to sexual and reproductive health. We are congratulated the world over for this. In addition, we are showing leadership in innovative funding.

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, given the escalating humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria and the growing famine in Africa, it is hard to imagine how the government is going to provide leadership with no new humanitarian funding in its budget.
    Last Friday, the Liberals quietly announced in a press release that our mission in Iraq would be extended in a way that draws Canadian Forces further into combat. Had Canadians been asked, many would have called for a larger and more urgent focus on humanitarian assistance and stabilization efforts, rather than on new contributions to combat operations.
    Will the minister commit to a debate and a vote here in the House before extending our mission in Iraq beyond June 30?
    Mr. Speaker, as stated earlier, we want to make sure we have the right information on the situation on the ground before we make a decision. That is the reason why we made a decision to extend the mission three months to make sure that we have the right information, that we have good discussions with our coalition partners; it allows us to make an appropriate plan so that we continue to have a good impact on the ground, as we have done in the past.

[Translation]

Family, Children and Social Development

    Mr. Speaker, today is national family caregiver day. Those who help sick or dying relatives deserve great recognition for their dedication. Budget 2017 sets out new measures to support these people, who sometimes have to take time away from work to care for their family members.
    Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us about the new program for family caregivers?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Vimy and congratulate her on her work in support of family caregivers. We are pleased to honour our commitment to supporting those who help their loved ones through more inclusive and flexible benefits. It will soon be easier for Canadians to take time off to care for family members experiencing health problems. These improvements will provide financial support to caregivers and protect their jobs during these difficult times.
    I hope I can count on the support of all members of Parliament when our proposed changes are presented to them.

  (1445)  

[English]

Aerospace Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the salary for the Canada Post CEO is set out in a cabinet order at $523,000 a year, yet Bombardier executives will earn 10 times that amount each in current and deferred compensation, just as the Prime Minister hands them $400 million in tax dollars. If these executives had earned the same amount as the Canada Post CEO, the company would have saved enough money to hire more than 500 middle-class Canadians.
    Why did the government not require it to do that before handing over such a big chunk of change?
    Mr. Speaker, the investment that we made, the repayable contribution of $372.5 million, will help secure 1,300 good-quality jobs and will help position the aerospace sector to create new technologies and new solutions, so we create additional jobs as well. This investment was not only about one company, but it was about a supplier base to help the small businesses that support the aerospace sector.
    We will continue to support the aerospace sector. It is important to our national economy. It creates good-quality jobs. We will always defend this sector.

The Budget

    Mr. Speaker, the company is actually laying off jobs after it received taxpayers' money. In fact, these six executives will earn more than the average 600 Canadians. That is what the Liberals meant, I guess, when they said they were going to help the middle class and those working to join it.
    This budget forces middle-class taxpayers to pay higher taxes for groceries and gas, for beer and bus passes, for almost everything, while the wealthiest one per cent make off like bandits.
    Will the Liberals finally admit that their whole middle-class agenda was a fraud?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that it is this government that has lowered taxes for nine million Canadians and increased taxes for the wealthiest one per cent. We have also introduced the Canada child benefit program, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We have also increased the guaranteed income supplement by 10%. That certainly will help many Canadians.
    We are pleased with our plan. It will continue to go ahead.

[Translation]

Public Transit

    Mr. Speaker, when the budget was tabled, the government was awfully proud of how feminist and green a budget it was. However, by eliminating the public transit tax credit, which had a direct impact on Canadian workers, it is dismantling the Conservative government's green policies and taking aim at some of society's least fortunate. Yes, I know my colleagues will balk at the notion of Conservative green policies, but that does not make them any less real. It is also interesting to note that 53% of the people who benefited from this credit were women.
    Why is the government attacking green policies and women?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    Our government will be giving the provinces and territories $20.1 billion to improve public transit. The public transit tax credit benefited wealthier people the most but did little to alleviate the tax burden on low-income Canadians. That is why we are investing in public transit to transform the way Canadians live, travel, and get to work.
    Mr. Speaker, what we just heard is unbelievable.
    The green credit for public transit benefited the rich? I have never seen any one of Bombardier's board of directors using public transit, even though the company made great subway cars at its La Pocatière plant.
    Will the government finally acknowledge that targeting this excellent initiative for public transit and for the average Canadian is an incredible mistake on its part?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, it was our government that lowered taxes for the middle class and that increased them for the rich. It was also our government that introduced the Canada child benefit, which helped lift thousands of children out of poverty. We continue to make investments to help the middle class and we are working hard to support it. We are moving forward.

