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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 314

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 13, 2018




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 314 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[Translation]

    It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Edmonton Centre.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Marijuana

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Minister of Health announced her decision to fight the Senate amendments to the cannabis legalization bill. The Government of Canada is rejecting the amendment confirming Quebec's power to prohibit home cannabis cultivation.
    One would think the federal government would have shown a modicum of respect. According to Jean-Marc Fournier, the Attorney General of Quebec, this is a bitter disappointment. I agree.
    Today, the Government of Canada is once again sending the message that it could not care less about Quebec. Once again, the 40 curiously silent Liberal members and the Prime Minister are disrespecting Quebec. Once again, the Liberals are being inflexible. Once again, they are giving us a reason to seek independence.
    This is an insult to Quebec. It is unacceptable to the Bloc Québécois—
    Order. The hon. member for Brampton West.

[English]

Mount Pleasant Village Market

    Mr. Speaker, summer is just around the corner, and in Brampton West that means it is time for the Mount Pleasant Village Market.
    This farmers' market is now in its fourth year and is an opportunity for our community to come together to support local producers, vendors, and budding small businesses. I had the opportunity to visit the market in its first year, and the amount it has grown since then is remarkable.
    The farmers' market will run in Mount Pleasant Square every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the summer, starting June 21, until October 4. I am sure there will be many delicious, locally sourced options at the market to help families in Brampton West make healthier choices.
    I encourage all Bramptonians to stop by, meet their neighbours, spend some time with their families, but most importantly, try some tasty treats.

  (1405)  

Men's Mental Health

    Mr. Speaker, about six years ago, I stood in the Alberta legislature for the first time to share my story of undergoing a significant level of anxiety and depression, which many young men and young fathers often face.
    As part of my story, I shared the feelings of being nervous, anxious, depressed, and scared of the prospect of being a new father. Like me, many young men and young dads have this sense of fear, and it is important that men across the country realize that they are not immune to these diagnoses simply because they are men.
     We are told to be tough, to be strong, not to cry, and to toughen up. We are told not to share our feelings and that it is not normal to have feelings of depression. I want young men, young fathers to know that today, we can have these feelings. We can talk to someone about them, and we can stamp out the stigma.
     Mental health issues in young men happen, but it is okay. Each conversation gets us closer to a world where we can rely on each other. Today, our event Father's Day on the Hill was another step to give men more courage so that no one suffers in silence.

Men's Mental Health

    Mr. Speaker, today my colleague from across the aisle, the representative from Edmonton Riverbend, as well as the Mental Health Commission of Canada and I, hosted an event commemorating Men's Health Week and Father's Day, highlighting the mental health crisis facing men in our country.
     In Canada, 80% of those who take their own life are men, real men in a real crisis, who are unable to recognize their own struggle, to speak to and confide in those who love them, and to seek the support and treatment they need.
     When diagnosing mental illness, we are better equipped and more comfortable identifying the signifiers more commonly presented by women than the signifiers of internal struggle by men. Men are more likely to lose their social circle as they age, and less likely to speak to their family about their own mental health issues.
     Together, we heard the stories of those who struggle, connected with experts, and created a strong dialogue on the issue of mental health for men. I thank all those members who joined us at this reception.

Youth Challenges

    Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago the Prime Minister spoke at the NYU graduation in the U.S.
     While he philosophized in the U.S., here at home our grads are facing a challenging time. l want to invite him to attend any one of the graduations in our north, here in Canada, to hear their stories: Thompson, faced with the loss of the smelter and refinery; first nations facing continuing high unemployment and underfunding of education; Churchill, still faced with the shutdown of the port and the rail line.
     He could attend a graduation in virtually any community across Canada to hear what young people are facing in terms of sky-high tuition fees and precarious employment, but I doubt he will.
    I believe he does not want to listen to young people who are concerned about the environment, growing inequality, and their economic future. When it comes to the Prime Minister and his policies, young people are increasingly saying that the Liberal government not only is not part of the solution, but it is increasingly part of the problem.

120th Anniversary of Yukon

    Mr. Speaker, in the summer of 1896, three men, Skookum Jim, George Carmack, and Tagish Charlie, found large gold nuggets in the gravel bottom of Bonanza Creek. Their cry of joy started the world's greatest gold rush. Approximately 200,000 men and women from all over the world converged on the Klondike in search of gold. More than 40,000 of them found it.
     In 1898, Dawson City was the largest Canadian city west of Winnipeg, and Yukon, for so long the proud home of first nations people, was created from the western area of the Northwest Territories.
    On today's date, June 13, 1898, assent was given for the Yukon Act, and four years later, in 1902, we sent our first member to Parliament, James H. Ross, a Liberal.
    I stand to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the founding of Yukon territory. I invite all members and their families to come north this summer to visit the most beautiful riding in the country, enjoy Yukon hospitality, and bask in the glow of the midnight sun.

  (1410)  

2018 Graduates

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the 2018 graduates, who have worked tirelessly to achieve this important milestone. As they embark on their new journeys, I would like to wish them the very best that life has to offer. May their efforts be rewarded with happiness and success.
    Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau's mismanagement of the economy will cost these bright graduates. The harsh reality of high taxes will make the beginning of their new lives—
    Order. I have to remind the member that he cannot use the names of members in the House, but should refer to them by their title or their riding name.
    The hon. member for Prince Albert.
     The reality of high taxes will make life harsher for these individuals as they progress to their new futures.
     However, youth is the hope of the future, and these bright graduates have it within their power to make the world a better place. They are the building blocks of our country. I am confident that Canada will continue to prosper due to the strong foundation that these future leaders will provide.
     To all the 2018 graduates, the future of Canada lies in their hands, and I am so excited to witness all the wonderful things they will accomplish. I congratulate them, and may success be theirs.

Plastic-free July Challenge

    Mr. Speaker, I am challenging you, people in our communities, and people across our country to take the plastics challenge in July.
    It is estimated that as much as eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year.
    This year, we banned microbeads, and Canada championed and endorsed a plastics charter at the G7 summit, but there is a personal element to the solution, too. Knowing that only about 10% of plastics get recycled in Canada, we need to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
    On my website and Facebook page, there is a plastic-free July challenge sign-up. I invite people and businesses in my community and across the country to either sign up or start their own plastic-free July challenge.
    This July, use a reusable shopping bag, refuse the plastic straw, or use a reusable bottle. Together, we can end plastics pollution.

National Blood Donor Week

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to highlight National Blood Donor Week, which runs until June 17. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this special week.
    It cannot be overemphasized how blood donation is a vital gesture and how important it is to educate citizens about this issue. To meet the needs of patients this summer, Canadian Blood Services needs 44,000 donors by Canada Day.

[Translation]

    I would like to congratulate the 406,000 people who have donated blood over the past year. Half of all Canadians will one day need blood themselves or know someone who will.
    I would therefore like to thank all past, present, and future donors. They have saved, and will continue to save, thousands of lives. I urge all Canadians and all members here today to donate blood if they can.

[English]

Government Performance

    Mr. Speaker, as we prepare to rise for the summer, I thought I would take a moment to review the government's 2018 performance to date.
    The year began with the government's odious summer jobs attestation, and quickly proceeded to its refusal to recognize the coming Trans Mountain crisis. Then the Prime Minister went to India with a convicted terrorist and tried to blame the Indian government. The environment minister tabled a regulatory bill that industry says will kill all future resource development. The finance minister tabled a budget, which continues to rack up promise breaking deficits, implement a carbon tax, and refused to answer any questions about either.
    Throw in a couple of new ethics investigations, an electoral reform bill designed to help third party proxies for the Liberals, capital flight, the Trans Mountain buyout debacle, chaos at our borders, more red tape for gun owners, a justice bill that helps criminals, and a $7-billion dollar slush fund, and I am sure those on the government side are ready for a summer break. However, with a session like this, so are Canadians.

Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship

    Mr. Speaker, our government believes in Atlantic Canada. We are 32 members strong, working together for our region.
     Just last week, the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship, known as COVE, officially launched in my riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. COVE is an incredible facility for applied innovation in the oceans sector. It is the only hub like it in the entire world: start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, larger firms, and post-secondary expertise all under one roof in Dartmouth developing ocean technology.
     There is nowhere in Nova Scotia more than 67 kilometres away from the ocean, making this the perfect location to strengthen our ocean economy from coat to coast to coast.
    I am proud that our government invested $7.2 million in COVE, partnering with the Province of Nova Scotia and Irving Shipbuilding. When we work together, we always achieve more.
    I congratulate everyone who made COVE possible. Atlantic Canada has a bright future.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

World Cup of Soccer

    Mr. Speaker, the FIFA World Cup kicks off tomorrow in Russia. Over the next few weeks, we will get to see our favourite players in action, including Neymar, Ronaldo, Iniesta, Salah, and, of course, Messi.
    In 2026, all the action will be happening right here in Canada, as well as in the United States and Mexico.

[English]

    With this major event, our country continues to build a strong history of hosting FIFA events, including the U-20 World Cup in 2007, the U-20 Women's World Cup in 2014, and most recently, the 2015 Women's World Cup.
    With games in Edmonton, Toronto, and in my hometown of Montreal, we look forward to welcoming soccer fans from around the world back to Canada in 2026.

[Translation]

    That is when the world will discover the next generation of players, the Maradonas, Pelés, Ronaldos, and Messis of tomorrow.
    We will continue to invest in our athletes, and maybe the next star will be one of our own, a young person from Ottawa, Quebec City, or Moncton.
    The eyes of the world will be on us in 2026, and we will not disappoint.

[English]

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal elections bill, Bill C-76, would do nothing to modernize our democratic process. In fact, this dangerous bill would encourage foreign entities to interfere in our elections and undermine our democracy.
     Other countries have seen the consequences of foreign interference in elections. It would be naive to presume Canada is immune. In fact, reports indicate that foreign third parties spent millions of dollars in the 2015 federal election. The American Tides Foundation alone donated $1.5 million to influence its outcome.
     We should not allow our elections to be decided by foreign organizations or individuals with deep pockets.
    I have tabled Bill C-406 to address this very issue. Bill C-406 would amend the Canada Elections Act to ban foreign contributions to third parties for election advertising purposes.
     Canadians, and Canadians only, should be determining the results of our next election. It is the right thing to do; it is the patriotic thing to do.
    I look forward to the debate on this bill and seeing where the other parties in the House will put their interests, either with Canada or their own. Any member who votes against the bill is voting in favour of foreign interference in our elections. I guess we will see.

[Translation]

House of Commons Page Program

    Mr. Speaker, I wish I could say that the final score does not reflect how close the match was or that, this time, no pages were injured by the member for St. John's East. Sadly, I cannot.

[English]

    Last night, in their final tune-up game before the World Cup, the pages, led by Ariana Coleman, Brandon Gertz, Sebastien Arsenault, Sylvan Lutz, and Michael Donaghy, thrashed the MPs on the all-party FC Commoners soccer team in our annual match.
    It was all tied up at the half when the pages' goalie, Zachary Robichaud, went down hard on a save. We hope Zack is okay. After halftime, the MPs had an uphill battle both literally and figuratively. The final score: pages 5, MPs 1.

[Translation]

     A victory that happens once every 40 years is a good way to round off the 40th anniversary of the parliamentary page program.
    I ask all members to rise with me to thank and congratulate our pages. Long live the pages.

[English]

Women's Shelters

    Mr. Speaker, violence against women and children is recognized nationally and internationally as a significant barrier to gender equality and to women's human rights and fundamental freedoms. I wish today to recognize the dedication of those serving in Canada's shelters for women and children.
     In 2017, Alberta shelters provided refuge and support for over 10,000 women and children fleeing violence. A key barrier to effective action against domestic violence has been failed coordination and consistent responses by community, police, and government.
    I was honoured to attend the launch of a positive new initiative for the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters, targeting this very problem. The program, jointly financed by federal and provincial governments, brings together RCMP, police, shelters, government agencies, and communities to offer coherent, coordinated, longer-term support. This evidence-based program is women-centred, addresses gender inequalities, holds perpetrators accountable, enables better collaboration, ensures healing for violence related to trauma, and better serves the diversities of communities needing support and escape from violence.
    I invite all MPs to join me in saluting Shelters Canada—

  (1420)  

    The hon. member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, last week the Wynne Liberals were fired by Ontarians for wasting billions of taxpayer dollars and refusing to come clean with the cost of an unrealistic energy plan and a poorly considered carbon-tax scheme.
     The Prime Minister has had six days now to consider the ramifications of not owning up to Canadians about the true cost of his carbon tax on the average family. He knows his scheme will increase the cost of living for every single Canadian. The PBO confirmed it, saying that it would cost $10 billion. Other estimates pegged the true cost as high as $35 billion per year, sounding the death knell for future investment in Canada.
     A significant investment exodus to the U.S. is under way in real time for a more favourable investment climate buoyed by lower corporate taxes. Canadians understand we cannot tax our way to a cleaner environment, and they are making their voices heard at the ballot box.
     Conservatives will fight for lower taxes, and we will keep calling for the Liberals to end their carbon tax cover-up.

[Translation]

National Public Service Week

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today in honour of National Public Service Week.
    As the member for Gatineau, I have the good fortune to represent many public servants. This week, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, I attended several activities to thank public servants for the important work they do every day.
    With their knowledge and outstanding expertise, public servants play a vital role in running the day-to-day operations of every department and agency in the Government of Canada.
    The reason we are celebrating National Public Service Week is that we on this side of the House believe in government and respect the work our public servants do. We see the commitment and dedication they put into their work every day to make a positive impact on the lives of all Canadians.
    Happy National Public Service Week!

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, more and more Canadians understand that the Prime Minister's carbon tax will not make a significant difference to global emissions. What it will do is increase the cost of living, making everything more expensive, especially the cost to fuel their cars.
     I think even the Prime Minister understands this, because he is going to great lengths to hide the information from Canadians. He still, after weeks and months, refuses to tell Canadians the true cost of his carbon tax.
     Will the Prime Minister finally do the right thing today, end the carbon tax cover-up, and tell Canadians how much it will cost?
    Mr. Speaker, I look forward to answering that question, and subsequent questions.
     I do want to take a moment right now to personally thank the Leader of the Opposition, indeed all opposition MPs, and indeed all Canadians for standing together in this moment of difficulties in our relationship with the United States. How we will continue to work together on standing up for Canadian workers and for Canadian interests is something beyond partisanship.
     I thank the member opposite, all members in the House, and Canadians across Canada for their solidarity on this issue.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for his sentiments. I can commit to him that the Conservatives will always support efforts to keep markets open, keep borders open, and protect Canadian jobs and the Canadian economy.
    Now, there are a lot of things we cannot control. As the Government of Canada knows, it cannot control all the external factors. However, what it can control is how it manages Canada's economy.
     More and more people in Canada are rejecting the idea of a carbon tax, knowing that it will devastate jobs and opportunities here in Canada. Ontario has now joined the group of provinces that opposes a carbon tax.
     The Prime Minister's coalition for his carbon tax is unravelling. Will he finally come clean on how much the costs will be for Canadian families?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, after 10 years of the Harper Conservatives not doing anything on the environment, the Conservatives show that they still do not get it.
     While our plan to put a price on carbon pollution will reduce emissions and drive innovation at the same time, the Conservatives double down on the failed Stephen Harper approach. In 2015, Canadians told the Conservatives that the Harper approach was wrong. However, now it is obvious that, as usual, the Conservatives have not been listening.
    We will continue to invest in clean growth to ensure a prosperous future for all our kids right across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are not listening. They are not listening to the fact that the people of Ontario rejected Kathleen Wynne's approach, which damaged the economy and did nothing to reduce emissions.
     The Prime Minister is following the exact same playbook that Ontario has rejected. Saskatchewan opposed the carbon tax, and soon Alberta will join the fight against the carbon tax.
     If the Prime Minister is so sure that Canadians will support his carbon tax, why can he not tell them how much it will cost?
    Mr. Speaker, to follow on the same thinking as the member opposite, let me highlight that two and a half years ago Canadians rejected the Stephen Harper approach on the economy and the environment. Not only for 10 years did the Conservatives do nothing to protect the environment, they also did not have much in the way of economic growth to show for it.
     On top of demonstrating that we understand that the environment and the economy go together, we have created economic growth in our country, the best in the G7 last year; 600,000 new jobs; and the lowest unemployment rate in a generation. These are the choices we have made for Canadians.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, up to 400 people per day are expected to cross the Quebec border illegally this summer.
    The Prime Minister has turned Roxham Road into a welcoming haven, with lots of staff. It is hard to blame asylum seekers for thinking they can cross the border in that area.
    When will the Prime Minister take decisive action to address the root of the problem, instead of spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on temporary solutions?
    Mr. Speaker, we continue to assure Canadians that our immigration system is working. We have the capacity to review all of these cases. We are making sure that all of the rules and measures of our immigration and refugee system are being followed. I do not want people to be afraid just because the Conservatives are engaging in fearmongering and divisive tactics for partisan purposes.
    If the Conservatives seriously wanted to show respect for our border services workers, they would not have cut nearly $400 million from their—
    Order. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect our immigration system to operate in an orderly, safe, and compassionate manner. It is unacceptable to millions of Canadians, including the groups of refugees and immigrants I met in Toronto over the last few days who came here legally, who have family members facing persecution even today, who have loved ones in camps in dangerous places all over the world. They are frustrated that the Prime Minister is pitting one group of asylum seekers against another. They are frustrated at the idea that people can cross over illegally from a safe country while their friends and family have to wait.
    Why does the Prime Minister
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Speaker, that question was a perfect example of how the Conservatives are using misinformation to create fear and division within Canadians. Pitting groups of Canadians against one another is entirely irresponsible.
    On this side of the House, we are committed to a compassionate asylum system, all the while ensuring that only those who should be in Canada are allowed to stay. In contrast, the former Conservative government cut $390 million from the CBSA and cut refugee health care. They created massive backlogs and processing delays, which we are still working to fix.

  (1430)  

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, “The Crown failed to meaningfully consult in relation to title, governance rights and use rights. Instead, it dodged, deferred, delegated....” These are the words of Upper Nicola Band counsel Elin Sigurdson. This is the same Upper Nicola band that wants to build the largest solar energy project in British Columbia.
    For a climate leader, the choice between green energy and buying a pipeline should be obvious. A leader in reconciliation with indigenous peoples should respect and empower first nations and their choices. Why cannot the Prime Minister do either?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand the importance of listening to all voices when it comes to major projects. We know there are a variety of opinions, including within indigenous communities. Some oppose this project, while others strongly support it.
     While the NDP only listens to those who share their opinion, we ensure that all voices are respected and heard. We completed the deepest consultations with rights holders ever for a major project in this country, and we established a co-developed monitoring committee with indigenous communities, including representation from the Nicola band. We have listened, and we will continue to listen.
    Mr. Speaker, that is the point. The government did not listen.

[Translation]

    Again, Upper Nicola band counsel had these harsh words for the government: the Crown failed to meaningfully consult in relation to title, governance rights and use rights. Instead, it dodged, deferred, and delegated.
    The Upper Nicola community wants to build the largest solar energy project in British Columbia, a project that could light 5,000 homes. Instead the government wants to impose a pipeline that the community does not want.
    How can a Prime Minister who claims to be a leader in both climate change and reconciliation with indigenous peoples act in such a way?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand the importance of listening to all voices. We know there are a variety of opinions, including within indigenous communities. Some oppose this project, while others strongly support it. While the New Democrats only listen to those who share their views, we make sure that all voices are respected and heard.
    We held the broadest consultations with rights holders ever, and we established a monitoring committee with indigenous communities, including the Upper Nicola band community. We have listened, and we will continue to listen.
     Mr. Speaker, according to a study by Cambridge University, a foreseeable and inevitable drop in global demand for oil will burst the carbon bubble. This will happen between 2030 and 2050.
    In one fell swoop, oil infrastructure will become worthless. So, what did the Prime Minister do? He bought an old pipeline with $4.5 billion of our money. What timing. What a vision for the future. It is like someone investing in VHS players in 1990.
    Why not take the billions of dollars and invest them in sustainable energy and lasting jobs?
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP still believes that we have to choose between the economy and the environment. We all know that we can create jobs and protect the environment at the same time. That is why we are putting a price on pollution, protecting our coasts and oceans, and investing in clean technology. That is why we are also diversifying our export markets, since 70% of Canada's exports go to the U.S.
    In light of recent events, it is surprising that the NDP continues to oppose economic diversification projects that are in the national interest.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Canada should be investing in clean, renewable energy sources that create good quality, long-lasting jobs for today's workers and future generations.
    Instead of looking to the future and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies as they promised, the Liberals have become huge supporters and investors in the oil industry. If they vote against the NDP motion, the Liberals will undermine Canada's commitment we made to the world in Paris and ignore the transition that we need to renewables.
    Will the Liberals support our motion and ensure real climate leadership?
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP continue to believe that there is a choice to be made between the environment and the economy. What we have demonstrated is a pan-Canadian climate plan that features a national price on carbon, that features protecting our oceans and coasts, and yes, does include a pipeline to new markets other than the United States.
    Why the NDP continues to think, given all the recent events, that it is not a good idea to diversify our resource markets is beyond me. There is no question that those members simply do not get it.

  (1435)  

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, steel workers reiterated their call for immediate steel and aluminum countermeasures. Revenue is being lost. This situation is affecting Canadian steel and aluminum producers, employees, and their families.
    The United States has been imposing unreasonable tariffs for nearly two weeks now. Mexico reacted almost immediately, but we are still waiting.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and impose tariffs on American steel and aluminum today?
     Mr. Speaker, we have been unequivocal. The tariffs are completely unacceptable. The Canadian and American economies are so closely linked that these tariffs will also harm American workers.
    We will defend our industries and Canadian workers. We will impose up to $16.6 billion in trade restrictions on American imports.
     The American decision goes against NAFTA and the WTO rules, and we will do everything we can to dispute it. We want Canadian workers to know that they can count on their government.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the state of the current negotiations to preserve NAFTA, there is obviously a great deal of confusion. Yesterday, the Prime Minister had a chance to come clean and be clear about one aspect though.
    On Sunday, the CBC reported that the U.S. administration had “waved away”and finally dropped its demand for a five-year sunset clause, something the Prime Minister had said was a major sticking point.
    Can the Prime Minister clearly state whether or not that report was in fact accurate?
    Mr. Speaker, I can state without equivocation, that the United States has not yet waived its demand for a NAFTA sunset clause.
    Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister confirm or deny that the waiving of the sunset clause was at least offered during his talks with the U.S. President?
    No, Mr. Speaker. With the American President, as is regularly, we engaged on a broad range of subjects, including in which I reiterated that the sunset clause on NAFTA would be absolutely unacceptable, that Canada could never sign a NAFTA with a sunset clause in it, and he did not immediately back down.
    Mr. Speaker, we all know that a protracted trade disruption will have a devastating impact on Canada's economy, workers, and their families. But there are a lot of things a government could do to protect Canada's economy.
    We knew that the U.S. administration would have a new relationship with Canada as soon as the U.S. election was over, yet in last spring's budget the Prime Minister failed to have a single contingency plan set aside, and that is with an $18-billion deficit.
     In addition, the Liberals have been dragging their feet on implementing the TPP. The TPP could open up new markets and diversify our trading relationship.
    Why has the Prime Minister waited so long to implement the TPP?
    Mr. Speaker, I am going to return to the previous question, because I want everyone to be very clear on this. I do not know exactly where the Conservatives are going with it, but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    The sunset clause has been something that I have said without equivocation from the beginning would be unacceptable in a NAFTA. I have said that many times to the President. The President has not, so far, as far as we know, and we have seen his tweets, responded to or withdrawn his offer, his demand, for a sunset clause in NAFTA. Let us be very clear about that.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, after months of pursuing a wrong-headed policy of appeasement towards Iran, the Liberals finally agreed with the Conservative Party to have a more forceful response to the Iranian regime.
    It was just last month that Liberal senators defeated Conservative proposed legislation to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group. Now, I want to know clearly from the Prime Minister, because moments after the vote was held his own officials in the Department of Public Safety refused to acknowledge that this important step of naming the IRGC as a terrorist organization would be kept.
     Will the Prime Minister confirm that he will actually follow the will of the House?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, we deeply oppose Iran's support for terrorist organizations, its threat towards Israel, its ballistic missile program, and its support for the murderous Assad regime. We will always defend human rights and hold Iran to account for its actions.
    We led a resolution at the UN in November calling on Iran to comply with its international human rights obligations. We continue to maintain sanctions on Iran, which include restrictions on sensitive goods and a list of individuals and entities subject to asset freezes with whom all transactions involving property are prohibited.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, he still cannot answer the simple question about following the will of the House as voted here just this week.
    When the Auditor General's report was tabled, the report that was highly critical of the government's handling of many files, the Minister of Public Services thanked the Auditor General and proclaimed that “...We are accepting all of his recommendations”. However, yesterday, the Prime Minister's very own Clerk of the Privy Council dismissed the Auditor General's recent report, calling it “an opinion piece”.
    Which is it? Does the Prime Minister share the views of his minister or his senior civil servant? In other words, does he accept the Auditor General's report that his own government—
    The Right Hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, we are lucky to have a world-class public service, which just last year was recognized as the most effective in the world.
     We are working to change the culture in the public service following 10 years of Conservative government that muzzled scientists, used tax dollars for partisan advertising, and made irresponsible and ideologically driven cuts.
    We were given a mandate to restore a culture of respect for and within Canada's non-partisan public service, and to instill a culture of experimentation, evidence-based policy, and implementation.
    We will continue to work towards achieving that objective, and as the head of the public service said, there is still more work to do.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, two days after the purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the company received a letter from the government stating that it had committed four offences. It had gone months without filing mandatory monitoring reports with the government and first nations, and it exceeded safe underwater noise limits during expansion, endangering marine wildlife.
    Knowing about these violations and all the rest, why on earth would the government bail out Kinder Morgan with billions of Canadians' hard-earned money?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives failed to secure access to markets other than the United States for Canadian resources for over 10 years. This failure is costing $15 billion a year to Canadians. The NDP believes that this enormous cost should continue to apply to Canadians every single year.
    It is critically important that we diversify our export markets all the while making historical investments to protect our environment. While the NDP's plan is to keep Canadian resources locked into a single market, we are working to protect and create Canadian jobs, while protecting the environment for future generations.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, giving away billions of dollars to a company that has zero respect for Canada's environmental regulations is the antithesis of leading the fight against climate change.
    Using public money to buy a pipeline is not visionary. Exposing Canadians to the environmental and financial risks associated with the pipeline is totally unfair.
    Instead of throwing money at energy sources of the past, the government must invest in energy sources of the future.
    Why does the Prime Minister just not get it?
    Mr. Speaker, I would suggest it is the NDP that just does not get it because not having access to markets other than the United States for our oil resources is costing us $15 billion per year.
    The Conservatives spent 10 years trying to diversify our energy resource markets, but they failed. We are succeeding because we know that creating jobs and economic growth while protecting our environment is the best way to build a strong future for all Canadians. That is exactly what we are doing.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, by law, is appointed by the Minister of Finance, and it is deliberately kept independent of political interference. There is a good reason. The board manages workers' money, and it has to make sure that there is no undue risk in its investments, because it has to make sure there is money available for our retirement.
    I was very interested to see that the minister and the Prime Minister said that the private sector was not interested in the Trans Mountain pipeline because it was risky. Will the Prime Minister tell the Minister of Finance to back off the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and tell him that it is going to go to private sector investments?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the member opposite that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board operates at arm's length, with a mandate to invest in the best interests of its members. Many investors have already expressed interest in the project, including indigenous groups, Canadian pension funds, and others.
    The fact that we are moving forward and succeeding, where the Conservatives failed for 10 years to get our exports to markets other than the United States, is making them grasp at straws, and flailing for partisan approaches, when they should be pleased that for once we have actually delivered what they could not do for—
    Order. The hon. member for Milton.
    Mr. Speaker, private sector investment fled this project, and the Minister of Finance indicated that he asked pension plans whether or not they would be interested. He asked the Canada pension plan board if it was interested, which is a clear conflict. When that did not work, he actually hired a U.S. bank to come in and lobby the Canada pension plan board, an arm's length organization.
    Money from the federal reserve, money from the Canada pension plan, money from the Canada Infrastructure Bank, is all workers' money. Can he guarantee, as the Prime Minister, that not a single taxpayer dollar is going to be left on the hook because of their failure?
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps we have just seen why the Conservatives were unable to get the pipeline built for 10 years. They do not have confidence in the workers, in the oil sector, or in the capacity of Canadians to get these resources to market profitably. That is what we are hearing from them. They do not believe this pipeline is going to work.
    On this side of the House, we have Alberta's back. We have Canada's back. We are there to make sure that we get our resources to new markets, despite the worries and naysaying of the Conservative Party of Canada.

[Translation]

Cannabis

    Mr. Speaker, the Quebec National Assembly passed its cannabis bill yesterday. It legislates a maximum of 150 grams per household, zero tolerance for driving under the influence, and a ban on home cultivation.
    My question for the Prime Minister is simple. Is he finally going to respect provincial jurisdictions and let Quebec, and every Canadian province, as well as first nations, legislate in their own areas of jurisdiction?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to acknowledge that everyone across Canada and in every jurisdiction agrees that it is time to put an end to the present system, which fails to protect our children and puts billions of dollars every year into the hands of organized crime, and replace it with a better system that controls and regulates the sale of marijuana.
    We consulted experts, we worked very hard, and we listened to what the experts had to say. Our decision has been made and we firmly believe that these measures are the best way to protect Canadians, our youth, and our communities, and that is what we are going to do.
    Mr. Speaker, this government never listened to health experts, police forces, business leaders, municipalities, first nations, or the Senate, which spent many hours doing incredible work. Now, the provinces, who have asked for more time, are asking us to simply respect their jurisdictions.
    Again, my question for the Prime Minister is very simple. Will he respect the jurisdictions of Canada's provinces as well as those of first nations, and allow them to prohibit home cultivation of cannabis?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to note that we always respect the provinces and indigenous peoples, as well as the work that they do. We are putting forward a bill that will protect our children and prevent organized crime from making huge profits from the sale of marijuana. The Conservatives keep playing politics with this issue.
    I want to thank the senators and every expert who spoke to this issue. We are moving forward with measures that will protect Canadians.

  (1450)  

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP supports the government's decision to impose retaliatory tariffs in response to the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum.
    However, last year, the White House imposed a surtax on our softwood lumber and despite months of pressure the government only hatched a timid plan of loan guarantees and employment insurance.
    This time, will the government properly do its homework and announce a program of adequate support for workers and for SMEs in our steel and aluminum sector as Quebec did?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said several times, Canadian steel and aluminum workers have our unconditional support. These tariffs are completely unacceptable. Consequently, we intend to impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other goods from the United States. We will impose tariffs on the U.S. equivalent to those imposed on Canadian goods.
    As I told steel and aluminum workers when I visited plants across the country, we will always be there to defend them.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, that is interesting, because I do not believe you have met with them since the tariffs came on.
    We are talking about the livelihoods of at least 50,000—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The member is asking if I have met with someone. I know the member knows that she must direct her comments to the Chair, and I will ask her to do that.
    The hon. member for Essex.
    Mr. Speaker, the workers know that the Liberals have not yet met with them since these tariffs went on. We are talking about the livelihoods of at least 50,000 workers employed directly by the steel and aluminum industries and all those who depend on them. Trump's tariffs have already started affecting the lives of workers and communities that simply cannot wait for support from their government.
    The government says it was prepared for the worst-case scenario. If that is true, then why is the government not telling workers what its plan is to protect Canadian jobs? Where is the plan?
    Mr. Speaker, within hours of the U.S. government imposing these new tariffs on steel and aluminum, we had a clear response worth $16.6 billion on steel, on aluminum, and on other products coming into Canada from the United States. We have been working on contingency plans, and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, and all Canadians, that we will be there to support and stand with our aluminum and steel workers. That is what I told them across the country when I was visiting with them. That is what I continue to tell them as I speak to them across the country through their leadership and the media.

Status of Women

    Mr. Speaker, refocusing Canada's international assistance on the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, is not just about words or simple rebranding. It takes commitment and concrete actions.

[Translation]

    Could the Prime Minister tell the House what progress was made at the G7 summit with respect to education for women and girls?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brossard—Saint-Lambert for her work on gender equality. Everyone must have equal access to a quality education.
    In Charlevoix, we announced a fund worth nearly $3.8 billion to increase equal access to quality education for girls and women and to address the barriers that prevent them from accessing education. This is the largest-ever investment in education for women and girls in crisis situations, and it will have a real impact on women and girls around the world.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, my question is about the carbon tax cover-up. The Fraser Institute calculates that the Prime Minister has raised income tax on 81% of middle-class families, on average by $800 per family. The PBO says this new carbon tax will axe $10 billion from our GDP, but Finance Canada, because of the government, is blacking out the cost to the average Canadian family.
     Will he end the carbon tax cover-up and tell us how much it will cost Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, let me begin by reminding the member opposite that not only was the first thing we did lowering taxes for the middle class and raising them for the wealthiest 1%, but that member actually voted against those measures to lower taxes on the middle class.
    In regard to pricing carbon pollution, I can highlight that 86% of our economy already has a price on carbon pollution in their jurisdictions. We will continue to work to make sure there is fairness across the country as we move forward on protecting our environment for future generations and spurring innovation and the growth of jobs in our economy.

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are used to Liberals making a promise and then breaking it. This Prime Minister actually makes a promise after he has already broken it. He said that he would not raise taxes on middle-class families, and we now know, from the Fraser Institute's calculation, an institute that he has cited in his remarks today, that he has raised taxes on 81% of middle-class families, and that is before this new carbon tax.
    How much will that new tax cost the average Canadian family?
    Mr. Speaker, I am used to the member opposite completely misinterpreting my statements, but now he is misinterpreting and misreading the Fraser Institute's report.
    We have lowered taxes on the middle class. It was, in fact, the very first thing we did. We raised them on the wealthiest 1%. On top of that, we delivered a Canada child benefit that delivered more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families, with tax-free money every month to help with the cost of groceries and school supplies.
    Unfortunately, both of those initiatives are things the Conservatives voted against.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister accuses me of misrepresenting the Fraser Institute's report? Wait now. That is interesting, because the authors of that report have actually taken to the newspapers with an op-ed saying that he has misrepresented their research. I will be happy to send him over that op-ed. They calculate that he raised taxes on 80% of middle-class families. How much more will those same families have to pay with his new carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, the Conservatives showed low growth because they favoured boutique tax cuts for wealthy Canadians who might vote for them instead of helping the middle-class and those working hard to join it.
    That is why Canadians made a better choice in 2015 and put their trust in the Liberal government that lowered taxes for the middle class, raised them on the wealthiest 1%, is delivering a Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families, and stopped sending the child benefit cheques to millionaires the Conservatives were so attached to.
    We have created the strongest growth in the G7 for 2017, and we are going to—
    The hon. member for Carleton.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister calls them boutique tax credits for the wealthy. He says that any family that used the public transit tax credit to take the bus is too wealthy. He says that any dad or mom who used the children's fitness tax credit to put kids in hockey are too wealthy. He says that any family that wanted to use income splitting to have a stay-at-home dad is too wealthy.
    Is that not just a little bit rich from a trust fund Prime Minister who lives in a tax-funded mansion?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, order. The Right Hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, as soon as the Conservatives run out of flailing arguments, they turn to personal attacks. It is the same old, same old from them. That is what we got for 10 years instead of the kind of growth that middle-class Canadians and those working hard to join them needed. That is why we focused on Canadians over the past two and a half years, delivering the middle-class tax cut, delivering the Canada child benefit, delivering a strengthened CPP, delivering an increase in the guaranteed income supplement for our most vulnerable seniors, delivering on the Canada workers benefit, delivering on infrastructure investments that are going to help Canadians across the country. That is what we have done.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, reuniting families is something the Prime Minister says he values, yet whether or not someone's parents and grandparents can come to Canada is all based on the luck of the draw. Imagine, a lottery decides whether they will be reunited with their loved ones. Last year, hundreds of spots remained unfilled due to errors, and critics say the process used can easily be rigged.
     How can the Prime Minister justify family reunification that is based on a lottery?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, we inherited a system from the Conservative government that had multiplied wait times. Family and spousal reunification was up to over 24 months. We have drastically cut wait times. We recognize there is more to do and we are working hard on that, but after all the cuts we inherited, we recognize that is going to take some time. We continue to invest in our immigration system. We understand that family reunification, opportunities for integration, and a compassionate and fair immigration system that continues to be rigorously applied are important to all Canadians and that is what we are delivering.
    Mr. Speaker, last fall, the Liberals promised to establish visa-free access to Canada for Ukrainians, but yesterday, visiting MPs from Ukraine confirmed that those talks have stalled out.

[Translation]

    In light of the situation with Russia, it has become more important than ever to strengthen our ties with Ukraine.

[English]

    Given that Ukraine already has visa-free access to the EU and that Canada already has a trade agreement with Ukraine, people want to know what exactly it is the Liberals are waiting for. When will the government finally get a deal done to ensure visa-free access for Ukrainians to Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be a strong and steadfast friend to Ukraine, whether it is standing up against the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea or Russia's interference in the Donbas, whether it is working with our troops in Ukraine to continue to train Ukrainian forces, whether it is signing and moving forward with a Canada-Ukraine trade deal, or whether it is continuing to look for closer trade ties between our countries. As I told President Poroshenko just a few days ago when I spoke with him, we will continue to support Ukraine in its march toward greater progress and greater success for everyone.

Employment

    Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, in downtown Toronto in what can only be described as a rally intended to incite hatred toward Jews and others, Sheik Shafiq Hudda of the Islamic Humanitarian Service called for the eradication of Israelis, and genocide. Some of his anti-Semitic hate speech aimed at the Jewish community included telling them, “You will leave in body bags.”
    Will the Prime Minister condemn these hate-filled anti-Semitic comments?
    Mr. Speaker, we always condemn hate-filled anti-Semitic or homophobic or Islamophobic and hate-filled speech of all types across this country. Canada is a welcoming, diverse country of a broad range of views and perspectives, but we do not allow hate speech and we do not allow the incitement of hatred.
    We are a country that is built on mutual respect, on openness and compassion, and we reject the politics of division and hate wherever they come from.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's actions speak otherwise. On one hand, he is giving these anti-Semitic religious extremists taxpayers' dollars to actively promote hatred using funds from the Canada summer jobs program. On the other, he has denied funding to faith groups that want to help those in need.
    Why is the Prime Minister allowing certain religious organizations to be funded to promote hatred toward Jews, but saying no to churches that want to help the homeless?
    Mr. Speaker, this is not an issue of faith or beliefs.
    We can tell they are still Stephen Harper's Conservatives when they advocate for organizations like the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform to receive public funds, which are then used to attack a woman's right to choose. We believe that public funds should never be used to actively fight against the rights of Canadians, and we will ensure that no money from the Canada summer jobs program is re-funded to organizations that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that use hate against other Canadians of any type, whether they be women, Jewish community groups, or LGBTQ—
    Order. There is far too much noise.
    The hon. member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, if that is the case, how come the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is giving funds to the organization that just last weekend called for the eradication of Israelis? Last weekend, Sheik Shafiq Hudda of the Islamic Humanitarian Service made statements that were criminal.
    When is the Prime Minister going to take action? Above all, does this pass the Liberal test, or is it illegal? Is he going to take concrete steps to make sure this never happens again?
    Mr. Speaker, we unequivocally condemn these statements. Such statements are unacceptable in Canadian society. Our society is open and tolerant, but we do not allow hate speech that incites violence. That is and always has been our position. Canada rejects the politics of division and fear. I will always be opposed.

  (1505)  

Youth

    Mr. Speaker, in February, the Prime Minister and Minister of Youth launched a national dialogue on developing a youth policy for Canada.

[English]

    With his youth council here in Ottawa this week, could the Prime Minister update the House on the development of youth policy and on any other initiatives that the Prime Minister's Youth Council is undertaking?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas for her continued advocacy for youth. As we know, young Canadians are not just the leaders of tomorrow. They are the leaders today.
    The Prime Minister's Youth Council has played a crucial role in leading consultations across the country to help develop Canada's first-ever national youth policy.
    I would also like to welcome the youth council to Ottawa where they will tackle difficult issues this week, such as the opioid crisis, and discuss Canada's role on the world stage. As always, I look forward to their advice.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister lifted the visa requirement on Romania knowing that high numbers of false asylum claims and incidents of organized crime would be a risk of doing so. Indeed, in the five months since making this ill-advised decision, well over 1,000 asylum claims have been filed and the CBSA has now said that the lifting of the visa requirement “has precipitated a noticeable increase of the activities of Romania-based Organized Crime groups...targeting Canada.”
    Will the Prime Minister keep Canada safe and reinstate the visa requirement on Romania?
    Mr. Speaker, we continue to work with the Romanian government to ensure that our system works. We are in discussions with them right now to look at ways of ensuring that organized crime and others are not using and abusing Canada's immigration system.
    This is something that we take very seriously. I thank the member opposite for bringing forward this question and I am pleased to tell her that we are very much engaged exactly on this issue.

[Translation]

Science

    Mr. Speaker, the Mont-Mégantic observatory is vital to the development of scientific knowledge in Canada and throughout the world. Even so, the Liberals and their predecessors are content to wait until the last minute to approve funding for the observatory, and then only for a set period of time.
    This approach is once again causing the observatory team and the scientific community a lot of anxiety, and yet the Liberals promised stable funding for the observatory.
    Are we witnessing the breaking of yet another Liberal promise? Is the Prime Minister waiting for the observatory to close its doors before he takes action?
    Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the fact that budget 2018 makes historic investments in science and research across the country. We understand how important it is to our well-being to invest in science, particularly after 10 years of Conservative neglect. We recognize the value of the Mont-Mégantic observatory's work. We will continue to work with the observatory team to make sure that everything goes smoothly in the future.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect to know that the food they are eating is safe, especially since the complex international food chain is creating some significant new challenges for food safety.

[English]

    Our government has been taking firm action to address these issues to simultaneously make our food safer while also providing more trade opportunities for businesses.
    Could the right hon. Prime Minister please update the House as to today's announcement of the safe food for Canadians regulations?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for his hard work on behalf of Canadian farmers.
    We announced the publication of the safe food for Canadians regulations, which will reduce the burden on businesses and grow market access for Canada's agricultural sector. We also implemented new measures to reduce the time it takes to remove unsafe food from the marketplace.
    We are proud of those who work in our agricultural sector, and we encourage them to continue innovating and being world leaders.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to try to get the truth for people in the agriculture sector.
    The Prime Minister did not want to tell dairy producers yesterday whether he plans to make concessions to the Americans on supply management or not.
    The Minister of Agriculture confirmed this morning that there is room for negotiation with the Americans on supply management. In the Prime Minister's fantasy world, saying one thing in the United States and another thing in Chicoutimi must seem reasonable.
    The Prime Minister is going to Saguenay tomorrow.
     Will he tell the truth, specifically whether he has made any concessions to the Americans on supply management?
    Mr. Speaker, we are committed to supporting our dairy producers, and that is exactly what I told them yesterday.
     Ours is the party that created supply management, and we will continue to defend it. That is what I told the President. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Agriculture will continue to defend our dairy producers.
    As Canadians know, on this side of the House, all Liberal members continue to defend supply management and support our dairy industry.

  (1510)  

Cannabis

    Mr. Speaker, not only have the Liberals decided to legalize cannabis, but they have also decided that Quebec, the provinces, the Senate, the opposition, and everyone else should bend to their will. This is one heck of a power trip.
    The National Assembly is not interested in letting every family, every household, grow four pot plants. Our elected representatives have spoken: we do not want that. Quebec wants to do this its own way in its own good time.
    What part of that does the Prime Minister not understand?
    Mr. Speaker, we are regulating the sale of cannabis for one very simple reason: the current system is not protecting our young people or our communities.
    Organized crime is pocketing billions of dollars per year from illegal cannabis sales, and we know the measures we have proposed in this bill will reduce the role of organized crime in the sale of cannabis. That is why we are doing what we are doing. We want to protect young people and all Canadians.

[English]

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Rabindra Prasad Adhikari, Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation of Nepal.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
     Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been consultations and if you seek it, I hope you will find unanimous support for the following motion: That the House call on the government to increase the ratio of highly persecuted LGBT refugees that Canada welcomes as part of its humanitarian immigration streams, particularly from countries where they face extreme persecution such as Iran; and make the Rainbow refugee assistance program a regular ongoing program with multi-year funding.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
     Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Prime Minister why his party voted against that motion.
    I think the member knows the answer.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for me to table the following document by Charles Lamman and Hugh MacIntyre, the co-authors of a Fraser Institute study, entitled, “Measuring the Impact of Federal Personal Income Tax Changes—
    Some hon. members: No.
    It appears there is no unanimous consent.
    Order, please. The hon. member for Carleton has another point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, the members did not get a chance to hear this. It says, “Yes, most middle-class families are paying more in income taxes” today.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

    It being 3:14 p.m., pursuant to 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 S-210 under private members' business.

  (1520)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 755)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Bennett
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chen
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kang
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leitch
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Motz
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Ng
Nicholson
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poilievre
Poissant
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tilson
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 293

NAYS

Members

Trost

Total: -- 1

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

Visitability

    The House resumed from June 11 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 157 under private members' business, standing in the name of the member for Tobique—Mactaquac.

  (1530)  

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

(Division No. 756)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Bennett
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chen
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kang
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leitch
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Motz
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Ng
Nicholson
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poilievre
Poissant
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Whalen
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 295

NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy Leadership 

    The House resumed from June 12 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion relating to the business of supply.

  (1535)  

    [Before the Clerk announced the results of the vote:]
    Mr. Speaker, in light of the speech I made yesterday, and considering that I might be missing a few votes during the 500 days that separate us from the general election, I may have gotten a bit too excited and I may have voted twice. I want to thank my colleagues in the opposition for having alerted me, as I was not paying attention when it was time to vote. Therefore, I want my vote to be registered as opposed.

  (1540)  

    I thank the member for the clarification.

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 757)

YEAS

Members

Angus
Ashton
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brosseau
Caron
Choquette
Christopherson
Dabrusin
Davies
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Erskine-Smith
Fortin
Garrison
Gerretsen
Gill
Hughes
Johns
Kwan
Laverdière
MacGregor
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Nantel
Pauzé
Plamondon
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Sansoucy
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Thériault
Trudel
Weir

Total: -- 48

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Baylis
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chen
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duguid
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kang
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leitch
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Motz
Murray
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Ng
Nicholson
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poilievre
Poissant
Raitt
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Trost
Trudeau
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 245

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion lost.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act

    The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion that Bill C-344, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (community benefit), be read the third time and passed.
    The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-344 under private members' business.

  (1550)  

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

(Division No. 758)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Caron
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chen
Choquette
Christopherson
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Kwan
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stetski
Stewart
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 200

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Anderson
Barlow
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boucher
Boudrias
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
Marcil
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Motz
Nater
Nicholson
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Raitt
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 93

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

Fisheries Act

     The House resumed from June 12 consideration of Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-68.
    The question is on Motion No. 1. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 2 to 59.

  (1555)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 759)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Anderson
Barlow
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boucher
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Motz
Nater
Nicholson
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Raitt
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 84

NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Caron
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chen
Choquette
Christopherson
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Gill
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Kwan
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poissant
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 210

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare Motion No. 1 defeated and I therefore declare Motions Nos. 2 to 59 defeated.
     moved that the bill, as amended, 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:

  (1605)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 760)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Caron
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chen
Choquette
Christopherson
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Kwan
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stetski
Stewart
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 201

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Anderson
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boucher
Boudrias
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
Marcil
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Motz
Nater
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Raitt
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 92

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[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 15 petitions.
    While I am on my feet, I move:
    That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.
    The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: On division.

    (Motion agreed to)


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

  (1610)  

[Translation]

Cannabis Act

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (for the Minister of Justice)  
     moved:
    That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours that, in relation to Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, the House:
agrees with amendments 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11(b) and (c), 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17(b), 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 34, 35, 36 and 37 made by the Senate;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 3 because the government has been clear that provinces and territories are able to make additional restrictions on personal cultivation but that it is critically important to permit personal cultivation in order to support the government’s objective of displacing the illegal market;
respectfully disagrees with amendments 4, 11(a) and 38 because they would be contrary to the stated purpose of the Cannabis Act to protect the health of young persons by restricting their access to cannabis;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 7 because the criminal penalties and the immigration consequences aim to prevent young people from accessing cannabis and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for prohibited activities, including importing and exporting cannabis and using a young person to commit cannabis-related offences;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 8 because the Cannabis Act already includes comprehensive restrictions on promotion;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 9 because the government has already committed to establishing THC limits in regulations, which will provide flexibility to make future adjustments based on new evidence and product innovation;
respectfully disagrees with amendments 17(a) and 25 because other Senate amendments that the House is accepting would provide the Minister with expanded powers to require security clearances, and because amendments 17(a) and 25 would present significant operational challenges and privacy concerns;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 23 because law enforcement has an obligation to maintain evidence unless there is a risk to health and safety, and provisions currently exist in the Cannabis Act to provide compensation should evidence be disposed of and ordered to be returned;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 26 because mechanisms already exist to provide for public scrutiny of federal regulations;
proposes that amendment 31 be amended by replacing the text of section 151.1 with the following text:
    “151.1 (1) Three years after this section comes into force, the Minister must cause a review of this Act and its administration and operation to be conducted, including a review of the impact of this Act on public health and, in particular, on the health and consumption habits of young persons in respect of cannabis use, the impact of cannabis on Indigenous persons and communities, and the impact of the cultivation of cannabis plants in a dwelling-house.
    (2) No later than 18 months after the day on which the review begins, the Minister must cause a report on the review, including any findings or recommendations resulting from it, to be laid before each House of Parliament.”;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 32 because the Bill already provides for a comprehensive review of the core objectives of the Cannabis Act, including a requirement to table a report in Parliament and because the suggested amendment to amendment 31 provides for a review of the public health impacts of the Cannabis Act;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 33 because Parliament already has broad discretion to initiate studies of specific matters by parliamentary committees, and because the Bill already provides for a comprehensive review of the Cannabis Act, including a requirement to table a report in Parliament.
    She said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be here today and to rise to speak to Bill C-45, Cannabis Act. I would first congratulate the other chamber for its excellent work and careful study of this bill. Once again, I want to point out the great work done by all senators over the past seven months and by committees that did remarkable work over many meetings.
    We are about to witness an historic moment in Canada. When this bill comes into effect, it will change the way our country controls access to cannabis.
    It will be an important change for every one of us, including governments, indigenous peoples, law enforcement agencies, health professionals, and Canadians.
    As I have said many times, our objective for legalization is to replace a system that is not working. We need to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the hands of organized crime.
    Bill C-45 gives us the tools we need to accomplish that.
     As we know, the bill before us today is the result of more than two years of study and consultation.

[English]

    It builds on the extensive work of the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation. The task force consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, from the provinces and territories, to law enforcement, to health and safety experts. It also reached out to young Canadians, indigenous people, and many others. Their feedback and recommendations certainly helped shape this bill.
    The proposed legislation is informed by lessons learned from jurisdictions in the United States and elsewhere that have legalized and regulated cannabis. It included effective practices from other regulatory regimes such as tobacco, for which we have implemented a public health approach with demonstrated success.
    As a result, the proposed legalization strikes the right balance between making cannabis legally available to adults and protecting all Canadians.

  (1615)  

[Translation]

    Over the past few months, this bill has been studied and debated by the other place. Five of its committees carried out comprehensive studies and heard from over 200 witnesses. This work led them to propose a number of amendments to the bill. Several of those amendments made Bill C-45 stronger.

[English]

    For example, senators had proposed an amendment that would strengthen our ability to keep organized crime out of the legal industry by giving the minister the power to require specific persons associated with a licensed organization to hold a valid security clearance. There is no doubt that this change improves Bill C-45 and the government will fully support it.
    We are, however, concerned that other proposed changes could undermine the bill. After careful thought and consideration, we have decided not to support some of the proposed amendments. My colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, will speak in more detail about this decision.
    In the meantime, I would like to focus on two specific issues that have captured the interest of the other place. Let us talk about the indigenous perspective.
    The first concerns the indigenous perspective on Bill C-45. In a recent letter, the Minister of Indigenous Services and I acknowledged the interests and concerns raised by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. We have committed to continue to take action in specific areas including supporting mental health and addiction services, public education and participation in cannabis production, and addressing jurisdictional and revenue-sharing issues.
    We have committed to report to both chambers on progress in these areas within 12 months of receiving royal assent. I would like to assure members that our government has noted these areas of interest and concern. We will address each area through continued engagement with indigenous communities, indigenous organizations, and with the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

[Translation]

    Home growing was the other issue that received careful consideration from the other place. As we know, the bill allows adults to grow four plants per household. There are three reasons why limited home growing should be allowed.
     First, allowing people to grow a small number of plants for personal use will prevent the needless criminalization of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Second, limited home growing will help displace the black market, an unsafe, unregulated market that supports criminals and organized crime.

[English]

    The bill sets out strict rules for growing cannabis at home. Setting a very low limit on the number of plants is a reasonable way to allow adults to cultivate cannabis for their personal use while prohibiting larger-scale grow ops.
    Under the proposed legislation, provinces and territories have the flexibility to impose additional restrictions on personal cultivation should they wish to do so. This flexibility will allow provinces and territories to tailor their legislation to local circumstances and priorities in keeping with the public health and safety objectives set out in the proposed cannabis act.

[Translation]

    This new legislation is an essential component of our overall public health strategy for cannabis. The purpose of this approach is to minimize the harms associated with cannabis use and decrease the probability of substance abuse. Our public health approach includes significant investments in budget 2017 and budget 2018 for promoting awareness and providing information. It also provides for close monitoring of the impact.
    In accordance with this strategy, we will provide the facts on cannabis to Canadians. The government will then be able to measure and understand the impact of these policy changes over time.
    We know that there are health risks associated with cannabis use. These risks are higher in certain age groups and among people with specific health conditions. Our objective is both to give people the information they need to make informed decisions about cannabis and to minimize the risks.

[English]

    Through all of this, our top priority is to protect our youth. Youth face the greatest health risks from using cannabis and are especially vulnerable to its effects. For this reason, the bill contains many measures that have been designed to restrict access to cannabis and to protect young people. This is essential, given that Canadian youth use cannabis at a rate that is among the highest in the world. This is why Bill C-45 proposes serious criminal penalties for those who provide cannabis to anyone under the age of 18.
    The bill also includes prohibitions on promotion and advertising and on products, packaging, and labelling that would be appealing to youth.

  (1620)  

[Translation]

     The bill introduced today was carefully crafted to address the long-standing problem of immediate access to and prolonged use of cannabis in Canada. There is a pervasive illegal market that is deeply entrenched. This market does not comply with any rules or regulations to protect the public, and especially our youth.
    We promised a solution to Canadians, and we have kept our promise. Over the past two years, our government carried out a huge amount of research, analysis, and planning for Bill C-45. We consulted various stakeholders and we spoke with our partners.
    We made strategic investments to inform Canadians about the health impacts of cannabis and the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs.
    We also examined and accepted a number of sensible amendments, and we will do so again today.

[English]

    I am convinced that Bill C-45 gives us the legal framework we need to protect Canadians, especially our young people.
    Canada is well positioned to make this change. We already have a world-class system for the production and regulation of cannabis for medical use. The bill proposes to build on this strong regulatory regime.
    We will continue working closely with our partners at the provincial and territorial level and indigenous communities to ensure a successful implementation of this legislation once it is passed.

[Translation]

    The provinces and territories are ready. Canadians are ready as well.
    As parliamentarians, we have done our job and produced an historic package of legislative measures in the interest of Canadians.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the minister is clearly not in possession of the facts. Although she claims that this new bill is going to work to eliminate marijuana from the hands of children, it is clear that is not going to happen and neither will it eliminate organized crime.
    Washington State did not allow home grow and organized crime was eliminated. The minister has gone on record saying that what the government is implementing will accomplish that, when clearly in Colorado, that allowed home grow, that did not happen.
    Knowing that four plants in a house can be 600 grams, and that was before the height restriction was removed, there will be a huge amount. Provinces like Manitoba and Quebec have recognized that that will not keep it out of the hands of children. The minister's own province of New Brunswick put in lock-up provisions recognizing it does not.
    With that, why did the minister allow home grow to be included in this legislation?
    Madam Speaker, once again we have to make it very clear that our objective in moving forward with Bill C-45 is simple. We are moving forward with legalization as we want to restrict access to cannabis by our youth. We want to protect our youth. We also want to regulate the product that is on the market.
    With respect to the issue of home grow, we have to recognize that if we want to displace the illegal market, we have to use all the tools that we have at our disposal.
    We recognize as well that when individuals have a prescription to grow cannabis for medical purposes, they have the opportunity to grow that product at home. When we talk about recreational cannabis, we feel that both systems should be consistent.
    I also have to add that for all provinces and territories, should they choose to add additional limits with respect to home cultivation, they will be able to do so. If a province chooses to only allow one plant to be grown, it can absolutely do that.
    As my friend and colleague indicated, the province of New Brunswick, my home province, has even put a specific requirement forward. It wants to ensure that if New Brunswickers choose home cultivation they will have to do so under lock and key.

  (1625)  

    Madam Speaker, I recognize that for both ministers this is a very difficult bill. Overall, I certainly support Bill C-45. In general, it strikes the right balance. However, I am disappointed that some of the Senate amendments have been rejected, and I wonder if the minister would reconsider.
     I tried similar amendments when the bill was before committee. The ones I could generally lump together are clause 9, pages 10 and 11; and another one further in, clause 51, pages 29 to 31, dealing with what we might characterize as social sharing. I am very concerned that young people will not realize that if they are 18 years old and their best friend is 17 years, 11 months, and two weeks old, passing a joint to this friend in a social setting would constitute distribution and could even involve jail time.
    I think we ought to look at these amendments that came from the Senate. Again, I think that the government has done a pretty fair job here. I have a lot of concern on regulations, which I will raise later. I am very concerned to make sure that legal growing outdoors of organic cannabis would be permitted. However, for now, looking at these amendments, I wonder if there might be some reconsideration around this particular area of concern.
    Madam Speaker, as I have indicated earlier, very clearly, the Senate has certainly been studying this proposed legislation for the past seven months. We absolutely appreciate the work that it has done. We have given careful consideration to all of the amendments that the Senate has brought forward, and after discussions with my colleagues, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Public Safety, as well as many cabinet colleagues, and the parliamentary secretary, we have made the decision to accept some amendments and some we have decided to oppose.
    When it comes to the specific amendment that my friend and colleague has mentioned, we really felt that it was counterintuitive with respect to the sharing aspect at such a close age. It is an area that we have given close consideration to, but at this point, our government is not prepared to accept that amendment.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, just two days ago, the Government of Quebec adopted its own bill for the province, and it was extremely clear about the province's desire to be able to ban home cultivation.
    The minister says that they talked about the bill throughout the entire two-year process and that the senators did good work. They did such good work that their 46 amendments speak to the mediocrity of this bill.
    The reality is that the Government of Quebec does not want its citizens to be allowed to grow plants at home because it feels that it is not in the interest of young children.
    Why will the minister not respect the will of the Province of Quebec?
    Madam Speaker, once again, I want to thank my colleague for his question.
    With regard to home cultivation, we obviously thought about this issue and also closely examined this amendment. We recognize that the Senate did a thorough job, and we studied all the recommendations made to date.
    I do not agree with my colleague who called it a mediocre law. The task force on cannabis legalization and regulation did great work, and we have been working on this bill for two years. We are convinced that Bill C-45 is really good.
    It was very important for the other chamber, the Senate, to review it and make recommendations. On this side of the House, we studied these recommendations very carefully and we accepted the majority of amendments.
    We do not hold the same position on home cultivation, but we nevertheless respect the work done by everyone.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is a real pleasure to see the bill come back to this House with some of those recommendations. However, despite the fact that we hear rhetoric from the opposition around increased consumption among youth, the reality of the situation is that we know youth in Canada are at the high end of utilizing marijuana as it currently stands.
    I wonder if the minister could comment on those statistics and on what the bill seeks to accomplish in terms of reducing cannabis use among youth in Canada.

  (1630)  

    Madam Speaker, the priority of Bill C-45, as we legalize cannabis, is to restrict cannabis and get it out of the hands of youth. We recognize that in Canada, in many instances, it is easier for our youth to purchase cannabis than it is for them to purchase cigarettes. We recognize that the current system is not working, and that is why we are moving forward with the bill. We want to legalize, restrict, and also regulate this substance.
    We recognize that Canadian youth are among the highest consumers of cannabis among the developed countries. As a result, we are taking a public health approach. We are making some significant investments in the area of public education and awareness. We are also partnering with many agencies to make sure that we provide the appropriate tools to provide the public education and the awareness campaign that is needed to ensure that they get the proper information.
    Madam Speaker, one of the concerns one of the members brought up earlier was about having two young people together, one who is of age and one who is very close but not quite there, and the criminal record they could get for making the mistake of passing a joint. I wonder if you could talk a bit about what your plans are to actually educate young people to make sure that we negate that as much as possible.
    I just want to remind the member that she is to address the questions to the Chair. I am not going to answer that but will ask the minister to respond.
    Madam Speaker, as I was indicating earlier with respect to the public education and awareness campaign, it is important to make sure that the appropriate investments are made to inform Canadians about Bill C-45 with respect to the coming into force date and all the information that needs to go with it. I also have to stress that the information and tools we are going to put in place with respect to public education and awareness are key.
    The public education campaigns have already started. They started last year, and we are continuing to roll out these products. We recognize that we have to get the key messages out to Canadians, because we want them to be able to make responsible choices.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am tabling a government response to Questions Nos. 1717 to 1728.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to say that this will probably be my last opportunity to speak to Bill C-45, so I want to make sure I give it full coverage.
    The government says that the reason it is bringing in this legislation is that what is in place now is not working. What is proposed under Bill C-45 is not going to work either, even with the many amendments that have been brought forward.
    What was this bill supposed to do in the first place? If we refer to the purpose of the bill, it is supposed to “protect the health of young persons by restricting their access to cannabis”. We can see right away a couple of things in the bill that are going to put cannabis into the hands of young children. First is clause 8, which would allow young people aged 12 to 17 to have up to five grams of cannabis. That is the wrong message in any universe.
    We have talked about home grow and how when people have in excess of 600 grams of cannabis growing in a house, young people are likely to get hold of it, in the same way they get hold of liquor in the liquor cabinet. This is certainly not going to keep cannabis out of the hands of young children.
    Furthermore, I would say that if the government has a belief that the systems being put in place in some provinces are going to help out, let me assure the House that Kathleen Wynne put in a process in Ontario of LCBO-type stores and delivery. For people in Sarnia—Lambton, the closest store is in London. If they called their drug dealers today, in about 30 minutes they could have whatever quantity they wanted delivered to their houses for about $7 a gram. The government has proposed a price of $10 a gram, with $1 in tax on top of that. If it thinks that is going to work to displace the organized crime that is in place, it is sadly mistaken.
    The other item I want to talk about with respect to youth is the public education that was supposed to happen. The Canadian Medical Association has been clear that among young people under the age of 25 who use cannabis, 30% will have severe mental illness issues, such as psychotic disorders, bipolar, anxiety, and depression, and 10% will become addicted. Where is the public education on that? Where is the message to tell young people today that this is harmful? That message is not out there. Young people are saying, “It's no more harmful than alcohol.” They are not getting the message.
    The only public campaign that has been done was done by the Minister of Public Safety, who did a brief TV commercial to let kids know that they should not drive while they are drug-impaired, which, while true, is totally inadequate to have the kind of public education that was recommended by Colorado and the State of Washington. Colorado did $10 million worth of public education for a population that is lot smaller than what Canada has. The State of Washington did the same.
    We are certainly not going to achieve the first objective of keeping it out of the hands of children. What about some of the others? Will we provide for only the legal production of cannabis “to reduce illicit activities in relation to cannabis”? If we look at all the places that have legalized marijuana, we see that in Colorado, which allowed home grow, it still has significant issues with organized crime. The police have a lot of nuisance complaints, and there are entire residential neighbourhoods that smell. There are lots of problems there.
    We can look at the State of Washington, which decided that it would not allow home grow, except in the case of medicinal marijuana. It was able, in three years, to reduce organized crime to less than 20%. Because it had set the age at 21, it was able to make it difficult for young people to actually get hold of marijuana. It is unlikely that 21-year-olds would be sharing with 17-year-olds, unlike with the legislation we have before us.
    Another problem that has not been addressed by the government with respect to home grow concerns property-owner rights. In Ontario and Quebec, once this legislation is passed, property owners would be unable to prevent people from growing marijuana in their houses. For those who are maybe less experienced, when growing marijuana, there can often be a mould problem in the house. I have been approached by the real estate associations, which have asked questions. Currently, when there is a home grow in a house, and the house is sold, they have to do a total remediation for the mould and a recertification of the house. They want to know if they are going to have to do that for all the home grows. That question has not been answered by the government.

  (1635)  

    The other question that has not been answered by the government has to do with the impact at the border. I live in a border community. Conversations have been had with Homeland Security and with border officials. They have said, “Canada is changing its law. We are not changing our law federally. It still is illegal federally, and we are not adding resources because of Canada's law.” Dogs will sniff. If people have second-hand smoke residue on their clothes, if a kid borrowed the car and happened to be out with other kids who were smoking marijuana, if people smoke themselves and do not happen to have any with them but have the residue, the dogs will sniff it out, and people will be pulled over into secondary, and they will go through the standard procedure there. The problem is that there is not enough secondary for the number of people who will be pulled over. When asked what they will do then, they said they would put a cone in the lane the person is in and perform the secondary inspection there, which will back everything up. They have informed us to expect an increase of up to 300% in wait times at the border.
    The government has known about this for two and a half years. It has done nothing to establish any kind of agreement with the government of the U.S., other than to say to make sure that people tell the truth. That, of course, is great advice, but it will not prevent the wait times and the problems that are going to be seen at the border.
    Furthermore, the government has not educated young people to understand that if they are caught with marijuana in the U.S., it is a lifetime ban from that country. The U.S. is not the only country that will ban people for the possession of marijuana. There are a lot of countries in the world. Young people who intend to have a global career are not being informed about this, and there could be very adverse consequences from the public education that has not happened.
    This bill was also supposed to “reduce the burden on the criminal justice system”. Unfortunately, we know that the justice minister is behind the eight ball in terms of putting judges in place. She is about 60 short. Because of that, we see murderers and rapists going free due to Jordan's principle. If there were an intent on the part of the Liberals to try to clear the backlog and make sure that those who have committed more serious crimes receive punishment, one of the things they could have done, as was suggested many times, even since last September, was let those who have marijuana charges drop off the list and get out of the queue so that the more serious offences could be prosecuted. Of course, the Liberals have done nothing with respect to that, and so again, they are not going to actually offload them from the system. In fact, there would be more criminal charges under this legislation than previously existed, because now, if people had five plants instead of four, that would be an offence. Now, if they had 31 grams instead of 30, that would be an offence. Now there would be offences for transferring it to younger people. There would be a lot of offences that did not exist previously, so definitely, we will not achieve that goal.
    There was the goal to ”provide access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis”. Now that they would allow home grow, and everyone is going to be doing their own thing, there would actually be no management of the quality control of this product. That is also not acceptable.
     Some of the other unanswered questions we see have to do with workplace safety. This was raised when the marijuana issue was studied by the original council. There was testimony brought to committee. There were questions raised all over the place. How are we going to protect the employers, who have the liability, and the other employees, who are worried? They are worried about people who may come to work drug impaired. We do not want to be flying with Air Canada and have the pilot impaired. We do not want to have people operating nuclear plants who may be drug impaired.
     Bill C-46 was supposed to be the companion legislation to Bill C-45. Bill C-46 was going to allow mandatory and random testing on the roadside, because, as people know, it is dangerous to smoke drugs and then drive a car. That was going to open the door, then, for people to say that if it is dangerous to smoke drugs and drive a car, perhaps it is also dangerous to then drive a plane or drive a train or operate a nuclear plant, or any of these other things. The question of workplace safety and how we are going to protect and what legislation is going into place is a total blank space.
    We have not looked to our neighbours to the south that have legalized and have both mandatory and random testing in place. I worked on many projects, and I actually had an office in the States at one point in time, so I know that American employers are able to screen people before they hire them. They are able to mandatory test them, and they are able to random test them. The government has totally lacked leadership in addressing the issue of workplace safety, etc.
    With respect to the actual amendments that have come, some were good and some were not good. One amendment that was brought would allow 18-year-olds to share their marijuana or allow parents in a home to share their marijuana. I am glad the government decided not to accept that one.

  (1640)  

    I am still concerned about the fact that there is even marijuana in the house. However, if that amendment was accepted it definitely would not have not been keeping marijuana out of the hands of young children.
    One of the amendments that they did not accept had to do with the banning of promotional things like T-shirts, caps, and flags that would have a cannabis symbol on them. The government did not accept this amendment from the Senate. I am very concerned about that.
    There are a lot of Canadians out there who are worried that when marijuana is legalized in Canada they are going to use Canada Day flags that have cannabis on them. Everybody will have a T-shirt with cannabis on it. That will be disgusting. It will absolutely denigrate our country and the people who have served our country and made Canada a proud country. It will deface that. The government has allowed people to continue to have that kind of paraphernalia by refusing the language here. It is total hypocrisy because under Bill S-228, which talks about prohibiting unhealthy advertising to children, we would not want to see pop or something like that on a T-shirt or a flag. However, with cannabis, it is okay. I am totally opposed to that.
    Another thing that the government should have taken into account was the amendment that was brought on capping the potency of THC. We have heard reports from all over Canada, as people are increasingly trying marijuana for the first time or experiencing B.C. bud, which purportedly has one of the highest THC contents and a lot of potency, that people are presenting at the emergency wards with uncontrollable vomiting due to THC poisoning. Knowing that a part of the intent of this bill is to protect the health of Canadians and of youth, I cannot understand why the government would not recognize that there needs to be some control on the potency of things that are out in the marketplace.
    Some of the amendments were compassionate and talked about giving people more time to pay their fines. I thought that was good that the government accepted those. I also thought it was good that they would, for young people, ages 12 to 17, who were experiencing an offence, look at ticketed offences, which is something that we would have supported, and restorative justice options.
    If we look to countries that are doing the best job of intervening and helping people to get off drugs, look to Portugal. If anyone is found in possession of drugs there, they are given an intervention with a medical person, a psychiatrist, and a legal person. They then try to figure out what the root cause is of why these people are self-medicating or why are they becoming addicted, and what can be done to help get them off of it, in terms of mental health therapies or drug addiction therapies, etc. We need to look at this whole thing.
    The other part that I think is unfortunate is that the indigenous people have not been adequately consulted. I was very disappointed to find that in September of last year, when we first heard at committee from Chief Day and from the Métis nation, they said they had not been adequately consulted. It is disheartening to hear that again when this went before the Senate, the same message came out that they had not been adequately consulted, and that they wanted to have the ability within their own communities to define whether or not cannabis would be allowed. Apparently under federal law, it was clarified to them that if it is a federal right of Canadians to possess cannabis, then it is not something that they would be able to go against. There was some resistance about that based on the sovereignty of the indigenous peoples. I think that was not resolved to their satisfaction.
    It is worrisome that the government continues to rush ahead. It says that this is the most important relationship, the nation-to-nation relationship, yet it is willing to go and throw gasoline on a fire in terms of moving ahead when it has been asked not to do so.
    Some of the other questions that arose at committee that really have not been adequately answered have to do with a lot of the detailed specifics about who is going to pay. Municipalities are saying there will be a cost to them to implement it, but they have not been included in the cost breakdown or the agreements that have happened. That is of concern. There have also been concerns raised by people who currently are consuming medical marijuana, and their understanding is that they are going to be paying tax on that.

