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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 100

CONTENTS

Friday, October 28, 2016




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 100 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

  (1005)  

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (for the Minister of Finance)  
     moved that Bill C-29, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Madam Speaker, it has been just over a year since the previous federal election, and I think we would all agree it has been a tremendous year for all of us in this House. Twelve months ago, many felt the momentum building throughout the country. We were confident in our vision for Canada, and, as it turns out, so were Canadians.
    In this past year, especially as a first-time MP, I have been thrilled to be working on behalf of Canadians, helping to impact their lives for the better. It is a pleasure for me to rise in this chamber and speak about the investments that the Government of Canada will be making to keep Canada and its people strong and growing for the long term.

[Translation]

    Canada is one of the first countries in the world to put into practice the idea that when you have an economy that works for the middle class, you have a country that works for everyone.
     In the last year we took some important steps towards helping families regain the confidence they will need to drive our economy forward. We cut taxes for close to nine million Canadians, and we introduced the Canada child benefit, which puts more money in the pockets of nine out of ten families with children.
     We increased Canada student grants for students from low- and middle-income families and for part-time students. We increased monthly payments for the most vulnerable seniors. We signed an agreement with the provinces to enhance the Canada pension plan to provide young people and future generations of workers with a stable, dignified retirement.
     We have also begun making unprecedented investments that will help the middle class grow and prosper today, while delivering economic growth for years to come.
    We will continue to build on this momentum.

[English]

    This second budget implementation act proposes items that will complete the implementation of outstanding measures from the Government of Canada's first budget, growing the middle class.
    As a government, we are particularly proud of our first budget. This is a budget that puts people and family first. It introduces investments that take an essential step to growing the middle class. It is the first step of a long-term plan to restore hope and revitalize the economy for the benefit of all Canadians. This is a budget and a plan that is not only resonating with Canadians, but is gathering international praise around the world as well.
    The Financial Times called Canada's approach a glimmer of light. The Wall Street Journal called our finance minister “the poster child” for the International Monetary Fund's global growth strategy. Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, praised our approach as well. At the recent IMF annual meetings, Madame Lagarde said, “Look at Canada.... They're using all possible levers to move the needle towards positive and more growth”. That is what all countries can do.”
    Our budget earned these endorsements. I firmly believe that we as a government are focused on exactly the right things: on people, and on growing the economy for the long term in a way that will benefit all Canadians.

[Translation]

    The bill before us today, budget implementation act, 2016, No. 2, completes the implementation of the measures we introduced in budget 2016. It provides additional assistance to the people who are the heart of our economy, Canada's middle class.
    The bill we are debating today will help foster a strong Canadian economy and will enable Canadians in the middle class and those working hard to join it to keep more of their money to save, invest, and ensure economic growth.
    This bill includes measures that will help families, give seniors a little more flexibility, protect consumers, and improve the quality and integrity of our country's tax system.
    One of the cornerstones of our plan to strengthen the middle class is also a cornerstone of our first budget. In budget 2016, we introduced the new Canada child benefit. This benefit will help parents better support what is most precious to them, their children.
    The Canada child benefit is simpler and more generous than the benefits it is replacing. It is also tax free and better targeted to help those who need it most in our society.
    The Canada child benefit will lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty in Canada. That is because since the benefit was first rolled out in July, nine out of ten families are now receiving more money than they did under the previous system.
    Whether that extra money is being used to buy school supplies, groceries, or warm coats for the winter, the Canada child benefit will help parents cover the growing cost of raising their children.
    Let me explain how this benefit will help Canadian families. Parents of children under 18 will receive a maximum annual benefit of $6,400 per child under six and $5,400 per child aged six through 17.
    Supporting this budget implementation bill will help ensure that the Canada child benefit will be indexed to inflation, so that families can count on this extra assistance today and for years to come.

  (1010)  

[English]

    This budget implementation act would also support seniors by helping them to retire in more comfort and with dignity. Canada's retirement income system has been successful in reducing the incidence of poverty among Canadian seniors. However, some seniors continue to be at heightened risk of living with low income. In particular, single seniors are nearly three times more likely to live with low incomes than seniors generally. Budget 2016 would help seniors retire comfortably and with dignity by making significant new investments that support them in their retirement years.
    In budget 2016, we repealed the provision of the Old Age Security Act that increased the age of eligibility for old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits from 65 to 67 years of age and allowance benefits from 60 to 62 over the 2023 to 2029 period. Restoring the eligibility age for old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits to 65 will put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of Canadians as they become seniors and look to retire. That is the right thing to do.
    Budget 2016 also increased the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit by up to $947 annually for the most vulnerable single seniors, starting in July 2016. This is helping those seniors who rely almost exclusively on old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits, and may therefore be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties.
    These enhancements more than double the current maximum guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit and represent a 10% increase in the total maximum guaranteed income supplement benefits available to the lowest income single seniors in our country. This measure represents an investment of over $670 million per year and will improve the financial security of about 900,000 single seniors across our nation.

[Translation]

    In this second budget implementation bill, we are delivering on the promise we made in budget 2016 to support senior couples who face higher costs of living and are at an increased risk of poverty because they must live apart.
    This second budget implementation bill amends the Old Age Security Act in order to make the program more flexible. When couples who are receiving the guaranteed income supplement and the spouse's allowance have to live apart for reasons beyond their control, each of them will receive benefits based on their individual income.
    By extending this treatment to couples receiving the guaranteed income supplement and spouse's allowance, the government is improving fairness for seniors and helping them live with the dignity they deserve and need in retirement.

[English]

    Canadians deserve financial consumer protection that keeps pace with people's needs. In line with this, budget 2016 contains plans to strengthen and modernize the financial consumer protection framework.
    Budget implementation act, 2016, No. 2 would amend the Bank Act in order to strengthen and modernize the financial consumer protection framework in our country. The financial sector plays an important role in supporting economic growth in this nation. Each day, the nation's financial institutions support the financial needs of consumers and large and small businesses, and enable payments and transactions. They form the infrastructure of our market system.
    Canada's financial sector weathered the 2008 financial crisis well. We are seeking to build on this strength. We want to make sure that the financial sector is able to adapt to new trends, including emerging financial innovation and technologies that will challenge existing business models, evolving consumer preferences and customer relationships, changing demographics, and continuing globalization.
    Budget 2016 proposes to modernize the financial consumer protection framework by clarifying and enhancing consumer protection in the Bank Act, and working with stakeholders to support the implementation of the framework. This legislation proposes to consolidate and streamline existing consumer provisions into one chapter of the Bank Act, and introduce amendments to the Bank Act to enhance consumer protection in the areas of access to basic banking services' business practices, disclosure, complaints handling, as well as corporate governance and accountability.

  (1015)  

[Translation]

    The federal government is showing leadership by implementing targeted measures to better protect consumers of financial products and services in Canada. These measures include improving access to basic banking services, setting limits on certain business practices, and improving disclosure of information to make it easier for consumers to make informed choices. These reforms reiterate the federal government's intent to have a system of exclusive consumer protection rules to ensure an efficient national banking system across the country.
    Fairness is one of Canadians' fundamental values. That is why the government of Canada committed to implement an action plan to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance that contains new measures and builds on the efforts that are currently being made both here in Canada and abroad. This work will help protect the tax base and boost Canadians' confidence in the fairness of a system that ensures that everyone pays their fair share of the tax burden.

[English]

    As part of an international effort to combat tax evasion, budget 2016 confirms the government's intention to implement the common reporting standard developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD. Under the common reporting standard, Canadian financial institutions will be expected to have procedures in place to identify accounts held by non-residents and to report information on those accounts to the Canada Revenue Agency.
    Tax administrations in foreign jurisdictions will likewise collect information from their financial institutions about accounts held by residents of other countries, including Canada. The CRA will formalize exchange arrangements with foreign jurisdictions, having verified that each jurisdiction has appropriate capacity and safeguards in place. Then the financial account information will begin to be exchanged on a reciprocal bilateral basis.
     The introduction of the common reporting standard is an important global development, which will help enhance tax compliance and eliminate opportunities for tax evasion in our country. Canada intends to implement the standard consistent with our commitment to the G-20 and similar commitments by more than 100 other jurisdictions.
     The budget also announced plans to implement a new requirement for country-by-country reporting. This is an initiative agreed to under the G20/0ECD project to address tax avoidance by multinational enterprises through base erosion and profit shifting.
    Under these new rules, large multinational enterprises will be required to file information with tax authorities providing a high-level profile of their activities in each jurisdiction in which they operate. These reports will enhance transparency and assist tax administrations in performing effective risk assessments.
     Going forward, Canada will continue to work with the international community to ensure a coherent and consistent response to tax avoidance. In addition to these new legislative tools, budget 2016 also announced $444 million in new resources for the Canada Revenue Agency to address offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
    In conclusion, budget 2016 represents a giant step forward in our plan to put people first and to deliver the help they need now while investing for the years and decades to come. With these investments, and inspired by a sense of fairness, we are ensuring that Canada's best days lie ahead. Our plan is about creating the necessary conditions to ensure that hope and hard work will not be wasted but will be rewarded in this country where our children and our grandchildren can flourish.
    The Government of Canada is focused on the larger picture of ensuring prosperity for Canadians well beyond its 150th birthday. I therefore encourage all members in the House to support the bill. This is right for Canada. This is right for families. This is right for the middle class.
    Madam Speaker, instead of calling it growing the middle class, they should be calling it breaking the middle class, because what we see is a deficit that is out of control.
    I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance if, when he was campaigning a year ago, he was telling people at the doorstep that there would be a $10-billion deficit. What would they say to him had they known that we are now at $30 billion and growing, with no plan to keep spending under control? The Liberals are not helping the middle class.
     We look at our job numbers. We look at what is happening to our youth. We have serious concerns in Canada in terms of the direction the government is taking us.

  (1020)  

    Madam Speaker, I welcome the question from my colleague, for whom I have enormous esteem for her interest in our economy. I had the privilege, as a member of Parliament and a parliamentary secretary, to criss-cross this country on budget 2016, from Moncton to Yellowknife. People told us two things: to help them and their families, and to grow the economy.
    To help the middle class, we reduced taxes for the middle class. That is the first thing this government did for Canadians. We then introduced the Canada child benefit, which is one of the most innovative social policies in our country since universal health care. We went on to amend the CPP and made sure that we did something for seniors and students.
    People asked us to be bold and to take the initiative to grow the economy. That is why we proposed to invest $120 billion over 10 years in our infrastructure. It is an historic announcement this government has made to invest in innovation. Canadians from Moncton to Yellowknife told us to invest in this country, invest in the middle class, and invest in Canadians.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, first of all, I find it truly ironic that in this budget the Liberals are taking credit for indexing the Canada child benefit. They had not originally intended to index the benefit, but the parliamentary budget officer's report forced their hand.
    He indicated that by 2020 or 2021, the Liberal program would be less generous than that of the Conservatives. The same afternoon that the report was released, the Liberals announced that they would index the benefit starting in 2020 or 2021. I would have liked the government to be a little more forthcoming and at least admit that they made a mistake and that they had forgotten to index the program, which will obviously increase the cost of delivering it.
    I would also like to follow up on an issue that was not mentioned by the parliamentary secretary in his speech, and that is the privatization of Government of Canada assets. Yesterday, in committee, Dominic Barton, chair of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, did not deny that the government is moving toward privatization.
    Could the member explain why he did not mention this in his speech? Could he also tell us when exactly during the campaign did the government talk about privatization?
    Madam Speaker, I first want to commend the incredible work my colleague across the aisle is doing on the Standing Committee on Finance. It is a tremendous pleasure to work with him on that committee.
    I am sure he did not mean to question my integrity or that of the Minister of Finance regarding the last budget. In the interviews he gave, the Minister of Finance clearly indicated that the benefit would be indexed, and that is what we are doing. This is included in the second budget implementation bill.
    I understand that his wish has now been fulfilled. I am sure that he wants the Canada child benefit to be indexed, as do all parliamentarians.
    As for his other question, we are pleased to have an advisory council that provides the Minister of Finance with innovative ideas on economic growth in this country. As we have said many times, we have asked the Advisory Council on Economic Growth to be ambitious and come up with innovative ideas to help ensure growth in Canada, and that is exactly what it is doing.
    I would remind my colleague that these are recommendations, no final decisions have been made, and these are not government policies. We will consider any good idea that helps boost the country's growth. That is what Canadians expect, and that is exactly what we are going to do.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for that wonderful speech. I have a question for him regarding the Canada child benefit.
    I spend a lot of my weekends in the hockey arenas in my riding. I have two young boys who play hockey. What I am hearing is how this fundamentally changes the lives of so many people in my riding. Parents can afford things for their kids that they could not before. People are now playing hockey and sports in my riding who were not able to before.

  (1025)  

    You took the sports tax credit away.
    Madam Speaker, tax credits do not work. We all know that if a person does not have the money to pay in the first place, boutique tax credits do not work.
     I want the member to elaborate on how the Canada child benefit actually provides opportunities for so many children. Three hundred thousand children were lifted out of poverty because of this measure.
    Would the member please elaborate on that?
    I just want to remind members of the opposition that they will have a chance to ask another question. If they restrain themselves and allow people to speak, that would be great.
    Madam Speaker, I could hear the members on the other side. Their interest in the Canada child benefit is very vocal, and we appreciate that. It is very good to hear them comment on it, because, as my hon. colleague mentioned, this is making a difference for families.
     He talked about his riding. Let me talk about my own riding.
    The Canada child benefit is helping about 18,000 children. Ten thousand families are better off now because of the Canada child benefit, which is tax free, which is more targeted, and which is providing more money.
    When someone comes from a riding like mine, Saint-Maurice—Champlain, where we have gone through economic difficulties, where the economy is in transformation, and where the median income is probably among the most challenging in our country, and we give people that amount of money, we increase disposable income by about 5% to 10% for families. It makes a difference.
    I would invite members on each side to talk to families, as we are on this side, to make sure that they understand the difference.
     I have people walk into my constituency office saying that this is transformative for them and their children, because it is tax free, because it is targeted. That is what people were asking for. We went across the country. About a quarter of a million people engaged with us on budget 2016 and asked us to help them and their families.
     This is what we are delivering. This is right for Canadians. This is right for Canadian families.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague opposite for his speech. However, I need to understand a few things. We all know that you made some lofty promises during the election campaign—
    Order, please, I would remind the member that she must direct her comments to the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, the Liberals made some very fine promises during the election campaign, but what Canadians are most worried about are the things they did not tell people they would do, things they have been doing quite merrily for some time now. They brag about investing millions of dollars in infrastructure.
    Promising money is all well and good, but when will they act on that promise?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I have a lot of respect for her, as she knows. She represents her constituents well.
    I would like to talk about what we have said and what we have done. One of our campaign promises was to cut taxes for Canada's middle class. That was the first bill we introduced in Parliament. During the campaign, we also promised to help Canadians. That is why we created the Canada child benefit, which, as my colleague well knows, will lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. I know the member personally, and I know that she is on board with lifting Canadian children out of poverty.
    As the hon. member said, we made some very fine promises to our seniors. That is exactly why we improved the guaranteed income supplement and lowered the retirement age from 67 to 65, like seniors asked us to.
    We also promised to help students and that is what we did in our budget. We promised Canadians growth and that is why we made an historic $120 billion investment over 10 years in infrastructure. We promised Canadians innovation and that is why we presented a plan for innovation.
    As my colleague can see, we made fine promises, but more importantly for Canadians, we kept them. We will continue doing more of the same.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased and honoured, but also humbled, to speak on behalf of all my official opposition colleagues and on behalf of all Canadians who were literally duped by the Liberal Party a year ago.
    The Liberal Party promised heaven and earth, but it is breaking its promises. Worse yet, we see that the billions of dollars invested, supposedly in development, is not working. The Liberal plan is not working and we can prove it.
    We are gathered this morning to talk about Bill C-29 which, in a way, is the second budget implementation bill. The people watching us this morning need to understand that the budget was tabled, voted on, and passed. However, two bills are being enacted to implement the budget.
    What we are seeing is that all the government's budget measures are not working. When we left office a year ago, we left the House in order. This week, the parliamentary budget officer confirmed what we knew, and what Canadians suspected, namely that we left a $2.9-billion surplus. That was a good thing. In fact, a $2.9-billion surplus is responsible, realistic, conservative, and Canadian. We will come back to the current situation later.
    We left Canadians the lowest tax burden in 50 years. Canadians had never before paid so little in taxes as under the Conservative government one year ago. That was the mindset that we left Canadians. That was the economic situation that we left Canadians. The major difference is that we believe that Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses, not government, create jobs. Our Conservative policies created 200,000 jobs during our last term of office. A $2.9-billion surplus, the lowest tax burden in 50 years, and 200,000 jobs created by private enterprise, all made possible by Conservative policies. That was the situation one year ago.
    Where are we one year later? The Bank of Canada, the parliamentary budget officer, the International Monetary Fund, and the OECD confirm that the Liberal government's economic forecasts must be downgraded. Although we had excellent momentum a year ago, today all economic observers agree that the Liberal plan is not working and that the economic forecasts must be downgraded.
    Everyone can see that the employment statistics are worrisome. The Liberal government's measures were supposed to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, but we have not seen any results. Not only is the unemployment rate stable at 7%, but now we are learning that tens of thousands of jobs are being lost, and the Minister of Finance, pleased as Punch, is telling Canadians that they will have to get used to part-time work How inspiring. Way to encourage people to do more and promote job creation. It is not inspiring at all and it is so typical of the Liberals.
    Let us now look at the backbone of government management: deficits and surpluses. Need I remind members that our government left a $2.9-billion surplus? This is not the first time I have said it, and I can tell my colleagues right now that this is not the last time they will hear me say it either.
    Today, we have a deficit of tens of billions of dollars. I would remind members that, on page 76 of the Liberal election platform, it reads:
...the federal government will have a modest...deficit of...$10 billion...
    The deficit will shrink, and after four years, it will magically be transformed into a surplus. That is the Liberal promise. The reality is that the Liberal Party brought in a budget that spells out a $30-billion deficit. In fact, two weeks ago, TD Canada Trust said that the deficit could be as much as $34 billion. On October 19, to celebrate his first year in power, the Prime Minister of Canada was interviewed on TVA, and he said that he did not know how the whole deficit thing was going to turn out. Great. Just great.
    Should such an amateurish response come as any surprise? Is this not the same member for Papineau, Prime Minister, and Liberal Party leader who, in an interview two years ago, said that budgets balance themselves? Right. If, according to his economic theory, budgets balance themselves, then he can promise a $10-billion deficit that is really a $30-billion deficit, or how about a $34-billion deficit or who knows how many billions exactly.

  (1030)  

    That is classic Liberal Party, and it is totally unacceptable. The Liberal government keeps talking about how wonderful everything is because it has the most ambitious infrastructure plan in Canadian history. On our watch, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean, as Minister of Economic Development, headed a department managing an $80-billion infrastructure investment program. At the time, that was the most ambitious program in Canadian history. The difference is that we did it by creating a budget surplus, not a Liberal-style deficit.
    The Liberals promised billions. They said that a growing deficit is not a problem and it is all good. It is not all good. Such a huge deficit is irresponsible because it is deferred taxation; we are forcing our children and grandchildren to pay the bill.
    Let us look at what I like to call the this government's grand gestures. As I said earlier, this government is not creating jobs; private enterprise is what is creating them. We therefore need to give businesses the tools they need to create jobs. We in the Conservative Party believe that the real job creators, the real backbone of the Canadian economy, are small and medium-sized businesses. They are the real wealth creators, and yet, these Liberal measures work against them.
    Was the Liberal carbon tax included in their platform? No. Also, we have not seen the corporate tax cuts those folks over there promised.
     The following is written on page 80: “As we reduce the small business tax rate to 9 percent from 11 percent...” That is not true; they are not doing that. They are keeping taxes high and even increasing CPP contributions. This is going to cost Canadian workers $1,000 more per year, and cost businesses $1,000 more per employee every year. That is $2,000 less for the economy and $2,000 more in government coffers for the pension plan. It is unacceptable.
    Let us now take a look at exactly how this government is managing its much-touted program to help children, the Canada child benefit.
    They said they were going to abolish the three programs our government put in place to really help families, namely the universal child care benefit, the Canada child tax benefit, and the national child benefit supplement. We had fashioned three programs to meet the needs of all Canadian families. However, in its boundless wisdom, the government said those programs needed to go. It says it is going to reinvent the wheel and that it is going to come up with the best program that Canada has ever seen. That is pretty much what it said.
    However, the reality is that this government promised to make changes at no cost, but that was a mistake. This is going to put us $3.4 billion in the hole. It is wishful thinking by the Liberals: give people money, help them, and stimulate the economy. That is nice, but it is wishful thinking. Someone has to pay for all this at some point. Those people were elected on a promise to implement a program at no cost. It has not worked out that way. We are $3.4 billion in the hole.
    An hon. member: A year.
    Mr. Gérard Deltell: Yes, my colleague is right, Madam Speaker. I thank him.
    This year, it is going to cost an extra $3.4 billion and next year it will cost an extra $4.3 billion. What a farce, to put it mildly.
    All of a sudden, these people realized that they forgot to index the program, and they are shocked. They forgot one small detail, however: if the program isn't indexed, people will have less money in their pockets than they did under the Conservative government. The worst part about it is that it was not even included in their platform.
    I do not want to lecture anyone, but the facts speak for themselves. When managing their personal budgets, would any executives think that their groceries would cost the same in five years as they do now? No, and I do not think so either.

  (1035)  

    Are there any Canadians who believe that there is no indexing or inflation? No, there are not, aside from these fine people who are before us today. Their management approach is hard on the Canadian economy. It is us and our children who will have to pay for this bad management. Even though we are dealing with basics, the ABC's or one plus one equals two, the Liberals forgot to index.
    Thank goodness for our Senate colleague, the hon. Larry Smith. I would like to pay tribute to him. I would add that he is a Conservative senator. This is a small detail, but I do not forget details. The senator asked the parliamentary budget officer some very specific questions and, as a result, last May the parliamentary budget officer showed that the Liberals had forgotten to index the program and that, if it were indexed, it would cost twice as much, which is no laughing matter.
    When the parliamentary budget officer announced that the Liberals had forgotten to index the program, the government came up with an indexing measure on the fly to ensure that this program will cost $42.4 billion in total, and that number is from the report of the parliamentary budget officer. The Liberals only made a small mistake.
    I know that I cannot pull out documents here. However, if I could, members would clearly see the inflationary curve that the government forgot about and which means that Canadians will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars more.
    I have listened to the fine speeches by government members who have said that they are thinking of the children and families, that they want to help the poorest among us and do this in a balanced way. No, the Liberals completely forgot about indexation and inflation and, even worse, they are going to make our grandchildren pay for that. That is the irony of the situation.
    The members over there gloat about their lofty principles and say they want to help families and children. Of course they want to help the children: they want them to pay the bill when it is their turn to work. That is neither responsible nor realistic. That is not the right approach in our opinion.
    That is why when we were in power, when we were implementing these programs, we were also balancing the budget. That is the realistic and responsible way to effect change.
    About their tax changes, those guys make such a big deal about leaving more money in people's pockets and cutting taxes. Hang on just a second. Once again, thanks to the hon. Larry Smith, the parliamentary budget officer meticulously analyzed the new tax measures. On page 1, he says, “PBO estimates this amount to be $1.8 billion in 2016”. That is the additional amount the government has to pay. In other words, a measure that was supposed to be revenue-neutral is going to cost $1.8 billion.
    They talk about how we need to think of the poorest members of society, but this does not make sense. The new tax brackets mean that there will be no impact whatsoever for people earning $45,000 or less. I would like to remind the House that the average salary in this country is $32,000, so this will change nothing for more than half of all Canadians.
    Who is really going to benefit from the new Liberal tax changes? Those who earn between $140,000 and $199,999. I will acknowledge my conflict of interest up front, because I, like all members of the House of Commons, am in that tax bracket.
    Where is the supposed sense of fairness and generosity towards the most vulnerable among us? It does not exist in this new change. Sixty-five per cent of Canadians will see no change. It is going to cost Canadians $1.8 billion more, and those who will benefit the most are those who earn between $140,000 and $200,000. It completely flies in the face of what they are claiming. The facts are there, and it is not the nasty Conservatives who are saying this, but the parliamentary budget officer, who was responding to a question from Senator Larry Smith. It is important to know this, and to inform and remind Canadians.
    We already had an opportunity to talk about the changes the government is proposing to the Canada pension plan through Bill  C-26. Basically, the reality is that the government wants to increase taxes on workers from 9.9% to 11.9%, which is a 2% increase. In concrete terms, this means $1,000 less in the pockets of each Canadian worker, and for businesses, $1,000 more that every company has to pay for each employee. Overall, it means $2,000 for every worker.
    Every Canadian who gets up in the morning and goes to work will have $1,000 less, and it is going to take 40 years before it produces any results.

  (1040)  

    What is the actual impact of this measure on the economy? If we look at employment, GDP, private investment, disposable income, and private savings, all these economic indicators of real growth have been downgraded. At committee hearings, I posed questions to representatives of the Canadian Gas Association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and even the C.D. Howe Institute. They all said that the proposed changes to the Canada pension plan would negatively impact the Canadian economy and that it could take at least 40 years before there would even be a semblance of balance. That is bad for the economy and it is not the way to go.
    We moved forward with our proposal and created the TFSA, a savings plan. We believe that instead of picking people's pockets, the government should give people the tools they need so they can choose how to best save. That approach makes good economic sense. That is great vision. There is a difference between our visions: the Liberal government takes money from people's pockets, whereas the Conservative government lets people choose, and provides the tools so that both businesses and individuals can contribute to economic growth.
    The government has totally lost control of public spending. I could be here until Monday talking about all of the mistakes it has made, but I will have to stop because I only have about three or four minutes left. Day after day, this government keeps getting caught with its hand in the cookie jar because of its out-of-control spending. Let us remember the minister who paid $7,000 for a photographer in Paris. I have jokingly said, and I will say it again this morning, that she could have followed the Prime Minister's lead when it comes to photography since he is quite adept at taking selfies and his method does not cost a cent.
    Members will also recall that the Minister of Health gave her Liberal friend a contract to drive her around in a limousine. When she was caught red-handed, her friend changed the name of the company to indicate that it provided car services rather than limousine services. The minister apologized and promised to repay the costs, but she should not have to be caught to acknowledge that she made a poor decision and that she should repay the money. Members must make wise choices at all times. I could go on like this for three days, but the point that I am trying to make is that the Liberals have lost control of the public purse. They have also completely lost control of public spending. They were elected on a platform that included a $10-billion deficit, but here we are saddled with a $34-billion deficit, and the Prime Minister is saying that he does not know what is going to happen. It makes no sense.
    An hon. member: Where are we going? There is no oversight.
    Mr. Gérard Deltell: Madam Speaker, government spending and the deficit are out of control, but the Liberals have decided to impose an additional tax burden by increasing CPP premiums and implementing their carbon tax. Was the Liberal carbon tax part of the Liberal platform? Maybe it was. I read it and reread it. If somehow it was part of the plan, I would ask hon. members to show me where. To my knowledge, it was not planned and now they are imposing it. That is not right. This only goes to show that this government sadly does not know how to count. It simply forgot to factor inflation into its family benefit.
    They are poor managers, as well. It is worrisome because under our democracy, which we respect and honour, they will be holding the reins and purse strings of government for the next three years.
    We know that the minister is due to table an economic update next week. We hope he will get his act together and grab the bull by the horns and that he will pursue a realistic and responsible approach to management. The government has clearly earned the triple crown of bad management. It has lost control of the deficit and government spending, and it is overtaxing Canadians. That is the triple crown of bad management. The Conservatives had the triple crown of good management and the best economic record of the G7. We are very proud of that. Before concluding, I will move a motion.

  (1045)  

    I therefore move, seconded by the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo:
    That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:
“the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-29, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures, since it proposes to continue with the government’s failed economic policies exemplified by and resulting in, among other things, the current labour market operating at “half the average rate of job creation of the previous five years” as noted in the summary of the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s Report: “Labour Market Assessment 2016”.”

  (1050)  

    The amendment is in order.
    The hon. member for Louis-Hébert.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague and neighbour from Louis-Saint-Laurent. I always appreciate his eloquence and theatrics. It will probably take me the entire weekend to lead us out of the intellectual labyrinth he lured us into with that speech.
    Still, let us start with the $2.9-billion surplus he says the Conservatives left us. Does he realize that that surplus was achieved in large part by selling GM shares? That is like me telling my spouse that we are mortgage-free but that I had to sell the car.
    Does he realize that the previous government and the former prime minister, whom he so admires, left behind a $150-billion debt and that, despite the debt, we had the worst GDP growth in 69 years and the worst jobs growth since the Second World War? It is pretty rich of him to say all those things with all the conviction in the world when Paul Martin's Liberal government left the Conservatives a $12-billion surplus.
    Since my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent said it was important to tell Canadians the facts, does he know how many people in his riding were benefiting from the increase in the TFSA contribution limit, which benefited only the wealthiest 10% of Canadians?
    Does he know how many people in his riding benefited from income splitting, which also helped only the wealthiest 10% of Canadians?
    Does he realize that it was the previous government that liked to give tax breaks to the rich?
    Now, does he know how many children in his riding will benefit from the Canada child benefit? I will tell him: 20,820 children in his riding will have more money thanks to the Canada child benefit. It is just unbelievable that the Conservatives are voting against this measure.
    Madam Speaker, I salute my colleague, whose company I always enjoy and for whom I have a great deal of respect and esteem.
    As for our government's economic and financial record, I would remind the member that we had the best record in the G7. Among the strongest countries in the world, we fared the best, following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
    Like all countries around the world, we were dealing with major challenges, and yet, in terms of economic recovery, job creation, and balancing the budget, we were the best in the G7. You have to compare apples to apples, and we were dealing with the worst financial crisis.
    Also, can the member for Louis-Hébert tell us how many people in his riding earn $45,000 or less a year and will have more money in their pockets? The answer is none, because the Liberal plan does absolutely nothing—
    Order, please. I would remind the member that he must address his comments to the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, can the member for Louis-Hébert tell us how many people will have more money in their pockets thanks to these new measures? People earning between $140,000 and $200,000 a year will benefit the most from these tax changes. That is the Liberals' new way of doing things.
    Can the member for Louis-Hébert tell us how many children in his riding, in 20 years' time when they are working, will be paying for this government's $30-billion deficit? He promised, during the election campaign in Louis-Hébert, as did others across Canada, a $10-billion deficit. That is the Liberal reality.

  (1055)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent for his entertaining speech. I now have the pleasure of sitting with him on the Standing Committee on Finance.
    I would like to tell him about yesterday morning's meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance where we heard from Dominic Barton, who chairs the Advisory Council on Economic Growth. We heard some very interesting things, including the fact that the so-called infrastructure development bank being considered by the Liberal government will attract about $40 billion.
    We do not know where this money will come from, but it will probably be taken from the current infrastructure program. The bank will be given $40 billion in public money in order to attract $160 billion from the private sector, either from public pension funds or private equity funds. This is about privatization. The Conservatives are not necessarily against this. The NDP obviously does not support it. However, if there is one thing we agree on, it is that this was never promised during the election campaign.
    I would like the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, who is the Conservative finance critic, to comment on this very controversial idea of creating an infrastructure development bank. With people like Dominic Barton, Michael Sabia, and Mark Wiseman, this could result, sooner than later, in the privatization of public assets in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, first, I would like to commend my colleague. What I like about him and his party is that, at least, their positions are clear and definitive. We know where they stand. They are on the left and we are on the right. That is obvious. They took quite a hit during the last election, but I commend this party for its honesty and its intellectual and political integrity. I share maybe 3% or 4% of their opinions. That is democracy. That is what makes our country so beautiful and great.
    We are certainly not against private investment or the idea that private corporations contribute to Canada's development. That is why we are always saying that entrepreneurs are the backbone of the Canadian economy. They are the ones who create jobs and wealth. The government needs to do everything it can to help them.
    The investment bank in question is a proposal that was made by an advisory committee. It is not a public policy. We will see what the government plans to do with that proposal. Not to make any assumptions, but we will more than likely find out where the government stands on this idea on Tuesday when we get the November 1 update.
    Yesterday evening, after hearing some of the questions posed by my NDP colleague, I reread the election platform and there is no mention of this proposal.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his passionate speech.

[English]

    I want to talk about jobs. The government always talks about creating jobs, but if we want to be fact and evidence-based, the data says we have fewer jobs now than when the Liberals came into government. Hundreds of thousands of people in the oil and gas sector have lost their jobs. The government had a chance to help Bombardier, but did not, and 2,000 more jobs were lost. It made a deal with Air Canada and more jobs were lost. In my riding, the infrastructure minister has not given me $12 million to create 3,000 jobs. The government has not done anything about softwood lumber, the TPP, and CETA. It goes on and on.
    Maybe there is a plan that I have not seen. I know my colleague sits on the committee, so I will ask him the question. Has he seen any plan to create jobs?
    Madam Speaker, I have great respect for my colleague. I miss her, because we were neighbours until a few weeks ago for our first year in the House, and I had the privilege of working with her. By the way, she is a very good singer, especially when she sings O Canada. The first time I met her, we were in caucus, and we sang O Canada. I was very impressed. She was behind me, so I clearly heard her.
    The real problem is that the government is not a friend of the private sector, the backbone of the economy, particularly small and medium-sized businesses. The Liberal carbon tax will not be good for the economy. There will be huge compensation paid by workers, businesses, and business owners for the Canada pension plan.
    Also, the Liberals are not doing what they said they would do in their electoral platform. The small business tax rate is staying at 11% instead of being reduced to 9%, as they were supposed to do, according to what they said during their campaign. Those three elements are not good for the economy and not good for creating jobs, because it is not the government that creates jobs, but the private sector with the help of the government.
    Unfortunately, the government is not doing anything to help those who create jobs and wealth in Canada.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

  (1100)  

[Translation]

Gilles Cormier

    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to celebrate an extraordinary person and one of my very good friends, Mr. Gilles Cormier.
    Gilles, from Shippagan in my riding of Acadie-Bathurst, has been awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Award 2016 from Hockey Canada. Gilles has been awarded this title for his exceptional work over nearly 30 years in multiple levels of minor and senior hockey.
    He is best known for coaching pee-wee and bantam AAA teams on the Acadian peninsula, for his involvement in the Luc-Bourdon Classic, and also for managing the Shippagan arena for a number of years.
    Gilles is also a senior level representative for Hockey New Brunswick and an excellent hockey player. All he has ever wanted is to help young players develop in this sport
    As the chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors said, “Canadian hockey is healthy and thriving, thanks in large part to the work of volunteers [like Gilles Cormier], guided by their love for our sport.”
    Congratulations, Gilles. I look forward to sharing the blue line with you for many years to come on our Cormier family team.

[English]

David Wynn

    Madam Speaker, the city of St. Albert has spearheaded a project to construct a memorial to honour the late Constable David Wynn, who was killed in the line of duty. The city has committed significant funding but federal support is needed.
     I first wrote to the government in March about the project. Six months later, the Minister of Public Safety advised that his officials would be in contact with the mayor to seek additional information about the project. Two more months have gone by and no phone call has been made.
    Constable Wynn paid the ultimate sacrifice and deserves to be honoured. It is time for the Minister of Public Safety to have his officials pick up the phone, call the mayor of St. Albert, and make this project a reality.

Agriculture

    Madam Speaker, earlier this month, I spent some time harvesting potatoes at a large farm in my riding, owned and operated by Winston and Harris Callaghan of Miminegash.
    I was amazed at the technology involved. Today's farmers are employing advanced technologies and farming practices to produce quality food for Canadians. It is farms like these that earn Prince Edward Island its reputation as "Canada's food island".
    When farmers plant their crops, they are undertaking an extraordinary risk on our behalf. They will not see a paycheque until the next year, and it will be subject to unpredictable environmental conditions, crop yield, and market prices.
     It is essential that we, as lawmakers, appreciate the experiences and concerns of our farmers in order to create agricultural policy that works for all Canadians

Canwood

    Madam Speaker, from July 29 to 31, the rural municipality and village of Canwood in my riding celebrated its l00th anniversary. The three day celebration was a blend of narrations, exhibitions of rarely seen photographs, music, multicultural dances, and historic and comedic skills. Residents, past and present, from across Saskatchewan, gathered to celebrate this once in a lifetime event.
    I had the pleasure to join the festivities in Canwood, as the community inaugurated its centennial monument. Ideas and design for the monument came from local people. The commissioned metal artist for the monument was Doug Reimer from Carrot River Saskatchewan. Working with Doug was his wife Carmen, his brother Steve and Steve's wife, Jen. Senior President Doris and Hilda gave me a tour of the local museum.
    I congratulate all the volunteers and organizing committee on the success of the festivities. I wish Canwood another 100 strong and many more.

Let's Talk Science

    Madam Speaker, as we move toward the end of Women's History Month, I would like to share the good work of a national organization in my riding of London West that is helping to inspire the next generation of female scientists.
     Let's Talk Science is dedicated to preparing youth for their future careers as citizens in a world that is shaped by science, technology, engineering and math innovation, or as it is commonly referred to, STEM. The organization has over 2,000 female post-secondary volunteers who are actively making a difference as role models across the country.
    This week, Let's Talk Science launched Canada 2067, a bold nation-building initiative to shape the next 50 years of STEM learning. By engaging educators, business and government leaders, community groups, parents and youth, it will develop and implement an innovative framework for STEM learning.
     Let's Talk Science continues to emphasize the importance of girls and women, and all people, as Canada builds its innovation strategy.

  (1105)  

[Translation]

Sébastien Grimard

     Madam Speaker, yesterday, the National Defence Ombudsman presented the Liz Hoffman memorial commendation to Master Corporal Sébastien Grimard, a citizen of Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    Master Corporal Grimard is the Deputy Commandant on assignment with the Valcartier Deployment Support Group. Every day for 18 months, he handled many critical situations involving families of deployed Canadian Armed Forces members and did so with compassion, diligence and professionalism. He answered more than 100 calls for help and intervened directly in cases of family violence, suicide attempts, and medical emergencies. He had a direct positive impact on the lives of many serving members, dispelling the stigmas attached to mental health problems, sexual orientation, and suicidal thoughts.
    Now more than ever, Canadian Forces members face grave danger. We are proud and pleased to be able to count on a man as good and committed as Master Corporal Sébastien Grimard.

[English]

Jim Prentice

    Madam Speaker, today we remember the legacy of a great Canadian whose life was taken away tragically and too soon.
    Members past and present stand with those celebrating the life of a man who dedicated his life to public service. Jim Prentice will be missed by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He served our country dutifully throughout his life, and his devotion to Albertans and to all Canadians will inspire us for many years to come.
     Jim will be remembered for his generosity, compassion, and his willingness to take a stand on some of the toughest challenges of his day. He was a good friend and principled leader, and his loss will be felt in the House and across the country.
    On behalf of all members, I offer our deepest condolences to Jim's family and friends.

Hockey

    Madam Speaker, my riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River is heavily represented by tremendously skilled National Hockey League players. Eric, Jordan, Marc Staal, Carter Hutton, Robert Bortuzzo, and Patrick Sharp all hail from Thunder Bay. Of course there is Duncan Keith from Fort Frances, Ontario. These players all have God-given talent, passion, and determination; and an unrelenting persistence. However, what inspires me most about these athletes is their dedication to our community.
    Most recently, Matt Murray, goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins, became one of the youngest goalies, at the age of 22, to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. When Murray brought the cup to Thunder Bay, he made it a priority to visit the Westfort Rangers minor hockey team and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. His actions show that it is possible to not only be successful, but also to remember where one comes from and always to inspire and help those around one.
     I am proud he has represented our riding so well on the international stage. I expect we have not heard the last of his successes, both on and off the ice. I congratulate Matt Murray.

Palliative Care

    

There once was a palliative care bill
For those who were terminally ill
It determined the plan,
For Canada and
The services it would fulfill.

It talked about training for all
Who provide care for those big and small
The data we need
For the research we lead
To ensure that we're right on the ball.

The elements of palliative care
At home, hospice, and everywhere
Will be standard we boast
In this land coast to coast
With the specialists needed so rare.

The Minister of Health has implied
That three billion be applied
To home and palliative care
So that people will dare
To live well long before they have died.

So support C-277 today
My PMB's coming your way
In November 3rd week
Your approval I'll seek
And together we will save the day.

For Canadians want to have choice
To live or to die, give them voice
And we'll humanely give
A good way they can live
And end their days full of great joys.

Lakeshore Public School Baseball Diamond

    Madam Speaker, on October 15, I had the opportunity to celebrate one young boy's determination in revitalizing an important space in his community.
    Eleven-year-old Griffin Gervais was disappointed that his baseball diamond at Lakeshore Public School was in rough shape and not scheduled for an update. Rather than just accept the fact, Griffin decided he would lead the effort to repair the diamond.
    Starting last January, Griffin with the help of his family, classmates, his community, and the city of Burlington's neighbourhood community matching fund, raised a total of $12,000. Today, with two updated benches, new chain-link fencing, and a freshly mowed field, the Lakeshore Public School baseball diamond now looks better than ever.
    Griffin's story is one that is truly inspiring and shows that individuals can make an impact on their community if they set their mind to it. I thank Griffin for all of his hard work. I was proud to attend the grand opening and to see him throw the first pitch on the field.

  (1110)  

Wendell Fulton

    Madam Speaker, I rise to celebrate the life of Wendell Fulton, a well-respected community leader.
    Wendell passed away peacefully on September 18, at the age of 84, in the same home in which he was born in Lakeville Corner, New Brunswick. An avid international traveller, Wendell maintained strong connections with New Brunswick throughout his life.
    Politics always remained a passion of his, having been influenced by Louis Robichaud's program of equal opportunity. In the 1973 Saint John River flood, Wendell rescued Robichaud's papers from the Liberal Party headquarters basement and arranged for a refrigerated truck to freeze and then dry them out.
    Wendell's political passions later led him to work closely with several premiers, Liberal caucus members, and to an appointment as the principal secretary to the lieutenant governor of New Brunswick.
    Wendell's dedication to community, and the advice and counsel he shared with so many will be dearly missed. We extend our thoughts to Pamela, Duncan, Hannah, and his entire family.

Honour Ranch

    Madam Speaker, it is a distinct honour to pay tribute Rick and Donna Wanless of Kamloops, and Allan De Genova, president of Honour House Society. Combined they have created a unique retreat called Honour Ranch.
     This facility will be used to help armed forces members and emergency first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Honour Ranch will offer free of charge specialized treatment programs, but also a place to escape from the rigours of everyday life; a place to camp, fish and a little boating.
     Through the generosity of the Wanless, who are sharing the majority of their 25 acre hobby farm, much needed help will be offered to those who are suffering with PTSD and other occupational stress injuries that come from being on the front lines of helping others.
     I look forward to the opening of the facility next spring and recognizing the important contribution by Mr. and Mrs. Wanless.

[Translation]

Grand défi Pierre Lavoie Challenge

    Madam Speaker, last Sunday in Montreal, along with close to 5,000 participants, I had the pleasure of taking part in the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie Challenge. This event seeks to promote healthy living among Canadians.
    Since 1999, Pierre has been challenging us to get involved in sports and teaching kids that anything is possible with determination and a positive attitude.
    Physical activity contributes not only to physical well-being, but also to mental health. It helps prevent disease and combat stress and anxiety.
    I urge all my colleagues in the House to participate in similar events that promote physical activity, a major determinant of health.

Marine Science

    Madam Speaker, I am extremely pleased to mark the return of Quebec's delegation from the 2016 BioMarine Business Convention, that was held in Oslo, Norway.
    This trip was organized by Technopole maritime du Québec, in Rimouski, with the participation of the Société de promotion économique de Rimouski. My riding boasts institutions and organizations that work in education, science, research, and technology, and that make Rimouski the largest francophone hub for science in North America in the field of marine science.
    More importantly, I want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that the next BioMarine Business Convention will be held in Rimouski from October 1 to 3, 2017. The only problem with hosting this major maritime convention is having to do it from a crumbling port. The west pier, which was used to moor the ISMER ship the Coriolis II, was closed last year and the vessel now has to be moored in Quebec City and Halifax.
    If the government believes in science, research, and development, then it must invest in those things immediately.

[English]

Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas

    Madam Speaker, namaskar. Sat Sri Akal.
    As the world celebrates the festival of Diwali, I would like to wish all Canadians Diwali mubarak.
     The Festival of Lights is celebrated by different communities, notably by Hindus and Sikhs. The festival of Diwali brings people together from all walks of life.
    Sikhs also celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, the day of liberation, which liberates us from prejudices and ill feelings towards others. They celebrate by giving gifts, eating sweets and watching fireworks.
     I was pleased to take part in celebrations at the Vedic Cultural Centre and Sanatan Mandir Cultural Centre this past weekend in Markham. I will also be visiting Gursikh Sabha Centre in Scarborough this Sunday for Bandi Chhor Divas.
     This occasion also presents an opportunity to acknowledge the immense contributions made by South Asian Canadians to Canada. I hope the coming year brings good health, wealth and happiness. Happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.

  (1115)  

Foreign Affairs

    Madam Speaker, this government's policy of engagement is making a significant difference.
    Last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs mobilized 70 countries at the UN General Assembly to focus on getting humanitarian aid through to Aleppo.
     Last night, the minister led the international community once more in securing a resolution to establish a high-level group that will move forward on a treaty to ban the production of fissile material. This is a critical, tangible step toward our ultimate goal of a world free from nuclear weapons.
    The resolution, which passed with the overwhelming support of 177 United Nations member states, will restrict production and access to the material necessary to create nuclear weapons. This is universally regarded as the next logical move toward nuclear disarmament. Both nuclear states, such as China and Russia, as well as non-nuclear states are on board.
    Canada's policy of engagement is welcomed, it is needed, and we are producing results.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Employment

    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister promised that his deficit spending would be like an amphetamine to stimulate jobs, but yesterday's PBO report on jobs showed that while the economy was cranking out 200,000 net new full-time jobs during the previous Harper government, over the last year we have lost 6,000 net full-time jobs under the Liberals.
    When will the government realize that deficit spending is not a stimulant to our economy, it is a sedative?
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that not only is the responsibility of government to provide a skilled workforce, but it is to work with industry to ensure that we meet their needs.
    One of the most important things that businesses have told us is that they need a skilled workforce, and that is exactly what the Government of Canada is doing by investing in young people and all Canadians so that they can meet the challenges ahead. We are working hard to build a strong and engaged workforce.
    Madam Speaker, with the low dollar, manufacturing should be booming, but yesterday's PBO report showed that there are 20,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than when the Liberals took office. The low dollar has not been enough to relieve the burden of taxes, electricity costs, red tape, and debt that Ontario and federal Liberals have heaped on our factories. The Liberal solution is yet more taxes.
    Does the government realize that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
    Madam Speaker, what we promised to Canadians is to help them throughout their lives. The first thing we did was to reduce taxes for the middle class, to introduce the Canada child benefit, to make sure that we would work for our seniors, that we would increase the guaranteed income supplement, that we would increase the CPP, and that we would make a historic investment in our infrastructure of $120 billion over 10 years.
    Let me just remind the member, this morning The Economist said Canada is an example to the world. Our plan is understood around the world and it is applauded. We will continue to do just that.
    I just remind the member that he is not to use props in the House.
    The hon. member for Carleton.

Poverty

    Madam Speaker, poverty does not discriminate, neither does the carbon tax. It does not care if an individual is an impoverished single mom or a senior on a fixed income. As long as they eat, drive, turn on the lights, or heat their homes, they pay more.
    A Stats Canada official testified to the human resources committee that other things being equal, increased food and fuel costs necessarily increase the poverty rate.
    Will the government support my motion for a formal parliamentary study of the impact of the carbon tax on the poorest Canadians?

  (1120)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased with my colleague's interest in the issue of poverty. I urge him to look closely at the impact that the Canada child benefit is having on poverty in Canada.
    I also urge him to reconsider his party's opposition to this benefit, which will reduce poverty to levels unheard of in Canada.

The Economy

    Madam Speaker, today is Friday. The week is almost over, and it has not been a good one for the Canadian economy.
    The member for Carleton talked about the employment situation in Canada. The Bank of Canada and the governor have downgraded Canada's economic forecasts and economic growth outlook. CBC/Radio-Canada has reported that, according to an internal Department of Finance briefing note, if the government goes forward with its pension plan, it will have a negative impact on jobs for 20 years.
    Let us be good sports and end on a positive note. The parliamentary budget officer said that the former government left a $2.9-billion surplus.
    The government could take its lead from the management—
    Madam Speaker, at the risk of making my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent unhappy, the last thing we would ever do is take our lead from the Conservatives when it comes to the economy. Canada's economic growth was the lowest it has ever been during the 10 years they were in office.
    We presented Canadians with a plan for economic growth that includes a historic investment of $120 billion in infrastructure, a plan for innovation, and a plan to grow the Canadian economy. Not only did Canadians approve of our plan, but so did the World Bank. Ms. Lagarde, from the International Monetary Fund, recently said that she hoped that Canada's policies would go viral.
    I hope that my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent
    Madam Speaker, the truth is that the Liberal plan will once again put the Canadian economy at risk. It is built around such poor decisions as imposing the Liberal carbon tax, increasing CPP, which will cost every Canadian $1,000 a year for the next 40 years, and maintaining high corporate taxes.
    When will the government understand that policies that increase businesses' tax burden are not conducive to job creation?
    I would like to remind him that the first thing this government did was reduce taxes for nine million Canadians. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted against this measure. That is the first thing we did for Canadians.
     I would also remind my colleague that Canada's plan is praised around the world. I hope he will embrace it. This morning, The Economist said that Canada is an example to the world.
    Our plan for inclusive growth and investment in families, Canadians, and infrastructure is exactly what is needed to grow the Canadian economy.

[English]

Ethics

    Madam Speaker, when it comes to ethics, the Prime Minister promised to do better, but now the finance minister is defending his cash for access scheme by saying he is simply following the rules of the Harper government.
     When Bev Oda tried that same scheme, she gave the money back, so why has he not given the money back?
     No wonder the Ethics Commissioner is calling his behaviour “unsavoury”. If the finance minister does not think what he doing is illegal, will he tell us whether he thinks it is ethical, or is he content to just be unsavoury?
    Madam Speaker, all members of Parliament and all parties fundraise and we all abide by the exact same rules. Events like these are one part of every party's fundraising and engagement work. It is important for us to recognize that when the rules are followed, no conflicts of interest can exist and we continue to follow all the rules.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in their document entitled “Open and Accountable Government”, the Liberals state that “there should be no preferential access to government, or appearance of preferential access, accorded to individuals or organizations because they have made financial contributions to politicians and political parties”.
    Imagine. It cost $500 to see the Minister of Justice in Toronto, $1,500 to see the Minister of Finance in Halifax, and it will cost $500 more to see him again in Toronto. It is as plain as day: the Liberals could not care less about their own rules.
    Does restoring integrity and confidence remind them of something?

  (1125)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, let me explain to the member that federal politics is subject to some of the strictest political financing legislation and regulations in the country. All members of Parliament and all parties fundraise, and we all abide by the exact same rules. When the rules are followed, no conflicts of interest can exist and we will continue to follow the rules.

[Translation]

Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, the good old Liberals will always be the good old Liberals. They will go on thinking that their government is above the law.
    Instead of doing everything in their power to comply with the Human Rights Tribunal's ruling on discrimination against indigenous children, they appointed Mrs. Wesley-Esquimaux, who got things off to an incendiary start by saying that equitable funding for social services for indigenous youth would be like throwing money out the window. That is just plain insulting.
    Frankly, does the minister support such statements?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we as the government have been working very hard and taking very concrete steps to address the ruling of the tribunal as it relates to child welfare on reserve in Canada.
     We know that we need to overhaul and reform the entire child welfare system. That is what we are committed to do. We are taking the steps to make that happen and we have appointed the right people to do that job.
    Madam Speaker, yesterday in response to failing to comply with the legal orders of the tribunal, Liberals announced consultations on first nations child welfare.
    Before seeing any documents or findings or talking to child welfare agencies in ridings like mine, the Liberal consultant called more money identified by key expert Cindy Blackstock as throwing it “up in the air like confetti”. This is about delivering for these kids.
    Does the minister actually believe Cindy Blackstock wants to throw money up in the air like confetti for these kids?
    Madam Speaker, to truly end discrimination, we have to reform the current broken system that we have with child welfare on reserve in Canada. We recognize that, as a government, and we are committed to making that happen.
    We have accepted the rulings of the tribunal council. We have moved immediately to invest more than $600 million into child welfare on reserve this year, and we are going to continue to meet that need and meet those demands.

Employment

    Madam Speaker, it has been a year and the Liberals still do not have a plan to create jobs, but they sure know how to kill them: a carbon tax that will put a $3.8-billion burden on the backs of manufacturing workers. The Prime Minister said that Ontario should transition away from manufacturing.
    What are these people to do when big Liberal government policies kill their jobs?
    Madam Speaker, I am very surprised that the member opposite does not understand that the environment and the economy go together, and that by taking action on the environment, we are actually building a more sustainable future.
    Maybe he would like to listen to Preston Manning who said recently, “To be clear, pricing carbon is a good idea.” It's needed to drive innovation.
    I would also like to point out that the New Brunswick committee on climate change said that pricing pollution is a solution.
    We are about growing the economy and tackling climate change. We are going to continue moving forward to create good jobs.

International Trade

    Madam Speaker, as the CETA deal inches to the finish line, driven now by the nine new demands and disclaimers of Wallonia that virtually make Belgium a CETA-free zone, Canada will be forced to take this deal because we were not there.
    Is this the culmination of the progressive clauses that the minister was working to insert into an already done deal?

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, our negotiating strategy has been very effective from the get-go. We have been a firm but excellent partner for the Europeans, and our European partners have acknowledged that.
    As former prime minister Brian Mulroney said, “I think the prime minister and [Minister of International Trade] are doing what they should do in the circumstances.”
    The recent news is all positive. However, we are taking nothing for granted. We are going to continue to work until we get this deal done.

The Economy

    Madam Speaker, once again, we see the Prime Minister over-promising and under-delivering.
    The Prime Minister claimed that his child care benefit would deliver more to Canadian families, but he hid the fact that the amount will actually shrink from year to year, from now until 2021.
    We know the truth at this point in time. The fact is that low-income families can actually expect over $100 less per child per year than under the Conservative plan.
    When will the Liberals stop making things so much more difficult for low-income families in Canada?
    Madam Speaker, again, I am delighted by the interest of the other side in poverty. This morning, I am glad that this gives me the opportunity to signal that the Canadian child benefit is going to reduce poverty for Canadian families, from 11.2% to 6.7%, take the families of 500,000 out of poverty, and, as I mentioned earlier, lead to the largest fall in poverty ever seen in the history of our nation to the lowest level of child poverty ever observed in our history.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the facts are the facts. According to the parliamentary budget officer, job creation in Canada is slowing compared to the past five years. The Liberals' plan, which is to take on more debt at the expense of our children and grandchildren and tax Canadian families to the hilt, is simply not working.
    When will the Minister of Finance admit that we are headed straight for disaster?
    Can the minister forget about $1500-a-ticket cocktail fundraisers for his friends and the Liberal Party and start paying attention to job creation and Canada's public finances?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for yet another opportunity to highlight the fact that, in the Quebec City region, for example, the Canada child benefit will give the families of 200,000 children $200 per month tax free. In the Quebec City region alone, that will lift the families of 10,000 Canadians out of poverty. In addition, the middle-class tax cut will mean a lower tax bill for the families of 300,000 taxpayers while the top 1% pays a little bit more. This is good news for Canada—
    The hon. member for Lakeland.

[English]

Employment

    Madam Speaker, yesterday Vegreville was blindsided. The Liberals will shut down the immigration case processing centre. That means the jobs of 280 people will be gone and 250 spousal jobs will be impacted. Three local businesses are owned by worker families, and a quarter of the students in the town's schools are kids of workers. There was no consulting, no consideration of costs or spin-off consequences. Will the minister stop this out-of-touch deliberate attack? It will devastate the people in and around Vegreville.
    Madam Speaker, there is a very strong business case to shift this operation from Vegreville to Edmonton. Everybody working in Vegreville will have an opportunity to work at the new location, and there will be a net addition of jobs in Alberta because of this move.
     It is the responsibility of the government to spend taxpayers' money wisely, to improve the efficiency of immigration and reduce processing times, and that is what this move will do.
    Madam Speaker, Vegreville cannot take another hit. Farmers and energy families are already struggling. The Liberals' planned carbon tax will hurt them even more and hike the cost of everything. There are 100 houses on the market in town. This will mean 200 more. A single mom of two, who had moved from Edmonton to Vegreville to raise her kids in rural life, cannot commute or afford to relocate. Will the minister reverse this decision, save her job, and all of the others?