  (1450)  

Softwood Lumber

    Mr. Speaker, time is marching on, and we still do not have a plan B in place on the softwood lumber issue. The budget represents a missed opportunity to protect the industry and the workers. By April 24, an additional surtax of up to 30% will be added to Canadian lumber sold in the United States.
    The Union des municipalités du Québec is asking for loan guarantees to deal with the economic impact this will have on our industry. We have to act before the industry is brought to its knees and thousands of jobs are lost.
    Will the government stop talking and take action?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. colleague that the Government of Canada has been in very close conversation and co-operation with all of the regions that would be affected by that action. I am particularly impressed with the co-operative spirit that has been displayed by the Quebec government in this matter, because the government understands that working co-operatively with Canada is the best way that we can protect very important jobs in the forestry sector.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the military ombudsman has reported that DND retaliates when reports critical of the department are released by his office. DND has also called the ombudsman “low influence, low interest” in initiatives to fix the failed transition process. It is unacceptable for a department to interfere with the work or be dismissive of the ombudsman. Will the minister honour the ombudsman's request and make the office independent from the department so he reports directly to Parliament to fulfill the mandate and effectively serve the military and veteran communities?
    Mr. Speaker, the ombudsman's office does really good work for men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. In fact, I met with the ombudsman on a number of occasions based on his report. A lot of his recommendations we put into place, especially when it came to the Valcartier cadet incident from 1974 and some of the great work that has also been done regarding the transition. We have incorporated a lot of those recommendations into the defence policy. The independence of his office is very important for that office to do the work and continue to do so.

Government Appointments

    Mr. Speaker, Jennifer Stebbing has been named the director of the Hamilton Port Authority. She is a failed Liberal candidate and has already said she is going to run again. She is also a self-described politico and outdoor enthusiast. While that might make her a wonderful Liberal candidate, it is not clear how she meets the job requirements, as posted on Transport Canada's website.
    Will the Minister of Transport tell us what accepted stature within the transportation industry this failed Liberal candidate has?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, our government has adopted an open and transparent process that aims to recognize that it is important to find the best-qualified people to ensure—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I had no trouble hearing the question. I would like to hear the answer. I am sure members would like to hear the answer. The hon. Minister of Transport has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, our government has adopted an open, transparent system that identifies the best people and also takes into account diversity and gender balance. That is what we have achieved.
    On the member's specific question concerning Jennifer Stebbing, she has vast legal experience, serving in leadership positions in the Halton County Law Association, the Hamilton-Halton Women's Lawyers Association, and the Hamilton Taxpayer Coalition, of which she is president.
    We are very pleased—
    The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    Mr. Speaker, how can anyone believe the Liberals are being open and transparent in filling appointments? Liberal appointments are like a fixed backroom poker game, and on this Western Hemisphere Ports Day, Jennifer Stebbing and Darin Deschamps seem to know how to play the game, after being appointed to port authorities. Stebbing ran for the Liberals in the last election, while Deschamps played his cards right, pushing over $5,000 into the Liberal Party pot.
    Why do the Liberals not just come clean and admit that only donors are getting appointments?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. We are adopting a system that identifies the best and most qualified people. It is an open and transparent process, and I am glad to say that lots of very well-qualified people are applying.
    We look at it from that point of view, open and transparent. We are trying to achieve diversity and gender balance. I think we are doing a great job, if we look at the people who have been appointed.

  (1455)  

    Order. I ask the member from Brantford—Brant to restrain himself so he can hear his friend, the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil, who has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, the ante on Liberal patronage keeps going up.
    Jim Spatz, a developer who paid $1,500 to attend a Liberal cash for access fundraiser with the Minister of Finance, is also in on the game. Last week he had the winning hand and was reappointed to a three-year term as a director of the Halifax Port Authority.
    The Liberals' press release said the new appointments “follow the Government of Canada's open, transparent...appointment process”. When it comes to appointments, should the Liberals not be using the disclaimer, “only donors to the Liberal Party need apply”?
    Mr. Speaker, I love this opportunity to talk about Jim Spatz. Jim Spatz has vast community experience serving, for example, on NDP Premier Darrell Dexter's advisory council on the economy, and also, for five years, as chair of the board of Dalhousie University. He was voted an outstanding businessman in Halifax.
    We are very honoured and lucky to have him on the Halifax Port Authority.