  (1645)  

    Typically, in Canada, prescription medicines are not taxed. Therefore, as long as people have a prescription from a doctor for their medicinal marijuana, my expectation would be that it would not be taxed. However, that is not what the government is saying. Also, there is language in the budget bill that is a little suspicious, which states it would exempt people from paying tax on medicinal marijuana that has a drug identification number. The problem with that is that there are no medications that have a drug identification number because there are so many different components in marijuana that the companies have not been able to spend the research dollars required to characterize them or to effectively control the quality of them so that they could acquire a number like that. Therefore, that is a meaningless promise, for sure.
    There were some amendments that were brought to bring this legislation in line with the tobacco legislation. I am in favour of having those things aligned. However, it seems unusual that the government would be spending $80 million to get people to stop smoking and then $800 million to get people to start smoking marijuana, especially when the Minister of Health just stood up and talked about how the government knows there are harmful effects.
    One of the things I find very interesting, from a timing point of view, is that today Health Canada took the harmful impacts of cannabis off of its website. That was something that had been on the website. I had someone that brought it to my notice, and sent me a screenshot of what used to be there and a screenshot of what is not there now. It is very interesting that on the day that the Liberals want to see this legislation pass into law, it would suddenly take off of the website the information that shows there are harmful effects from cannabis not only to young people but also others.
    Therefore, I would request that the government not hide things. Rather, it should try to be open and transparent, as it says it is always trying to be, and put that information back on the website. Every place that has legalized marijuana has said that one of the most important things to do is to invest in public education, and target that education not just to young people so that they understand the harmful effects this would have on their brains, but also to adults and parents who can influence young people, and the general public so that they can understand as well.
     I am very concerned about some of the unintended consequences that will happen as a result of this legislation. I know there are people already smoking marijuana in Canada today. However, when it becomes legal, there will be many more who will decide to try it. They may not be informed about what the impact will be when they cross the border or what the impacts might be on their mental health or that of their children. They may not understand what the health impacts will be for them. They may not understand the ramifications with respect to their place of work and how they are going to impact both their employer and those who work around them.
    That said, I am very opposed to the legalization of marijuana, which I have said on many occasions, not just because it is bad for people but because this bill has so many holes in it and so many unanswered questions, and there will be so many bad, unintended consequences for Canadians, that it will be left to the Conservative Party, when we come to victory in 2019, to clean up the mess made by the current government's moving forward in this rushed and irresponsible fashion to implement this bill.
    This bill will absolutely not keep marijuana out of the hands of young children. It will not get organized crime out of this business. It will not unload our criminal justice system. It certainly will not provide access to a quality-controlled supply.
    What we can expect is that on Canada Day there will be a lot of people out with their T-shirts on, totally insulting those Canadians who are proud of our country and who are not in agreement, and there are a lot of Canadians who are not in agreement with this legislation.

  (1650)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the member opposite for her remarks and for her hard work on the health committee. Her opinions are always valued.
    One thing that is clear, and that I have found there is an overwhelming consensus for right across the country, is that the current system of criminal prohibition is failing our communities and our kids terribly. We have the highest rates of cannabis use among children in the world. The entire production and distribution system of cannabis today in Canada is controlled by criminals. The products that our kids are exposed to are untested, unregulated, and unsafe. With respect to prohibition, I think there is a general acknowledgement that it simply does not work.
    It is only by lifting that prohibition and replacing it with a comprehensive system of regulation for its production, distribution, and consumption that we have any opportunity to bring some control to a situation that is clearly out of control and damaging our communities and enriching criminals.
    Therefore, I ask the member opposite what her intention would be. The next time your party may come into government, would you recriminalize this and reinstitute the prohibition after we have lifted it?
    I want to remind the parliamentary secretary to address his questions to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Madam Speaker, the member opposite is absolutely right that the situation today is not a good situation, but if Liberals had done what was prudent, they would have put in place a system like Washington state that actually reduced organized crime's involvement, raised the age to 21, and made it more difficult for people to get hold of marijuana.
    In terms of what will happen in the future, I look forward to the day in 2019 when Conservatives are victorious and return to government. At that time, it will be like the toothpaste is out of the tube. There will be a big mess to clean up and a doubling of traffic deaths, which has been seen in every other jurisdiction. Public education has not been done by the government, after warnings from every jurisdiction that legalized marijuana. That is going to have to happen for people to understand the harms. However, by that time, there will be young people who have mental health issues, there will be traffic deaths, and all of the unintended consequences to property owners.
    Madam Speaker, I first want to express what a pleasure it is to work with my hon. colleague on the health committee. She almost puts a reasonable gloss on the Conservative position on cannabis, and for that I congratulate her.
    The position of the Conservative Party on cannabis has been extremely perplexing to me. In the comments of the hon. member for Thornhill, he compared a homegrown cannabis plant to the equivalent of leaving opioids out for children. Right now in Canada, the reality is that with extreme criminalization, in fact, a potential life sentence for trafficking, we have the second highest rate of cannabis use among young people in the world.
    Given that reality and given that millions of Canadians who have used and currently use cannabis do not feel it is a criminal act, and given that her party is opposed to legalization, I have a question for her on the edibles and concentrates provision. This bill would continue to make edibles and concentrates illegal in Canada. Given that one of the purposes of the bill is to get rid of the black market, I wonder what her party's position is on the legalization of edibles and concentrates. Is she and her party content to leave those products in the hands of organized crime, which is selling those products, in some cases, without any of the regulations that Canadians want to see with those products?

  (1655)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to work with the member as well on the health committee. He brings forward many good points.
    Here are some of the facts that come to bear on this question: 30% of the market today is edibles. We received testimony from multiple jurisdictions that had legalized edibles, and they talked about some of the problems they encountered originally with overdoses in children, especially with gummy bear and candy-flavoured items. Having very strict controls and learning lessons from those people will be important, but once again, the government decided not to have parliamentary oversight when those regulations are developed. The bureaucrats will be able to put in place whatever they want. Perhaps they will not listen to the learnings of other jurisdictions, and I am against that.
    Madam Speaker, I have a couple of items.
    I want to thank the member for Sarnia—Lambton for talking about the education system. We have seen a few ads by the government on television, but not enough. It was prepared to spend $300,000, $400,000, or $500,000 for an ad campaign and we have not seen that, even though we could be months, or even weeks, away from this bill becoming law.
    In January, I went to Nunavut. There are no addiction centres at all up north. They are concerned. There is not one addiction centre in Nunavut, yet the government has not consulted with them. They are concerned about this because their people from the north have to go to Winnipeg and even Montreal to addiction centres. There is no plan by the Liberal government to place addiction centres up north. I would ask the member to talk about the addiction centres that will certainly be needed when this bill becomes law.
    Madam Speaker, that is an excellent question. Yes, the government has been woefully inadequate in putting treatment facilities in place, not just in Nunavut but across the country. If we compare it with other places that do this well, talking about public education and treatment, Colorado spent $10 million on public education and it has five million people. Washington state spent $7 million and it has seven million people, and it spent it a year before the legalization. The $100,000 we are talking about for 36 million people is woefully inadequate.
    Let us take Portugal. The government is always saying how well Portugal does things. Portugal has 170 treatment centres for 11 million people in a very small, driveable space. That is not the situation in Canada, and we have to start putting emphasis on treatment for people, especially those who are predisposed. Nunavut has recognized the threat and decided not to allow homegrown cannabis, along with Quebec and Manitoba, and treatment centres are needed there as well.
    Madam Speaker, I have been following the Conservatives' debate on this issue, and I find it amazing. Their position is to decriminalize cannabis. By decriminalizing cannabis but not legalizing it and putting in regulations, I suspect they will find great support from gangs. Gangs and the criminal element would be the biggest beneficiaries of the Conservative policy on this issue. If we decriminalize cannabis, that means that the gangs can continue to get involved. After all, it is not legal, but now these individuals would not go to jail. Rather, they would get a fine. It just does not make any sense.
    Where I believe we agree is that over the last decade we have seen our youth more engaged in cannabis than the youth in any other western country in terms of the crisis that currently exists. This legislation would legalize, regulate, and educate. I believe there would be marginal criminal activities surrounding it. Those monies would be generated for government. I see it as a win-win-win. The biggest winners would be our young people because there would be more education and it would decrease the number of young people participating in cannabis.

  (1700)  

    Madam Speaker, instead of talking about hypotheticals, let us talk about what organized crime is thinking about the government's legislation. They are jumping up and down. Their going price is $7 a gram, but the government is going to start at $10 a gram and then add another dollar. Not only that, the government is going to do what Colorado did and allow home grow. We can see how profitable organized crime has been there. By the way, the government also eliminated the visa requirements for people coming in from Mexico, so lots of experienced people could just move in and take over the whole thing. When we think about the advantages for organized crime, and how the police have already said that there is not enough of them to enforce all the provisions for home grow in this legislation, organized crime is going to be happy. It is going to make a huge amount of money when people have to go through Kathleen Wynne's LCBO model between nine and six.
    Madam Speaker, as I tuned in to listen to the Senate debate on the cannabis bill, Bill C-45, I was given a stark reminder of why so many Canadians have so little confidence in that unelected, unaccountable body. Certainly it is legitimately questionable whether an institution capable of producing such baseless fearmongering and ignorance has any legitimacy blocking legislation passed by an overwhelming majority in this democratically elected House of Commons.
    Disturbingly, in the hours leading up to the final vote on Bill C-45, the Liberal government was forced to quietly swear in two new senators to ensure its passage, even though they were not present for one minute of testimony, one minute of debate, or one minute of review of the bill. However, they cast their vote in lockstep with the government. Some democracy. Some sober second thought.
    After studying this legislation for over six months, it is not even clear that all 93 senators actually understood the most basic facts about cannabis, such as the most basic facts about cannabis quantity. While reviewing the act, Senator Nicole Eaton, a Conservative from Ontario, said this:
     [F]ive grams is about four tokes. So, in other words, if I’m a high school student—I’m 16—I have four tokes in my pocket, which is under five grams. So you just don’t take it away from me, but I’m allowed to possess it, right?... I’m allowed to have less than five grams, or I’m allowed to have zero grams? This is what I don’t understand.
    There is quite a bit the senator does not understand. For the record, five grams of cannabis is enough for some 10 joints. That is far more than four tokes.
    Given this statement, l was rather surprised to learn that both Senator Eaton and Senator Frum were forced to abstain from votes on the cannabis bill because they stand to profit from legalization. Senator Eaton declared a conflict of interest over the bill “due to an impending investment in the cannabis industry.” However, until she recused herself, Senator Eaton was an active participant in debates and committee work on legalization, including voting against Bill C-45 at second reading.
    For her part, Senator Frum has a property “that will be leased for the purposes of selling recreational cannabis”. After initially indicating her opposition to Bill C-45, she recused herself from debate, deliberation, and voting on the matter.
    While it may seem like a contradiction to publicly oppose Bill C-45 while privately investing in cannabis, such behaviour has become disturbingly common in the lead-up to legalization. An emerging group of so-called cannabis capitalists, notably composed of the same police officers and government officials who have spent years prosecuting the war on drugs, has already begun staking its claim to the new recreational market.
    Some prominent names include the following.
    Kim Derry, who served as deputy chief when the current Liberal member for Scarborough Southwest, the Liberals' point man on cannabis, was Toronto police chief, is now the security adviser for THC Meds Ontario.
    Former Ontario Liberal deputy premier, George Smitherman, who once served as the province's health minister, is tied to THC Meds Ontario as well.
    Former Liberal prime minister John Turner is a board member for Muileboom Organics, Inc.
     Chuck Rifici founded Tweed Marijuana Inc., the country's first licensed provider to go public, while he was chief financial officer of the Liberal Party of Canada.
    Former police chief and Conservative cabinet minister Julian Fantino, who once compared cannabis to murder and voted in favour of harsh mandatory minimum sentences for cannabis as a member of the Harper cabinet, has now gone into the cannabis business himself with former RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Souccar.
    It is a travesty of justice and a hypocrisy of the highest order that those who fought hardest for legalization may benefit the least from it, while those who spent a lifetime enforcing prohibition are now lining up to fill the boardrooms of the cannabis industry.

  (1705)  

    Those who put their liberty on the line as activists for legalization, and who, in the pursuit of their defence of cannabis, often took legal liability and got criminal records, not for any violent activity but in their drive to get sensible cannabis policy in this country, now carry the burden of a criminal record for their efforts. Not only have they been shut out, but the federal government has not even offered them a path to participate in the cannabis industry, or to obtain pardons. Are they now supposed to sit back in admiration of the moral flexibility and business acumen of their former detractors?
    The inescapable truth is that Bill C-45 is principally about legalizing the cannabis industry, not the plant or its usage. This bill is not about legalization, but about making cannabis less illegal. If this legislation were truly about legalizing the cannabis plant, it would herald the end of criminalization, the end of stigmatization, and the end of the prohibitionist approach to cannabis policy that has been such a failure for almost 100 years. Instead, this legislation would create an incredibly complex criminal framework that legal experts and police chiefs predict will result in more, not fewer, cannabis offences post-legalization.
    There have been many opportunities to change course as Bill C-45 worked its way through Parliament. I want to be clear. I do give the government credit for rejecting the most harmful amendments proposed by the Senate, and for accepting the NDP's proposals in a number of ways, including to legalize the sale of edibles and concentrates, albeit not for one year post-legalization. This is unjustified, but it is the best the Liberals would do. The government has also agreed to remove the misguided 100-centimetre plant height limit. Unfortunately, the Liberals have also rejected a number of key improvements to Bill C-45.
    I would like to take a moment to focus on some of the Senate's key proposed amendments and the government's response to them.
    First is home growing. Based on the advice of the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation, the federal government has proposed to allow the personal cultivation of cannabis for non-medical purposes, with a limit of four plants per household. However, after considering a proposal to ban home growing outright, the Senate chose to amend Bill C-45 to allow provincial governments to ban home growing themselves. Now, this is not a rational or evidence-based approach to cannabis policy. As the College of Family Physicians of Canada put it, “Banning home growing for personal use defeats the purpose of legalization, which is to reduce the harms of criminalization.”
    New Democrats believe that, under legalization, the personal production of cannabis should be permitted, similar to the home production of alcohol, such as beer and wine. Personal production would play an essential role in eliminating the illicit cannabis market since it would ensure that individuals who want to consume cannabis can afford it and have access to it in regions without nearby retail storefronts. For many Canadians, particularly those in rural areas who would not be served well by the retail marketing of cannabis, this may be the only way to get access to cannabis.
     I would point out that under the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling, medical cannabis users are allowed to grow their own cannabis. In some cases, they are growing eight plants, and they can obtain a licence from another person and grow for that person. Would it not be the height of folly if across Canada one house on a block could grow cannabis, because it is grown for medical reasons, but the house beside it could not, because it is for recreational purposes? That is the height of inequity and it would make a mockery of the law.
    I would point out that the health and safety issues generally associated with home cultivation are overwhelmingly the result of large-scale, industrial, illicit growing operations that operate covertly in residential buildings due to prohibition. This can result in damage due to improper ventilation, and the illegal electrical hook-ups pose a fire risk. However, the personal cultivation of four plants would obviously not pose similar risks any more than growing four plants of any other species in the home. I daresay that most Canadians in an average household have more than four plants in their house. By contributing to the dismantling of the illicit market, home cultivation would actually serve to help eliminate those covert industrial growing operations.
    Furthermore, I would point out that raw cannabis plants are non-psychoactive. According to University of British Columbia botany professor Jonathan Page, who testified at committee, if anybody, including a child, were to eat the raw bud of cannabis, that person would get the acidic form, which is non-psychoactive. The fresh material is not capable of getting one high. One needs to bake it, heat it, or smoke it in order to obtain that result.

  (1710)  

    The government chose to reject this amendment because it said, “t is critically important to permit personal cultivation in order to support the government’s objective of displacing the illegal market.” Canada's New Democrats agree.
    On potency limits, the Senate also proposed an undefined potency limit for cannabis products. I think the Conservatives are supporting this. On this point, it is important to note that the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation rejected potency limits for a number of reasons. It believed that if prohibited these products would continue to be available on the illicit market. The task force also concluded that there was insufficient evidence even to identify what a safe potency limit would be. The task force emphasized the significant risks associated with the illicit production of high potency concentrate, and instead called on the government to regulate them within a legal market.
    I would point out that illicit producers often use flammable solvents, such as butane, to extract cannabinoids from plants, an inherently dangerous process that can also leave carcinogenic residues on the end product. Product safety was also a concern as the extraction process may also concentrate contaminants, such as heavy metals and other impurities in addition to THC.
    The government rejected this amendment because “the government has already committed to establishing THC limits in regulations, which will provide flexibility to make future adjustments based on new evidence and product innovation.” While we support the decision to reject this amendment, Canada's New Democrats believe that the government should heed the advice of the task force in this area.
    On branding, the Senate proposed deleting a provision of Bill C-45 that currently would allow a person to promote cannabis, a cannabis accessories or a service related to cannabis by displaying a brand element on the thing, provided that it would not be associated with young persons, appealing to young persons, or associated with a way of life that would include glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk, or daring.
     The government rejected the Senate's amendment because “the Cannabis Act already includes comprehensive restrictions on promotion.” Again, Canada's New Democrats agree.
     Branding restrictions on cannabis in Bill C-45 are there now. Indeed, they are already more stringent than those applied to alcohol. I do not need to remind any of the members of the House of the tragedy that occurred just a few months ago. A young Quebec girl died after consuming a high alcohol volume drink and ended up drowning in a river. If we look at that product, it is definitely marketed to young people, even to children, and there are no similar restrictions on alcohol. The House should look at closing that in the future.
    With respect to parental sharing in the home, just as is currently the case with alcohol, the Senate proposed to allow parents to share cannabis with a younger family member of at least 17 years of age in the home. Canada's New Democrats believe this was a sensible proposal and the government was ill-advised to reject this amendment.
     We currently allow this approach for alcohol because we understand that parents can be trusted to model responsible behaviour to their children and to make positive choices for their family's well-being. In fact, the New Democrats believe parental education will be a key component of low-risk use of cannabis and should not be criminalized. After the bill becomes law, parents will be able to legally consume cannabis in the house, and if they want to pass a joint to their 17-year-old and discuss responsible use of cannabis, the bill would make that a crime. We do not think that is sensible.
    The government has also rejected the Senate's parallel proposal to ensure that sharing among individuals close in age within two years would not be criminalized, and that a cannabis offence carrying a sentence of less than six months would not be used in deportation proceedings for someone without citizenship status.
     The government justified its rejection by saying, “the criminal penalties and the immigration consequences aim to prevent young people from accessing cannabis and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for prohibited activities...”.
    If criminalization and the threat of imprisonment or deportation prevented people from using cannabis, then Canadians would not be consuming an estimated 655 metric tonnes of it per year and we would not have the second highest rate of cannabis use among youth between 16 and 24 in the world, and that is when we have full criminalization and life sentences for trafficking.

  (1715)  

    Contrasting that, a single bottle of liquor is enough to kill a child, and yet I know of no 14-year prison sentence arising from the distribution of beer or liquor. However, a parent who shares a joint with his or her son or daughter who is 17 would be a criminal under this legislation. An adult who possesses 31 grams of cannabis in public would be a criminal. A youth who possesses more than 5 grams of cannabis would be a criminal. An 18-year-old who passes a joint to a 17-year-old friend would be a criminal. An adult who grows five cannabis plants would be a criminal.
    This kind of continued criminalization is inconsistent with a rational and evidence-based criminal justice policy and will only serve to reduce the positive impacts of the bill. The prohibitionist approach has been repeatedly discredited by its failure throughout history.
    For far too long, we have wasted billions of dollars in resources in the criminal justice system by criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens at an alarming rate for simply possessing and consuming cannabis. In fact, we are today. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016, the most recent year of available data, there were about 55,000 offences related to cannabis reported to police and police charged 17,733 people with pot possession.
    A recent Vice News investigation found that black and indigenous men and women have been overrepresented in cannabis possession arrests across Canada just in the year since the Liberals formed government, and yet Bill C-45 would preserve the criminalized approach to cannabis, along with the damaging paternalism of the war on drugs.
    I want to be clear that from the very beginning Canada's New Democrats have worked hard to reach across the aisle with constructive proposals to improve the bill. These changes included the following: providing pardons to Canadians saddled with a criminal record for offences that will no longer be offences under Bill C-45. This amendment was ruled outside the scope of Bill C-45. However, given the Prime Minister's previous statements, it is shocking that the Liberal government would structure a so-called cannabis legalization bill in such a way that pardons could not be included through amendment.
    We proposed empowering provincial governments to create parallel production licensing regimes in order to give provinces the flexibility to implement legalization in the manner best suited to their jurisdiction. For example, this would have allowed provinces to let craft growers, small scale producers, and outdoor growers compete against the federally licensed corporate giants.
    As said earlier, we proposed the legalization of edibles and concentrates, which are among the safest ways to consume cannabis and are the growing part of the market. This would allow Canadians and entrepreneur of businesses across the country to provide safe, regulated products to customers instead of allowing this to be provided underground.
    We proposed decriminalizing the penalties section in line with the Tobacco Act. We proposed that the legalization should take a regulatory approach with significant fines for offences rather than criminal ones.
     One of the purposes of Bill C-45, as laid out in section 7, is to “reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.” Penalties in the bill should be consistent with that stated intent.
    I am disappointed that the government chose to reject these vital proposals, but I am heartened that the bill at least contains a mandatory review of Bill C-45's operation in the next Parliament. I view this as a tacit admission by the government that it knows the bill contains problematic sections that will need to be fixed.
    To be clear, Canada's New Democrats will support this motion and this legislation because we have fought for an end to prohibition ever since the 1971 LeDain Commission. The bill before us today is an important step forward but it is far from perfect.
    After the last election, Canadians rightfully expected that the Liberals would produce a timely and fair cannabis law. As it now stands, the federal government has left the heavy-lifting of legalization to the provincial, territorial, municipal, and indigenous governments. The bill will lead to the emergence of a patchwork approach to legalization that will shut out the most long-standing cannabis activists, the folks who have spent decades honing their craft and providing world-leading medicinal cannabis to patients across Canada.
    Some provinces have chosen to impose a government retail monopoly, some have chosen to shut out existing compassion clubs, and some provinces are pushing to ban home growing outright. This is disappointing. It is a lost opportunity. It is a betrayal of the clear promise that the Liberals made to Canadians in 2015.
    Done properly, an appropriate legal approach to cannabis can achieve impressive benefits economically, technologically, and medicinally. The New Democrats will continue to work to provide the best cannabis legislation in the world for Canadians.