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, members of this House will understand well that there are pressures in immigration, that there are inefficiencies that have to be improved. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to accept this strong business case that will not only result in a net addition of jobs but will also result in a much greater efficiency. It will allow us to provide better customer service and reduce processing times over time.
     I point out that all of those who are currently working in Vegreville will have an opportunity for alternative employment in Edmonton.
    We have to talk. You are killing the town.
    Order, please. I want to remind the member for Lakeland that she has had her time to speak. It is time to hear the minister. I think that we owe that respect to everybody.
    The hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou.

[Translation]

Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister loves talking about nation-to-nation relationships. Clearly, however, his definition is different than ours. A real nation-to-nation relationship means respect, but it also means action.
    Instead of eliminating racial discrimination against first nations children, he prefers to question the numbers brought forward by experts like Cindy Blackstock.
    Is that really what the Prime Minister's most important relationship looks like?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we are very pleased with the work we have been doing with indigenous people in Canada. Rebuilding and renewing our relationship with Canada's first people is a priority for us as a government.
    We are also proud of the work we have been able to do in tackling the real reforms that are necessary to the child welfare system on reserve, which will help lift many indigenous children in this country out of poverty. We are the first government to really tackle this problem, and we will make sure it happens.
    Madam Speaker, rather than comply with the tribunal ruling, the indigenous affairs minister hired a consultant who claims that meeting the $155-million shortfall would be like throwing money around like confetti. It might be confetti to the government, but it is life and death for too many children.
    Speaking of throwing money around, we learned that the minister did not bother to spend $900 million from her budget. That is money that could have gone to children, to houses, and to education. With all of that money unspent, how come the Liberals cannot find the money to be in compliance with the ruling and stop fighting Cindy Blackstock and the children? Why can they not put that money where it is needed?
    Madam Speaker, we have to be very clear. The tribunal ruling is one that we have accepted, as a government. We are taking concrete actions to implement it.
    In addition to that, the tribunal ruling said that the Government of Canada should invest in the child welfare of indigenous children based on the need in the country, not based on a number that the New Democratic Party or some individual wants to put forward. It has to be based on what children need in the country. That is what we intend to do.

Ethics

    Madam Speaker, Apotex is suing the federal government for $500 million. Apotex has been actively lobbying the finance minister, and its chair will host an exclusive cash-for-access event, starring the finance minister. However, it gets worse. The finance minister sits on the cabinet committee on litigation management, which reviews lawsuits against the government.
    Canadians are not naive. They can see that this is a blatant conflict of interest; therefore the question is why the Liberals cannot.
    Madam Speaker, if I may, I would like to repeat for the member something I indicated earlier. Federal politics is subject to some of the strictest political financing legislation and regulations in the country. All members of Parliament in all parties fundraise, and we all abide by the exact same rules. When the rules are followed, no conflicts of interest can exist, and we continue to follow the rules.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, Canadians are beginning to realize that the Liberals' ethics are rather loose.
    By way of evidence, we learned that the Minister of Finance, the very same member who sits on the cabinet committee that looks after the government's legal proceedings, is cooking up fundraising activities with Apotex, a company that is suing the federal government.
    Does this fundraising campaign with Apotex show a lack of judgment on his part, or is it a blatant conflict of interest?

  (1140)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, these are the same rules that the Stephen Harper Conservative government followed.
    It is important that we recognize that all members of Parliament and all parties fundraise, and we all abide by the exact same rules. We have some of the most stringent rules in the country. When the rules are followed, no conflicts of interest can exist, and we will continue to follow those rules.
    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister and his cabinet have wide-ranging powers and influence. They have a responsibility to represent all Canadians, not just those who can pay to be heard. This is the important part of this. The Prime Minister himself even told his ministers that they should not give or appear to give preferential access.
    Yesterday, the Commissioner of Lobbying said what the Liberals are doing is worth investigating, and the Ethics Commissioner said the whole thing is unsavoury.
    Will the Prime Minister and his ministers stop using their privileged positions to fill Liberal Party bank accounts?
    Madam Speaker, again, I would like to reinforce what I have been attempting to get across to the members. That is, that all members of Parliament, in all political parties, fundraise. We all abide by the exact same rules. Events like these are one part of every party's fundraising and engagement work.
    Federal politics is subject to some of the strictest political financing legislation and regulations in the country. When the rules are followed, no conflicts of interest can in fact exist. We continue to follow the rules.
    Madam Speaker, reading the same talking points time and time again does not make any more of an answer either.
    Cash for access is the name of the game for the Liberal Party, and the finance minister is all in. While middle-class Canadians in my riding and across Canada are struggling to make ends meet, drug companies and venture capitalists are wining and dining the Liberal privileged in a downtown Toronto condominium.
    It has only been a year, but already the Prime Minister and his party are dealing middle-class Canadians out. Would the Prime Minister agree that the speed with which his party has stacked the deck is unprecedented, even for Chrétien Gomery standards?
    Madam Speaker, again I will repeat. Events like these are one part of every party's fundraising and engagement work. Federal politics is subject to some of the strictest political financing legislation and regulations in the country, and the party fully complies with the Elections Act in all cases.
    When the rules are followed, no conflicts of interest can exist, and we will continue to follow the rules. These are the same rules that all members of Parliament and all parties that fundraise follow, and we all abide by those same exact rules.

[Translation]

Infrastructure

    Madam Speaker, yesterday morning at the Standing Committee on Finance, we heard from Dominic Barton, the chair of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council on Economic Growth.
    He freely admitted recommending that the government take $40 billion of public money to attract $160 billion in private infrastructure funds. Clearly, the private sector will get a return on its investment with revenues that will come from things like tolls and user fees on these infrastructure projects. When you put a public asset or its revenues in the hands of the private sector, that is called privatization.
    When did the Liberals talk about privatization or possible privatization during the election campaign? I must have missed that.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, our goal is to engage with the municipalities, with the provinces, and with the territories as well as with the private sector to deliver more infrastructure, not less infrastructure. We made a historic commitment to invest $120 billion over the next 10 years, and we are living up to that commitment.

Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, October is Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia, where we recognize the history and heritage of the Mi’kmaq people in our region.
    As I look forward to opening the Pictou Landing administration centre next Friday, I recognize as well Dan Christmas, appointee to the Senate, and his long-standing contributions to the community, given his work in driving economic development in indigenous communities.

[Translation]

    I wanted to take this opportunity to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development about ongoing efforts to foster economic development across all our indigenous communities.

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, the hon. member for Central Nova, for the question.
    Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples is very important. Indigenous peoples have an important to role to play in Canada's economic growth. Our government has invested more than $30 million in economic development projects for indigenous communities.
    It is my understanding that the hon. member will be visiting the Pictou Landing First Nation to celebrate one of these investments. A $650,000 allocation was made through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for the development of a community centre.

[English]

Health

    Madam Speaker, asbestos is the number one cause of occupational death in Canada. Thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with cancer annually due to exposure to the deadly substance. Fifty-five countries have already banned it. Regional councils and mayors support its ban. Countless petitions calling for a ban have been presented in the House.
     Five months ago, the Prime Minister pledged to ban asbestos. Every day action is delayed, more lives are lost. This is an urgent matter.
    When will the Minister of Health implement a complete ban on asbestos?
    Madam Speaker, ensuring the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority of this government. On asbestos, the science is clear, and that is why this government will be banning asbestos. Our government has already taken steps toward this goal, including a ban on the use of asbestos in new government construction and a national asbestos inventory. We are currently assessing options, but we can assure the House that our plan will be a whole-of-government approach.

Employment

    Madam Speaker, thousands of people are losing their jobs in the oil and gas sector. Marian Hanna, the president of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, has provided me with data showing that women are losing their jobs at an even higher rate than men, especially in management positions.
    Why is the minister abandoning oil and gas jobs, especially for women?
    Madam Speaker, I can assure the member across the way that we are very concerned about the downsizing and the loss of jobs, particularly for women and indigenous people, often the last to come into a workplace and usually the first out. The good news is that we have enhanced job banks so that there is better matching with new opportunities for individuals. Overall in Canada at this time, we have 44,000 unemployed scientists in STEM because of the commodities downturn—
    The hon. member for Oshawa.

Transport

    Madam Speaker, the Minister of Transport should ensure that Canada's transportation system creates long-term jobs and infrastructure.
    The Pickering airport has the support of local chambers of commerce, boards of trades, and the highest-ranking locally elected officials, who represent over 1.5 million Canadians.
    The minister received the Polonsky report on the airport in June. When will he release it, and when will he meet with local representatives so we can move forward and create the 40,000 new jobs my region needs?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for that important question.
    The Pickering airport, of course, is a subject that has been around for many years. The transport ministry continues to look at this issue, and we will come up with a solution as time allows.

Small Business

    Madam Speaker, every summer Canadians enjoy the outdoors using the many services provided by campgrounds across the country. Unfortunately, yet again, the Liberals are showing total disregard toward small businesses. They have ended the review of active versus passive business-income rules that would have allowed small businesses like campgrounds to access the small business tax rate. Instead, the CRA is handing them huge new tax bills.
    Will the Liberals reverse this poor decision and actually start helping small-business owners instead of overtaxing them?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians pay their fair share.
    We will continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada because we recognize the critical role they play in our economy. I want to point out that we have not changed the tax rules and that the same provisions on source of income still apply.

  (1150)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Liberal government's war on small business does not end with only campgrounds. There are many small businesses, small family businesses, mom-and-pop operations, that are also being unjustly punished by the Liberals.
    The Liberals not only broke their campaign promise of a small-business tax cut, they cancelled the review of the misapplication of passive income, when the amount of work involved is anything but passive.
    Where do the Liberals get off deciding that some businesses are too small to be small businesses?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency analyzes every situation on a case-by-case basis by verifying eligibility and the small business deduction and it will continue to do so.
    We are consulting our partners and the government has not proposed any changes to the current rules. We will continue to work with small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada to ensure that they understand the tax rules that apply to them.

[English]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Madam Speaker, live-in care workers are providing an enormously valuable and much-needed service for Canadians. They leave their families behind to come to take care of Canadian families.
    If one is good enough to work here, then one is good enough to stay. Next week the minister will announce an increase in immigration levels. Will he provide an immediate pathway to permanent residence for live-in care workers, and in the meantime, will he crack down on the obscenely long backlogs in processing live-in care workers' family reunification?
    Madam Speaker, I am very aware of the great contributions made by caregivers, partly because my own mother has benefited from one who has done a wonderful job.
    I understand that processing times are too long. However, we have admitted the second-highest number in some time, 20,000 to 22,000 in 2016, and we are making progress in reducing these processing times for caregivers.
    Madam Speaker, that is cold comfort to live-in care workers.
     Just so the minister knows, for live-in care workers, the average processing time is 51 months. That is four and a half years, and this is in addition to fulfilling their two-year work requirement. In comparison, for other economic categories, processing time is only six months.
    How can the minister justify this gross discrepancy in the treatment of live-in care workers, and will he immediately eliminate this obscene backlog?
    Madam Speaker, it is in the nature of backlogs that they cannot be eliminated immediately. It does take time.
    The central promise we made in the election campaign was to radically reduce the processing time for immediate family reunification. We are making progress, but it does not happen overnight.
    We will be announcing a substantial reduction in processing time for families. I am hoping that over the same period, we can make substantial progress in the case of caregivers.

National Defence

    Madam Speaker, the defence minister completed a fact-finding mission to Africa, and ministers have been attending peacekeeping conferences. The Prime Minister has already blindly committed 600 Canadian soldiers to the United Nations, yet still no details for Canadians. As defence critic, the member for Vancouver Quadra said, “It is essential that Canadians [know] the specific nature of the mission...specific activities our forces will be engaged in, and the expected duration of the deployment”.
    Will the defence minister finally tell Canadians these essential details, or will the Liberals keep hiding behind their curtain of secrecy?
    Madam Speaker, Canada will increase its support to UN peace operations. The minister has toured five countries, along with former senator Roméo Dallaire and Justice Arbour. We are going into this with our eyes wide open. The minister has been on four deployments himself. No decisions have been made about specific deployments to countries. We hope the decision will be made before the end of the year.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, on the matter of the mission in Iraq, the Minister of Transport said in the House on September 16, 2014:
...it is important for us to get as much information as we can from the government on what possibly can happen and how this mission can evolve.
    Clearly, this policy ceased to apply once he was in government. We are informed after the fact and get only crumbs of information.
    When will the government be transparent with Canadians?

  (1155)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we have always been open and up front with Canadians about the risks involved. We will not share information that would put soldiers in harm's way.
    I take note that the minister briefed the critics himself, personally. He has made himself available to the media. Three weeks ago, the Department of National Defence and I gave a briefing for everyone.
    Madam Speaker, when are the Liberals going to take the muzzles off the generals?
    Recently, everyone has seen social media images of Canadian troops at the frontline in the fight against ISIS. We asked the Liberals about Canada's role, and they responded by saying that there has been no change in the mission. That directly contradicts General Dawe, who said earlier this month, “The mission has changed.... It's gone from a more defensive posture to a more offensive one”. Defensive to offensive; that is a big change.
    Why are the Liberals misleading Canadians about the role of our troops in the battle for Mosul? When will they lift this cone of silence?
    Madam Speaker, the mission is train, assist, and advise, and that mission has not changed.
    Speaking of generals, for the sake of the hon. member I will quote U.S. Lieutenant-General Townsend, commander of the Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, who recently told the media, “the enemy's listening to this broadcast.... So, I'm not going to talk about timelines.... And I'm not going to go into great detail about what [our soldiers] do”.
    That is the position of our minister as well.

The Senate

    Madam Speaker, I was so pleased to hear yesterday that the Prime Minister has recommended three notable Manitobans for appointment to the Senate. They will join many other proud Manitobans who are parliamentarians, and we are so happy to have them here.
    Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions speak to how all Canadians can apply to become senators?
    Madam Speaker, for the first time, the Senate is open. There is a merit-based process. Canadians from across the country can apply, and we are seeing the results of that new system. The nine individuals who were appointed, five women and four men, are people of extraordinary accomplishment. They come not only from Manitoba but from across this country. They have done so much and will contribute incredibly to our parliamentary system and do justice to this place and the other.
    I look forward to working with them. I look forward to their appointment--
    The hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

[Translation]

Regional Economic Development

    Madam Speaker, the Liberals are determined to centralize power and ignore the regional diversity of our country. Prior to the election of the Liberals, Canadians could expect real leadership from their regional ministers, skilled ministers who were very familiar with the unique characteristics of the regions and provinces for which they were responsible.
    Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development tell us what he really knows about Quebec's economic priorities?
    I would also like to know how many times the minister has travelled east of Montreal.
    Madam Speaker, I am very surprised by the comments of my colleague opposite when we know that, in 2011, the Conservative Party made changes to employment insurance and was prepared to shut down the Atlantic and Gaspé regions and merge them with other areas.

[English]

Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, in September, the Ministers of Public Safety and Justice launched the online portion of the government's consultations about our national security framework.
    Hon. members have been encouraged to seek the views of their constituents on the subject. Last week, the public safety committee travelled the country, listening to Canadians.
    Can the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on the status of the consultations, and can he tell us how the public input will inform the government's approach?
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to report that we have received over 9,500 responses from individuals in the online consultation, which will remain open until December 1, as well as over 9,300 bulk submissions. All of this is in addition to the hundreds of Canadians who have participated in the consultations in person or before the standing committee.
    We have already begun implementing several of the national security commitments that we made at the time of the election. The advice coming from the public will help us determine what more should be done to keep Canada safe and to safeguard our precious rights and freedoms.

  (1200)  

Fisheries and Oceans

    Madam Speaker, holy mackerel.
    Fishermen in Atlantic Canada were caught off-guard by the mackerel fishery closure on October 14. This closure was unexpected. Neither DFO nor the government warned Atlantic fishermen or explained the reasons for the closure.
    Atlantic fishermen and coastal communities deserve an explanation. Why was the Atlantic mackerel fishery closed without consultation or warning, and when will it be reopened?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am very aware of some fishers' concerns about their access to mackerel and bait. Our department is working with them to try to find a solution to this problem.
    The department closed the entire fishery in Atlantic Canada on October 14 in order to assess the total commercial catch in Canadian waters in 2016. The assessment indicates that mackerel catches in 2016 are within the range set for the year. There are no plans to reopen this fishery this year in order not to exceed the catch limit established. The department manages the fisheries to ensure that they are sustainable and to protect the resources we have.

Canada Revenue Agency

    Madam Speaker, I moved a motion in the House to condemn the legal use of tax havens by banks and multinationals. My motion is universally supported in Quebec. Students, workers, nurses, teachers, public servants, consumers, and citizens all support it. It has even been presented again at the provincial level and supported by all elected officials in Quebec from all parties. However, all the Liberal members oppose it but one.
    When will the government start representing the population instead of Bay Street and reconsider its shameful position?
    Madam Speaker, with regard to the Canada Revenue Agency's services, I can say that, with the historic $444-million investment, we have put all of the necessary measures in place to deal with people who do not pay their fair share of taxes, and we are going to keep our promise.
    Madam Speaker, it is shameful. It is as though the government is setting up more speed traps but eliminating speed limits. The government has mastered the art of catching waitresses who do not report all of their tips, but it is authorizing banks to hide billions of dollars in tax havens. When we talk about banks, all we get is radio silence from the Liberal Party.
    Can the government explain to people who work and pay taxes why banks are encouraged to commit the same acts that would send any ordinary Canadian to prison?
    Madam Speaker, middle-class Canadians have a right to be upset about the fact that some companies are not paying their fair share of taxes and wealthy taxpayers are evading their obligations. We have invested a historic amount of $444 million precisely to continue putting all the necessary measures in place to ensure that people pay their fair share of taxes and that Canadians are happy with their government.

Natural Resources

    Madam Speaker, yesterday, the finance minister of Newfoundland and Labrador used “Canadian values” to justify an increase to the federal government's loan guarantee for the Muskrat Falls hydro project.
    Can someone explain what these Canadian values are exactly? Forcing Quebec to accept a pipeline without its consent, is that part of Canadian values? Is using Quebeckers' money to fund a project that will compete directly with Hydro-Québec part of Canadian values?
    Madam Speaker, as I said yesterday, this project will provide a source of clean, reliable energy to meet the needs of the Atlantic provinces. We will continue to follow up on this, and we are working closely with the provinces and the proponents. We are currently discussing the matter with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No decision has yet been made.
    Madam Speaker, I still find this hard to understand. Zero dollars for Quebec shipyards out of $100 million in contracts and cutting health transfers while imposing conditions in an area under Quebec's jurisdiction. Does that fit with Canadian values?
    Anglicizing Quebec and leaving the forestry and dairy industries to their own devices. Does that fit with Canadian values?
    Which Canadian values justify Quebec helping to finance unfair competition with Hydro-Québec?

