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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 192

CONTENTS

Monday, June 12, 2017




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 192 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer



PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

  (1105)  

[English]

Public Safety and National Security

    The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill S-233, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (presentation and reporting requirements), as reported (with amendment) from the committee.
     moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.
    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

    The Speaker: When shall the bill be read a third time? By leave, now?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
     moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise once again to speak briefly about Bill S-233, why it is important, and why it is important that it be dealt with quickly by the House.
    Bill S-233 would correct a long-standing problem on the waterways along our border with the United States, whereby pleasure boaters transiting these waters must check in at the Canada Border Services Agency's border crossings if they intend to stop or anchor in Canada. As I have outlined previously, this is an onerous restriction to pleasure craft operators, who may not know that they have drifted into Canadian waters while fishing or relaxing with their families, and it is a colossal waste of CBSA resources to try to track and charge offenders.
    The current regulations were put in place during prohibition and have become an impediment to relations with our neighbours along the border, bringing Canada bad press and hard feelings, especially when innocent U.S. citizens are stopped, forced to lie in the bottom of their boats, and fined on the spot for breaking a regulation that they did not know existed. When this Parliament began, I introduced a private member's bill to correct the situation. My colleague in the Senate, Senator Bob Runciman, introduced a similar bill in the Senate that eventually became the bill in front of us today, Bill S-233.
    I was pleased when the Senate not only considered Bill S-233, but provided speedy passage of it. It was thoroughly debated, and committee heard from witnesses from both sides of the border. That committee made some reasonable and excellent changes to make the bill better following consultation with the CBSA. It was quickly given third reading, approved, and sent to the House, where I have been pleased to sponsor it. The bill was supported by all parties in the Senate and was passed quickly to the House, where it has also been receiving speedy processing and all-party support. Just last week, it also passed through the public safety committee unanimously. I want to thank the Senate and my colleagues in the House for recognizing the importance of the bill and getting it passed before the summer boating season gets into full swing.
    The current law has been a black eye for Canada for many years, and even the agency in charge of enforcing the law realizes how onerous and restrictive it has been both to enforce and defend. That is why the agency had a hand in amending the bill, to ensure that it not only meets the enforcement requirements, but is compliant with being a good neighbour.
    While we are entitled to enforce any laws we see fit to protect our borders, transiting pleasure boaters are not our enemies. This bill recognizes that fact. I should point out that while the bill permits pleasure boaters to transit our waters, it still gives the CBSA the freedom to stop any vessel that it wishes if it suspects that something is amiss. Any transiting boater who subsequently decides to stop in Canada, drop anchor in Canadian waters, or tie up to another vessel, must still report to the CBSA. The bill would also clear up regulations in a few other areas, and will, for example, now permit whale-watching passengers to exit Canadian waters and return without requiring a CBSA inspection upon their return, provided they do not leave the vessel.
    I do not want to take up too much of the House's time with this bill today. There has been much debate on this bill, and I am encouraged that there has been strong support from all sides of the House. I know all members agreed on the need for this change and I appreciate their support.
    This bill would relieve persons onboard conveyances, such as private boats, tour boats, cruise ships, and private aircraft, from having to report to the Canada Border Services Agency when they pass incidentally into or out of Canadian waters or airspace.
    We are pleased that this bill has made such rapid progress through the Senate, where it passed unanimously, and the House. I would like to thank the standing committees of both Houses for their collaborative and expeditious deliberations.
    Current Canadian law requires that all boaters report to the CBSA every time that they enter Canadian waters. This is in contrast to the United States, where boaters are only required to report their arrival to the United States Customs and Border Protection if they have docked at a foreign port or have had contact with another vessel in foreign waters.

  (1110)  

[Translation]

     Simple activities like fishing, water skiing, and touring do not trigger reporting requirements. The differences in American and Canadian reporting requirements have been a source of frustration for individuals who enjoy leisure activities and businesses that make a living on our shared waterways.

[English]

    As the member opposite from Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes has rightly emphasized, international tourism is a key driver of Canada's economy. We must do everything we can to support and promote our tourist industry, and the small and medium-sized businesses that are its backbone.
    Millions of Canadians rely on the tourism sector for employment, and that is why our government has made it a priority to promote Canada as a top destination in the global tourism sector. Making sure that more international tourists choose Canada would mean more jobs for Canadian youth and a boost for small businesses in every region of the country.
    This bill would help us to market Canada as a destination of choice more effectively. It will do this by exempting private boaters or passengers on other water-borne craft from having to report to the CBSA when crossing into or out of Canadian waters for fishing, sightseeing, or other low-risk activities. Doing so would reduce the reporting burden on the boating community and align our marine reporting requirements with those of the United States.
     This would bring great benefit to water-sports enthusiasts and businesses in communities on both sides of the border. People aboard boats, be they private craft, tour boats, cruise ships, or even whale-watching ships, would no longer be required to report to the CBSA in the following circumstances: when they do not land on Canadian soil, and when they do not let off existing passengers or take on board new passengers when in our waters. Cruise ships would clear passengers and crew at their first port of arrival in Canada and enable them to transit international or foreign waters between Canadian ports of call without requiring further CBSA processing. This bill would also apply to aircraft, which may cross incidentally into Canadian airspace without landing.
    In sum, these changes would streamline reporting requirements, reduce administrative burden for low-risk activities, and align Canada's approach with that of the United States. The bill would do so while respecting our commitment to ensuring the safety and integrity of Canada's borders.
    During the course of the bill's development, parties on both sides of this House and the upper chamber agreed to strengthen reporting exceptions and to make certain that the CBSA and its law enforcement partners have everything they need to do their jobs effectively. As a result, amendments were made to apply the same set of newly proposed conditions under Bill S-233 to loop movements, which are cross-border movements in and out of Canadian, U.S., or international waters that return to the same place of origin; and direct transits, which are cross-border movements from one location outside of Canada to another location outside of Canada, or from one location within Canada to another location within Canada.
    The amendments specify that people and goods not disembark the vessel or aircraft, and that the vessel or aircraft not anchor, moor, land, or make contact with another conveyance. This bill also makes explicitly clear that border services officers would retain similar powers that they have under both the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and the Customs Act.
    This means that CBSA officers can continue to require people to answer customs or immigration questions regardless of whether they are exempted from reporting. Officers may ask, for example, to verify a person's goods, work permits, or other immigration documents, or they may compel an examination if they deem it warranted.
    Both the CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have confirmed that the bill respects their mandates and will allow officers to focus on higher priority reporting and monitoring activities.

  (1115)  

[Translation]

     Thanks to these important consultations and the collaboration of honourable senators and MPs, I am confident that this bill will reduce the burden on individuals and businesses without sacrificing public safety. It is not always easy to create a border that maintains the safety and security of Canadians while facilitating legitimate, low-risk activities and trade.

[English]

    Bill S-233 achieves both of these objectives. Canadians and Canadian businesses will benefit from the streamlined and simplified system that it proposes.
    I encourage all member of the House to vote in its favour.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in support of the bill before us. It accomplishes a few things, one of which is that it makes it easier for businesses that are operating near waters on the Canada-U.S. border to run their businesses. They are able to have their clients pass over the border as long as they are not disembarking either from aircraft or from maritime vessels. Therefore, there is a trade component.
    There is also a principle of reciprocity, because the United States has already taken measures to make the process for visitors on that side less cumbersome. This is a case of Canada being a good neighbour and giving the same rights and freedoms to American boaters that they are conferring on us as Canadians.
    This changes a long-standing piece of legislation that I understand comes from the prohibition era, so it is also good housekeeping. The consensus on the bill is a good example of where we see a number of trade measures that can be implemented by Parliament that make sense.
     People will know that the NDP never hesitates to speak up when we feel that trade measures contemplated by government are not in the best interests of Canadians. This is not one of those cases. It also serves to highlight that when concerns are raised about other trade issues, those come from a place of genuine critique and concern for the interests of Canadians. We are quite happy today to support this piece of legislation.
    There being no further debate, the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes has up to five minutes for his right of reply.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the members for Kanata—Carleton, and Elmwood—Transcona for their speeches today, and their support for the bill. As we heard, this is a common sense bill. We will see a lot of problems go away, from the New Brunswick–Maine border, across all of our boundary waters with the United States, all the way to British Columbia.
    I know that boaters in my region of the Thousand Islands, including some individuals who are here in Ottawa today, Mike Hornby, Ray Kostuch, George Grout, and Hugh Grout, are anxiously awaiting this bill getting through Parliament.
    I would like to thank members from all sides of the House and in the Senate for their support, and I look forward to its speedy passage in time for this boating season.
    The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Deputy Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

[Translation]

Sitting Suspended 

    It being 11:20, the House will suspend until noon.

    (The sitting of the House was suspended at 11:20 a.m.)

Sitting Resumed  

     (The House resumed at 12 p.m.)


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

  (1200)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Canadian Economy  

    That the House recognize that the government has mismanaged the economy in a way that is damaging Canadian industries and diminishing Canadians’ economic stability by: (a) failing to negotiate a deal on softwood lumber and instead offering a compensation package rather than creating sustainable jobs for Canadian forestry workers; (b) attempting to phase out Canada’s energy sector by implementing a job killing carbon tax, adding additional taxes to oil and gas companies, removing incentives for small firms to make new energy discoveries and neglecting the current Alberta jobs crisis; and (c) refusing to extend the current rail service agreements for farmers in Western Canada which will expire on August 1, 2017, which will result in transportation backlogs that will cost farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour to be able to rise here today, on Monday at noon, to talk about how the Liberal government continues to mismanage our economy.
    Before I start, I would like to indicate that I will be splitting my time with my friend and colleague, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    I thought it imperative that we table this motion today, before we head out on summer break later this month, to talk about how the Liberals seem to be incompetent when it comes to managing the important files to support our economy. In particular, they continue to mismanage our oil and gas sector. Critical infrastructure, such as transportation and rail service, has been completely forgotten by the Liberal government, and the resource industries, such as softwood lumber, agriculture, or our mining sector, have also been forgotten.
    This is incredibly damaging to the people who live in communities in rural Canada who depend upon these sectors, yet the Liberals only seem to care about their own political pet projects. They have forgotten about rural Canada. They have forgotten about the important industries across this country, particularly in western Canada. We have to make sure that we shine a light on the Liberals' mismanagement of these files. We have to make sure Canadians understand that the Liberals are either incompetent when it comes to these serious files or they are callous and just do not care. To me, that is very disturbing.
    The first part of the motion talks about the softwood lumber deal. I would like to remind everyone that, when we came to power under former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2006, we negotiated a softwood lumber agreement with the United States in three months. We then extended it in 2012 to take us right through until October 2016. That protected over 400,000 jobs across this country from coast to coast to coast, in every region, and it supported our businesses, jobs, and communities.
    The Liberals have taken a laissez-faire attitude toward softwood. They allowed the agreement to expire in October 2016. They have failed to engage with the U.S. administration to protect Canadian jobs, protect access to the U.S. market, and also protect consumers in the United States who will ultimately pay higher prices. The jobs of Canadian forestry workers are in peril, and Canadian softwood lumber manufacturers and harvesters are seeing their businesses at risk, yet all we have seen from the Liberals is some EI reforms to help out those workers. That does not fix the problem.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for the softwood lumber agreement with the United States, tweeted this morning that Canada and the United States are miles apart on coming to some sort of an agreement. It is completely unacceptable that we are not getting any resolution from the Liberals on this file. We cannot sit on the sidelines and wait while these jobs, businesses, and communities are in peril.
    We have to make sure that the government gets focused. Today is its opportunity to commit to solving the softwood lumber deal, and to take a page from the Conservatives' playbook on how to do it.
    Members will hear today from a lot of Conservative members of Parliament who want to see the Liberals try to solve some of these problems rather than sit on their hands. I know that our critics in the official opposition, and members of Parliament from the Conservative Party, will strongly encourage the government to find solutions, while at the same time will be pointing out, without hesitation, the flaws in the Liberals' approach and their callous decision-making process, which are leaving rural and western Canada and the resource industries at risk.
    The second part of the motion talks about how the Liberals continue to damage the economy by going ahead with their complete drive to kill the oil and gas and energy sectors in this country.

  (1205)  

    The Prime Minister is married to a flawed policy, a regressive policy, called the carbon tax, and he is forcing it on the provinces and the territories. This carbon tax is going to hurt the most vulnerable in our society. It will increase the cost of doing business. The cost to farmers in particular for what they are going to have to pay extra for fuel, fertilizer, and other energy costs is going to be huge. Farming is an energy-intensive industry.
    My son-in-law is a grain farmer. I come from a farming background. My brothers and my father and mother were all involved in agriculture, as am I. We will be hit the hardest. What will that do? It will not only reduce our bottom line but will increase the price of food. Not only will it increase the price of producing that food, it will increase the cost of transporting that food. Canada is a vast nation, and everything has to be put onto trucks or rail. It is all pulled by diesel. That will see some of the highest levels of carbon taxes of anything.
    Low-income Canadians and those living on fixed incomes cannot afford a carbon tax. They have been completely ignored by the Liberal government. The Liberals like to claim that they have been able to bring the biggest tax cuts to the middle class, but that is a farce. It is a shell game, because with one hand they give, and with the other hand they taketh away.
    For those Canadians making over $45,000 a year, the Liberals decreased income taxes by 1.5%. They then increased taxation through payroll taxes and CPP premiums by 2%. Middle-class Canadians are short a half per cent right now, and that does not include paying more for a carbon tax, which will impact everything they do, such as their home heating bills and the cost to commute. Public transit will go up, because it will cost more to put fuel in those vehicles.
     The Liberals eliminated the tax credit for public transit, Mr. Speaker, again targeting low-income Canadians, students, and seniors. Those who depend on public transit are being completely thrown to the curb.
    Hon. Erin O'Toole: Under the bus.
    James Bezan: They are being thrown under the bus, Mr. Speaker, as my friend from Durham just said, by the Liberals. That is not acceptable. It is callous and inconsiderate. The Liberals are hurting those who need every penny kept in their own pockets, but the pickpockets on the Liberal side just love to pull more revenue from Canadians through additional taxes.
    The Liberals are also going after the gas and oil companies by putting in place things like a methane tax, again increasing the cost of doing business and not doing anything to change the story on climate change.
    When fuel prices go up and energy costs rise, Canadians still have to buy their gas, their diesel, their electricity, and their home heating fuel. Higher prices do not reduce consumption rates. All they do is generate more dollars for the coffers of the Government of Canada and the provinces, and that is not appropriate. Doing that kills jobs.
    There is a jobs crisis in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, provinces that depend on the oil and gas sector, and in western Manitoba and places in Ontario, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, with the Hibernia oil fields and offshore drilling. Those jobs are being lost, yet those jobs support communities. When oil workers leave the field, who is going to be in those small businesses up and down Main Street, those pa and ma shops? If they have no one to come in to do business, how will they stay in business? If they are not able to sell their wares, sell their services, that is unacceptable.
    Finally, the other issue I want to talk about today, and the House will hear in detail from my colleagues about this, is how the government's Bill C-49, what the Liberals call the modernized transportation act, is the opposite of that. The bill would put shippers and grain farmers across Canada at risk.
    For western grain farmers, August 1 is a new crop year. Those farmers will have more difficulty moving their grain when the current shippers service agreements expire August 1. It will be more difficult for them to get the new crop to market. The bill would put all the power back in the hands of the oligarchs at the railways.
    I am looking forward to hearing all the arguments brought forward by my colleagues on today's important motion.

  (1210)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague across the aisle. I know he is a man of great experience. He was really painting a very one-sided portrait, a partial portrait, of what is going on.
    The hon. member says that nothing has been done by the government for rural Canada. In the last budget, where were they in terms of supporting $2 billion in investments for rural Canada? Why are they not talking about that?
    The hon. member keeps saying that the Liberals are trying to kill the oil and gas sector by putting a price on carbon pollution. All Canadians know that more than 80% of Canadians live in jurisdictions that have already put a price on carbon. The federal initiative is only to fill the gap where it has not been done.
    I would love to hear from the hon. member why he would paint such a partial picture. I would like to have the hon. member please address that question.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal budgets up to now, the last two budgets tabled in this House, have done absolutely nothing for rural Canada and have done absolutely nothing to stimulate the economy. We see continued increasing taxation and that job creation right now is mainly in government jobs. It is not actually stimulating the economy or allowing the private sector to grow and prosper and put dollars in people's pockets.
    We know that the moves the Liberals have made in the housing market have interfered with the prices of homes across this country, particularly in Toronto. It has hurt first-time homebuyers. That is the record of the Liberals. They have abandoned workers in the forestry sector. They have abandoned workers in the oil and gas patch, and now they are throwing grain farmers across this country under the bus, because they just want to put more money in their Liberal coffers.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about throwing grain farmers in western Canada under the bus. It is important to recall that the issues grain farmers are experiencing with respect to the transportation of grain came as a result of not having the leverage they had with the Canadian Wheat Board to negotiate with railways.
    I wonder if the member will acknowledge that he is criticizing the Liberals for failing to come up with a solution to a problem created by his government.

  (1215)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that the member for Elmwood—Transcona, being from the NDP, continues to throw out the fable that the wheat board actually negotiated transportation access for grain farmers, which it never did. It was the grain transportation administration that actually did it. The agency was responsible for doing it, not the wheat board.
    I represent a rural riding, I am a farmer, and my son-in-law is a grain farmer. Since we got rid of the wheat board, I have not had people coming back to me saying they wish the wheat board was back. Nobody. Everyone wants the private solutions. They want to be able to cash flow their sales, which they could not do with the wheat board.
    What the Conservatives did as government actually made huge improvements in the way things worked for grain farmers across this country. The Liberals have taken away the opportunity for the cash deferral of receipts for grain sales. They are saying that it is going to be thrown by the wayside. One of the things farmers need is the ability to manage their taxes and their cash income. It cannot always come all in one year. Sometimes because of the way the grain industry works and transportation works, farmers cannot move their crops in the current crop year and have to move it down the road. They do not need to have two years of income coming into one.
    The Liberals took away the ability of farmers to cash flow and manage their operations properly.
    Mr. Speaker, for the last 18 months, the Prime Minister has talked about so-called sunny ways. Today is a sunny day, and we really appreciate the fact that summer is back in Canada.

[Translation]

    Our comments today will focus primarily on the state of the Canadian economy and this government's performance over the past 18 months. What has it done to stimulate the economy and create jobs and wealth? In my speech today I will demonstrate that, unfortunately, this government has repeatedly stood in the way of those whom we Conservatives see as the backbone of the Canadian economy and economic growth, specifically, small and medium-sized businesses.
    This government has made a number of poor decisions, but chief among them, of course, is the Liberal carbon tax. This is one of the worst things that could possibly be done to stimulate jobs and the economy. We all agree that we need to address the new challenge of climate change and that this presents wonderful opportunities for the Canadian economy to develop its green economy.
    However, the worst thing this government could do is punish Canadian small business owners by imposing this $50-a-tonne tax on them because they are producers and therefore are bad. On top of that, the price will go up as time goes on. That is not the way to help businesses and the economy or to foster Canadian wealth. On the contrary, that will penalize workers and producers.
    Earlier, I was listening to my colleague from Hull—Aylmer, who is my MP when I am here in Ottawa.
    Mr. Greg Fergus: A formidable MP.
    Mr. Gérard Deltell: Mr. Speaker, he said that he was a formidable MP, and I agree that he is definitely formidable in stature. Earlier, he said that it was fantastic that more than half of the provinces were now on board with the Liberals. It is easy for people to get on board when they know that, sooner or later, a law will require them to do so anyway. That is the Liberal approach. Instead of doing what should have been done in Vancouver and working hand in hand with the provinces, the Liberals presented the provinces with their game plan and told them that it would be imposed on them in three years, with or without their consent. When the Liberals say that they are pleased that the provinces are on board, I believe it, because if they do not get on board, the Liberals will force them to do so. It is a bad approach.
    The Liberal carbon tax undermines our business owners and punishes workers, producers, and creators of wealth, rather than helping companies reduce their environmental footprint and its impact on Canada's economy. In short, the Liberal government's number one bad decision is the creation of a carbon tax.
    On another note, business owners are not happy about the extra payroll expenses related to the Canada pension plan. Last year, this government passed a bill to hike payroll taxes for all Canadian workers and businesses. In the end, it will cost Canadian workers an extra $1,000 a year. As for employers, it will cost them an extra $1,000 a year per employee. That is an extra $2,000 per worker, $1,000 from the worker and $1,000 from the employer. These extra costs make it challenging for our business owners. The government wants to create wealth, jobs, and vitality and then turns around and tells employers that they have to pay an extra $2,000 a year for every employee, including the tax charged to the employees themselves. That is not the right thing to do.
    Same goes for the tax cuts. This government was elected on a promise to run a small $10-billion deficit, which has ballooned to a $30-billion deficit. The Liberals have broken their promises. They said we would return to a balanced budget in 2019, but now we know from the Department of Finance that we will have to wait until 2055.
    The Liberals broke yet another tax-related promise. When they introduced their campaign platform, they promised to reduce the small business tax rate—which was at 11% then and subsequently dropped to 10.5%—to 9% to give our business people a boost, but they have not delivered on that promise, and the rate has not budged.
    Add to that several tax credits that are no more. Earlier, my colleague from Foothills talked about the oil and gas development tax credits that this government axed, not to mention the tax credits designed to help create jobs and wealth, such as the investment and job creation credits.

  (1220)  

    So much for our business people, but what about the family tax credits that are no more? For example, what about the now-gone tax credit we created to help families purchase school and art supplies and sports equipment?
    The most bizarre thing the Liberal government did was abolish the public transit tax credit. My friend, the member for Hull—Aylmer, who uses public transit to get to Parliament, which I think is great, must be disappointed that his own government got rid of a tax credit that he and thousands of other Canadians were entitled to.
    Had anyone told me three months ago that the Liberal government was going to axe the public transit tax credit, I would have said there was no way. This government goes on and on about how green it is, how much it cares about the environment, how much it supports workers. Well, that tax helped Canadian workers who polluted less by taking public transit. The truth is that the Liberal government just could not stand the fact that it was a Conservative initiative, so it decided to do away with it. That was not the right thing to do.
    When it comes to businesses, the Liberal government has a habit of putting up roadblocks rather than helping them. These include the Liberal carbon tax, changes to the Canada pension plan, the tax cuts that we are still waiting for, and the cancellation of important tax credits to business owners.
    In concrete numbers, exports have not increased. We are very concerned about this because exports create wealth in this country, and our domestic market is only 35 million citizens. Exporting is absolutely crucial. Unfortunately, over the past 18 months of this Liberal government, we have seen no increase in exports or investments for our businesses. This is not surprising when you look at all the tax increases on businesses and the cuts to the federal support our government had introduced through tax credits.
    What worries all Canadians, and not just people in Quebec and British Columbia, is the softwood lumber issue. Everyone knows that softwood lumber is a natural resource that is very important to the Canadian economy. It contributes to growth in many regions of Canada, not just Quebec and British Columbia. All the other businesses across the country that work with softwood lumber for secondary wood processing also stand to gain when everything is going well.
    For the past 18 months, the government has been dragging its feet when it comes to reaching an agreement with the United States that is good for both Americans and Canadians. The price of Canadian lumber is so much lower and its quality is so much higher than that of American lumber that it is affecting housing prices in the United States. This is a test of leadership. When a prime minister, a head of state, cares about an issue, he will tackle it head-on and resolve it.
    That is what prime minister Stephen Harper did in 2006 when he met his American counterpart, President Bush, for the first time. The first thing they talked about was not the weather. They talked about subjects that had a direct impact on the Canadian economy. As a result, three months after that meeting, a softwood lumber agreement was signed under the leadership of prime minister Harper and President Bush.
    When a prime minister shows leadership, we get results. When a prime minister takes every opportunity to get his picture taken instead of making decisions, we end up with nothing, even 18 months later.
     I would like to remind members of the good old days of Brian Mulroney and President Reagan. Canadian history has seldom seen a time when the Canadian and American heads of state were so in tune with each other. The current Prime Minister and President Obama were very buddy-buddy, and that is great, but it did not produce any results. The Prime Minister should have taken advantage of that strong personal friendship with the American president. They had 12 months to do something about this problem, but the Prime Minister did nothing. He preferred to meet President Obama for a sandwich in a Montreal restaurant, which is all well and good, but it did not produce any results.
    That is why, after 18 months under the Liberal government, the Canadian economy is unfortunately not as strong as it should be.

  (1225)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague has been criticizing our economic record, and I would like to put these four points to him about what has happened with our economy since we have come into power.
    The first is that Canada has the best fiscal position among the G7 countries. Second, in the first quarter of 2017, the Canadian economy has had a 3.7% growth. Third, the unemployment rate continues to drop. Currently it is around 6.6%. At the beginning of our mandate, it was 7.1%. Fourth, in the past six months, the Canadian economy has more than 250,000 new full-time jobs.
    We were elected on a platform that we would invest in the economy because we wanted to grow it. Apparently that is exactly what has happened. Our plan is working.
    Does the member not agree that this is good economic news?
    Mr. Speaker, first, let us talk about the G7. Everybody will recognize that when we were in office, we faced the most dramatic financial crisis. Thank God we were in office. We were the first country to get our heads out of the water. We had the best ratio of debt to GDP.

[Translation]

    When the Liberals took office, Canada had the best debt-to-GDP ratio, which allowed them to make some really bad decisions. Canada weathered the financial crisis better than any other G7 country.

[English]

    Speaking of that, first, the Liberals are talking about the creation of new jobs. Yes, but 80% of their jobs are part-time jobs, which was not the case when we were in office.
    Also, let me remind the House that those people said they would invest in the economy by borrowing money. Before the Liberals were elected, they said that they would have a small deficit of $10 billion. It will be about three times that, with no plan for a zero deficit.
    It is very easy to invest money we do not have. However, we will be sending the bill to our children and grandchildren to pay for the bad administration of the Liberal government?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to focus on part (a) in the motion, “rather than creating sustainable jobs to Canadian forestry workers”. When I hear government members talk about job creation and the excitement about that, they should look at the forestry sector. If they came to the Alberni Valley, which has the highest unemployment rate in southwestern British Columbia, they would quickly find out that we have huge jobs losses in our community. In fact, raw log exports have gone up tenfold in 10 years on Vancouver Island.
    The federal government has been invisible for the last decade in creating jobs in my community. I find it very bold not only seeing this motion come forward from the Conservatives, but also hearing government members. There was nothing for the forestry industry in this budget and the budget before. It is long overdue that the government inject money into the forestry sector.
    Today we should be talking about solutions, not just pointing fingers at each other. I am really disappointed when we have boatloads leaving the Alberni Valley and mills closing because people cannot even access their own fibre.

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague talked about the softwood lumber crisis, and we do recognize that. When we were in office, we addressed this issue, first and foremost, as a top priority. Leadership is all about that.
    When we have a real leader who takes care of these people, we see that. The former prime minister met with his counterpart, the former president of the United States, and said that they had to do something to fix this, that it was his top priority. The then president, looking at his aide, said that they would address it. Three months later, we had a deal for 10 years.
    Unfortunately, in the last 18 months, the Liberal government has done absolutely nothing, even if it had a great friendship between the former president and the Prime Minister. However, with the lack of leadership of the Prime Minister, nothing has been done on this file. This is very bad for the Canadian economy.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona.
     I am pleased to help outline some of the NDP's thoughts and objections to the motion before us, which has all the thematic unity of a recipe for leftovers soup.
    As is the case with leftovers soup, even if people find the totality of it distasteful, it does not always mean they do not like particular ingredients that were thrown into it. There are some good ingredients to this motion, but when taken together, unfortunately we feel we need to oppose it.
    The aspect of the motion dealing with softwood lumber is an ingredient we think is a good one. It is right to draw attention to the fact that the government has simply failed to come up with a reasonable solution to the crisis in softwood lumber.
     As one of my colleagues in the NDP has just pointed out, it is a little challenging in some ways to hear that criticism come from the Conservatives. They were in government when the agreement expired. They had 10 years. They could have come to another agreement on it, but they did not. They left it to the Liberals, who then made a big deal of their great relationship with the Obama administration and what this would mean for Canadian softwood lumber producers. The Liberals would be able to go ahead and get not just any deal but the best possible deal for producers. That agreement still has not materialized.
     A compensation package has been announced, presumably which is a bad omen for Canadian producers who hoped to get a deal that would allow them, through their work, to provide for them and their families, and not have to do that through a government compensation package. I suppose if the Liberals are not going to get it together to get a deal, then that is the next best thing. We would hope, however, to have a government that fights to get that agreement so softwood lumber producers can get back on their feet.
    Even the agreement that was in place before was not a great agreement. It was signed by the Harper government. Today Conservatives members want to draw the attention of people to that fact. The leverage the prime minister at the time had was that successive challenges by the United States to the Canadian softwood lumber regime at the WTO and NAFTA had failed. The WTO and NAFTA had supported the Canadian softwood lumber system. In fact, we were on the cusp of getting another decision by the WTO that experts thought would affirm the Canadian position.
     Instead of getting to hear that ruling and the benefit that would accrue to Canadian producers by having that ruling on the books, the Harper government went off and cut a side deal. That deal left a billion dollars of the $5.4 billion, which were taken out of the pockets of Canadian producers, in the hands of the U.S. It had taken that money, and not rightfully. That is not just the NDP position; that is the opinion of NAFTA and WTO tribunals.
    These are under agreements that we, frankly, do not always like. They were coming to the conclusion that Canada had been wronged by the United States, yet the rug was pulled out from under the feet of Canadian producers who wanted to get the money, which had been taken from them in unfair duties, back. The Harper government did not allow for that. It left a billion dollars of that money on the table.
    The Harper government did it with another element of that story, which no one else seems to talk about today. It did it with a Liberal turned Conservative trade minister, David Emerson. Perhaps other parties in the House also want to explore that theme today. No only are the Liberals and Conservatives so close together on this issue, in their common failure to provide a lasting solution to softwood, even under the rubric of the WTO and NAFTA of which they were great supporters, but they felt comfortable using the same guy to negotiate for them on this file in the lead-up to and following the 2006 election.
    With respect to this ingredient, we do need a lasting solution for Canadian softwood lumber producers, and it is incumbent on the government to deliver that. It has given us a lot of words, but not a lot of action. However, to hear that criticism coming from the Conservative Party, when it is pretty hard to distinguish the two on this file, is a little rich, too rich to soup me, that is for sure.

  (1235)  

    Grain is another aspect of this motion. It is quite different from softwood lumber, but nevertheless, here they are together. The issue there, as we started to discuss in questions and comments, is that the big crisis in grain transportation for western Canadian grain farmers occurred after the Canadian Wheat Board was abolished. Partly what we see here is Conservatives criticizing Liberals for failing to find a solution to a problem created by the Conservatives. They found a Band-Aid solution with legislation that is expiring soon, and the problem with the Liberal approach is that while they do suggest some solutions in Bill C-49, the House has yet to pronounce on the adequacy of those provisions. The problem is that it is unlikely those provisions are going to be passed before the expiration of the interim or Band-Aid solution offered by the Conservative Party.
    I will remain neutral on whether or not what the Liberals are proposing would provide a lasting solution, but what is clear is that there is going to be a gap between the Liberals' proposed solution and the Conservatives' Band-Aid solution. That puts grain farmers, particularly western Canadian farmers, in a tight spot that they ought not to be in, because we could see this problem coming from a long way off. The Liberals had extended the Conservative Band-Aid solution once before, so they knew when the deadline was coming. The fact that they have not been able to put in place a more lasting solution in time for what is essentially their own deadline is sad. Canadian grain farmers deserve better.
    The last bit of the soup has to do with carbon pricing, and this is the ingredient that the NDP finds most objectionable. It is not about criticizing the Liberals' approach to carbon pricing, but it tries to say that any form of carbon pricing, the very principle of carbon pricing, cannot work with a functional, growing economy. That is a claim that we simply reject.
     I watched as all but one Conservative member voted last week in favour of a motion for this Parliament to support the Paris climate agreement. The idea that we could go on with our current policies, as the Conservatives advocate, in further development of the Alberta oil sands and pipelines and not put any price on carbon is just not feasible. This aspect of the motion stands in contradiction to the position that they took only last week with respect to the Paris accord. Something has to change in terms of Canada's environmental policy if we are going to make good on our commitments under the Paris climate agreement. That much is clear.
    When we get into the details, it does not take long before a lot of controversy is sparked, and there is certainly a lot of fair criticism that one can level at the government for its lack of concrete action.
    For instance, if we are going to meet our Paris accord commitments, clearly we would need targets to get us there, but we do not have targets. We have the inadequate targets of the previous Stephen Harper government that the Liberals ran against, but the Liberals have not provided newer, more ambitious targets, so there is a clear problem in how we are going to get there.
    In my view, part of the problem with the Liberals' carbon pricing plan is that they have given all the responsibility for implementation to the provinces, which means it may be implemented differently in different parts of the country. This situation raises the issue of equity between provinces, and Canadians living in some provinces may live under a different carbon pricing regime from Canadians living in other provinces. That is a real issue, and it is not one that the Liberals have managed to adequately address.
    There is an equity issue as well in terms of people on low or fixed incomes being disproportionately affected by a carbon tax. Other governments, such as the NDP government in Alberta, have sought to address this issue by bringing in a rebate program for low-income people that operates along the same principles as our GST rebate. It is not an insurmountable problem and it is one we could address, except that the Liberal government's approach has been to divest itself of all responsibility for implementation and put it onto the provinces. Once again, whether people will be disproportionately affected by this tax will depend on whether they live under the NDP in Alberta or live under governments in other parts of the country.
    There is a lot to talk about and there is a lot to criticize. It is very disappointing to read in international papers this weekend, for instance, about Angela Merkel looking for support within the G20, thinking she could count on our current Prime Minister to stand up to Donald Trump on climate, and finding that she cannot.

  (1240)  

    It flies in the face of the motion that the Liberals themselves presented in the House last week to affirm our commitment to the Paris accord, a motion that we all supported nearly unanimously. Now we see that the Liberals' actions do not meet their words. It is Kyoto all over again.
    We need to do better, but I do not think this motion is about a good-faith attempt to solve that problem.
    Mr. Speaker, listening to the NDP dissect trade deals is a little like listening to hockey fans in Toronto talking to people across the country about how to win a Stanley Cup. The one thing about a lumber deal that we can pretty much count on is that the NDP will support reaching one, and as soon as we get one, the New Democrats will be out protesting against cutting down trees and trying to stop the lumber industry.
    A series of issues were raised. I am most interested in the issue of climate change and in the notion of how wrong it is to accept the regional diversity of this country, to understand that northerners and coastal communities consume and use carbon differently from people in central Canada, and that producers of the resource have a different footprint. The NDP wants to impose a one-size-fits-all umbrella agreement across the country, as opposed to setting a national standard and then giving local flexibility in achieving those dollars as a carbon tax and then redistributing them most specifically and most surgically into the communities most impacted by the different consumption patterns.
    In light of the fact that we are trying to achieve a national goal but at the same time respect regional authorities and regional dynamics, for the member's home province, what would be the best approach to make sure that low-income Canadians in Manitoba were compensated to make sure that carbon pricing did not impact northern communities and low-income people in urban centres? What would that member see as the best way to redistribute provincial carbon revenues to achieve social equity while we achieve low greenhouse gas emissions by pricing pollution?
    Mr. Speaker, I would say that the way not to do it is by trusting a Conservative government made up of people who deny climate change. The thrust of the Liberal approach is to download that responsibility to that provincial government. If for a moment the member trusts Premier Pallister in Manitoba to come up with an equitable carbon-pricing scheme for Manitoba, he is, frankly, out to lunch. That is the issue.
    What we are hearing about in our province with the Conservative government is not about whether we are going to use that money to reinvest in green technology that could ultimately help with a just transition from the current carbon economy to another one but whether it is going to be revenue neutral, because the government is going to cut income tax in order to offset the additional tax from the carbon tax. That is part of the problem.
     There is a dearth of federal leadership on this file. Instead of bringing people together and saying that it wants to address the issues in the communities and that it respects that it may be different from province to province but it is not just going to dump it on the provinces and allow them to raise a carbon tax without investing some of the revenue in a future greener economy, by just telling the provinces to go ahead and do whatever they want, the government is going to end up with some pretty unprogressive ways of implementing that tax that would do very little for the environment. It is just going to be a shift in how government raises revenue instead of an actual plan for getting us off of a carbon economy.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, one of the issues that came to my mind was the lack of softwood lumber agreements being achieved by both the former government and the government now. It has created a crisis of job losses in many communities.
    When we had that in the oil industry, people had their EI benefits extended to help them through that little trend. Could the member comment on whether that should be happening now in the softwood lumber industry, since there is a lack of leadership in trying to get an agreement in place, and in the meantime this measure could help the people who suffer job losses in their communities?
    Mr. Speaker, it is worth highlighting that there was a compensation package announced. That is definitely plan B at this point. We want an agreement that lays the foundation for a strong industry going forward. The compensation package did not have any direct assistance to workers, which is unlike what happened in the oil and gas sector.
    We need direct help for workers in the industry. They continue to have mortgage payments and continue to have to feed their families, but they do not have access to employment insurance. We know that six out of 10 Canadians who need access to employment insurance do not have it. Unfortunately, people in the softwood sector are among them, and we have not seen anything from the government to remedy that situation.
     Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to speak, as my colleagues mentioned, to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink motion today. I intend to give very brief remarks to the last matter, which has to do with the farmers in western Canada, but I will speak mainly to the second matter about Canada's energy sector.
    On the matter of interswitching, this is a problem that the previous Conservative government did nothing to resolve in the long term. It just kept having temporary continuances. However, it did extend the interswitching distance, I think it was to 120 kilometres.
    I have talked with the grain farmers of Canada, and with some of the growers in Alberta I know well, including Humphrey Banack. They said they would be pleased, if eventually this law is in place, to extend it to 1,200 kilometres, but are deeply disappointed that yet again the government is letting the August 1 deadline pass without any change. That means that the interswitching reverts to 30 kilometres. This is going to put our shippers at an extreme disadvantage, particularly those who are in the process of negotiating the shipping of their crop this fall.
    Indeed, we support the fact that this should be expedited. We need the Liberal government to take measures to ensure this interim arrangement extends until this law is passed and in force.
    The second matter is on the allegations by the Conservatives that the government is attempting to phase out Canada's energy sector by implementing what they call a job-killing carbon tax, adding additional taxes to oil and gas companies, removing incentives for small firms to make new energy discoveries, and neglecting the current jobs crisis in Alberta. What they are neglecting is the reality of the energy sector, not only in Alberta, not only in Canada, but across the world in fact. That is that most of the investment is shifting to the renewable energy efficiency sector. The Conservative Party absolutely refuses to understand that the energy sector includes more than oil and gas.
    Contrary to what they assert, it is not the recent move by the Liberals to address climate change that is the problem; it is the complete failure of the previous government to address this global challenge in any credible way, or to take any measures to support the diversification of the economy. That includes in my province of Alberta, and including toward supporting the development, expansion, and deployment of renewable energy and job creation in the energy efficiency sector.
    The Conservatives committed to reducing greenhouse gases, and then set targets. They then repeatedly promised to establish a regime to address the single-largest and growing source of carbon emissions, the oil and gas sector. They proposed a cap-and-trade regime. They even issued a discussion paper on offsets. However, none of it ever materialized. They did, to give them credit, propose a shutdown of coal-fired power by 2050 unless the greenhouse gases were reduced, investing millions of taxpayer dollars in carbon capture and sequestration.
    The Alberta companies completely backed away because of the high costs and questionable efficacy of the technology. However, that target did not address the growing health impacts of the coal-fired power sector, which are well documented by the Canadian Medical Association. To its credit, the NDP Government of Alberta has moved forward the date of decommissioning of coal-fired power. That was in response to these concerns over the health impacts associated with the toxic emissions from coal-fired power. The federal government eventually followed suit and has also moved forward the date.
    Alberta has also announced regulations to reduce methane emissions, which this government again mirrored but has delayed. Conservatives did nothing about methane, despite the fact that methane emissions are far more powerful in causing climate change than carbon.
    The Conservatives' tirades about the carbon tax are growing tiresome. Many of the provinces have already initiated programs to reduce greenhouse gases in their jurisdictions, including a carbon levy imposed years ago by the then Progressive Conservative Government of Alberta, and a carbon tax imposed by the Government of British Columbia. Contrary to the allegations by the Conservatives that addressing carbon kills a fossil fuel sector, we need only look to the booming sector in B.C. and Alberta. Instead, the Conservatives should be supporting calls by many for additional measures to the carbon tax by the federal government to actually address climate change.

  (1250)  

    Environment Canada is projecting that based on the policies it has in place, the country is on pace to miss its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, pumping out at least 30% more than promised. That is based on the meagre Harper targets that it has continued to stick by.
    In fact, there is a problem with the carbon tax. As many credible sources have pointed out, it is not sufficient on its own to deliver on the national reduction targets, let alone the commitments made in Paris.
    While a number of nations have managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Canada's continue to increase. The government should start by expediting action on its promise to the G20 to phase out and rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. That has been recommended by Canada's Auditor General, who, in his 2017 spring report, criticized both the Department of Environment and Climate Change and Finance for failing to even complete a review of the perverse subsidies in place, let alone prescribing a plan and timeline to phase them out. This could go a long way to ensuring a more level playing field for investments in the renewable energy sector, and energy efficiencies.
    Second, while the budget lists a myriad of measures to support deployment of renewables and increased energy efficiency, for the majority of those measures, any spending is defrayed over the next several elections. There has been almost zero allocated for it this year. The release of federal money supporting provincial and territorial initiatives under the bilateral agreements on green infrastructure and the low carbon economy fund are similarly postponed.
    Why not restore the ecoENERGY retrofit program, as my colleague mentioned, to match provincial and municipal programs that would help reduce energy costs for small to medium-sized businesses, and help reduce the concern with the coming carbon tax?
    It is also time to follow the United Kingdom model and infuse accountability into the climate program. As our party has been recommending since I was elected eight years ago, it is important to enact binding reduction targets and establish an independent commission to advise, monitor, and report.
    The problem is that there is a list of initiatives that various ministers wander out to the public and industry to talk about, but there is no certainty of what they are moving forward on. The first glimpse that they might go forward with programs is that we saw this listing in the budget documents. However, when one turns to look at the budget document, one sees that in fact zero dollars are allocated this year. That includes programs to help isolated and northern communities get off diesel. That would be beneficial both to the health of the community and to reducing greenhouse gases. That is one small measure that is regrettably again delayed.
    It is very important that we get off this rant about the carbon tax and instead come together to put pressure on the Liberal government for a wholesome, fulsome program to meet not only its meagre targets, but targets it should be meeting for a fair contribution to the world reduction in greenhouse gases and its Paris targets.
    It is not enough to send the Minister of Environment and Climate Change around the world. She spends a lot of time meeting with members from the European Union and so forth. It is time for her to come home and start implementing some of these measures that will benefit Canadians, reduce their costs for energy, and move us toward a cleaner energy economy.

  (1255)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's intervention today and making her position well known as it pertains to a price on carbon.
    I am wondering if the hon. member can comment a little on Canada's position globally as it relates to the price on carbon. My understanding is that Canada is actually well priced, in terms of not being among the highest and also not being among the lowest. Globally, that puts us in a very good position as it relates to our ability to be competitive.
    I am wondering if the hon. member can comment on that.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to serve on the environment committee with the hon. member.
    I do not think the issue is the price on carbon. What is more important is to compare Canada to other nations in the actions it is taking to reduce greenhouse gases.
    There has recently been a report comparing Canada with the United Kingdom. It shows the trajectory of Canadian emissions rising continuously, and the United Kingdom emissions falling. Why is that? It is because it has put binding targets in law, and it has an independent commission that holds the government's feet to the fire and allows the public to know what is going on.
    In all honesty, my concern is that as the price on carbon rises, there will be greater push-back by the public or small business on being able to pay the tax. That is why it is all the more important for the government to bring forward additional parallel measures that are going to support our homes, families, and communities in reducing their energy use, and thereby reduce emissions.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Edmonton Strathcona for focusing so clearly on the difference between meeting the Paris agreement, which is to hold the global average temperature at no more than 1.5°C above what it was before the Industrial Revolution, and our current target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, which is inadequate, as the hon. member said. That was the target left in place by the previous Harper government, and it is inconsistent with achieving the Paris agreement.
    As she also mentioned, a carbon price is simply the foundation for action. Where are the ecoENERGY retrofit programs? Where are those measures that will help Canada's economy transition away from dependancy on fossil fuels?
    The excuse I have heard from the government is that it has delayed things like ecoENERGY retrofit programs to make sure they could be rolled out in partnership with the provinces. I wonder if the hon. member has any comments on that.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for working tirelessly on this issue.
    What is of even greater concern to me is the issue that the member raises. In fact, ecoENERGY retrofits are not even on the list of measures that the government is proposing to bring forward.
    I have spoken with other jurisdictions, and Alberta specifically would be delighted if the government started transferring the dollars that are supposed to be happening under the pan-Canadian agreement. It has finally initiated energy efficiency programs after four decades of the Conservative government refusing to have one. I know that it would welcome an infusion of federal dollars. The sooner we do can that and reduce energy use, the sooner we can get rid of coal-fired power and other major polluting sources of energy. Therefore, I would tell the government to bring it on. Let us start delivering those federal dollars to help build our burgeoning energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors, and provide jobs and opportunities in Canada.