Transport

    Mr. Speaker, we all know how vital the transportation system is to Canada's economy. Continually improving our transportation system is crucial.
    Can the minister please update Canadians on how investments in budget 2017 will strengthen communities like the ones I represent in Central Nova, help Canadians move faster across our country, and get goods to markets more efficiently?
    Mr. Speaker, trade corridors are vital to Canada's economy and are a very important part of our mandate. In fact, in the 2017 budget, $2 billion was identified for a national trade corridors fund. We are using that money for prioritizing important transportation investments that will minimize congestion and remove bottlenecks in our vital trade corridors. We want our trucks and our trains and our planes and our ships to move across this country as efficiently as possible and out to world markets. That is what we are doing.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, each day the Liberals are allowing more and more criminals to go free because they are incapable of making judicial appointments. While we were in office, in one month we appointed more than the Liberals have appointed in 16 months. Those appointments were inclusive of Canadian society.
     What is it about the government that makes it so comfortable with endangering the lives of Canadians by allowing dangerous offenders to go free? Can the government answer that?
    Order. I would encourage the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt to restrain himself.
    The hon. Minister of Justice.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to stand up to speak about the new judicial appointments process that our government has instituted to ensure openness and transparency.
    I am pleased to talk about the new judicial advisory committees we have put in place to ensure that our judiciary reflects the diversity of Canada and is merit-based. We have made substantive appointments to the superior courts, and we will continue to do so.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal budget removed an important transit rebate. In Nanaimo—Ladysmith, coastal ferry users were greatly aided by this tax credit. Given that the B.C. Liberals have hiked coastal ferry fares at over ten times the rate of inflation, the federal rebate cut the cost of daily ferry travel and helped make ends meet.
    For a government that talks a lot about how it supports the middle class, this move does not make any sense. Will the Liberals reconsider and restore this important rebate?
    Mr. Speaker, our government will provide $20.1 billion in funding to provinces and territories to improve public transit. This funding will make it possible for Canadian communities to build a new urban transit network and service extensions.
    The public transit tax credit delivered the highest benefits to the wealthiest while providing little or no relief to the lowest-income Canadians. That is why we are making the investments in transit that will transform the way Canadians live, move, and go to work.

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that transit is very important and critical to a high quality of life, getting to work on time, and getting home after work to meet their families. In British Columbia, many communities rely on ferries in order to do this kind of communication and transportation. Could the Minister of Infrastructure tell us how and what the government is doing to increase connectivity and safety for ferry users.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member and all the B.C. MPs, including the members of the NDP, for advocating changes to the new Building Canada fund to include ferry infrastructure, which was excluded by the Harper government from funding.
    Working with the Province of British Columbia, we are funding $201 million toward three ferry projects. Once completed, these projects will increase safety, make it faster and easier for passengers to travel, and promote tourism and economic growth in British Columbia.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, the criteria and objectives of the Canada 150 fund changed in summer 2016. In question 50, part G, of the general application form, applicants must provide a 20-line summary of their project and indicate how it meets the objectives previously described. Then, like magic, the form changed in the summer of 2016, disqualifying hundreds of projects from organizations wanting to take part in the festivities.
    Will the minister confirm the changes to the criteria and objectives of the Canada 150 fund in the summer of 2016?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are excited about the Canada 150 celebrations.
    We have received thousands of applications worth almost $2 billion, for a fund that is only $200 million. We want celebrations and projects across the country that are specifically based on four themes. Members of this House are, of course, aware of that. These include youth, diversity and inclusion, the environment, and reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Our goal is to achieve equitable regional distribution. It will be a great year for all.

Aerospace Industry

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are angry about the greediness of Bombardier executives. After cutting jobs and begging for handouts, these executives are giving themselves a 48% pay raise. This goes beyond cynicism. It is obscene. Quebeckers have every reason to be outraged.
    Will the Prime Minister join Quebeckers in asking Bombardier executives to forgo their pay raises for 2016?
    Mr. Speaker, I understand Canadians' and Quebeckers' concerns. At the same time, it is very important that our government support the aerospace industry. That is why we invested $372 million in research and development. This investment will create jobs and help small and medium-sized businesses. That is a priority for our government, and we are going to continue to work hard for the aerospace industry.