  (1720)  

    
    Madam Speaker, the member began his remarks by making some very disparaging remarks and named a number of individuals, suggesting somehow they had done something improper.
     I know the member and I know he would never knowingly disparage an innocent Canadian. I know he believes, as I do, that parliamentary privilege is not a licence to slander innocent Canadians. I want to advise him that of the five people he mentioned as having some kind of privileged access to the cannabis business through Health Canada, four of those individuals were denied their licence applications and were not successful. They are no longer, in any way, associated with the licensed cannabis industry. The one who actually was approved, was approved by the previous government, when the Conservatives were in power.
    I want to give the member opposite an opportunity to apologize to those individuals who he unjustly disparaged.
    Madam Speaker, that comment reveals a sensitivity that is far in excess of what I actually said. I will not apologize to the House for pointing out hypocrisy.
    When a former Conservative cabinet minister compared cannabis to murder and was part of the police process to actively prosecute Canadians for cannabis and is now rushing to profit from the industry, when former Prime Minister John Turner, who as prime minister of the country, could have brought in cannabis legislation, or decriminalization if he wanted to, and chose instead to perpetuate a criminal approach to cannabis and is now seeking to profit from it, it is rightful to point out that kind of hypocrisy, and Canadians deserve to know.
    At the same time, all those Canadians who have been working under this prohibitionist criminal regime, who have fought and put their liberty at risk, who have sometimes achieved criminal records and now, under this legislation, may not even be able to participate in the legalized market, I find that hypocritical. I find that unjust.
    Madam Speaker, I find it very disturbing to listen to the debate and to see the breakneck speed with which the Liberals and the NDP want to have this law come into place. Our police agencies, including the RCMP, are not set up to handle drug-impaired driving.
    For those individuals in rural areas, like my riding of Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman—
    An hon. member: It's happening now.
    Mr. James Bezan: Madam Speaker, I am trying to make a point here, and the member keeps—

  (1725)  

    I want to remind members that if they have anything to contribute, then they should stand and attempt to be recognized.
    Madam Speaker, the member needs to be very aware that there will now be a process to determine the level of impairment. Right now, if people are caught with any type of narcotic in their system, it is an illegal activity. Now we will have to determine whether that individual is driving under the influence of marijuana. Of course we only have so much resources in rural areas.
     In my riding of Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, which is about the same size as the state of Israel, we are looking at maybe one or two officers in the entire region who will have the ability to make that determination on whether somebody is impaired. If that individual is on leave, if that individual is taking time off or is not on shift, how are we ever going to charge anyone? This will give free licence for everybody to be out there driving under the influence of marijuana.
    Madam Speaker, I think I speak for every member of the House, and we can join issue, with the fact that nobody countenances or endorses any Canadian operating any kind of machinery, whether a motor vehicle or anything else, or coming to work under the influence of cannabis. We all agree with that.
    I would also point out that it is against the law now. People cannot operate motor vehicles under the influence of cannabis now. Canadians should be well aware of that. We have impaired driving laws in the country. The current law that is before the Senate, Bill C-46, is an attempt to modernize that law with a specific focus on cannabis. There are certain problems with that bill too, by the way, which is that it seems to be quite difficult right now to get an accurate reading of impairment or set an appropriate per se blood limit reading for cannabis. There are some problems with that.
    At the moment, we all know that driving under the influence of cannabis is against the law, and it should be treated that way.
    I want to talk about whether we are ready or not. Very many times Canadians are ahead of politicians. The vast majority of Canadians have voted with their actions for years now. Millions of Canadians have used cannabis and continue to use cannabis, and they do not feel they are criminals by doing so. This law is an attempt to catch up to the reality in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, last year I stayed in Ottawa on July 1 for Canada Day celebrations. It was kind of a disappointing day because it rained really hard, and then I found a lot of the music had nothing to do with Canada's heritage or history. Anyways, we will leave that aside.
    What I did notice last year being here on Canada Day was that Wellington was pretty well plugged with people waiting to get in here, thousands and thousands of people trying to go through security to get on Ottawa's main grounds up here.
    I wonder if the member could just use his imagination and imagine all of them having a little bit of smoke, or a little toke, whatever we want to call it. We have Ribfest coming next week, and we know how this town smells so great during Ribfest. Imagine what Wellington would smell like with 10,000 people smoking marijuana. I wonder if the member could imagine that.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to end by asking the hon. member to use his imagination as well to focus on a piece of this bill that has another problem with it, and that is that this bill would prevent the exportation of recreational cannabis products. As countries around the world start to legalize, and they are and they will, as California, Colorado, Washington State, and many other states in the union and jurisdictions around the world have done, the ability to support our entrepreneurs who can develop safe, healthy, high-quality products for the world is something we should be supporting in this House. Imagine Canada being a world leader in a new product regarded around the world as being safe and of the highest quality. That is the kind of policy we should be working to develop in this House of Commons.

[Translation]

    The House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

  (1730)  

[Translation]

Latin American Heritage Month Act

    The House resumed from June 6 consideration of Bill S-218, Latin American Heritage Month Act, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of Motion No. 1.
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to this bill to create Latin American Heritage Month.
    I want to take this opportunity to highlight an organization in my riding, since we so rarely have the opportunity to do so. We try to do that during debates on bills and during members' statements, before question period.
    I can explain how this ties directly to the importance of having a month to celebrate this heritage. I am specifically thinking about Solidarité Montérégie Amérique Centrale, an organization that operates primarily in my riding, and about Monique Messier, the chair of its board of directors, and her entire team. This organization has been around for years, and since I became a member of Parliament I have had the opportunity to attend their Arte y Cerveza fundraising soirees. These events allow the organization to continue operating, and provide opportunities for cultural sharing.
    Cultural sharing is one of the most important things we can do in a diverse society like ours, and I would say that these events highlight most of all our values of solidarity. They focus on culture and include exhibits of all kinds of artworks, which explains the word Arte in the name. These soirees also provide an opportunity to learn about what this organization's volunteers are doing in Central America, and the money raised helps pay for the volunteers to get there.
    I am very happy to say that I have been supporting this organization since becoming an MP. Bertrand St-Arnaud, the former MNA for Chambly and minister of justice, did a good thing when he allocated funding to that organization. I remember his speech when his ministry announced the funding. He said that the Quebec ministry of justice's main concern was the administration of justice and the courts, but that it also gave money to organizations that promote ideals of justice in Canada, Quebec, and abroad. That was his justification, and he was spot on, so I would like to take this opportunity to give him credit for that.
    Events like that highlight the values of solidarity and sharing that are important to Quebeckers. They remind us that we can see beyond our borders, take the time to visit other countries and learn more about their cultures, and really make an important contribution.
    When I think about Solidarité Montérégie Amérique Centrale, or SMAC, I remember seeing videos and photos taken during trips to help build schools or proper sanitary facilities for people in countries like Guatemala. That is highly commendable.
    The sharing goes both ways though, and that is the beauty of this organization's mission. People from those countries also come visit us in Quebec and participate in activities hosted by our community organizations and our community. They come to share their art and culture. During these soirees, we get to connect with volunteers who talk about their experiences and with Guatemalans who tell us what the organization's work has done for their communities. That is extremely important, and it makes me so proud.
    There are many organizations doing commendable work in our ridings. We can all agree on that. However, it is sometimes harder to convince people to go help out in other countries. We tend to help our neighbours and stay close to home, and with reason, that being said. Nevertheless, the opportunity to go help beyond our borders is extremely important. Canadians of Latin American origin, from Central America, contribute immensely to our culture. That is why it is important to have opportunities to honour their contributions.

  (1735)  

     It can be hard to see the point of a bill designating a month to celebrate the heritage of a particular cultural community. I myself have a cynical side, I admit. However, this is extremely important, because we have to duty to remember, to share, to exchange, and to celebrate. Whether it is for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Canada Day, Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, or Sikh heritage month, we must always pay tribute to the efforts parliamentarians make to designate these months of recognition.
     It is understandable that people view the purely symbolic value of such a month with a cynical eye, but it is important to take a few moments to stop and acknowledge that a given cultural community has made a substantial contribution and that meaningful exchanges have taken place. I myself am using the debate on this bill as an opportunity to talk about a major organization in my riding whose work would not normally be recognized in the House of Commons. That is why it is so vital to have opportunities like this.
    However, before I go any further, I would like to apologize, Mr. Speaker, because I should have first paid tribute to the senator who sponsored this bill and who died tragically. We offer our condolences to his family and loved ones. This bill is part of his legacy. I also thank the member for Thornhill for introducing this bill.
    The organization that I was talking about is Solidarité Montérégie Amérique Centrale or SMAC. I am pleased to continue to support that organization and I want to acknowledge its 20th anniversary in the House of Commons. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to its representatives for missing the anniversary celebration. I was unable to make it, because I was also the honorary chair for the Relay for Life in Chambly. Unfortunately, members cannot be in two places at once, even though we sometimes try.
    I am very proud to support this organization and see it diversify its activities. SMAC started out as a cocktail-and-auction fundraiser. Today, it has grown and now it hosts a dance and an art exhibit. This year, events were held on both Friday and Saturday, and artists were invited. It is so nice to see that. I fully support these people and commend them for their efforts. As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, I wish this organization continued success.
    In closing, I want to come back to what I was saying about designated months. We have to understand that we have some rather large communities. Since becoming a member of Parliament, I have been hearing my colleagues talk about certain cultural communities that represent one million Canadians, or 500,000 Canadians. It can be breathtaking to see such wonderful diversity. We must highlight diversity and encourage cultural exchanges. It is the best way to promote community spirit, love, and respect for our neighbours. Organizations that promote solidarity help in achieving that objective.
    Again, I want to congratulate SMAC and the sponsor of this bill. Even when we think that a bill is purely symbolic, we must never turn our backs on the importance of celebrating an occasion and heritage with our neighbours in order to promote community spirit. These are the values of Quebeckers and Canadians, and I am proud to share those values.

  (1740)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my colleague on the speech he just gave on Bill S-218.
    I want to begin by paying tribute to the late Senator Tobias Enverga, the sponsor of this legislative measure and a great Filipino-Canadian who advocated for multiculturalism.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank you in helping me to quiet things down in the House.
    I would ask those in the House to show some respect for the person who is speaking, because he is trying to deliver a speech that I look forward to hearing and there are distractions that prevent me from doing so.

[English]

    On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I was not sure if the Speaker was referring to me, but I want to apologize if my singing of Latin American songs interfered in any way. I have enormous respect for you, so I will take my singing outside.
    I thank the hon. member for that, and I am sure the Grievous Angels will depart.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and the beautiful songs he treated us to.
    I would like to pay tribute to the late Senator Tobias Enverga, the sponsor of this legislation and a great Filipino Canadian who advocated for multiculturalism. I would like to point out that he is the first Canadian of Filipino heritage to serve in the Senate. He was born in the Philippines and was appointed to the upper chamber in 2012 to represent Ontario. He proudly represented not only people from the Filipino community, but many different groups living in the greater Toronto area and elsewhere in Canada, and he did so in a very positive way.
    We are debating this today thanks to the member for Thornhill, my colleague who was delighted to sponsor the bill in order to move it along in honour of Mr. Enverga. The bill reads as follows:
    An Act respecting Latin American Heritage Month
     Preamble
    Whereas
the Parliament of Canada recognizes that members of the Latin American community in Canada have made significant contributions to the social, economic and political fabric of the nation;
    Whereas the designation of a month as Latin American Heritage Month would be a meaningful way to remember, celebrate and educate the public about these contributions;
    Whereas Latin American communities across Canada would be mobilized by a Latin American Heritage Month to jointly celebrate, share and promote their unique culture and traditions with all Canadians;
    And whereas October is a significant month for the Latin American community around the world;
    Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
...
    Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the month of October is to be known as “Latin American Heritage Month”.
    The month of October was chosen because that is the same month designated in the United States to mark this event.
    Who are the members of the Latin American diaspora? By definition, they come from all parts of America where people mainly speak Spanish and Portuguese. We are talking about 20 or so countries in all, with 18 Spanish-speaking countries and one where Portuguese is spoken.
    It was just announced that the World Cup will be held here. Latin American countries love soccer, or fútbol as some fans like me call it. I have many friends who are fans of soccer and who come from countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, which is a beautiful country where many people vacation, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru—and this gives me the opportunity to say hello to my good friend Marisol Hidalgo, who is originally from there and the wife of one of my French friends—the Dominican Republic, Salvador, Uruguay, and Venezuela. I have had the opportunity to visit and to vacation in some of these countries.
    There are more than 400 million Spanish speakers in the world. It is currently the second most spoken language. More than 363 million of these speakers live in Latin America. I mention these big numbers because they are reflected in our international schools and language schools. We live in a bilingual country, where we speak English and French, but Spanish is often the third language children learn. It is a good tool for their future. My three children had the opportunity to learn Spanish in high school, and I am proud that they are able to speak in this language.
    Between 1996 and 2001 in Canada, the Latin American population increased by 32%, which is significant. Seven out of 10 people came between 1991 and 2011. According to the most recent data from the 2011 National Household Survey, there are approximately 750,000 people of Latin American origin. The population of Canada is about 34.5 million, so that represents a rather large community. The majority of members from this community were born abroad. Now, we can say that 32.5% were born in Canada. Canada has welcomed Latin American immigrants for more than fifty years.
    Based on available data, we know that nearly 23% of immigrants came from the Americas. Although there are no absolute census numbers covering this broad and somewhat imprecise measure, we might estimate a probable demographic well over half a million men, women, and children, and this number is growing quickly.

  (1745)  

    I want to point out how much they contribute to Canada. They work, buy goods, contribute to the economy, and help fill our labour shortage. Everyone knows we are in the middle of a labour shortage.
     In 2013, they surpassed the employment rate of people born in Canada. People often think that immigrants have a harder time finding work, but in this case, they surpassed the employment rate in the labour market. Tens of thousands of workers from Latin America come every year to work temporarily in various regions of Canada and in various sectors, especially in the agricultural sector, where there is a labour shortage.
    Latin America is the fourth-largest source of immigration to Canada. That is really something. Those people bring with them a diversity of cultures, a variety of food, and a wealth of knowledge. Earlier I named most of the countries covered by this bill. We all know people who come from those areas. They are all friendly, kind, and intelligent people who contribute to the development of our wonderful country.
    Why a Latin American heritage month? It is simply about paying homage to the culture, the traditions, and the contributions made by this community to our society.
    The Day of the Dead is celebrated in November in many countries, but the festivities start in October, hence the reason to start in October like the Americans.
    October 12 is the day of indigenous resistance in Costa Rica, the day of respect for cultural diversity in Venezuela, the day of the Americas in Argentina and Uruguay, and children's day in Brazil.
    Another interesting fact is that the United States celebrates exactly the same holiday, National Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15.
    In 1988, Canada became the first country to pass a law on multiculturalism, simply known as the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.
    This official recognition is in line with other similar commemorations that reinforce how important cultural communities are to our Canadian identity, such as Black History Month in February and Asian Heritage Month in May.
    On a more personal note, I am the son of immigrants. My mother and father were born in Egypt. I experienced the process of settling in our country and the desire to learn even more about everything that is good in Canada, while respectfully sharing our own family cultures.
    Members should also know that this contributes to our collective history of protecting our rights and freedoms under the principles of peace, order, and good governance.
    As mentioned by the sponsor of the bill, the member for Thornhill, the Latin American population in Canada is young. According to Statistics Canada, almost 50% of people of Latin American origin living in Canada are under 25 years old. In light of the difficulties caused by the demographic shock that we are currently experiencing, this is an interesting fact. This population is young and can contribute for many more years to the development of our country. Seniors represent less than 5% of those reporting Latin American origins in the last census, compared to 12% of all Canadians for the same age group. This is a noteworthy statistic.
    I join all my colleagues here to pay tribute to Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr., the author of this legislation, by moving this bill forward and recognizing the month of October as Latin American heritage month here in Canada, much like they do in the United States. I would like to pay tribute to this culture and to these people who contribute to our development across the country.

  (1750)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am excited to talk about Latin America. When people first said Latin Americans want a month, I actually thought that we need more than a month with all that Latin America has to give and all the things we need to explore in Latin America. Thirty days is not enough time.
    I am pretty excited because I used to be the chair of ParlAmericas and now my good friend from Kenora has taken on that role. He has done a great job. Canada has really carved itself a niche in that entire region. We are looked upon. We are respected. We are kind of like a big brother in a lot of ways. They seek us for advice on legislation. They seek us for advice on all sorts of regulations.
    Through ParlAmericas we have done a great job in actually building bridges in countries right across the whole hemisphere. Now I can pick up the phone because of ParlAmericas and talk to somebody in Brazil at a moment's notice, or in Chile, Peru, or Costa Rica. Those are the things that we have done through ParlAmericas, bringing parliamentarians together and sharing best practices, what works and what does not work, and learning from each other. That has made us an even tighter knit community. That is to our benefit, to Canada's benefit, and to Latin America's benefit.
    When we look at the potential in Latin America we just say “wow”. Looking at the people, whether they are Portuguese, Spanish, or French, the entire region has so much dynamic to it, so much flare and ambiance with a love of family and a love of life.
    My first trip to Latin America was actually to Brazil. I remember being out at a restaurant at 11 o'clock at night and looking over at the table next to me. There were two families having dinner together and they were laughing. I was thinking, it is 11 o'clock at night, why are these kids out? Then talking to a friend of mine he said that it was two teenagers out on a date. The teenagers were bringing the entire family on a date. That is part of their tradition. That is part of their culture. That is something that is appreciated and celebrated. It is quite a bit different from my kids who if they were on a date I probably did not even know about it until a week later. Right away, I could see how much family meant to them.
    Then talking to them about what they do on the weekends and in the evenings, they have a love for life. They really know how to live life, appreciate the small things in life, and pull all that value out of those small things, and treasure them, and treasure each other.
    Canadians, when we are doing the nine to five, or nine to 10, or, in this case, nine to midnight or 10 to midnight, sometimes we forget we need to express that love for life and to have that joyful time among family and friends.
    The next trip was to Peru, Chile, and Costa Rica. I had the honour of going down there with the Prime Minister on two occasions. Again, in those scenarios, the world leaders in those regions really respected Canada. I think there are many reasons why. Part of it was that we never preached. We never went down there and told them they had to do this or do that. We always went down there with a manner of respect. We listened. We learned. We would give advice if they asked for it. We led by example. They appreciated that.
    One thing I found when working with people from Latin America is that, when doing business there, the people want to know who we are. They want to understand where people come from and about their families. Once they have a comfortable relationship, then they are ready to get on to business. It is so different from other countries in the world where one sits down, has a business meeting, and that is it. Latin American people really want to know who they are working with and who they are doing business with. It is such a nice concept to have that in a business relationship.
    I remember being in Cartagena, at the OAS, or the Summit of the Americas, watching President Obama. I remember sitting in the runway in the Prime Minister's jet looking out the window and there was President Obama's jet, and then there was a little jet that was Hilary Clinton's jet. I was laughing that they both came in separate planes. Maybe there were security reasons for doing that.
    However, I remember talking to some of my friends down there. I said, “Isn't it nice the Americans are here?” They said, “Yes, it's nice but they only come once in a while and they write a cheque and then they expect us to do what they want. They don't get to know us. They don't actually understand who we are and what we are doing. They just drop in, drop out, and say, this is what we want.” They do not like that. They like the Canadian approach where they are treated as a friend and a partner, where respect is shown.
    I think that is why we see the warmth that we have with the people and the countries in that region. I think that is why we have trade agreements with Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Hopefully, we will see something in Mercosur countries somewhere down the road. Hopefully, we will do something with the Pacific Alliance that will even bring us closer and closer together. There are so many opportunities to do business and trade in that region.

  (1755)  

    As we do business and trade in those areas, their standard of living and quality of life are going to get better. Their ability to purchase more goods and have the things we have here in Canada will become easier. As we look at security in the region, it will become safer.
    I encourage everyone, especially when it is minus-40 in Saskatchewan or Winnipeg, to acknowledge that Latin America is our saving grace sometimes. A lot of people from Saskatchewan travel and participate in tourism in places like Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Dominican Republic. A lot of people in my riding go and live in Mexico in the wintertime. They love Saskatchewan in the summertime. I would encourage everyone to come to Saskatchewan in the summertime. It is cheaper to come to Saskatchewan and travel because there is no carbon tax. I just had to get that in there.
    However, a lot of people like to get away in the wintertime, whether it is for a week, two weeks, or a month. Where do they go? They go to Latin America. Why? It is the guaranteed sunshine and the friendly people. They love Canadians. They like who we are. They like to talk to us. They like to visit with us. It is such a nice environment and we have become such close friends.
     The other thing we have had from Latin America, especially for our honey producers, is a stable force of labour through temporary foreign workers who come in the summer, work in the beehives, and do the work we cannot get Canadians to do. Then they go home and take care of their families in the wintertime, because they do not like Canadian winters, and I do not blame them. It has created a scenario where we have all these people coming into Saskatchewan in the springtime, working right through to September or October, and going back home. Again, families and friends are being created, connections are being created, and it has been a win-win for everyone involved.
    I also remember the time I went to Honduras and toured a plant of a company from Montreal, whose name escapes me right now. As we toured that plant I saw how modern it was. Talking to the people on the floor, they said it was so nice that a Canadian company would invest in their region and give them jobs. Those jobs are well appreciated. The company is providing great value to the community, but also it is not taking advantage of the people in the community. It is treating them with respect, offering health care, a fair wage, and excellent working conditions. In fact, we could put that facility in Honduras in Montreal and we would not notice the difference. That is where Canadian companies have played a proper role in the region.
    I would be remiss not to talk about Canadian companies in the mining sector in Latin America. We all know that the TSX is the exchange for the mining sector around the world, and we have a lot of Canadian companies doing business in Central and South America, and in the Caribbean. Our companies have recognized the importance of being good corporate citizens.
    One of the things I did when I was travelling with ParlAmericas was that I always tried to make part of my trip a tour of a Canadian facility. For example, when I was in Suriname I went to see IAMGOLD's gold mine. One can actually go there and see how it is operating. The nice thing to say about those mines, and this mine in particular, is that the safety standards were equal if not better than they would be in Saskatchewan, Quebec, or anywhere in Canada. That is, again, working well to build our Canadian brand around the world.
    When we look at all these things, 30 days probably is not enough time to celebrate our relationship with Latin America. In fact, if we were to go country by country, we could probably do two or three days for each country, just talking about their culture and heritage, and getting a good understanding of who they are.
    This is a really good first step, and I am really excited to see this come forward. I am glad to speak to it, and really look forward to working with the people in Latin America into the future, both in my role as a parliamentarian, and even after, some day when I am no longer a parliamentarian, perhaps in the role of a tourist.