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am so honoured to have so many hon. colleagues join us in the House today.
    I have not taken the floor in some time and I am going to ask you, Mr. Speaker, and my colleagues on all sides of the aisle, for some indulgence today. I have every intention of speaking to the substantive motion before us, but before I do that, I have some matters of a personal nature that I have felt in my heart for some time and need to get out, and I am going to simply say them if the House would grant me that dispensation.
    Let me first take the opportunity to introduce some of the most important people in my life, whom I have the pleasure of having in Ottawa today. That is my parents Sandra and Anthony Chan, my brother Dr. Kevin Chan, and of course my beloved wife Jean Yip. Unfortunately, our three children Nathaniel, Ethan, and Theodore could not join us. The older two are currently in examinations, although Jean and I will be very pleased to welcome our youngest child Theo on Wednesday when he comes to Ottawa for his graduating field trip. We are very much looking forward to that.
    First and foremost it is a tremendous honour to serve as the member for Scarborough—Agincourt. All of us treasure the privilege that we have serving in this particular place. I am so grateful to my constituents of Scarborough—Agincourt for having given me a mandate twice to serve in this wonderful place.
    While it is a very proud thing to serve as a member of Parliament, there is only one thing that makes me more proud and that is to simply let my parents know my greater pride is reserved for being first and foremost their son, and being Kevin's brother, and most importantly, the spouse of my beloved wife, who has been there every step of the way. I simply could not ask for a better partner in life.
    As I mentioned, one of the difficult things that often confronts us, and it is not unique to Canadians but obviously it is a challenge for those of us who serve in public office, is the sacrifices that are made by our families. If I have any failings to my children, such as having missed some of their important milestones, like recently missing Ethan's jazz concert at his school in order to perform my function here in the House of Commons, I ask them to forgive me, but I will explain the important reasons for why we do what we do.
    The most important people in my life have taught me three important lessons and they are the concepts of dedication, duty, and devotion.
    On dedication, my parents, and be that very much at an early age, instilled in both my younger brother and I the concept of doing our best. I have to say, and I would acknowledge, that I am one who has perhaps not achieved the same standard that my younger brother has achieved in terms of dedication. Dad has often reminded me that I often relied far too much on my talent and not enough on hard and diligent work, but I would like to think that was an important lesson that was imbued on both of us.
    On the second point of duty, the point I want to make here is that it was not necessarily done by way of word. It was done by way of practice, through the daily way in which my parents lived their lives.

  (1305)  

    Duty of course was paramount for them. I hope that Kevin and I have discharged our duty. I have the privilege of serving as a public office holder. My brother does it in a different way as a pediatrician, as a physician, who has travelled the planet to serve the least fortunate children in the world. I am very proud of the accomplishments he has made so far and the accomplishments he will achieve in the future on behalf of the most vulnerable children around the world.
    Finally, my parents also taught us devotion. I also had another very important teacher in that, and that is my wife Jean. As many members know, I have been going through this challenge with my health for the last number of years. I simply could not have asked for a more devoted partner in life as I have walked through this journey. I will steal a line from a former prime minister of ours, the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien, in referencing his partner Aline: “Without you, nothing.”
    Mr. Speaker, I wanted to get back to a more fundamental issue, one that has been raised a substantive number of times in the House, and that is how we comport ourselves.
    I am not sure how many more times I will have the strength to get up and do a 20-minute speech in this place, but the point I want to impart to all of us is that I know we are all hon. members, I know members revere this place, and I would beg us to not only act as hon. members but to treat this institution honourably.
    To that extent I want to make a shout-out to our colleague, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. This parliamentarian, who despite the fact we are not in the same party and despite the fact that we may disagree on some substantive issues quite vehemently, I consider to be a giant, not simply because she exhorts us to follow Standing Order 18 but more importantly I have observed in her practice that she reveres this place. She is dedicated to her constituents. She practices, both here and in committee, the highest standard of practice that any parliamentarian could ask for. Despite strongly disagreeing, perhaps, with the position of the government of the day, she does so in a respectful tone. I would ask all of us to elevate our debate, to elevate our practice to that standard.
    It is only through that practice, which I believe she so eloquently demonstrates, that Canadians will have confidence in this democratic institution that we all hold so dear. It is important that we do that.
    The other thing that I wanted to speak broadly to is the practice of ditching what I call the “canned talking points”. I am not perfect. I know that sometimes it takes some practice. There are instances where it is necessary for us to have the guidance and assistance of our staff, the ministries, and of our opposition research. However, I do not think it gives Canadians confidence in our debates in this place when we formulaically repeat those debates. It is more important that we bring the experience of our constituents here and impose it upon the question of the day, and ask ourselves how we get better legislation and how we make better laws.
    We can disagree strongly, and in fact we should. That is what democracy is about. However, we should not just use the formulaic talking points. It does not elevate this place. It does not give Canadians confidence in what democracy truly means.
    The other thing I would simply ask all of our colleagues to consider is that while we debate and engage, what we are doing right now, when we listen, that we listen to one another, despite our strong differences. That is when democracy really happens. That is the challenge that is going on around the world right now. No one is listening. Everyone is just talking at once. We have to listen to each other. In so doing, we will make this place a stronger place.
    I have some comments that I want to speak broadly to Canadians on before I get to the substantive issue that was introduced in the main motion by our friend from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman. I know that sometimes, for example, when we are about to enter question period, and I have to be honest, I am one who is beginning to find it challenging to watch, maybe it is because I am on the government side. I have certainly participated with some glee at times on the opposition side, but I recognize that, and maybe my perspective has changed now that I have had a change of position in this place in the House, although I do not face the daily barrage, unlike members of the government.

  (1310)  

    I believe strongly that despite what we see in this place, what gives us strength is the fact that we can actually do it. We can actually engage in this process without fundamental rancour, without fundamental disagreement, and without violence. That is the difference, and that is why I so love this place. I would ask Canadians to give heart to their democracy, to treasure it and revere it. Of course, I would ask them to do the most basic thing, which is to cast their ballots. However, for me it is much more than that. I ask them for their civic engagement, regardless of what it actually may mean, whether it is coaching a soccer team or helping someone at a food bank. For me it can be even simpler than that.
    It is the basic common civility we share with each other that is fundamental. It is thanking our Tim Hortons server. It is giving way to someone on the road. It is saying thanks. It is the small things we collectively do, from my perspective, that make a great society, and to me, that is ultimately what it means to be a Canadian. We are so privileged to live in this country, because we have these small acts of common decency and civility that make us what we are. I would ask members to carry on that tradition, because that is the foundation of what makes Canada great.
    If I may quote the Constitution, it imbues peace, order, and good government. I would go to my friend from Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, who would appreciate that particular point. We have much to be proud of, and I would simply ask us to celebrate this incredible institution. By doing those small acts, we will continue to uphold our Canadian democracy and the values that bind us together.
    I think it would be inappropriate if I did not speak to the substantive motion of the day, so with the remaining five minutes I have been afforded, I will briefly address the motion our friend from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman has put before us, because I may not have actually addressed it at all.
     Let me simply say that I understand where the motion the member has brought forward comes from, but I profoundly disagree, and I disagree with it, respectfully, from the perspective of three quick criticisms.
    First, I recognize that it attempts to provide a certain narrative that a particular party is good at managing the economy and a particular party is not so good at managing the economy, and it then tries to put piecemeal reasons why that is the case. I would first argue that it is difficult to evaluate the economic performance of a particular government after 18 months in any truly meaningful way, given the measures that have been taken.

  (1315)  

    I accept very much that we can attack certain measures the government has put in place. Whether one agrees or disagrees is obviously a point of reasonable debate, but I would argue that suggesting that what we have done would lead to some kind of profound economic catastrophe or failure at the present time is simply premature. I would argue that it would take some time yet to evaluate whether the policies of this government would lead to long-term, sustainable economic growth.
    My second criticism is that there are lot more complicated variables that go into issues of economic performance that this particular motion, in my respectful view, does not address. I would argue that there are broad parameters related to innovation and where the economy ought to go that are perhaps not captured in this motion.
    The final point I would raise is to simply suggest that in some ways, this motion is somewhat nostalgic in terms of its viewpoint. It tends to look at our economy as a whole in terms of what it was or what it used to be as opposed to what it ought to be or where it ought to go. From my perspective, it does not address what I consider to be some of the much broader forces of global technological change this government is attempting to fundamentally address. We need to ask the critical questions in terms of where we need to ultimately go in positioning our national economy in moving things forward.
    I would offer those points as quick criticisms of the substantive motion before the House today, but I thank the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman for bringing it forward. It raises an important question about the direction of our economy. I would ask the hon. member to consider it from the perspective of our country as a whole as opposed to piecemeal. This motion, in some respects, has a propensity toward regionalizing, which I feel is an inappropriate approach when a government is attempting to address issues in the national economy.

  (1320)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is days like this when all members are very proud to sit in the House of Commons. Since this is questions and comments, I will choose the comment option for a change, because the eloquent address by the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt is a reminder to all parliamentarians of how we can strive to do better. I am very fortunate to call the hon. member a friend. We are both lawyers, we are both by-election winners, and we both fell in love with politics through Queen's Park. It was from my father, in my case, and for the hon. member, from working for Premier McGuinty. The House is better when our friend is here sharing his thoughts, as he has today.
    I want the hon. member, Jean, Nathaniel, Ethan, and Theodore to know that we refer to each other in the House, by custom, as honourable. The member, by the way he has comported himself and added to our debate, truly deserves that title. The way he has treated his colleagues and approached debate and procedure in the House has been nothing short of honourable. I am glad he mentioned the small things, because his friendship and the small things have meant a lot to me throughout his time in this place.
    I will end with one reflection. When I was travelling for months across this great country on a leadership bid that did not go quite the way I had hoped, it was tiring, but what was reassuring, and what Canadians should know, is that I got nice notes even from Liberal and NDP members wishing me well. I will never forget the day I was in Vulcan, Alberta, and tweeted that with the Liberal government, we were no longer going to live long and prosper. One of the funniest tweets in rejoinder was from my friend, the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt, who said that he thought my comment was highly illogical but that he wished me well. His notes and reassurance have really fuelled my passion to serve the public.
    I will end my remarks, on behalf of all members of the chamber, much the way I ended that Twitter exchange. We have been, and shall always be, his friend.

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Durham, a friend indeed, and also, unfortunately, a fellow trekkie or trekker, depending on one's characterization. I unfortunately have not had the pleasure of visiting Vulcan, although I wish I could be teleported to that place someday. Others might argue that the blood that runs in my veins probably is a different colour than red, but I would argue otherwise. Let me simply say that I am deeply grateful for my colleague's friendship. More important, from my perspective, and this is in no way to disrespect the leader of the official opposition, I personally am glad that he is not currently the leader of the official opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by simply associating myself with the eloquent remarks of the member for Durham and to say how much the NDP and its entire House of Commons family respects the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt. I was talking with my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni, who reminded me how eloquent the member was when we had an orientation for new members and how meaningful it was when he came forward.
     I was so taken by his remarks today, not only about the work-life balance health issue he addressed but also about the need to thank people at the Tim Hortons, as he pointed out, or to be a little more civil on the roads. The member exemplifies that tradition of civility that we hope we can sometime get back in a more meaningful way in this place.
    I had the honour and privilege to attend an event in the hon. member's riding of Scarborough—Agincourt during the time of the controversial debate involving medical assistance in dying. I got a chance to see the member in action with his constituents, and I can report to the House, without a shadow of a doubt, just how much he was respected and indeed loved by the members who were there.
     I want to say to Jean and his family, I know how important it is for all of us to have family to hold us up. I know how much they have held up this member as well. On behalf of the New Democratic Party, I simply want to say how much we appreciate this member.
    Mr. Speaker, let me thank my friend from Victoria and the third-party House leader for his very generous comments.
    From my perspective, it cuts both ways. It was in fact his generosity, as the New Democratic Party justice critic who was willing to come to speak in a government member's riding on a highly controversial bill, Bill C-14, that demonstrated the strength of this House. If members actually look at our voting records, we voted at almost opposite ends on all the amendments and the main motion throughout, yet we could engage in a civil debate in my constituency and engage with constituents who had a diverse array of views on that particular subject matter.
    That is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Parliament is a place of disagreement in terms of the debate, but we do not have to be disagreeable. My friend from Victoria is a shining example of exactly that, and I thank him for his friendship.
    Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely speechless at the words of praise from my hon. friend from Scarborough—Agincourt, because he also holds up the mirror to someone who is a shining example of parliamentary excellence. I had the great good fortune that when he was first elected in a by-election, he was seated right there, so we were neighbours. I often tell my constituents that the Liberals used to be so irrelevant that they had to sit with me. I am a long way from a lot of my old friends on that side of the House, but we never were far away.
    I want to thank the member for Scarborough—Agincourt again—I thanked him privately—for a message he sent me when I was trying to decide if I should stay on as leader of my own party. Against all expectations the public might have of partisanship, his message to me meant the world to me, and it is one of the reasons I stand here not just as the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands but as the leader of the Green Party of Canada.
    From the depths of my soul, I thank him, I thank Jean, and I thank his family for all the contributions he has made and will continue to make in this place and everywhere across Canada. His words should be etched in marble so we remember that what makes us Canadian is that we are willing to decide it is important to be kind.

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. The member simply knows the esteem in which I hold her. The words she has just said simply speak for themselves. and I will let them stand.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Scarborough—Agincourt for one of, if not the most powerful, meaningful, and wise addresses I have heard in this place. He credits the member across the way from Saanich—Gulf Islands as, in his terms, carrying out the highest level of practice. I would agree with him in that statement, but I also put him in the same category of carrying out the highest level of practice.
    Over the last few months, I have had the privilege of serving on the PROC committee with the member for Scarborough—Agincourt. His example has been nothing short of inspirational.
    I have a question for the member. What advice can he give to us as to how to reach that magical place, that place where we take compassion and kindness, then build into there wisdom, insight, intelligence, then build into there a respect for our constituents with everything we do; respect for our families, who we love dearly; and at the end of the day, serving our constituents in the best possible way we can? How do we get to that place? What words can he leave us?
    Mr. Speaker, let me first thank the member for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas for her generosity in the most personable ways. Only she knows what this means.
    My advice is simple. We should use our heads, but follow our hearts. It is as simple as that.
    Mr. Speaker, for once, I am without words in this place. We should probably rise after that eloquent advice and address from the member for Scarborough—Agincourt, but I know he would want our parliamentary democracy and the wheels to continue. I would remind him, in a friendly way, that I was very much correct when I was in Vulcan.
     I should add that I am splitting my time with the hon. member for Brandon—Souris.
    With the current plan of the Liberal government, high taxes, high deficit, high debt, a war on resource-based jobs that are considered second-class, it would look like we are not en route to live long and prosper, as I joked with my friend from Scarborough—Agincourt that day in Vulcan.
    That underpins why we are debating this today. It is a very cogent motion from my good friend, the MP for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, with a list of issues that show how in a year and a half our economy has been set back. In many ways the phrase “Canada is back” now means back into deficit, back into debt, back into higher Liberal taxes, back into cutting the military although suggesting at some magical point in the future the Liberals will put more money into it.
    The member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman has put in a number of items that we should be mindful of as we debate the economy.
     The first is the deficit. We know when a government runs a deficit, that means one of two things. Either it will have to cut spending at some point in the future, cut programs, or it will have to raise taxes. Many economists look at deficits as deferred taxes.
    When the Prime Minister was the leader of the third party, he said Canada was in a recession and they needed infrastructure jobs. Therefore, he promised he would run a modest deficit, never to exceed $10 billion. He broke that promise within three months of becoming prime minister. In fact, the Liberal government could only dream of deficits in the $10 billion range. The Liberals' last budget tabled a $28.5 billion deficit, while at the same time raising taxes.
    Not only is the deficit a sign that there are more tax increases to come, the Liberal government set on an unparalleled course of raising taxes on families, on seniors by reducing the TFSA eligibility, on employers through the CPP payroll tax, through rolling back the planned reduction to small business. Now with the nationalized carbon tax, it has literally taxed every group and mode of economic activity.
    As we joked recently about the Liberals' Saturday night budget tax, they are taxing beer, wine, and an Uber ride home. Therefore, on the so-called sharing economy, they are even taxing sharing. That I guess is sunny ways: broken promises on the deficit and taxes as far as the eye can see of all flavours and stripes.
    I would remind the Minister of Public Safety, who has been here for many years, what he said when he criticized the last government. He said:
    Does the minister take satisfaction in that debt number? Why, in arriving at that sorry position, did his government put our country into deficit again, before the recession occurred? It was not because of the recession. It was before the recession. That is when they blew the fiscal framework.
    Despite the third party leader's claims during the 2015 election, there was no recession. There was no need to run an even modest $10 billion deficit. However, with their reckless spending, the Liberals are running $28.5 billion in deficit, with no discernible impact on jobs from infrastructure and with capital in the resource economy and in manufacturing. Just a few weeks ago, we saw Procter & Gamble Brockville fleeing our country because of the high tax, high regulatory regime.

  (1335)  

    It is an astounding record. That is why my friend from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman brought this to the floor of the House of Commons. The most important issue facing a family is whether there is a job for mom and dad if they want to work. Do they have that opportunity? They do not with the Liberal government, which has set out to have classes of jobs. IT and technology jobs seem to be acceptable to the government, yet resource-based jobs, softwood lumber jobs, or jobs in the fishing economy in Atlantic Canada somehow appear secondary to these cluster-based concepts it is going after.
    Nothing shows this more than the most recent addition to our cabinet, the member for Burlington. Before getting into politics, she suggested we should close the oil sands, a comment that even the Prime Minister has let slip out from time to time. The government feels that the single largest contributor to our GDP, to the economy, to health care, to the programs we have, should be closed, like a turnkey solution, and maybe those people can get jobs in the so-called infrastructure bank, or the office towers of bureaucrats that the government is hiring. Maybe they can look at the 147 government programs on innovation to find a job that is acceptable to the government. Clearly getting one's hands dirty bringing product out of the ground and getting royalties for Canadians seems somehow secondary to the government.
    I sat in the House when President Obama addressed us. The Prime Minister embarrassed us that day when he said that we were here to see a bromance in action. Frankly, I was embarrassed that our Prime Minister said that in the chamber while introducing the then President of the United States.
    What did that bromance get us? President Obama cancelled Keystone XL. He would not finalize the softwood lumber agreement with his bromance dudeplomacy pal. He would not give us a good border deal. Bill C-23 gives the Americans a lot of benefit on Canadian soil and gives us nothing. It will not even remove the marijuana question from the preclearance screening to enter the United States at a time when the government is legalizing marijuana. It was a one-way deal. The Americans got everything and the Liberal government got a state dinner with seats for family and friends. That is not a win. That is not negotiating in our interests.
    As my colleague from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman reminded the House, it was the Conservative government that negotiated a deal on softwood, that gave certainty to 1,100 workers, who are now likely going to lose their job in the next few months, and gave $300-plus million in economic activity, which is now lost. The Liberals have gone nowhere, even when they had this bromance with President Obama. When the Prime Minister had dinner with Mr. Obama in Montreal last week, I hope Mr. Obama picked up the cheque.
     We literally have seen nothing from the government when it comes to the American relationship, which is an important one. Now the government, with its motions on the fly, and making up foreign and defence policies on the fly, seems to think its job is to be the global opposition leader to President Trump. Its job is to help Canada. Its job is to create jobs for families in western Canada, in southern Ontario, in Atlantic Canada, and in our north.
    The Prime Minister has been all around the world, yet he has not been to Yukon. That is an embarrassment. It seems the government views resource jobs in our north and western Canada as second class. I was so proud that my first real job as a young person was working for TransCanada, inspecting the pipeline that runs through the Belleville to Ottawa area, which is the safest way to transit our resources to market. However, the government will poll an issue before it will determine what is in our country's best interest. It will ask foreign leaders what it should do. It will give our money to other countries' green programs, while our resource economy is hurting.
    When I was in Calgary months ago, I was in line at McDonald's for a coffee and a mother behind us said to her sons, “You'll have to change your order because mommy lost her job and we're going to have to make some changes.” There have been thousands of stories like that in Alberta, and people have heard nothing from the Liberal government.

  (1340)  

    In fact, with its antithetical approach to our U.S. ally, we are going to increasingly be talking about multilateralism but are going to be closed off from economic, trade, security, and defence opportunities. This motion is reminding Canadians that the failures of the Liberal government on the economy are profound, and we need to turn it around.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the hon. member for Durham.
    What are the hon. member's thoughts on the job numbers that came out on Friday, which showed that Canada created 77,000 new full-time jobs from coast to coast to coast and that the economy has grown at above a 2% rate, something that I do not think in the past 10 years was even reached by the prior government in power?
    I would like to get his comments on the job growth we have seen for the last six months across Canada, the unemployment rate that has gone down, the general optimistic nature Canadians have on the economy going forward and the future for their kids, and the key strategic investments that we are undertaking as a government.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge for his statistical rundown. There have been jobs and I am happy about that. The full impact of the Liberal government's actions is not being felt. In fact, the carbon scheme across the country is really just being felt. We are seeing estimates well above 10¢ in additional price for fuel. It will take larger contracts and some period of time before industry accepts this new regime. We are also seeing the CPP payroll tax and other things taking time to take effect.
    I remind the member that the auto parts industry across southern Ontario, including in Vaughan, where there are great jobs, is worried because we have an integrated North American economy. It is either going to be moving its location from Vaughan or losing contracts in the North American integrated economy because there is no input cost for carbon in the U.S. and there is here.
    Again, this was another thing Mr. Obama praised the government for, yet we did not see Mr. Obama imposing a carbon tax. We are allowing our economy to become uncompetitive one month at a time. We may see a little pop up now, but when the full impact of this high-tax regime is in place, we will have no manufacturing business left in Vaughan or across southern Ontario.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on that last question about the latest job numbers. I was struck by the fact that Statistics Canada's website was down almost that whole day. That was not an isolated incident. The former chief statistician, Wayne Smith, resigned in protest of the lack of IT support Statistics Canada was getting from Shared Services.
    Does the member for Durham have any comments on the state of Statistics Canada and whether the Liberal government is providing enough support to this agency so that we, as parliamentarians and Canadians, have the data to properly evaluate what is happening in our country's economy?
    Mr. Speaker, the resignation of Mr. Smith from Statistics Canada highlights something that the Liberal government does very well. It talks the sunny ways game, but secretly it is the most partisan. Its House leader has been setting records in the use of closure. Had there been a resignation of this level from Statistics Canada under the Conservative government, the howls of outrage would be across this nation.
    Nothing highlights it better than votes on a nationalized organ donor registry or a national program for autism, paltry amounts of money in the grand scheme of this reckless spending, yet the Liberals whipped votes on these issues because it did not come from that side of the House. That is not leadership. It is not sunny ways. When more and more families have less work for mom or dad, soon Canada will not be very sunny. It will be a cloudy future.
     Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to the opposition day motion brought in by my colleague, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, which indicates that the government has been very ineffective with respect to the care and due diligence of this nation.
     In particular, I want to say that damaging Canadian industries and diminishing Canadian economic stability, as he has pointed out in his motion, are certainly things that we care about every day in the House. We hear it from our constituents when we get back to our constituencies on weekends and during constituency weeks. It is certainly a situation that I have heard about quite regularly from my constituents.
    My colleague, the member for Durham, has just pointed out that there is a huge deficit in place in Canada although the Liberals talked about small deficits during the election campaign. They have outgrown that by $30 billion, which is about 30 times what the Liberals said they would have. That is terrible mismanagement. Our future generations are going to have to pay for that every day of their lives as they move forward, not to mention the fact that all of us in this chamber today will share in that burden as well.
    There are three major areas of concern that the member has pointed out: the softwood lumber deal, the carbon tax, and in particular, the current rail service agreement with respect to rail transportation in the Prairies.
    The member has talked at great length about the softwood lumber deal, so I do not need to say much more. Suffice it to say that thousands of jobs are dependent upon an agreement between Canada and the United States. With the tariff that has been put in place by the United States today, we clearly see that the government did not have an answer when it came up with about $870 million as payment to cover some of the costs that will be borne by our industry. We need to find long-term leadership with respect to this matter. These stopgap measures are not good enough. That is what we are seeing in the other areas too.
    The carbon tax that the government has implemented or is forcing upon provinces is certainly something that is going to continue to put people out of jobs. There were 200,000 jobs lost in Alberta alone. There are jobs lost in my constituency. We have a very small oil industry in western Manitoba, most of which is in my constituency. People have been put out of work there as well. We are only seeing some stability back in that area because of the stability in the price of oil right now, as well as an upgrade in the American economy. There has been a bit of a boost there. That is giving us some stability right now in Canada. However, it is very nebulous as to how long that may continue and if it will be on a long-term basis.
    The area that I want to speak about today is mainly the current rail service agreements that ensure that our farmers can get their products to market.
    In the spring of 2014, through the winter of 2013, our government brought forward Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, with our transportation minister, at the time, and our agriculture minister. They did an exceptional job of putting a program in place that would allow farmers some protection with respect to the movement of grain. There were extenuating circumstances, for sure, that winter. At that period of time, we had some of the coldest weather we have ever had. However, we are used to that in Canada, particularly in western Canada, so that is not an excuse with respect to being able to get grain to port on time.
    There were three or four areas that were very important in that whole venue with that act. One of them was allowing interswitching to move up from a 30-kilometre basis to 160 kilometres, which made it quite effective to have a bit of competition in the industry, which we do not have most times when we have two railroads with, basically, a duopoly with respect to being able to move grain in the Prairies.
    Trucks can only move so much grain effectively and we do not have the processing plants to process all of the grain in the Prairies. In fact, at that particular time, about 50% of the grain in Canada was going for export. That is why we desperately need to have that kind of openness and a bit of protection against the movement of other products. We cannot just leave grain, because of the massive volumes of it alone, and because it is basically in a captive area. It has to be grown every year. It has to be moved and marketed, perhaps not all in one year, but it does have to be moved, and it is a perishable product in the long run.

  (1350)  

    That is why it is so important that we move forward for Canadian families and businesses on the Prairies and in Canada as a whole, because wheat contributes greatly to the gross domestic product of our nation. Millions of jobs in Canada depend on the shipment of grain in the agricultural industry.
    The minister has brought forward Bill C-49 but there is great concern as to whether it will have any teeth and whether it will get passed before we rise in the House for the summer. I commend the minister for bringing it forward, but I would encourage him to talk to his colleagues and move forward with it. If the bill does not move forward there is going to be a huge gap in this whole area. Bill C-30 will take over again, and it dies on July 31. That would leave the huge gap I referred to earlier and farmers will go into the coming harvest without any type of rule or regulation in place that will allow for the convenience of knowing the conditions under which grain can be shipped for the coming year.
    I referred to interswitching rights earlier. Long-haul interswitching could be utilized. It certainly allowed for competition within that 160-kilometre radius. Interswitching is a tool that we brought in with Bill C-30. It is a much better rule than using competitive line rates, which have been in since the change in the Crow benefit in 1995. Competitive line rates, while sounding good, really were an ineffective way of providing the certainty that farmers and grain companies would have some competition. That is why the grain companies and the farm groups have joined together to lobby the government to put a stronger rate in place, a much stronger and more useable mechanism to use in that area.
    A number of groups in Saskatchewan, and a growing chorus of western Canadian groups, have called for an extension of the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act that we had in Bill C-30. I am calling on the government today to extend that again. It was extended once by the government but it needs to do it again. That will provide fairness and equity and predictability in regard to the movement of product into the fall.
    The government is talking about proroguing the House. If the House is prorogued this summer or early in the fall, the legislation would die on the Order Paper and the government would have to start all over again. This would provide unpredictability in the industry for some extended time down the road. It would be the spring of 2018 at the earliest or the fall of 2018 before we would have any kind of predictable rules to carry on with the movement of grain products in western Canada and to get grain to port in the just-in-time fashion that is required today to meet the markets that we built up so extensively through the 40-some free trade agreements that the Harper government signed with our trading nations. Keeping markets open is one of the best things that a government can do in relation to our agricultural industry.
    The government needs to also look at the coordination of the grain grading system between Canada and the United States because there is much grain movement back and forth. A lot of livestock goes back and forth. Having sat on the western standards committee of the Canadian Grain Commission for a number of years as a farm representative, I know how important access to the U.S. is.
    There are other things that I would ask the Minister of Transport to do. One of them is to get the Minister of Agriculture on side to move forward with some of these areas as well. He is looking at removing deferred grain tickets, cash tickets, and that would not be helpful to farmers either. The Minister of Agriculture needs to move more quickly in regard to the PED virus in hogs and cleaning trucks in Manitoba.

  (1355)  

    There were nine cases last month, and there has still been no action on that to make sure we maintain a strong hog industry.
    All of that fits into the transportation of product. We are talking about the transportation of grain, but the movement of livestock is part and parcel of the use of grain on the Prairies.
    I look forward to any questions.
    The hon. member for Brandon—Souris will have five minutes for questions and comments on his remarks when the House next resumes debate on the motion before the House.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Philippine Independence Day

    Mr. Speaker, today marks Philippine Independence Day, a day when the Filipino community celebrates its 119th anniversary of independence from colonial rule. This morning I had the privilege of standing with the Philippine consul general, Mayor Tory, and Filipino community leaders, proudly raising the Philippine flag at Toronto city hall.
    Canada is home to one of the fastest-growing Filipino communities in the world. In my riding of York Centre and across Canada, Filipino Canadians make rich contributions to their communities and help to build a better Canada for us all. I am incredibly proud that York Centre is home to Toronto's Little Manila, as well as hosting annual events, like the Salu Salo picnic and the Taste of Manila Festival. I invite all members of the House to come and visit Little Manila to experience the vibrant food, music, and culture of the Philippines.
     On this poignant anniversary, I want to acknowledge the importance of the Filipino community to Canada and wish them a happy independence day.
    Maligayang araw ng kalayaan! Mabuhay!

Philippine Independence Day

    Mr. Speaker, Mabuhay. Canada is home to a vibrant Filipino community, and today Filipinos around the world will celebrate the 119th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Philippines.
    Canada has a special relationship with the Philippines. Not only are we trading and economic partners, but we have strong people-to-people ties as well. The Philippines continues to be the top country of origin for immigrants to Canada. The over 700,000 Filipino Canadians residing in Canada are an immense asset to Canadian society.
    On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, I wish all those celebrating this occasion a happy independence day.
    Maligayang araw ng kalayaan! Mabuhay!

[Translation]

Dorval

    Mr. Speaker, today, I am proud to mark the 125th anniversary of the city of Dorval. This small community on the banks of the St. Lawrence was incorporated as a town on June 24, 1892 and, as its motto Ego Porta Mundi states, has become a gateway to the world with its Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

[English]

    As with Confederation a quarter century prior, it was the building of railways that forged this community. The arrival of the Grand Trunk and Canadian Pacific railways linked the village to the rest of our country and brought an economic boom to Montreal.
    Those wanting to escape the downtown hustle could take the train to spend their summers in a quiet green place in the parish of Saints-Anges de Lachine, a place called Dorval. However, it will not be quiet this Saturday, June 24, as we will be celebrating its quasquicentennial all day and all night at the Parc du Millénaire, and everyone is welcome to join us.

Transcona Museum

    Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Elmwood—Transcona and a former member of its board of directors, I am pleased to rise and congratulate the Transcona Museum on its 50th anniversary.
    The museum got its start in 1967 when then City of Transcona alderman Paul Martin moved a motion for its establishment. During its life, the museum has occupied some important spaces in Transcona history, including Roland Michener Arena and its current location in the former Transcona municipal office.
    As the main hub of Transcona's social history, the museum preserves and displays a wide variety of artifacts and documents. Most recently, it acquired ownership of CNR locomotive 2747 from the Winnipeg Railway Museum. In April, 1926, the 2747 became the first steam engine built in western Canada, one of 38 built at the Canadian National Railway shops in Transcona. It served over 30 years before being retired to rest in Rotary Heritage Park.
    Time has taken its toll on this important piece of Transcona history. I thank the museum staff and volunteers for their work to preserve our history, including the 2747.

Japanese Community in Steveston

    Mr. Speaker, last month, through the efforts of Richmond's sister city of Wakayama, Japan, and people like Steveston's own Jim Kojima, one of the world's largest tall ships, the majestic Kaiwo Maru, arrived in Steveston Harbour.
    Many of Steveston's early Japanese settlers came from Wakayama in the late 1880s. They formed the Japanese Fishermen's Benevolent Society, and together they built a hospital, school, and martial arts centre. Today the Japanese community is a strong and tangible presence in Steveston, proud of their Japanese heritage, yet fiercely Canadian.
    I wish to thank the Japanese community for their many contributions to Steveston and salute Jim Kojima for his dedication and commitment to preserving Steveston's Japanese history and culture.

  (1405)  

Local Officials in Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan

    Mr. Speaker, Alberta will have municipal elections this fall, so now seems a fitting time to pay tribute to the current municipal officials, some of whom are not seeking re-election.
    Local mayors and councillors have been great allies and partners as we worked together to advance the priorities of Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. When it comes to supporting the energy sector in particular, local officials have been outspoken advocates for pipelines and for a response to the unemployment crisis facing the province.
    I recently welcomed the local leaders to Ottawa. They were here lobbying on behalf of the Alberta Industrial Heartland Association. This association is an initiative of local municipalities advocating for the downstream part of the energy sector. Municipal officials work on issues big and small. I once called my local councillor at 11 p.m. to get his advice on dealing with an animal that had gotten into my house and, much to my surprise, he answered the phone. That was before I was elected.
    Whether it is dealing with political animals here in Ottawa or animals in my basement, I know that I can always count on the important partnership between my office and local municipal officials. I thank them for their service.

LGBTQ2 Community

    Mr. Speaker, one year ago, the world was shocked by a deadly and hateful attack on the Pulse nightclub, a gay bar in Orlando, Florida. Canadians sought solace at vigils across the country. At the Alberta legislature on the closing day of the 2016 Pride Festival, I stood with hundreds of Edmontonians from all backgrounds, creeds, sexual orientations, and gender identities to mourn the 49 innocent lives lost.
     Two days ago, almost one year to the day of the Orlando massacre, I stood with my fellow Edmontonians to celebrate the beginning of this year's Edmonton Pride.

[Translation]

    With rainbow flags on every street corner, we celebrated another year of promoting inclusion and equality.

[English]

    Over the past year, I have met and befriended three Orlando survivors. They and their loved ones would want us to remember our brothers, sisters, and friends in Orlando and to redouble our efforts and commitment to fight for the dignity and inclusion of LGBTQ2 people around the world.
    As Canadians, we mourn together, we celebrate together, and we stand proudly for equality and inclusion as one country, one community.

[Translation]

Summer in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles

    Mr. Speaker, as the temperature rises and things get a little heated in Ottawa, we can start turning our thoughts to summer, which is just around the corner.
    Ideed, 2017 is a year of celebration from coast to coast to coast and that will very much be the case in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, where there will be no shortage of activities.
    Throughout the summer, the Vieux-Saint-Eustache public market will showcase local products from the lower Laurentians. The young and not-so-young will be able to find something to their liking there.
    I invite everyone to come celebrate our national holiday on June 23 in Boisbriand, or in Saint-Eustache on June 23 and 24. These events are not to be missed.
    Finally, let us not forget the biggest party of all on July 1st, the day we will be celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary in Deux-Montagnes and Rosemère.
    I will be attending all the celebrations. I invite everyone to join me and have fun with family and friends. Have a good summer, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

[English]

Facing the Music

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has been like a broken record since it began. It started off singing a “we're for the middle class” song, but its hit parade since then has been more like this: on electoral reform, Promises, Promises; on the infrastructure file, A Little Less Talk And A Lot More Action; on the Bombardier file, Money For Nothing; on its partisan appointments, Dirty Deeds—and they were not dirt cheap, because some of them paid $30,000; on its legislative agenda, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights; and on the public safety file, I Want A New Drug.
    However, Canadians are singing a different tune. Canadians are now singing Your Smiling Face, True Blue, Time for a Cool Change, and Get It Right This Time.
    While the Prime Minister wastes taxpayer money on summer vacations and sells Canada to foreign interests, Canadians have sheer excitement for 2019.

Come From Away

    Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure and, indeed, an honour to congratulate the Canadian musical Come From Away. Last night, Come From Away's Christopher Ashley took home the Tony Award for best direction.
    On September 11, 2001, the world was horrified to witness the evil destruction of the World Trade Centre. However, there was a tremendous act of kindness and compassion shown on that day, when almost 6,600 passengers were stranded in central Newfoundland for days. As true Newfoundlanders, we fed, housed, entertained, and consoled folks we called “the plane people”. Come From Away celebrates this genuine act of kindness, and now Newfoundlanders and their member of Parliament say thanks to the cast, the crew, and the creators of this wonderful musical for honouring us.
    Congratulations on their well-deserved nominations and awards this season. We thank them.

  (1410)  

17th Gyalwang Karmapa

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today, along with my colleague from Parkdale—High Park, to welcome His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, on his first visit to Canada. I would like to commend His Holiness for his commitment to helping youth, for his dedication to social and environmental responsibility, and for bringing Buddhist teachings to life in the modern world.
    His Holiness touches many lives, and many he knows, but many he does not. By making Buddhism and meditation accessible to people through technology and digital resources, he is helping thousands of people who suffer from mental health challenges to find peace. The impact of His Holiness is far reaching and is helping to change the lives of people who might otherwise suffer alone.
     It is a privilege to have the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore. It is a vibrant community, rich in culture and tradition. The goals of the centre and Tibetan Buddhism in general reflect a beautiful respect for life and harmony that transcends all cultures.
    I welcome His Holiness to Canada. May his trip be very meaningful.

Tibet

    Mr. Speaker, today we welcome His Holiness the 17th Karmapa on his first visit to Canada. The Karmapa's life should remind us of the dire human rights situation in the so-called autonomous region of Tibet. At 14 years old, the Karmapa fled his home amid the tyrannous efforts of the Government of China to persecute the people of Tibet through forced assimilation and restricting religion, to the point of destroying religious buildings. Sixteen years have passed since then, yet observers report that conditions have become worse, not better.
    As we welcome the Karmapa, we ought to recall the words of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, when he said:
    

I am a Canadian....
free to speak without fear,
free to to worship in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
or free to choose those
who will govern my country.
This heritage of freedom
I pledge to uphold
for myself and all mankind.

     Accordingly, the current Liberal government needs to stand up to the People's Republic of China and advocate for a truly autonomous region for Tibetans, so they may enjoy the freedoms that we do.

Canada's 150th Anniversary

    Mr. Speaker, a beautiful spring in Newfoundland is not something that our province is known for, but this year Canada 150 initiatives are starting to bring some colour to my riding of Avalon. Canada 150 anniversary gardens in the communities of Conception Harbour and Conception Bay South have been bringing our people together to celebrate our strong, proud, and free country. This past fall, I joined these communities as we announced that they would be two of 150 towns to have anniversary gardens in celebration of 150 years of Confederation.
    I would like to recognize Trudy Strowbridge and Mayor Craig Williams of Conception Harbour, and Stuart Crosbie, Michael Mooney, and staff of the Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre, for all their hard work and dedication as they patiently wait and care for these gardens as they come into bloom.

[Translation]

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish my constituents in Avalon and all Canadians a happy Canada 150.

[English]

International Paramedic Competition

    Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to rise in the House to congratulate members of the Windsor-Essex emergency medical services team. Four outstanding paramedics from my riding of Essex recently competed as Team Ontario at the prestigious International Paramedic Competition in the Czech Republic, where they won first place. This win is incredible, as it is the team's second straight win. They have made our region proud by bringing back-to-back gold medals home to Windsor-Essex.
     Captain Chris Kirwan, Lance Huver, Mike Filiault, and Shawn May competed over a 24-hour gruelling period. They showed resilience, physical endurance, and perseverance through a variety of scenarios dealing with simulated traumas and challenges that they may encounter in the field. The recognition that these four men received not only shows the calibre of the services they provide daily to our community, but also the dedication and talent of all our emergency services personnel. I want to thank Chris, Lance, Mike, and Shawn for their devotion and for honouring Windsor-Essex on the world stage.

  (1415)  

World Day Against Child Labour

    Mr. Speaker, a report released today by World Vision Canada reveals there are at least 1,200 Canadian companies importing $34 billion worth of products every year with links to child and forced labour. This is up from $26 billion in 2012.
    For example, coffee beans, a product used by many of us every morning, are harvested by children like Melvin in Honduras. Melvin works 12 hours a day, and started when he was only seven years old.
    Two years ago, the U.K. adopted the Modern Slavery Act, which requires companies to produce an annual report outlining the steps they are taking to address child and forced labour in their supply chains. Today is World Day Against Child Labour. Canadians are calling on the government to work with stakeholders to develop similar supply chain transparency legislation. It is time for Canada to act and take steps to prevent the exploitation of children, and people of all ages, trapped in forced labour. Let us work together to end modern slavery.

World Day Against Child Labour

    Mr. Speaker, today marks the World Day Against Child Labour.
    Of the estimated 168 million children engaged in child labour, most live in areas affected by conflict and disaster, forced to leave their homes, pushed into poverty and starvation, trapped in situations where their basic human rights are violated. Conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people's lives.
    As schools are destroyed and basic services are disrupted, children are often the first to suffer. Many are internally displaced and become refugees in other countries, and are vulnerable to trafficking and child labour. Ultimately, millions of children are pushed into child labour by conflicts and disasters.
    As we try to achieve the elimination of child labour by 2025, let us be committed to working together here in this House, as parliamentarians, to end child labour in areas affected by conflict and disaster.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, recently I met with a manufacturer who has had to cut back shifts at his plant in Markham because of Kathleen Wynne's disastrous energy policies. If the Prime Minister insists on imposing his national carbon tax, this small business owner will have no choice but to move his operations to the United States along with the jobs it creates.
    Conservatives will alway be opposed to the carbon tax because we know that when small business owners are forced to flee, not only do the economic opportunity and prosperity go with them but global emissions are not reduced. What part of that does the Prime Minister not understand?
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to recognize that almost all of the Conservative Party recognizes the need for the Paris agreement and moving forward in the fight against climate change. We have put forward a strong pan-Canadian framework that demonstrates we know how to do that, with carbon pricing, with working with the provinces, with investing in renewables. We very much look forward to the Leader of the Opposition's proposal on how he plans to reach those carbon targets as well.

Foreign Investment

    Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Prime Minister that those targets can be reached under a Conservative government without raising taxes.

[Translation]

    The Prime Minister's recent decision to kowtow to the Chinese government raises serious national security concerns. He ignored the advice of national security experts and approved the sale of Canadian satellite technology company Norsat to a Chinese owner without subjecting it to a full security review.
    When will the Prime Minister stop making decisions that jeopardize our national security solely to please—
    Order
    The right hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, we take our national security responsibility very seriously. That is why all investments go through a rigorous process to protect national security.
    In fact, in this case, we spent twice as many days as usual reviewing this case. We can assure all Canadians that all of the procedures were followed in accordance with the law.

  (1420)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Norsat itself has said that the Liberals waived a national security review. Canada's defence policy cannot include selling national security secrets to appease communist dictatorships, even if they happen to have secured the admiration of our Prime Minister.
    Experts such as the former ambassador to China and former CSIS director believe that this deal requires a formal national security review. Was waiving the review part of the cost for the Prime Minister's cash for access events with his Chinese billionaire friends?
    Mr. Speaker, we followed the advice given to us by our national security agencies. The member opposite knows full well that we followed the process, did our due diligence, and did our homework. I would like to remind the member opposite that all transactions are subject to a national security review. We never have and we never will compromise national security, and the partisan jibes that the members opposition are taking are unworthy of this House.

[Translation]

Government Appointments

    Mr. Speaker, I can imagine the conversation that took place in the Prime Minister's Office between Katie and Gerry, who must be thinking that they have plenty of cushy commissioner positions to hand out, including official languages commissioner, lobbying commissioner, and the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner.
    Who will get them? I think they had a little chat and decided that it would take some good Liberals to fill them.
    It is absolutely crucial that those positions be filled by people who are beyond reproach, because their role is to protect Canadians from bad decisions.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to ensuring that the process will be entirely non-partisan?
    Mr. Speaker, we are the ones who put in place an open, transparent, merit-based process. Our aim is to identify highly qualified candidates from across the country who truly represent Canada's diversity of perspectives and backgrounds to fill those positions.
    We can confirm that over 60% of the people we appointed are women, 12% are from visible minority communities, and over 10% are from indigenous communities. We reformed Canada's appointment process after 10 years under the Harper government.
    Mr. Speaker, Ms. Meilleur demonstrated that she has better judgment by acknowledging that she was no longer credible.

[English]

    We did not pick Mr. Fraser because he was on the list of the donors of our party. We did it because he was able to do that, and he proved to everybody in the country that he had the ability to do it.
    Can the Prime Minister show some leadership, and assure Canadians today that the appointment process for the future government commissioners, who will be the watchdogs of the Canadian population, will be non-partisan, transparent, and not just a way to reward Liberal donors?
    Mr. Speaker, after 10 years of petty politics by the previous government, we put in place an open, transparent, merit-based process, to which we encourage all Canadians to apply. Indeed, all members in the House should reach out to community leaders, the people they know would be great candidates, and urge them to apply through the merit-based process.
    We have been able to appoint over 60% women in the appointments we have made since coming into office, over 12% visible minorities, over 10% indigenous. We are putting in place appointments that look like Canada.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, according to Der Spiegel the Prime Minister encouraged members of the G20 to remove all references to the Paris agreement from the joint statement. Can the Prime Minister confirm or deny that report?

[English]

    The question is about the joint statement, nothing else.
    Mr. Speaker, in the past 18 months, Canada has been a leader in the cause of climate changes, in fighting climate change, and putting forward the Paris agreement. Indeed, our Minister of Environment and Climate Change was part of making sure the Paris agreement was a success.
    This was an opportunity for us to lead, and we continue to see opportunities to lead. We will not let climate policy or indeed international policy dictated by any country. We will push forward on understanding that building for a cleaner environment and growing the economy happens side by side together for the better of us all.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, a Prime Minister who will not even meet the Harper targets that he used to ridicule is not a leader on climate change.
    What would be wrong with simply striking all mentions of the Paris agreement from the planned G20 statement on climate, the Prime Minister asked Merkel.
    Did he make that ask, yes or no? Any more equivocation is simply confirmation.
    Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear. Leadership on climate change matters, not just for the future of our planet, for future generations; it matters for our economy right now. That is why we are moving forward in a responsible way. The answer to the specific question by the hon. member is no, I did not say that.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister also promised a nation-to-nation relationship. He promised to stop taking first nations children to court. He vowed to end boiled water advisories. He swore that he would conduct some consultations. So far he has failed on all fronts.
    Could the Prime Minister explain why his government, not the Conservative government of Mr. Harper, has spent almost $1 million fighting first nations children in court. I ask him to please spare us the talking points. These kids deserve better.
    Mr. Speaker, I was proud this morning to sit down with the Assembly of First Nations national chief, Perry Bellegarde, and sign a memorandum of understanding on how we would move forward, tangibly and concretely, on delivering what a nation-to-nation relationship looks like, delivering for communities, delivering for children right across the country in indigenous communities.
    The fact is that we are moving forward on this extraordinarily important relationship, and we are going to continue doing that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, one of his solemn promises was that there would be an institutional change. The Liberals promised to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    Will the Prime Minister stand up and confirm his support for the NDP's bill to fully enshrine the UN Declaration in federal law or not?
    Mr. Speaker, again, if our nation-to-nation relationships are to be built on respect, it is essential for us to work with the first nations and indigenous peoples. It is not up to a government to decide what is going to be done. It is about working with the first nations and indigenous communities to get them what they need in a tangible and concrete manner. That is the type of partnership we started a year and a half ago, and that is how we are going to continue to work. We are not going to impose solutions as the NDP would have us do.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-44 features some foolish legislation, including one that is particularly underhanded. I am speaking of the so-called tax escalator. We know that the government decided to raise taxes on alcohol, but oddly enough, this tax will continue to automatically increase year after year. This is known as a tax escalator.
     Why is this government so greedy when it comes to Canadian taxpayers' wallets?
    Mr. Speaker, thanks to Bill C-44, we will continue to move forward with our plan to improve the lives of Canadians.
    It is true that Bill C-44 includes a way to collect a tax that keeps pace with the rate of inflation. That is our goal, and it is very important. We know that it is crucial to make important decisions for the future of our country and our economy.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's candour. However, the major problem is that parliamentarians will never have the opportunity to vote on this yearly tax hike. That means that, year after year, this tax will escalate and no one will be accountable. That is completely unacceptable, and it is not even in keeping with democratic principles.
    I will ask my question again. Why is this government so greedy when it comes to taxpayers' wallets?
    Mr. Speaker, inflation is a fact of life.
    Our goal is to increase the rate of economic growth. That is our goal, and that is exactly what we are doing. The rate of economic growth was 3.7% in the last quarter. That is the best rate Canada has seen in recent years.
    Our plan to improve the economy is working, and we will continue to move forward with it.

  (1430)  

[English]

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are intent on ensuring that foreign investors have priority access to Canadian assets. The Liberals sold off a chain of Canadian retirement homes to Chinese investors. The Liberals disregarded national security concerns to sell off a high-tech satellite imaging company to China. The Liberals commissioned an interim report to sell of Canadian airports and ports.
    Is it the minister's intention to have foreign governments own Canada's electricity grids, public transit, and bridges through the infrastructure bank, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, due to the lack of investment and inconsistent approach by the previous government, our municipalities are facing greater gridlock, which is stifling the growth of our economy. The lack of investment in affordable housing is robbing children and families of opportunities.
     We have committed to invest a historic amount of infrastructure to grow our economy, create jobs, as well as fill the deficit that has been left behind by the previous government. We will continue to do that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, everyone from experts and analysts to opposition MPs and now senators wants the government to take the infrastructure bank out of the budget. Everyone is concerned about the ethical issues, the governance model, and the risks that Canadian taxpayers will take on in terms of the $35 billion that the Liberals are planning to invest.
     Is the Minister of Finance refusing to do this because he has already made deals with Liberal donors or foreign investors?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we put forward a very ambitious agenda to support our provinces and municipalities to build the necessary infrastructure that they need, the infrastructure that should have been built a decade ago. The role of the bank will be to mobilize institutional investors and pension funds to build the infrastructure that otherwise may not get built.
    Our focus is to grow our economy, create jobs for the middle class, and provide opportunities for Canadians for success, and we will continue to do that.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals love saying one thing and doing another. The Information Commissioner agrees. The Liberals claim to be transparent, but will not reveal the true of cost of their carbon tax scheme.
     The Regina Leader-Post got internal briefings of future revenue, from a $50-a-tonne carbon tax in 2022, but all facts are blacked out. The very nature of the Liberals' carbon tax is not transparent: more hidden costs, more hidden details.
    Will the Liberals be honest and finally reveal how much their carbon tax will actually cost struggling Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, all of this information is already in the public domain. Ninety-seven per cent of Canadians already live in jurisdictions that have either implemented a price on carbon pollution or are in the process of doing so.
     Pricing of carbon pollution is a market-based mechanism that allows us to reduce emissions at the lowest possible cost, while stimulating innovation and job creation going forward.
    Last week, I was very pleased to see that most members on that side of the House voted in favour of the Paris agreement. Given that most of those members now acknowledge the importance of addressing climate change, I would ask them to outline their plans for achieving the Paris targets if—
    The hon. member for Carleton.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, during the last election, the then-Liberal leader ran an ad of himself walking up a downward escalator, as he made promises to the middle class on taxes. After the election, we found out what this tax escalator actually meant. It meant that beer prices were going to go up, year after year, to fill government coffers. That is in addition to the tax escalator on home heating fuel, groceries, and everything else.
    When will the government finally reverse the escalating cost of taxes on middle-class Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we absolutely want to be clear on taxes. We lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. We raised them on the top 1%. All I can say for sure is the people opposite did not vote for that. When we lowered tax on middle-class Canadians, we meant it.
    What we are doing with this is making sure that the taxes on these particular issues stay even with inflation over time. That is appropriate. We promised we would seek to make sure our tax system was fair, and that is exactly what we have done for Canadians.

  (1435)  

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, the President of the United States officially put on notice the renegotiation of NAFTA, meaning we are currently within the 90-day window of the process.
    On July 17, the U.S. will reveal its final priorities, yet Canadians still do not know what the Liberal government will prioritize. Canadians workers are tired of being left out of the conversation when their livelihoods are at stake. They deserve to have their jobs clearly defended by the government, and the clock is ticking.
    Will the Liberals stand up for good jobs and protect our labour standards that Canadians have fought to achieve?
    Trade agreements need to grow and mature, as the economy grows and matures. NAFTA has been tweaked, modified, and amended 11 times since its inception. We have invited Canadians to share their ideas and priorities on the modernization of NAFTA by going on to the applicable websites.
     We will always stand up for our national economic interests, Canadian values, and Canadian jobs.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States has set NAFTA renegotiation in motion, but Canadians are in the dark about the Liberals' plan.
    The Liberals broke their promise to protect our supply management system, so producers and Canadians no longer trust them. There is no meaningful compensation in CETA, the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, for diafiltered milk, $131 million in goods will be imported duty-free, and the list goes on.
    During negotiations, will the government finally take a stand and protect Canadian jobs in supply-managed sectors?
    As we have told Canadians many times, we are prepared to enter into negotiations at any time. Trade agreements must evolve in step with the economy. As everyone knows, NAFTA has been amended 11 times since its first iteration.
    The Prime Minister has already spoken to the President of the United States about 10 times on this important issue. We will always stand up for our national interests and Canadian values.

[English]

Foreign Takeovers

    Mr. Speaker, from the health care sector to the tax sector, the Liberal government seems quite content to place Chinese interests ahead of the safety of Canadians, particularly when those Chinese companies have a bad track record.
    Recently we learned that the Liberals approved the sale of Norsat, a high-tech firm, to Hytera Communications from China and that Hytera had been accused of large-scale international property theft.
    Why are the Liberals content with selling out our Canadian businesses to companies that have so many skeletons in their closets?
    Mr. Speaker, this question has been raised several times in the House and we have been very clear that every single transaction is subject to a national security review. We did our homework. We did our due diligence. We have followed the advice given to us by our national security agencies. We never have and we never will compromise on national security.
    Mr. Speaker, nobody would buy a car based on what it looks like from the outside. They would look under the hood or even get in and take it out for a test drive. However, when selling out to the Chinese, the Liberals are approving the Hytera deal without any due diligence. The minister may have done a preliminary security review of the acquisition, but when it comes to the safety and security of Canadians, an in-depth review is necessary.
    Why will the minister not commit to another review of this deal to make sure that Canadians remain safe?
    Mr. Speaker, we will always stand up for our national interests. We will always make sure we advance the interests of all Canadians. The bottom line is that this is a multi-step national security review process, which is very rigorous. The question is this. Did Canada's national security agencies examine this deal? Yes, they did. Did the government follow the security agencies' recommendation? Yes, we did. We have done our due diligence. We have done our homework. We never have and we never will compromise on national security.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. minister quite frankly is conflating an analysis memo with a full national security review. The two are very different. The hon. member knows that. When he says that in this House, he is seeking to deceive members of the House about what is actually going on.
    Therefore, I will ask the hon. member again. Is this just an analysis memo? If it is not, when is he going to do a full national security review?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, we have been very, very clear that we have listened to and followed the advice of our national security experts. We listened to the advice of the national intelligence agency and security experts who actually reviewed the case and know the facts of this particular transaction. It was on their advice and recommendation that we moved forward with the transaction. We are not going to politicize the issues under the Investment Canada Act. We are going to make sure we follow the law, do our homework, and always protect Canada's interests.
    Speaking of doing homework, Mr. Speaker, funnily enough the U.K. authorities had a similar case involving the same investor. It did a full national security review. It added three pages of conditions to the approval of the investment. That is what our closest ally has done.
    When will the hon. member listen to what our allies are doing and protect Canadian national interests?
    Mr. Speaker, we have full faith and confidence in our national security agencies. That is why we followed their advice. That is why we made sure we did our due diligence. Every transaction under the Investment Canada Act is subject to a national security review.
     The bottom line is that we are also investing in the economy. We are saying we are open to investments, open to people, and open to trade. That is why over the past six months there has been a quarter of a million good-quality, full-time jobs created in the Canadian economy. That is our number one priority.

[Translation]

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, the buffet is open for Canada's big banks.
    Since taking office, the Minister of Finance has met with lobbyists working on behalf of Canada's big banks twice as much as his Conservative predecessor. I am sorry, but I doubt that those meetings were really about discussing the middle class and those working hard to join it.
    Who is actually running the Department of Finance? Is it Bay Street, the Liberals' friends who are part of the wealthiest 1%, or the minister, who happens to be from Bay Street and among that 1%?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada has a banking system that works, one that is very important to our overall system and its balance, which is why we need to keep examining it to make sure that it works, both now and going forward. That is why I am always happy to meet with the banking community to make sure that it continues to work for our economy.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the minister needs to meet with Canadians so he knows who it should work for. It is not the banks; it is Canadians. It is clear the banks are forcing their employees to sell products Canadians do not need and sign on to loans they cannot afford. Essentially, they are setting them up to fail.
    Guess what. The government has been lobbied by these banks hundreds of times. The government needs to force the banks to be honest with their clients. They need a moral compass. Canadians expect the finance minister to stand up for all Canadians and not just those at the top.
    Will the government force the banks to stop fleecing and scamming Canadians instead of caving to its lobbyist friends?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the member is absolutely right in saying that we need to be very clear that we are focused on bank regulations so that we can protect consumers. That is critically important.
    We will continue to focus on Canadians as we think about the banking system. We will continue to focus on ensuring we understand the risks. That is our absolute continuing goal. We are looking into banking practices. We have a process in place at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada in order to make sure these banking practices are appropriate and do not treat Canadians inappropriately in any way.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, last week, the Statistics Canada May jobs report highlighted that three times as many full-time jobs were added to the Canadian economy than was predicted. That is 77,000 new full-time jobs. That is over a quarter of a million full-time jobs added to Canada's economy in the past six months. This shows that our plan of investing in the middle class is working, a plan that the leader of the opposition opposes.
    Can the parliamentary secretary please tell the House how our plan to invest in Canadians is delivering results for the middle class and those working hard to join it?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected this government to grow the economy and create good, solid, middle-class jobs. In the last six months, over a quarter of a million full-time jobs have been created. That is the best growth rate we have had in 15 years.
    We have been working with businesses and innovators, and we have been giving the skills to young Canadians to make sure they are ready for the jobs of today as well as the economy of tomorrow.

  (1445)  

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the defence minister's plan to sole source Super Hornets is spiralling out of control and taking a nosedive. The former chief of defence staff Tom Lawson is stating that there is no one except the government that believes 18 Super Hornets will be useful for Canada. The defence minister says that Boeing is no longer a trusted partner and that he is looking at many different options.
    What options is the defence minister talking about? The Liberals will not buy Super Hornets from Boeing, and their website still says that they will not buy F-35s either.
    Are the Liberals going to sole source our fighter jets from their communist friends in Beijing?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as stated in our defence policy, we need 88 fighter jets in order to properly equip our soldiers so they can carry out their missions.
    We currently have 76 aircraft. There is a capability gap, and we will do what it takes to have an interim fleet, which will allow us to carry out our missions.
    Mr. Speaker, it is pretty obvious that the government has no idea how it is going to replace the CF-18s.
    At first, the Liberals said they were ruling out the F-35s. Now, they are squabbling with Boeing, and on the weekend General Lawson said he did not need the Super Hornets.
    Can the government get its act together and immediately launch an open and transparent process and stop doing useless political acrobatics that amount to nothing more than an exercise in partisanship?
    Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the important thing in this policy is the men and women of the armed forces. They are our primary concern. We have to train and equip them and take care of their health and well-being.
    We will also take care of the economy. We will stand up for the civilian aerospace industry. We will negotiate to ensure that the economic interests and the interests of all Canadians are well protected at home and abroad.

[English]

International Development

    Mr. Speaker, a Hamas terrorist tunnel has been discovered between two Gaza schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA. The agency, which teaches hate and glorifies Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel, has responded disingenuously with shock. The reality is that UNRWA is desperate not to reform its ways but to preserve funding from increasingly skeptical democratic donor countries.
    When will the Liberals accept that Canada's $25 million in Palestinian aid could be delivered by better means?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be a steadfast ally of Israel and to foster peace and stability in the region. The construction and presence of tunnels under United Nations' premises is unacceptable. We take very seriously any accounts of schools being used, or misused, as they remain a safe place for children to learn.
    After discovering an old tunnel, UNRWA reported it and confirmed that there was no access to the property. Canadian officials are in communication with UNRWA and await a thorough investigation.
    Mr. Speaker, it is time for Canada to cut ties with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA schools condition Palestinian children to believe that Israel must be destroyed. The Liberals claim they will convince UNRWA to change its ways, but the Palestinian Authority and Hamas say they will allow no change in the hateful anti-Israel curriculum.
    Why will the Liberals not focus on its so-called priorities, like advancing gender equality, and quit funding this organization intent on the destruction of Israel?
    Mr. Speaker, again, I will repeat that Canada continues to be a steadfast ally of Israel and to foster peace and stability within the region.
    We prefer that Palestinian children are in schools and not in the streets. We have heard this report. We will make sure that we are following and monitoring it very closely. We take these allegations very seriously. Schools are to be a safe place for children to learn, and Canada will stay on top of this and monitor the situation closely.

  (1450)  

Infrastructure

     Mr. Speaker, the former parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, said that the business case for the Liberals' infrastructure bank depends upon Canadians' willingness to pay additional tolls and feels. Where do those additional tolls and fees go? They go to line the pockets of wealthy investors.
    The infrastructure bank is like a reverse Robin Hood tax. It takes from average, everyday working people and gives to the rich corporations. Everywhere they look, Canadians are being hit by additional fees and increased costs. How much more do the Liberals think Canadians can afford?
     Mr. Speaker, the Canadian institutional investors and pension funds invest in other countries to create opportunities in those countries and to create jobs in those countries. What is wrong with mobilizing our own very reputable pension funds, as well as international investors, to invest in Canadian communities to reduce congestion, to free up resources so we can build more affordable housing, and to create opportunities for Canadians?
    We see the opportunities here by engaging private capital and institutional investors to build—
    The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

[Translation]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, this is National Public Service Week, and public servants have been dealing with the frustration caused by the Phoenix pay system for over a year now.
    The Public Service Alliance of Canada is encouraging its members to boycott any activities planned to celebrate the week, and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is calling on the government to stop outsourcing essential services, including pay.
    It has been over a year now, and this government has still not fixed the problems with Phoenix. When will these problems be fixed?
    Mr. Speaker, it is indeed National Public Service Week. I had the pleasure of meeting with employees from Public Services and Procurement Canada and Shared Services Canada this morning.
    They know that we are deploying the necessary human and financial resources to overcome the challenge left for us by the previous government when it dismissed 700 public servants, cut $70 million from the Canadian public service's budget, and showed utter contempt for the public service. That is something we will never do. Our public servants do not deserve—
    The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.

[English]

Access to Information

     Mr. Speaker, access to information is one of the most important tools that Canadians have to hold any government to account. That is why it is so troubling to learn that a senior public servant at Shared Services Canada, who also happens to be the president of a Liberal riding association, was found to have deleted 398 pages of relevant email records.
    The law is clear. Any person who destroys email records could be charged with a criminal offence. How was this Liberal hack able to delete this many emails without the minister's knowledge?
     Mr. Speaker, the public servants I met this morning and the public servants who work very hard for the Government of Canada understand that we expect them to meet the highest level of ethical behaviour and decision-making, as they do in their day-to-day jobs and as set out by the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.
    Shared Services Canada took this situation very seriously, immediately launched an investigation, and notified the Information Commissioner. The matter has been, as is customary, referred to the Attorney General of Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, as we have seen in Ontario, it looks like illegally deleting emails is part of the Liberal DNA. I wonder who brought that practice with him from Queen's Park.
    The minister seems to be condoning the actions of the Liberal hack, since he is still employed by the government.
    When will the minister do the right thing, recuse herself from this situation, refer this matter to the director of public prosecutions, and apologize to the House for allowing this transgression to occur on her watch?
    Mr. Speaker, what is very interesting about that question, again, is that during National Public Service Week, the opposition has chosen today of all days to tar the entire Public Service of Canada with the same brush.
    We will of course deal with this according to regulations. We will of course deal with this according to the rule of law. We will of course deal with this with all of the rules that apply in the Public Service of Canada, as one would do when one respects the Public Service of Canada.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1455)  

    Order. Most members in all parties are able to sit through a question period, and often hear things they do not like without reacting.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix must govern herself in the House.
    Mr. Speaker, an investigation by the Information Commissioner of Canada revealed that a Shared Services Canada employee deleted 398 pages of emails after receiving an access to information request. Access to information is one of our fundamental rights in this country. It is disturbing to learn that a request concerning the Liberal Party was handled this way.
    When will the Liberal Minister of Justice recuse herself, and when will the file be referred to the director of public prosecutions?
    Mr. Speaker, let me say once more that I am confident the entire public service respects the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. We are proud of our public servants. This is National Public Service Week.
    Shared Services Canada took this matter very seriously. The department immediately launched an investigation and notified the Information Commissioner of Canada. As always, the matter was referred to the Attorney General of Canada.

Status of Women

    Mr. Speaker, in a matter of days, Canada will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Despite the significant progress made over the past 150 years, women, girls, and people who are gender non-conforming still do not have their rightful place in society. A lot remains to be done to make gender equality a reality in Canada.

[English]

    Could the Minister of Status of Women inform the House of our government's actions to advance gender equality and how we will leave a lasting legacy for future generations of Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, this morning, along with advocates for gender equality and the member for Ottawa—Vanier, I was pleased to announce our government's investment of $18 million in a strong and vibrant women's movement. This funding will allow us to celebrate great Canadian women, invest in their projects, and also ensure they are able to exchange their experiences and best practices.
    Furthermore, celebrating and highlighting these women and sharing their stories will inspire the next generation of advocates to continue the work for gender equality for the next 150 years and beyond.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, we learned on Friday that the Minister of Public Safety intends to hand over the long-gun registry to Quebec. The only problem is that it is not supposed to exist. The long-gun registry was ordered destroyed by the former minister of public safety and affirmed by our Supreme Court. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter Henschel confirmed to finance committee that the registry data, except Quebec's, was destroyed in October 2012, and the remaining Quebec data was destroyed in April 2015.
    How can the minister possibly offer a long-gun registry database to Quebec that either does not exist or exists illegally?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman will know that this has been the subject of tremendous litigation, including a constitutional challenge launched by the Information Commissioner against what she considered to be the illegal action of the previous government. That is the case that is before the courts.
    The legislation that was presented to the House as of the end of last week will sort out that constitutional mess bequeathed to us by the previous administration.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister first declared that Canada will continue to welcome refugees, people in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia ramped up their efforts to sponsor refugee families fleeing violence and persecution, people like Shauna and Barb, who are committing huge amounts of time and resources to this effort. However, the government's recent decision to cap private sponsorship has blocked my constituents from helping refugee families reunite in Canada.
    Will the Minister of Immigration lift this ill-conceived cap and let Canadians do the right thing for refugees and their families?
    Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our record of welcoming refugees who flee persecution, terrorism, and war. Under the previous government, the private sponsorship of refugees level was one-quarter of our levels. We have almost quadrupled the privately sponsored refugees who come into Canada. The caps that the hon. gentleman refers to only deal with one stream within the larger stream of private sponsorship of refugees. There are the sponsorship agreement holders, community sponsors, and others that are available. We will continue to welcome those seeking protection and sanctuary in our country.

  (1500)  

[Translation]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence and the chief of the defence staff are seeking to facilitate the transition to civilian life for soldiers who retire or leave the Canadian Armed Forces. They want to close the seam. We owe a huge debt to our troops who retire after serving our country.
    Can the parliamentary secretary tell the House what is in the new defence policy to facilitate the transition for those leaving military life?
    Mr. Speaker, we owe a debt to the men and women who served our country. The new defence policy reworks our approach to their transition to civilian life. A group of human resources experts will be created to ensure that members leaving the Canadian Armed Forces receive personalized support. This new transition group will also ensure that all the benefits are in place before a solider transitions to civilian life. Special attention will be given to those who were injured or sick.