Canadian Coast Guard

    Mr. Speaker, once again, Ottawa's negligence and laissez-faire approach are hurting Quebec.
     Ottawa has shown once again, through negligence, that Quebec would be much better off on its own. Until February 17, a Rio Tinto ship was stuck in the ice for two days, because of a serious shortage of icebreakers on the St. Lawrence. There are five, when there should be 11 of them.
    Will the government stop tarnishing Quebec's reputation internationally and start listening to the Quebec government, which wants to see twice as many icebreakers on the St. Lawrence?
    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers keep our waters safe and accessible to vessels carrying people and goods to and from Canadian ports.
    The Coast Guard works closely with the marine industry, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to meet all our clients' ice breaking needs. With its fleet of 17 icebreakers and hovercraft, the Coast Guard provides essential ice breaking services on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, as well as in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. We will continue to ensure that those waterways are navigable at all times.

[English]

Points of Order

Decorum  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. As we know, we are debating in this place changing the Standing Orders, but I would like to refer, for my point of order, to our existing rules, Standing Orders 16(2) and 18. The combined effect of these two Standing Orders is that interrupting members or speaking disrespectfully of them violates the rules of this place.
    The amount of heckling, which I know many members say they would like to curtail, is getting completely out of hand from my little corner. The Liberals no longer heckle, but the Conservatives and the New Democrats are heckling fiercely, and it is a violation of this place.

  (1505)  

    I thank the hon. member for raising this point of order and referring to Standing Orders. I remind members that those are the rules. The member is quite correct that those are the Standing Orders and I ask members on all sides to abide by them. Members will know that I, in fact, have called upon members from at least two sides today to restrain themselves, but I would like if everyone did it all the time.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, during my member's statement earlier, I talked about the five candidates who were elected in yesterday's by-elections. Unfortunately, I said there were only three women, when there are actually four. I wish to apologize and, with the permission of the House, correct that in my statement.
    I thank the hon. member for making that correction.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act

     The House resumed from March 24 consideration of the motion that Bill C-22, An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.
    It being 3:07 p.m., pursuant to order made Monday, April 3, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-22.
    Call in the members.

  (1515)  

    (The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 239)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
Motz
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 129

NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Foote
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hutchings
Iacono
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 166

PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Moore

Total: -- 2

    I declare the amendment defeated.

[Translation]

    The next question is on the main motion.
    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:

  (1520)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 240)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Foote
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hutchings
Iacono
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 167

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
Motz
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 128

PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Moore

Total: -- 2

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs   

    The House resumed from April 3 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.
     The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion for concurrence of the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

  (1530)  

    (The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 241)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Benson
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Finley
Gallant
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
Motz
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Quach
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 120

NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Foote
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Gill
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hutchings
Iacono
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Marcil
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tootoo
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 175

PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Moore

Total: -- 2

    I declare the amendment defeated.

[Translation]

    The question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, it is clear that some members said no. I know there was a bit of noise in the House, but there were a number of members who did indicate that they wanted to oppose the motion.
    In fact, I only heard a very faint no, and when I asked a second time, there were none. Some members are insisting they said no, so I am going to accept that. If there are more than five who rise, we will have a vote.
    And five or more members having risen:

  (1540)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 242)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Ambrose
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Bennett
Benson
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Brown
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Deltell
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyolfson
Falk
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Foote
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
Lebel
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leitch
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morrissey
Motz
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poilievre
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Rankin
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Rioux
Ritz
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tilson
Tootoo
Trost
Trudel
Van Loan
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zimmer

Total: -- 297

NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

Government Orders

[The Budget]

[Translation]

The Budget

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance   

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that this House approve in general the budgetary policy of the government, and of the amendment, and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Pursuant to order made Monday, April 3, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the amendment to Motion No. 10, under ways and means proceedings.
    The question is on the amendment to the amendment.

  (1550)  

     (The House divided on the amendment to the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 243)

YEAS

Members

Aubin
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brosseau
Choquette
Christopherson
Cullen
Davies
Donnelly
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Fortin
Garrison
Gill
Hughes
Johns
Kwan
Laverdière
MacGregor
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mulcair
Nantel
Pauzé
Plamondon
Quach
Rankin
Saganash
Sansoucy
Stewart
Thériault
Trudel
Weir

Total: -- 44

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Ambrose
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Baylis
Bennett
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Block
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brown
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Deltell
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyolfson
Falk
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Foote
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fry
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Lake
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebel
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leitch
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poilievre
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Rioux
Ritz
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai