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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 305

CONTENTS

Thursday, May 31, 2018




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 305 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 11 petitions.
    While I am on my feet, I move:
     That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.
     Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Speaker: Call in the members.

  (1040)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 687)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Beech
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Breton
Caesar-Chavannes
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chen
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hajdu
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Trudeau
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 150

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Diotte
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kent
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Laverdière
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Rempel
Richards
Saganash
Sansoucy
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 103

PAIRED

Members

LeBlanc
Plamondon

Total: -- 2

    I declare the motion carried.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1

Bill C-74—Time Allocation Motion 

    That in relation to Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and five hours shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and
that, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at report stage and at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the said stages of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places so the Chair will have some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in the question period.

  (1045)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in three days debate has been shut down in this House on five major bills. It is unbelievable—well, it is actually not unbelievable, because everything the Liberals said they would do while they were campaigning has been an absolute fabrication. Coming here self-righteously and saying, “We are not going to shut down debate” was just another big, phony act. It seems like everything the Liberals do is a big, phony act.
    I saw the height of it last night when the minister gave notice of this time allocation. He said there had been consultations with the opposition on Bill C-74. That is outright misleading of the House and misleading Canadians. There has not been one iota, not one syllable, of consultation. Nobody has asked anybody on this side about how much time was needed for Bill C-74.
    Not only are the Liberals breaking their word; now they are misleading the House on incredibly important issues. This is the carbon tax that is going to be implemented. We do not know how much it is going to cost because they will not tell Canadians, and now they are saying they have consulted with us on Bill C-74. That is not true. Why are the Liberals misleading this House?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected us to deliver an ambitious agenda, and Bill C-74 is an important step in our plan to help grow our economy by focusing on the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. The budget implementation act provides the legislative framework to implement key campaign commitments that were reiterated in budget 2018.
    Through this bill, we are taking the next step in our ambitious plan to grow our economy by focusing on the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. Over the last two years, Canada's economic growth has been fuelled by a stronger middle class. Canadians' hard work, combined with historic investments in people and in communities, helped to create more good jobs, almost 600,000 of them since November 2015, with more help for those who need it most, which has meant more money for people to save, invest, and spend in their communities.
    I am going to ask hon. members, both those posing questions and a minister who may be responding, to keep their interventions to no more than around one minute.
    Questions, the hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.
    Mr. Speaker, sadly, the minister obviously did not hear the question from the House leader of the official opposition. There has been absolutely no consultation on allocating time on Bill C-74. This is the fifth time that the Liberals are imposing closure in three days. This is unbelievable.
    I have been here for seven years, and we were used to time allocation because we had a lot under the previous government, but we have never seen a government limit debate to the point where it is doing the bare minimum. It is an insult to democracy.
    The Liberals promised they would do things differently, yet they are going ahead and shutting down debate. We are 338 MPs in this House and we are here to represent our constituents. How can the Liberals justify doing time allocation on an important bill like Bill C-74?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected us to deliver an ambitious agenda, and Bill C-74 is an important step in our plan to grow the economy by focusing on the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. This bill has been debated extensively in the House and in the committee. We have seen four days of second reading debate, during which more than 45 members have spoken. This includes 13 Conservative members, six NDP members, and one member from the Green Party. At committee stage, we saw 13 meetings, during which more than 106 witnesses spoke.
    We have made a commitment as a government to work collaboratively with all parties to ensure that Parliament works more efficiently. It is important for us to make every effort to reach a consensus about how much time is required by all parties to debate legislation in the House of Commons.

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, I just cannot believe the current government.
    The Liberals got elected by telling Canadians that they were going to do things differently, that they were going to be open and transparent, that they were going to be truthful with Canadians, and that they would keep their promises. We have seen nothing but broken promises and no transparency.
    The minister who is responding to questions on the budget for the finance minister does not even know how much her carbon tax would cost the average Canadian and how much reduction in greenhouse gas emissions we are going to get. When will the minister come clean, be open and transparent, and start keeping the promises of the government?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear. My department released information showing that carbon pricing works. It works by reducing emissions and by fostering innovation. The provinces that have a price on pollution right now are where 80% of Canadians live, and those provinces are not only tackling climate change but are also the fastest-growing economies in the country: Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario. We know that putting a price on pollution is important and that tackling climate change is important, and there is also a $23 trillion economic opportunity.
    Mr. Speaker, this debate is supposed to be about the government justifying the use of time allocation on Bill C-74. Instead we have a minister of the crown who is actually engaging in debate when we are supposed to be hearing the government justify time allocation.
    She said that this bill received debate at committee; we did not hear one single witness on division 20, on the deferred prosecution agreement, which is a departure from the way we handle the Criminal Code. I would like to hear a justification from the minister as to why she is making it difficult for her own members to be able to discuss the bill, because there were concerns at that committee about this bill. Why is she pushing this bill forward and denying the ability to speak to it not only to us but to her own members?
    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-74 is an important step in our plan to grow our economy by focusing on the middle class and helping those who are working hard to join it.
    This bill has been debated extensively in the House and at committee. As I said, there have been four days of second reading debate, during which more than 45 members spoke at committee stage. We have seen 13 meetings, during which more than 106 witnesses have spoken.
    We want to work collaboratively with all parties to ensure that Parliament works more efficiently. It is important to make every effort to reach a consensus about how much time is required by all parties to debate legislation in the House of Commons.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the minister when she said that Canadians voted for the Liberals. Actually, 39% of Canadians voted for the Liberals, and many of those Canadians voted for the Liberals because they made promises to do things differently, to treat Parliament with respect, and to make sure that every member here has their say. Instead we are here on the 40th occurrence of time allocation or closure as the government tries to make up for a slow parliamentary agenda. The government realizes that it is under a time crunch, so it is just going to ram things down Parliament's throat.
    I cry shame on the government and my Liberal colleagues for abusing the trust of Canadians and for misleading them, because this is not how to treat Parliament with respect. This absolutely goes against all the promises the Liberals made.
    Would the minister not agree that it is precisely this type of action that breeds cynicism in Canadian politics?
    Mr. Speaker, this bill has been debated extensively in the House and at committee. We remain committed to ensuring that members on all sides have sufficient and reasonable time to debate legislation in the House of Commons. Of course, we also recognize our responsibility to ensure that we deliver on our commitments to Canadians.
    Let us talk about this. Through this bill, we are taking the next step in our ambitious plan to grow our economy by focusing on the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. Since November 2015, we have worked with Canadians to create more good jobs, almost 600,000, which helps those who need it most. It also means more money for people to save, invest, and spend in their communities.

  (1055)  

    Mr. Speaker, it seems what we have witnessed from the opposition members is a will and desire to prevent any legislation from passing through the House. They want to continue to play games. We saw that yesterday when they attempted to adjourn the House because they were done working for the day. Yesterday they moved concurrence on a report, yet we have hundreds of reports. They will do anything to avoid debate.
    My question to my colleague is this. Would she not agree that there is a responsibility of the government to move legislation forward that is going to have such a positive impact on Canadians in all regions of our country?
    Mr. Speaker, it is extremely important that we deliver on this ambitious agenda, because we are delivering for Canadians. We are helping to grow the economy. We are helping to create jobs in communities. We are making sure we are supporting the middle class, as well as those who are working hard to join it.
    As I said, we wish we did not have to do this. However, we need to advance legislation. The opposition is deliberately delaying the government's agenda, and we have a duty to Canadians to ensure that all legislation is brought to a vote.
    We remain committed to ensuring that members on all sides have sufficient and reasonable time to debate legislation, but we have a responsibility to deliver on our commitments to Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I can honestly say that I think all members on this side believe that our Confederation is in chaos right now. Never before have we seen an government so heavy-handed. Liberals can draw all the comparisons to the previous government that they want, but I will remind everyone that this government said it was going to do things differently. It was going to allow members to speak. This budget implementation bill has a $7-billion slush fund in it. It also has a carbon tax, and Liberals are not telling us the price of that tax or how it is going to affect Canadians. Canadians deserve to know that price, and the opposition deserves to be able to ask and to honestly debate these questions.
    This Confederation is in chaos for multiple reasons. Why are Liberals doing this? Why are they thwarting the voices of Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that the member for York—Simcoe himself moved 100 closure motions.
    In terms of putting a price on pollution, once again it is really important to note that putting a price on pollution works as part of our overall climate plan. Let us talk about our climate plan. It is putting a price on pollution and also making historic investments in public transportation. We know we can do better by investing in cleaner transportation, which saves time and money for Canadians and also reduces pollution. We are making historic investments in clean technologies, which are critically important. This is a $23-trillion economic opportunity that we want to take advantage of.
    There are many other reasons we need to take climate action, and we would hope the party opposite would support us.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, we are seeing a prime example of Liberal arrogance. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change wants to push through a time allocation motion on her 550-page bill.
     She keeps referring to debates that took place at second reading and in committee, but the bill before us is an entirely new document. The bill changed and was reprinted as amended by the Standing Committee on Finance. That reset the clock.
     Yesterday, we got an hour and a half to debate this bill, from 10:30 p.m. to midnight. This morning, we were told that there are five hours remaining for debate at report stage on a 550-page bill. If we do the math, we find that parliamentarians will have had less than a minute par page to debate and make a decision at report stage. How unbelievably arrogant.
    Why is the minister so determined to ram through a bill that it is 550 pages long and amends 44 acts?
    How does she think parliamentarians can do their job under these conditions?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected us to carry out an ambitious agenda. The budget implementation act, 2018, No. 1, provides the legislative framework to fulfill some key campaign commitments, which were reiterated in the 2018 budget.
     Bill C-57 has been extensively debated in the House of Commons and in committee. We had four days of debate at second reading. More than 45 members spoke at that stage, including 13 Conservative Party members, six NDP members, and one Green Party member. There were 13 committee meetings, and no fewer than 106 witnesses testified.

  (1100)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is all too common to rise in this place as a member of a smaller party that does not have the status to get onto speaking rosters early, and so on, to protest the use of time allocation time and time again. What is unusual about this debate today is the absence of a minister to defend this action that carries the bill through the House.
    The Minister of Finance is not defending taking a budget bill to time allocation. Somehow the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and pipelines has drawn the short straw, and I wonder how on earth, with everything else on her plate, she thinks it is worthwhile to come here to tell members they do not have time to debate a budget bill.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise in this House. I am a member of cabinet, I am a member of this government, and I am very proud to defend what we are doing to grow the economy, to support the middle class, and to deliver on our agenda, and that is exactly what Bill C-74 would do.
    We have an ambitious agenda. It is to grow the economy and help the middle class and those working hard to join it, but let me be clear that it is also delivering over 600,000 jobs for Canadians and that hundreds of thousands of children are no longer living in poverty.
    This bill has been debated extensively in the House and at committee, and I know the member opposite has had a chance to speak at second reading debate. It is important that we figure out how to move forward, but it is also important to deliver the agenda that Canadians expect.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to ask a question.
    During the election campaign in 2015, the Liberals promised to be squeaky clean and as pure as the driven snow in terms of transparency.
    Here is the reality today. With respect to free votes, they promised to make it the norm in the House—false. They said they would not resort to legislative tricks to avoid parliamentary scrutiny—false. They said they would not interfere with the work of government watchdogs—false. They promised to bring transparency to the appointment of Supreme Court judges—again, false. They promised to give the Parliamentary Budget Officer greater autonomy—false.
    I would like to know why the Liberals are muzzling us in the House.
     Mr. Speaker, of course members have the opportunity to speak in the House of Commons. As I said, we have had four days of second reading debate, during which 45 members have spoken. We also had 13 committee meetings and heard from more than 106 witnesses.
    However, when we have an opposition that is deliberately delaying our agenda, we have a duty to Canadians to ensure that all legislation is brought to a vote. We will continue to try to work with members of all parties, but we also have a duty to all Canadians.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on the 40th occasion of the “sunny ways” government shutting down public debate on very important legislation, I have a quote to read to the environment minister. I am curious whether she can tell if it was a Conservative or a Liberal member of Parliament who said this:
     Canadians do not like it and they are waking up to the way the government is doing things. Who would have thought that Canadians would be familiar with procedures such as prorogation or time allocation during debates or the use of in camera in committees? Slowly but surely, Canadians are beginning to understand these procedures and beginning to question what the government meant when it promised, six and a half years ago, to be open, transparent and, most of all, accountable. I believe Canadians are beginning to feel that there is a contradiction between what has been promised and what is actually being done by the government.
    Was it a Liberal or a Conservative who said that? We are having a hard time telling the difference.

  (1105)  

    Mr. Speaker, what Canadians want to see is a government that delivers for them. Working with Canadians, we have created more than 600,000 jobs since November 2015, helping those who need assistance and helping to raise children out of poverty.
     We have also been clear that while we do not like using time allocation, it is a tool that is needed to advance legislation when the opposition is deliberating delaying the government's agenda. We have a duty to ensure that all legislation is brought to a vote. Canadians want to see action. They want to make sure that we are delivering on what we said we would do, which is to grow the middle class, to take serious action on climate, and to grow the economy, and that is exactly what we are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to outline that the government has consulted more with Canadians than any other government in our history, not just on budget measures but also on policy decisions. One thing that is for certain is that the Liberal government has been listening to Canadians. When we reflect on what is in the budget bill today, it is really the voice of Canadians speaking in this Parliament.
    What we are doing with maternity and parental benefits for people in this country, what we are doing with changes to the Canada pension plan to help more people in this country, and what we have been able to do to strengthen the Canada child benefit has made such a difference to so many children and families in this country.
    Could the minister tell us a little about how these initiatives are really reaching out to Canadians and responding to what Canadian families are asking for?
    Mr. Speaker, it is important to highlight what we are trying to do. With the Canada workers benefit, we are introducing a new, more generous, and accessible benefit that will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers than the working income tax benefit it replaces.
    We are strengthening the Canada child benefit. I have heard from so many people in my riding about the importance of that benefit and raising children out of poverty. We are indexing the Canada child benefit starting this July, so that it will continue to increase in value every year, helping children and their families.
    We have lowered the small business tax. This is really important. It will be lowered from 11% to 9% in 2019. This will leave more money for small business owners to reinvest and create jobs.
    Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed, not just because we are reaching the 40th time the government has used time allocation, but also in the minister who continues to rely on platitudes, such as “the middle class and those working hard to join it”, “the economy and the environment go together”, and “better is always possible”. Is better possible? This omnibus bill before Parliament that does not even have portions of other legislation it refers to approved by our legislature yet.
     I would refer the minister to part 3, excise taxes for cannabis. We know that legalization of marijuana is the one promise the Prime Minister really wants to keep this summer. These excise tax provisions in Bill C-74 are being rushed through before the cannabis legalization has even passed. The Senate is still looking at removing home use, and that sort of thing.
    How can the minister suggest to this House that this bill should be rushed through when its component parts are not even passed yet?
    Mr. Speaker, yes, better is possible under our government. Working with Canadians, we created more than 600,000 jobs. Those are jobs for Canadians in provinces and territories across the country.
    Canada now has the best balance sheet in the G7, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. Our debt is a function of our economy and it is shrinking steadily, and is projected to soon reach its lowest point in almost 40 years. We have the fastest growing economy in the G7. Therefore, better is always possible, and that is why we think this budget implementation act is so important.

  (1110)  

    Mr. Speaker, I think that with five time allocation motions over the last few days, it is becoming pretty clear that despite the election promises of the Liberals, they are essentially picking up where the Conservatives left off in how they manage House business. It is clearly a disappointment to Canadians who thought they were voting for something different.
    However, the thing about time allocation is that we will hear a lot of members get up and say they want a chance to speak, and members must have that chance to speak. That is true, but the really nefarious thing about time allocation, in my opinion, is that there are all sorts of groups in civil society that want to weigh in on these bills, whether it is on a carbon tax or on Canada's accession to the arms treaty.
    I was just talking to a colleague who told me that a petition was started on Friday, criticizing the government for Bill C-47's exclusion of Canadian arms exports to the U.S. for purposes of the Arms Trade Treaty. Today, that petition has over 30,000 signatures. Those are Canadians who want the time to make the case to the government to make those changes, and it is those Canadians in civil society who are also being robbed of the time to make a difference with respect to legislation.
    I am wondering why the minister thinks it is acceptable to prevent civil society from weighing in on these bills.
    Mr. Speaker, we take consultation very seriously. That is why we conduct so much consultation with Canadians, civil society, indigenous communities and national indigenous organizations, business, and all Canadians and communities from coast to coast to coast.
    In terms of Bill C-74, as I said, we have seen four days of second reading debate, during which more than 45 members have spoken. At committee stage we had 13 meetings during at which there were 106 witnesses.
    We have made a commitment as a government to work collaboratively with all parties. However, we also need to make sure that when the opposition is deliberately delaying the government's agenda, we fulfill our a duty to Canadians to bring legislation to a vote.
    Mr. Speaker, I will read the minister's mandate letter minister from the Prime Minister, which says that her work is to be “informed by performance measurement, evidence, and feedback”. It is to be informed by “collaboration”. She is instructed to secure “Improved partnerships with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments...to set a higher bar for openness and transparency...[to engage in] meaningful engagement with Opposition Members of Parliament”...[and] avoid escalating conflicts unnecessarily.”
    The reality is that the carbon tax was imposed and announced at the beginning of a meeting with provincial environment ministers before one iota of discussion had happened. The government used the threat of withholding health care dollars to impose a carbon tax on provinces.
    The minister cannot answer questions about the proportionate effect of emission reductions achieved by the carbon tax, which will disproportionately harm the working poor and low-income Canadians, and certain sectors in certain provinces, and undermine Canada's competitiveness. The Liberals know the costs of the carbon tax and that these will cascade through the Canadian economy, but they will not tell Canadians what it will cost them or what it will do to the whole economy.
    Now the Liberals are cutting off debate and ramming through this bill. The Information Commissioner has said that there has never been a government in Canadian history that is more difficult to get information out of.
    Is the minister not failing her mandate letter, just like the Prime Minister is failing Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we are actually fulfilling our mandate letter.
    We have had extensive consultations on our national climate plan; in fact, a whole year of consultations were held on the climate plan. We continue to consult. We continue to work with provinces and territories.
    Remember, it was because of inaction by the previous government to take any serious measures to tackle climate change that the provinces stepped up. Four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia, covering 80% of Canadians, brought in a price on pollution. It was through their leadership that serious action was taken in the face of the complete inaction on climate change by the previous government.
    We have consulted and will continue to consult. We will also continue to deliver on the agenda that Canadians expect. We understand that we need to take serious climate action. We also understand the need to get our resources to market, grow our economy, and create good jobs for Canadians.

  (1115)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will address a question that my colleague from the Green Party brought up. She asked why the Minister of Finance was not here to address this closure motion on the budget bill. However, I think it is very telling that the environment minister was put forward, because she has said quite publicly that she does not have any time for Canadians who do not share her narrow view of the world. Many of the Canadians she does not want to debate are actually sitting on this side of the House.
    Part of our job is to debate and to ask those tough questions. The government has a lot of time for the Prime Minister going on vacation in India and to private islands. Actually, it is an indictment of the government's performance. The Liberals have passed 40% fewer bills than our government did within the same time in office.
    On this side of the House, we are showing up and are ready to do our job. When are they on that side going to show up to do their jobs and work with us to get important bills passed for Canadians?
    I would remind hon. members, because I know this comes up from time to time, that they should not make reference to either the absence or presence of members in the chamber.
    Mr. Speaker, we show up every day to do what Canadians expect, which is to deliver on our agenda.
    Yes, it is unfortunate that we have to use time allocation. Why do we have to do it? It is because the opposition is deliberately delaying Bill C-74. They are delaying measures that would help Canadians. They are delaying the indexing of the Canada child benefit. They are delaying the new Canada workers benefit, which would give Canadians more money. They are delaying putting a price on carbon pollution and supporting clean growth. They are delaying maternity and parental leave for parliamentarians.
    We are here to get things done for Canadians, and we are going to continue to do that.

[Translation]

    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.
    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 Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
     The Deputy Speaker: Call in the members.

  (1155)  

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

(Division No. 688)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Baylis
Beech
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Breton
Caesar-Chavannes
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chen
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hajdu
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Khalid
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 148

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Cooper
Davies
Diotte
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fortin
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kent
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Saganash
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Zimmer

Total: -- 108

PAIRED

Members

LeBlanc
Plamondon

Total: -- 2

     I declare the motion carried.

[English]

Report Stage  

     The House resumed from May 30 consideration of Bill C-74, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    The Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women has eight and a half minutes remaining.
    Mr. Speaker, I started two minutes to midnight last night by stating that when it came to Canada's economy and environment, our government was very clear. We believe the two go hand in hand.
     Canadians understand that pollution is not free. They understand, as we do, that the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to put a price on carbon pollution.
    I ended the evening by taking a look at the results of our plan so far.
     Since the government was elected, more than 600,000 jobs have been created, most of them full-time. Canada's unemployment rate is at its lowest level in more than 40 years. Since 2016, Canada has led the G7 in economic growth. As well, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio, which is our debt relative to our economy, is not only on downward track, it is projected to be near its lowest level in nearly 40 years.
     From these results, it is obvious that investing in our communities, in our people has been very good for our economy.
    We have also taken steps to ensure a good business climate. We believe Canada is the best place in the world to invest and to do business, and we want to ensure it stays that way. We know low and competitive tax rates allow Canada's entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses and create even more good, well-paying jobs. That is why we cut the business tax rate to 10% this past January. It will fall even further next January, to 9%.
    By this time next year, the combined federal-provincial-territorial average income tax rate for small business will be 12.2%, the lowest in the G7 and the third lowest among members of the OECD. This will mean up to $7,500 in federal corporate tax savings per year to help Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators do what they do best, create jobs. That is good news for Canadian business and great news for the hard-working people who help these businesses succeed every day.
    Let me turn to supporting parents by strengthening the Canada child benefit. Since 2016, the government has also been providing additional support to Canadian families through the CCB. Compared to the old system of child benefits, the CCB gives low and middle-income parents more money each month, tax free, to help with the high cost of raising kids. The CCB is simpler, more generous, and better targeted to give more help to people who need it most.
    Since its introduction in 2016, the CCB has helped lift hundreds of thousands of Canadian children out of poverty. Thanks to the CCB, nine out of 10 Canadian families have extra help each month to pay for things like summer camps, new bikes, and back-to-school clothes. Families who receive the CCB will get, on average, about $6,800 this year. That is money they are spending in their communities, supporting local businesses, helping to create more good, well-paying jobs for Canadians.
    These investments and others our government is making in infrastructure, science and innovation, and skills and training are all designed to achieve one goal, which is to ensure the benefits of a growing economy are felt by more and more people, with good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and people working hard to join it.
    We want Canadians to feel confident about the future and better prepared for what lies ahead. Part of achieving this entails making investments and taking action to protect Canada's air, water, and natural areas for our children and grandchildren, while creating a world-leading clean economy.
    None of us need to be told that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. That is why the government worked with provincial, territorial, and indigenous partners to adopt the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change in December 2016. The plan provides provinces and territories with the flexibility to choose between systems: an explicit price-based system or a cap and trade system, which is prevalent in a number of our larger provinces.
    A price on carbon pollution is already in place in four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, covering over 80% of the Canadian population. By the way, these provinces are also leading Canada in job creation and growth. All other provinces have committed to adopting some form of carbon pollution pricing.

  (1200)  

    The direct revenue from the carbon charges on pollution under the federal system would go back to the province or territory of origin. We have emphasized that many times in this place. This is the best way to support strong economic growth and secure a clean environment today and for many generations to come. That is what Canadians sent us here to do, and we are very proud to do it.
    Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that during the campaign, we heard clear promises of no more omnibus bills, no more closure, yet it is happening all the time with the Liberal government.
    The budget implementation bill has over 540 pages, an omnibus bill. Over 200 pages of that bill deal with the carbon tax, yet there is not one word about two things: first, how much it will cost the average family; and second, how much greenhouse gas reduction there will be from this carbon tax. The member calls it carbon pricing, but we all know it is a tax.
    I would like my colleague to answer the question, which hae been asked multiple times in the House. How much will the carbon tax cost the average Canadian family and how much greenhouse gas reduction will result from the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I will say something that has been repeated in the House many times. Eighty per cent of our country has a price on carbon. I will use the example of British Columbia. A price on carbon was put in place over 10 years ago and Premier Campbell at the time said that it should be revenue neutral. The price on carbon was put in place and the people of British Columbia received a tax cut. It was revenue neutral.
    As the hon. member well knows, the provinces will have the choice in how those funds are distributed. All of the funds will go back to the provinces.

  (1205)  

    Mr. Speaker, the government, the Liberal Party, has been promising pay equity implementation since 2004. Given that the all-party committee asked that the government table pay equity legislation by June 2017, which is now a year late; given that last year the labour minister said that the consultation on pay equity was complete, which we thought was complete in 2004; and given that the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in last year's alternative federal budget asked that the government budget $10 million a year to implement pay equity for federally regulated industries and this year the Canadian Labour Congress said to at least fund the establishment of the pay equity commissioner's office, why on earth is there nothing in the budget implementation bill for this long promise, actually a 42-year-old promise, by the Liberals?
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith is a very active member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, on which I sit on behalf of the minister. I thank her for her advocacy and hard work.
    I think most of us in the House believe that pay equity is long overdue. It will be introduced this fall, proactive pay equity legislation, along with pay transparency.
     I want to remind the hon. member of all the other things, though, that we have done to advance equality in our country under the leadership of the Minister of Status of Women. The sustainability of the women's movement has been a major preoccupation of our minister. There are $100 million over five years for a gender-based violence strategy; $200 million over five years; support for women entrepreneurs and women in the trades.
    We are on the march, and we should be advancing gender equality in our country.
    Mr. Speaker, I am hearing about the importance of the provincial and territorial relationships with the federal government, whether it is on labour and pay equity or carbon pricing programs, and how important it is for the federal government to have a working relationship with the provinces and territories, something that the previous government did not have. Could the member please comment on that?
    Mr. Speaker, the former prime minister met twice with the premiers in 10 years. Our Prime Minister has met with them numerous times. His door is open. On something like the pan-Canadian framework or the Canada health accord, we have been getting things done because we collaborate with our provinces.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to Bill C-74, the Liberal government's budget implementation bill. When we consider the contents of the bill and the Liberal government's track record, it reveals a troubling path ahead for Canadians.
    We have before us a budget bill that spends borrowed money recklessly. The result of that is a growing debt and higher taxes. Borrowed money always has to be paid back and it is paid back at a premium.
    The Liberal government came into power touting modest deficits. The Prime Minister repeatedly promised Canadians that his government would borrow a modest $10 billion a year to grow the economy. He also promised Canadians that the budget would return to balance in 2019. That promise went out the window very quickly.
    The Prime Minister has added $60 billion to the national debt in just three short years. Canada's net debt has reached an all-time high of $670 billion. To put that into context, that breaks down to a debt of over $47,000 per Canadian family. What about the plan to return to balance? The budget is not predicted to return to balance until 2045, a far cry from 2019.
    The Liberals will wrongly try to take credit for the economic growth that Canada experienced in 2017. A growth rate of 3% in 2017 was largely a result of the oil and gas sector recovering and an unusually strong housing market. The responsible response to that growth should have been for the government to pay down the debt that it borrowed, so in the case of a fiscal downturn, we would be better positioned. However, now, despite all the Liberal spending, private sector forecasts show that Canada is heading for a slow down.
    We have legislation before us to help us spend more money and add more debt. Ultimately, it is legislation that would make life more unaffordable for Canadians.
    Canadians are already paying higher taxes under the Liberals. It seems that the Liberal government is always finding new ways to dip into the pockets of Canadians. For one, this budget bill would create a costly new carbon tax, which the Liberals are forcing on all provinces that do not have their own. Despite promises of a new era of co-operative federalism, the Liberal government is ramming ahead with its massive carbon tax grab.
    My province of Saskatchewan has rejected the Liberal government's carbon tax, and rightly so. The carbon tax will come at a significant cost to the people of Saskatchewan, and the Liberal government is ignoring the basic economic reality that its carbon tax unfairly punishes farmers and rural communities.
    My province of Saskatchewan has developed its own climate change strategy, a made-in-Saskatchewan plan that tackles climate change without imposing the unfair carbon tax on Saskatchewan families. However, the Liberal government refused to accept it. The Liberals are forcing it on Saskatchewan against its will.
    Well then, what does this carbon tax achieve? We cannot tax our way to a cleaner environment and the carbon tax will not lead to a major emission reduction in Canada.
    We can look to British Columbia as an example. British Columbia was the first province to implement a carbon tax. It also has the highest carbon tax in the country. Despite this, carbon emissions have continued to rise there. The real impact of its carbon tax is that British Columbians are now paying more for gas than anyone else in the North American continent.
    I will reiterate that point, because it is an important point that needs to sink in. The carbon tax in British Columbia is not reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it is making life less affordable for British Columbians, yet the Liberals continue to strong-arm the province of Saskatchewan.
    One would think that given their passion for a carbon tax, the Liberals would be forthcoming with information about its impact. It is fair for Canadians to want to know just how much the federal price on carbon will cost them, but again and again the Liberal government refuses to release those details.

  (1210)  

    Finance officials have said that the Liberal carbon tax will cost an extra 11¢ per litre of gas and $264 in extra costs for natural gas home heating annually. That alone is already a significant cost. However, there are additional costs and impacts of a $50 per tonne carbon tax.
     Repeated requests for information have been issued from this side of the House. We have asked the government over and over again to provide details on the cost of its carbon tax and the results it expects to achieve. However, any response received has been blacked out. What does the Liberal government have to hide? What is it covering up? If the government cannot answer a basic question on what its carbon tax will cost and achieve, it is absurd for it to force it on the province of Saskatchewan.
    The Liberals are not only raising taxes on individual Canadians, they are making it more expensive to do business in Canada. Businesses are also being hit with increased costs due to the carbon tax. This is in addition to the increased CPP and EI premiums, higher income taxes for entrepreneurs, and punitive changes to the small business tax rate. While we consider these higher costs, we cannot forget that the United States is lowering its corporate tax rate. Business investment in Canada has dropped since 2015. Meanwhile, business investment in the United States has increased.
    The natural resource sector has been particularly hit hard. The energy sector and the jobs it creates are very important to my riding of Battlefords—Lloydminster. The fact that over $80 billion of investment in the energy sector has been lost in the last two years is very troubling for my constituents. They certainly are not comforted by the Prime Minister's repeated confession that he wants to phase out the oil sands.
     The loss of business investment in Canada is a troubling trend, and the Liberals have offered nothing to Canadian businesses in this budget implementation act. The higher cost of doing business will hurt the bottom line for businesses. When it drives away business, results in job loss, and injects less money into our economy, everyone pays, and we all lose.
    Bill C-74 offers Canadians a plan we cannot afford and does not move us ahead. Spending money we do not have on things we do not need is reckless and irresponsible. I would not run my personal household in that manner, and I would not teach my children to manage their finances in that way. Most of all, I cannot imagine that the members opposite would manage their personal finances that way and teach their children that as well. It begs the question: why is it that when the stakes are even higher, when the fiscal security of the country hangs in the balance, the Liberals would choose this route?

  (1215)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague pointed out that the carbon tax will obviously be assigned to farmers as well. I have a farmer in my riding who estimates that the carbon tax alone will add $6,000 to his fuel bill. That is just for the fuel on his farm and does not take into account getting his milk to the processors, getting feed to the farm, and the extra cost of fertilizer. It is obvious that these extra costs, $6,000-plus or as high as $10,000, will simply be added to the bill for the average Canadian family for groceries and other consumable products.
    Trevor Tombe, at the University of Calgary, estimates that the carbon tax will add up to $1,100 per family. We know that the Liberal government knows how much that is but refuses to tell us, because it is afraid that people will wake up to the fact that this is not a good thing for them.
    I wonder if my colleague would comment on how this carbon tax to the farmers, which will be passed on to consumers, will help the middle class, which the government has continually said it is trying hard to help.
    Mr. Speaker, in Battlefords—Lloydminster, we have a rural farming community. We are spread over about 100,000 square kilometres. All the farmers I talk to acknowledge that they are going to have to pay the carbon tax on getting fertilizer delivered. They are going to have to pay the carbon tax on fuel to get groceries from the store, let alone the tax on the groceries already, because trucks have to drive them there. They are noticing that they are going to have to pay for their seed and their feed and everything. Every time they have to move, they are going to be paying more with the carbon tax. I spoke to one farmer who said that he is estimating that if this is enforced in Saskatchewan, he is going to be adding an extra $25,000 to his farming costs, on top of the expenses he has already put in, which is unfortunate. That is on top of the rail mess we had, where farmers were not able to sell and move their grain so they could put cash into their next expenses.

  (1220)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member opposite will agree that her constituents must be very happy with the new trade agreements the government has implemented over the last several years, allowing many farmers to get products to market for export from Canada that they could not before.
    The member talks about the carbon tax. The federal government will set the overarching policy. It is up to her Province of Saskatchewan to implement that policy and tax it in a way that is fair, whether it chooses cap and trade or other carbon-tax measures. That is where the member should be having that discussion right now.
    If we look at the stats in the member's riding on the number of jobs that have been created there since we took office and how families, and children in particular, in her riding have benefited as a result of the Canada child benefit, does the member not see the benefit of dollars going into the pockets of those families in her riding?
    Mr. Speaker, my riding is unique. The city I live in straddles the border, so we are actually bi-provincial. We have a lot of interesting dynamics where I am.
    The thing to note is that Saskatchewan had a plan, and the current government refused to let Saskatchewan prove to Canada and the federal government that its plan worked. Saskatchewan sees that taxing Canadians is not helping. It is more money going into the coffers. Saskatchewan sees that it does not work. It is unfortunate that again and again the government is strong-arming my province and my premier. The majority of people in Saskatchewan do not want a carbon tax. We found a way to not have one, and the Liberals are forcing us to have one.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in this House to speak to the budget implementation bill, 2018, Bill C-74. I do so with great pride, as this budget would have a tremendously positive impact on the lives of the constituents I represent in Saint-Boniface—Saint-Vital and all Canadians across this great nation.
    I have risen in this House previously and repeated the words I frequently heard at the door leading to the election, sentiments that are repeated today when I meet with constituents. Several weeks ago, we were in the constituency. I knocked on hundreds of doors. I had good conversations with constituents, and I spoke to hundreds of people about the benefits in budget 2018.

[Translation]

    Canadians elected our government to improve the quality of life of the middle class and those working hard to join it.
    This budget builds on the work undertaken by our government in the previous two budgets in order to make life easier for Canadians, to ensure that Canadians who need it have more money in their pockets, and to continue investing in communities to ensure a high standard of living.

[English]

    Many conversations I have had with constituents were about the benefits of the Canada child benefit. It has had a very positive impact on their lives and has lessened their financial burdens. Nine out of 10 Canadian families receive the CCB, and they receive, on average, $6,800 per year. This money directly improves the quality of life of Canadians, whether by ensuring that families can afford nutritious food or by helping them pay for extracurricular activities, such as music lessons or hockey programs.
    This program will be indexed as of July, which means that the program will continue to grow and increase in value each and every year. I know that in my own constituency of Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, the CCB goes to over 8,800 families, directly benefiting 15,150 children. If we add the total benefits for those 15,150 children, we are looking at $4,938,000 in benefits going to the children of Saint Boniface—Saint Vital.
    Unlike the previous program, the Canada child benefit is tax-free. That almost $5 million that is going to the children of Saint Boniface—Saint Vital is not taxed back at the end of the year. It stays with those families.
    Budget 2018 would also introduce the new Canada workers benefit, which would give more money directly to low-income workers than the previous program did. The Canada workers benefit would increase the maximum benefit and the income level at which the benefit is phased out. This would allow low-income workers to keep more of their paycheques and would lift approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty. In Manitoba alone, 86,000 workers would be eligible for the new program, an increase of 13,000.

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    I was also very pleased to be present for the announcement of the official languages action plan for which over $400 million was allocated in budget 2018. As a representative of an official language minority community and a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages for the past two years, I know that these funds are essential for communities across the country. The action plan will provide support for local official languages media, help increase francophone immigration, and support early childhood education in official language minority communities.
    All of these issues were carefully examined in committee, and I want to thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage for the careful consideration she gave them and for making sure that they are a priority for our government in this budget.

[English]

    Budget 2018 will also see an increase in federal transfer payments to Manitoba, up $290 million from last year to $4 billion in 2018-19. This transfer includes $1.4 billion from the Canada health transfer, which is an increase of $56.5 million, and $518 million from the Canada social transfer.
    I hear daily from constituents that their number one priority is health care. With this increase in transfer payments, it is clear that the health and well-being of Manitobans is a priority for this federal government. We are doing our part. We are providing provinces with the resources to provide efficient and reliable health care to all Canadians. In my province, while the Province of Manitoba continues to play partisan political games with the health of Manitobans, this federal government will continue to meet its obligations under the Canada health accord.
    To change topics, the western economic diversification and the innovation and skills plans are files that are extremely important because of the direct impact they have not only on Manitoba but on all prairie provinces. Budget 2018 will see an increase of $148 million for western diversification over five years. This will allow us to continue to grow the individual economies of the western provinces and invest in our communities. Out of this new commitment, $35 million will be allocated to the new women entrepreneurship strategy. This new strategy is part of the government's commitment to increasing the opportunities for women in the workforce. It will be coordinated nationally but tailored regionally to the west.
    It would be remiss of me if I did not speak of the historic investments that this budget makes to the Métis Nation. David Chartrand, vice-president of the Métis National Council, said “After 148 years of waiting to enter the federation, this budget finally brings us home.” I agree wholeheartedly with his sentiment, and I am proud to be in a government that is committed to renewing the relationship with the Métis Nation.
    Budget 2018 invests over $500 million over 10 years for various programming, including support for the Métis Nation housing strategy, post-secondary education, and the creation of a health strategy. This level and distinctions-based funding for the Métis Nation is historic. Never has a federal budget provided direct funding on such a large scale to the Métis Nation.
    The emphasis on distinctions-based funding that was outlined in the government's principles respecting the Government of Canada's relationship with indigenous people is vital to this process of reconciliation. Reading directly from the principle, it says that “...a distinctions-based approach is needed to ensure that the unique rights, interests and circumstances of the First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit are acknowledged, affirmed, and implemented.” This budget reflects this priority and re-emphasizes our government's commitment to reconciliation and to building a relationship with all indigenous people.
    The specific words used in the budget commitment to the Métis Nation should also be highlighted. The new funding is given to support the Métis Nation and to drive Métis-led initiatives. They support the Métis Nation's vision of self-determination. For too long, Ottawa has dictated to indigenous communities what the solution should be. To achieve reconciliation, we must move away from that model. There are problems in the communities, but the solutions to these problems must come from within the communities themselves.

  (1230)  

[Translation]

    For example, this budget provides for $6 million over five years to help the Métis Nation collect health data and develop a health strategy. The Government of Canada will support the Métis Nation, but the strategy will be developed by the nation itself since it has the knowledge and expertise needed to solve its own problems.

[English]

    Finally, it is important to note that the commitments in the budget reflect the commitments made in the Canada-Métis Nation Accord and reflect the priorities of the Métis Nation.
    It would be impossible to outline in 10 minutes the full extent of the benefits that this budget provides for Canadians. However, since the tabling of the budget, I have been out and about in Saint Boniface—Saint Vital talking to constituents about our commitments, and I look forward to returning to Saint Boniface—Saint Vital to continue those conversations.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by quoting Mark Hancock, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, on budget 2018:
    Canadian women have waited long enough for pay equity. If the prime minister is serious about this commitment, we hope he’ll be encouraging the remaining provinces to follow suit with their own legislation so that women working in all sectors of the economy don’t have to wait any longer.
    There is nothing in the budget for pay equity. I am talking about pay equity, not the other programs. In Quebec, we have legislation on that. There is nothing about pay equity in Bill C-74, the budget implementation bill, either. The Liberals claim to want to improve life for the middle class.
    Does my colleague think that the Liberals take women seriously?
    Does this mean that the Liberals think that women are not part of the middle class or should not be part of it?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question.
    As the hon. member for Winnipeg South said earlier this morning, a strategic plan on pay equity will be presented in the fall. The well-being of women is certainly a priority for this government. Just look at the composition of cabinet.
    Moreover, the budget for the western diversification program includes $35 million for a women's entrepreneurship strategy. It is very important to our government.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am thankful to the hon. member for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital for his intervention today. I am delighted to hear him speak not only about the importance of the Métis Nation—the home of Louis Riel—but also about the spirit of the Métis across the Prairies and how important that is for Prairie culture.
    The railroad is another part of Prairie culture, and yesterday we had an announcement about the port of Churchill. With a tentative agreement coming forward to get the rails moving back up to the northern port of Churchill, I wonder if the hon. member could comment on the significance of that for the province of Manitoba.