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, I cannot comment on discussions that are under way between the federal government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, but I can answer that bizarre and outrageous question.
    The member just suggested that no partnership exists between the federal government and Quebec. That is ridiculous. Through the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, we are working to build a great economic future for the province of Quebec. We are investing in businesses all across Quebec. The minister was there a few weeks ago with help for the aerospace industry. I can assure the House that our government will—
    Order, please. That concludes question period for today.

[English]

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, during question period, I made reference to the “Labour Market Assessment, 2016” of the parliamentary budget officer. It demonstrates that Canada lost 6,000 net full-time jobs in the last year; that Canada also lost 20,000 manufacturing jobs, despite a low dollar; and that contrary to the 200,000 additional jobs that were being added in the last five years of the previous government, job growth has now come to a grinding halt.
    I wonder if I could seek the unanimous consent of the House to table this important report by the parliamentary budget officer.

[Translation]

    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): There is no unanimous consent.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

    Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled Amendment to Annex I of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, notified on October 14, 2016. An explanatory memorandum is included with the treaty.

[English]

Committees of the House

Citizenship and Immigration  

    Madam Speaker, following the usual consultations among all parties, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:
    That the Sixth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, presented to the House on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, be amended by replacing the last line of the second paragraph on page 9 with the following:
“They might be facing refoulement, forced return to their country of origin, or they may be detained because refugees are not supposed to be detained because they are refugees.”
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): 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)

Petitions

The Environment  

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise again in the House today to present more petitions on behalf of the constituents who reside in Shawnigan Lake in my riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.
    These residents are petitioning the federal government for some assistance concerning a contaminated soil dump in their area. They would like the federal government to act and to bring into force section 35 of the Fisheries Act to help protect their important and critical watershed.

  (1210)  

Palliative Care 

    Madam Speaker, I wish to present two petitions, both dealing with palliative care.
    They highlight the fact that the House of Commons in the last Parliament unanimously supported a motion calling on the government to create a national strategy on palliative care. Therefore, the petitioners are calling on this Parliament to carry on that work and to create a national strategy on palliative care to make sure that every Canadian has an opportunity to have high-quality palliative care at the end of his or her life.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 376, 392, and 477.

[Text]

Question No. 376--
Mr. Kennedy Stewart:
     With regard to the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Working Group on the Housing Market that was announced by the Minister of Finance on June 23, 2016: (a) what is the complete and detailed list of all the members on the working group; (b) what are the working group’s terms of reference and mandate; (c) what is the total amount budgeted to support their work; (d) how many meetings have they held and on what dates; (e) have they met or consulted with any housing or civil society organizations and, if so, which organizations; (f) on what date will they complete their work; and (g) will their findings and recommendations be made public?
Mr. François-Philippe Champagne (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the list is as follows: from the Department of Finance Canada, Rob Stewart, assistant deputy minister, financial sector policy branch; from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Michel Tremblay, senior vice-president, policy, research and public affairs, and Michel Laurence, vice-president, housing markets and indicators; from Statistics Canada, Brenda Bugge, chief, macroeconomic accounts branch; from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Vlasios Melessanakis, director, policy development; from the Bank of Canada, Alexandra Lai, director, financial stability department; from the Canada Revenue Agency, Robert Greene, acting director, legislative policy and regulatory affairs branch; from the City of Toronto, Peter Wallace, city manager; from the City of Vancouver, Patrice Impey, general manager, finance, and Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, general manager, community services; from the Government of British Columbia, Heather Wood, assistant deputy minister, policy and legislation division--finance; from the Government of Ontario, Brian Lewis, assistant deputy minister and chief economist, office of economic policy--finance, and Allan Doheny, assistant deputy minister, provincial local finance division--finance, and Robert Lowry, director, municipal funding policy branch--finance.
    With regard to (b), the working group is studying the current state of the Canadian housing market and reviewing the broad range of factors that affect supply and demand for housing, the issue of affordability, and the stability of the housing market.
    With regard to (c), each participating jurisdiction is covering the costs associated with its own work related to the working group. At the federal level, the costs have been covered through existing resources of each organization. The Department of Finance Canada paid to host the first two meetings of the working group, as follows: July 14, 2016, $797.78 for a full day meeting, including breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea, juice; and September 13, 2016, $82.21 for an afternoon meeting, including coffee, tea, juice.
    With regard to (d), there have been two meetings, both held at the Department of Finance Canada in Ottawa, one on July 14, 2016, and another on September 13, 2016.
    With regard to (e), the Department of Finance Canada meets with industry on a regular basis to discuss developments, and we expect the same is true for the other members.
    With regard to (f), the group will continue to collaborate throughout the next few months.
    With regard to (g), the group’s work is intended to provide information and analysis on housing issues of common interest to the participating jurisdictions. To encourage frank and productive discussions amongst officials, they intend to debrief internally within their respective jurisdictions.
Question No. 392--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
     With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by the Canadian Dairy Commission since January 1, 2016, what are the (i) vendors' names, (ii) contracts reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contract values, (vii) final contract values if different from the original contract values?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
     Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Dairy Commission has not awarded contracts under $10,000 between January 1, 2016 and September 19, 2016.
Question No. 477--
Mr. Dean Allison:
    With regard to the administrative investigation by Transport Canada listed on proactive disclosure with the reference number T7038-15-0648: (a) what prompted the investigation; (b) what allegations or suspicious activity was being investigated; (c) what were the findings of the investigation; and (d) what punitive or recovery measures were made as a result of the findings?
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
     Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), on August 7, 2015, Transport Canada officials were contacted by a BC-based company alleging misconduct by an employee of the department.
    With regard to (b), the allegations were of misconduct by a TC employee.
    With regard to (c), the findings are not released due to privacy and confidentiality concerns.
    With regard to (d), appropriate actions would have been taken if the allegations had been deemed to be founded.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Furthermore, Madam Speaker, I would ask that if the government's response to Questions Nos. 360 to 362 and 370 could be made orders for returns, those returns would be tabled immediately.
    Some hon. member: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 360--
Hon. Lisa Raitt:
     With regard to the commitment in Budget 2016 to invest in the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) so as to enhance its efforts to combat tax evasion and avoidance and with regard to the June 7, 2016, meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance’s concerning efforts by the CRA to combat tax avoidance and evasion: (a) did the Minister of Finance, anyone within his office, or Department of Finance, meet with anyone from Canadians For Tax Fairness prior to the release of Budget 2016; (b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, was this meeting, in whole or in part, on the topic of the use of the proposed funds for the CRA included in Budget 2016; (c) were legislative responses to tax evasion and avoidance considered when drafting solutions to these issues, or was the only solution considered a monetary increase to the CRA’s budget; and (d) if the answer to (c) is in the affirmative, was there a cost analysis done on whether legislative measures or additional funding for CRA would be more effective?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 361--
Hon. Lisa Raitt:
     With regard to the government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth: (a) when does the Council meet; (b) are minutes taken at its meetings; (c) if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, what are the details of these minutes; (d) what is the process for choosing the advisors; (e) who chooses the advisors; (f) to what degree does the Council have power over the choices of the government in economic matters; (g) how are the Council’s suggestions weighed in relation to that of the Department of Finance; (h) for each of the following members of the Council, what was the reason that they were selected for the Council, and what contribution do they provide to the Council (i) Dominic Barton, (ii) Elyse Allen, (iii) Katherine Barr, (iv) Jennifer Blanke, (v) Kenneth Courtis, (vi) Brian Ferguson, (vii) Suzanne Fortier, (viii) Carol Anne Hilton, (ix) Carol Lee, (x) Christopher Ragan, (xi) Angela Strange, (xii) Ilse Treurnicht; and (i) with regard to (h)(i), what powers does Dominic Barton hold as chair of the Council?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 362--
Hon. Lisa Raitt:
     With regard to the consultations on a voluntary supplement to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), undertaken by the previous government, the results of which were due September 10, 2015: (a) what is the status of these consultations; (b) has the Minister of Finance been briefed on these consultations; (c) if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, what are the details of the briefing materials provided; (d) have these consultations been taken into consideration in order to determine what measures to take in regards to the CPP; (e) have any reports been drafted from the findings of the consultations; and (f) is the Minister of Finance considering doing a similar consultation on the possible enhancement to the CPP?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 370--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
     With regard to the federal disability tax credit (DTC): (a) what is the average DTC amount a successful claimant is eligible to receive per year; (b) what is the total DTC amount claimed for the fiscal year 2015; (c) what is the total number of DTC claimants for the fiscal year 2015; (d) does the rejection of a DTC claim affect the outcome of an application for provincial credits for disabilities; (e) what is the approval rate for DTC applicants who reapplied for the credit with the assistance of a tax credit consultant; and (f) how many times has the procedures manual that Canada Revenue Agency assessors refer to in administration of the DTC program been updated and what are these updates for the past 10 years?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-29, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-29. I do in fact want to talk about this, because it is a budget implementation bill that follows a budget that we believe is deficient in many ways.
    What I find most deplorable is that the bill, which is over 200 pages long and amends over 130 sections, was introduced Tuesday morning. The technical briefing to members of Parliament was Tuesday evening.
    Here we are three days later, on a Friday, beginning to debate a bill that has not been read by 95% of the members in this House, I guarantee, and may never be read. Still, it is a very important bill, because it implements several budget provisions and leaves out many other elements that should have been in the bill.
    I found it funny earlier when the parliamentary secretary talked about everything the government had done. Regarding the Canada child benefit, which is being indexed through this budget bill, I asked why the government was refusing to admit it had forgotten to index this key measure. The parliamentary secretary replied that it was not true, that the Minister of Finance had mentioned indexation before. Well, I did a bit or research. The Minister of Finance did not mention indexation at all before the parliamentary budget officer tabled a report pointing out this serious flaw. The PBO stated that if it was not indexed, the Canada child benefit would be worth less by the year 2025 than the Conservatives' former program.
    Answers like this from the government regarding such important measures are really insulting. Liberals are far from perfect; however, to hear them talk, it sounds like they are the most progressive and innovative government in recent years, which is absolutely not the case.
    The bill does contain elements that we cannot argue with. For example, we certainly cannot be against indexing the Canada child benefit. If it is not indexed, its value will decline over time and it will help fewer and fewer people. The bill also contains provisions to help put a price on carbon at some point in time. On this side of the House, this is something we cannot disagree with.
    However, many things were left out of the bill. The Liberals promised—like we did and like the Conservatives did—to reduce the small business tax rate. Of course, the NDP was the first party to propose reducing the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%, in 2008. The Liberals maintained the first reduction to 10.5%, which had already been made, but broke their promise.
    In terms of tax evasion, the bill contains provisions aimed at meeting OECD standards. Again, we cannot disagree with that, even if, frankly, the efficiency of these standards should be challenged and analyzed because it is becoming more and more apparent that they are lacking in that regard.
    My colleague from Joliette had introduced a bill that questioned the tax agreement signed with Barbados. I asked some questions about that today. The Liberals opposed it, except for a single member.
    These tax agreements, which are supposed to be treaties to prevent double taxation, actually make it possible to avoid paying Canadian taxes altogether. This is costing Canada billions of dollars. It is not illegal. It is legal, because Canada made it legal by signing the treaty.
    When I hear the meaningless answers given by the Minister of National Revenue who does not seem to know what we are talking about when we talk about these tax agreements that are not working or these treaties that are being signed to share tax information with certain countries and that, ultimately, provide us with no information, it soon becomes quite clear that this government likes to look good, but really, it has no intention of making any changes whatsoever to the structure of our Canadian economy.

  (1215)  

    I will stop there in terms of my comments on Bill C-29 because many other members from all parties want to debate this bill.
    I wish to draw the attention of the House to one issue in particular, namely the government's intention to move towards the privatization of our infrastructure. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is clearly written in black and white, and it was expressed when the budget was presented in March 2016. At that time, in March 2016, the government included the following:
    New institutions could provide Canada an opportunity to improve infrastructure management across the country by working with our partners to:
    Where it is in the public interest, engage public pension plans and other innovative sources of funding—such as demand management initiatives and asset recycling—to increase the long-term affordability and sustainability of infrastructure in Canada;
    That was written in black and white in the federal government's budget 2016.

[English]

    What do we mean by asset recycling? Asset recycling is another way of saying privatizing assets. It is basically taking money and trying to convince provinces, municipalities and the federal government to privatize the infrastructure that belongs to them. However, when we have to deal with provinces and municipalities, we entice them to privatize their assets so they can raise money to invest in other infrastructure. This is called privatization. It is black and white in budget 2016.
    What do we see these days? Last week, we heard that the federal government asked Credit Suisse to study the benefit of privatizing airports. Credit Suisse has an interest in this. It is buying airports. It will advise the government on the benefit of the government privatizing public infrastructure. This is what is called asset recycling. This is one part of the infrastructure that the government intends to privatize. We are not going to ask a bank, which is in the business of buying airports, if we should or should not privatize our airports. It wants to buy them. The money the government might get will actually be part of the money it intends to put into this Canadian infrastructure bank.
    Yesterday morning we heard from Mr. Martin, who is the head of the advisory council on economic growth. We learned that it was the intention of the government to find $40 billion to put in that bank, which would attract private assets, private retirement funds, which could be a caisse de dépôt et de placement, or CPP board, or whatever other funds, but also private equity firms such as BlackRock could put money into it. We they will not do that out of the goodness of their hearts. They will want a return on this.
     How do they get a return on infrastructure that is being used by Canadians? There are not a thousand ways to do it. There are two ways. Either we give them infrastructure to manage, so privatizing the asset itself, or we privatize a stream of revenue, basically saying the government will keep the asset, the infrastructure. The property will still belong to the federal government, but we will have tolls, or fees, or whatever that people will pay for the use of it. That income stream will go to those private investors because they will want a return.

  (1220)  

[Translation]

    Michael Sabia, who, if I am not mistaken, used to be the head of Bell and is now the CEO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has clearly indicated that he is looking for new places to invest in order to get better returns for the Caisse than it is currently getting, since, in some cases, it is getting negative returns. He is therefore looking to make these investments profitable.
    We are talking here about pension funds. Some may say that this is not a bad thing because, if those funds get better returns, it will give people more financial security. However, it is not just pension funds. If we open this door, this will also apply to private investment funds and large private investment firms, such as BlackRock.
    Do we want to put the ownership of all of our infrastructure—our bridges, our roads and our transit infrastructure—in the hands of investment or pension funds, so that those funds can make money from them by charging users additional fees? The Liberals never mentioned this approach during the election campaign.
    On the contrary, the only time we heard anything about tolls during the election campaign was when the Liberals, following our example, claimed to be opposed to a toll on the new Champlain Bridge. For the rest, there was no mention of privatization, no mention of this infrastructure bank that could generate private investments of up to 80%. I cannot find the words to express how shocked I am at the cynicism of a government that is going in this direction, when it claimed it wanted to help the middle class and keep its promises, but failed to tell Canadians about this plan during the election campaign.
    The privatization of airports to get money to allow us to privatize other infrastructure strikes me as a significant restructuring of the Canadian economy, and as such it should have been a major part of the Liberals' election platform, but it was not.
    This is not a conspiracy theory. I can back everything I am saying with accounts from Dominic Barton or by citing budget 2016. I would like to say a few words about three of the members of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth that the Prime Minister was talking about.
     Dominic Barton, who was appointed chair of the advisory council, has spent his life with the McKinsey group identifying ways to mobilize private capital in exchange for public capital investments. He has spent the better part of the past 10 years promoting the privatization of infrastructure. For his part, Michael Sabia, from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, clearly wants to diversify his income and investments through Canadian infrastructure. Mark Wiseman, formerly of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, is now at BlackRock, one of the largest private investment firms in the world, and he too is on this advisory council.
    There is no doubt that these people are going to recommend privatization.

  (1225)  

[English]

    It is very obvious. They will recommend that we create this Canadian infrastructure bank and provide $40 billion, and we do not know if it is going to be out of the $60 billion promised to cities or if it will be from the privatization of those other assets, in the hope of getting $150 billion or $160 billion of private investments. For those people who have an interest in doing this, like Credit Suisse, which has an interest in airports being privatized, I would be very surprised if their recommendation is otherwise. Dominic Barton was very clear on that yesterday morning. He does not see any problem with this.

[Translation]

    We can hold a debate on privatization and we know what side the Conservatives will take. They are generally in favour of it. In fact, their finance critic already projected that in his response. We also already know what side we are going to take: a public asset should never be handed over for the purposes of privatization.
    Recent studies by the OECD, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank clearly show that the privatization of public infrastructure assets did not produce positive results, not for the users, nor for the infrastructure itself.
    The Conservatives' position is clear and so is ours. It is the Liberals' position that I do not understand. During the election campaign, they never mentioned that this infrastructure bank that was set up would be used largely for privatization. When Canadians heard the Liberals talk about their infrastructure plan, they expected the money would come from the government. They expected the infrastructure plan to be paid for out of the Liberals' deficit, which was supposed to be $10 billion and is now $35 billion, but that is a topic for another debate. It was never a question of privatizing our Canadian infrastructure.
    We are at a crossroads. That is not the purpose of Bill C-29, which is one component of the Liberal government's economic agenda. It is one of the things that will come out ahead of the Minister of Finance's economic and fiscal update.
    Will there be anything in the update about privatization, asset recycling and the Canada infrastructure bank? That is what we are going to find out on November 1.

[English]

     I am wondering what will take place during this economic and fiscal update. Will he be talking about privatization? Will the minister be talking about asset recycling? Will he be talking about the Canadian infrastructure bank? We will see.
    However, we also know that on November 14, there will be a meeting in Toronto with retirement fund and private equity investors who will actually be very happy. Obviously, Mr. Barton will be there, as well as other members of that advisory council on economic growth.
    What do members think they will be talking about?
    They will be talking about what we can do to improve infrastructure. Obviously, the fact that the government has neglected this for so long, the fact that we have reduced the fiscal capacity of the government to fix these projects, to improve them, to enlarge them, will not be part of it. We are not going to be talking about the $10 billion to $20 billion annually that we have lost through the reduction of the corporate income tax, since 2000, and the GST, as well. That money reduced, eliminated, the fiscal capacity of the government to invest in infrastructure over the last 15 years.
    Now we are at the point where there is an infrastructure deficit in the country. It is largely due to the fact that the government has decided to shackle itself, has refused to invest in that infrastructure, preferring, instead, corporate income tax reductions that were supposed to promote private investment and promote real investment.
    I can tell members we lost all that capacity to invest in our infrastructure without bringing a spurt of growth in real investment. For whatever reason, the private sector is still shy to invest all that money it received from the federal government in tax reductions.
    There is no mention of how the federal governments, Liberal and Conservative, which have succeeded each other for the last 15 years, are responsible for the current situation we are in. We have the reputation, in the NDP, of not knowing how to manage money. We are over $650 billion in debt, without a single year of the NDP governing in this country. If we look at the record of the NDP provincially, in terms of fiscal management, it is very good.
    However, we cannot say that the NDP has caused the problems that we have right now. We cannot say that the NDP is responsible for the infrastructure deficit that this country is experiencing. We cannot say that the NDP is responsible for the lack of ability of the federal government to invest in the needed infrastructure, and we certainly cannot say that the NDP is responsible for the fact that the Liberals, right now, are looking at the possibility of privatizing our public assets without having said a word to that effect to Canadians.
    Members can be sure that we will be watching. Members can be sure that we will be making certain that Canadians know what is going on here. We will be watching very carefully what happens with the fiscal and economic update, because the direction the Liberals want to take us to fix the infrastructure problem is a solution that will be unacceptable to the majority of Canadians. We will ensure the NDP will be there with them to fight it.