  (1800)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for this tremendous opportunity to speak about Bill S-218, the Latin America heritage month act, brought forward by the hon. member for Thornhill. This is a wonderful opportunity to speak about the many great contributions Latin America has made to Canada. I am glad this bill is now being discussed to honour the memory of late senator Tobias Enverga, who I will talk about later in my speech.
    In my hometown of Edmonton, Latin America is celebrated annually with the Edmonton Latin Festival. This event is held during the third week of August every year in Churchill Square. The energy felt during this event is contagious and a great chance for the people of Edmonton to try different foods and dances, and learn more about Latin American culture. At the festival, there is an opportunity for people to learn about different dances, including the zumba, mariachi, samba, mambo, the tango, and salsa. Latin American bands are also a huge part of the festival and the upbeat tunes always put smiles on so many faces. This Edmonton Latin Festival is growing every year and I encourage anyone visiting Edmonton in August to stop by and experience the Latin American culture.
    Latin American festivals are held across the country, with annual events in Toronto, Vancouver, and right here in Ottawa. These events are an excellent way for Canadians to come together to celebrate Latin America and learn more about the cultural and ancestral heritage of many fellow Canadians. There are estimated to be about 600,000 people of Latin American descent living in Canada. Latin America is the fourth largest source of immigrants to Canada, with more and more people from Latin America arriving annually. My home province of Alberta has one of the highest concentrations of Latin Americans within it, and I am proud to be from a province that has welcomed and embraced so many Latin American immigrants and their families.
    Football, or soccer, as we call it, is a national sport of Brazil and a popular game of many Latin American countries. Just today, we learned Canada will host some of the World Cup games during FIFA 2026. Some of these games will likely be in Edmonton, and I am so excited to celebrate the sport with fans from around the world during that World Cup.
    Alberta has become a host to a variety of Spanish bilingual programs in both public and private school boards from Edmonton to Calgary and across the province, encouraging young Canadians from Latin American descent or those who are simply interested in the culture to pursue language studies. Sweet Grass Elementary School in my riding of Edmonton Riverbend is host to the well-known international Spanish academy program, which strives to help students develop language and literacy skills in Spanish and teaches students to use both Spanish and English to communicate. The program has had an emphasis on helping many students to learn about the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries, like those in Latin America.
    As well, universities across Canada offer both Spanish and Portuguese classes, proving that it is never too late to enrich your life with a second language or increase your knowledge of the culture. These programs also offer a means for immigrants from Latin American countries to stay in touch with their heritage and to continue to express and learn about their native culture. The culture these students learn about is rich and diverse, making for an educational and exciting program.
    Many students often travel to different countries in Latin America on exchange programs to get first-hand experience of the culture and lifestyle. The history of Latin America is not only important to those of Latin American descent, but to all Canadians, and all those in the western hemisphere. This part of the world contributes to the global economy and the relationship between states in America reflects the importance Latin America plays in global relations.
     Canada is proud to be a member of the Organization of American States, which includes 35 independent states of America, the vast majority of which are Latin American. Groups like OAS connect all Americans through politics, the economy, and the recognition of each other's culture.
    Latin America is a geographically diverse part of our hemisphere, encompassing Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. It is comprised of 20 sovereign states and approximately 20 million people who speak Spanish, Portuguese, and French. The diverse climate promises skiing, surfing, hiking, and much more for both residents and tourists, attracting many people from around the world to experience not only the culture but the land itself.
    Just like the area is geographically diverse, each country is culturally diverse. The Aztec empire was built in a modern-day Mexico City and the Aztecs developed an alphabet, created ceramic dishes, and left behind beautiful art. They left their legacy on modern-day Mexico with some parts of their language and traditional food still in use.

  (1805)  

    Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, was founded in 1500 by the Kingdom of Portugal, though indigenous peoples inhabited the country before the Europeans arrived. Like Mexico, art and pottery were important parts of Brazil's development. Today, it is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.
    I am giving my colleagues this history and geography lesson to really highlight how remarkable the area of Latin America is. There are so many countries, languages, cultures, and people living in this region of the world. I believe it is important to recognize this area of the world and its peoples through a Latin American heritage month here in Canada. Throughout this heritage month, we would be able to celebrate all that Latin America and Latin American people have to offer the world and also acknowledge and honour their history and current presence in the world.
    The idea for Latin American history month came from the late Senator Tobias Enverga, who was appointed to the upper house in 2012. Senator Enverga was the first senator of Filipino descent appointed to the Canadian Senate, and with his perspective as an immigrant, he saw the need for a new month to celebrate Latin America. He cited Black History Month and Asian Heritage Month as examples of educational and celebratory months that give all Canadians the opportunity to learn about different cultures and heritages. He argued a Latin American heritage month was deserving of national recognition, and I certainly agree.
    Some Canadians might wonder why we have heritage months. These months are important to learn about and recognize the different cultures that have shaped Canada into what it is today. Learning about different cultures, countries, and parts of the world gives our citizens different perspectives and an appreciation for Canada. In May, Canada marked its first-ever Jewish Heritage Month, a great opportunity to reflect on the contributions of Jewish Canadians. I look forward to heritage months every year because I see them as an opportunity for learning and enrichment.
    Senator Enverga introduced a bill in the last Parliament, Bill S-228, to create a Hispanic heritage month, which would complement designations already marked by the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto. However, the bill was a casualty of the 2015 election. After that, Senator Enverga altered the bill to focus on Latin America, which encapsulates not only Hispanic culture but francophone communities in Haiti and indigenous peoples in Latin America.
    The impact of Latin American culture on Canada cannot be understated. Traditional Latin American food has become common on menus in tens of thousands of restaurants across the country. Spanish is one of the most common languages spoken by Canadians after English and French, and salsa dancing continues to be a popular hobby for many Canadians.
    Canada was declared a multicultural nation about 50 years ago. Our multiculturalism designation recognizes the great contributions of so many immigrants who have shaped the landscape of this country. In our bigger cities like Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, a person can visit so many corners of the world through restaurants, festivals, stores, and films. Our nation is admired by so many people across the world for our openness, acceptance, and ability to live among one another peacefully.
    In the coming years, with birth rates predicted to continue decreasing, immigration will become even more important for workforce and population maintenance. I am proud to be from a country where immigration is not only happily accepted, but widely encouraged and embraced. I admire immigrants for their courage to leave their country and start a new life in Canada, which often includes learning English or French. Immigrants from Latin America have a great impact on the Canadian workforce, our culture, and our heritage. We are proud to accept Latin Americans from a diverse range of countries into Canada.
    I think it is a great idea to formally recognize the month of October as Latin American heritage month, and I wholeheartedly support the hon. member for Thornhill's private member's bill for this declaration. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak about the bill today, and thankful for the contributions and hard work of so many people of Latin American descent who now call Canada home. I hope to be able to join my colleagues in celebrating Latin American heritage month this coming October.

  (1810)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to talk here today on Bill S-218, an act respecting Latin American heritage month. It is very important, not only for Canada, but also for my constituency of Windsor West. We are one of the border cities. In fact, I would argue we have a unique feature in our area in that not only were Latin Americans part of the founding of Windsor and Essex County, they are part of our continued trade every day. In fact, approximately 40% of Canada's daily trade with the United States happens through my community of Windsor, and it happens along two kilometres of the international border. We have four crossings that are part of the overall footprint for this trade. What is important is that the—
    I want to remind the hon. members that there is a debate taking place. If you could show some respect for the person speaking, that would be great.
    [Member spoke in Spanish]
    [English]
    We will continue.
    Mr. Speaker, now we understand why we are two sword lengths apart in the chamber. I feel more secure with the Sergeant-at-Arms near me.
    You are able to articulate in such a colourful spirit this afternoon, going into a long evening.
    It is important in a practical sense to recognize Latin American month and the economic development and the cultural experience in my riding. Not only do we trade 40% with the United States, but the vast majority of that also continues on to Mexico and to other Latin American countries.
    We celebrate with the Fiesta Latino festival. The fourth annual festival will be June 30. This is important. Some may think that these months, even though they are symbolic, are very important. Our critic, the member for Vancouver East, has done wonderful work on this. She knows quite well that part of our founding and the importance of our communities and our country is not only having the connection of coming here, but it is also the continued connection with culture, heritage, and the experience of where they came from, including family members.
    I want to note one of the most difficult and serious things that the government needs to look at is visitor visas, whether for Latin American countries or other countries around the world. Whether they be for weddings or funerals, visitor visitations in this country have ground to a halt. It is very serious. As we continue to recognize important connections like we are recognizing today and continue to grow those things, we cannot get away from the practical reality that is the continued connection of the cultural experience.
    We have so many different independent days that are connected. We have trading partners in Latin America as well as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Chile. These are all countries we have strong economic and social relationships with, and they have business relationships that come back to our communities.
    As I look at this through a local lens, I am proud that we have many Latin Americans who not only come to the Windsor-Essex area, but also Chatham and Leamington to be part of our economy. They are temporary foreign workers who have expertise in the agriculture sector and are part of our families in many respects. In the House, there have been debate to try to improve their rights. We have had many families and workers' issues brought about because of the value they add to our country and communities. The Windsor-Essex region and Chatham-Kent-Leamington region have that type of economic connection to it.
    We see the influence of those communities in the downtown districts or business districts where there are restaurants, grocery stores, and different staples that are basically built around that economic development. When we are looking at trade and commerce, those have become economic powerhouses. One should not underestimate the greenhouse industry and the agricultural industry that contribute to the welfare of our country and our taxation base. That is critical.
    Festivals like we have in Windsor increase our awareness and connect us to social justice issues. They also connect to a number of environmental issues that we are trying to push and develop. This includes celebrities in art, music or other realms, but also workers. That is important to recognize.

  (1815)  

    We had a delegation from Mexico here about two months ago. One of the key things they talked about was the working conditions in their auto industry and in other industries involved in the trade agreements we have. Family members and workers were challenged not only in the private sector industries, but also in the public sector, which includes universities, other educational institutions, and so forth.
    Historically, we can look at Nicaragua and other places from which we have had people come to Canada looking for freedom and its expression, sometimes escaping difficult and extreme situations. They have been front and centre in founding and keeping a strong sense of social justice, acting as a moral compass for our own communities and our country.
    In many respects, they have become agents of social change for our communities and for the globe. In fact, many people with different heritage backgrounds are coming to our country. Some are fighting for issues of social justice and welfare. After escaping regimes that have significant cruel and inhumane practices, they have now begun to form a better world for many more people.
    Latin American heritage month is not just about the experience of the music, the food, and the colourful things that take place. It is about continuing to enshrine the responsibility we have in raising the next generation in a global village that works for social justice and humanity. What better way to do it than to continue to recognize not just the past, but, most importantly, the future? That is what this does.
    The fourth annual festival in Windsor, happening on June 30, will be one of the many events across Canada proudly celebrating Latin heritage in our communities, and celebrating our continued economic, social, and cultural development in our neighbourhoods, our provinces, our country, and other places, like Latin homelands, in the world.

  (1820)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an absolute honour to stand in the House today and speak to Bill S-218. This bill would designate the month of October each and every year Latin American heritage month.
    Permit me to begin by paying tribute to the late Senator Enverga, who was the author of this bill. He was the first Filipino Canadian to sit in the Senate, and he was a proud voice for his community during this time. Senator Enverga also brought a tremendous amount of passion, energy, and commitment to everything he did in this place, and we honour and respect him for that. He worked tirelessly in his role as senator, and he used his position to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. In fact, he was a diligent champion for people with Down syndrome and a strong advocate for diversity and multiculturalism in Canada.
    Senator Enverga sat as co-chair of the Canada–Philippines Interparliamentary Group and inaugurated the annual Filipino Independence Day flag-raising on Parliament Hill, which is something we celebrated earlier this week. The senator loved his family, he loved his community, and he loved his country. He was proud to be Canadian. It is my hope that this private member's bill will pass through the House quickly, in honour of his memory.
    What would Latin American heritage month look like? First, let us get an idea of the countries that would be involved. Latin America encompasses all the countries in the western hemisphere where Spanish, French, and Portuguese are spoken. This list is extensive. It includes Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay; and the French colonies of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, St. Martin, and Saint-Barthélemy. Latin America clearly encompasses many different people and many different ways of life.
     There are many Canadians of Latin American descent. According to the 2011 census, nearly 545,000 people of Latin American origin live in Canada, a number that has continued to grow in the last seven years. Canadians of Latin American origin make up one of the largest non-European ethnic groups in Canada. Clearly there is a substantial population of these individuals, and they are ready to celebrate with us.
    Canada has a strong history of partnership with Latin American countries. Our nation looks forward to helping in the continued development, growth, and integration of the entire hemisphere.
    As Conservatives, we have a strong history of partnership with Latin America. One of the most significant decisions in Canada's relations with Latin America took place under the government of Brian Mulroney, when he opted to join the Organization of American States as a full member in late 1989. We remember the words of the former external affairs minister, Joe Clark. He said, “For too long Canadians have seen this hemisphere as our house; it is now time to make it our home.” I fondly recall former prime minister Stephen Harper visiting Colombia, Chile, Barbados, and Haiti as one of his first major trips overseas. Members can see that Canada's relationship with Latin American countries is deeply valued.
    When it comes to celebrating Latin American culture and heritage, there is a great deal we can talk about. The culture of Latin America is diverse and rich, with beautiful music and dance, delicious food, and stunning natural landmarks.
     With regard to dance and music, Latin American music and dance are both fun and challenging. The music is known for its strong rhythms, large percussion sections, and signature horns, and when we hear music from these regions, it is difficult not to start dancing. Often the different dances incorporate a lot of hip movement as well as quick steps and spins, something I would imagine you would be quite good at, Mr. Speaker. From the Caribbean region, we get rhythms like salsa and bachata. Brazil is famous for being the original place of the samba, a cheerful dance often performed at Carnival. The tango is another Latin dance. It originated in Argentina. I am sure these dances would be a lot of fun for all of us, and I look forward to the celebrations that are to come. Dance and music are a big part of this culture, and I look forward to the various festivities after declaring October Latin American heritage month.

  (1825)  

    Another significant aspect of Latin America is the food. I am sure all of us can appreciate the vast contributions of Latin America to the international culinary scene. Latin food is delicious and colourful and often full of interesting spices and exotic ingredients. Each country has signature dishes it is well known for.
     From Mexico, we have the classic tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, and more. Authentic Mexican food is very spicy, and they use a lot of chilies, which maybe is not for everyone but is certainly enjoyable for many. From Venezuela, we get the arepa, a round, flat corn patty filled with various fillings, such as cheese, avocado, meat, or beans. Argentina and Chile give us empanadas, hot patties made from flour and filled with meat, cheese, and beans. In Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, we eat a lot of grilled meat.
    As members can see, there is a lot of good food going on in Latin America, which will also be incorporated into our festivities, should this bill pass.
    Latin American countries are also known for their beautiful landscapes and natural beauty. The many natural wonders attract tourists from around the world. Between Argentina and Brazil are the Iguazu Falls. At 269 feet, these falls dwarf Niagara Falls and are surely a sight to be seen.
    In Peru, people can visit the Colca Canyon, which is about twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is populated with towns founded in Spanish colonial times. While in Peru, people can also stop by Machu Picchu, which is one of the seven wonders of the world. Another incredible sight is the Amazon River, the longest river in the world, stretching at least 6,400 kilometres across South America. Its source is in the Andes Mountains and it empties in the Pacific Ocean.
     With mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and canyons, this region of the world is filled with beautiful natural landmarks.
    Of course, I cannot give a speech about Latin America without mentioning soccer, as it has been in so many speeches already. The fast-paced game is played throughout the region, and many accomplished teams have come from Latin American countries. I look forward to seeing many of these teams play in the World Cup this summer.
    While there are many things to celebrate and enjoy in Latin American culture, we must acknowledge that this culture is diverse, and our country does not support everything done in each and every one of these countries. We strongly condemn the human rights violations committed by the Venezuelan government, and we urge the powers that be to establish a true democracy and to respect the dignity of human rights in their governing practices.
    We also condemn the human rights atrocities committed against the Colombian people and the faulty jail sentences given to many in Peru. We call upon all Latin American countries to respect human rights.
    That said, Latin American heritage month is about celebrating the common people and the culture of Latin America. Why is it important to celebrate Latin American heritage month in Canada? As we have already established, Canada has a large Latin American population, one that continues to grow and contribute positively to Canadian society. This is an opportunity to honour it. We have many other months, days, and weeks dedicated to celebrating other cultures and heritages. It seems fitting, then, that we would take another month to celebrate Latin American culture. Surely we can find the opportunity to do that.
    I look forward to this bill passing, and when it does, I look forward to celebrating alongside my Latin American friends. In the company of hospitable people, beautiful music, enjoyable dance styles, and delicious food, I know that October, with all of its celebrations, will be a time we do not want to miss.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this evening, I am very pleased to speak to Bill S-218, which seeks to designate October as Latin American heritage month.
    Thanks to my two daughters, Mélinda and Marie-Catherine, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about Latin American culture. When they were teenagers, my daughters became very close friends with the wonderful Cornejo and De Leon Velasquez families from El Salvador and the equally wonderful Neto family from Mexico. I was therefore able to discover this unique culture and often share delicious meals with these families. I remember Ms. De Leon Velasquez's delicious pupusas and tamales and the Neto family's amazing guacamole. What can I say about Latin American culture? Its music brings back memories of girls nights with my daughters and friends. The music of Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Luis Fonsi, and Shakira, among others, made us dance, sing, and most importantly helped us discover the beauty of Latin American heritage.
    Latin Americans brought colour and flavour into our lives. They shared with us their way of life and taught us to be more open to a people who may have had difficulty integrating into our society when they first arrived in Quebec or Canada. They are now quite well integrated and are sharing their culture, music, and food with us.
    By designating a Latin American heritage month, we will be opening ourselves to the world. We will be opening ourselves up to new cultures and a new vision of who we are as Quebeckers, Canadians, and in my case, as a French Canadian woman.
    Unfortunately, I have not learned the language. I only know two words in Spanish, hola and qué tal. My daughters and my grandson speak Spanish. My seven-year-old grandson has friends from Mexico. I think it is great that at age seven he is learning French, English, and Spanish, and that he is discovering Latin American culture. I think it is great that this bill highlights the importance of Latin American heritage.
    What can we say about these Latin Americans who come here to lend a hand? In 2015, 9,000 Mexican and Guatemalan agricultural workers arrived in Quebec to help us in the fields. In my riding alone, there are many Guatemalans and Mexicans, especially in Île d'Orléans for the strawberry harvest. In the winter, more and more Mexicans come to Quebec to enjoy everything that our winters have to offer. We can learn a lot about ourselves from Mexican or Latino culture. Through their eyes and their friendship I realize how fortunate I am to spend time with them. They helped open my eyes to the world. They explained their culture and religion to me; how different they are from mine. Thanks to my daughters, they helped me discover the splendour of the Latin American community. That was in my old riding. In my new riding, I have a larger number of agricultural workers.

  (1830)  

    When I was the MP for Beauport—Limoilou, there was a very active community in Saint-Pie-X. There were always Guatemalans, Mexicans, and Salvadorans at Parc Bardy. All those wonderful people formed a community together with francophones from Ivory Coast and people from Senegal. My riding was multicultural. Multiculturalism is a great way to engage with the world. When my girls were teenagers and we went over to the Cornejos' or the De Leon Velasquezes' place, we got used to watching telenovelas. I told them I thought the shows were cheesy, but really, they were no cheesier than American tabloids.
    The Latin American community is very tight-knit and family-oriented. Quebeckers are pretty family-oriented too, but we are more self-absorbed, and that is a shame. Latin American families offer a different perspective.
    My girls are 29 and 30 now, and they still have the same friends. I knew Neto when he was 13 or 14, and now he is a young man with two daughters of his own. I think that is wonderful; they are just so beautiful. From my grandson's perspective, they are a kind of bridge between what we are and what they are. That community's culture is very important to me.
    Usually, it is parents who raise children, but I am grateful to my girls for teaching me to be open to the rest of the world. When we take an interest in another culture and try to understand where people are coming from to see where they are going, when we understand that despite their differences other people can complement us, that changes everything.
    This kind of bill may seem unimportant to some people, but it is very important to me because it underscores something very special: we are open to all communities. Today, our focus is on the Latin American community.
    Today I would like to send greetings to Neto and the Cornejo and De Leon Velasquez families. I thank them for introducing me to their magnificent culture.

  (1835)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, It is a pleasure, as always, to stand in the House and take part in the important conversations we have at the heart of Canadian democracy. Today I am pleased to join the conversation surrounding S-218, the Latin American heritage month act. I am especially proud to speak to this bill sponsored by my friend the late Hon. Senator Enverga.
    I would like to say a few words about Senator Enverga before I discuss the bill.
    Senator Enverga was the first Canadian of Filipino descent to be appointed to the Senate. He represented my home province of Ontario in the upper house after being appointed in 2012. He did outstanding work for the Filipino community, but also for a number of communities in the greater Toronto area, and across the country, my riding including.
     Speaking of my riding, we worked hand in hand for a number of years. Sometimes we met each other five or six times a week in the different communities for the different community functions all around the GTA. It was a pleasure to have been able to call him my friend.
    Senator Enverga passed away on Thursday, November 16, while on parliamentary business in Colombia. However, even after his passing, Senator Enverga's Latin American heritage month bill lives on. This is his legacy. I am proud to be able to speak to the bill, and to contribute my thoughts here today.
     I would like to express my full support for this act. Multiculturalism is at the very core of our Canadian identity. Bill S-218 recognizes the many major contributions of the Canadian Latin American community to Canada's social, economic, and political fabric. It recognizes that the Latin American community is an important part of our diverse nation and collective heritage.
     I hope members of the Latin American community across the country are able to celebrate Latin American heritage month. Further, I hope the community is able to use it to share its unique culture and traditions with all Canadians.
    Given the strong and growing presence of the Latin American community in Canada, the formal recognition of Latin American heritage is important. This will provide Canadians of all backgrounds a perfect opportunity to recognize and reflect on the contributions of this community. Together we can celebrate our diverse society in Canada.
     Some may say that the recognition of this community means very little to bettering the lives of the Latin American communities in Canada. However, I would argue that the bill is one more meaningful way Canada can work toward being a more inclusive nation that celebrates and accepts people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The bill recommends that the government recognize the contributions that Latin American Canadians have made to Canadian society and Canadian culture for future generations by declaring each October Latin American heritage month.
     I am proud to support the bill. I know all of our Conservative members, and of course the previous Conservative government, have reflected on the contributions that Latin American Canadians have made to Canada. We are strong allies of the community, and are thankful for its contributions to Canadian society. I will be happy to support and recognize the unique culture that Latin Americans bring to the table.
     The bill reads, “Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the month of October is to be known as “Latin American Heritage Month”.” It is important that we designate October as Latin American heritage month, as it is a very meaningful month for the Latin American community at home and abroad. It is particularly important because it is the month that marks the end of the annual season of the independence celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

  (1840)  

    Designating October as Latin American heritage month would be a meaningful way to remember, celebrate, and educate the public about their contributions.
    By passing this bill, we will provide monumental appreciation and support for the community. This is important in respecting multiculturalism in Canada.
    We have seen many examples of this type of legislation at work. We can look to Asian Heritage Month and Black History Heritage Month just to name a few. We have also seen Italian Heritage Month and Portuguese Heritage Month, both passed into law just last year, and just recently we celebrated Jewish Heritage Month. The work done in this regard does a lot toward educating our youth in schools and sharing the vibrant cultures of the different communities that contribute to our great country.
    Latin America should be no different. Its community in Canada is among the fastest growing cultural groups in our country. According to Statistics Canada, between 1996 and 2001, the number of individuals reporting Latin American heritage had risen by 32%, at a time when the national population only grew at a rate of 4%.
    Canadians of Latin American heritage have played an active role in communities across our country, going back to the early 1970s.
    It is clear that the Latin American community is rapidly growing in our diverse society. From a community that had less than 3,000 members before the 1970's, over the next decades, the community will see rapid expansion and will continue to strengthen beyond most expectations. According to Statistics Canada, there were close to 250,000 Latin Americans in Canada at the start of the 21st century. By the end of 2006, their numbers more than doubled, reaching over 527,000. It is clear that Canada's Latin community is rapidly expanding and becoming evermore present in our diverse society.
    Again, I am extremely proud of the work that Hon. Senator Enverga did for the Latin American community in Canada. I hope to see this legislation pass. As Senator Tobias Enverga said, “Few countries in the world are as open and accepting to people who come from other countries to settle and make a new life for themselves...”.
    This is important work for the Latin American community. I truly believe that designating the month of October to be Latin American heritage month would be a meaningful opportunity to celebrate another part of our uniquely Canadian multicultural society, just as we have seen done before.
    I value the contributions made to Canada by Latin Americans and I am proud to stand in support of this legislation. I hope everyone in the House will support Bill S-218.