[English]

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic Salmon Federation has recently urged the Liberal government to take an aggressive approach to dealing with the egregious overfishing by Greenland of Canadian Atlantic salmon. Canadian Atlantic salmon numbers are critically low and greatly affecting the economy of many maritime communities. While Greenland plunders Canadian salmon while producing no salmon of its own, our stocks are becoming more difficult to maintain.
    When will the Liberals stand up for Atlantic Canada, and put strong diplomatic and economic pressure on Greenland in order to restore Canada's Atlantic salmon and protect our fisheries?
    Mr. Speaker, the conservation and rebuilding of wild Atlantic salmon stocks is a shared responsibility. It is a continuous, long-term process that requires the concerted efforts of everyone involved. I am encouraged by the steps that Greenland took in 2016 to strengthen its measures to manage its salmon fishery. However, there is still room for improvement. Fisheries and Oceans Canada will keep encouraging Greenland to reduce Greenland's harvest, both bilaterally and through bodies like NASCO, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.

[Translation]

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

    Mr. Speaker, the Quebec minister of culture has criticized the Minister of Canadian Heritage regarding the CRTC's terrible decision to abandon Quebec television. He said, and I quote, “Quebec is internationally recognized for its rich and diverse television production. The CRTC's recent decision can only hinder the creation of original French-language productions.”
    Will the minister take responsibility and cancel the CRTC's decision regarding the licence for Séries+ and Historia, as allowed under the legislation?
    Mr. Speaker, our government firmly believes in the importance of arts and culture. That is why we invested more than $1.9 billion in this area, the largest investment in the past 30 years. We did so because we know that arts and culture are key drivers in our economy. We are currently studying the repercussions of the CRTC's decision.
     Mr. Speaker, the CRTC's decision is having a negative impact on Quebec television. As soon as the CRTC made its announcement, Séries+ cancelled three TV series. Speciality television that reflects Quebec culture is in danger of disappearing, and it will be the CRTC's fault. It will be responsible.
    However, the law gives the Minister of Canadian Heritage the power to act on her own initiative. Will she take that initiative? Will she react to this attack on Quebec television? Will she overrule the CRTC's decision regarding the renewal of licences for Séries+ and Historia?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, our government has invested over $1.9 billion in arts and culture, the largest investment a federal government has made in this area in 30 years. What is more, we are the only country in the G7 to have invested so much.
    We are very aware of the fact that creative industries are facing challenges in the digital era, and that is why we have taken leadership on this issue. We are developing a new cultural policy that better reflects the issues facing our 21st-century creators.

  (1505)  

Securities

    Mr. Speaker, this government is working for Bay Street. It tried to override Quebec's Consumer Protection Act for Bay Street, and it is setting the infrastructure bank up on Bay Street for its Bay Street buddies.
    Now Ottawa is once again facing off against Quebec in court defending another bad idea: the securities regulator.
    When will Ottawa stop taking Quebeckers' money and using it to try to undermine Quebec in court for Bay Street's benefit?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we respect the jurisdiction of Quebec. We believe that the cooperative capital markets regime is something that can help our economy work well with risks in the economy. That said, we expect to be able to continue to work with those provinces that do not participate, and we will respect Quebec's decision in that regard.

Presence in the Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Speaker: I would also like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and the Hon. Brian Kenny, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for the Province of New Brunswick.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

     To people across the country, Canadian Forces Day is an opportunity to honour the sacrifices that our military personnel make on our behalf.

[English]

    It is with great pleasure that I draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of six members of the Canadian Forces who are taking part in Canadian Armed Forces Day today: Major Gustave Garant, Master Warrant Officer Agata Slominska, Petty Officer 2nd Class, Edward Keith Slade, Master Corporal Anthony Vail, Master Corporal Catherine Desmarais, and Leading Seaman Chad Baldwin.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

    The member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sure you will agree that respect in the House must be a priority for all members, and that includes the Prime Minister. During question period, the Prime Minister said that adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would be tantamount to imposing something on indigenous peoples in this country.

[English]

    Will the Prime Minister rise to withdraw that insulting statement that suggests that there is anything wrong with simply respecting indigenous human rights in this country?
     We are all bound by the rule of law in this chamber. To even suggest that the rights of indigenous peoples are subject to debate is troublesome, especially coming from the Prime Minister of Canada.
    I thank the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou for raising this point. However, it is more a point of debate. I do not see anyone rising to respond to it.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

  (1510)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Nuclear Disarmament  

    The House resumed from June 8 consideration of the motion.
    The House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on the motion. Call in the members.
    Shall I dispense?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    [Chair read text of motion to House]

  (1515)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 313)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 44

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Ambrose
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Baylis
Beech
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bittle
Blair
Block
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brown
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chan
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk
Fergus
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Gallant
Garneau
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebel
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
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 (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morneau
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Ng
Nicholson
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Poilievre
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Tootoo
Trost
Trudeau
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zimmer

Total: -- 245

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion lost.

  (1520)  

[English]

Salaries Act

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed from June 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-24, An Act to amend the Salaries Act and to make a consequential amendment to the Financial Administration Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the second reading stage of Bill C-24.
    The question is on the amendment.

  (1525)  

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

(Division No. 314)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Choquette
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Finley
Gallant
Garrison
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Mulcair
Nater
Nicholson
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 117

NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bennett
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chan
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Marcil
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
Morneau
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Plamondon
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tootoo
Trudeau
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Zahid

Total: -- 172

PAIRED

Nil

    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:
    The Speaker: The hon. Chief Government Whip.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to apply the results of the previous vote to this one, with the Liberal members voting in favour.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives agree to apply, and will be voting no.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP agrees to apply the vote and will vote against the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the vote and will be voting against the motion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Green Party agrees to apply the vote, and votes yes.
    Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply and will be voting in favour.
    Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

  (1530)  

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

(Division No. 315)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Beech
Bennett
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chan
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
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
Morneau
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Trudeau
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Zahid

Total: -- 163

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Choquette
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Mulcair
Nater
Nicholson
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 126

PAIRED

Nil

     I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1

     The House resumed from June 9 consideration of the motion that Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures, be read the third time and passed.
    Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-44.
    The hon. Chief Government Whip is rising.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I believe if you were to seek it you would find unanimous consent to apply the results of the previous vote to this vote. Liberal members will be voting in favour of this motion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives agree once again to apply, and once again we will be voting no.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP agrees to apply the vote and will vote against the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the vote and will be voting against Bill C-44.
    Mr. Speaker, the Green Party agrees to apply the vote and will be voting against the motion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply, and will be voting yea.
    Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 316)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Beech
Bennett
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chan
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
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
Morneau
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Trudeau
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Zahid

Total: -- 162

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Choquette
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Mulcair
Nater
Nicholson
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 127

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Industry, Science and Technology  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, entitled “Innovation and Technology—An Exchange of Ideas”.

[Translation]

Agriculture and Agri-Food  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in relation to its study on Canada-United States co-operation in agriculture.

  (1535)  

[English]

Criminal Code

     He said: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table an act to amend the Criminal Code of Canada in respect of firearms in order to create a new aggravated penalty for the selling, trading, renting, or loaning of a firearm that had been previously used in the commission of an offence and is subsequently used in a subsequent offence.
    The purpose of this legislation is to give law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and jurists a new optional, consecutive penalty of up to five years to deter trafficking in these illegal firearms. This bill, however, is in no way intended to compromise or target legitimate, responsible gun owners. This bill would instead require criminal intent and purpose.
     In particular, I want to give a very quick shout-out to Sergeant Derek Byers of division 42 and the community safety response team and the major crimes unit that service northern and central Scarborough for the concept behind this proposed legislation.

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

     Mr. Speaker, I almost feel like the member for Winnipeg North today because I have been up so many times.
    I am pleased to introduce Motion No. 143, which recognizes that the need for pyrotechnic devices on board pleasure craft may not be the most appropriate course of action when there are alternative distress signals available. It asks that the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities undertake a study of the requirement to carry such devices on board in order to recommend alternatives for Canadian waterways.

Petitions

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition today from 222 constituents and others who live in Calgary. The petitioners remind the government of the illegal detention of Sun Qian. They are concerned about the fact that the government has been unable or unwilling to act in that regard. The petition quotes other members saying that the government has not been seized with this particular matter and that there has been no movement. It specifically asks the government to condemn the illegal arrest of a Canadian citizen for practising the faith of Falun Gong and it calls for her immediate and unconditional release.

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition sent to my office by a constituent, Hildegard Krieg, who is a very active resident in my area. The petition is signed by residents of North Okanagan—Shuswap, and calls upon the Government of Canada to identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service under the Canada Health Act.

Bee Population  

    Mr. Speaker, I once again stand in this House and present more petitions on behalf of constituents who are concerned about bees.
    The petitioners are concerned that the mortality rate for bee colonies has been rising for the past three years, and that they play a role in the pollination of flowering plants, which contributes billions of dollars to Canada's agricultural economy each year. Therefore, they ask the government to take concrete steps to solve the problem of the high mortality rates among bees and other insect pollinators and to develop an effective strategy to address the multiple factors related to bee colony deaths, such as the destruction and disturbance of habitat, pesticide use, the side effects of pathogens, and parasites.

Status of Women  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two petitions today. The first petition is from residents of Ontario, primarily around the Ottawa area, calling for a national strategy to deal with the crisis of violence against women, particularly as it pertains to missing and murdered indigenous women.

  (1540)  

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from residents within Saanich—Gulf Islands. It points out that Canada has committed to the Paris agreement, yet we do not yet have a plan or even targets consistent with achieving the targets of the Paris commitment.
    The petitioners call upon the government to bring into place targets that will assist in the global effort to avoid a 1.5°C global average temperature increase, as well as to work to expedite the closing down of coal-based and other thermal coal exports to essentially decarbonize electricity as quickly as possible.
    I think I am being asked by the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes to go back to motions for a minute because of an error.
    Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

Business of Supply

    Mr. Speaker, if you seek it I believe you will find consent for the following motion.
     I move:
    That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the Member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

     (Motion agreed to)

    I wonder if I could ask the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes for a clarification.
    Did you intend to put the motion that you raised earlier before the House?
    Mr. Speaker, I did intend to do that as a private member's motion. There may have been some confusion in terms of the other motion to defer the vote.
    I think the hon. member might agree that the intention was different. What I would propose to do is to take this as notice of a motion before the House.
    Mr. Speaker, I am in agreement with that.

Petitions

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today on behalf of the constituents of the riding of Prince Albert.
     The first one is a petition to establish the conscience protection of physicians and health care institutions.

Syria  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is calling on the House of Commons for action on peace in Syria.

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition is in regard to hospice care, and patients and families.

[Translation]

Algoma Passenger Rail Service   

    Mr. Speaker, I again rise in the House to present a petition addressed to the Minister of Transport. I am always pleased to rise to give voice to my constituents, but there are also people across Canada signing my petitions. This one was signed by people from Hearst, Hamilton, Gatineau, Quebec, and Sussex, New Brunswick.
    This petition has to do with the passenger train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. People say it is impossible to access 75% of the properties and that other means of access are not reliable or safe, since many roads are industrial roads that are maintained only if industry continues to maintain them.
    The petitioners are also concerned about the economic repercussions. A $2-million grant brought roughly $42 million into the region. They are calling on Transport Canada to reconsider the file in light of their support and restore the rail service.

[English]

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present a petition on behalf of constituents living in the communities of Sheet Harbour, Tangier, and Mushaboom on the issue of palliative care.
    Specifically, the undersigned would like to identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act so that provinces and territories can use transfers from the federal government for this kind of important care.

  (1545)  

150th Anniversary of Confederation  

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal war on history continues to prompt the forwarding of many petitions to my office. I rise today to present petitions from three Canadian historical societies, stating that they want history to be respected and celebrated during the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
    The Wellington County Historical Society includes the city of Guelph. Mr. John Galt was the founder of the city of Guelph. His son, Alexander Galt was one of our Fathers of Confederation and Sir John A. Macdonald's first finance minister.
    The Société historique de Saint-Côme—Linière in Quebec has also expressed their support for the petition's cause. The society has been active for the past three decades, cataloguing and recording their local history, and through their municipality ran the remnants of the Quebec Central Railway, which was established in 1869 as part of the important railway industry that was critical to Confederation.
    Members of the Tyrconnell Heritage Society run the Backus-Page House Museum in the historical Talbot settlement in Elgin County, and they have signed this petition. Colonel Thomas Talbot was once the personal secretary of John Graves Simcoe. His charismatic leadership guided the settlement of the area, including establishing Port Stanley, interestingly named after his friend whose son, Frederick Arthur Stanley would become Canada's Governor General and donate the Stanley Cup, awarded last night, which was at the time it was presented originally to be awarded to Canada's top amateur hockey club.
    The petitioners call on the government to reverse the decision not to have Confederation included as a theme of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

High-Speed Internet  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to present a petition from many of my constituents.
    The petitioners are drawing to the attention of the House of Commons the fact that not all residents of Nipissing—Timiskaming have equal access to unlimited, high-speed Internet. Therefore, the residents of the Nipissing—Timiskaming electoral district need to have equal access to unlimited, high-speed Internet, something that is found in most cities. However, once we get into rural areas, people have a hard time connecting. The petitioners find that a disadvantage to running a business and to getting a proper education.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, for reasons that will shortly become apparent, I too feel a certain resemblance to the member for Winnipeg North. Accordingly, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
    The Speaker: Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman is asking for unanimous consent to return to petitions. Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Petitions

Foreign Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to present two petitions. They are both from the Vietnamese community. They call upon the Government of Canada to accept the two bills that are in the House right now. We will be debating one tomorrow, my private member's bill, Bill S-226, the justice for victims of corrupt foreign officials act, the Sergei Magnitsky law, which I am sponsoring on behalf of Senator Raynell Andreychuk. Petitioners are asking the Government of Canada and Parliament to accept the legislation as a way to sanction those individuals who are committing gross human rights violations, as well as those enriching themselves through corruption.
    One petition has over 400 signatures on it, and the other has 1,262 signatures. The second one is slightly different in that the petitioners ask that we particularly target Vietnam, which is still suppressing political dissidents. Over the last number of years, over 420 political prisoners have been executed, and that has to come to an end.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

  (1550)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Canadian Economy  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    The hon. member for Brandon—Souris has five minutes remaining for questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Regina—Lewvan.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a little strange to have Conservatives rise in the House and bemoan the state of grain transportation while praising the record of the Harper government, because of course it was the Harper government that dismantled the system of orderly marketing that we used to have for grain in western Canada. The member for Brandon—Souris quite rightly described the railways as a duopoly. The Canadian Wheat Board used to give farmers a fair bit of negotiating power in dealing with the railroads.
    I am doubtful the member for Brandon—Souris would agree with me that we should reinstate a system of orderly marketing, but I wonder if he would agree, for the sake of transparency and openness, that the government should conduct an audit on the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board so that Canadian taxpayers have some accounting of what happened to all of the assets in that organization.
    Mr. Speaker, obviously, the member has never sold a bushel of grain or a tonne of grain on the Prairies in his life. Otherwise, he would realize that in terms of the marketing system today, as my colleague from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman indicated earlier, we get no calls wanting to reinstate that particular old style of marketing.
    Young farmers today are marketing all of their grain on their own. He is incorrect in his analogy. If he had done some scouting he would have seen that the Canadian Wheat Board did not do the allocation of cars all the time. The whole process of marketing grain on the Prairies has been modernized by the act that was done by my colleague here in the House, by opening up the opportunities for more processing, more expansion of grain, and particularly cleaning. Just like getting rid of the Crow rate benefit years ago, we are seeing the benefits of much more productivity and jobs in the Prairies due to the opening up of these marketing opportunities.
    Mr. Speaker, I find this to be a very difficult discussion. The Conservatives put forward a motion calling on the government to do more for forestry workers. In 2006, in my community, 82,272 tonnes were shipped out of the Port Alberni harbour. In 2016, it was up to 783,381 tonnes. That is a tenfold increase under the Conservative government's watch. There was no federal help. The government across the way talks about how the Liberal government is doing great at creating jobs. There are mills closing in my community and people are out of work. We should be talking about solutions today. I am not hearing about solutions. In fact, I find it really disrespectful to the people in the forest sector right now who are looking for jobs.
    Who is going to take responsibility? Is it the federal government across the way for the last 10 years, or is it Christy Clark? I would like to find out who is going to take responsibility for inaction in my community.
    Mr. Speaker, the member should have directed his question to a member of the government on the solutions it may have for some of these areas.
     Conservatives were able to extend the softwood lumber agreement that was in place previously until 2016 and the Liberal government has let it lapse. We have now seen the results of tariffs on products coming from the United States due to the new government in the U.S. putting the tariffs on. As I said in my speech earlier, the stopgap measures that have been put in place by the Liberal government, while helpful to the individuals working in those plants, are not long-term solutions.
    Mr. Speaker, I will advise the House that I will be splitting my time with the member for Central Nova.
    It is a pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to how the Government of Canada is building a strong middle class and a strong economy for Canadians. Before I talk about the Canadian economy, let me begin with a few words about the global economy.
    After roughly six years of lacklustre performance, global economic growth is expected to strengthen in the near term. However, the recovery and pace of growth since the global financial crisis has been slow in many corners of the world. Rising inequalities, an aging population, and rapid technological changes have become the defining policy challenges of our time. Coupling those challenges with the anxiety felt by families around the world and their concern for their children's futures has fuelled a very powerful movement. People are looking at the pace of technological changes and the need for new skills, and are undoubtedly anxious about the future. It is hard to feel confident and face every day with optimism, when we cannot see what is just around the corner.
    In Canada, we have chosen to meet these challenges head-on with a positive and generous response.
    We are doing what confident countries do: investing in people and in our future. The Government of Canada has an ambitious plan that involves making smart investments to create good middle-class jobs; build modern, more resilient neighbourhoods and communities; grow the economy; and provide more opportunities for all Canadians. We know that when we have an economy that works for the middle class, we have a country that works for everyone.

  (1555)  

[Translation]

    That is why, when our government first took office in late 2015, we immediately implemented measures to strengthen the middle class.
    We began by asking the wealthiest 1% to pay a little more so that we could lower taxes for the middle class.
    We then implemented the new Canada child benefit, which, compared to the old system of child benefits, is simpler, more generous, and better targeted to help those who need it most.
    We then signed a historic agreement with the provinces to help people live with more dignity in retirement by strengthening the Canada pension plan.
    We did even more to support Canadian families by committing to invest $6 billion over 10 years in home care and $5 billion over 10 years to support mental health initiatives.
    In short, we have taken the necessary first steps to give back to the middle class. We have done this by making Canadians our first priority and by making the types of investments that will promote their talents, improve their communities, and ensure the long-term growth of our economy.
     The action taken by the government, such as cutting taxes for the middle class and introducing the Canada child benefit, has played a major role in supporting household spending.
     Canada’s economy saw 3.7% economic growth in the first quarter of 2017, which is very interesting. The unemployment rate continues to drop. It is now around 6.6%, compared to 7% early in our term in fall 2015. Since then, Canada’s economy has created about 350,000 new jobs. That is an impressive number.
    This is all very encouraging. However, we remain vigilant and are fully aware that a lot of work remains to be done.
     We will continue to focus on sustainable growth, better-paying jobs, greater opportunities for the middle class, and greater prosperity for future generations.

[English]

    We are doing this by getting people ready for jobs of today, but also for the jobs of tomorrow. We call it our innovation and skills plan. To ensure that skills training effectively helps unemployed and underemployed Canadians get good jobs, budget 2017 significantly boosts federal support through labour market transfer agreements with provinces and territories by an amount of $2.7 billion over six years.
    For Canadians looking for work, this means more opportunities to upgrade their skills, gain experience, or get help to start their own business. It also means more support like employment counselling to help them plan their careers.
    For Canadians who have lost their jobs, we will make it easier for employment insurance claimants to pursue self-funded training, while remaining eligible for their benefits.
    For Canadians going back to school for retraining, budget 2017 will expand eligibility for student financial assistance so each year an additional 10,000 part-time students and a further 13,000 students with dependent children can get the financial help they need to pursue post-secondary education.
    This comprehensive set of skills and training measures will help Canadians at every stage of their career make Canada's greatest resource, our people, even greater.
    Also part of the plan, the new venture capital catalyst initiative, will increase late-stage venture capital available to Canadian entrepreneurs. With funds leveraged from the private sector and depending on the proposals received, this investment could inject around $1.5 billion into Canada's innovation capital market. A strong investment culture coupled with free trade agreements are a critical component to creating good, well-paying jobs and substantial economic growth.
    Over the past year and a half, Canada has strengthened its relationship with its top five trading partners: the United States, Mexico, China, Japan, and the European Union. The work continues.
    Our government was elected to help the middle class and those working hard to join it. There are positive signs throughout the economy that show that our plan is working. Canada is in the best fiscal position among G7 countries, and the federal debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to remain low.
    In the first quarter of 2017, the Canadian economy had a 3.7% growth. In the past six months, the Canadian economy has more than 250,000 new, full-time jobs.

  (1600)  

[Translation]

     Lastly, the Government of Canada will continue to concentrate on making sound and necessary investments in Canadians, our communities, and our economy. These investments will strengthen long-term growth and will build a solid middle class and a more promising future for all Canadians.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, when members speak about the economy, I caution them to ensure they understand that some areas of the economy are not doing so well.
    To give members a breakdown, my riding of Courtenay—Alberni has an unemployment rate of around 10%, which is the highest unemployment rate in southwestern British Columbia. One-third of the children live in poverty. In fact, we are 240% above the provincial average for income assistance.
     Therefore, when the government speaks about how great the economy is and how things are going, it would be great if its members would actually come to my riding where they would see clearly that mills have closed and it has been just announced that the sockeye run is closed. Fishers and support workers are out of work, plunging people further into poverty. The only minister we can get to come to our riding is the Prime Minister, and he just goes to the beach and plays. It would be really good if he came to communities like Port Alberni to see first-hand what is really going on in the economy in western Canada and in forestry communities.
    Why are we not talking about answers? I would love for the parliamentary secretary to start talking about what she is going to do for forestry communities and if someone is going to show up in Port Alberni. Is a minister going to come to see first-hand what is happening in my community. People are out of work and living in poverty. They need a lift.
    Mr. Speaker, the first thing our government did when we took office was lower taxes for middle-class Canadians and increased them for the richest 1%. The other thing we did to help Canadian families was introduce the Canada child benefit program, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.
    Today, I have some figures from my riding, and I am sure we can get the breakdown for the member's riding, on how this has impacted Canadian families. In my riding of Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, 14,280 children are benefiting from the Canada child benefit program. Out of those payments, we can see that, on average, families are receiving $630 per month. Again, these are the types of policies we put in place, which are progressive and help Canadian families.
    Also, when we look at the unemployment rate, we have made a commitment to support the economy and help support middle-class Canadians. So far our plan is working. The unemployment rate has decreased from 7.1% to 6.6%, and we will continue to work with our plan.
    The evidence is clear. Our plan is working and we are moving in the right direction.