  (1230)  

    Madam Speaker, I just heard the member opposite say that the NDP is not responsible for anything. I guess that is why, sometimes, you are characterized as being irresponsible. But we will leave the words—
    If the member could stop using the word “you”, it will be a lot easier.
    Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member opposite who talked about this proposed idea to think about what an infrastructure bank might look like. I would like to hear his comments on some ideas that we have pursued, certainly I did as a city councillor in Toronto, around public-private partnerships, around the rehabilitation and delivery of public housing to people in need.
    One of the partnerships we established was between hotel workers and their pension fund, a housing program, and a private developer to deliver a co-op with 45 units of housing. We have additionally worked with pension funds to revitalize neighbourhoods, to deliver almost 800 units of housing, including employment programs for young people to get into the skilled trades and enrol them in good unionized jobs as part of the process.
    Would the member opposite not acknowledge that using pension funds to extend infrastructure spends, rather than replace, sometimes provides us with the additional capacity to deliver not only more social programs and more capacity in our social programs but also jobs, by using pension funds to hire people rather than simply just making investments?
    Could he not see a possibility that the House would recognize that engaging pension funds to extend the infrastructure spend might actually get more infrastructure built rather than less?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the member shared an example about social housing in his city, which he knows so well.
    In response to that one example, I can give 10 examples of public-private partnership programs that were dismal failures. Should I start with CHUM, the Université de Montréal hospital? Should I start with an example that will cost Quebec's treasury billions of dollars even though it was an outrageous waste and shameless mismanagement on the part of successive governments, which failed to keep things under control, and absolutely irresponsible investors? No.
    The member failed to ask one basic question. This is not just about pension plans. This is also about private investment funds. This is about how BlackRock has more money than the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec, money it can use to not only invest in infrastructure, but also acquire their very sources of revenue. We are opening up not only pension plans but private investment funds too.
    There is no comparing a small-scale social housing program from Toronto to the impact this will have on the Canadian economy and the future of our infrastructure. They are just not in the same league.

  (1235)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague, our critic for finance, for his great work in making sure that people understand what the bill proposes.
    In my riding of Courtenay—Alberni and certainly right in Alberni Valley, one-third of the children are living in poverty. I will just give the House some quick stats on what that looks like. Children in care were 281% above the provincial average in B.C.; teenage pregnancy, 371% above the provincial average in B.C.; and the percentage of children under 15 receiving income assistance is 274% above the provincial average.
    When we look at the legislation and we talk about the child tax benefits that the Liberals always talk about and how important they are to lifting children out of poverty, we know these are not just percentages; these are real children who need help. I would like the member to talk a little about the impact of the Canada child tax benefit and how it is not being indexed and the impact that might have in tackling child poverty.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for a good question. It will be indexed in this budget implementation act. It was just not supposed to be before the parliamentary budget officer told the government that with the lack of indexation, there would be less money in 2025 for most of those families, most of those kids, than there was under the Conservative government.
    When I raised that issue, the parliamentary secretary told me it is not true and that the Minister of Finance actually said it would be indexed. No, he never said it until the parliamentary budget officer presented a public report on this.
    It was clear that the child benefit that the Liberals put in place would actually, initially, provide more money, but they were well content to let that money lapse slowly until it was brought forth publicly by the parliamentary budget officer. I thank the PBO and his office for their work in raising that important question and ensuring the children in my colleague's riding, in my riding, and everyone in the country would be able to count on that indexation past 2020 and further.
    Let us remember the lack of indexation would ensure that there would be less money gradually over the next four years to the point where, in 2020, when it starts being indexed, a family of three earning $30,000 with a child would have a mere $500 more than they would have had under the Conservatives. That means about $500 a year more than they would have had under the Conservatives. It is not much and I am glad that the Liberals are correcting this mistake. They should have admitted they made a mistake in the first place.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I have a quick question.
    I always like hearing what the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques has to say. We often hear the official opposition oppose things, and we know that the member rarely opposes the same things.
    In the interest of finding common ground, can the member tell us what he likes about this bill?
    Madam Speaker, there will be things that we can agree on. Obviously, no budget gets everything right or everything wrong, but I am not going to spend my time praising the Liberal government. I am sure the Liberals are quite capable of that.
    I am here as one of the few and probably the first to ask where the government is headed and to raise the important issue of the privatization of Canadian infrastructure. The government will not be raising the issue, and neither will its advisory council on economic growth, which is not calling it privatization, but asset recycling.

  (1240)  

[English]

    He spoke of leveraging private capital with public capital. There is no word on privatization, but this is the meaning of privatization. This is exactly where it is going.

[Translation]

    If we can no longer voice outrage in the House over such a critical issue, what are we doing here?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I was really glad to hear my colleague's speech and comments today, which really underlined the fact that the Liberals are still very much marching to the same tune that was started by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, the ideology of neo-liberalism.
    The problem with asset recycling and privatization is that the public gets to accept all of the risk, and all of the reward goes to the corporations. What is often not talked about in this place is that corporations get to enjoy the public infrastructure assets that taxpayer dollars built for them. It allows them to conduct their businesses through the roads, bridges, and airports that our tax dollars have funded, and they are not paying their fair share. When corporations do not pay their fair share, the costs get downloaded onto the everyday population. We have seen privatization schemes blow up in Canada and around the world. In B.C., the B.C. ferries were privatized and the costs keep going up. If we look at what New Zealand did when it privatized its railways and ferries, it then had to buy them back because it was one of the biggest disasters it has ever had.
    Therefore, I would again like to hear my hon. colleague's comments on the dangers of going down this route, and why we should be looking at alternatives.
    Madam Speaker, when my colleague was asking the question, I was looking at the members on the other side, who were rolling their eyes when he talked about Thatcher and Reagan.
    Yesterday, when I was listening to Robert Martin at committee, he was talking to the Conservative members, and one of them actually said that this should have been a Conservative measure. They will agree with this. They will agree with getting this infrastructure bank and the leveraging of private assets with public assets. If the Conservatives are in agreement with this, I think it should raise questions for many of the members of the government who call themselves progressive as to where their government is going, because it is going in the direction of Thatcher and Reagan.
    Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise today to comment on this budget implementation act.
    Canada is a country built upon optimism, often in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. However, this promise of a better life has been eroding in recent decades. The reality is that many middle-class Canadians have had their confidence shaken. While our economy continues to grow, middle-class Canadians are struggling. Many Canadians are working harder and longer as the cost of living continues to rise. Middle-class Canadians just do not feel as though they are getting ahead.
    It is time to recapture the hope and optimism for the future that existed in previous generations. We must embrace the spirit of those early founders and build upon their legacy by providing the same opportunities for advancement and mobility they once unlocked. We already possess the keys to this future.
    Canadians are among the most highly educated people in the world, ranking among the top of all members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. More than half of Canadians have a post-secondary degree. We are world-renowned for scientific research and discovery, and can often be found on the cutting edge of the clean technologies emerging right now on the world stage. We have abundant natural resources, outmatched only by the resourcefulness and diversity of our people.
     With interest rates at record lows, now is the time to make the investments that will invigorate the heart of our Canadian economy, our middle class and those working hard to join it.
    This is no small undertaking. The challenges this budget identified cannot be solved in one year, but we can and must take the next steps that will focus on growing the economy for the long term, in ways that will benefit every Canadian. The legislation we are debating today, budget implementation act, 2016, No. 2 will complete the measures we introduced in budget 2016.
    This is a budget that offers a fresh boost to the core of Canada's economy, Canada's middle class. The bill we are debating today will build a strong economy for Canada, and it will give the middle class and those working hard to join it more money in their pockets to save, invest, and grow the economy.
    This bill includes measures that build on Canada's economic and fiscal strength. It offers help for the middle class. It includes measures that protect consumers. It ensures tax fairness and integrity.
    I would also like to discuss Canada's economic and fiscal strength. As I mentioned, many middle class and other Canadians are working harder but not getting ahead. There is a growing consensus in Canada and globally that governments need to invest, not only to boost economic growth in the short term but also to set the stage for long-term growth as well.
    Canada has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of any G7 country, and interest rates are at historic lows. Now is the ideal time for Canada to invest in its future success.
    I also want to talk about what this budget does to help the middle class. Obviously we can all agree, I would hope, that a strong economy starts with a strong middle class. When middle-class Canadians have more money to save, to invest, and to spend, everyone benefits. A strengthened middle class means that hard-working Canadians can look forward to a good standard of living and better prospects for their kids and grandchildren. When we have an economy that works for the middle class, we have a country that works for everyone. We must do for our kids and grandkids what our parents and grandparents did for us.

  (1245)  

    Also important when it comes to growing the middle class is making sure that we help young Canadians succeed. Budget 2016 makes post-secondary education more affordable for students from low and middle-income families and will make it easier for students to repay student debt. It will also help young Canadians gain the much-needed experience and income they need, and to be in a position to find good jobs after graduation.
    Now more than ever, it is important that post-secondary education remains affordable and accessible. Young Canadians must have access to meaningful work at the beginning of their careers and must not be burdened by increasing student debt. Budget 2016 will address these concerns.
    Budget 2016 also improves the employment insurance regime. Canada's employment insurance program provides economic security to Canadians when they need it most. Whatever the circumstances, no Canadian should struggle to get the assistance they need. To make sure that Canadians get the help when they need it, several changes are being proposed to the EI system. Changes to eligibility rules will make it easier for new workers and those re-entering the workforce to claim benefits. The waiting period will also be reduced from two weeks to one week, providing unemployed workers with hundreds of dollars more at the time they need it most.
    Budget 2016 will also improve the quality of life of seniors. The government, through budget 2016, will make significant new investments to support seniors in their retirement years. Increased benefits will ensure that Canadian seniors have a dignified, comfortable, and secure retirement.
    Budget 2016 also has measures to support Canada's veterans. The Government of Canada has a social covenant with veterans and their families. It is a sacred obligation that we must meet with respect and gratitude. Our veterans have dedicated their lives to the defence of our country and they deserve our unwavering support, as I am sure all members of the House agree.
    The government will give back to veterans who have given so much in service to all Canadians. Canada will restore critical access to services for veterans and ensure the long-term financial security of disabled veterans. Canada's veterans will receive more local, in-person government services, as well as better access to case managers. Our veterans deserve nothing less.
    Budget 2016 also includes many measures to help protect consumers. Canadians deserve financial consumer protection in banking that keeps pace with their needs. In line with this, budget 2016 contains plans to strengthen and modernize the financial consumer protection framework, by proposing to amend the Bank Act.
    Canada's financial sector was resilient enough to weather the 2008 financial crisis, and we are seeking to build on this strength. We want to make sure that the financial sector is able to adapt to new trends, including emerging financial innovation and technologies. What this legislation proposes to do is consolidate and streamline existing consumer provisions into one new chapter of the Bank Act, and to introduce amendments to the Bank Act to enhance consumer protection in the areas of access to basic banking services, business practices, disclosure, complaint handling, as well as corporate governance and complaints and accountability.
    The federal government is exercising leadership by taking targeted steps to strengthen financial consumer protection. This includes measures to improve access to basic banking services, impose certain limits on business practices, and enhance disclosure to facilitate and inform the decisions being made by consumers. These reforms reaffirm our government's intent to have a system of exclusive rules for consumer protection to ensure an efficient national banking system from coast to coast to coast.

  (1250)  

    The budget also does much to ensure tax fairness and integrity. A fundamental Canadian value is one of fairness. This is why the Government of Canada is committed to a plan of action to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance that strengthens existing efforts at home and abroad and includes new measures.
    Under the common reporting standard, Canadian financial institutions will be expected to have procedures in place to identify accounts held by non-residents, and to report information on those accounts to the Canada Revenue Agency. Tax administration in foreign jurisdictions will likewise collect information from their financial institutions about accounts held by residents of other countries, including Canada. The CRA will formalize exchange arrangements with foreign jurisdictions, having verified that each jurisdiction has the appropriate capacity and safeguards in place. Then the financial account information will begin to be exchanged on a reciprocal bilateral basis. The introduction of the common reporting standard is an important global development, which will help to enhance tax compliance and eliminate the opportunities for tax evasion.
    In addition to this new legislative tool, budget 2016 also announced $444 million in new resources for the Canada Revenue Agency to address tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
    Going forward, Canada will continue to work with the international community to ensure a coherent and consistent response to tax avoidance.
    Budget 2016 and the budget implementation legislation are an important step, not only in the life of this government, but in growing Canada's economy, preparing the Canadian economy for the future. To do this, Canadians know that our government must invest in infrastructure and innovation, but, most importantly, invest in Canadians.
    During the campaign, all of us were successful in being elected. Our success was due in part to listening to the voters in our own ridings; otherwise none of us, whatever side of the aisle we happen to be on, would be in the chamber today. We listened to Canadians. I certainly did.
     In my riding of Newmarket—Aurora there was concern with what was happening. There was concern about whether or not people's children and grandchildren would have the same opportunities that we had. The budget clearly addresses many of those concerns.
     Let us look for a minute at the Canada child benefit, which is an important social policy and also an important economic policy. There are nine out of ten Canadian families who are now receiving more through this child benefit than they were receiving previously. The effect that this has, among other things, is that 300,000 young Canadians will be lifted out of poverty. That is 300,000 young people with more hope for the future. That is 300,000 young people who can participate more fully in the lives of their communities. That is 300,000 more people who can participate in the opportunity that Canada offers to all of our young people. This is important, and it should not be overlooked.
    There are people in my riding to this day who stop me and thank me for our government having taken this measure. I am fortunate to live in a riding that is relatively affluent, but, even among that affluence, there are pockets of need and pockets of want.
    A few weeks ago, I was honoured to attend the opening of the Newmarket Food Pantry in my riding, and I was speaking with the executives and the great volunteers of that organization. They told me that even though it is located in the community of Newmarket, which has so much wealth and prosperity, more people use the Newmarket Food Pantry every month. The need continues to grow. None of us want that trend to continue. This is just one example of where some Canadians were feeling left out and left behind.

  (1255)  

    I was fortunate at that Newmarket Food Pantry to be asked to say a few words. I was a little overwhelmed by many of the clients at the food pantry. These are hard-working Canadians. These are Canadians who struggle. Many of them are single parents, many are single moms. I do not think anyone would not sympathize with people in this situation. The Canada child benefit helps the exact people that it is intended to help.
    As I said, someone asked me to say a few words. I said that I would love to be around on the day that instead of celebrating the opening of the new expanded food pantry, we are celebrating the closing of the doors of the food pantry, not only in Newmarket, but in all of our communities, all food banks. Until that time, it is great to have volunteers and the great people who run these facilities. However, it would be much better to not need these facilities at all. I know everyone in the House agrees with that sentiment.
    That is why the Canada child benefit is so important. It helps people who need it most. I can think of nothing more Canadian than that, and that is one facet of the budget that I am very proud of. We see it every day. However, the budget is just the first step in our plan. Of course, there is much more work to be done.
    The other facet I am very eager about is the investment in infrastructure. The municipalities in my riding are growing very quickly, and they cannot keep up with the population surge. There is a gap in infrastructure needs, not only highways and sewers and waste water, but even things such as broadband. We have many small and medium enterprises, but even though we are half an hour or 45 minutes north of Toronto, we have issues with connectivity. That needs to be addressed, in all regions of the country. If we want to be part of the technological economy of the future, we have to make sure we invest now. There is also the infrastructure such as highways, transportation, sewage, and waste water, or any of these great infrastructure investments. Budget 2016 realizes that. There is much work to be done.
     In the few minutes I have left, I want to discuss why this is a good time to invest. As I mentioned earlier, interest rates are at an all-time low. This is the time to borrow money, but it is not a time to spend recklessly. The borrowed money must be invested prudently, and it must be invested with the view to a return on that investment.
    Many Canadians borrow money. Most Canadians borrow money to buy a house, a car. These are necessities. Therefore, taking on debt for important investments and expenses and the fundamental essentials of life is a prudent way of running one's household finances. The same applies to government.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing money to invest in important projects that are needed by Canadians and that are needed by the Canadian economy, especially when those investments will yield a return in the future. That is what a responsible government ought to do, and I am proud to be part of a government that is going to do just that. Investing now to build future prosperity for Canadians is something we should all be very proud of, and I know I certainly am.
    Budget 2016 represents a strong first step in our plan to put people first and to deliver the help they need now while investing for the years and decades to come. With these investments, and inspired by a sense of fairness, we are ensuring that Canada's best days lie ahead. I therefore encourage all members in the House to support the bill.

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, the hon. member made a comment in his speech, saying that it is our responsibility as members of Parliament—the very fact that we are here actually attests to this, he said—to listen to our constituents. I think he makes a very good point and I would agree with him.
    My question for the hon. member is this. In listening to his constituents, which of his constituents told him that they would like a carbon tax or a tax on everything, and which of his constituents said they would like a decrease in the amount of child benefits that low-income families take home each and every month?
    I would also like to know which of his constituents said they would like a decrease in job numbers. In fact, the PBO just released a report the other day, saying that half the average rate of job creation of the previous five years is what Canada faces right now. Coincidentally, in those previous five years, of course, the Conservatives were in power.
    As well, I would like to know which of his constituents want a $34-billion debt load added to our country. The hon. member could perhaps help me in understanding which of his constituents are advocating for this.
    Madam Speaker, I can tell the member what my constituents told me. They told me they want our economy to grow. They told me that they have just lived through 10 years of the slowest economic growth, and deficits, and what they want is growth. They want hope for the future. That is what they want, and that is why I am so happy to be speaking about this budget today. We will deliver exactly what the great people of Newmarket—Aurora wanted when they voted for me, and I am happy to deliver on those promises.
    Madam Speaker, I listened to the speech of the hon. member, and I was nonplussed by his arguments.
    How stupid would a household, the government, or the private sector be not to borrow, like the government actually could right now, to fund infrastructure at 2.5%, instead of borrowing private assets and asking for a rate of return of 5%, 6%, 8%? It does not make sense.
    I will note that the member was silent on my previous point that demonstrated his government is asking Credit Suisse to advise the government on privatizing airports when they actually have an interest in buying our airports. How is that not a conflict of interest? How is it not a conflict of interest that the people advising the Prime Minister, like Dominic Barton, like Michael Sabia, like Mark Wiseman, have an interest in the revenue stream of that infrastructure? They will be advising the government on this.
    Why is the comparison of the borrowing of a household coming into play when we are seeing the potential impacts on the Canadian economy being played out this way?