  (1845)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise this evening to speak in support of Bill S-218, which would enact Latin American heritage month. There is a growing Latin American community in Barrie—Innisfil and it is for them that I rise tonight.
    I will be speaking about Senator Enverga. In honour of Senator Enverga, I would love to ask the pages for dos cervezas, por favor.
    I also want to thank the hon. member for Thornhill for sponsoring the bill in the House, a bill that I believe to be extremely important so that we can honour the legacy of Senator Enverga and what he was trying to do. Of course, Senator Enverga died in November of 2017, in Colombia, while there on parliamentary business. It was a sad day for all of us when we found out. I know some our colleagues were in Colombia with Senator Enverga and are still troubled by what happened on that day in November.
    Senator Enverga was appointed to the Senate on September 6, 2012, by former Prime Minister Harper. It was a joyous moment in the Filipino community, because Senator Enverga was the first Filipino senator ever appointed to the Senate. As we celebrate the 120th anniversary of Filipino Independence Day, I know the impact Senator Enverga had on the Filipino community. Shortly after his death, the Bayanihan Club of Simcoe County was holding its Christmas dinner, as it does annually, and there was an incredible tribute to Senator Enverga and what he had done. Many tears were shed that night because the emotion was still raw as a result of his death. I know he is tremendously loved, not just within the Canadian Filipino community but also within the Barrie—Innisfil Filipino community.
    Senator Enverga was first elected as a Toronto Catholic school board trustee. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was a voice for those with special needs, and what a soft and gentle voice Senator Enverga had. He was a champion of multiculturalism here in Canada and some of his parliamentary work, which is too numerous to mention, included matters relating to Canada's indigenous peoples, oceans, waterways, fisheries, ecosystems, and economic resources, as well as matters related to banking, trade, and commerce. He was certainly involved in agriculture and parliamentary procedures and rights. He was a strong voice on both of those issues and many of us in the House can learn valuable lessons from Senator Enverga and the work that he did.
    In his community, there literally was no event that Senator Enverga did not travel to as co-chair of the GTA's Filipino Heritage Month celebrations. He served on the Canadian Multicultural Council and founded the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation. He was an honourable member of this place and he is sorely missed. However, it is his legacy with respect to this piece of legislation that I hope all members of the House will support, on behalf of Senator Enverga.
    As I said earlier, the Latin community in Barrie—Innisfil is a growing and dynamic community. The numbers are growing. The culture, food, and experiences of Latin America and Latin heritage are so prevalent now in Barrie—Innisfil that almost every event that I go to somewhere in my riding, there are members of the Latin community present. There are several key important members, such as Nohemi Hernández-Buitrago, and events like the Mother's Day Fiesta and the numerous Latin dance parties that occur. I have actually gotten very good at doing the salsa because of attendance at these parties.

  (1850)  

    However, they also help in other Latin communities, teaming up just recently with the Innisfil Latin Organization to raise money for the youth of Guatemala who are affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano, or the “fire” volcano as it is known. It just recently erupted, and many people lost their lives and villages were buried in ash. This community rallied together, raising money for food, medicine, and other needs of rescue workers.
    That really is what Latin people do. They come together. They are so strong in their community and in their commitment to the community. The other thing they do is promote ESL classes for Latino community members. In fact, if one goes to the Barrie community Latin foundation Facebook page, one will see a schedule of those summer classes, which will occur from nine to 1:30 on the dates specified.
    One of the most disappointing things for me is that there is a church in my riding that offers English as a second language to many newcomers from Latin America, and because of the government's Canada summer jobs attestation, it did not qualify because it refused to buy into the Liberal government's and the Prime Minister's ideology. Therefore, there are some people within the Latin community who are not going to receive ESL language training this year because of the failure to receive money under the Canada summer jobs grant.
    The Innisfil Latin Organization is really growing, and it serves as a communication network for the different needs of the Hispanic community in Ontario. They have a meeting point in Innisfil, and everyone is welcome to attend. They support each other, get more resources and tools, and help the Latino community. I can think of one person in particular, Nina Donayre, who teaches English as second language classes for seniors who are newcomers to Innisfil. This is the way they rally around each other to try to help each other. In fact, I was just talking to Nina at the Innisfil beach recreation centre, and she wants to do more work and outreach to the Latin community.
    There are others as well such as Yudi Hibbs and Chris Mathson who are strongly involved in the Latino community, as well as Manuel Antonio Vera and Katherine Lozano Contreras, who are key players in the Innisfil Latino community. They do a tremendous amount of work. I have been to some of the dance events they have, as well as entertainment, parties, birthdays, network share job information, and immigration information. This is where my office can play a key role in providing a service and being that conduit to help them out. As well, they have English as a second language workshops and how to keep Spanish in our homes. They do activities for children, provide recipes, and just provide tremendous contributions to the Barrie—Innisfil community. They are literally everywhere.
    This past weekend, the Rotary Family Fun Day took place at the Innisfil beach recreation centre and there they were. I know they are going to be at the Innisfil Ribfest this weekend, and the mayor and I are going to be there. It is probably the only community in Canada where we get the mayor of Innisfil and the member of Parliament for Barrie—Innisfil joining together to sell beer tickets at Ribfest. This is the kind of community we have, and Mayor Wauchope and I often joke about that.
    The important part of this bill is that it would recognize the contributions Latin American Canadians have made to Canadian society. This is precisely what Senator Enverga thought of when he developed this bill, the richness and diversity of Latin American language and culture and the importance of reflecting upon Latin American heritage and culture for future generations by declaring the month of October as Latin American heritage month.
    Later, the hon. member for Huron—Bruce will be speaking about the contribution Latin Americans have made to the game of baseball in this country. He will be talking specifically about the Blue Jays and some of the members of the Hall of Fame. I do not want to give too much away, but it is going to be great.
    I have experienced the Latin community and how it has enriched Barrie—Innisfil. In the words of Shakira, “Hips Don't Lie”:
    

I never really knew that she could dance like this
She makes a man wants to speak Spanish

     I support this bill wholeheartedly.
    [Member spoke in Spanish]

  (1855)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise tonight to speak to Bill S-218, a bill for the creation of a Latin American cultural month in the month of October. Obviously, this is a heated debate over a very controversial bill, which is why we have six hours devoted to it.
    I have been a member of Parliament for seven years. This is the first time I have been allowed to rise in debate during private members' hour when it was not my own bill. I spoke to my own bill, Bill C-442 in the previous Parliament, which created a Lyme disease strategy. For those who are political nerds and might wonder why it would be that a member in my position does not usually speak to a private member's bill, it is because private members' business is usually brief and speaking slots are hard to find. For some reason this evening I was able to get a much-coveted speaking slot on a Latin American heritage month for Canada.
    For viewers, or historians opening up Hansard at some point covered in dust some decades from now, we should reveal that the successive six hours of debate on a non-controversial private member's bill is a tribute to political and procedural shenanigans in this place, and somehow or other, credit or blame—one might say how clever—is to Conservatives, who managed to force an extra five hours of debate on this bill. That is not to minimize that this is a great bill, but I do want to explain why we are here.
    To anyone watching or anyone who cares about Latin American heritage, as I do, there is no disrespect intended, but there are more pressing matters facing the nation. However, tonight for six hours we are debating Latin American heritage month.
    I want to turn my attention to that and start, as others have, by paying tribute to a departed colleague from the other place, Senator Enverga, whom I knew. His death was a terrible shock to all of us. He was on parliamentary business when he died quite suddenly, and it was a terrible thing as is always the case when someone dies unexpectedly doing his or her work on behalf of this place. This private member's bill comes to us from someone who did not have Latin American heritage, and that is quite interesting.
    I am happy to support it. I want to say that in my riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands, while we have a very vibrant community that is Latin American, it is indeed small. Spanish is spoken and Portuguese is spoken, but not by very many. I do want to share, though, that Spanish names and Spanish heritage are commonly found in the geography of place. In the colonial waves that came across Turtle Island, the Spaniards of course came. Looking at my riding, my representation is Saanich—Gulf Islands. “Saanich”, of course, is indigenous, from the Sencoten word: WSÁNEC. It actually means “the people who are rising”.
    However, in the Gulf Islands there is Galiano Island, which is named after a Spanish explorer from 1792. There is Saturna Island. Saturna Island is actually named for a naval schooner, not a person. The Santa Saturnina came to the Gulf Islands in 1791. I could digress and discuss the pig war that took place at Saturna Island. It was a hotly contested piece of real estate. It is amazing that it is not now. If there are people who have never really looked at a map of southern Vancouver Island, they should because they will find that where I live is actually south of the 49th parallel and I look due east at the state of Washington. It is a territory that is entirely shared lands and waters.
    Some of those shared waters are the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Juan de Fuca goes way back. Juan de Fuca was actually a Greek, but he was exploring on behalf of King Philip II of Spain in the 1580s. The Strait of Juan de Fuca is one that is terribly threatened by Aframax tankers loaded with dilbit, but that is a different debate.

  (1900)  

    The entertainment from across the way may distract me from telling members about Portuguese Joe, but this is fascinating.
    Portuguese Joe was the first European to live in Stanley Park. He was born in the Azores in 1828, and he lived in Stanley Park outside of where Vancouver is now. He married the granddaughter of none other than Chief Kiapilano. He really brought Portuguese culture and heritage to Vancouver proper, the Lower Mainland, and in his later years, he moved to Reid Island. He actually bought a chunk of Reid Island, which is off Galiano Island.
    He passed away on Reid Island, having had two first nations wives. The first was, as I mentioned, the granddaughter of Chief Kiapilano, and the second was from the Sechelt Nation.
    All of this connects indigenous culture and Latin American culture, on which is I want to reflect.
    So far tonight we have talked of Latin American culture exclusively in its colonial connotations. We have talked about Spanish dancing, Latin language, and yummy food. Let me just cast our minds to the reality that Latin America is an indigenous place. We stand tonight on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation, and much of Latin America is the traditional territory of the Mayan people and the Quechua-speaking peoples.
    This is being reflected at UBC right now. For anyone who wants to go to UBC's Museum of Anthropology, starting on May 17 and running until October 8, there an exhibition entitled “Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America”. There is a write-up in The New York Times if members want to read about it.
    Those who put this exhibit together looked at political overlay with respect to how politics and oppression showed themselves in the art of indigenous people of Latin America. It might seem incongruous that of all places in Canada, an exhibition like “Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America” is on display in the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.
     I do not know how many members have been to the Museum of Anthropology at the UBC campus, but it is a spectacular place, overwhelmingly devoted to British Columbia culture and indigenous arts. There are a lot of original Bill Reid pieces, carved totems, and art from the Nuu-chah-nulth, Haida, and Saanich. There is a whole range of indigenous art from British Columbia. That is the place people can go to get a sense of the kind of art that is expressed from people who are marginalized and oppressed by colonialism within Latin America.
    The connections between Canada and Latin American are not only those found in our shared colonial history, those who have moved to Canada who come from a colonial past. Many people who have come to Canada from Latin America also come from that indigenous tradition. Whether they are from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, or whichever Latin American country, they also often come with a connection to their indigenous traditional past, and that culture infuses so much richness into history throughout Latin American.
    By the way, one of my constituents, Ronald Wright, is a bestselling author who has documented these connections well in his book Stolen Continents, through his review of indigenous culture in Time Among the Maya, and through a lot of reflection on indigenous culture in A Short History of Progress, although the latter mostly focuses on the foibles of hubris, western civilization, and greed.
    I believe this controversial bill on Latin American heritage month will pass, and we will celebrate every October with great gusto across party lines. If nothing else, the bill brought parliamentarians together on a June night in 2018 for the second hour of a six hour debate. This debate allows us to say Latin American culture is alive and well in Canada, and we celebrate it.
    Meegwetch. Gracias. Muito obrigado.

  (1905)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to speak this evening in support of my colleague from Thornhill, who is proposing that Bill S-218 , an act respecting Latin American heritage month be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    The people in his riding can be proud of the work he has accomplished here in Ottawa for them and for all Canadians. I too support this bill, which seeks to recognize the tremendous contribution that Canada's Latin American community has made to our country.
    This bill was drafted by our late colleague, the hon. Senator Tobias Enverga whose work with ParlAmericas moved him to propose the bill before the House today.
    Latin America is part of our hemisphere. The region is generally understood to consist of the entire continent of South America, all of Central America, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean, whose peoples speak a Romance language or have a Romance language among their various national official languages.
     For the purposes of this bill, Senator Enverga envisaged the widest possible interpretation so that Bill S-218 would cover those who identify as Spanish and Portuguese speakers from South America and Central America, as well as those whose heritage is of the francophone and Hispanic Caribbean islands.
     Using that broad and very inclusive measure, we can see that Canadians of Latin American origin can be found far and wide across our great and beautiful country. In the absence of exact census numbers covering that broad and somewhat imprecise measure, we might estimate a probable demographic well above half a million men, women, and children.
    What we do know is that the Latin American community is one of the fastest-growing cultural groups in Canada today. Statistics Canada reports that between 1996 and 2001, the number of individuals reporting Latin American origins rose by 32%, at a time when the overall Canadian population grew by only 4%. Again, in terms of actual numbers, demographers can only estimate that between 600,000 and perhaps 1.2 million Latin Americans, again from the broadest possible measure, live among us.
    These numbers are particularly interesting given that there was only a very small Latin American population in Canada before the 1960s. It was in the 1960s and 1970s that Canada recorded the first significant migration of Latin Americans. Their motivation, sadly in too many cases, was to escape social and economic turmoil, dictatorships, and conflict. Most recently, another wave is fleeing Venezuela's corrupt and repressive regime.
     These Latin Americans represented a significant loss to the countries that they left, but they have been a boon to Canada. Their education, their skills, and their adaptability have been of great benefit to Canada's labour market, to our economy, and to our culture.
    The top three South American countries with the highest populations living in Canada, according to census statistics, are Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador. The three countries from South America with the smallest populations now living in Canada are Puerto Rico, Panama, and Costa Rica. Most Canadians of Latin American origin live in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, or Alberta, with almost half making their homes in Ontario.
    Canada's Latin American population is young. Statistics Canada tells us that almost 50% of those with Latin American origins living in Canada are under the age of 25. Seniors make up less than 5% of those reporting Latin American origins, compared with 12% of all other Canadians.
    Virtually all Canadians of Latin American origin are functional in one of Canada's two official languages. They are slightly more likely than the rest of our population to have university degrees. Also, Statistics Canada tells us that working-age adults of Latin American origins are somewhat more likely to be employed than the rest of Canada's adult population—fully 64% of adults of Latin American origin.
    Latin America as a region is considered the fourth-largest source of immigration to Canada.

  (1910)  

     However, in sharp contrast to the United States, the demographic is not measured or appreciated nearly as much as are their counterparts in the U.S.
    Bill S-218 stands not only to deepen our appreciation and celebration of our Latin American community, but also to more precisely measure the actual numbers and its regional contributions to our economy and culture.
    Canada's Latin American population is a vibrant and multicultural community, composed of a range of subgroupings. First-generation artists, musicians, writers, and athletes, as well as leaders in the science, health, and business sectors, have led second and third generations that are adding their talents and skills to the mix.
    Senator Enverga's bill, Bill S-218, would designate the month of October each and every year as Latin American heritage month.
    I will explain the logic of this designation. October is a very significant month across Latin America. It is the month that marks the end of the annual season of independence celebrations from Mexico to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. October 12 marks the day of the cultures in Costa Rica, the day of indigenous resistance in Venezuela, the day of respect for cultural diversity in Argentina, the day of the Americas in Uruguay, and children's day in Brazil.
    Puerto Rico and Chile also wrap up their independence celebrations just before October, and in many other countries, such as Mexico, end October with a three-day celebration of the Day of the Dead, when people honour their ancestors.
    Of course, we must not forget the Hispanic influences in Senator Enverga's own country of origin. Canada's large and vibrant Filipino community, although fiercely proud of the independence won from Spain, which we celebrate every year in my riding of Thornhill, still observes All Saints' Day, the day of the dead, and many other cultural legacies of colonial days maintained among their newer national traditions.
    To anyone wondering what a heritage month is, why we have them, or why we need them, I would say that they are meaningful moments for acknowledging and honouring the contributions of Canada's various cultural communities. People should also know that creating heritage months does not cost the government a penny. It is not a month off work or anything like that. Heritage months give us a chance to stop and take the time to acknowledge and honour the contributions of various groups. They also provide a unique opportunity for cultural sharing. Naturally, members of the community whose culture is being celebrated are aware of their culture and heritage year-round.
     However, when we have a designated heritage month, that is a point in time for everybody else to pay particular attention to or recognize it, or maybe be reminded that this is an opportunity to learn about and from the particular aspects of a culture.
    It is not as practical to say that we should just be aware of all cultures at all times, although in a lot of ways we should. Having these specific points of noting and reminding ourselves is worthwhile as part of that process of ongoing cultural sharing and education.
    These heritage months also provide us with an opportunity to note and listen to the experiences of Canadians from diverse backgrounds. In particular, we know Canadians from visible minority backgrounds may experience prejudice others do not, and using these times as an opportunity to reflect on that, be sensitive to that, and learn about the experiences of others is very valuable.
    There was an article in The Economist recently about Italian speakers in Brazil. I did not know this, but certain dialects in Brazil have a close relationship to forms of Italian, German, and of course, many different indigenous languages. That diversity is certainly reflected in the Canadian experience as well. We are enriched by the contributions of the wide diversity of peoples who come here from different backgrounds.
    Other colleagues have mentioned the importance of October in terms of a number of different holidays and celebrations that have their roots in the various cultural backgrounds from that part of the world.
    In conclusion, I want to thank Senator Enverga, as well as the bill's sponsor in this place, for bringing this important bill to our attention.

  (1915)  

    These heritage months are an opportunity for us to recognize the contributions of Canadians from diverse backgrounds. I commend this bill to the consideration of members of the House. I hope everyone will support it.
    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to discuss Bill S-218, an act respecting Latin American heritage month. This is an opportunity for me to point out the work and presence of a vibrant community in my riding, whether in Saint-Hyacinthe or Acton Vale.
    As we know, members of the Latin American community in Canada have made an invaluable contribution to our social, economic, and political fabric. The objective of the bill is to designate the month of October of every year as Latin American heritage month. I am proud to support this bill.
    I would like to acknowledge in the House important members of and organizations in the Saint-Hyacinthe region who do valuable work in my riding with the Latin American community. Some of them come from this very community.
    It is an honour for me to rise to talk about the great work done by the Maison de la famille des Maskoutains. For 25 years now, this organization has been helping to integrate and settle newcomers to the Saint-Hyacinthe area and give them the support they need to adapt to and manage their new lives.
    The Maison de la famille des Maskoutains helps all families, accommodates them and provides family members with support, reference, and prevention services. The mission of this organization, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in February, is to help newcomers integrate into Saint-Hyacinthe and help them adjust to their new life.
    The Maison de la famille des Maskoutains seeks to anticipate and remove obstacles that every newcomer might face and help them regain their autonomy as they get their bearings. To that end, it has 51 interpreters on staff and provides interpretation services in 17 languages. Last year, the centre responded to requests from a hundred or so newly arrived families, either for appointments or home visits. The Maison de la famille des Maskoutains is very present in community, education, and early childhood settings, and it organizes events all year long to address themes from different categories of immigration to culture shock. I thank the Maison de la famille des Maskoutains for its good work.
    I also want to acknowledge the amazing work being done by the team at the Maison de la famille des Maskoutains, some of whom are members of the Latin American community. I will start with Lizette Flores, the executive director, who took over from Carlos Martinez in December 2016. Like me, Ms. Flores has a master's degree in public administration from the École nationale d'administration publique. She also has management experience in the non-profit sector and does terrific work for this organization.
    Then there is Jubilee Larraguibel, an immigrant services coordinator, who founded the organization Solidarité éthnique régionale de la Yamaska in Granby in 1996. She has been a compassionate and dedicated employee of the Maison de la famille des Maskoutains for 19 years.
    Alvaro Sierra is a settlement worker. His job is to facilitate the settlement experience for young immigrants as soon as they arrive. He meets with families before they enrol their kids in school and guides them through the process. Then he follows up with the child, the parents, and the school to make the settlement process as smooth as possible.
     Kawthar Ouazzani and Carmen Cecilia Calderon are settlement workers too. They both work closely with families and newcomers. Carmen Elena Serna is an early childhood educator and facilitator, and Luz Dary Marin Morales is an early childhood education assistant. They are both with the children and youth program. They bring a compassionate approach to meeting the needs of the young and old. I thank them for their amazing work.
    It is also my honour to talk about Forum-2020, a non-profit that helps people looking to settle in and around Saint-Hyacinthe. Forum-2020's mission is to attract fresh blood to the RCM of Les Maskoutains through immigration. The organization breaks down barriers to immigrant integration and helps immigrants integrate by encouraging civic engagement in institutions and organizations. It works toward aligning immigration with the region's needs in a way that honours everyone's values.

  (1920)  

    For the past 10 years, Forum-2020, whose management team includes members of the Latin American community such as executive director Ana Luisa Iturriaga and immigration development and communications officer Claudia Mansilla, has been dedicated to promoting cultural diversity in Saint-Hyacinthe. The organization hosts cultural events on Saturdays in the summer. I am always delighted to attend these activities, which showcase cultures from a dozen different countries and give residents and newcomers an opportunity to connect.
    To sum up, Forum-2020's goal is to attract, mobilize, and integrate families from around the world and help them flourish in our community. I thank the team at Forum-2020 for their hard work and wish them a happy 10th anniversary.
    Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale are vibrant communities, in part because of the contributions of their cultural communities. I want to highlight the extraordinary work that the Société de développement du centre-ville de Saint-Hyacinthe, or SDC, as it is known, does in collaboration with Forum-2020. SDC has been running cultural events on Saturdays since 2015, where new residents from diverse backgrounds can share their values and traditions with the Saint-Hyacinthe community. I want to thank Simon Cusson and Chantal Lefebvre for the incredible work they do to keep our downtown abuzz with cultural exchanges.
    Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale have a vibrant, well-established Latin American community. I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of businesses that employ members of this wonderful community. I am thinking of Gloria Jaimes, a project management engineer who manages manufacturing supervisors at Beaulieu Canada, a company in my riding that is on the cutting edge of flooring trends and is constantly coming up with innovative products to meet the market's needs.
     I am also thinking of Odilso Rocha Rodriguez, a volunteer who is very dedicated to our community; Martha Rincon, an active and enthusiastic volunteer; and Nilda Benito, a tireless volunteer and entrepreneur who created PachaMama Canada, an eco-friendly company that works directly with Peruvian artisans to sell high-quality, fair trade alpaca products. I am also thinking of Jesus Sauce, who works at Penske; Celso Kossaka, Davi Almeida, and Sallira Sanchez from Denis Cimaf; and Carlos Chacon from the Tienda la Fé grocery store in Saint-Hyacinthe.
    I am thinking of Lorena Meneses, an outstanding young entrepreneur who is the head of Mareiwa Café Colombien, a successful business that imports, roasts, and distributes high-quality Colombian coffee; John Sanchez, who works for the diocese and welcomes immigrants with open arms; Erick Gonzalez, a sales support manager at Caisse Desjardins de la région de Saint-Hyacinthe; and Angelika Gill, the executive director of Le Phare, which supports the loved ones of people with mental health issues by offering resources tailored to their needs.
    I am thinking of Lucie Kablan, a field crop researcher at the Coop fédérée and author of a study on crop production that was published in the American Society of Agronomy's prestigious Agronomy Journal; Nestor Arrieta Bernal from Techno System, which produces heat exchangers; and many others who enrich our beautiful riding with their expertise, professionalism, and passion.
    In closing, I would like to take a moment to invite new residents of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale to a celebration that I am hosting on Sunday, July 1, at 1 p.m. at Jean-Claude-Patenaude Park at Loisirs Bourg-Joli, which is located at 2520 Sainte-Catherine Street in Saint-Hyacinthe. I will be very pleased to have the privilege of welcoming them to the community, and I hope to have the opportunity to talk with them on July 1. Once again, I am proud to support this bill, and I thank the Latin American community for its exceptional contribution to our community and our country.