  (1605)  

    Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate and respect the concerns brought forward. I represent a riding with high unemployment, and there is no single tool to change that. Obviously, as the economy changes, grows, alters, and rescinds in some areas, we have to be adaptable and flexible as a government.
     One thing the previous Conservative government really jigged up, and what we are working hard to unjig, was access to global talent.
     First, Canadians need to have first crack at Canadian jobs. We can agree on that. We want to ensure that wages are not suppressed. However, when we talk about unlocking the potential of our Canadian companies, they need access. Everybody knows that investment will follow talent. Today we made an announcement, and I would like my colleague's comments on this, about innovation and what we have done for it. Changes were made by the last government. The Conservatives pushed back a little controversy around the foreign workers program. When they pushed back the entire House just to tighten the clothesline, they hurt Canadian companies. They did not allow Canadian companies to be that mobile.
    Therefore, on access to talent, on investment and innovation, how will that change those communities and hopefully help those who are currently suffering hard times?
    Mr. Speaker, in budget 2017, I was very pleased to see the global skills strategy introduced. Once again, as my colleague indicated, we need to ensure we recruit the best and the brightest talent in Canada. We have fast-growing industries, and they do not need more obstacles. They need us to make the process simpler for them to get the skills they need here to create those good jobs.
    Today was a good day when we heard the announcement. I look forward to continuing work in those sectors.
    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure, as always, to rise in the House to contribute to the discourse on what may be the most important issue facing my constituents, and that is the Canadian economy. The motion essentially seeks to address four constituent parts. The first is a broad statement about the Canadian economy. Then it has three sub-issues: softwood lumber, the western Canadian energy industry, and the western Canadian grain farming, specifically the transportation sector.
    Before I get into each of these and explain why I will not support the motion, I would like to point out that the assumptions built into the language of the motion do not accurately reflect the facts at hand. I will start with the statement of the overall economy.
     There is an attempt to build a narrative that the governing party is not an effective manager of the economy. I disagree wholeheartedly.
    I find it somewhat ironic that around the same time the motion was put forward, we saw a very positive jobs report. Specifically, we have seen over one-quarter of a million new jobs in Canada over the six month period preceding, including just last month, with 55,000 new full-time jobs. Unemployment has gone down from 7.1% to 6.6%, and GDP growth is at 3.7% in the first quarter.
     The reason I lay these statistics out is because I find data to be a helpful tool when we form analyses. Instead of projecting a narrative that we would hope would be true, it is important we consider the facts along the way.
    We have seen a plan starting to take hold. I know history will be the judge of the success of this government and its economic performance, but the early signs are encouraging in my opinion. The economy is growing. The plan seems to be working, and I am quite proud to be part of it.
    I would like to address each of the sub-issues raised in the motion, the first being the softwood lumber dispute.
     Of course this is an important and challenging issue that faces regions of the country differently, including Atlantic Canada where I live. There is a number of stellar producers in my own backyard, like Scotsburn Lumber, Williams Brothers, Ledwidge Lumber, that have done a great job, historically, of employing Canadians. This is a fight that we continue to fight every day.
    The opposition would have Canadians believe that we have stumbled over this as a federal government, but the agreement did expire under the last government. Although it is not our fault, it is our problem. I have been working closely with the minister and with my Atlantic Canada and Nova Scotia colleagues to help find a solution to this pressing issue for our producers.
    In my conversations with the minister on this file, I have full faith in her ability to go head-to-head with the toughest negotiators south of the border. However, the fact is that right now she is facing a climate of protectionism that we have not seen in my lifetime when it comes to this file or trade more generally. Our neighbours are going to do what they think is in their best interests. However, the folks at the helm on our side are very capable and I have full faith in their ability to get a resolution. In the interim, we have introduced an important aid package to ensure we are there to help at a time when help is desperately needed.
    On the energy file, specific reference is made to the western Canadian energy sector and carbon pricing. This is of extraordinary importance. I am no enemy to the energy industry. I have made a living working as a lawyer in Calgary and have significant experience working with oil and gas companies in different parts of the energy sector. I understand the strategic importance of this industry to the Canadian economy. However, the characterization of a price on carbon as an attack on the economic industry is wrongheaded, respectfully to the member who has put forward the motion.
    We have to understand that the atmosphere in Canada and across the world belongs to all of us. Polluting that atmosphere is not and should not be free. Putting a price on carbon is the most effective way to reduce emissions and help mitigate the negative impacts of pollution that contribute to anthropogenic climate change. Moreover, I see this as a massive opportunity for us as Canadians. With the ability to develop a skilled workforce, we can take part in a growing industry that will contribute to clean growth and help reduce emissions at the same time. When this opportunity is staring us in the face, I cannot help but take a crack at it, and we are on the right track.
    We are making investments in green infrastructure and putting a price on carbon. Some of the biggest energy companies in Canada and around the world are proponents of this approach, companies like Synovus, Suncor, Shell, CNRL, Total, TransCanada, Enbridge, and so on. Some of the people who on a first blush might stand to lose the most are some of the biggest supporters of this kind of an approach to climate policy. I am proud we have industry leaders who have stepped up to the plate.

  (1610)  

    The final issue raised in this motion has to do with grain farmers, specifically the impact of certain rules and the potential expiry of a unique feature of Canadian transportation called inter-switching.
    In 2013, we were facing a truly unique circumstance, with a bumper crop in western Canada and a very harsh winter that made it very difficult to get all our products to market in a timely way. I have had some exposure to this issue, although I am from Atlantic Canada, in my role as a member of the transportation, infrastructure, and communities committee, where we dealt with it. What we saw was that at the time, there was actually a short-term, prudent measure that helped, in an emergency situation, get products to market. This was a difficult situation that needed to be addressed.
    The tool created at that time to deal with a pressing circumstance may not be the best tool for the long term. What we have in Bill C-49 is a commitment to long-haul inter-switching such that if there was only one company that could meet transportation needs to get goods to market, we would introduce competition of sorts that would allow a farmer to piggyback on the rates that would be offered had there been another rail company there.
    We have made a commitment that rather than dealing with short- or medium-length inter-switching to 160 kilometres, we are going to implement a long-term solution. I cannot help but notice that Alberta's barley growers have indicated that this is fantastic news. The Western Producer, a publication in western Canada, said that the Minister of Transport met with producers and listened carefully and agreed with what was said.
    This is a positive development. We have engagement with different communities and policy that is going to, hopefully, meet their needs in the long term and not simply be a response to a short-term issue.
    I will try to wrap up by revisiting the initial point I made. What we are trying to do is focus on steps that are going to improve the economy in the long term. I recognize that there are communities that are hurting today, including many I represent, that need jobs more than anything. What we are trying to do is put a plan into action that is going to help kick-start economic growth in the short term and sustain policies that will contribute to long-term economic growth.
    We are seeing investments in innovation. For example, at St. Francis Xavier University, Dr. Risk's Flux Lab has, with the help of federal funding, been able to create a product that has entered into a commercial partnership. It detects gas leaks by affixing a detector to the front of a vehicle. This kind of technology would not have benefits just in my community. It would be able to help reduce greenhouse emissions across Canada by preventing leaks and would employ people in the process.
    We are seeing investments in infrastructure, such as municipal infrastructure projects, that have kept people in my communities employed during months when they might ordinarily be laid off.
    We are seeing commitments to expanding trade relationships between Canada and its trading partners, because we know that with the natural resources we have and the skilled workforce we have, we can produce more and higher-value goods than we can consume as a country. What we need to do is expand our trade relationships to ensure that communities across Canada have the opportunity to benefit.
    I appreciate that this may take some time, and more time than many members of this House would like, including me. If there was a job for every one of my constituents tomorrow, I would be the first person advocating for the policy that would give it to them. The fact is that this is a long and difficult process, but we have to start today. I believe that the government is on the right foot, and I look forward to the historical record that will be laid down, because I have to say, the early signs are quite encouraging.

  (1615)  

     Mr. Speaker, I want to say briefly that the Liberals love to quote from millionaire CEOs and billionaire multinational companies that are just thrilled with the new carbon tax as it relates to the energy sector. Many of those same CEOs and companies stood behind Rachel Notley when she announced the carbon tax that was supposed to pave the way for energy access to the west coast. We have seen that go off the rails. Many of those same companies have now abandoned their Canadian oil plays altogether. Royal Dutch Shell left Canada's oil patch and has gone to the United States, which has no carbon tax. This is a concrete example of carbon leakage, where the carbon the Liberals want produced less is just being produced elsewhere.
     Would the member address the issue of competitiveness? Does he think making Canadian companies less competitive and having them simply move to lower-tax jurisdictions will actually have a positive impact on the climate?
    Mr. Speaker, I thought it ironic that we are painted on the one hand as loving quoting these CEOs but on the other hand of taxing them too much, to the point that they are furious with us. I think the truth lies somewhere in between. The fact is that we are trying to adopt policy that will help grow the Canadian economy, writ large.
    Specifically, on the issue of competitiveness, if we miss out on the front crest of the wave of green industry, of clean investments, we will not be competitive, because the rest of the world will leave us behind.
    Specific to the natural resources industry in Alberta, though, I would like to point out that I had a look at the Stats Canada report this morning, and year over year, May 2016 to May 2017, we have seen a 9.9% uptick in jobs in that sector--
    Well, count zero.
    --so with respect, I believe we are on the right track, and these policies will make a positive difference to the Canadian economy.
    Before we go on to the next question or comment, I just want to remind hon. members that shouting across the floor is not the way the procedure works. Normally we recognize one person. That person asks a question and gets a response.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Central Nova. It is actually a huge relief to have a member from the government benches not just speaking rhetoric and government lines but coming up with original ideas. I share his passion to tackle climate change, and he identified specifics. I appreciate that.
    We have seen raw log exports go up tenfold in 10 years. The Conservative motion says, “failing to negotiate a deal on softwood lumber and instead offering a compensation package rather than creating sustainable jobs for Canadian forestry workers.”
    I would like to speak about creating sustainable jobs for forestry workers, because on Vancouver Island, we have seen raw log exports go up tenfold in 10 years. We are not adding value to those jobs. In fact, we are shipping wood to Washington and Oregon, and often we are buying the chips back, just to feed our mills, at double the price. We have other mills that are not even operating, because they are not up to speed on the technology to cut the very wood we are shipping out, and they have closed.
    We are looking to see who will take responsibility. We do not want a government that will point to the past government or point to the provincial government. It would be nice to have some leadership. I am hoping that the member could maybe talk about some of those solutions moving forward.

  (1620)  

    Mr. Speaker, before I address the question, I would like to say, to the extent you heard shouting, I heard some friendly conversation back and forth.
    To answer the question from the member for Courtenay—Alberni, and I enjoy his passion for this issue, the forestry sector is strategically important to the Canadian economy. In the short term, there are issues we need to address, and I believe that the minister is on the right foot trying to address them.
    I am of two minds when I deal with the specifics of how we protect the sustainable nature of this important industry. On the one hand, I believe that the private sector has a serious role, and to the extent that they are exporting some raw products, they may deem, with their own money, that it is in their best interest.
    On the other hand, and perhaps this is an advantage I have of being one of the younger members of this House, I have the opportunity to look 60 years down the road and think it may be within my own lifetime, because that is how long it will take a forest to grow.
    I have met with groups such as the eastern hardwood partnerships in Nova Scotia, which are trying to put together a plan that will help us take advantage of private woodlot owners and ask what kind of wood product will be a successful industry in 10 years that we could process locally. What will be successful in 30 years? To have that kind of foresight is something I very much enjoy. To the extent I can be supportive of creating a long-term sustainable forestry industry, not just in Atlantic Canada but across the country, I am happy to be an advocate to do so.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say that for the next half hour, I will have the pleasure, as will my colleague from Chilliwack—Hope, with whom I will be sharing my time, to speak to this motion on the economy that we introduced today.
     After hearing this very eloquent speech, I think that it is good to remember why we are here and what the meaning of the opposition motion is. I am going to read it, because I think it is good for us to remember why we are here and why most of us represent our ridings. It is to create hope, create jobs, get people working, and get the government out of the way of small businesses trying to succeed and to participate in growing our economy by creating jobs. However, this government does not seem to understand that.
    The motion before the House today is very simple. It reads as follows:
    That the House recognize that the government has mismanaged the economy in a way that is damaging Canadian industries and diminishing Canadians’ economic stability by:
(a) failing to negotiate a deal on softwood lumber and instead offering a compensation package rather than creating sustainable jobs for Canadian forestry workers [I expect to have the opportunity to come back to this];
(b) attempting to phase out Canada’s energy sector by implementing a job killing carbon tax, adding additional taxes to oil and gas companies, removing incentives for small firms to make new energy discoveries and neglecting the current Alberta jobs crisis; and
(c) refusing to extend the current rail service agreements for farmers in Western Canada which will expire on August 1, 2017, which will result in transportation backlogs that will cost farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue.
    These three points speak volumes about the Liberal government's interest and lack of vision when it comes to the economy. Generally speaking, the Prime Minister's economic policies are doing nothing to foster Canadian economic growth or job creation, despite what we hear and what he would have us believe.
    If the Prime Minister had really wanted to stimulate growth in our economy, he would, first and foremost, have made it his priority to negotiate a softwood lumber agreement with the United States and to protect Canadian jobs. What has the government done instead? It has not given them the weight they deserve. It has not adequately addressed the softwood lumber agreement negotiations.
     Given that the Prime Minister believed deficits would balance themselves, the Liberal government probably thought the softwood lumber agreement would sign itself. Unfortunately, as we have seen, in the case of both the deficits and the softwood lumber agreement, the government was completely mistaken when it comes to negotiating with the Americans.
    There are 210,000 families who are directly or indirectly affected by the countervailing duties imposed, which currently affect all regions of Canada. The reason we have countervailing duties is that this government has not been able to stand firm when it needed to or to negotiate an agreement that would be good for both parties—a good agreement, not just any agreement, but an agreement, at least. We are left with a minister who keeps telling the House they are looking to negotiate a good agreement, not just any agreement.
     On this side of the House, we are tempted to say that what we needed was a good minister to negotiate the agreement, not just any minister.
    What happens when we wait for people to come to us before moving forward? We end up not moving forward. That is unfortunately what has happened on softwood lumber.
     The Canadian industry no longer has confidence in the Prime Minister to achieve a real agreement. What has the Prime Minister done since March 10, 2016, when he promised there would be a new agreement to replace the one the Harper government had obtained and that it would be signed in less than 100 days?
     Almost 500 days later, nothing has yet been done. Even worse, the Prime Minister has practically never raised the issue with the President of the United States at any of their various meetings.

  (1625)  

     To the plant workers located near the border in ridings like mine, to the forestry workers in my riding, the forestry workers across Quebec and the forestry workers all over Canada, this file can mean the difference between having to wait and make sacrifices, or being able to support their family and put food on the table, raise their children properly, give them a good education, and provide them with recreational opportunities.
     Who is going to pay for this? It is the children in those families, who may not have all the tools they need to move our economy forward and develop it later. That is what the government does not seem to understand. These children will be deprived, because their families will have been deprived of an income for too long.
     This government has a bizarre vision of our future generation. To begin with, the government is leaving an enormous debt for future generations. It is inflating their debt, supposedly to create jobs now. However, we have not yet seen those jobs that it is promising for now, in spite of the big deficits the government is running up.
     I remember hearing during the election campaign that the government was going to run very small deficits and was going to get Canadians back to work right away. In fact, that was the reason it was going to run very small deficits. We were promised a return to a balanced budget in 2019.
     That plan has not worked. Not only has the government failed to hold to small deficits, given that it now has enormous deficits, but we do not foresee a return to a balanced budget for a very long time. The forests will have time to grow and be harvested before we get back to a balanced budget, to paraphrase what was said by my colleague who spoke before me. The forests will have time to grow and be harvested before the deficit is repaid. Who will have to pay for that? Our young people will. Where are the jobs that were promised, where are the investments in infrastructure that were supposed to be made in 2016 and 2017?
     The money borrowed has not been used to create jobs. It has been used to make the machine bigger. It has been used to do favours for the regime’s pals and the people who put their faith in the Liberals in the last election because of all kinds of false promises. Unfortunately, they were hollow promises.
     I do not want to sound alarmist, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs said today that the positions of Canada and the United States are still very far apart. She explained that nothing has yet been resolved in this trade dispute since Washington imposed countervailing duties as high as 26% on Canadian softwood lumber. The Minister herself admitted today that she is unable to reach an agreement on softwood lumber.
    What is the Prime Minister waiting for before he does something? What is he waiting for before he himself, once and for all, defends Canadians and softwood lumber industry workers?
    We need leadership. Canada needs strong leadership to show the United States that this softwood lumber agreement is a good one for both parties. It is an agreement that can create jobs, preserve our jobs, create jobs in the United States, and show that we are not going to let ourselves get fleeced. A good agreement means having an agreement, first and foremost. The best agreement is within our reach if we really want it.
    The Prime Minister does not want to find a speedy solution, however, because they would not want to rub our American neighbours the wrong way.
     Liberal policies have hurt our economy. I have not had an opportunity to say much about the carbon tax, but I would like to mention, in closing, that the carbon tax is just one more way the Liberals have found to dig deeper into Canadian taxpayers’ pockets. Why? Because they want taxpayers to bear the entire burden of fighting climate change.
     The government wondered why not tax the taxpayers more, and why not arrange it so taxpayers are the ones to pay, rather than finding a real plan that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Quebec, a green fund was created with contributions from all kinds of green taxes. Unfortunately, there has been no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Quebec’s green fund is a dismal failure in every way. That is the kind of example they want to recreate everywhere in Canada. We will not be more competitive. We do not have a softwood lumber agreement.
     In a nutshell, this government has no vision for developing our economy. I can only hope that someone on the other side of the House will stand up and show some leadership and restore the faith of our forestry workers.

  (1630)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer a little reminder about the softwood lumber crisis.
     The Conservatives put the agreement in place in 2006, and in 2008 we had the forestry crisis. That crisis happened after the Conservatives’ agreement with the Americans was implemented. It was a bad agreement that they signed in a hurry to get rid of the issue without solving the problem. That is what has brought us to where we are today.
     In addition, the member said we have not created jobs. In fact, over 300,000 new jobs have been created in the last year. That may be why the Conservatives were unsuccessful as a government: they do not see the difference between 300,000 and a negative number.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
     Since he comes from a forestry region, I would have very much liked to know his position on the lack of leadership on the part of his own government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of International Trade, when it comes to negotiating. They have been unable to find common ground with the Americans since 2015. It is all too easy to shift the blame onto others.
     It has been almost two years since the Liberals got elected, which they managed to do under all sorts of pretexts. They said they would make real changes and they would be open and transparent. However, not only have they failed to negotiate, but also, according to the Information Commissioner, they are the least transparent government in recent years. So much for the lecture, then.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my riding of Kootenay—Columbia is very dependent on softwood lumber. There are almost a dozen family-owned and larger mills in the riding. We are quite concerned that the Liberal government has not been able to negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement. I am hoping that some of the interim measures will be helpful, and I am going to check with the mill owners a couple of weeks from now to see whether the interim package has done anything for them.
    The Conservatives had an opportunity to do something because the softwood lumber agreement expired in 2015. Why did the Conservatives not do something about it two years ago?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it may be useful to remind my colleague that there was an election in 2015.
     In fact, had we stayed on the other side of the House, the agreement would probably be already approved today. We would have negotiated, we would have resolved this issue, and we would have signed a softwood lumber agreement, because we had a prime minister, Mr. Harper, who was not afraid to stand up to the President of the United States and taken a tougher stance to get the issue resolved. He said the issue was going to be settled, and it was settled immediately.
    Therefore, yes, we would have liked to be still on the other side, and we would have settled the issue.

  (1635)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to cast the member's mind back, perhaps take a trip down memory lane with me, and remember when the bromance was in full effect. It was the Prime Minister and President Obama, and it was all cocktails and canapés and state dinners here and there. However, when they went for their fancy state dinners to Washington, they left behind the Minister of Natural Resources, who is responsible for softwood lumber.
    Can the member talk about the priorities of the government and why, during a time when it supposedly was the closest relationship in Canadian and U.S. history, it failed to get the job done?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, that is called a lack of leadership.
     This is exactly the point I have been trying to make from the beginning of my speech. A leader who wants to really settle an issue puts aside the fancy hors d’oeuvres and tackles the real questions with his counterpart. Instead of asking whether to take a selfie with the left hand or the right, a leader is going to ask whether or not they are going to resolve the softwood lumber issue.
     Unfortunately, our Prime Minister is more concerned about finding out whether to take selfies with the left or right hand. So much for the Liberal promise to cut taxes for employees in the softwood lumber industry or Canadian small businesses. This promise, made during the last campaign, was not kept.
     It seems to me that the Liberal government’s priorities are misplaced. Indeed, when the sun is shining and our two countries are indulging in something of a lovefest, it never occurs to anyone to ruin the fun by raising the real issues that Canadians care about.
    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, National Defence; the member for Courtenay—Alberni, Fisheries and Oceans; the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as always, it is a pleasure to stand on behalf of the constituents of Chilliwack—Hope to speak in the House. Today we are debating the following motion:
    That the House recognize that the government has mismanaged the economy in a way that is damaging Canadian industries and diminishing Canadians’ economic stability by:
(a) failing to negotiate a deal on softwood lumber and instead offering a compensation package rather than creating sustainable jobs for Canadian forestry workers;
(b) attempting to phase out Canada’s energy sector by implementing a job killing carbon tax, adding additional taxes to oil and gas companies, removing incentives for small firms to make new energy discoveries and neglecting the current Alberta jobs crisis; and
(c) refusing to extend the current rail service agreements for farmers in Western Canada which will expire on August 1, 2017, which will result in transportation backlogs that will cost farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue.
    I want to concentrate on the first two sections of the motion during my remarks. I know that members, like the members for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, Brandon—Souris, and others, have done an excellent job of talking about how the government is failing western Canadian farmers. That is certainly part of the Liberal legacy that continues whenever Liberals are in government.
    I want to talk about the failure to negotiate a softwood lumber agreement. This is truly something that the Liberals have over-promised and under-delivered on. They promised that they would have a deal done. The Conservatives did not get it done, and Liberals were saying just watch us. I have several quotes, all from CBC News. On March 12, the then minister of international trade heralded a real breakthrough on softwood lumber negotiations, and we were promised that within 100 days, there would be the structure of a deal. I remember being in the House and hearing the thunderous applause, when members were still allowed to applaud, by the Liberal MPs heralding this 100-day breakthrough. Boy, were they ever going to get it done. Of course, that deadline came and went. “No softwood lumber deal, as 'challenging but productive' talks drag on” was the headline after that deadline came and went. However, the key features were now set, and we were told we should just wait, because they were going to sign a good deal for Canada. That is what we were promised.
    In the interim, as I mentioned in my question, there was back-patting and photographs like we would not believe. It was the photogenic President Obama and the photogenic Prime Minister of Canada exploring their relationship, strengthening their personal ties. In fact, speaking of personal ties, when there was a state dinner in Washington, it was the personal ties of the Prime Minister of Canada that took priority over forestry workers. It was the in-laws of the Prime Minister of Canada who got a seat at that table, while the Minister of Natural Resources had to cool his heels at home. There was room for family, and there was also room for Liberal bagmen. The chief fundraisers of the Liberal Party got a seat at the table, but the Minister of Natural Resources did not. Why would he want to go to Washington? There was not much going on. There was no Keystone XL and no softwood lumber deal to negotiate. He was nowhere to be found because no one could get him a seat at the table. There were just too many favours to call in and too many photos to be taken with the two beautiful leaders of the two beautiful countries.
    We have seen just today that Canada and the U.S. remain quite far apart on softwood lumber, and it is amazing how the reality has set in. To paraphrase the former Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff: They didn't get it done. They haven't gotten it done. They promised they would, and they failed Canadian forest workers.
    Liberals have come up with a $900-million aid package. We, in the official opposition, will be watching very closely to ensure it goes to those who have been impacted by the failure of the Liberals to get a deal done, that it goes to the workers who need it most urgently, those who will be laid off as a result of the punitive countervailing duties that are coming up. Again, this is something the Liberals promised they would get done. They promised Canadians this would be done, and they have failed to deliver. That is one part of this motion today. They did not get the deal done and they put jobs at risk. As a result, we have already seen mill closures and are expecting more in the days ahead.