  (1305)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, that is a good question and I thank my hon. colleague for it.

[English]

    The issue is that if we are going to borrow, we should invest it properly. I do not share the same fear of corporate involvement that my friends in the NDP do. If it makes more efficient sense to borrow money and be able to leverage that borrowed money with help from the private sector, then that is worthy of examination. We are open to any ideas or suggestions that any member of the House of Commons may make.
    The best thing for us to do as Canadians, and as a Canadian government, is to listen and consider all options as to how best to leverage taxpayer money, how best to get results for Canadians, and how best to grow the Canadian economy. I am proud that our government is doing precisely that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, personally, when I look at the investments and commitments made by our government over the past year, I feel compelled to describe just how much this has been a boon for my riding and for Canadians.
    I will cite a few examples. The retirement age has gone from 67 to 65. We increased the guaranteed income supplement for people living alone. We made changes to employment insurance, which is very important in my region. The reform of employment insurance by the former Conservative government hit us very hard.
    We invested in infrastructure and universities and colleges. We lowered taxes. We helped first nations. We made investments in fisheries, ports, and small vessels. These are just a few examples of what we did. I am surprised that the opposition is opposed to these measures.
    The program that is closest to my heart is the Canada child benefit. According to some statistics, it will help over 112,000 children in New Brunswick alone. I would like my colleague to tell us more about this program, which I feel is essential for lifting many children out of poverty, and for him to explain what the Canada child benefit is all about.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for Acadie—Bathurst for that question. I know how hard he works for the great people of his riding and how much they respect the work he is doing. He works very hard in our caucus and indeed in all his duties in the House, and I thank him for his tremendous efforts in that regard.
    The Canada child benefit is the single most profound measure in budget 2016. It has helped people in my riding, as I alluded to. I am sure, as the member for Acadie—Bathurst just said, it is helping people in his riding. It is lifting thousands of children out of poverty.
    Whatever components of the budget one may or may not agree with, I think we should all agree that this outcome is a positive step for Canadians. That outcome is a positive step for Canada, and that outcome is something we should all take great and tremendous pride in.
    Madam Speaker, it has been all about the child benefit. It is very important to point out that the child benefit, the extra money the government is giving Canadians, is about $1 billion a year and is gradually going to come down towards 2020. It equals about $27.77 per capita. That is something that has to be known by the public, because all this bragging about the child benefit is not true and is not growing the economy.
    The labour market report by the parliamentary budget officer says that job creation is half the average job creation compared to the past five years. Compared to the past five years of the previous Conservative government, the current government is creating only half, and that will be the trend until 2019.
    Are the Liberals going to stop talking about the child benefit that is giving Canadians nothing and start talking about job creation?

  (1310)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Edmonton Manning for his question. I know how hard he works for the people of his community.
    It will not surprise this House to hear that I do not necessarily agree with the premise of the member's question. First, he referred to the Canada child benefit as doing nothing. I have met people who rely on that child benefit to buy groceries every month. Does that member want to tell those people that this child benefit is doing nothing for them? I do not think he does.
    On the point of job growth and labour-market growth, that is precisely why we have to continue investing. We have to continue the steps we are taking to make sure we grow the economy. Canada's economic growth is slow right now. We need to prime the pump. That is exactly what budget 2016 would do.
     I want to thank the member for Edmonton Manning for pointing out how important the measures in this budget are for all of Canada.
    Madam Speaker, I was just listening and heard about the benefit of the child benefit for families. Yet in my riding, I have single dads and single moms coming forward who have been cut because of the new plan. How can I explain it to them? I need an answer from the Liberals.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question and for raising the concerns of her constituents in this House, which of course is our principal role as members of Parliament.
    I am obviously not familiar with the particulars of those incidents, but my understanding is that there are more Canadians, nine out of 10 families, receiving child benefit payments under the new plan. Three hundred thousand Canadians have been lifted out of poverty. I am willing to work with the member and get my government colleagues to work with her to help if there are special cases that need addressing in her riding to make sure that every Canadian gets the benefits that she or he is entitled to.
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak to the budget implementation act, 2016, No. 2.
    For people who might be watching or listening, a brief summary of the process may be helpful in terms of why we are here and what we are debating.
    In the spring, the Liberals presented their first budget. The actual implementation comes in two phases. There was Bill C-15, the Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1, which of course was passed last spring. Now we are implementing the next phase of the budget. It is known as the budget implementation act, 2016, No. 2. These are the technical measures to move the budget into law.
    The Liberals always used to talk about the Conservatives and the omnibus nature of our legislation. I am not going to call this omnibus, although we can see that it has many different features. It is necessary, sometimes, to move a budget into law that impacts lots of different pieces of legislation. The Liberals called it omnibus. I just call it good governance and how a budget is actually put into action.
    Part 1 is a number of income tax measures. Part 2 focuses on the goods and services tax, the harmonized sales tax, and some commitments made there. Part 3 focuses on the excise tax. Part 4 has a number of different pieces, including the Employment Insurance Act, the Old Age Security Act, the Canada Education Savings Act, the Canada Disability Savings Act, the Financial Consumer Protection Framework, the Royal Canadian Mint Act, and funds management, etcetera. What we can see is a broad piece of legislation impacting many acts of Parliament. It is not called omnibus. It really is just a government doing its business.
    Before I talk about my concerns about this particular budget and the budget implementation bill, not all is bad. There are perhaps one or two features that I actually think are reasonable.
    We all know of lower-income senior citizen couples who are perhaps separated. Perhaps one needs additional care and has to go into a home. Their benefits are still calculated as a couple. I think it is reasonable to say that if a couple is separated and someone has to go into a home, they now have double the living expenses, so the calculation of the GIS and OAS will not be impacted.
    I want to note that there are one or two pieces that I think are reasonable.
    More importantly, I think the budget is a disaster for Canada and overall is totally unsupportable.
    I remember very fondly when I had the privilege of serving on the finance committee when Canada entered the global recession. The late hon. Jim Flaherty was our finance minister. He was also named the best finance minister in Canada.
    It was a global crisis at the time. It was a catastrophe. We were very concerned. Leaders across of the world had many sleepless nights because of the global recession. I can remember that the hon. Jim Flaherty came up with a plan. He articulated that plan to Canadians. He said what he was going to do over a number of years. Not only did he articulate the plan, he executed the plan, and he executed the plan in almost exactly the way he said he would when he first announced that we were going to have to take extraordinary measures to deal with the global recession.
    It is important to say that it was a plan. It was articulated to Canadians, it was executed, and the results speak for themselves.
    Up to about 2008-09, things were moving along very well. About $30 million or $40 million was paid back on the debt, then we were struck by the global recession.

  (1315)  

    The plan at the time was a number of years of deficit spending. The reason I am going over this is to contrast the current plan of the Liberals with the plan we had back then. It was deficit spending to deal with an extraordinary situation, but it was declining deficit spending, starting at approximately $55 billion, and over five years getting back to surplus. That was the plan. It was seen as short term. We needed an infusion to get the wheels going when the systems were failing around us.
    Canada can be incredibly proud of having the stimulus. I would say to the Liberals that it was truly infrastructure stimulus. It got out the door fast. It was something that actually gave a jolt to the economy. We did not make mistakes and create deficits because of calculation errors.
    Jim Flaherty also knew that once we opened the taps of government spending, it becomes incredibly difficult to turn those taps off. Any of us who lived through the 1990s, when we were in an absolutely horrendous position, realize that turning off those taps is very painful. It was very painful for the provinces. They saw health care transfers come down. There was a lot of pain and effort to get our finances back into a reasonable condition. That was a lesson we recognized.
    The late hon. Jim Flaherty would have been incredibly proud to know that he achieved his plan. He did not live long enough to see the results. There are some lessons the Liberal government needs to take from that exercise.
    It is also important to note that for 2015-16, the parliamentary budget officer recently confirmed that had it not been for the Liberal spending spree once it took office in October and November, we would have had a $2.9 billion surplus.
    Different times require different remedies. Canada came through the global recession. None of our banks failed. We had a short-term stimulus for the economy, we had the best job creation record in the G7, and we moved into a bit of a steady state.
    Yes, we have slow growth, but we are not in a recession. That is critical to remember. Slow growth is not a recession, and a different remedy is required economically. The Liberals seem to feel that it needs the kind of jolt we had during the global recession. We need a different remedy to deal with the slow-growth situation we are in, as opposed to the catastrophe we faced with the global recession.
    I want to talk about how the Liberals believe they need to craft a budget. In the last year we heard that the budget would balance itself and the economy would grow from the heart out. Nothing could be further from the truth. The budget will not balance itself, and the economy is not going to grow from the heart out. It takes a lot of work and a lot of specific policies to ensure that the government does its part in creating an environment for the economy to grow, and balancing a budget requires some spending discipline. That is something we have not been seeing.
    I talked about how we had a plan and that it was not a structural deficit but stimulus spending. It was roads and bridges and different investments that created short-term jobs.
    What we are creating with the policies of this new government is a structural deficit that is growing and growing and is going to be more concerning as time goes on.
    First, on the middle-class tax cut the Liberals so proudly talk about, they miscalculated by a couple of billion dollars. It was going to be revenue neutral. What the rich pay, the middle-class was going to benefit from, but they missed by a billion or two in the structural deficit.

  (1320)  

    It was a difficult decision to move the age of eligibility for old age security from 65 to 67. Canadians are living longer, and that is what a lot of other countries are doing. A number of countries in the world have moved the eligibility age for old age security from 65 to 67, because times are different. People are living a lot longer. This was something that would create a sustainable structure for old age security. The Liberals have obliterated that. It is now back to age 65. They have not taken into account the huge structural deficit that will be created with that.
    The Liberals talk very proudly about their child care benefit. However, they did not index it. They have learned from the parliamentary budget officer that in a few years it will not be as good as the program we had in place. Therefore, they are indexing it through this budget implementation act. However, the cost of indexing it is $4.2 billion over five years. We have not heard what they are doing to create that revenue, so that will also become part of this structural deficit.
     During the election, the Liberals claimed they had to run a small deficit of $10 billion because we had a sluggish economy. It was $30 billion, give or take, when they presented the budget. We will see what the minister has to say next week about this whole economic forecast. I hope I can be optimistic, but I am worried about that $30 billion deficit increasing. What we have is a deficit that continues to grow. There is no plan to create a fiscal anchor to bring it back to balance. They speak of the debt-to-GDP ratio, but have no anchor. Rather, they have a horrific spending problem.
    At the same time, the middle class appears to be the touchstone word that we hear from the Liberals. To be frank, instead of growing the middle class, the Liberals are breaking it. They are creating an environment that is very difficult for businesses to thrive in.
    Another broken promise is with respect to small business, which is the foundation of our economy. It is critical for employment and the revenues that come into government. The Liberals made a promise, reversed it, and now the small business tax has gone up.
     During the election, every party committed to a low small business tax, because we recognized that what the government did not take in, the businesses would put into growing their business and increasing their payroll. Therefore, we felt that supporting small business with low taxes would be fundamentally important for the economy. The Liberals backtracked on that promise.
    The next thing the Liberals did to small business owners was cook up a deal with respect to the Canada pension plan. Not only has small business had its tax raised, but it will cost an additional $2,000 a year for every employee: $1,000 paid by the employer and $1,000 by the employee. That might not sound like a lot, but for a new business with 20 employees that is struggling to make payroll, $20,000 can make a huge difference as to what it does and how it deals with its business. A number of these measures are creating some significant issues for the middle class.
    I need to make a quick comment with respect to rural communities. Again, rural communities are incredibly important. We do not have a softwood lumber agreement signed. We are concerned about these good-paying, middle-class jobs, which keep the fabric of our rural communities alive. It will be an especially important issue for British Columbia. There does not seem to be any concern at all for rural communities.
    Today, our colleague who represents Vegreville, which is a small community of 1,000 people, made reference to the fact that 200 immigration jobs would be moved to Edmonton. That will potentially destroy that community. It will have a huge impact.

  (1325)  

    The minister justified that by suggesting there were economies of scale. It does not take much to recognize that the commercial rates in Edmonton are going to be a whole lot different from the commercial rates in a small town. I really doubt that the business model is going to have that much impact. In the meanwhile, what they are doing is destroying a small town, and those who choose to move to Edmonton, all of a sudden, are going to face huge challenges because housing prices are extremely different.
    We have talked about the middle class. I really do not think the middle class is benefiting from this particular budget. We certainly know that our small businesses are not benefiting from the budget. We certainly know the additional complications that are being created around environmental assessment processes, which are really causing pause. I heard from an investor from Korea who was looking at making significant investments in our country, but who is now backing away. He was saying there's now no certainty, that they do not know what the environmental assessment process will look like and how the carbon tax will fit in. People are looking at Canada and saying that maybe their money would be better spent in another place.
    What the government does not realize is that money is mobile and for people to invest in Canada, they need to have confidence in Canada, but the changing landscape with government processes is really creating some challenges. They need to have certainty. They need to know what the process is. They need to know how long the process is.
    Yesterday, we had a pretty powerful discussion about the indigenous child welfare system. The fact was brought up that during the first 100 days in office, the Prime Minister committed to spending billions of dollars in other countries. I am not sure those billions are really creating a positive impact in Canada. I do agree that we need to do our part to help address some of the challenges facing other countries. However, when we have in Canada some aboriginal communities facing underfunding of their child welfare services, that is a problem.
    In conclusion, the government has time to take pause. It is not too late. But please, before you create this structural deficit, those the government says it is helping, the children, are the ones who are going to have pay it back.

  (1330)  

    Thank you very much.
    First of all, I am not going to create the deficit. I would just encourage members not to use the word “you” in the House. It would be so much easier.
    The member will have about two minutes left for her speech the next time this is before the House, plus her questions and answers.
    It being 1:30 p.m. the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business, as listed on today's order paper.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act

    The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-224, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (assistance — drug overdose), as reported (without amendment) from the committee.
    There being no amendment motions at report stage, the House will now proceed without debate to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.
    The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

     (Motion agreed to)

[English]

     When shall the bill be read the third time? By leave, now?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
     moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
    He said: Madam Speaker, I want to thank all members of the House for their support of the good Samaritan drug overdose act. Members from all regions of Canada became co-seconders of Bill C-224, although the rules of the House did not allow for more than 20. It is a resounding call for the need for the legislation to be passed, and quickly. Members recognize that the bill would save lives.

[Translation]

    In my speech at second reading, I spoke about two young men, Austin and Kelly. Austin, Kelly and countless others might still be with us today if the good Samaritan bill on drug overdose had been a law when they made that one, fatal mistake. However, we will never really know.

[English]

    When I was researching the bill, even before I introduced Bill C-224, it was evident that this law is sorely needed. What I did not expect was the groundswell of support that came out shortly after the bill's first reading. Groups and individuals from every part of Canada called and emailed, telling me how much the legislation is needed. I thank them for that. Their support motivated me even more to make sure that the bill became law.
    The House is steeped in democratic traditions. Our legislation process gives members the ability to scrutinize legislation. We are elected by and for our constituents to represent their values, beliefs, and desires. During second reading, I heard impassioned speeches from both sides of the House, some of which were very personal, making it clear that the good Samaritan drug overdose act had broad support.
    Outside this chamber, it is the committees that continue Canada's democratic traditions. Committees give each piece of legislation more scrutiny, and the Standing Committee on Health did just that. The committee did its job well. They heard from many witnesses, from paramedics, front-line workers, Austin's mom, academics, and from drug users themselves.
    For me, the most compelling testimony came from the drug-using community. That community does not feel safe and does fear law enforcement in an overdose situation. The committee heard that the bill would not go far enough, that exemptions from prosecution should be broadened beyond simple possession. I agree with that.
    Studies show that fear of prosecution for possession is just one of the key reasons that people do not call 911 in the event of a drug overdose, but there are also other reasons, such as outstanding warrants and breach of probation. The bill is only one piece in the harm reduction tool kit. It is a tool kit that needs to be broadened and expanded over time.
    I believe it would have been good to have broadened the scope of the bill to include outstanding warrants and breach of probation. However, that would have made the bill way too complex and controversial, lessening the chances of its passage.
    If passed in its current form, the good Samaritan drug overdose act would still save lives.

  (1335)  

[Translation]

     I laud the Standing Committee on Health for their work on this bill and for referring the good Samaritan drug overdose act back to this House without amendment. The committee recognized the urgency of opioid deaths and how Bill C-224 is desperately needed in Canada.

[English]

    The committee should also be commended for taking heed of the testimony they heard during the study of Bill C-224. The powerful testimony of witnesses led to a motion being introduced during the deliberations on the good Samaritan drug overdose act, a motion to study the opioid crisis in Canada. Now, the committee is doing just that, and I have been honoured to have participated in some of the committee's meetings on that study. We cannot delay taking action on the opioid crisis in Canada.
    During the course of the deliberations on the bill, countless lives have been lost. I see it in the news every day. We do not know how many lives would have been saved if the Good Samaritan drug overdose act had been law.
    Our government has been continuing to put more tools in that harm-reduction toolkit since the bill was introduced. That includes removing naloxone from the list of prescription drugs. The government is also listing the six essential ingredients that make fentanyl deadly as controlled substances.
     In the coming weeks the Minister of Health will be arranging an opioid abuse summit, which will prioritize how we can start to get out of this mess.

[Translation]

    I thank members of this House for their support of the good Samaritan drug overdose act.
    I want to thank the Library of Parliament, the House of Commons legal department and the private members' business office for their incredible support on Bill C-224. There are several moving pieces to drafting and supporting legislation and without them this bill would not have happened.
    Ultimately this bill needs to become law. I ask all members of the House to come together and support the good Samaritan drug overdose act to help save lives.