  (1235)  

    Mr. Speaker, as was announced yesterday, there is an agreement in principle to repair the railroad and connect it again to the port of Churchill. That is very important.
    There are many significant factors in this initiative.
    First of all, it is important to get goods and services to the residents of Churchill. They have suffered for too long. It has been a priority for our government, and I am very happy that people are going to get the services that they need. However, what is also important is the partnership with the leadership of over 30, I believe, first nations that are along that route.
    This took longer than we wanted, frankly. We wanted the problem to go away immediately, but a solution required developing a relationship and growing that relationship to the point where we can have a fair partnership that includes first nations in the area. First nations will be a part of that solution.
    Mr. Speaker, in successive budgets since the Liberal government came to power, there have been a number of opportunities for them to tackle some key issues. One of them was more promises about stock option loopholes, but another is the issue of corporate tax rates. Corporations depend on our tax dollars for infrastructure so that they can move their product. They depend on our tax dollars to establish clear administration of the legal system, as they exist under the rule of law. Corporations benefit from the expenditure of tax dollars to ensure that they have a good and proper business environment in Canada.
    I am wondering if the hon. member can explain to the people of Canada why the government did not take this opportunity to make sure that corporations are paying their fair share so that the burden is not falling on the rest of Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member remembers that our very first priority when we were elected was to cut taxes for the middle class and raise them on the highest 1%. That was the priority of our government, and it was the very first bill we did. It is something that benefits many tens of thousands of Canadians across our great country.
    All we have to do is look at the results in the economy. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. Our country has created over 640,000 jobs since we became government. The economy is very strong.
    Mr. Speaker, I am really glad to be able to take part in the debate on Bill C-74, because I am getting an opportunity that unfortunately many of my colleagues will not get, because as all my colleagues know, we are now debating a bill under time allocation yet again.
    Notice was given last night in the late hours of the night, when a few of us were still here maintaining our presence until midnight. Then, of course, the government moved the motion on time allocation earlier today. This is, I think, the 40th time the government has done this, in spite of its election promises to work with parliamentarians and to show more respect for this place. Promising something and then doing the complete opposite is the kind of action that breeds a lot of cynicism for politics. I would dare say that a lot of people who voted for the Liberals in the last election were expecting a lot better than they are currently getting. However, we will revisit that issue in 2019. I will be very happy to talk to my constituents about it.
    Bill C-74 is the government's budget implementation bill for 2018. It clocks in at a hefty 556 pages. I do not have a copy of the bill before me, but members can be assured that it also serves well as a giant doorstop. It amends 44 separate acts. One of them includes a measure to establish a new greenhouse gas pricing act. We in the NDP believe that because of how big the bill is and how much debate there is over carbon pricing right now, that particular aspect of the bill could have existed as a standalone bill to give it the comprehensive debate it deserves.
    There is a problem with introducing bills of this size and trying to ram them through the legislative process in a quick manner. The reason is that one can sometimes lose the fine little details. For example, it was discovered a couple of weeks ago that there is a measure buried in Bill C-74 under part 6, division 20, that appears to allow prosecutors to suspend criminal charges against companies in certain cases of corporate wrongdoing. We might legitimately ask in the House why a criminal justice matter is appearing in a budget bill.
     I asked that question. I had the honour of serving as the NDP's justice critic last year, and I would expect such a measure to be in a criminal justice bill and to be studied at the appropriate committee, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
    Members need not take my word for it. We have quotes from the Liberal MP for Hull—Aylmer, who was a member of the finance committee. He said that the government seems to be “letting those with means have an easier time of it than those who don't have the means.”
    The Liberal MP for Malpeque, who is the finance committee chair, also said that “...there is a huge question of whether this should be in a budget bill.”
    Two Liberal MPs having discovered this and raised legitimate questions, but what did the Liberal-dominated finance committee do? It left that provision in and sent the bill right to the House, and here is where it is at.
    That is one of the big problems with omnibus bills when they start throwing in all these different acts. Someone who thinks they are pretty clever in the PMO says,“We can just slip this in and I don't think it will get noticed.” They got caught this time. I do not know the merits of this particular part, but it deserved to go to the justice committee so that the justice committee, in its expertise, could call for the appropriate witnesses to deliberate as to whether this is really a good provision. It is not a measure that the finance committee is equipped to deal with, not when we are dealing with a 556-page bill.
    I want to turn in the next part of my speech to the greenhouse gas pollution pricing. We believe this measure should have been put into a separate bill. I am among the people who believe we do need to have a price on carbon, since the evidence of climate change is there for all to see and we need to take some leadership. However, there is still a big debate going on in the country.

  (1240)  

    I believe it would have been to the government's advantage to split this off into a separate bill and to study it on its own merits. That way we could have called forth witnesses with expertise in this area who could have offered the appropriate testimony as to why carbon pricing schemes work and to deal with my Conservative colleagues' concerns about carbon pricing. They could have maybe offered some suggestions on how the government could mitigate the costs to low-income families and the costs to industries that are very fossil fuel reliant.
    Speaking as the NDP's critic for agriculture, one of those sectors is agriculture. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Society have a problem with one aspect of Bill C-74 under part 5. They would like to see the definitions in the bill relating to farming encompass all primary agricultural activities and ensure that qualifying farming fuel would include natural gas and propane, which are increasingly common in the agricultural sector. They believe that after their consultations and research, the definitions in that part of the bill are incomplete and do not capture all of the primary agricultural activity. Agriculture is one of those sectors where farmers have to drive their tractors. They have to use natural gas to heat their greenhouses and it is a sector that, under current models, is very reliant on fossil fuels. We know there is a lot of innovation, research, and effort being made to transition off that, but the case as it stands now is that it is still heavily reliant on those fuels.
    Given that so many farmers live so close to the margins and that the government has an ambitious agenda of reaching $75 billion worth of exports by 2025, I believe this is part of the bill that could have been studied as a stand-alone bill. I know as the agriculture critic that I would loved to have given some notice on behalf of my party and interested stakeholders.
    I also want to talk about a few of the missed opportunities. I covered this in an exchange earlier today about the fact that there are no real measures in the bill to deal with tax evasion and avoidance. This is an issue that we have seen time and time again in Canada, where the wealthy and well connected are able to use tools at their disposal that ordinary Canadians just do not have, and are not paying their fair share. The Liberals failed to live up to a promise to get rid of tax loopholes associated with the stock options of rich CEOs.
    Again, we see a failure to effectively deal with the corporate tax rate. As I mentioned before, corporations benefit from tax dollars being spent here. Our tax dollars build infrastructure like bridges, like roadways, and the railways that help corporations move their products. Our tax dollars pay for the administration of a legal system that ensures that corporations live under the rule of law and that if they ever have a conflict with a customer or a regulatory agency, the rule of law is there for them.
    Our tax dollars also pay for social services that many workers require because they are not being paid a living wage. That is another issue that needs to be addressed. I know many of my colleagues in the House have constituents who are working full-time jobs, but still struggling to get by. They are having to make those hard choices between paying the rent and putting good quality food on the table.
    I will end by talking about the government's recent purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline for $4.5 billion. That was certainly not a part of its election platform and was not mentioned in the 2018 budget, so the government is going to have to explain to the House and to Canadians where that money is coming from. Are the Liberals going to raise it from the Canada pension plan? Are they going to raise it from tax dollars? We would like to see where that money is coming from.
    When we look at gaping holes in our infrastructure, especially rural broadband, the situation with drinking water quality on first nation reserves, the fact that the government can pony up $4.5 billion for a piece of infrastructure that belongs in the twentieth century, but ignore all of these other problems that are so prevalent in the rest of the country really goes to the heart of where the Liberal government's priorities are.
    In conclusion, I appreciate this opportunity to speak to Bill C-74.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened very closely as the member commented on tax policies.
    The member did not make reference to the hundreds of millions of additional dollars the government has included in two budgets to go after tax evaders. The member did not make mention of the tax that was put on Canada's wealthiest 1%. I will remind the member opposite that he voted against that tax on Canada's wealthiest 1%. The member did not make mention of the tax cut given to the middle class. The member did not mention the hundreds of millions of dollars going through the Canada child benefit, and what about the GIS? Again, it is hundreds of millions of dollars. Those programs have lifted thousands of seniors and children out of poverty.
    The NDP consistently vote against these types of measures. Does the member have any regrets about not supporting some of those tax cuts for our middle class, or some of the programs that have lifted thousands of children and seniors out of poverty?
    Mr. Speaker, I did not mention those because that debate is now two years old. I can revisit if, if the member for Winnipeg North wants me to.
    Speaking of seniors, the government is still failing to live up to its promise to establish a seniors price index. That was a clear promise that the government has broken.
    With respect to the tax cuts for the middle class, the government keeps talking about them but has failed to define who the middle class is. This was not a middle-class tax cut; this was a middle tax bracket cut. It started with people earning $45,000 and went up to people who earn $90,000. Every Liberal member of Parliament gave themselves the maximum tax cut. With the median income in Canada being under $45,000, people in my constituency got zero.

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear more of the views of my colleague, the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.
    Is the member hearing in his riding, as I am in mine, people's absolute astonishment at the Liberal government when it, for example, said to veterans that they were asking for more than it can give? What confidence should we have in a Liberal government that somehow found $4.5 billion to buy the discredited 65-year-old Kinder Morgan pipeline, which was valued in 2007 at just $550 million? Does the government really believe the pipeline has increased in value so much in the 10 years since Kinder Morgan bought that asset? What does that say about the government's priorities?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, my fantastic neighbour to the north, for that question. I am sure she will join me in recognizing the amazing work of the member for Courtenay—Alberni, who serves as our new veterans affairs critic.
    We have spent many years working with veterans in our communities. When we hear talk about our veterans asking for too much, we think it is very shameful. I am sure the Prime Minister regrets making those comments.
    The fact is that I believe we have a social, moral, and economic covenant with people who wear the uniform. When we ask them to serve on our behalf, we owe it to them to be with them every step of the way when they retire, when they need help, whether it is due mental or physical pain or trauma. That should be part of the full costing of any kind of military engagement. There should be continuous care from the moment people sign up until the moment they leave and the moment they are in old age. We have look after our veterans. It is the least we can do after asking them to do so much for us.
    Mr. Speaker, for many reasons, I am pleased to rise today to speak to the budget implementation bill. The first is that I really believe this budget is responding to Canadians across the country. We came in as a government with a commitment to consult with Canadians. That is what we have been doing and what we will continue to do. Throughout the consultations, all of us travelled through many communities, towns, provinces, and territories right across the country. We sat at tables in many community centres and listened to what people had to say, because we want to get this right. We want to make sure we are doing the right thing for Canadians.
    When we came into office, we made a commitment to the middle class that we would do what is right and bring a better balance to middle-class Canadians, those who work hard and try to support their families, but who always feel they are at an unfair disadvantage. We have been very focused on that in every single decision and measure we have taken as a government.
    We also made a commitment to indigenous people that we would right the wrongs of history by entering into a new relationship with them, a relationship based on reconciliation, respect, and that responds to needs and solutions, as we prepare them together. I know a lot of people have been impatient in and outside the chamber as the Government of Canada has taken on the unique and necessary mandate of moving forward in this country, but it is a commitment that we are acting on, and it is making a difference.
    We also made a commitment to children in this country that we would do what we have to in order to raise them up out of poverty. That is why we implemented programs like the new child tax benefit, which will help thousands of children in this country get out of poverty.
    We also made a commitment to workers in this country that we would continue to grow the economy. When we came into office, Alberta's economy was stagnant and declining. No pipelines were being built and no deals were even being made. We were not seeing economic growth in regions of Canada. In fact, if we go back just a few years, many of my colleagues will remember that we were in a very tough situation in this country in terms of employment, but the Government of Canada did not falter. It stepped up and worked with industry to create jobs and a sustainable future for Canadians.
    We diversified not only our populations but our industries. We welcomed many new companies to Canada to establish their bases of operation, companies like Amazon, who today employs hundreds of people across Canada, with the intention of employing hundreds more. We have signed trade deals and we are in the process of renegotiating the NAFTA deal, but in all of the deals, there were benefits for Canadians, for farmers, fishers, those in the auto sector, those creating jobs and trying to get goods to market.
    I would never stand here and say that everything is perfect and that all of the problems have been fixed, as very well know that is not true, but I would say this. It is easy to be critical and hard to be positive, but once people make a good case on issues, it is much more effective than dwelling on all of the things they feel are not right. I will provide an example.
    I represent a riding in eastern Canada, the riding of Labrador. It is nearly 300,000 square kilometres and much of it is isolated. I fly in and out of a lot of communities in my riding to visit my constituents. When I ran for election some years ago on the southern coast of Labrador, there was no highway connection. Every community was isolated. Today, it not only has highways, but they are being paved. In the last two years, we have invested more than $60 million just to bring those highways to standard, to allow people access to that rural region of Canada, something that nobody ever did before. No governments before were interested in investing in that type of infrastructure.

  (1255)  

    Today in this country, we have the largest infrastructure program we have ever seen, and what is that program doing? It is helping all Canadians. It is not just investing in larger towns and cities, but all over the country, in indigenous, rural, northern, and urban communities. That is the way it should be, not the minority always being left behind, which is how I have felt for a very long time in the region I serve today.
    Today, I look at the budget we are implementing in this country, and I look at how far my riding has progressed in just a few short years. It is absolutely astonishing. In my riding, we are doing more in the fishery today, in terms of job creation and new technology and advancement, than we have ever done before.
    I hear people talk about the sharing of quotas and being upset because indigenous people are now being included in fishery allocations. I will be the first one to stand in the House of Commons and say that there need to be more indigenous Canadians involved in fishery allocations, because in many cases those fisheries are on the doorsteps of indigenous people. However, in many cases, a lot of these quotas went to other companies for 30 or 40 years, putting revenues in the pockets of single-based owners and not necessarily seeing benefits come to regions, communities, or populations of people. Is it a bad thing that people want to redistribute wealth in this country? I do not think so, as long as it is fair, balanced, and done in a reasonable way.
    I want to speak a bit today about people in the employment sectors. I represent the region that is the largest exporter of iron ore in Canada: Labrador City and Wabush. We went through some really tough times in these communities. We saw a mine close down and hundreds of people who had given their life's work to this company lose up to 25% of their pension benefits, and there was no mechanism under law in this country to protect those benefits for workers.
    The Minister of Finance stood in the House and said that, with this budget, we are going to make amendments to the Pension Act and ensure that there is protection of benefits for workers. That is what needs to be done. That is the right thing to do. Who would want to vote against that? After what we have seen happen in this country with Sears workers, steel workers, and other workers, why would one not want to step up and look at ways to protect the pension benefits of workers? That is what is in this budget implementation plan.
    In addition to addressing the issues for children, indigenous people, and working people, the budget also makes significant investments in health care, housing, and social programs. We cannot overlook that fact. In Newfoundland and Labrador, we increased the transfers for health care this year. We added $112 million in extra investments for mental health services. I was really proud to be with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the area mental health and addiction services are run out of, and hear that we are going to see mental health beds opening in the hospital and new psychiatrists added in Labrador.
    These are things that are valuable to citizens in our country. These are things people in my riding and across Canada have asked for, and we are delivering on them. As long as I am a member here, I will keep listening to what my constituents are saying and keep pushing in the right direction to ensure that, as citizens of this country, they get what is fair and balanced, and are not left behind because they happen to be removed from Ottawa or an urban centre. Just because someone is northern, rural, or indigenous, that does not mean he or she should not get the same benefits in this country.

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, before the parliamentary secretary pats herself on the back too much over the lack of investment in the energy sector, I want to remind her that the $4.5-billion commitment by the finance minister was not a commitment to build a pipeline; the money is merely going to shareholders down south, who can now do what they want with it in the United States. Before she congratulates herself too much on that, I wanted to point that out.
    She mentioned that there were certain things she found that were not necessarily perfect. I am curious to know what exactly she meant by that statement. Perhaps there were certain things she found that she did not agree with. I will list a few, and she can choose which one she likes: the clam scam, the India trip, the Bahamas trip, the cancelling of energy east, the finance minister's tax changes, the electoral reform, the jobs leaving to the U.S., the illegal border crossings, or the infrastructure minister's $800,000 office in Edmonton. Which one of those does she find was not that perfect?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is talking about the acquisition of the Trans Mountain pipeline. I will say this to him. The Government of Canada stepped up when workers in Alberta and people in all of Canada needed it to step up, to ensure that we get a pipeline to tidewater, build up the oil industry in this country, and create an industry that will be sustainable going forward. That was something the government opposite could not, would not, and did not do.
    If the Government of Canada was not going to stand up to support economic development and investment in this country to ensure the sustainability of workers in Canada, in my opinion it would not be doing service to the people of this country. However, we did not falter on our responsibility. We know this is in the best interests of Canadians. We know it is the right thing to do. We also know that we are balancing the economy and the environment, something the Conservatives know very little about, but we are doing it, while ensuring that we have the best interests of both the environment and working Canadians at heart in making that happen.

  (1305)  

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, my colleague spoke about fair and equitable treatment. I would also like to talk about fair and equitable treatment for people like the Sears employees and our retirees. We spoke a lot about that in the House. My colleague from Hamilton introduced a bill that is ready to be passed here in the House. In the last budget, the government only announced that it would conduct consultations and study the possibility of introducing certain elements of my colleague's bill.
    On the topic of inequality, we have the opportunity to pass a bill that will eliminate it. I am referring to pensioners and Sears employees. There are also a number of other companies whose employees are worried about what will happen to their pensions.
    What does my colleague think about this inequality and why will the government not pass the bill to protect pensions and all Canadian workers right now, here in the House?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, one thing I can say for certain is that I have lived the terrible tragedy of what happened to so many steelworkers in my riding when Cliffs Natural Resources pulled out and left many of them losing up to 25% of their pension and health care benefits. That is wrong and should not be happening in our country. I have worked very hard in this caucus, with my colleagues from many different regions of Canada, along with members of other parties, to ensure that this issue is being dealt with.
    I was pleased when the Minister of Finance announced in this budget that there would be a review of the pensions legislation and that it would be looked at in the context of protecting workers. The minister also announced and made a commitment to Canadians that we want to have a strong, stable, and secure retirement for everyone in this country. He also made assurances that we would be strengthening the Canada pension plan to provide greater benefits to parents and those Canadians who are impacted and need those benefits.
    That is the road we are on. I would ask my colleagues to work with us to make sure we realize those goals.
    Mr. Speaker, as the health critic for the New Democratic Party, it is a pleasure to rise in the House and speak to Bill C-74, the budget implementation bill, on behalf of our party. I am going to focus my remarks on a particular part of the budget bill that I believe is very much misconceived and in fact would do a lot of harm to Canadians across the country. I hope that the government will listen to these remarks and take them seriously, and be willing to make changes to the bill that is before us.
    The issue on which I want to focus the attention of my colleagues in the House today is the proposal in this budget for the federal government to levy an excise tax on medical cannabis. Currently, the situation in Canada is that we do not tax medicine. Pharmaceuticals go through a process and get something called a “drug identification number”, or DIN. When that happens, the drugs are sold and purchased by Canadians tax-free, as they should be.
    On the other hand, medical cannabis, which has been recognized as a medicine by the Supreme Court of Canada, and the medical cannabis industry is currently operating in every province of this country, does not currently enjoy that status. The result is that patients across the country who rely on medical cannabis for a variety of conditions and ailments are forced to pay sales tax on that medicine, whether that is the federal GST or an HST in the province, which is anywhere from 5% upward. In addition to that, most health insurance plans in this country do not reimburse patients for the cost of cannabis, so it is a double-edged sword for patients who rely on cannabis for relief of their conditions.
    On top of that, in this budget the government is proposing to add an additional tax on medical cannabis, an excise tax, which would further increase the costs of this medicine for patients.
    I want to speak for a few moments about the patients in this country: what patient groups think and why medical cannabis is such an important part of health treatment for so many Canadians.
    CBD and THC are two of the prime operative molecules in cannabis, and it is now well known and established in the literature and in Canadians' anecdotal experience that these two substances have incredible medicinal properties. Among them, interchangeably, are the following: they are anti-inflammatories; they are antispasmodics; they help control nausea and provide nausea relief; they are ocular pressure reducers; they are very effective in helping to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD; they are proving to be very effective in helping people who are addicted to opioids to get off opioids and replace that with cannabis therapy; and they are very important in seizure control.
    That is just a sample of the documented, experienced attributes of cannabis, when used medicinally and under the care of physicians and other medical practitioners. It is a medicine. Again, we do not tax medicine in this country.
    I want to talk about what an excise tax is. The Liberals want to add an excise tax on medical cannabis, and this is particularly inappropriate. An excise tax is colloquially known as a “sin tax”. That is, it is a tax specifically designed to discourage the use of something or to encourage the more responsible use of something. Typically, we see excise tax levied on things like tobacco, alcohol, and gasoline. This tax, though, would actually work to discourage the use of a medicine.

  (1310)  

    I want to talk for a moment about my exchange with the Prime Minister when I raised this issue directly with him last Wednesday and asked him to reconsider the excise tax on medical cannabis. After refusing to commit to withdrawing the excise tax, the Prime Minister, somewhat shockingly, went on to impugn the entire motive of the medical community by saying that he thought that medical cannabis was being misdirected and misused as a recreational substance. That is a shocking thing for any prime minister to say. He impugned the motives of every single physician in this country by suggesting that doctors are mis-prescribing cannabis to their patients, who are then misusing it for recreational purposes.
    He impugned the motives of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who use cannabis on a daily basis in a variety of forms: tinctures, creams, sublingual tablets, concentrates in edible form, and tea. He suggested that those people are not using cannabis to relieve the conditions of their illnesses but rather to get high.
    What does that say to the thousands of veterans in this country who are using cannabis to help them deal with their PTSD? Is the Prime Minister saying that they are simply misusing that substance to get high? If that is the case, why is Veterans Affairs paying for it? That was shocking.
     I cannot get any better than to quote from something a doctor said after this was posted online. Dr. Michael Verbora, who is on the faculty of McMaster University and is a physician who also holds an MBA, said:
    Not sure why @JustinTrudeau thinks my children patients are faking seizures (to use CBD oil which has no recreational value) and my adult patients are faking their cancers, MS, and chronic pain! Completely clueless and uneducated. Spend a day in my clinic so you can see & learn.
    That is what a physician said to the Prime Minister when he suggested that medical cannabis is actually some sort of front, some sort of excuse, for people to access recreational cannabis.
    New Democrats have done what New Democrats do in the House. We do our homework. We work hard to make good policy. We listen to witnesses. We do evidence-based policy-making.
     Every single patient group that appeared before the committee that studied the bill, every single patient group in this country that knows anything about cannabis, has stated that this excise tax is wrong and should be withdrawn.
    My colleague moved nine amendments at committee, four of which dealt with withdrawing the damaging provisions of this excise tax on cannabis, and all four of those amendments were opposed and shot down by Liberal members on that committee.
    Instead of listening to Canadians, listening to patients, listening to the opposition, and listening to the evidence, the Liberals are doubling down on a bad policy that is going to damage public health and patient health in this country.
    The very first concept in medicine physicians learn in medical school is do no harm. That is the first principle of care. What the government is doing by taxing cannabis, by taxing a medicine and making it harder for people to access their medicine, is actually harming the health of patients in this country, and it is doing it deliberately and in full knowledge of the evidence that it is wrong.
    I want to talk for a moment about children. There are children in this country who are using medicinal cannabis now, particularly for things like epilepsy control. Why would any government want to put a damaging excise tax on top of a sales tax on a substance that probably is not covered by that family's health care insurance plan, making it more difficult for children in this country to get medicine they need to control their seizures? That is what the Liberal government is doing. That is bad policy. It is bad health care. It is bad tax policy.
    I urge the government to listen carefully to the evidence it is hearing from everyone who is knowledgeable about this issue and withdraw this ill-conceived, poorly conceived, damaging, and harmful tax on medicine.

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am not 100% certain where the member is getting the entirety of his information, but the fact of the matter is that the budget, in particular the cannabis excise framework, specifically says that to help those who rely on pharmaceutical cannabis products to relieve pain or treat illness, the government will exempt these products from the excise duties, so long as they are acquired through a prescription. It goes on to say, similarly, “pharmaceutical products derived from cannabis will also be exempt, provided that the cannabis product has a Drug Identification Number and can only be acquired through a prescription.”
    I recognize the fact that from time to time, things change and new drugs are brought on and therefore are given identification numbers. Some take a bit longer. Perhaps everything the member is trying to encompass in his argument is not included.
    Could he at least acknowledge that there is an effort to try to make sure that these particular products, when received through a prescription, will actually be exempt from the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, there is an absolutely clear answer to that.
    It is correct that in this country right now, almost no medical cannabis products, which have been operating in this country for years now, have a drug identification number, a DIN. Probably some of them do. The government knows that, but what does it do? It goes ahead and levies a tax on medical cannabis, knowing that 99% of the products do not have a drug identification number, knowing that these products are going to be taxed. It then says, “Well, they could just get a drug identification number.”
    The problem with getting a drug identification number is that it takes years. It is extremely expensive. It has to go through clinical trials. This means that Canadians, for a number of years into the future, until these products get drug identification numbers, which they may or may not get, will have to pay this excise tax.
    I would turn it around and ask the member why the government does not just withdraw the excise tax on medical cannabis now and spare Canadians those years of excise tax that will have the absolutely predictable impact of keeping medicine out of the hands of the people who need it. Why does the government not just withdraw that?

  (1320)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague's speech was admirable. I am appalled by the government's response to limit today's debate.
    We have just five hours to analyze a bill with a massive scope. The bill is 550 pages long and amends 44 acts, including Bill C-47, which would impose a tax on people who use prescription medical marijuana. We are talking about children with cancer or children who suffer excruciating pain. This could have a negative impact on their quality of life.
    The Prime Minister responded that this was for people who abuse marijuana and use it recreationally and who go see their doctors. He is indirectly accusing doctors of not doing due diligence and accusing people of abusing the system to avoid paying their fair share. Meanwhile, he is making patients suffer.
    How could a government think this is responsible?
    In terms of our democracy, if no members raise these issues, as my colleague from Vancouver Kingsway did, and if the government limits debate, we will lose this information since we do not have enough time to raise these issues in the House of Commons.
    I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on my comments and I would particularly like him to tell us whether Bill C-47 should be withdrawn from the list of 44 acts being amended by Bill C-74.
    Does he think that the government should withdraw Bill C-47 from the 44 acts amended by this bill?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I was in the House in the last Parliament when the previous government employed time allocation to curtail debate about 100 times. We objected to it on behalf of the New Democratic Party then, and I think many of my colleagues in the Liberal Party did as well. Therefore, it is somewhat hypocritical to see the Liberal government now employing the same tactic they railed against when they were in opposition.
    This is a democratic chamber. People send us here to the House to debate issues. I have been told, from the very beginning, that our prime function here as members of Parliament is to scrutinize government spending. That is what we are here to do. To limit debate on a budget bill that is many hundreds of pages long offends some of the most basic precepts of democracy.
     I would urge the government to withdraw that time allocation motion and allow us to do our job and represent the constituents who sent us here to do that job.
    Mr. Speaker, this is the big piece of legislation the government brings forward every year that outlines how much of taxpayers' money it is going to spend and where it is going to spend it. My comments are going to be focused on one piece, which is part 5, the greenhouse gas pollution pricing act.
    When members hear “pollution pricing act”, they may think we are going to spend money on reducing pollution. Actually, we are not talking about pollution writ large. There is nothing here that actually deals with things such as NOx, SOx, volatile organic compounds, and the fine particulate matter that sticks in our lungs that can reduce one's lifespan. It does not deal with the issue of methane.
    The former Conservative government had great success in regulating those compounds to make sure that we steadily improved air quality across Canada. We achieved significant success. Canada has arguably the cleanest air in the world. I think we rank number three. We are right up there among those countries with the cleanest air. That is significantly due to the fact that the former Conservative government invested heavily in regulating those noxious substances.
    However, this act is actually not about pollution writ large. It is about greenhouse gas emissions and the government trying to force through its right to impose a massive carbon tax on Canadians. All Canadians are going to have to pay this tax. The Prime Minister has said that there are some provinces that already levy a tax. He has said that they will have to increase that tax, and the provinces and territories that do not have the tax are going to be forced by the federal government to actually levy a carbon tax of $50 per tonne. That will be expensive for Canadians, because it will affect everything Canadians use, whether it is groceries, whether it is home heating oil, whether it is natural gas, or whether it is gasoline at the pumps. Virtually nothing we consume here in Canada that we use on a daily basis will not be taxed under the Liberal carbon tax that is proposed in this bill.
    Of course, the Prime Minister, when asked about carbon taxes, says that carbon taxes are good. He actually said that carbon taxes are good. The Prime Minister has made this carbon tax a foundational element of his climate change plan.
    We, as Conservatives, believe that taxing Canadians is not the way forward if we want to address Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. There are many other ways we can address those. There are other tools that can be used to address greenhouse gas emissions, but simply taxing Canadians is not the way to do it.
    The federal government has said that the carbon tax is going to be revenue neutral. In other words, it is not going to cost the taxpayer one cent. However, what the Prime Minister failed to say was that it is revenue neutral to the federal government, because it will transfer the revenues to the provinces. He wants Canadians to believe that the provinces and territories are going to refund that money back to their residents. In fact, there is not a province in Canada that has a carbon tax that is actually revenue neutral. What is happening is that the government sucks money out of one pocket of the taxpayer and dumps it into general revenue. Governments receive this money and spend it on their own political priorities, not on the priorities of Canadians.
    Where we have seen this is in my home province of British Columbia. It was held up as a paragon of virtue carbon tax. It was a revenue neutral carbon tax brought in by former premier Gordon Campbell, a man I know well. He brought it in with the most sincere motives. Originally, that tax was, for the most part, revenue neutral. The government collected the tax and then returned it to taxpayers in the form of corporate and personal income tax reductions.

  (1325)  

    We recently had an election in B.C., and the NDP formed government. The first act of that government was to remove the revenue neutrality of that tax, which means that tax now goes into general revenues and is spent on the political priorities of that NDP government. We have seen this across the country, promises that this money will be invested in environmental initiatives, that the money will be given back, but that it will be invested in environmental initiatives. The governments pick winners and losers as to who will benefit from the money and who will not. We know that governments are woefully inadequate at picking winners and losers. They usually get it wrong.
    The sad thing is that the Liberal government has been asked hundreds of times how much the carbon tax, which originally was supposed to be $50 per tonne, will cost the average Canadian family. My colleagues in the House have asked the question of the minister. We have had different ministers at committee and we asked them all how much they expect this will cost the average Canadian family. We have heard no answer. In fact, in one now infamous exchange, I asked the Minister of Environment to tell us what the carbon tax would mean for the average Canadian family. She refused to answer. I asked again and again. Finally, she said that she would let her deputy minister answer the question and he proceeded not to answer the question at all. The Liberals have the information, but they are afraid to let Canadians know how badly this will harm them.
    There is a hidden agenda at play. What Canadians do not know is that in the backrooms of the Liberal government, the Liberals are starting to talk about moving that carbon tax from $50 per tonne in 2022 to $100 to $300 per tonne. Why? Because they have been told by economists that for a carbon tax to be effective, in other words for it to actually change the behaviour of Canadians, it will have to be $200 to $300 per tonne of greenhouse emissions. Imagine how expensive life in Canada will be with that kind of a tax. That is the secret plan.
     The Liberals will not tell us that today, but there are indications in government documents that there are discussions on how they can hammer Canadians with a carbon tax sufficient to change the behaviour of Canadians, without regard for the impact this will have on individual Canadians and on the average Canadian family, on how much more expensive life will be.
    I will go back to the British Columbia example where the so-called revenue neutral carbon tax was eventually replaced by a non-revenue neutral carbon tax where all the money would go to the government to spend on whatever it wanted. When that carbon tax was first implemented, the stated goal of that tax was to change behaviour to ensure greenhouse gas emissions would go down by 33%. That is a laudable goal. How did things work out? That tax has now been in place for some 10 years and to date carbon emissions are down by not 33%, not 30%, not 20%, not 10%, but by 2%. A decade of carbon taxes and all British Columbia got out of it was a 2% reduction. This tax will be harmful to Canadians and will have virtually no impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
    We have asked the Minister of Environment to appear before committee to defend her estimates and this gas tax so we can find out what this will cost Canadians. She has yet to answer us and to publicly state whether she is prepared to come to committee and be accountable under the Westminster parliamentary system, as all ministers should be.
     I am very disappointed with the Liberal government for bringing forward a tax policy that is going to harm Canadians without any benefit to our environment.

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, my riding is very close to the hon. member's, so I know the sky is not a different colour out our way.
    I want to set a few things straight. I want talk about the wonderful record of the previous Harper government on emissions. Emissions go down, especially when an economy is in the tank. Canada's economy was in the tank from about 2007 right up to the summer of 2015, when we were technically in a recession. Interestingly enough, in that same period, British Columbia, with a price on carbon, had Canada's best economy, and it has continued to be one of the best.
     One other thing is this. I do not know if my hon. friend had the opportunities I had, but as soon as that carbon tax came in, I started to use transit a lot more, and I ended up ahead. You want the average impact on Canadian families? If my family is average, then we are doing okay. Does he have any comments on that?
    I want to remind hon. members to put their questions through the Speaker, not directly to each other.
    The hon. member for Abbotsford.

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do not think the member is average. He earns somewhere in the order of $175,000 per year. That does not make him a member of the middle class that the Prime Minister wants to have others join.
    I will go back to the question, which he avoided. How much did greenhouse gas emissions go down in British Columbia over nearly a decade by implementing the highest carbon tax in British Columbia of $30 per tonne? It was 2% when it was supposed to go down by 33%. By any standard, that is failure.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    As we saw in committee, the Conservatives are very quick to criticize measures, but they have a hard time coming up with alternatives. That is exactly what we saw when Jason Kenney testified before the committee. He did his level best to discredit the carbon tax, just as the Conservatives are doing now. When my colleagues asked him what he would suggest doing instead, he had nothing to offer. The Conservatives certainly know how to oppose things, but they do not know how to come up with other options. That is what my colleague is doing too.
    What does my colleague think we should do instead of taxing carbon if we want to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets? I would hope members of all parties actually want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    What would the member do to meet those targets?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am not going to comment on what Mr. Kenney may or may not have said at committee. However, there is a very significant tool kit available to the government to address greenhouse gas emissions. I will start by talking about smart regulation.
    Our Conservative government began the move toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by regulating the light and heavy vehicle industry. We were the ones who regulated the traditional coal-fired electricity sector. We started the move toward phasing out methane across Canada. All initiatives can be done using smart regulation rather than taxation.
    Another thing is smart, significant investments in technology. In fact, if we look at the Conference Board of Canada report on this issue, it has said that the most significant tool kit that any government has to move forward is using technology development. By looking at the trajectory of technology development, we will be able to use technology to address many of those environmental challenges.
     There are other things, like investing in smart infrastructure, in natural sequestration, at which the government has not looked. It has done no science on it. There is also carbon capture and storage, which Saskatchewan has done so well. This technology is working today in Canada and it can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    On the smart use of electricity grids, if we could combine electricity grids across the country, we could interconnect them so British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec could share electricity with other jurisdictions in a smart and environmentally responsible way. There is much that can be done. We have some answers.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to stand to speak about the budget implementation act.
     I would like to start with some facts, which may appear at first glance, to be astounding. The Department of Finance and the Parliamentary Budget Officer have predicted that the budget will not be balanced until 2045.
    My kids will not see a balanced budget until they are older than I am right now, and that is unacceptable. During that time frame, there will be an estimated $450 billion in additional debt racked up, for a total of roughly $1.1 trillion. It is our youth who will have to pay all of this back. The future our youth inherit is not the one that we inherited. Our youth are being left behind. We are currently sitting at 11.1% unemployment, while in the United States, the youth unemployment rate sits at only 8.4%. Now our youth will have to live with the shackles of this increased debt.
    GDP is up 0.1% in two years. Eighty per cent of middle-class Canadians are feeling the tax increases since the government came into office. There was a $60-billion increase in spending in the last two and a half years, up roughly 20%.
     There is no doubt there that a spending problem exists within the Liberal government. Quite frankly, we can look almost anywhere to see it.
    Corporate welfare is something I have spoken about over and over again. Why are we taxing Canadians who can barely make ends meet and giving those dollars to millionaires and billionaires so they can make more money? It seems to be done without a strategy or understanding the effects. It seems to be done without a clear measurement as to what is a success or a failure. I have examples: the Bombardier bailout just under a year ago; the superclusters, which were in the last budget and continued in this budget, $900 million going to superclusters, mainly into urban areas, that were recommended by a committee, struck by the industry minister, that included people in charge of superclusters, like the MaRS in Toronto.
    A few weeks ago, the Conservatives started saying no to corporate welfare when it came to Kinder Morgan. We did not want government dollars used to prop up the private sector in this circumstance. Not in our wildest dreams did the Conservatives believe we would see corporate welfare enacted when it came to Kinder Morgan, in fact, an outright nationalization of the entire program.
    I would like to congratulate some people in the House, such as the member for Vancouver Quadra, the member for Pontiac, and the member for Burnaby North—Seymour, on owning one of the largest oil transportation companies in Canada. I thought they were environmental activists. Usually I would say, “If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.” What the Liberal government has done is first beat the oil industry and then it has joined it. Ironically, growth in the oil and gas sector last year was what drove our economy. Without the oil and gas sector, we would have had exactly zero growth.
    This is not because of the Liberals, this is not because of the federal government; it is despite them. In the oil and gas sector, they have caused a lot of instability, because they have continued to attack it. When I look at Kinder Morgan, it makes me think the government has neglected what lies beneath our feet and has opted to rely on what is between the Prime Minister's ears. It is a failing strategy.

  (1340)  

    The Prime Minister created a carbon tax of $50 per tonne to put in through 2023. After he did that, creating instability in the oil and gas sector, and in fact across our entire economy, threatening the way those who earn the least in our society actually make ends meet, he realized the ramifications of that decision. The ramifications are that projects like Kinder Morgan can no longer make it. They are no longer viable. The private sector has realized that, and then the Prime Minister realized it, and at the last second, he said he was going to step in, take money from people who earn almost nothing and invest it in this project the private sector is abandoning.
    It is very interesting when we break down the carbon tax and look at the effect it is going to have on the average family. With fuel costs, there is the cost of actually producing that gasoline. It is about 50% of what we pay at the pump. Then there are provincial and federal excise taxes. Those taxes were originally put in place to deal with the ramifications of pulling out of that original resource. Then we have our new carbon tax that is being put in place on top of that. The government does not stop reaching into our pockets at the fuel pump, but says that it will charge HST on top of that. That is another 13%.
    The carbon tax is going to cost average families $2,500 per year. What does that mean? It means higher food costs, higher gas costs, and higher costs of everything Canadians consume. That is the three-year legacy of the Liberal government. The fact that middle-class Canadians do not have trust funds seems to be lost on the Prime Minister and the finance minister. The legacy that we see over and over again, in budget after budget, is that the government can take and take from Canada's middle class, that it can take and take from the economy, and it can put that money wherever it sees fit. Then when it realizes that is not working, the government will take and take to buy a failing project whose failure, by the way, the government was responsible for in the beginning by introducing more and more taxes.
    It is more taxes on payrolls; more taxes on gasoline as a result of the carbon tax; more taxes on Canadians across this country. That does not even begin to deal with the fact of red tape and environmental assessment after environmental assessment, the issues and regulations that constantly hold down the Canadian economy. The Liberal government constantly holds down Canada's poorest people who are looking for jobs, who are searching for that next job, who are looking for growth, and who want to create a new life for their families.
    Those are the effects of the Liberal budget. Those are the effects we have seen from three years of Liberal government. The family tax cut is gone. The arts and fitness tax credits have disappeared. The education and textbook tax credit is nowhere to be seen. The life vision of young Canadians is not the one we inherited, the one in which we believed that if we went out to work day in and day out, it would be easy. Manufacturing is not creating more jobs in Canada. The oil and gas sector, while it is moving forward, has seen incredible setbacks. The housing sector, while on fire, is preventing our young people from being able to actually access a home and own it for the first time.
    These are the issues that we are seeing in the Canadian economy. It is these budgets that are driving this ship.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, I just want to drill down into one particular aspect of the budget.
    Subclause 20(1) deals with the small business deduction from the general corporate tax rate, a commitment that all the parties have advocated. Yesterday, when the Speaker grouped the 409 amendments, primarily by the Conservatives, the member for Carleton, seconded by the member for Portage—Lisgar, put forward a motion to delete clause 20, essentially deleting that reduction in the corporate tax rate.
    I am just curious if the member plans to support that amendment when we vote on it.
    Mr. Speaker, I think the point of the 400 amendments is that the budget should be deleted. When we look at it, we have had nothing but issue after issue with it. We want the government to go back to the drawing board, not to go back to the taxpayer and take from those who have the least in our society and give to millionaires and billionaires, but to help those people whom it keeps taking from to find a better life for themselves. If the member wants to focus on a single amendment, he can. However, the reality is that your government first said it would do it, then ran away from that promise, and then realized that it had to do it. Quite frankly, it should go back to the drawing board—

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I might be interrupting the clip that the member can use on on YouTube, but the truth is that he said “your government”, as if he were speaking to me directly, so perhaps we can correct that.
    I am sure the hon. member knows that he has to speak through the Chair, and that it was not my government, as I am perfectly neutral. I guarantee him that.
    I will let the hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte respond.
    Mr. Speaker, I would at least hope that the Canadian government would be our government. However, the fact is, that is not the case anymore.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague the following question. We have before us an omnibus bill. During the election campaign, the Liberals solemnly promised to never again introduce an omnibus bill because they did not want to follow in the Conservatives' footsteps. Now we are dealing with a 556-page bill that amends 44 laws to implement the budget, which was supposedly the most gender-balanced budget, but fails to put in place pay equity legislation, among other things.
    I wonder whether my Conservative colleague believes that, after 40 years of Liberal promises to enact pay equity legislation and after making the same promise during the 2015 election campaign, in 2016, and again in the past two months, it was high time they followed through when the budget was tabled. In this budget, there is no mention of pay equity legislation, but there is still a huge gap between men and women, and a gap for youth. This is unacceptable in 2018 from a Prime Minister who calls himself a feminist and goes around the world patting himself on the back. We have yet to see such a bill in 2018.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member brought up a few things about omnibus bills, and so forth, and the promise made by the Liberals not to bring forth such bills to the House. I know it will leave everybody exasperated to hear that the Liberals made a promise and then abandoned it. I cannot believe it. It is incredible.
    On the second point the member made with respect to the promise not to imitate the Conservatives, I can guarantee her that the current government is not imitating the Conservatives. If it were imitating the Conservatives, it would be bringing forth a budget to help those in society who have the least. It would be doing something to create jobs in this country, not taking money out of the economy constantly. It would be ensuring that people in this country have a right to earn a fair wage, not leaving us with lesser jobs, with the government picking up the pile it created in the beginning. Therefore, with all due respect, it is not imitating the Conservatives. I hope one day it will learn from us and start to.
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Calgary Shepard will have approximately five minutes, and will have the other five minutes of his debate after we return from question period.
    The hon. member for Calgary Shepard.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate your giving me this time so I can speak on behalf of my constituents of Calgary Shepard, as well as the warning that I unfortunately have only five minutes before we begin question period.
     I am thinking about what to say about the third budget bill I have had a chance to debate in the House. I sit on the finance committee that was taken with this matter earlier in the month when it considered the contents of the legislation, as well as its implications for the Canadian economy and jobs in Canada. At the end of the day, the great hope is that every single budget will build on a plan or some type of goal or end journey that the government wants to get to in order to improve the situation of Canadian families, and of job-seekers as well. I just do not see that in this budget. I did not see this in the last budget and I did not see it in the budget before that. What I have seen is a series of failures to have a coherent plan on what they are trying to achieve. A lot of the time I think the government is simply making it up as it goes along.
     One thing I will point out is that in this particular budget there was no chapter on defence spending. That was a big portion of the announced spending in the past two and a half years, but that is all it has really been. There was a bunch of news releases, a bunch of tweets, and maybe some Facebook posts, but there is nothing inside the budget that specifically talks about procurement. Over the next five to 10 years, procurement is expected to be one of the largest expenditures in our budget. We are seeing a continuous increase in the budgeted numbers for defence spending, with the same amount of equipment coming back to us, or actually less equipment, so the per-unit value of our spending is actually going down. Spending on defence is an important component, but we are always expecting to get something in return: equipment that the Canadian Forces can use to replace the equipment it now has, which is sometimes antiquated and other times has served out its proper life cycle.
    They say that money is round and it rolls away. It is a Yiddish proverb. The chamber knows that I love Yiddish proverbs, and it is true in this case as well. In three consecutive budgets, we have seen deficits completely out of control, and the government is simply letting these roll away. It is money out the door and interest payments on debt that keeps going up. We have an $18.1 billion deficit expected this year. The government and its caucus members will say, “Everything is going so great: Look how we have juiced up the economy, look how good the GDP growth numbers are.”
    However, what we have seen in the first quarter of this year, as is being reported in the media now, is that the economy has taken a serious hit. The housing market has drastically slowed down because of a successive series of changes, almost 20, to mortgage rules, including the latest one on January 1. The B20 mortgage rule changes have had a severe impact on new entrants in the market, those who want to buy a townhouse, a house, or who want to move up on the property ladder and expand because they need a bigger place to live, and those who want to downsize because they are coming to the end of their working lives and they want something simpler to live in and to have an easier means of taking care of their homes. All of those have been hit because, at mortgage-renewal time, they will now be facing a stress test. We know that the housing market in Canada and the different real estate markets in our small communities as well as our large metropolitan centres drive the economy. If we remove real estate growth and the construction of homes from our GDP numbers, we find that we do not have any growth. It is so critical. This mortgage stress test is expected to have an impact on job losses and reduce mortgage demand and housing by about 15%. Fifteen per cent translates into about 100,000 to 150,000 jobs that could disappear. These are well-paying jobs, not just brokers and real estate agents, but a lot of tradespeople who are in the business of building new homes, new condominiums, and new townhouses for Canadians to purchase, and for permanent residents to purchase as well. These people will be impacted by the successive series of mortgage rule changes. It is going to have an impact in the budget, something the budget has not planned for. The budget does not address this in any way. As I said, money is round and it is rolling away.
    The government simply has no plan. This budget does not build on any type of long-term vision for the future. The Liberals have not set us up for success anywhere past 2019. It is as if the government is only thinking about the period between now and the next election. Planning from election to election is a bad way to set fiscal policy and public budgetary policy. Therefore, in the budget we will have accumulated, by the expected time frames in the forecast, nearly $100 billion in new debt.

  (1355)  

    I see the signal to stop now, but I look forward to continuing my intervention after question period.
    The hon. member for Calgary Shepard will have five minutes coming to him when we resume debate.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Pipelines

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals were elected on a promise to put an end to the Harper era and the golden age of the oil industry. However, they are doing much worse by nationalizing the Trans Mountain pipeline with our money just to overrule British Columbia, which is against the pipeline. It is a dangerous precedent because Quebec has its own sword of Damocles, energy east.
    We came very to close to being in the same boat as British Columbia and having a pipeline forced on us. The public was right to rally to stop the project. However, now that Ottawa is nationalizing pipelines and imposing them on the provinces, the energy east supporters are coming out of the woodwork. They are calling on Ottawa to do the same thing that it did in British Columbia, in other words take action without considering how Quebeckers feel about it.
    We have to be just as concerned about the Liberals as we were about the Conservatives, and today we must still consider energy east as a real threat.

  (1400)  

[English]

Charitable Organizations in Surrey—Newton

    Mr. Speaker, the strength of our communities is their people, who commit themselves to helping others. This past month, I attended several events where inspiring leadership has been on full display. The Mannkind Charity Foundation was founded by Rani and Dave Mann, whose dedication to giving back has made a difference around the world through many projects, including a donation of $1 million to the Peace Arch Hospital and help for victims of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The Sahaara Canada Wellness Society fundraiser for mental health was organized by Deljit Bains and Bindi Bains Mackoruk, and the fundraiser for the Shakti Society, which empowers women, was organized by Sonia Andhi.
    All these represent the very best Canada has to offer: compassion, generosity, and a commitment to making their communities better.
    All members, please join me in thanking these organizations.

Cross-Canada Run

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today for an outstanding constituent in my riding of Foothills, someone I hope my colleagues will have the opportunity to meet later this summer. On June 27, Dave Proctor will start an important journey, a 7,200-kilometre run across Canada. He will run more than 100 kilometres each day for 66 days, running for a Guinness world record.
    Why would anyone take on such a gruelling challenge? David is doing this because he is a dad. This incredible father of three is a world-renowned runner, but this run is for his nine-year-old son Sam, who suffers from a rare disease. Through his determination, his strength, and his love, David hopes to raise $1 million to help Canadians suffering with rare diseases, those searching for support and a cure.
    I am looking forward to running beside Dave when he comes through Alberta, but let us be honest: I will probably be well behind him when he is running through Alberta.
     I encourage all my colleagues to do the same when he comes through their communities. All of us in this chamber wish him all the best, and I know Canadians will be cheering for him every step of the way.

[Translation]

Mont-Joli Rotary Club

    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise in the House today to mark the 75th anniversary of the Mont-Joli Rotary Club. Since 1943, its members have been passionately committed to serving the interests of Mont-Joli and the surrounding area. They actively work to help those who get involved, in order to revitalize Mont-Joli and the surrounding area, and they also help people in need.
    In 75 years, Mont-Joli Rotarians have helped inject more than $2.5 million into the community. They have made a significant impact on Mont-Joli's social, cultural, sport, and economic development.
    I want to thank all of the current and former members of the club for everything they have done over the past seven decades. Their desire to improve the lives of the people of Mont-Joli is a true positive force in the community.

[English]

ALS Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, we have 30 remarkable days, 30 inspirational stories, and 30 chances to seize the day. That is what ALS Awareness Month is all about. From fundraising events like the Richmond-Vancouver Walk for ALS to breathtaking journeys around the top of the CN Tower, this June I challenge all parliamentarians to push the limits and seize the day for ALS Canada.
    More than 3,000 Canadians live with ALS, and at least three succumb to it every day. No community is untouched. Here in Parliament, our hearts were broken when we lost our colleague Mauril Bélanger to ALS. His legacy now lives on every time our national anthem is sung.
    This month, let us make every moment count. Let us work together to find a cure for ALS and use our voices to advocate for change on behalf of the ALS community. Let us share our story, spread the word about ALS, donate, volunteer, and participate. Whatever we do, let us take no moment for granted.

[Translation]

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the 3,000 Canadian families living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, I want to point out that June is ALS Awareness Month.
     ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body. A movement that was simple yesterday becomes impossible. It is important to note that 80% of people with ALS die within two to five years of being diagnosed, which is what happened to our late colleague Mauril Bélanger.
    There is no cure for ALS and few treatment options are available. Those with ALS fight with courage and determination, and I am thinking here of Nancy Roch in particular, for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration.
    Canada must play a leading role in ALS research because research is what will enable us to look forward to a future without this terrible disease. I encourage people to support this cause, to wear a blue cornflower, and to participate in one of the walks that will take place across the country.
    Let's work together to fight this disease.

  (1405)  

[English]

Canada Post

    Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House in support of the Town of Bentley, which just two weeks ago was told its retail postal services would be discontinued as of June l. The very next day, parcels stopped coming to this small rural community, forcing residents to drive a minimum of 50 kilometres round trip to receive their items.
     Canada Post has an obligation to provide a standard of postal service that meets the needs of the people of Canada. When seniors who do not drive or live on a fixed income cannot receive their medications or other essentials in the town where they live, their needs are clearly not being met. When small businesses and farmers are forced to leave their place of work for more than an hour to pick up or drop off parcels, their needs are not being met.
    How are the residents of Bentley supposed to heed the Prime Minister's calls for Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint when they must travel so far just to pick up their mail?
    The Minister of Public Services and Procurement must immediately take action to right this wrong and restore full postal services in Bentley. Bentley deserves better.

Environmental Protection Act

    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act is the primary law governing pollution prevention and the management of toxic chemicals. In 2017, after almost a year of work, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development submitted a report with 87 recommendations to strengthen and modernize the act, and we look forward to the government's response in June. A strengthened CEPA would protect the environment, the economy, and the health of Canadians.
    In the meantime, I am proud to have sponsored a petition calling on the government to modernize and strengthen CEPA, submitted by Kerry Mueller. It can be accessed online through the House of Commons e-petitions website. In just three weeks, over 10,000 Canadians have signed on. It is the biggest e-petition on environmental protection ever, with support from every province and territory. I urge everyone concerned about toxins in Canada to sign the petition.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to welcome the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to Ottawa as it hosts its first annual Unplug to Connect event. The Boys and Girls Clubs organization does incredible work in communities across Canada. Its life-changing programs focus on community-based service and on building relationships for children with their peers and volunteers so that our youth have the skills they need for the future.
    The local Peel chapter is located in my riding of Brampton South, and I have had the chance to get to know some of the amazing youth who are involved with the club. I applaud the outstanding work done by Michael Gyovai and the entire team at the Peel branch, who dedicate themselves to breaking down barriers and providing youth in Peel with a place to grow and thrive.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to pay tribute to the 60,000 Canadians who work in the defence and security industries. These are the jobs equipping our military and first responders. Many of them are here for the CANSEC annual conference in Ottawa, and many of these employees are also veterans.
    I was also proud to meet with Janna and the volunteers from Women in Defence & Security yesterday. It now has over 2,000 members working across this country in aerospace, defence, and security in high-skilled, highly trained jobs. They are our leaders. They are our builders in these sectors. I congratulate WIDS.
    One of its members is a classmate of mine from military college, Christyn Cianfarani, a former naval officer, veteran, and now president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries. Christyn is leading this conference and bringing together great industry and great jobs for Canadians.
    I want to thank them for kitting out our military with the equipment it needs.
    Best wishes for the rest of the CANSEC conference.

[Translation]

Brome—Missisquoi in Ottawa Day

    Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to welcome many representatives from the municipalities, organizations, and businesses in my riding to “Brome—Missisquoi in Ottawa Day”. It is a great networking opportunity for various stakeholders from my region and senior officials from several departments.
     Representatives from Accueil Notre-Dame, Club de la Bonne Humeur de Lac-Brome, Appalachian Corridor, Le Saint-Armand newspaper, the Knowlton Literary Association, Renaissance Brome Lake, Villas des Monts de Sutton, and Pettes Memorial Library, as well as representatives from the municipalities of Bedford, Eastman, Bolton-Est, Brigham, Bromont, Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville, Dunham, Farnham, Frelighsburg, Brome Lake, Magog, Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Orford, Saint-Armand, Sutton, and Venise-en-Québec all jumped at the chance.
    I have no doubt that today's event will serve to advance a number of projects in Brome—Missisquoi. Our region boasts many entrepreneurs, visionaries, and engaged individuals who want to contribute to the prosperity of our riding.
    I invite my fellow parliamentarians to join us for a happy hour—

  (1410)  

    Order. The hon. member for Châteauguay—Lacolle.

Circuit du paysan

    Mr. Speaker, since this week is Tourism Week in Canada, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Circuit du paysan.
    Boasting nearly 100 agrifood, cultural, and outdoor attractions, this marked route winds for almost 200 kilometres through the regional county municipalities of Jardins-de-Napierville, Roussillon, and Beauharnois-Salaberry. With stops at vineyards, cider mills, cheese factories, and farm stands, the Circuit du paysan is one of Quebec's most scenic culinary trails.
    Popular among cyclists and vacationers alike, the Circuit du paysan showcases our region and draws in many of our neighbours from the south. Incidentally, I recently worked with my colleague from La Prairie to organize a regional round table on tourism for about 30 sector stakeholders to discuss their concerns and prospects.
    I welcome all Canadians to visit us this summer.

[English]

ALS Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, if members will indulge me, I think we should all say how pleased we are to see the member for Scarborough Centre back in the House.
    Each year in June we make everyone aware of ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive, fatal motor neuron disease that leaves those affected in a state of progressive paralysis, but with full possession of their mental faculties. My father succumbed to ALS after a four-year fight, and so it has affected me personally. All members know of the courage of our late colleague, Mauril Bélanger, during his battle with this terrible disease.
    Each year at this time, the Walk for ALS takes place to help raise funds for critical research and support, and there is encouraging news for this dreaded disease. Researchers believe it is a matter of when, not if, effective treatments will emerge, according to the ALS Society of Canada.
    I encourage every member to wear a cornflower today to demonstrate our support for the fight against ALS, so that together, we can support victims and families and promote research to find a cure.

[Translation]

World No Tobacco Day

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

[English]

    As we know, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in Canada.

[Translation]

    That is why our government is committed to passing Bill S-5 to protect the health of Canadians, especially youth.

[English]

    I am proud to see that it received royal assent last week.
    With budget 2018, our government is renewing and enhancing the federal tobacco control strategy by investing over $80 million.

[Translation]

    In addition to helping Canadians stop smoking, this investment will support prevention efforts and reduce contraband tobacco. The goal is to get more Canadians to quit and reduce smoking deaths.

  (1415)  

[English]

Youth

    Mr. Speaker, this winter I held a contest for grade 11 and 12 students. Using the theme of reconciliation, students were asked to submit their ideas for a private member's bill they felt would make a better Canada. Brody Beuker and Camilo Silva from Bethlehem High School will be visiting Ottawa next week to see me present their bill in the House of Commons.
    I want to take this opportunity to recognize the incredible students who entered their amazing ideas: Shemaiah Aycardo, Ally Mae Clemente, Julia Skrypnyk, Adrianna Beaudin, Esprit Farmer; Stephanie Koban, Ian Perreault, Krizia Nan Macabudbud, Justine Cebedo, Ashley Turner, Alyssa Roach, Michelle Tim, Belle Joyal, and Travis Biller.
    I was so impressed by the calibre of ideas received from these students.
    Our youth are the future, and these young people are proof that our future is in very good hands.

Queen Elizabeth II

    Mr. Speaker, this Saturday, June 2, marks the 65th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953.
    Her having ascended to the throne the previous year, the Queen's coronation ceremony was a grand occasion marked by celebrations across the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Commonwealth. It was the first televised coronation, watched by more than 20 million people around the world. The Canadian delegation was led by Prime Minister St. Laurent and Conservative opposition leader George Drew.
    To mark the occasion, which was a national holiday in Canada, bronze coronation medallions were distributed to schoolchildren, and Her Majesty's royal standard was flown from the Peace Tower. Military tattoos, parades, fireworks, and concerts were held in cities, towns, and villages all across Canada.
    For more than 65 years, Her Majesty has been a steady hand, a source and symbol of continuity, tradition, caring, wisdom, and duty in our fast-paced, ever-changing world. For many, she is Canada's grandmother, beloved and non-partisan, looking out for our best interests. We wish her well on this anniversary.

Ramadan

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims in Canada and around the world celebrating the holy month of Ramadan.
    It is a time when we reflect on empathy, discipline, compassion, and charity. We fast during the daytime and gather with friends and family at night to share a meal and a prayer.
    This year, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, let us take this time to reaffirm our commitment to the diversity that makes Canada strong.
    Though I cannot join the fast this year due to my ongoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I am happy to report that treatment is going well.
    From the bottom of my heart, I would really like to thank the people of Scarborough Centre, my family, and my friends on both sides of the aisle for all their prayers and support and for all the good wishes I have received in the last three and a half months.
    [Member spoke in Arabic and provided the following translation:]
     God willing,
    [English]
     I look forward to joining all of my colleagues in the fall to continue our work for all Canadians.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, today our thoughts are with the families of steel and aluminum workers in Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The Prime Minister went to these communities on a victory tour. He personally promised those families that he had fixed the issue. He walked into those communities as a saviour.
    Today the Prime Minister is a failure. What is his plan to fix this tariff issue?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Order.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

    Order. The hon. member for Thérèse-De Blainville should not heckle.

[English]

    The hon. Minister of Transport.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way should know better. This is not the time to be partisan. This is about Canadian workers.
    We have been unequivocal. These tariffs are completely unacceptable. The Canadian and American economies are so closely linked that these tariffs will harm workers on both sides of the border. We will defend our steel and aluminum industry, as well as Canadian workers. We will impose trade restriction measures of up to $16.6 billion worth of U.S. imports. The U.S. tariffs are in violation—
    The hon. member for Durham.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are not partisan when fighting for Canadian interests. The families impacted by this decision do not want more platitudes from the Liberals. They want a plan. The Prime Minister has known for months that this was coming. He did nothing. The Conservative Party has been working with the government. We are Team Canada, but Team Canada needs a plan.
    What is the government's plan to fix this tariff issue?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadian steel and aluminum workers have our full support. These tariffs are completely unacceptable. In response, we intend to impose tariffs against imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the U.S. This means that we are imposing dollar-for-dollar tariffs for every dollar levied against Canadians by the U.S.
    As the Prime Minister told steel and aluminum workers when he visited their manufacturing plants across the country, this government will always stand up for them.
    Mr. Speaker, the government has focused on non-trade issues at the NAFTA table and there is no U.S. trade contingency plan in the budget, and then the Prime Minister went to the president's hometown to deliver a speech that many viewed as a critique of the president. So far, the Prime Minister's plan has failed Canadians.
    Will the government agree to sit down with the Conservative Party and let us work together to help these workers?
    Mr. Speaker, our government will always stand up for the Canadian steel industry and its workers. Today, we announced that Canada will impose up to $16.6 billion worth of tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other imports from the U.S. Today we are beginning a 15-day consultation period with Canadians on these countermeasures. Our steel and aluminum workers need to know that we have their backs.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Liberal government's report card when it comes to trade relations with the United States is abysmal. We have no softwood lumber agreement, and NAFTA negotiations have hit a dead end. Liberal incompetence reached a new low today, since the Prime Minister has once again been unable to stand up for our aluminum and steel industry.
    How many jobs will be lost in Canada as a direct result of 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium? What do the Liberals plan to do for workers?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been unequivocal. These tariffs are completely unacceptable. The Canadian and American economies are so closely linked that these tariffs will harm workers on both sides of the border.
    We will defend our industries, as well as Canadian workers. We will impose trade restriction measures of up to $16.6 billion worth of U.S. imports. This American decision is contrary to NAFTA and WTO rules, and we will do everything we can to dispute it.
    We want Canadian workers to know that their government will stand up for them.
    Mr. Speaker, we want more than just words. Here are some words: last March, the Prime Minister personally assured aluminum workers in Saguenay that the problem with the U.S. tariffs was over. He informed the workers that the U.S. President had told him that as long as there was a free trade agreement, there would not be any tariffs.
    He took the President at his word, without saying or doing a single thing to oppose the threat of U.S. protectionism. The Prime Minister's enormous gullibility has put thousands of jobs at risk. He has no plan for this industry. Besides words, what concrete measures is he going to take for the families of workers who are worried sick about their future today?
    Mr. Speaker, our colleague should be ashamed of his partisan posturing. We will always defend our industries and Canadian workers. We will impose trade restrictions of up to $16.16 billion worth of U.S. imports, and today we are beginning a 15-day consultation period with Canadians on our countermeasures.
    Steel and aluminum workers can count on the support of their government.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, after months of paralyzing uncertainty, the U.S. president has decided to impose punitive tariffs on our aluminum and steel industries claiming that our exports threaten national security. Thousands of Canadian jobs are in jeopardy and we have had enough of Donald Trump's threats. Canadian workers are the ones who are caught in the middle of this trade war.
    Where is the Liberal government's plan to protect Canadian workers?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been unequivocal. These tariffs are completely unacceptable. The Canadian and American economies are so closely linked that these tariffs will harm workers on both sides of the border. We will defend our steel and aluminum industry, as well as Canadian workers. The American decision goes against NAFTA and the WTO rules. We will do everything we can to dispute it.
    Canadian workers can count on their government.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, no one is surprised that President Trump imposed tariffs today—he has been tweeting about it for months—no one except for the Liberals. The Liberals watched this deadline day after day, week after week, and failed to secure an exemption for Canadian workers.
    Steel and aluminum workers are worried about how they are going to take care of their families. Will the government assure the tens of thousands of workers who are now caught in this trade war that their jobs are protected?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadian steel and aluminum workers have our full support. These tariffs are completely unacceptable, and we have made that very clear. In response, we intend to impose tariffs against imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the U.S. This means we are imposing dollar for dollar tariffs for every dollar levied against Canada by the U.S.
    As the Prime Minister told steel and aluminum workers when he visited their manufacturing plants across the country, this government will always stand up for them.
    Mr. Speaker, if this is their full support, then workers in Canada are disappointed with their failure to get a full exemption. We all know the tariffs imposed by the White House are a threatening tactic to get what it wants out of NAFTA.
    The question all Canadians have for the government is why it could not secure a full exemption. Canada has been the Americans' closest friend, neighbour, and ally, but now Canadian workers are under attack, and they will pay the price for this failed Liberal leadership. What will the government do to actually protect workers and their jobs?
    Mr. Speaker, our government will always stand up for Canadian steel and aluminum workers, and we have made it very clear that the tariffs imposed by the United States today are completely unacceptable and have nothing to do with national security.
    We have announced that Canada will impose up to $16.6 billion worth of tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other products. Today we are beginning our consultation with Canadians with respect to the measures we are taking. Our steel and aluminum workers need to know that we will have their backs.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, here we are talking about this tax today. It is clearly a failure of the Trudeau government. The tariffs announced by the United States will affect thousands of workers in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. These tariffs could also affect SMEs and the industry's entire value chain—
    I would remind the hon. member not to use the name of another member. She can now finish her question.
    Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I will start over. The tariffs announced by the United States will affect thousands of workers in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. These tariffs could also affect SMEs and the industry's entire value chain. While Canada and the United States go back and forth with tariffs and counter-tariffs, workers could end up suffering.
    What measures will the government take to protect workers in my region and across the country?
    Mr. Speaker, these tariffs are unacceptable, and we will take strong action to protect Canada's interests.
    These tariffs will hurt American workers and the industry. The United States actually has a surplus in the steel and aluminum trade with Canada. Canada is a reliable supplier of steel and aluminum for the American defence and security sector.
    The idea that Canada could constitute a threat to national security is frankly absurd. Canadian workers need to know that their government will always have their backs.

  (1430)  

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister invoked the name of Peter Lougheed in trying to justify his nationalization of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I worked with Peter Lougheed back in the 1980s, and Peter Lougheed never nationalized a pipeline. He never nationalized anything. In fact, Peter Lougheed defended Alberta's resources from the Prime Minister's father, who attempted to destroy the energy industry in Alberta.
    Will the Prime Minister stand up in this House and apologize, something he has become very good at lately in the House, for sullying the premier's name, all in the vein of trying to justify nationalization of a pipeline?
    Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is investing to protect thousands of jobs in Alberta, and indeed, across the country. During 10 years, the Conservatives' rigid ideology failed to build pipelines to markets, other than those to the United States, and failed Canadian workers. When the Prime Minister went to Fort McMurray and met energy sector workers, he told them that this government will have their backs. This is an investment in hard-working Canadians.
    Conservatives might think it is too risky to bid on Canadian workers, but we will always stand up for them.
    Mr. Speaker, New Brunswick's Telegraph-Journal says the Prime Minister doomed energy east by moving the goal posts and changing the rules at the last minute to “make approval more difficult” with an “impossible and unrealistic” standard and that the Liberals are “making Canada uncompetitive on the world stage and endangering the future of our energy sector.” That is true, and the Prime Minister killed two other pipelines with uncertainty and red tape too.
    When will the Prime Minister stop forcing investment out of Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, it is an absurd comparison of the two pipelines. Suggesting political interference was somehow the answer lies at the heart of the Conservative Party's failure on pipelines. It is shocking that the Conservatives cannot tell the difference between a project that is facing political interference by a provincial government and a project that a company dropped because it simply saw no business case for it.
     The Trans Mountain expansion project is in Canada's national interest. It means thousands of good-paying jobs that will strengthen and grow our middle class.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is failing, and worse, dividing Canadians. Like the Saint John mayor, the paper says Liberals are leaving the east without key infrastructure, and “Energy East didn't need a buyout. It just needed Ottawa to make the case for it.” Actually, that is just like Trans Mountain, except the Liberals approved it with different rules, but “the interests of the Maritimes have been ignored.... A shame that, with Energy East, it was the interest of the whole country scuttled by remarkable incompetence.”
    Why will the Prime Minister not stop picking favourites in pipelines and provinces and champion Canadian energy for all?
    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the B.C. government has been intimidating a private company and a project that has been approved by both the federal and provincial governments. We will not be intimidated. This project is in the national interest, and we are taking action to ensure that it is built for the benefit of all Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals came to power, there were four viable private sector pipelines. Now there are none.
    How many other private enterprises does the Prime Minister intend to first sabotage and then go behind the scenes to nationalize for billions of dollars? Is this his attempt at making his father's dream come true with national energy program version 2.0?
    Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is investing to protect thousands of jobs in Alberta and across the country. For 10 years, the Conservatives' rigid ideology kept them from building pipelines to transport our resources anywhere other than the United States. They failed in their duty to Canadian workers. When the Prime Minister went to Fort McMurray and met with energy sector workers, he told them the government would have their backs. This investment is an investment in hard-working Canadians.

  (1435)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite just said that private companies did not see a business case for pipelines in Canada. They did during our government, when we did not have a tanker ban, when we did not put in place a carbon tax, when we were not politically vetoing major projects that had already passed major environmental reviews. The reality is that there is no business case in Canada for major resource projects because of the Prime Minister and his bad policies.
    Will the member get up, correct the record, and say that there is no business case in Canada for private investment in the energy sector because of them?
    Mr. Speaker, the previous government spent 10 years pitting the environment and the economy against each other. It pitted us against each other. It polarized us. That is not who we are.
    The majority of Canadians support this project. The majority of Canadians understand that we are in a transition to a clean growth economy and that we will not get there overnight, but we will get there.
    This week is about providing Canadian families with certainty. No political interference should ever get in the way of that. Make no mistake, this investment is in Canada's future.
    Mr. Speaker, the political interference that has occurred in the natural resource sector was under the government when it vetoed the northern gateway pipeline.
    It is so rich for the Liberals to stand and talk about political polarization, when we have everybody in the country united around one thing, that we should not have to spend $4.5 billion to send private investment outside the country. The government needs to stand up and take accountability for the fact that it is chasing away investment from this country. It will do it for years to come.
    Why will the government not take responsibility for its failures?
    Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons from the party opposite on how to support a pipeline and actually get one built.
    Let us be clear, the permit for the northern gateway project was quashed by the court because of the absolute failure on the part of the Harper Conservatives—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, order. The hon. opposition House leader has been talking throughout the answer. I would ask her not to do that, and I would ask all members on both sides not to speak when someone else has the floor.
    Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, the permit for the northern gateway project was quashed in court because of the absolute failure on the part of the Harper Conservatives to appropriately consult indigenous peoples. We will take our role in this process very seriously, and we will continue to work with indigenous communities, municipalities, provinces, and territories to ensure that good projects move forward and create good jobs.

[Translation]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a remarkable day since my bill to ensure that our laws respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was passed. Yesterday, I also asked the Prime Minister whether his decision to impose a pipeline despite opposition from first nations upheld the honour of the crown. However, as we saw, he did not answer.
    Does this government believe that its approach to the pipeline respects the letter and the spirit of the declaration?
    Mr. Speaker, the New Democrats applauded Premier Notley's environmental protection plan. I would like to remind them of something that they seem to have forgotten, and that is that Ms. Notley's plan included limiting greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands, putting a price on carbon, building a pipeline to get resources to markets other than the United States, and holding many consultations with Canada's indigenous people. That is an example of real leadership on climate change.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals spent so much money on a pipeline, they cannot afford new talking points.
    Yesterday was an historic day for Canada, because we voted 206 to 79 to pass Bill C-262, enshrining the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into Canadian law. We must thank my friend, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, for a lifetime of dedication fighting for the rights of aboriginal people.
    Now it is time for the Liberal government to put action behind its words and its vote. Will it respect UNDRIP and commit not to put a shovel into the ground on their new pipeline until after all the aboriginal rights and title cases have been resolved?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that we took additional time and steps to review the process to make it more rigorous. We extended consultation to ensure we were meeting and indeed exceeding our duty to consult indigenous peoples. That is something the Harper government failed to do.
     The permit for northern gateway was quashed in court because of a lack of consultation by the former Conservative government. As a project that was subject to the most exhaustive review of any pipeline in Canadian history, this pipeline will be built.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, these Trump tariffs will be damaging on Canadian steel and aluminum producers, almost as damaging as the Liberal tariffs that are being imposed on those very same Canadian companies in the form of carbon taxes and higher payroll taxes, taxes that their competitors south of the border will not have to pay.
     In light of today's trade dispute, will the government exempt Canadian companies from these punitive taxes so they can compete against their American counterparts?
    Mr. Speaker, it seems the party opposite has learned nothing. The environment and the economy go together. We have been clear that we are going to tackle climate change. We are going to take serious action. We are going to put a price on pollution. We are phasing out coal. We are making historic investments in public transportation, green infrastructure and clean technology, which is a $23 trillion opportunity. Why does the party opposite not get with the program?
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal program is to move jobs and industry out of this country to jurisdictions that have poorer environmental standards and where jobs will not come to Canadian workers.
     These taxes will impose higher costs on Canadian enterprises and Canadian workers, right at at time when they can least afford to face those kinds of costs. Will the government exempt Canadian businesses that are competing fiercely with companies south of the border from these new taxes and protect Canadian jobs?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to stand up today, wearing a hammer necklace in memory of my hometown “the Hammer”. We will stand up for Canadian jobs. We will stand up for steelworkers and aluminum workers, while also growing the economy.
     Once again, I wish the party opposite would understand that in the 21st century the economy and the environment go hand in hand.
    Mr. Speaker, the government is hammering Canadian businesses with higher taxes and higher costs. Outside of Canada companies will not have to pay these taxes. In fact, businesses will be able to set up shop and hire workers in competing jurisdictions without any of the burdens the Liberal government is imposing here at home.
     Today is the day, with all the events that are before us now, for the government to announce that it will exempt Canadian businesses from these new taxes, stand up to Donald Trump, and support Canadian jobs. Will it do that?
    Mr. Speaker, it is really disappointing that the party opposite would use the announcement by the U.S. administration to advance its own political agenda. Why does its members not stand with us and Canadian workers in standing up for what is right? That is exactly what we are doing. They should stop politicizing this issue and stand with Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, we are standing with Canadian workers. We are standing against the taxes that will kill jobs for Canadian workers.
     The government continues to pile on one new tax after another, a carbon tax, higher payroll taxes, taxes on Canadian jobs. The only effect of that will be to drive industry to competing jurisdictions like the United States of America.
     Why will the Liberals not stand up to Donald Trump, step back from these taxes, and protect Canadian jobs?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that 85% of Canadians already live in a jurisdiction where there is a price on carbon. I can also tell him that 100% of small businesses will get a tax break, a tax reduction in the new budget, going to 9%.
     Those are the actions we are taking, among many, to ensure that we support Canadian businesses and create jobs. We have created 600,000 jobs over the last two years, something the Conservatives never could achieve in 10 years.

  (1445)  

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, a cabinet directive, in effect since 1995, compels all ministers to complete and submit a sustainability assessment on any proposal to cabinet. The Liberals proudly claim their deep commitment to ensuring sustainability considerations for all their decisions, including impacts to the environment and indigenous rights.
     Did the finance minister comply with this directive and submit a sustainability assessment on his decision to buy the Kinder Morgan pipeline? If no, why not? If yes, will he publicly disclose it?
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear that the TMX included a full environmental assessment. We considered all different factors involved, including the impacts on climate change. It fits within Alberta's hard cap on emissions. It fits within our client plan.
     Yes, of course we look at the environmental impacts of all decisions we make. We also look at the jobs impact. We wish the party opposite would do the same.
    Mr. Speaker, in 2016, the Prime Minister said that while governments granted permits for resource development, only communities granted permission.
     Vancouver, Burnaby, the Squamish, the Tsleil-Waututh, the Coldwater Nations, and many others along the Kinder Morgan route have said no. However, the government has taken direct ownership for driving this pipeline straight through these communities.
     What does the Prime Minister plan to do when tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of citizens demonstrate and hold him to account for his flawed pipeline and broken promise?
    Mr. Speaker, the safety and security of the public in energy infrastructure is a priority for this government. Unlike the Harper Conservatives, who labelled environmental groups as foreign-funded radicals, we accept a diversity of views and opinions. However, we expect people to express their views peacefully and in accordance with the law.
     We recognize that not everyone agrees with those decisions, but we remain committed to working to ensure a strong economy, while taking leadership on the environment. Our goal now is to ensure that this project moves forward to create economic benefits for all Canadians.

[Translation]

Science

    Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Conservatives would have people believe, all members on this side of the House are extremely proud of our Prime Minister, who is putting in place practical measures to defend the interests of Canadians and Canadian companies.
    On another note, world-renowned researchers across the country are generating new knowledge and inspiring new generations of scientists. Recently, our government made historic investments in research and science.
    Could the Minister of Science tell us more—
     Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

[English]

    Order, please. Thanks for the help, but no thank you.
    The hon. Minister for Science.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his important support for research.

[English]

    Our government knows that if we want our researchers to soar to new heights, they need support.

[Translation]

    That is why we announced the largest investment in research in Canada's history. This week, I announced a $158-million investment through Insight development grants and Insight grants.

[English]

    This investment will support 800 research projects across Canada, and will build a healthier, stronger, and more prosperous country.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians all agree that Canada must not give preferential treatment to foreigners who enter the country illegally.
    Quebec's Liberal government clearly told the federal Liberal government that is is being overwhelmed by illegal migrants and that it does not want any more.
    Yesterday, we learned that the Liberal Ontario government, under the pretext of the provincial election, is refusing to accept any more illegal migrants.
    If the two largest Canadian provinces are already overwhelmed, what is the minister's plan for managing this never-ending crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, I completely disagree with my colleague's comments. We have been working all along with Quebec and Ontario on the issue of refugee claimants. We held our 10th meeting last night.
    Like Canada, Quebec is open to receiving refugee claimants as long as the rules are followed when an individual makes a refugee claim.

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that Quebec said earlier that it is anxiously awaiting a triage plan.
    The level of Liberal hypocrisy is really beyond the pale. The Minister of Immigration says that illegal migrants are not welcome, but the Minister of Transport is saying that there is a process in place for illegal migrants who want to settle in Ontario.
    The minister took a nice trip to Nigeria, but could not be bothered to go to Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle to see the magnitude of the problem for himself. The minister needs to understand that the problem is here in Canada.
    Will the minister finally acknowledge the problem caused by his Prime Minister, take his responsibilities seriously, and fix the problem?
    Mr. Speaker, we are working continuously on this important issue. I disagree with my colleague when he says that we only need to tackle this problem here in Canada.
    We have introduced an outreach program in the United States to educate diaspora communities that might be thinking of coming to Canada. Right now, the majority of people crossing the border at Lacolle are from Nigeria, so our minister's visit to Nigeria was extremely important and is producing results.

[English]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. The Liberals expropriated 25% of a fishing quota from a company and gave it to the brother of a Liberal MP and a former Liberal MP. They claimed it was for reconciliation, but now they are being sued by a first nation.
     The company they awarded the quota to does not even have a boat, so it will not be able to harvest the expropriated quota. Therefore, there is no reconciliation, no harvesting, no jobs.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and reverse this unethical expropriation?
    Mr. Speaker, our decision to introduce indigenous participation is consistent with our government's commitment to develop renewed relationships in Canada with indigenous peoples. The minister made this decision to allow for an increase in indigenous participation in the fishery, and we reject any claim to the contrary in the strongest terms.
     Our government is proud of this decision and will continue to focus on how it will directly benefit the people of Atlantic Canada and Quebec.
    Mr. Speaker, contrary to Liberal claims, our Conservative government initiated a process to include first nations, and I can send that press release to the member if he wishes. It would increase the total allowable catch, allowing new entrants, without stealing it away from another existing holder.
     The minister has made such a botchery and ethical mess of this deal and put at risk the people and jobs in Grand Bank, Newfoundland.
    Could the minister confirm that his lucky winner will not even be able to harvest its quota this year?
    Mr. Speaker, as I stated in the House many times, these claims are completely unsubstantiated. The fact that there is a new participant in the surf clam industry should not be a surprise. As the member just stated, the Conservatives went through a similar process. The only difference, both in fact and opinion, is that they did not include indigenous people when they went through their process.
    We are proud of our robust process that allowed us to pick the best expression of interest to ensure that the highest number of Atlantic Canadians and people from Quebec benefited from this decision.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, the CRTC report on the future of our culture is clear: the system has to be fair. That means that the GST breaks for Netflix are unacceptable.
    Above all, everyone should support content from here. Unlike the government, the CRTC listened and understood what measures needed to be taken. One of the briefs submitted to the CRTC was entitled “We do not need any more reports, just action from the government”.
    I cannot make this up. That was the title of the brief. Everyone is calling for the same thing.
    Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage heed that call?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairperson of the CRTC and his team for their work, as well as all the stakeholders who took part in the study that I commissioned last September.
    Ultimately, our objective is to modernize our laws to protect and promote our culture in the 21st century. The Minister of Innovation and I will have the opportunity to make announcements shortly regarding the modernization of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act.
    Unlike the Harper Conservatives, who made draconian cuts to the cultural sector and waged war on it, we are taking action.

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, seasonal workers are stretched so thin that L'Acadie Nouvelle has reported that workers are gathering at the church in Lamèque to pray for the workers who can no longer feed their families.
    A number of organizations agree that the Liberals are flying by the seat of their pants. These seasonal workers do not need a miracle. They do not need training. They need permanent, concrete solutions to fix the EI spring gap in the long term.
    Will the Prime Minister and the minister finally keep their promise?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for giving me the opportunity to talk about this incredibly important topic. As she knows, a very important and never-before-seen feature appeared in budget 2018, and this shows that the Canadian government is already involved and is already aware of the measures it must take to support workers, families, and businesses with respect to seasonal work. She also knows that in the coming months and in the next two years, there will be a historic investment of $230 million to support these communities.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are obviously very nervous. Canadians are waking up to the fact that this government is making a terrible mess of our beautiful country. The Liberals are panicking. Their so-called democratic reform is another tactic to try to keep the other political parties quiet. They want to limit how much political parties can spend leading up to election campaigns.
    What is the problem with that? Will the same rules apply to the government? In other words, will their ministers be limited in how many announcements they can make and how much they can spend during that same period?
    Mr. Speaker, as you know, we introduced Bill C-76 and we hope we can work with all of our House of Commons colleagues to improve democracy so Canadians can vote. Many Canadians, 176 in fact, were not able to vote in the last election. This is a real problem for future voters. What are we going to do about it here? We are going to work together to make sure everyone in Canada can vote.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we all know that the Liberals love to spend money that is not theirs, and the Liberal government routinely spends millions of dollars in ridings where by-elections are being called, trying to buy its way out of trouble. That money belongs to Canadian taxpayers and not to the Liberal Party.
    Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is trying to restrict the opposition parties from spending their own money to speak to Canadians, but he will not ban ministerial travel or advertising in the pre-election period, because this gives the Liberals an advantage.
    When will the Prime Minister stop using taxpayers' money to try to buy elections for the Liberal Party?
    Mr. Speaker, as I told my hon. colleague in committee, Bill C-76 does not limit travel at all. When he is talking about advertising, it limits it for any party during the period, and that is only with regard to advertising. Perhaps he is thinking about a previous Conservative minister who perhaps put a CPC logo when he was delivering Canada child benefit cheques. That is why we are doing this, because Canadians want to ensure integrity in our electoral system.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, today the House is debating the 2018 budget, which imposes a massive carbon tax on Canadians. Now, other ministers have agreed to appear before committees to defend their spending plans. Sadly, despite repeated requests, the environment minister will not publicly say whether she will come to committee to defend her harmful carbon tax. The buck stops with the minister.
    Canadians are demanding to know, will she publicly defend her carbon tax plan before we have to vote on it? Will she answer, and is it yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, I have appeared before committee many, many times on issues unrelated to carbon pricing, and the question from the party opposite is always on carbon pricing. Every day in the House I defend putting a price on pollution. Let us be clear: 80% of Canadians live in a province that has actually stepped up and said that we want to take action on climate change. Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec put a price on pollution. They are tackling climate change, and guess what? Their economies are the fastest-growing in the country. That is what we want to see. We want to see more jobs and less emissions, and tackle climate change. We owe it to our kids.

  (1500)  

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, the sun is out, and Canadians are turning their minds to summer travel. There is no better place to travel than across our country from coast to coast to coast, and many people will be including in their plans a trip to Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day.
    Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage please update the House on the planning for July 1?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada Day is a time when Canadians of all ages can take part in a wide range of activities that celebrate our communities.

[Translation]

    This year, Canada Day programming will showcase the important contributions of indigenous peoples and the inspiring women who shaped this nation.
    Artists such as Arkells, Lights, Brigitte Boisjoli, Charlotte Cardin, and Iskwé will be on stage on July 1.

[English]

    I look forward to all Canadians from coast to coast coming to Parliament Hill for July 1 to celebrate Canada Day together.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister is eager to show my wonderful riding off to the whole world during the G7 meeting. We also know that events like these attract protesters and vandals.
    We all deplore that type of violence, and the Prime Minister must stop denying its existence. He needs to step up and provide assurances to people affected by the G7.
    Can he tell us if his government has set aside a special fund to compensate the people who end up being victims of vandalism?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, arrangements are firmly in place to deal with all eventualities around the G7 summit. Obviously, meetings of the G7 are extremely important to the participants, but also to many other countries around the world. Security is important. That is the responsibility of the host country. The arrangements have been put in place, and the opposition parties have been briefed. Canadians can count on the excellent professionalism of their police and security services.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the shortfall for clean water for first nations on reserve is $3.2 billion. The shortfall on housing is much more severe. When I am dealing, as I was this week, with a young mother with a chronically sick child living in a mould-infested shack, what am I to tell her? Do I tell her that she is now a part owner of a 65-year-old pipeline, or that it is not going to be Doug Ford driving the first bulldozer through first nation territory but the Prime Minister?
    Why is it that with first nation children, change is always incremental, but Texas oil investors get from the Prime Minister what they want, when they want it?
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House we all agreed together, or at least most of the parties agreed, that we respect the rights of indigenous peoples. Our government has embarked on a new relationship with indigenous peoples. We are making the appropriate investments, $17 billion in the last three budgets. There are 13,000 homes being built across the country. There are 62 drinking water advisories that have been lifted across the country. There are new investments in schools, health care, and infrastructure. We are getting the work done.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, for the sixth time, Bill Browder was arrested on an Interpol arrest warrant. Mr. Browder has been tireless in his advocacy of the Magnitsky legislation. To retaliate, Russia has added him to the Interpol warrant list. Could the Minister of Public Safety speak to what the Government of Canada is doing to ensure that individuals unjustly blacklisted by Russia, such as Mr. Browder, will not be unlawfully detained if they come to Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, last fall, I condemned Russia's abuse of the Interpol notice system to try to block Bill Browder from visiting Canada to celebrate the passage of Canada's Magnitsky act. As I said then, “Canada will decide admissibility to Canada, not the Kremlin.” Interpol notices are a valuable tool that should not be perverted for other purposes, such as foreign political interference.
    When Mr. Browder was in Canada earlier this year, he was welcomed and celebrated as a human rights champion, including by all sides in the House, and I am sure this will continue.

[Translation]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, we know that anything goes with the Liberals, as long as they do not get caught red-handed.
     I have spoken out multiple times about the conflict of interest created by the Prime Minister's family trip to the Aga Khan's private island. This morning, the media reported that a memo on meetings between the Prime Minister's Office and the Aga Khan's office had been almost completely redacted. So much for Liberal transparency.
    If transparency is so important to the Prime Minister's Office, why were 251 of the 316 pages redacted? What are they hiding?

  (1505)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that at the end of the day, we have a Prime Minister who is committed to working with the Ethics Commissioner in full co-operation, which has been illustrated on numerous occasions.
    We, on this side of the House, have full confidence in our independent offices, whether it is the commissioner's office or Elections Canada. This is important in terms of our parliamentary traditions and history, and we support that.

[Translation]

Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees

    Mr. Speaker, on April 26, The Canadian Press reported that Ottawa was late in delivering its promised plan for triaging asylum seekers. On April 18, the minister had promised that the plan would be released within a few days. Then, the government said it would be out in a few weeks. Now it says it will be a few months.
     Does the minister realize that while he plays around, killing time, asylum seekers continue to pour in every day through Roxham Road?
    Mr. Speaker, we are working on a triage plan in close collaboration with Quebec and Ontario, because we know that many asylum seekers are heading for Ontario.
    We have been working closely with officials from Ontario's Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and we have made considerable progress. However, we need to wait until Ontario chooses a new government before we can finalize the arrangements we have made.
    That's just it, Mr. Speaker. The government is talking and waiting, but meanwhile things are simply not working.
    The government is saying that the triage plan is being held up by the election in Ontario. What will the Liberals' excuse be once the election is over? Will asylum seekers stop coming through Quebec because there is an election in Ontario? When the election is over, will the Liberals blame the delay on the Saint-Jean holiday, the construction holiday, the election in Quebec, or the Christmas holidays? What will their excuse be?
    We need a triage plan now. Is that so hard to understand?
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps my colleague does not understand that a triage plan does not just involve asking people whether they want to go right or left. It is much more complex than that.
    Ontario needs to commit to transporting asylum seekers, receiving them, and implementing various programs like those in Quebec. It is very complex. We need to deal with reality, and I can assure the House that we will not stop for June 24.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, today, President Trump decided to slap tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum.
    Since Mr. Trump's arrival, Canada has not managed to re-establish a balance of power. The Liberal government's strategy is to kowtow to the U.S. in the hope of avoiding its wrath. In the meantime, very important sectors of Quebec's economy are being attacked on all sides.
    Will the Prime Minister admit that his strategy has failed and will have disastrous consequences for Quebec's economy?
    Mr. Speaker, we disagree with the tariffs imposed by the United States. We are standing up for our aluminum and steel workers. We have been clear about the measures we will take in the next few weeks in response to what the United States has done. We are here for Quebec and Canadian workers. We fully reject the reason given by the United States to justify its tariffs.

[English]

Presence in Gallery

     I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of this year’s recipients of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.
    The recipients of the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Awards are Andrew Alexander, Geneviève Bujold, Peter Herrndorf, Angela Hewitt, Ginette Laurin, and Murray McLauchlan.
    The recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts is Florence Junca Adenot.
    The recipients of the National Arts Centre Award are Tegan and Sara Quin.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Speaker: I invite all hon. members to meet the recipients at a reception in room 216-N after the votes. It is up to members, obviously, whether they stay for votes, but I am guessing most will.

  (1510)  

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I think you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
     That the House (a) stand with steel and aluminum workers in Saguenay, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Regina, and all across Canada; (b) agree that US action today on steel and aluminum is unacceptable, even more so because it is being done on national security grounds; and (c) and that the House is of the view that Canada should retaliate.

[Translation]

    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)


Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Federal Sustainable Development Act

     The House resumed from May 30 consideration of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motion in Group No. 1.
    It being 3:13 p.m., pursuant to the order made on Tuesday, May 29, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-57.
    Call in the members.
    And the bells having rung

  (1520)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 1, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 689)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Arnold
Barlow
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Brassard
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Cooper
Diotte
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Fast
Finley
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kmiec
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacKenzie
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sorenson
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 69

NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beech
Benson
Bittle
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Breton
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Cannings
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chen
Choquette
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Donnelly
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hajdu
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Khalid
Khera
Kwan
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 188

PAIRED

Members

LeBlanc
Plamondon

Total: -- 2

    I declare Motion No. 1 defeated.

[Translation]

     moved that Bill C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, be concurred in at report stage.
    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion, the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:

  (1525)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 690)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beech
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bittle
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Breton
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Cannings
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chen
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Cooper
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Hajdu
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Ng
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Toole
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Tootoo
Trudeau
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zimmer

Total: -- 255

NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

LeBlanc
Plamondon

Total: -- 2

    I declare the motion carried.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, just prior to the votes, the House voted unanimously to support steel and aluminum workers and their families across this country, which I support.
    There was a small omission. There have been discussions among the parties to make one small addition, which is an important one to the people of Kitimat, British Columbia, and I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House to amend the motion.
    Nine out of 10 aluminum smelters in Canada are, of course, located in Quebec, but there is one outside of Quebec, and that is in Kitimat in British Columbia. Those families would very much also appreciate the support of the House of Commons in what is obviously a very stressful and difficult time.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this amendment?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

  (1530)  

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of questions relating to the business that we are going to be dealing with next week. In the last couple of days the government has used time allocation a number of times for bills that it is moving ahead—not that we agree with it, but it is within the government's purview to do it.
    Standing Order 78 says “A Minister of the Crown who from his or her place in the House, at a previous sitting, has stated that an agreement could not be reached...” and then it goes on to the provision. We know that the government did not speak to us in the opposition at all, not to me or the NDP, about bill C-74, but it has moved time allocation on that bill even though the Liberals have not talked to us.
    My first question is this: are they planning on moving time allocation on bills that they have not even talked with us about?
    My second question is also related to that matter. Regarding the business of the House, I would like to know why the government House leader is not following the custom of sitting down with the opposition to discuss priority bills that the government wants to pass or advance before the June adjournment. It is very normal practice that the government House leader would sit down and talk with us and let us know.
    Other bills have been discussed previously, but because she has not done that here, there is a vacuum in the House that has led to some unnecessary chaos and unintended consequences. In fact, we have not had a House leadership meeting in nine days.
    I have those two questions, and I also would like to ask the government if it could tell us what business we will be looking at this next week.
    Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the opposition House leader to speak to the government House leader on the questions that she has just raised.
     In the meantime, this afternoon we will continue with report stage of Bill C-74, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1.
    Following this debate, we will turn to Bill C-47, the arms trade treaty, also at report stage.

[Translation]

    Tomorrow morning, we will begin third reading of Bill C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. Monday and Wednesday shall be allotted days. Next week, priority will be given to the following bills: Bill-C-74, budget implementation act, 2018, No. 1; Bill C-69 on environmental assessments; Bill C-75 on modernizing the justice system; and Bill C-47 on the Arms Trade Treaty.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would draw your attention to page 363 of the 24th edition of Erskine May, which says that during the weekly business statement members are permitted in the U.K. parliament to ask supplementary questions to the weekly business statement.
    To the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, could he perhaps answer the questions asked by the hon. House leader for the opposition about which time allocation motion will be forthcoming and what the priority bills of the government are for this week?
    That may be the practice in Westminster, but it has not been the practice here, as I think the member knows. If he would like that to be the practice, I respect that.
    The hon. Minister of Transport is rising on a point.
    Mr. Speaker, it is for one last time, I hope.
    You know that rail safety is my top priority.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I am very proud to table, one year early, the report from the study on the Railway Safety Act.

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1

[Government Orders]
     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Mr. Speaker, could you tell me how much time I have left?
    I apologize. I should have done that already. The hon. member for Calgary Shepard has five minutes remaining.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be restarting the debate with the time I have left. After the interesting and lively question period we had, I want to return to a few points I made yesterday on a different bill, because it speaks to the substance of the budget in the end.
    A mantra the government has used repeatedly in the House, and it used it again in question period, is that “the environment and the economy go together.” Those were the exact words used by the Minister of Environment.
     In the budget book, my hope would have been to have actually seen an attempt to get a balance between the environment and the economy, but the Liberals failed to do so. We can see that in the repeated deficits they have created year after year. They are structural and they are occurring at a time when we are seeing growth in the economy.
    It is not stellar growth. In fact, we are not the leading economy in the G7. We are a middling country in the G7. There is a lot of growth the government has hurt. The PBO reported that we are losing up to 0.4%, perhaps 0.5% in GDP growth. This is a penalty on Canadians. It is a penalty on middle-class families.
    I asked the Parliamentary Budget Office staff at a committee if they had ever seen the Government of Canada impose a policy decision that resulted in the loss of a half a percentage of GDP growth. For a moment they were stunned and silent, and actually said “no”. They have not gotten back to the committee since then with an example of the Canadian government purposely reducing economic growth through its own policy decision.
    I talked earlier about how the first quarter of the year is being reported as one of the slowest in two years in terms of growth, partly because of the mortgage decisions. Nineteen to 20 mortgage decisions have been taken by the Government of Canada over the past two years that have hurt the ability of middle-class Canadians, and in fact all Canadians, to purchase their first homes, move down or move up the housing ladder, and invest in themselves for the future. There was the stress test. We know the B20 rule, introduced January 1, has hurt Canadians.
    I tried to raise this matter at the finance committee yesterday as material to the budget, because indeed the budget outlook is dependent on ensuring strong economic growth. Yesterday, when I raised the matter, it was voted down by every single Liberal member on the committee, without a single word spoken as to an explanation. The members simply voted it down. They did not want to hear it, and why would they want to when the news is all bad?
    I used the Yiddish proverb before that “money is round and it rolls away from you”. It is rolling away from the Government of Canada. These runaway deficits are ensuring that future generations of Canadians will have to pay for this uncontrolled spending that the Government of Canada has pursued, and for very little purpose. There is no actual end goal to any of this. There is no end purpose to these three budget bills that they have provided to us so far, and the implementation of them. We do not know when the budget will be balanced. We know when they talk about the environment and the economy going hand in hand what they actually mean is one hand is in the pocket of the taxpayer fishing out carbon taxes and the other hand is in the pocket of Canadians fishing out higher small business taxes and higher payroll taxes.
    I will mention that the Liberals did abandon a great deal of the disastrous small business tax they were going to try to impose back in the fall, but I still have constituents today who will be severely and deeply affected by these new small business tax plans.
    These are not rich Canadians. These are people who in their line of business are not earning anywhere near the highest marginal effective tax rate. They are simply in a business that is proving to be profitable, and each spouse wants to take a little out of the business to pay themselves. The taxes being proposed in the budget and the changes to the small business taxation being proposed to dividend schemes and passive income in this budget will hurt those small business owners in my riding. It is a new set of people who are going to be hurt by them, not the same individuals who stood up and vociferously opposed the government in the fall for the tax changes it proposed.
    I will be opposing the budget bill. It is another failure. We have three consecutive failed budget bills that will not achieve any of the goals of balancing the environment and the economy.

  (1535)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to focus my question on economic growth. That was a large part of my colleague's speech this afternoon.
    We made a clear decision. We believed that Canadians were very hard-working and we knew that investing in Canadians was going to lead to economic growth. Over the past two and a half years, that has proven to be true. With our investments and the hard work of Canadians, the result has been that more than 600,000 jobs have been created since November 2015.
    Also, Canada has the best balance sheet in the G7, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. Our debt as a function of our economy is shrinking steadily, and it is projected to soon be at the lowest point in almost 40 years.
    Does the hon. member accept these facts?
    Mr. Speaker, first, the finance committee has observed repeatedly that the debt-to-GDP ratio is not a fiscal anchor upon which one can build a public budget.
    Second, the member knows, of course, that most of the jobs being created are in the public sector. We need private sector job creation to pay for those public sector jobs.
    If we look at Greece before it went into its economic death spiral, it had the same type of trend. It had a reducing debt-to-GDP ratio, and then it suddenly skyrocketed. When we hit the debt wall, that figure instantly begins to change, something the Alberta government experienced in the 1990s when it hit the debt wall. When it did so, and the banks and international institutions refused to lend to it, successive governments had to pay the price. The price was then paid by the taxpayers of Alberta through higher taxes at the pumps, higher taxes on income, and deep cuts to public services. That will be the end result of this Liberal budget.

  (1540)  

    Mr. Speaker, one of the things my Alberta colleague also talked about in his intervention was the fact that 200 pages of this budget deal with a carbon tax, a carbon tax on which we have not had any answers from the Liberal government in terms of what the costs will be. For example, we had the Minister of Agriculture at committee on Monday, and I asked him several times if he could tell us what the costs of the carbon tax would be for the average farm or agribusiness. He refused to answer that question. In fact, he said many times that farmers are appreciative of the carbon tax and that it is what they voted for. I have letters from literally dozens of farmers that say it is exactly what they did not vote for.
    Can my colleague tell me what he feels the impact of a carbon tax will be on the average Canadian family?
    Mr. Speaker, I was remiss not to mention that, indeed, 200 pages of the budget bill, because it is an omnibus budget bill, contain within them the mechanisms by which the carbon tax will be administered. The Liberals initially said the carbon tax would be very simple. It is nothing of the sort. There is a litany of exemptions and exceptions being applied to the carbon tax.
     The question of who will pay and how much they will pay is an interesting one. At committee, the Government of Canada claimed that it could not calculate it. I then raised the fact that the Alberta government was able to calculate the average cost to the average family in Alberta. It is interesting that a provincial government could calculate it, but the Canadian government could not.
    The Conservative members moved eight amendments at committee to try to extract that information for the report to Parliament that was tabled. Eight times every single Liberal member voted against greater transparency on the carbon tax. When we talk about the carbon tax cover-up, we mean examples like this. Eight times members of Parliament on the Conservative side offered up distinct, legitimate, reasonable amendments to provide a more succinct report to Parliament that would provide exactly that type of information so that Canadians would know the cost to them and how much GHG emissions would be reduced in return for this carbon tax being levied upon them, and eight times, every single Liberal MP voted against them.

Privilege

Standing Committee on Finance  

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, I regret to bring to your attention a possible breach of privilege. The matter came to my attention in an article by The Globe and Mail reporter Bill Curry. Mr. Curry indicates that a ministerial staff member allegedly intimidated an important would-be witness to the Standing Committee on Finance. The Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies planned to raise concerns about the budget implementation act's amendments to the Banking Act.
    The article stated:
     An insurance lobby group says it was the subject of two "angry" phone calls from Finance Minister Bill Morneau's office aimed at blocking it from raising privacy concerns over new measures in the budget bill related to how banks use customer data. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Normand Lafrenière, president of the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, said the first call came on April 12 from the Finance Minister's senior policy adviser, Ian Foucher.
“I was asked not to meet with MPs and senators,” said Mr. Lafrenière, who has led the organization for 25 years after a public-service career that included senior positions at the Finance Department.
    Furthermore, the article indicates that a member of the minister's office said this to the group:
     Are you going to play ball with us or not? You better not appear in front of committees, and stop talking to senators and stop talking to MPs. Everything will be taken care of through regulations that will be published down the road.
    These threatening comments may have prevented members from hearing testimony on an important bill. This group indicated in the same article that it was trying to raise objections to amendments to the Bank Act that had an effect on the privacy rights of Canadians.
     The Minister of Finance has enormous legislative and regulatory powers over the industry that the would-be witnesses represent. That is why such a call from his office demanding their silence would have had great power to intimidate.
    The group never testified before the House of Commons finance committee. Members of the government may point out that none of the opposition MPs on the committee put the group forward to serve as witnesses. However, and this may be true, but I do not know for sure, that might have been because the group was hesitant to lobby opposition MPs to be put on the witness list in the first place.
    In chapter 3 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, authors Bosc and Gagnon indicate:
    A Member may also be obstructed or interfered with in the performance of his or her parliamentary functions by non-physical means. In ruling on such matters, the Speaker examines the effect the incident or event had on the Member’s ability to fulfill his or her parliamentary responsibilities.
    For a minister's office to silence a group over which the minister has regulatory power deprives parliamentary committees of valuable witness testimony and prevents members from doing their jobs. I am such a member. I am on the finance committee as a vice-chair, but other committee members would have benefited from having this testimony, which may have been effectively blocked by a threat emanating from the minister's office. If this had been a phone call from just a random person on the street telling a potential witness not to testify, I am sure that potential witness could simply ignore the call. However, when the call comes from the office of the minister that regulates one's industry, and language like, “Are you going to play ball? You better not testify. Don't talk to MPs”, is used, people are obviously tempted to stay silent to protect their interests or to avoid regulatory or legislative harm. That is why I believe that my privileges and those of other members on the committee may have been breached by our inability to hear the witnesses and question them.
     Therefore, I ask that you rule on whether it is appropriate for ministerial staff members to tell groups not to testify. I also ask that you determine if this case represents a prima facie case of a breach in privilege.

  (1545)  

    I thank the hon. member for Carleton for bringing this to the attention of the House. We will take it under advisement and get back to the House in due course.
    I see the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader rising. Is it on the question of privilege?
    Mr. Speaker, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to hear the concerns raised by the member. We will take it, as always, and look into the matter. We will want to report back to the House at some point in time.
    That is duly noted. In the short time ahead, perhaps when he is able to, we will hear from the parliamentary secretary on the question as well.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1

[Government Orders]
     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity today to speak to the budget implementation act. Ronald Reagan once said, “Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” That quote is often interpreted as tongue in cheek, but it is a fairly good description of the current government's economic policy: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
    With this budget bill, we have an opportunity to discuss a whole range of problems in terms of the government's economic plan, problems that are well summed up in that quotation. I am going to address as many of them today as time allows, the first being the carbon tax and the carbon tax cover-up.
    We have a government that is imposing new taxes on Canadians at a feverish pace. In particular, through the carbon tax, the Liberals are requiring every province to impose a carbon tax. If a province will not, the Liberals will themselves impose a carbon tax on that province. This carbon tax is not revenue neutral to the federal government, because we know that the government will collect GST on the carbon tax, and the Liberals have consistently refused calls from the opposition not to collect GST on the carbon tax.
    The Liberals believe that this is the right approach, but they also believe that Canadians should not have access to the information they used to make their determination. We have an ongoing carbon tax cover-up in which the government refuses to give Canadians basic information about how much the federal carbon tax will cost. The provinces that have imposed carbon taxes have been, in fact, much more forthright with the data.
    I would say that if the government has an opinion on the carbon tax one way or another, it should be willing to present the information and the analysis that led it to that decision so that Canadians can see it, agree with it or disagree with it, and have that discussion. Instead, it is a government that, on the one hand, claims to be confident in the rightness of its position, but, on the other hand, refuses to give this information.
     We have in this budget bill the government moving forward with its federal carbon tax and continuing to refuse to give information about how much it will cost the average Canadian family. We know this will impose significant costs on the economy as a whole. Canadians have a right to know, the middle class and those working hard to join it have a right to know, how much the carbon tax will cost them.
    There is a discussion on how we support economic development, which is always part of the budget and certainly is quite in discussion today. Our approach, on this side of the House, is to say that the best way to encourage economic development is to think about existing businesses and also to think about businesses that do not yet exist and could exist. It is to create the conditions for economic growth, for investment, and for new, innovative ideas, not to prejudge where those ideas are going to come from or what they are going to look like.
    Government is inevitably poorly disposed to fully know where the next big economic opportunity is going to be. Economic growth does not happen because the government decides it is going to spend a whole bunch of money on this supercluster fetish we have. Instead, economic growth happens when individual entrepreneurs have new ideas, and they make sacrifices to make investments in themselves and their communities and their own businesses that then allow for growth and job creation. The approach we take is to favour simplification of regulations and tax reductions for individuals and businesses, especially small businesses, that create opportunities.
    Under the previous government, we lowered the business tax rate, which actually led to an increase in business tax revenues. Business tax revenues went up as the rate of business taxation went down, and that shows that giving opportunity and resources and mechanisms to the private sector is how to create jobs and opportunity. Even the government was better off from lowering business taxes. We lowered the small-business tax rate. We had it booked in as being lowered to 9%. The current government broke that promise, and then un-broke that promise, at least for now, as a justification for some of the draconian regulatory changes it wanted to make for small business. The Liberals have an on-again, off-again relationship with supporting small-business tax reductions, but Canadian small-business owners know they can go steady with the opposition.

  (1550)  

    The way Liberals have approached small business to try to make these regulatory changes that increase costs and reduce certainty for small business is not the way to create confidence in our economy or to attract investment. Our approach was to lower personal income taxes, lower business taxes, and, by the way, always to target those tax reductions to those Canadians who needed them the most.
    We cut the GST, which is the tax everybody pays. We lowered the lowest marginal tax rate. By any standard of progressivity, the tax reductions that the Conservative government made were more progressive than any the Liberal government has even talked about. In fact, we know from various analysis that have been done that the Liberal government is increasing taxes through the carbon tax and other changes, including the elimination of tax credits and so forth, that hit those in the middle class and those working hard to join it very hard. It also hits small businesses, the engines of economic growth. These businesses are not looking for a government subsidy. They are not looking for a supercluster. They are looking for the regulatory and taxation environment that allows them to succeed.
    The Liberal government's approach is totally different. It thinks that the Prime Minister, in his wisdom, knows best where the next big opportunities will come. The Liberals then pick these areas of government spending to create economic growth, allegedly, while increasing the burden on those small individual operators who do not ask for government subsidies, but simply want to be left alone to create opportunity. It is asking successful small businesses to pay more so that other big, well-connected insiders will pay less.
     We do not think that is the right approach, spending hard-earned Canadian tax dollars subsidizing business. We do not think that is fair to other businesses that do not receive those subsidies. We do not feel those policies are fair to ordinary Canadians, who have to pay taxes, that then go to already wealthy companies. That is the Liberal approach, which is subsidizing friends and insiders through corporate welfare instead of creating conditions that allow for long-term economic growth and success through innovation.
    The approach of the government, on the one hand, trying to constrain the private sector and, on the other hand, wanting to then subsidize things is most evident in the case of its approach to pipelines. All the government had to do, if it wanted pipelines to succeed, was to continue with the successful policies under the previous government, which got four pipelines built and led to a fifth one being approved. The Liberal government will tell us that the Conservatives did not get any pipelines to tidewater except, except.
     It was under the Conservative government that every pipeline project that was proposed was approved. It stretches the imagination to think how it expects pipelines that were not proposed to have been built. We approved pipelines through a strong, fair but clear and accessible process to be built. Under the Liberal government, it immediately acted to kill the northern gateway pipeline.
     Canadians are probably wondering why the government is buying out and subsidizing one pipeline to the west coast, while it intentionally and then further through legislation is killing another pipeline to the west coast. If it just got out of the way, perhaps we would have two pipelines proceeding to the west coast. Certainly we would have one.
    There is the energy east pipeline, which, by piling additional burdens and challenges on, the government stopped. Then, after killing pipelines, intentionally, directly through government policy, it decided that there was actually one in which it wanted to look more interested. We still do not know if the strategy is going to bear fruit. It is spending $4.5 billion buying the existing pipeline, not building a new pipeline or even expanding one. It is spending $4.5 billion buying existing pipeline infrastructure. Then the government says that it will spend a whole bunch more, billions of dollars more, on a project that when the previous government was in place, the private sector was quite ready and keen to build. Now the Liberal government says that it is going to spend all this money to build it.
    What happens if it does not work out at some point along the way? It is very likely the government will just be pouring more and more money into something that could have and should have been done by the private sector.

  (1555)  

    The government's approach to the economy is a failed approach. It is to tax and regulate success, while piling on money in subsidy to everything else. We in the opposition present a strong alternative that will actually lead to economic success in the long term for Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the tax cuts we have implemented as a government.
    We reduced taxes on the middle class. How did we do that? By increasing taxes on the top 1%. We also reduced taxes on small businesses, and we are proud of that. We know the importance of small business in this economy.
    With respect to the child benefit, we increased it, so nine out of 10 families benefit from the increase. Millionaires do not get cheques anymore, but that is because millionaires do not need the cheques from the child benefit. However, nine out 10 families benefit, and it has lifted over 300,000 children out of poverty.
    We are so proud of these accomplishments that we have attained through this budget and previous budgets. Also, in this budget, as the member knows, we will be indexing that child benefit, which will start in July.
    However, the member's speech today focused a lot on the pipeline question. I have two specific questions for the member with respect to his focus. Is climate change real? If it is, what is his plan?

  (1600)  

    Mr. Speaker, yes, climate change is real. Yes, our party accepts absolutely the science of that. In fact, we were the first government in Canadian history to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They went up under the previous Liberal government that signed Kyoto. They went down under the Conservative government. They went down despite overall economic growth. When emissions were rising in the rest of the world, they went down in Canada, despite the fact that we were less hard hit by the recession than many other countries.
    The member asks what our plan is. We did it. What is her plan?
    All the Liberals talk about is raising taxes, yet they have no success when it comes to actually delivering on the things about which they talk. They tell us that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. Well, under the current government, they go hand in hand in the wrong direction.
    The member talked about cheques to millionaires. They are sending clusters of cheques to millionaires in these supercluster billionaire bailouts for which they are using taxpayer money.
     Therefore, it is a bit rich for the member to talk about not sending cheques to the rich when that is precisely the Liberals' industry policy: give money to already established companies with no consideration for the entrepreneurs or the companies that could have been built but cannot now because of the new regulations and new taxes imposed by the government.
    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to members opposite talk about the pipeline, about how the Conservatives built different pipelines, and that they had all the answers and could get pipelines built. The Leader of the Opposition was in my riding of Saint John—Rothesay three weeks ago, talking about the pipeline, saying he could build it.
    However, one thing I am very curious about is an article on the Leader of the Opposition's website in which it says he “is listening to Quebecers”. He talks about giving Quebec added jurisdiction and responsibilities over its territory, that it will have the right to decide what happens in its territory on all issues.
    How does the member opposite square that? On one side, the Leader of the Opposition says that he would build energy east. On the other side, he stands in Quebec and talks about how he is there to protect their jurisdictional rights.
    Mr. Speaker, I know the member loves it when Conservatives visit his riding. I can assure him that is going to happen. St. John is a beautiful place, and our leader and I, and other members of our caucus, will be making regular visits over the next year to continue to talk about our positive economic message.
    When it comes to energy east, I am sure his constituents are asking him this question. Why did the government set up a regulatory system designed to kill the energy east pipeline, while it then put a whole bunch of public money into the west?
    Unlike Liberal ministers, I am going to answer the question. I know that is something the minister does not normally hear happen in this place. I miscalled him the “minister”, and I am sorry about that error. After being removed from a committee for voting based on his conscience, it is unlikely he is going to be heading there.
    However, the member asked about respecting jurisdiction in Quebec. Let us be clear. This party believes in respecting provincial jurisdiction and not having provinces make decisions in federal jurisdiction. That is not a difficult distinction. On matters of jurisdiction in Quebec, Alberta, or B.C., the federal government should not interfere. The provinces should be able to make those decisions. On areas that are clearly within federal jurisdiction, they are within federal jurisdiction. That has clearly been our practice and our position.

[Translation]

    I can also say it in French, if they want.
    I see other members who want to ask questions, but the member's time has expired. Perhaps they can ask another time, during another period for questions and comments.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals had an opportunity with this implementation act to build an economy that would lift everyone up, people who counted on them, instead of just the wealthy few at a top with their tax havens. Unfortunately, the Liberals decided instead to defend the interests of their corporate and privileged, consigning the rest of Canada to the back seat.
    Budget 2018 and Bill C-74 reveal once again the Liberals' true nature.
     I remember in 2004 the damage done to our country after 13 years of Liberal rule, most of those years in majority governments that accomplished little to nothing in the way of fairness and equity for working Canadians. Those Liberals made the most drastic cuts to our public broadcaster, did little to nothing in the way of implementing a universal child care program, nothing to reverse the devastating effects of colonialism on indigenous peoples, except as a last ditch effort to stay in power, and undermined the health care system with cuts to transfer payments to the provinces.
    We hoped for more progress than setting the bar at red book promises unfulfilled. For close to three years now, the NDP caucus has been calling on the Liberals to actually be the progressive, positive government they promised us in 2015.
    This bill betrays all women who believed the so-called “gender budget” would include much anticipated pay equity legislation, because it does not. The Liberals promised pay equity 40 years ago, again in 2016, and again a month ago in the budget speech. Canadians want to know when the Liberals will finally deliver pay equity.
    Despite the smearing of its image by right-wing ideologues, the fact is that the public service has done more than the private sector in achieving gender equity in Canada. While there is still work to do on the equity front, women and men from historically disadvantaged groups, such as disabled persons, indigenous peoples, single parents, seniors, young people, and people of colour, are all represented in the public service workforce in greater percentages than they occur in Canada's population. They are employed at all levels of management and labour in the workforce more proportionately than in the private sector.
    Labour researchers and academics have pointed out that this advantage is at least in part the result of the fact workers in the Canadian public service have union representation guaranteed under our Constitution. However, recent reports indicate that the equity and fairness established in the public service is eroding as a result of austerity measures, privatization, and contracting out. The effect of this offloading, besides being inefficient, is that public sector workers are beginning to experience greater levels of workplace precarity. We know too that this precarity impacts diverse members of the workforce who can least afford it.
    We need to consider the legacy we are leaving to future generations, those who leave post-secondary and graduate schools with a burden of debt that is insurmountable only to face a world where jobs are scarce. When work can be found, it is more often than not part-time, underpaid, without benefits, and short-term. We need to give future generations more than the finance minister's statement, telling them to suck it up and get used to a lifetime of precarious work.
    Future generations will need a robust economy because they will incur the burden of supporting us in our dotage with their tax dollars. We need to seriously consider the legacy we leave. However, we also know it is bigger than that.
     We need to take care of each other for everyone to thrive. We need to create a Canada where no one experiences the isolation and degrading health consequences of homelessness, poverty, or mental illness, a Canada with free and equal access to education, health care, child care, pharmacare, housing, clean air, and clean water.
    We know what works and what does not. If what we want is to create a healthy sustainable equitable economy where every citizen has equal access to opportunity and is able to thrive and prosper, the Canada we know is possible, the Canada that can be, the work begins now, with federal budgets. Sadly, the Liberals' budget implementation act is even more timid than the budget. It offers no real plan to reduce inequities or build an economy that would benefit all Canadians.

  (1605)  

    I would like to take this opportunity today to speak about the ways in which Bill C-74 could have addressed inequalities and build an economy that would benefit all Canadians.
    This legislation could have contained provisions to assist rural communities. It does not. The Liberals had an opportunity in their 2018 budget to help rural communities, but instead chose to focus on the interests of their rich friends and their own ridings. In the meantime, they tell people in rural communities to wait for improved employment insurance, cellular infrastructure, and broadband Internet access.
    In just the past few days, we have seen announcements from big banks about closing branches in Burford, Blyth, and Clifford in Ontario, and Kipling and Preeceville in Saskatchewan. These closures will leave Blyth and Kipling with no local banking options. In Saskatchewan, the nearest TD branch to Preeceville is an hour to an hour and 45 minutes away.
    All of these communities have post offices. A postal banking system would allow members of this community access to banking services that are affordable and competitive, not to mention profitable for Canada Post. In the U.K., corporate banks have actually reversed their opposition to postal banking, because they know it absolves them from the community ire they would experience when they close branches in rural and remote communities, which these banks say do not reap enough profit.
    When will the government see the postal banking light? We will have an opportunity in that regard later this session when my motion M-166 comes to the floor of the House for a vote. I urge every member here to support it. We have the opportunity to make effective and progressive change, even if the government avoids it in budget implementation acts. We will have that opportunity very shortly.
    A postal banking system would address inequality in this country, something Bill C-74 does not do, even though that should be the goal of government in a social democracy such as ours. Instead we see Canadians who live in rural and remote communities, Canadians with low income, and first nations peoples living on reserve forced to use predatory lenders or to rely on the whim of a local business person or local variety store to access their own money.
    A universal pharmacare program would create equal access to life-saving and life-enhancing medications for all Canadians as well. I see nothing in this legislation that addresses that need. In fact, we continue with a patchwork system of access to abortion and birth control that creates inequality and forces Canadians who require those services to either pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs or travel unreasonable hours to access these services. Monday was International Birth Control Day. It is the federal government's responsibility to ensure equal access for all Canadians needing birth control, but the government has failed. Access is neither universal, equal, nor affordable across this country.
    I give the following by way of example: the NuvaRing is available on public formularies in five provinces and one territory, but not the others; IUDs are available in three provinces, but not everywhere; emergency contraceptives are covered only in Alberta; and Quebec covers the patch, but no other province or territory does.
    Canada has a human rights obligation to ensure that everyone in every province or territory has the same access to the highest quality medications. Why then does a woman in Manitoba and Quebec have access to more birth control methods than a woman in Saskatchewan? Making all birth control and all sexual and reproductive medications free for all of us is about fairness and gender equality. That is the reason I introduced M-65 to continue the push for equal access to birth control for all Canadians.
    My constituents in London-Fanshawe do not believe the economy is working for them. What they see instead is an uneven playing field, where only the few at the top can benefit, at the expense of everyone else. They struggle to pay their bills and care for their parents and children in a community gutted by the loss of well-paid jobs moving offshore as a result of globalization, with no protection from either Liberal or Conservative governments.

  (1610)  

    Finally, this 556-page-long bill amends 44 pieces of legislation. During the last election campaign, the Liberals promised to abolish omnibus bills because they are undemocratic, yet they chose to restrict the length of debate on this substantial bill at the finance committee. This is not democracy and it is a far cry from the sunny ways promised to Canadians in 2015.
    We can do better. We are here to do better. Canadians demand better. Do not let the Liberals tell us it cannot be done.

  (1615)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague from London—Fanshawe came up with a number of really important points. The bill we are debating is putting in place a brand new carbon tax, which has been deemed to be one of the biggest taxes ever put on Canadian businesses and job creators. Like her riding, my riding has a lot of manufacturers, and today we heard the horrible news about tariffs being put on Canadian steel and aluminum. Companies want certainty. They want to know how much it is going to cost them to do business in Canada, yet the Liberals are putting in this tax without letting Canadians how much it is going to cost. They know, but they will not release the information.
    I had a motion on the table to allow the carbon tax to be transparent so that Canadians and job creators would know how much it is going to cost them. Could the member comment on whether she supports having this new carbon tax and information on how much it would cost Canadian job creators and Canadians in their day-to-day activities? Moreover, does she support its being transparent before it is implemented on the Canadian public?
    Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree that all taxation and all of the work of the government should be transparent. Unfortunately, we have not seen that. I would like transparency with regard to tax shelters. There is $199 billion that goes out the door because corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes.
    We are in the middle of a trade war. We have a government that does not fully support small business as it should. Things are extremely difficult.
    A little transparency would go a long way, the kind of transparency proposed by my colleague from Victoria in the last session and in a bill he plans to introduce very shortly that would compel the Government of Canada to eliminate the loopholes available to those with huge incomes and the sham of businesses using tax havens to undercut what they owe, not just to the government but to all of the people of Canada in terms of support for the services and things we need as a democratic, safe, secure, and beneficial community.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague and congratulate her on her comments, which are very relevant, as usual, and in the interest of workers, as well as families in her region in Ontario and across the country.
     There is something in the budget implementation bill that I cannot understand. The Liberal government will be taxing medical marijuana. In some cases, marijuana is the only medication that can ease regular, permanent, and intense pain. Other drugs do not work. These people are very worried, because they have just learned that they will probably have to pay much more for their medical marijuana.
     I do not understand the Liberal government’s decision. I would like to hear my colleague's opinion on the subject and his comments on how this decision could have an impact on people who, because of the tax, may have to think twice before using medication.

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