  (1640)  

    The second part of the motion that I want to address is on the issue of competitiveness for our energy sector. Quite frankly, I am not concerned about the bottom line of companies like Royal Dutch Shell or Chevron or Cenovus or CNRL. I am concerned about the workers, the men and women who earn their paycheques every day and put food on their tables, those middle-class employees of these companies. That is whom we in the official opposition are concerned about, and that is why we have been so concerned about the lack of foresight by the government in terms of our competitiveness, which means that our jobs are put at risk.
    The Prime Minister let slip his true feelings on the energy sector when he was on his apology tour after his Christmas vacation on billionaire island, where he went coast to almost coast. He did not go to British Columbia of course. He did not want to have to talk about pipelines there. When he was in Peterborough, Ontario, he said quite clearly that we need to “phase out” the oil sands. He claimed several days later, when he was in Alberta this time, that he misspoke, but we see from action after action of the current government that he was actually just revealing the truth. He let slip the truth. He did not misspeak, because time after time, action after action, the Liberals are punishing the energy sector.
    In the budget, as is referenced in the motion, the Liberals cut the Canadian exploration expense, which is a tax incentive that allows for exploration that encourages companies to find that next well that would provide those next sets of jobs for energy workers, that would put food on the tables of people across the country, not just in the prairie provinces. While our biggest competitor, which used to be our biggest customer but is now our biggest competitor, the United States is busy cutting red tape, cutting taxes, and making it easier for energy companies to hire workers, the current government is putting up roadblocks.
    We talked about the national tax on carbon that the Liberals are implementing, that they are forcing the provinces to implement. That will have a negative impact on our competitiveness. Taking away the incentives for new exploration will have a negative impact on our competitiveness and the ability for Canadian workers to keep doing the jobs that they have always done.
    We have quotes here from people like Jack Mintz at the school of public policy at the University of Calgary. He said:
     I think this competitiveness issue is a huge issue for Canada coming down the road and I am surprised [the government] took actions right now on this when they will be needing to deal with a much bigger set of changes next year.
    The U.S. is going in a completely different direction on carbon and major U.S. tax reform. That’s in addition to the measures being taken on carbon in Alberta. You start adding it all up and it’s not a healthy climate. Businesses are taking their money elsewhere.
    That is what we have seen. We have seen businesses walking with their money. We have seen some of the same businesses who lined up behind Rachel Notley and talked about how excellent it was that there would be a new carbon tax on Albertans and how that was going to create all kinds of social licence, weeks later say, “Good luck with that. We're going to the United States. We're going to Kazakhstan. We're going to jurisdictions that do not have a punitive carbon tax.” Therefore, what is happening is that there is not less carbon being emitted. There is just less carbon being emitted in Canada. If we are in this worldwide fight against climate change, that does not do anything except kill jobs in Canada.
    On softwood lumber the Liberals did not get it done, and on the energy sector what they are doing is making things even worse. They need to change course or even more Canadian workers are going to lose their jobs.

  (1645)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my honourable colleague for his highly amusing speech.
     What makes it so amusing is that the resolution refers to the way we are managing the economy. Over the last 12 months, we have created over 300,000 good jobs in Canada, which is quite amusing, indeed.
     I have a question for my colleague about creating jobs for the future. There is a lot of work being done in my riding of Châteauguay—Lacolle in the vibrant sectors of innovation, agri-food and cutting greenhouse gases. A lot of work is being done on exciting projects, but investment is needed.
     I would like my colleague to comment on our idea of creating the infrastructure bank.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the member finds it amusing when we are talking about job losses in the energy sector. When we are talking about job losses in the forest sector, that is not amusing to us on this side of the House, which is why we put forward the motion.
    Our Conservative government had a strong record on creating jobs, 1.3 million net new jobs after the recession. That is something we take pride in.
    The member talked about the infrastructure bank, which, again, for communities like mine, Chilliwack—Hope, where the threshold is $100 million for a project, I am sorry if the people of Chilliwack—Hope do not have that kind of reserve on hand so that they can be part of that. They will be completely excluded from the Canadian infrastructure bank. It will be reserved for the big cities and for the big bankers, and Canadians will be the ones who will be asked to foot the bill if any of these investments go sideways.
    The big investors, the foreign national bankers, get all of the upside profit and Canadian taxpayers take all of the downside risk. That does not sound like a very good program to me.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Chilliwack—Hope did a fine job of explaining the problem of carbon leakage arising from the fact that there will be a carbon price in Canada but not in the United States. That is certainly a real challenge that we must address.
    Canada has a goods and services tax, whereas the United States has no comparable national sales tax. The way in which we deal with that difference is by rebating the GST on exports and applying it to imports.
    I wonder what the member for Chilliwack—Hope thinks about applying the same solution to carbon pricing, applying it to the carbon content of imports from countries that do not have a carbon price and rebating it on Canadian exports.

  (1650)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have never seen more bureaucracy drive down the costs for consumers or for Canadian taxpayers. I just want to thank the premier of the province that member comes from for standing up for his people, for standing up for the rights of provincial governments to determine their own way forward to address this issue and to fight against a national made-in-Ottawa carbon tax.
    Canadians will not hear this side of the House, certainly not this side of this side of the House, advocating for a carbon tax. We believe that there are other ways we could bring forward regulations that will address the issues of climate change that would not be so punitive to individuals, that would not drive jobs elsewhere, and that would not kill jobs as the government has been doing in the energy sector.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    I want to thank the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman for his motion today. I am sure that he has many qualities but timing is not one of them, because if one wanted to criticize a government for economic performance, one would think it would be done when things are bleak and jobs are not being created.
    Just last Friday, Statistics Canada reported even better than expected job numbers with the creation of 77,000 new full-time jobs, the third-largest one-month increase in the past five years. Behind those numbers are individual Canadians, tens of thousands of them, tens of thousands who can begin to take greater control over their personal finances, tens of thousands who can provide a better life for themselves and for their families.
    The latest data continues to show the significant gains made and the jobs growth since the middle of last year, a trend that economists are now citing as evidence that the momentum we set earlier this year is continuing. More than 38,000 young Canadians found full-time work last month, making it possible to save for next year's tuition, get into that first apartment, or buy that first home.
    TD's senior economist Brian DePratto concluded, “We think the Canadian economy is in a very good place right now.” The economy is in a very good place indeed, thanks to very good management.
    While the economy is in a very good place and we are starting to see a slow and steady recovery in Alberta, many people in my home province are still feeling anxious about the economic situation. I know this because I know people who have been affected by the downturn. They are my neighbours, my family, my friends, and my constituents.
    That is why our government has provided significant support both in the short and long term to Alberta during this difficult time. In our very first budget we provided $250 million in fiscal stabilization funding to the Government of Alberta. We responded to significant levels of unemployment by extending El benefits for all Albertans who needed it, and we helped diversify our markets by providing $750 million in loans from Export Development Canada.
    In the medium term, in budget 2017 we provided the province of Alberta with up to $30 million in grant funding to cover the interest costs on a $250-million loan, which will put more than 1,500 Albertans to work over the next three summers cleaning up orphaned and abandoned wells. The work will happen now and industry will pay back the loan over the next 10 years.
    Since taking office, we have made historic investments in infrastructure in Alberta. My department has approved 138 infrastructure projects in Alberta worth a combined investment of $4.8 billion. As a matter of fact, today we marked a milestone. We have approved 3,000 projects since taking office, a combined investment of $23 billion in Canadian communities. The vast majority of these projects are under way, creating jobs for Canadians.
    These include important projects to deal with waste water in Lacombe, Alberta, and highway improvements throughout the province. After a decade of inaction by the previous government, we finally secured federal funding for the Yellowhead Highway freeway conversion project in the city of Edmonton, my hometown.

  (1655)  

    What we hear from our municipalities and provinces is that they are very happy with the way we are making significant investments to support them in building the infrastructure that their communities need.
     For the long term, we have a track record of energy infrastructure approvals that my friends across the aisle are envious of. We have approved three pipelines, including the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, which will create 15,000 jobs during construction, and hundreds more permanent jobs.
    This was made possible through the collaboration we have been able to establish with the Government of Alberta and Premier Rachel Notley. Through the climate leadership plan, and as part of the pan-Canadian framework on climate change, our government has proven that we can focus on energy and the environment together. Through this, we have accomplished results for Albertans and Canadians and will continue to do so.
    The party opposite is offside with this approach. Conservatives prefer their failed approach of the last decade that did not see one single pipeline to tidewater approved. They were offside with every other party in the House, and offside with Canadians and Canadian businesses, which are telling them that pricing carbon is the single best way to spur innovation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    More than 60 businesses, labour, and environmental organizations have come out in support of pricing carbon. Here is what some of the members had to say. Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada, which represents 39 mining companies as well as several oil sands companies, said, “We think it's the best way to send a market signal to reduce emissions. This is something the industry believes. It's a generally held view that it is the best way forward to fight climate change.”
    Apparently, this generally held view does not extend to the people on the opposite side.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Amarjeet Sohi: Mr. Speaker, Jean Simard, president of the Aluminum Association of Canada went even further, saying, “We think definitely the challenge is not to slow down this process but to accelerate the transition.”
    Canadians understand that climate change and economic growth can happen at the same time. I do not want to be unfair to members opposite. Finally, belatedly, the party opposite has recognized that climate change is real. That is a good start. Who knows, perhaps by this time next year the party opposite will come to see the need to take action on climate change by pricing carbon. Perhaps, but I am not holding my breath. The fact is, the world has moved beyond the position of the Conservative Party. Some 40 countries, over 20 cities, states, and regions, including seven of the 10 largest economies, are putting a price on carbon.
    The direction is clear. More and more countries are moving toward pricing carbon, and our government is proud to place Canadians among their number. We realize, unlike the hon. member and his party, that fighting climate change requires more than fine words. It requires firm action. Our government is taking that action. It is the same action that is urged by businesses, endorsed by environmentalists, and embraced by jurisdictions around the world.
    As the recent economic data shows, it is clear that we can create jobs, drive growth, and protect the environment all at the same time. Indeed, in today's economy, there is no better way of creating prosperity.

  (1700)  

    Before going to questions, I want to remind the hon. members that when they are shouting and looking straight down, just because they cannot see the speaker does not mean the Speaker cannot see them when they are speaking loudly. I wanted to point that out in case anyone was wondering.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Provencher.
    Mr. Speaker, I want it on the record that I am a huge fan of historic spending on infrastructure. I like it, if it is done properly. The problem is that it is not being done properly by the Liberal government.
    Spending on infrastructure is an important investment, but it should be done by Canadians, not Chinese billionaires, and not rich Liberal elites. The way the government has structured it, those are the individuals who are going to be benefiting from the infrastructure bank, with an expected return of up to 20% on their investment. However, if by chance that project goes south, and if by chance there is a loss incurred on some of these infrastructure projects, we know who will take the bite. It will be middle-class Canadians and those working very hard to join it. They are the ones who are going to feel the pain.
    When we look at it that way, I am wondering why we would not give middle-class Canadians the opportunity to invest in Canadian infrastructure. We could do it through the Canada savings bond program. However, instead of doing it through that program, offering middle-class Canadians and seniors a vehicle to get a decent return on their investment, the Liberals are doing away with it. They are going to discontinue the Canada savings bond program, and instead offer Chinese billionaires the opportunity to profit off of Canadians. I want to know how the minister feels about that.
    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question from the hon. member and his desire to see infrastructure investments creating opportunities for Canadians.
    Let me tell the House what our budget 2016 investments have been able to achieve. Through those investments, more than 1,000 buses have been bought in Canadian communities to reduce congestion and improve mobility. Those investments are renovating close to 60,000 housing units to provide a safe place for Canadians to live and provide opportunities for those who are working hard to be part of the middle class.
    These investments are helping to build more than 200 schools in indigenous communities. It allows us to build 5,000 housing units on indigenous communities to improve their quality of life. It is moving our public transit, housing, and recreation facilities toward making them more accessible for people with disabilities. We are building more shelters to provide a safe place for women fleeing domestic violence. This is having a real impact on Canadians.
    As far as the mobilization of private capital and pension funds are concerned, those are the investments made into pension funds by average Canadians. Our pension funds invest in foreign countries. Why would we not allow them to invest in our own country, to create jobs in our own country for the middle class?
    Mr. Speaker, I was very interested when I heard we have had a surge in job growth. That is very good news. That is great news across Canada. The member mentioned there were 38,000 youth jobs, and a total of 77,000 jobs across the country. My question is on whether these are good-paying full-time jobs, or seasonal work. In the steel industry and the manufacturing industry, there is always a surge in May because everyone is going on vacation, so we have to do the backfill. In September, they are all laid off.
    With some of those jobs, it does not say how much the pay is. Is it the $200,000 middle-class jobs that he is talking about—that is our new middle class now—or are these low-paying retail sector jobs for the ones who are striving to get to the $200,000 middle-class jobs?

  (1705)  

    Mr. Speaker, all of us in the House want the best for our communities. We want to do our best to make sure that Canadians succeed, regardless of where they live. We want to give them opportunities. Absolutely, the vast majority of the jobs that are being created are full time. These are good-paying jobs. I cannot give the member the exact number on the wages because they are created throughout the communities.
    What I can say is that the actions we have taken, whether reducing taxes for the middle class, or introducing the Canada child benefit that is lifting 300,000 children out of poverty, or the historic investments we are making in infrastructure, are acting as a catalyst to spur economic growth and enable the private sector to invest and create more jobs. That is where we see the opportunities. That is where we see the positive relationship that we have with our private sector doing more.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure for me to rise as the representative of the magnificent riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    I would like to begin by thanking the member for moving this motion, since it gives me the opportunity to once again talk about Bill C-49, the transportation modernization act, a bill that will help our farmers and others who transport their goods using our rail system.
    Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is home to a great company called Elopak, which manufactures containers for liquid food, and it needs the rail system. It brings in big rolls of paper to manufacture containers for cream or juice, such as the refrigerated juice that we buy at the grocery store. Canada's rail system is important for moving goods and services within the country.
    Users have been asking for many years for an effective, long-term solution to improve this system, and I am proud that our government can keep its commitments.
    Our government is committed to ensuring that the grain industry has a balanced, effective, and transparent rail transportation system to get its products to market. That is why Bill C-49 includes a large number of measures to help meet that objective.
     Specifically, Bill C-49 is making the most significant changes to rail policy in a generation. This legislation caps the maximum grain revenue entitlement to keep grain transportation rates low. Our government listened to the concerns of Canadian farmers on this issue, which is extremely important to them. Having the chance to sit on the Standing Committee on International Trade, I have often heard about this issue. Furthermore, we are making changes to the maximum revenue entitlement, or MRE, to encourage investment in railway companies and expand the network to benefit all users.
    Bill C-49 provides monetary penalties for railway companies. These penalties will hold them accountable for poor service. As well, we clearly set out in the bill that the option for shippers to seek penalties from railway companies will not prevent them from seeking full compensation for expenses or losses due to poor service, such as late charges.
     This is a long-standing issue for the grain industry, and this legislation will keep in place the Canadian Transportation Agency’s temporary authority to award compensation for such failures. This bill also provides a robust definition of “adequate and adapted” services by specifying that railway companies must provide the highest level of service under the circumstances. The level of service would be available to everyone, including farmers affected by poor railway service.
     To ensure that this mechanism will provide quick compensation, we are reducing the agency’s timeframe for rendering a decision from 120 to 90 days.
     Furthermore, Bill C-49 ensures that small users can use a centralized process to challenge high rates charged by railway companies.
    We will raise the cargo load limit for access to final offer arbitrage from $750,000 to $2 million, indexed to inflation.
     This system will be easier for small users. Since there are no hearings, small users will not have to provide evidence in their case against the facts provided by railway companies regarding alternatives for moving their goods.
    Users will be able challenge rates, and an arbitrator can make a decision applicable for a period of up to two years.
     Bill C-49 will also enhance transparency. For the first time ever, big rail companies will be required to provide detailed information about the rates they charge, including amounts to be paid under the terms of confidential contracts. They will also be required to make all important information about their services publicly available through the agency.
    Under this bill, we will establish new requirements for railways with respect to their plans and the steps they are taking to enable them to move grain for the following crop year. The agency will also have clear authority to hold hearings and issue recommendations on any issue of concern.
    Taken together, these measures will ensure that problems are identified ahead of time and that all affected parties can take steps quickly to ensure that what happened in the winter of 2013-14, when record grain production and a harsh winter caused major delays, never happens again.

  (1710)  

    Through the measures included in Bill C-49, our government is protecting our reputation as a reliable trade partner and ensuring that we can grow our economy to benefit all Canadians.
    This bill includes an important new measure to promote competition between the railway companies. Railway interswitching would provide users with access to an alternative railway company for distances up to 1,200 kilometres or 50% of the total long-haul distance in Canada, regardless of which is greater. This would give users a significant bargaining tool when negotiating prices and service options.
    Members of the House will recall that this was temporary legislation passed in response to extreme circumstances that are no longer an issue in the transportation and grain shipping system. In that context, we will allow Bill C-30 to lapse as planned on August 1, 2017.
    There are four measures in this legislation that our government looked at in detail. We heard the users' concerns about each of them and we considered their future in order to ensure that adequate conditions will remain in place for the long term.
    First, the agency has the authority to order a railway company to compensate users for inadequate service. As mentioned earlier, Bill C-49 makes that measure permanent.
    Second, the agency has the authority to clarify service agreements that users have submitted for arbitration. This solution allows users to obtain a service contract when negotiations fail. Bill C-49 also makes that measure permanent.
    Third, the temporary measures concerning the minimum volume of grain for Canadian National and Canadian Pacific will finally be removed as planned. Users have said that the minimum volumes were having an adverse effect on the system and that some corridors had received preferential treatment. Although it was understandable given the situation, I am sure all members of the House will agree that this is not the type of policy that we want to maintain in the long term, given its unintended consequences. Long-haul interswitching therefore provides a national solution to the major problem of captive shippers.
     The report by the Hon. David Emerson on the state of transportation in Canada, began in 2014, recommends that railway interswitching in the Prairies, introduced in the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, be withdrawn as planned. This report did not make any recommendations about some alternative instrument for encouraging competition or providing users with additional tools for negotiating with the railway companies.
     Our government did not think that this was acceptable. Captive users told us that it was crucial to get better service and rate options. That is why Bill C-49 proposes long-haul interswitching. While that would encourage competition in the system, railway companies would be appropriately compensated for directing traffic to a competitor.
    This provides me with an opportunity to commend the Minister of Transport for his extensive efforts in consulting farmers and other users before introducing this bill. Our government took the time to listen to farmers. That is why this bill provides them with considerable support.
     Our government understands the importance of a balanced and competitive railway system for its users and for farmers. That is why we are calling on all parliamentarians to act quickly. Meanwhile, the grain industry will continue to enjoy maximum revenue entitlement protections, something that keeps rates low and maintains processes such as arbitration around service delivery.
     Bill C-49 is not a temporary fix; it proposes comprehensive measures to ensure the long-term success of Canada’s grain industry. Passing them all at once would greatly expedite the legislative process. I am pleased to note that the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has already agreed to come back earlier, before the House resumes, to consider Bill C-49.

  (1715)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, today I have been calling on the government members to address certain questions that are in the motion, asking them what they are doing about creating sustainable jobs for the Canadian forest industry.
    I come from a community where raw log exports have gone up tenfold in 10 years. A third of the children are living in poverty in the Alberni valley. Recently, the Somass River was closed for the fishing of sockeye. It is further plunging people into poverty. I am not hearing any solutions from the government side.
     I am hoping to hear a serious commitment to the forest sector. I am really grateful that we are finally talking about forestry, because it is not talked about in the House. It was not talked about in the last two Liberal budgets, that we know, and it has been largely ignored by Ottawa for decades.
    It would be great to hear some actual commitment. It would be great to actually have a minister show up in my riding. When we have a third of the kids living in poverty, we would think it would be a priority.
    I do not want to hear from the members across the way about their child tax saving the day and lifting communities right out of poverty. Jobs lift people out of poverty, and we need jobs in our communities. I want to hear how the Liberals will create jobs in my community. They deserve that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my honourable colleague for his question.
     As I pointed out earlier, I sit on the Standing Committee on International Trade. The forestry sector is one of those issues we quickly discussed last year. When I was a member of the National Assembly, the first sector I was concerned about was precisely the forestry sector. It is a very important issue for both B.C. and Quebec.
    You mentioned the Canada child benefit. Obviously, this benefit has helped all Canadian families bring more money in. As for jobs, I agree with you that many families, even in your riding, rely on the forestry sector. Our government is serious about resolving this issue. It is something we need to settle with a long-term solution.
     We want a good agreement, but not just any agreement. We want an agreement that will last.
    I wish to remind the members to direct their answers and questions through the Chair.
     The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague has failed to recognize how the Liberal government has completely let down the forestry sector and has sat on its hands for the past year. It should have been renegotiating the extension of the current softwood lumber agreement or, in fact, getting a deal done to protect the 400,000 jobs in the forestry sector from coast to coast to coast. In every province, territory, and region, people work in the forestry sector and rural communities are hurting because of it.
    I have to also take exception with the Liberal government for its policy on this regressive carbon tax. This tax will hurt the most vulnerable in our society, those living on fixed incomes and those who are underemployed. The only time they ever get to see a tax cut is when we reduce the input cost taxes, sales taxes. All the Liberal government wants to do is penalize these people who still have to heat their homes, drive their cars, and still have to take transit. All those things get more expensive because of a carbon tax, and will do absolutely nothing to fix the environment.