  (1340)  

    Madam Speaker, I just want to congratulate my colleague on the excellent work he did on this bill and on the support he has received in the House.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I did not actually hear the question or the comment, but I thank the member for his support. I am sure they were encouraging words.
    Madam Speaker, I would also congratulate my colleague. This is an important bill, and coming from British Columbia, I think we have all been personally touched by some horrific tragedies.
    Could the member comment on some of the additional measures he believes need to be taken to tackle this crisis?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for speaking so movingly in regard to the bill at second reading.
    The other similar aspects to the bill that could be addressed would be to provide immunities for breaches of probation, for outstanding warrants and so forth. Doing so would greatly exceed the scope of the bill, but those are the other kinds of things that people fear when calling the police or calling 911 in the event of a drug overdose.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the motion and the good work he has done in bringing this forward.
    I absolutely agreed with his comments at second reading about the need to go further, that this is just a first step. With respect to that and related to the drug overdose crisis, as members know, Bill C-2 is impeding efforts by medical health professionals to move forward in addressing the opioid crisis.
    B.C.'s own medical health officer, Perry Kendall, has said that we need to get rid of Bill C-2. Does the member agree with our medical health officer about Bill C-2?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for seconding the bill at first reading.
    I agree that Bill C-2 from the previous Parliament created a problem, an almost impenetrable labyrinth for people to traverse in trying to establish supervised consumption sites. We need to take a hard look at it and should look proactively at streamlining the process to make it more effective, because we need many more supervised consumption sites in this country.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of Bill C-224, the good Samaritan drug overdose act. I thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for presenting this important piece of legislation. He has certainly worked very hard.
    When I first read through the bill, I have to admit that I was a bit concerned. We are currently facing one of the worst drug epidemics that our nation has ever seen, and that is with regard to the opioid crisis. The combination of diverted pharmaceuticals, veterinary tranquillizers, and illicit drugs has created a very deadly mix of street drugs.
    This past week in my riding of Lethbridge, 777 fentanyl pills were seized by the police in two separate drug raids. This is impacting every single nook and cranny within my community.
    Having said that, many Canadians would agree that we need to tackle the root factors that are causing this epidemic. I agree with that. This is why we definitely need tougher laws to get drug dealers off the streets, and certainly not weaker ones. This legislation is part of a multipronged approach that should be taken in all communities across this country.
    As a member of the Standing Committee on Health, I had the opportunity to examine the bill closely, and I heard from many expert witnesses from all corners of the country. Regardless of the geographical region or the sector from which they came, all of them agreed that Bill C-224 would save lives.
    How exactly would this legislation do that? At the present time, when someone overdoses, there are barriers to that individual getting help quickly. For instance, young people often experiment with drugs with friends and family. In the event of an overdose, those who are with the person are often scared to call for help because they are afraid of the legal repercussions. As a result, they either do nothing, or they call 911 and then quickly flee the scene so they will not be prosecuted. As a result of this fear, young lives are lost.
    When I was first made aware of this piece of legislation, I was concerned that it might allow dealers to go free or prevent police from being able to take action to shut down crack houses or illicit drug operations. After listening to the legal experts, it became clear that the bill would not provide another legal loophole for drug dealers to escape conviction. The exemptions provided in the bill only apply to those who are in simple possession.
    Criminal Code offences, such as possession for the purpose of trafficking, would still apply to individuals at the scene of an overdose. Why is this important? It is important because it means that this legislation finds a balance between removing barriers to individuals having the courage to call 911, as well as preserving the power of law enforcement to convict criminals responsible for pushing these drugs on our streets. We see more than ever the organized crime rates in Canada, so it is important for me to discuss this. Again, the specific exemption within this legislation would apply to simple possession only. In this context, only those using the illicit drug, and not those who are trafficking the drug, would be exempt.
    One of the heartbreaking stories we heard during my time on committee studying this legislation was from a mother who lost her 17-year-old son to an overdose. He was hanging out with his friends. There were about six people around him at the time, and they refused to call for medical assistance because they were afraid of the negative repercussions they might face. As a result, this young man's life was lost that day.
    When it comes to opioid overdoses, there are simple and effective treatments such as naloxone, which can halt the effects of the opioid long enough to get a patient to hospital to receive the attention he or she needs. With the strength of illicit opioids, minutes matter in this endeavour. A few minutes can help spare a life. If bystanders were to wait for those few minutes to determine if an overdose was mild or life-threatening, that indecision could result in that person losing his or her life.
    This is particularly true of young recreational drug users who have more to lose because of police involvement in an overdose. Young people who are experimenting with illegal drugs are more likely to try to keep their involvement with them a secret. As expert witnesses at committee repeatedly stressed, it is easier to deal with a drug addiction at the start of the addiction rather than caring for it later on.

  (1345)  

    Bill C-224 has the ability to facilitate early intervention and access to treatment, which I believe would serve our younger generation very well.
     For addicts who are housing insecure or altogether homeless, the bill would simply put in place what would already be common practice in many jurisdictions, and that is this. When front-line workers are called to an overdose situation, what often happens is the EMS will respond right away in order to care for that individual. Police officers will often hold back rather than going into the scene. The reason for this is because they will enter if there is a threat to medical staff or to the staff on site, let us say at a shelter. However, for r the most part they will hold back. The reason for that is because then it creates safety for concerned individuals to call EMS responders to the scene to react to the overdose.
    Right now Canada is facing a significant crisis when it comes to deaths caused by opioid overdoses. In B.C., for example, the situation is so serious that public health within B.C. has declared a state of emergency. The truth is that we have been aware of this problem for a little more than a year now across our country, but there has been very little discernible action from the federal government on this file. At health committee, it was the NDP as well as the Conservatives at the table who put forward the motion to study the opioid crisis in Canada and to deliver recommendations to the health minister for consideration.
    No steps have been taken to limit the import and the operation of pill press machines in Canada that enable criminal organizations to pump out hundreds of thousands of oxycodone knock-offs on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. The Liberal government reversed the Conservative regulations to move Canada toward a tamper-resistant prescription opioid, which is a very unfortunate decision. By reversing this direction, the Liberals allowed the easy conversion of legal pharmaceuticals to be used in a variety of street drugs, thus adding to the problem that we see today.
    It took until last month for Health Canada to finally make naloxone a non-prescription drug and therefore accessible across Canada. Even after doing that, the provinces still need a few more months to loosen up their own restrictions to have this antidote make a real difference within streets.
    The health minister finally decided that she would hold an opioid summit in mid-November. Although I am very thankful that this decision has been made, I am also disappointed with the amount of time it has taken just to achieve this. We do not need to wait for a summit this fall in order to start taking action on this file. We already know that border controls need to be ramped up. We know that Health Canada needs to make regulatory changes to limit prescription opioids that could easily be tampered with. We also know that stricter prescribing as well as tracking practices need to be implemented. We know that the over-prescribing of opioids on reserves needs to be addressed. We also need to provide treatment care for those who wish to get off of these addictions.
    There is a saying on a reserve near my riding, which is “The drug dealers wear white coats”. This is made in reference to the availability of legal prescription opioids from doctors. The devastating effect this has for persons susceptible to drug abuse is tremendous. Dozens of people are dying each and every month. Dreams are being shattered. Potential is going unfulfilled and hope is disintegrating altogether.
    I would contend that waiting to act on this national crisis is not an option. If we value human life, we must act now. I would contend that this requires a national strategy with regard to the opioid crisis we face in our country today. Bill C-224 is just one step, one very small step, in the massive puzzle that is needed to be put together in order to tackle this problem.

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, it is my honour to rise to speak to the motion. Let me first thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for bringing this motion to the floor and raising the issue in the House of Commons.
    At some point in time, all members in the House have been touched by this incredible issue of addiction, substance misuse in our own communities. Perhaps we have come to know people who have lost their lives. The thing about substance misuse and drug addiction is that it is entirely preventable.
    In fact, on the question of overdose, there is overwhelming evidence to illustrate the fact that we need to look at substance misuse as a medical health issue and not a criminal justice issue. That is how we can save lives.
     To the point of this motion, this is exactly what the member is trying to do, to take away the criminal element so we can save lives.
    Imagine for one minute what life would be like if one of our children, a son or daughter, who might be young, is experimenting, takes drugs, and at that moment in time a life is lost. Imagine what that would be like. I cannot imagine. I am a mother of two young kids, aged 13 and 8. I dread the teenage years to come, the idea of kids experimenting, some horrible, unimaginable thing happening, and lives being lost.
    I see this in my own community in Vancouver East. So many people's lives have been lost. There is a saying that dead people do not detox and that is why we need harm reduction. That is why we need to move forward in addressing this from a medical health perspective.
    The member's bill is one piece in the harm reduction spectrum on which we need to move forward. We need to tell people that they do not need to worry about a criminal charges being laid against them. In this instance, it would be limited to only simple possession but, nonetheless, it is equally important to send that message.
    Additional work needs to be done. There is no question about it. My colleague, the health critic, the member for Vancouver Kingsway, attempted to move in that direction at committee. He moved an amendment to call for expanding the scope of the bill to allow for additional measures. For example, people in my community say that it is not so much that they worry about a charge of simple possession, they worry about outstanding warrants. They worry about violating their parole, for example, and that there would be implications for them. Young people gather at these things called raves. They party and bad things happen. There is no definition of “at the scene”, the scope of that, and whether it would apply to a group of people in that context.
    If we want to move in this direction, more work needs to be done and we need to keep pushing to ensure that the issue around substance misuse is looked at from a health perspective. Addiction is a health issue. I know the former Conservative government thought it was a criminal justice issue alone.
    I was relieved to hear the conviction of the member who spoke before me to save lives. Let us look at this issue from that perspective. I would assume that if we believe in that and on the evidence that has been presented, we would all agree that the time has come for the government to also repeal C-2, because that prevents saving lives.
    The medical health officer in my community in Vancouver, British Columbia, has said on the public record that Bill C-2 impedes progress in moving forward with respect to harm reduction in terms of bringing supervised injection facilities into communities. The litany of onerous requirements prevent medical health officers to move forward on bringing supervised injection facilities into communities.
    As it stands right now, there is only one application before the government, and that is from Montreal. My community has tried to move forward with others and has been unable to get it on the table because of the onerous requirements.

  (1355)  

    The medical health officer from Vancouver, Patricia Daly, has said on the public record that Vancouver is struggling to try to move forward on this because of the onerous requirements on Bill C-2. We need to get rid of this bill. Let us get real about saving lives. This measure is an important one. I absolutely support it, but we cannot stop there. There is so much more that we can do. The fact is that we do have a crisis, a national crisis, on our hands with the opioid overdose situation.
    The desperation in my own community is such that there are pop-up tents. In fact, there is one pop-up tent that has emerged in our community. Volunteers have come forward to provide for some measure of safety for drug users. They say that they would not want to continue this operation because it is not a sanctioned site. There are no health practitioners at the site, but they are doing this. Why? Because they have seen their loved ones die. They actually provide naloxone to the tune of up to 24 cases where they have utilized that to save lives on the ground. Each day when the site is up and running, up to 100 people inject at that site.
    This should not be how we continue. It should not be the case. We need to bring forward science-based and proven strategies to address this. A safe site, Insite, is one of those measures. We need to ensure there is progress here, and take away measures that hamper progress in that regard. Bill C-2 is one of them.
    I once again thank the member for bringing this forward. I support the bill. I applaud his efforts. More work needs to be done, and I look forward to working with all members of the House and moving forward with this goal in mind: we need to bring in measures to save lives.

  (1400)  

    Madam Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House today at third reading and support Bill C-224, the good Samaritan drug overdose act.
    First and foremost, I want to thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for bringing this extremely important piece of legislation to the House. This is a piece of legislation that, if passed, would help to break down systematic barriers that deter people from calling 911 in the event of an overdose.
    Evidence indicates that individuals are too often afraid to call for medical help in the event of an overdose. This is due to a number of concerns, one of which is fear of arrest or criminal charges. Bill C-224 would help to address this issue by providing those who experience or witness an overdose, call 911, and stay at the scene with immunity from minor drug possession charges. In other words, Bill C-224 is a harm reduction measure.
    Our government is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Canadians. We recognize that problematic substance use can have devastating impacts on individuals, their families, and their communities. This is why our government is taking a balanced, comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based approach to addressing the serious issue of problematic substance use. It is an approach that aims to protect both public health and public safety.
    The term “harm reduction” often elicits strong reactions from people. I believe this is at least partly because it is misunderstood. I would like to take a moment to explain what it means to our government.
    In general, harm reduction refers to policies, programs, or initiatives that aim to reduce the negative health and social impacts associated with problematic substance use on individuals and communities, without requiring abstention as an immediate goal. Our government has demonstrated strong support for evidence-based harm reduction measures that have been proven to help prevent the harm associated with problematic substance use, including overdose death.
    However, I want to make it clear that this does not mean that harm reduction and abstention are mutually exclusive. In fact, while abstention is not the primary goal of harm reduction initiatives, harm reduction can act as a first step to meeting longer term goals such as reduced problematic use of drugs and full recovery. In other words, harm reduction measures can help pave a path to recovery by meeting people where they are in their lives right now.
    Another common myth is that a focus on harm reduction is inconsistent with the objectives of drug control. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is our government's view that harm reduction is part of a comprehensive policy continuum and can complement and reinforce prevention, treatment, and enforcement initiatives. It is part of a holistic approach to addressing drug-related crime and problematic substance use.
    Bill C-224 reflects these values. It melds public health and public safety interests and would provide an opportunity for law enforcement to build trusting relationships with individuals who use drugs, relationships that would help to reduce fears of calling 911 to save the life of someone experiencing an overdose.
     I do not want to sell Bill C-224 as a solution that would prevent all overdose deaths. It will not. We do no favours to Canadians suffering from addiction when we debate a drug policy in black and white terms. Problematic substance use is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive response. Just like any other drug policy, Bill C-224 must work in conjunction with other initiatives to address the full scope of issues associated with problematic substance use.
    That is why our government recently announced a new opioid action plan. The plan focuses on five key areas: better informing Canadians about the risks of opioids, supporting better prescribing practices, reducing easy access to unnecessary opioids, supporting better treatment options for patients, and improving the national evidence base upon which policy decisions are made.
    Two of the action items under the plan were an expedited review of naloxone nasal spray, a more user-friendly version of the overdose-reverse drug, as well as an interim order to buy bulk stocks of the drug from the United States during the review process. I am pleased to say that Health Canada has completed its review and has authorized naloxone nasal spray for non-prescription use.

  (1405)  

    With federal market authorization, the manufacturer is now able to take the necessary steps to bring this drug to the Canadian market. This is a key step in helping to reduce overdose deaths, as the two crucial actions that can be taken to help save a life during an overdose are calling 911 and administering naloxone.
     Also, next month the Minister of Health will be hosting a summit on opioids to bring together experts, patient groups, governments, and regulators to discuss the current crisis and identify actions for moving forward.
    In conclusion, Bill C-224 supports and complements our government's approach to drug policy and will help save lives. That is why we are supporting this extremely important piece of legislation.
    As a registered nurse, I am extremely concerned about the opioid crisis occurring across Canada. We know that addressing this issue will require a comprehensive and evidence-based public health approach. Bill C-224 would be a welcome addition to our government's efforts, and I hope colleagues from all across the House will continue to support it. As many members have already stated, every life matters, and we have a duty to do what we can to help prevent these tragic accidental deaths from taking place.
    This is an issue that requires a whole-of-government approach, and we are dedicated to working with our provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as experts across the country, to address this devastating crisis. As a country, we know we are facing an opioid crisis, and together, we will find a way to address this tragic situation.
    Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of Bill C-224, the good Samaritan drug overdose act. I thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for introducing this important piece of legislation.
    In my riding of Edmonton West, similar to many parts of the country, we have seen a growing crisis with fentanyl and opioid use. According to the CBC, there have been 338 deaths from fentanyl overdoses in Alberta alone this year. If we think about that, it is equivalent to every member sitting in the House of Commons being wiped out since January. The numbers continue to rise, with no indication of its slowing down. It has become so bad that even the Alberta Health Services' web page cannot keep track of the number of fentanyl deaths. In Edmonton alone, there have been 102 overdose deaths since January. Even more deadly is the opioid W18, which is now showing up in Edmonton. Ironically, it was created at the U of A, but it is now hitting the streets. Recently, we have had a drug bust with enough W18 to wipe out half of the population if it were taken individually. Drugs like fentanyl and W18 are taking their toll on our cities and communities. Perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of this crisis is that many untimely deaths could be prevented.
     Dr. Charmaine Enns, chair of the Health Officers Council of British Columbia, has said, “Every year, psychoactive substances...are linked to greater than 47,000 deaths and many thousands more injuries and disabilities.... Sadly much of this carnage is preventable.”
    I hope no Canadian is prevented from taking action when necessary because they fear the consequences of doing so. It is my hope that if anyone is ever in a situation in which they need to act to save someone's life, they can act without fear of repercussions, to spare a family the agony of losing a loved one, and to be able to act in the best interest of someone who needs help and in the best interests of their community. In a previous career, I experienced this first hand. I was a young hotel manager, and as I was living closest to the hotel, I would often get the first call when there was an emergency. I received a phone call from a frantic night auditor at four in the morning. I went the hotel and found four people suffering from overdoses. One had died. When the police arrived, once the people were revived, they said they had seen their friend writhing and dying but did not contact anyone for fear of being arrested. This is something that is still happening today. Therefore, I support this bill by our member.
    As elected officials and lawmakers, we are obligated to take action in areas in which there is a clear and present need. In the case of unreported overdoses, it is my belief that the good Samaritan drug overdose act would fill this legislative gap.
    Combatting drug-related crime requires a collaborative approach between municipal, provincial, and federal partners. Together, we must ensure that our levels of governments send a strong message to drug traffickers, while not penalizing users who are at their most vulnerable and in an overdosed state. While this bill will not change the rates of drug-related crime, something that our party has consistently taken a tough, clear stance on, it may help encourage people to take action and call emergency professionals in life-and-death situations, potentially saving the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadians from coast to coast.
    As the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam mentioned in committee, as I think has been noted more than once throughout the debate on this bill, there is often a barrier to accessing help in the time needed to prevent a potentially fatal situation due to fear of the consequences or legal ramifications for the person making the call. While these findings are indicative of a separate, albeit related, issue facing Canadians, namely access to banned substances, it is important that our efforts to remain tough on crime and drugs do not come at a human cost. We as lawmakers truly believe that life is worth protecting, and we need to ensure that the Canadians who need help get it.
     According to the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, “Fear of arrest weighs heavily on this life or death decision. People legitimately fear the police showing up, being criminally charged for drug possession, and for mothers, having their children taken away.” By removing the possibility of criminal charges against those who call emergency professionals, we are encouraging people to take life-saving action. This is especially true now, with deadly fentanyl and W18 on the streets, where ever moment's delay in receiving the miracle drug naloxone can literally lead to death.
    On the issue of W18, this drug is reported to be 100 to 1,000 times more deadly than fentanyl. Oddly enough, it is just now being regulated as a controlled drug under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, and until recently could be manufactured freely. Like others in the House, I would encourage the government to work faster on this and other W series drugs.

  (1410)  

    I would also urge the government to take steps similar to the Government of Alberta to restrict access to the pill presses used to make illegal drugs. By limiting the purchase of pill presses, table machines, and pharmaceutical mixers to only pharmacists and licensed professionals, we would take the necessary steps as Canadians to protect our communities.
    Now as to the bill, it is not, as some critics have said, condoning drug use. This would ensure that drug users and addicts, in some regard the victims of drug trafficking, are provided with support and assurance that their lives still have value, and that a person acting in the injured person's best interest would not be penalized for saving a life.
    I am pleased to support the bill and hope my colleagues in the House will support the bill as well.
    Madam Speaker, once again, I appreciate the multi-partisan support across the House for the bill. I look forward to the opportunity to pass this along to the other place.

[Translation]

    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes):All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Pursuant to Standing Order 98, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, November 2, 2016, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.
    The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until Monday next at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 2:15 p.m.)
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