  (1925)  

    I look forward to celebrating Latin American heritage month with them.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise tonight to speak to Bill S-218. I echo so many of my colleagues tonight who paid tribute to Senator Enverga. He was the first Filipino Canadian appointed to the Senate. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the Filipino community but also reached across ethnic lines, which is why he brought forward the bill before us, Bill S-218. While travelling on ParlAmericas business, he became ill and died suddenly in Colombia. All of us miss him greatly and extend our condolences to his family and the Filipino community.
    I have a great interest in Latin America. I used to be in the livestock export business. I had a number of individuals working for me in Mexico, and I had an office in southern Brazil. I travelled extensively across the Pampas. Over the years when I was selling livestock and genetic materials, I fell in love with the culture, music, food, and especially the people. It is amazing how many of them have called Canada home. They have left some gorgeous countries, especially in Central America and the Caribbean, to come here and live in the cooler climate of Canada.
    Since I was elected in 2004, I have had the opportunity to work quite a bit on ParlAmericas, including three years as its Canadian president. Sitting on the international executive of ParlAmericas, I worked side by side with politicians from Latino parliaments and got to visit a lot of the countries. I went a number of times to Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina.
    They are great, thriving democracies, but they were not always that way. So many people have come to call Canada home because this is the country they came to for refuge. They were fleeing violence, dictatorships, internal conflicts, and civil wars, and they were trying get away from the drug cartels.
    I think about Colombia in particular, and how long FARC, paramilitaries, the government, and the drug cartels battled over territory. I have been in the city of Medellin, which is about the size of Ottawa or Winnipeg and has about 800,000 people. At the peak of the conflict, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, that city alone was seeing over 4,000 murders a year. If we contrast that with the number of murders here, in cities of that scale, it is astounding that so many people are killed because of that type of violence. Of course people would want to get away from that.
    Many people came to Canada from Chile to get away from Pinochet, the general who, through the coup and the junta, took over the country in 1973. He was a dictator there until 1990. Of course, Chileans fled.
    We have a lot of Cubans who came to live in Canada to get away from the Castros. First it was Fidel, and now Raúl. We always forget, because a lot of people like to go on vacation in Cuba, but it is a communist country where thousands of people were political prisoners and were executed during the civil war by Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl.
    In Ecuador, we had Correa. In Honduras, there are many different conflicts. In Bolivia, there is Morales. In Nicaragua, people lived under Daniel Ortega from 1979 until 1990. He was a brutal dictator, who came back to power in 2007, and even this spring, we were seeing student protests trying to overthrow his corrupt government. Of course, we have heard members talk about Venezuela and how corrupt it is, first under Hugo Chávez, and now under President Nicolás Maduro. Each and every time, people are trying to get away from these individuals, who are committing atrocities. Maduro was using food as a weapon.

  (1930)  

    That was something we experienced in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933, when Stalin, another Communist leader, actually used food as a weapon. We are seeing it being done in modern times in Venezuela. We have all these people who have come to Canada.
    Back in the fall, we passed the Sergei Magnitsky law, which Senator Raynell Andreychuk and I brought to both Houses of Parliament. The first name on the list of government sanctions was Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela. I applaud the government for doing that, because it sends a strong signal that these dictators who commit atrocities against their citizens are the target of what we are trying to do under the Magnitsky sanctions. They cannot use Canada as a safe haven to hide their wealth or hide their families, and their hypocrisy, atrocities, and violent suppression of their people will not be tolerated by the free world.
    Of course, a lot of Latinos have come to Canada because of economic opportunity. I think about the Mexicans, in particular. Over 80,000 have come to call Canada home. They are by far the biggest Latino community in Canada. A lot of them came here originally to work on our farms. A lot of them still do as summer migrants as part of the farm workers program we have, with temporary visas. They come year after year, often working in the orchards and vegetable fields, and even on the honey farms in the apiaries. They fall in love with Canada. They love the standard of living they can enjoy here, so they stay. We welcome their joining Canada and our economy.
    The largest community of Mexicans is in the city of Brandon. They came to work in the pork industry. They have great-paying jobs, are making major contributions to the city, and of course, brought their culture with them.
    We talked about the music, the dance, the language, the art, and of course, the food. However, let us remember that there are some great festivals. I want to invite everyone here to Folklorama in Winnipeg, August 5 to 18. Folklorama has over 44 pavilions of all different ethnicities. Seven pavilions are Latino. There is the Argentina “Tango” pavilion, the Brazilian pavilion, the Caribbean pavilion, and the Mexican pavilion. Chile has two, the Chilean and the Chile Lindo, which means beautiful. There is also the El Salvador pavilion. We have these great pavilions that people can tour. They get a passport. They get it stamped and can enjoy this fantastic festival.
    I know there are lots of great Latino festivals. Of course, in Toronto they like to talk about Caribana, but by far, the best cultural festival in Canada, which runs for two weeks, is Folklorama. My friend from Winnipeg North agrees with me. We want to see Canadians come and enjoy all the different cultures, but if we are now going to recognize Latin American heritage month in Canada every October, let us make sure we get out there and support their festivals and learn more about their culture. All of us will be better for it.
    I thank all our friends in the Latin American community across Canada for coming and making Canada their home. I thank them for coming here and making such a major contribution. I thank them for being part of our cultural mosaic, as a multicultural nation. I thank them for making us a better country.
    I encourage all my colleagues to support Bill S-218. Let us do it in celebration of the memory of Senator Enverga. I know, at the end of the day, that we will be a better country for it.

  (1935)  

    Mr. Speaker, buenas noches. It is my pleasure as well. Unfortunately, I forget most of the Spanish I learned with my Mexican colleagues in Montreal. We need to work on our languages. I would add at the beginning that I am totally supportive of this bill for a Latin American heritage month, but knowing my Latino friends, they would probably rather do it in July or August, given where they come from. Maybe that is negotiable.
    There are more than 25,000 Latinos in my city of Edmonton, and most in the Latin American community speak a minimum of two languages. Many, of course, speak Spanish, but they also speak Portuguese. As I will share later, there are other languages our Latin American friends have brought to Canada. They were attracted to Edmonton, in particular, for reasons like many others, such as good schools and economic opportunity, but mostly for freedom. Many came as refugees.
    As Giuseppe Marconi, the organizer of the Edmonton Carnaval, explained, “Trying to describe over 20 Latin American countries where a language is in common sounds easy, but in reality, everyone is unique, with different cultures, gastronomies, arts, folklore, stories, but we are always looking to overcome the difficulties.”
    I asked him how many languages, and he said that everybody thinks that they all just speak Spanish, but if we have Spanish-speaking friends, we know that many of them speak differently. Of course, in part of Spain, they speak Spanish with a beautiful lisp. It is a beautiful language.
    Edmonton's Latino community is made up of 20 different country backgrounds. Some speak Spanish, some Portuguese, but many speak indigenous languages, such as Mayan and Arawak languages. Over 2,000 claim Latino heritage in my riding of Edmonton Strathcona alone, and over 4,000 in my riding profess to being able to speak Spanish or Portuguese.
     There are many prominent Latino Edmontonians and Albertans. Three Alberta members of the legislature are of Latin American heritage: Alberta culture minister Ricardo Miranda, who came from Nicaragua; Rod Loyola, who emigrated to Alberta as a child refugee from Chile; and Estefania Cortes-Vargas, who is from Colombia.
    Sandra Azocar, a renowned community leader, is executive director of Friends of Medicare and is a great campaigner, on our party's behalf, campaigning for pharmacare.
     Ricardo Acuña, a dear friend, is the executive director of the Parkland Institute. He immigrated to Canada as a child with his family, political refugees from the repression in Chile in the 1970s. Ricardo reminds me of the substantial influence the Chilean community has had on Alberta in infusing commitment to both social democracy and the union movement. He has reminded me that Ramon Antipan, also a Chilean refugee, was instrumental in building CUPW.
    A Peruvian, a rather controversial Latino, Raffi Torres, formerly played with the Edmonton Oilers. He is now a retired NHL hockey player.
    My dear friend Sonia Varela, and her daughter Maria, also Chilean refugees, have been stalwart supporters of social democracy, pharmacare, and medicare in my province.
     César Augusto Rendón is the president and founder of Multicultural Media and Art Foundation, which has supported projects including Edmonton Carnaval, La Prensa, and Directorio Latino de Alberta.
    Giuseppe Marconi, whom I mentioned earlier, is host and creator of the VIVAYEGLATINO podcast and the Latino Canadian Awards Gala. He organizes Carnaval Edmonton, which takes place over three days in the summer in Edmonton Strathcona. He proudly advises that this is the largest Latin festival in Canada, so come and check it out.
    Mexicans Carlos Isaias and Bernardo Maldonado are the owners of the fabulous Tienda Latina Argyll Foods, which offers a full range of Latin foods and condiments, also in my beautiful riding of Edmonton Strathcona.
    Juan Caroca, is a long-time radio host for Corazon Latino on World FM, also broadcast from Edmonton Strathcona.
    Sebastian Barrera, community promoter of the arts, is founder of the CreArt Edmonton school of art in Parkdale Cromdale. It is a free donation-run arts school that provides free music lessons and has completed large graffiti and mural art in the Kinnaird Ravine in my city. My neighbours hosted a backyard fundraiser for his program. It is a very worthwhile program.
    There are many cultural organizations and schools, including the Gabriela Mistral Latin American School in my riding. It is a highly regarded school for teaching Spanish to adults and children. It was founded in 1987.

  (1940)  

    The Edmonton Hispanic Bilingual Association, also in my riding, at McKernan School, was founded in 1981. The Cultural Association Folklorical Mexico Lindo of Alberta teaches traditional Mexican folk dance. LASCA, the Latin American Senior Citizen Association of Edmonton, and Primavera Grupo are Latin American senior citizens groups. LACEN, the Latin American Community Engagement Network, has settlement services, English classes, and training for recent immigrants. It has also partnered with the Papaschase First Nation to honour indigenous culture.
    Venezolanos en Edmonton is a Venezuelan group that gets together. Aculpeca, the Pervuvian Canadian Cultural Association, is also in my riding. There is the Chilean Canadian Cultural Society, and the Latin American Students' Association, at my alma mater, the University of Alberta.
    Across the city, and I am particularly proud, in my riding of Edmonton Strathcona, are many fabulous Latino restaurants: HUMA; El Cortez; Mucho Burrito; Àvila Arepa, which is a Venezuelan restaurant; Julio's Barrio; Burrito Libre; and Tacos on Whyte. They are all places to get together when people visit beautiful Edmonton Strathcona.
    In closing, I would like to share that for four years, I had the opportunity to work with Mexican colleagues in Montreal at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and at every opportunity—every child's birthday, every spouse's birthday, every celebration, such as Cinco de Mayo, the Day of the Dead, or the Day of the Dead plus Hallowe'en—we would have celebrations. There would be a lot of salsa, a lot of samba, a lot of merenge, a lot of music, and of course, a lot of tequila.
    I have been very privileged to spend a lot of time with Latino colleagues and friends, and this is a culture in our country that merits a celebration. We still might want to negotiate the month, because many of these festivals are outside. At the Heritage Festival in Edmonton, which is mammoth, and goes on over three days, people will find a lot of the culture of the Latino community.
    Buenas noches, and enjoy the rest of the evening celebrating the Latino culture.

  (1945)  

     Buenas noches, el presidente. I am very pleased to speak in support of Bill S-218, seeking to create a Latin American heritage month in Canada. The proposed legislation would create an opportunity for us to appreciate more and learn more about the Latin American culture in Canada.
    Latin American heritage month was originally proposed by the late senator Tobias Enverga, the first Canadian senator of Filipino descent. The senator, not being Latin American himself, still found it important that Canada would celebrate the amazing contributions Latin American culture has given to Canada.
    Senator Enverga, who was a champion of multiculturalism in Canada, passed away suddenly on Thursday, November 16, 2017, while on parliamentary business in Colombia. He is and was very deeply missed. He said, “The Canadian policy of multiculturalism is a great success when it comes to allowing for, and celebrating, the various cultural backgrounds and languages we have [and we share].” He also said, “Few countries in the world are as open and accepting to people who come from other countries to settle and make a new life for themselves as [Canada].”
    I also want thank my hon. colleague, the member for Thornhill, for continuing the work started by Senator Enverga.
     We are so blessed to live in such a multicultural society in Canada. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988 has done much to welcome and invite cultures from across the globe into our Canadian family. The measures emphasize the right of all individuals to preserve and share their cultural heritage while retaining their right to full and equitable participation in Canadian society. The act sought to remove any barriers preventing full participation in society and promised to assist individuals in eliminating and overcoming discrimination.
    Canada's Latin American population is approaching 500,000 people. That is a significant number of Canadians who self-identify as Latin American and we are grateful that they have chosen to make this great country their home, and home they make it. Their contributions to our society are absolutely wonderful. Across Canada, there are many Latin American festivals and celebrations that take place and being able to access such a vibrant culture is a privilege that we are blessed to appreciate.
    In my community of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, I was able to participate a few months ago in Mosaic - A Festival of Cultures, in which over a dozen different cultures were involved, and believe me, the Latin American contingent was second to none. They bring a great deal of energy, colour, and vibrancy to the community.
    Latin America itself is comprised of 26 countries: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint Martin, and Saint-Barthélemy. The Latin American population is approximately 620 million people, and that is excluding those who have emigrated elsewhere.
    Latin America is full of both human and natural resources. Being up in the north, we have Latin Americans to thank for being able to enjoy things like strawberries, oranges, grapes, watermelon, and much more in the midst of our Canadian winters. We also welcome many people from Latin America to help fill our labour gaps in different regions of Canada. In my riding of Yorkton—Melville, many of the honey farms hire wonderful Latin American beekeepers. Their hard work is such an integral part of our honey and agricultural industry. That is an area where we need to work harder to enable them to work in this country more consistently without having to make so many trips back and forth when they want to spend their time in Canada and contribute to our economy.
    Canada's Latin American population is a vibrant and multicultural community, composed of a range of subgroupings. First generation artists, musicians, writers, and athletes, as well as leaders in the science, health, and business sectors, have led second and third generations who are adding their talents and skills to the mix.

  (1950)  

    As much as our cultures are different, there are also similarities. With some countries, we share French as our official language. With other countries, we share resources in the mining and oil sector, and with most of the countries we do share a Judeo-Christian heritage.
    If Latin America was one entire country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world. It is vital that Canada continues to build a trade relationship with this key region of the global economy, and continues to welcome these wonderful people into our country, with all that they have to offer and all that we have to offer to them. We only stand to benefit from a deep relationship with Latin America. Creating a Latin American heritage month in Canada is a meaningful gesture that signals to Canada's Latin Americans that they are welcome here and they are very much valued in our society.
     I invite all members of the House to join me in my support of Bill S-218. I look forward to Latin American heritage month and celebrating our Latin American community more.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to celebrate Latin American culture. Later in my speech, I will explain why it is so important and so emotional for me to talk about this culture.
    I want to start by talking about the bill before us, which designates a Latin American heritage month. This bill says that the Parliament of Canada recognizes that members of the Latin American community in Canada have made significant contributions to the social, economic, and political fabric of the nation and that the designation of a month as Latin American heritage month would be a meaningful way to educate the public about these contributions. It also says that Latin American communities across Canada would be mobilized by a Latin American heritage month. October is a particularly significant month for many Latin American communities, which is why it was chosen as the month to celebrate Latin American culture.
    We are in favour of this bill, and we support it. We know that dozens of Latin American nations are represented in Canada. Drummond is home to many diverse communities. In fact, on March 25 and 26, we celebrated the seventh edition of the Drummondville cultural diversity festival in Sainte-Thérèse Park. The people of Drummond are very proud of this event. It is an intercultural family event where everyone, young and old, can dance to music from all over the world, taste traditional dishes, and participate in a wide range of free activities designed to promote dialogue and exchange.
    I attended this festival and even danced a little with my wife. As we know, it is Ramadan, and we also got to break our fast that night. This year's edition was amazing as usual. Latin American culture was also represented at this tremendously enriching and very relevant festival. Many communities participated. As a matter of fact, the Regroupement interculturel de Drummondville, the organization behind the festival, has been welcoming and assisting newcomers on behalf of the Quebec department of immigration, diversity, and inclusion for over 20 years.
    There are 55 different cultural communities in Drummondville, which account for approximately 4% of the total population. The Latin American population is a significant component of that. Between 30% to 40% of immigrants belong to that community. There is also a large African community. Drummondville now has a large Arab community, including Syrians and Iraqis, to name just a few. We are very proud to have all these cultures and to be able to learn from each other.
    Every year, at Drummondville's Fête de la diversité culturelle, the cultural communities of our region set up booths representing some 15 countries. For the first time, Scottish clans were there, including members of the Lindsay clan, one of the founding families of Drummondville. We were very happy to have them all there.
    Earlier I mentioned that Latin American culture is very dear to my heart. It is so dear to my heart because of mi querida, mi vida, mi corazón, y mi mujer, also known as my wife, Liliana Moncada Garcia.

  (1955)  

    She lives with me, so one could say that Latin American culture is alive in my home. That is why it is so important to me. I am already pretty well sold on this bill because my wife, my life, my love, Liliana Moncada, brings Latino culture to life every day in my home and in my life.
    Others have already talked about the importance of music and dance to Latin Americans. At my house, Latin music is our soundtrack. From salsa and merengue to bachata and reggaeton, Latin music and rhythms are a constant presence. My wife loves to groove to Latin music. She has tried teaching me to dance, but with two left feet, I find it hard to keep up. In Latin dancing, the man usually leads the woman, but in our case, my wife is the one in charge.
    I have also developed an appreciation for the flavours of Latin American food. That is extremely important because, as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Latin American flavours are important to me for that reason. I have savoured the gamut of flavours at home and on the road with the ParlAmericas parliamentary group. I have travelled to and worked with other parliamentarians in Panama, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia, discovering Latin American dishes such as ceviche and empanadas along the way. I love them all. Regularly sampling and enjoying Latin American cuisine is such a pleasure for me.
    October was chosen because many countries celebrate important dates then. For example, October 12 is the Día de las Culturas in Costa Rica, the Día de la Resistencia Indígena in Venezuela, the Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural in Argentina, and the feast day of Our Lady of Aparecida and Dia das Crianças, children's day, in Brazil.
    It is therefore an important month for many Latin American countries and cultures. It also marks the end of the independence celebrations for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico.
    I am also very proud that my daughters, Ariane and Oriana, have had the opportunity to volunteer in Latin America to learn about these countries. They lived with families and worked every day. They picked coffee beans, helped with cleaning, worked on the farm, and did some sewing. They spent a few weeks discovering the culture of Latin American countries. I am very pleased that my entire family has been enriched by this culture and that Drummondville is also enriched by 55 very beautiful cultures.

  (2000)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very excited to rise in this place to speak to the Senate bill, BillS-218, an act respecting Latin American heritage month. The Latin American community has always been a strong contributor to building Canada.
     Before I get into the meat of the bill, I would like to take a few moments to talk about the bill's sponsor in the other place, the late Senator Tobias Enverga. It is fitting that the bill would establish the first Latin American heritage month, as Senator Enverga was a man of firsts. He was the first Filipino Canadian elected to the Toronto District School Board and the first senator of Filipino descent appointed to the other place.
    As we all know, Senator Enverga was a tireless advocate for the Asian Canadian community, having served as the co-chair of the Asian Heritage month celebration for the greater Toronto area, and was a director of the Canada Multicultural Council. The senator also founded the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation and was the former president of the Philippine Independence Day Council.
    Just this week, I was honoured to attend the annual Filipino independence day flag-raising ceremony on the steps of Parliament Hill, with a number of my colleagues on all sides of the House and the other place.
     Bill S-218 is evidence that Senator Enverga's advocacy was not limited to our Asian Canadian populations, but rather stretched across the great Pacific Ocean into Latin America, which is the focus of the bill, to create a heritage month for Latin America.
    For some people, making the difficult choice to pick up their lives and start over in a new world is never an easy one. In many cases, people leave behind friends, loved ones, and the familiarity of years gone by in search of opportunity and prosperity. These are the difficult choices that nearly all of our ancestors, if not ourselves, have made at one time or another. It is a journey that I, as well as many others in this place, have made. Vancouver is home to one of the largest communities of Latin Americans in Canada.
    Latin America covers a huge stretch of land, from Mexico in North America, down through the central American nations, via Panama to Colombia, and down the Andes mountains to beautiful Tierra Del Fuego, in the southern reaches of Argentina and Chile, and reaches from the Pacific across South America to the warm beaches of Brazil. This is not an exhaustive list of the names of every country that is associated with Latin America, but I am trying to give people an idea of the massive geography from which Latin Americans come.
    The most common attribute among Latin Americans is the language they speak. The predominant languages are Spanish and Portuguese, where Portuguese is the primary language spoken in Brazil, and Spanish is the primary language spoken elsewhere. I understand that many Portuguese speakers are able to speak Spanish and vice versa, just like many Canadians are able to speak English and French.
    Latin Americans have made many cultural contributions to Canada. Indeed, 2018 is a World Cup year. It is well known around the world the passion that Latin Americans have toward their soccer teams. This passion has reached Canada, where soccer is quickly becoming a sport that is gathering a growing following. In fact, just this morning, I learned that a joint bid between Canada, the United States, and Mexico to host the FIFA World Cup was successful, and we will see the world’s best soccer players, or should I say football players, descend on Canada in 2026.

  (2005)  

    Given this good news, it is no wonder our NAFTA talks have been held up, as all three countries were too busy securing the World Cup. The best news, however, is that we are guaranteed to see our men's national soccer team make its return to the largest stage in all of sport, and I have no doubt the players will make each and everyone of us proud.
    Latin American cuisine is also very popular. In any Canadian city of size, we can always find restaurants that offer both traditional and a fusion of culinary tastes. There are many places in Ottawa within walking distance of the House and also in my beautiful home constituency of Richmond Centre, offering Latin American tastes. Not to offend our Albertan colleagues, but if people are hungry for meat, a great option is a Brazilian steakhouse.
    In Bill S-218, it is mentioned that Latin Americans and the Latin American community in Canada have made significant contributions to the social, economic, and political fabric of the nation. This is indeed true. On an individual level, the contributions of Latin American Canadians to our nation have been immeasurable. They have distinguished themselves in all fields of work, whether it be in sport, music, sciences, or even in this very place. Having his origins in Argentina, I know the chief government whip will surely have much to say in support of Bill S-218.
    Indeed, our former leader of the official opposition, the Hon. Rona Ambrose, grew up in Brazil, and speaks Portuguese and Spanish. Former minister of justice and public safety, the Hon. Vic Toews, was born in Paraguay. Not surprisingly, several Latin American Canadians have gone on to play in the NHL, including Raffi Torres and Bryce Salvador.
    October also marks a number of special dates for Latin American nations. On October 10, Cuba celebrates Grito de Yara, the anniversary of the start of Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain. I will restrain myself from commenting on the fascination with Cuba some members across the floor have. On October 12, many Latin American nations celebrate Día de la Raza, or pan American day.
    I am more than happy to support Bill S-218, and, if the House of Commons so agrees, proclaim the month of October to be known as Latin American heritage month.

  (2010)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is always nice to have the enthusiastic support of my colleagues. It is unfortunate that my friends across the way are not participating. I am the 18th Conservative member who has spoken to this very important bill. There has not been one single Liberal speaker tonight. It is unfortunate that the Liberals are not participating and celebrating a very rich Latino heritage in our country. It is great to have the support of my Conservative colleagues here tonight, and I thank them for their enthusiasm.
    Tonight I want to talk about my own experiences with the Latino community. In February, I had the opportunity to tour Guatemala as part of a delegation with some colleagues and with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. I wanted to make this trip because there are a number of very strong supporters of the Canada Foodgrains Bank from my own constituency in Foothills. This includes a number of producers, farmers who have designated certain quarter sections of their land where they grow a variety of crops, such as wheat and canola, which they send to many of these countries as part of their co-operation with the Canada Foodgrains Bank. I also have a number of faith-based groups and churches that are participating with the Canada Foodgrains Bank.
     What is so unique and beneficial about this program and this partnership with countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador is that not only are they participating by sending actual commodities and products to help those who are in poverty or suffering from malnutrition, but they are also participating by going to these countries and teaching people how to grow products, teaching them new and innovative ways in agriculture, and giving them the opportunities to start new businesses.
    Tonight I would like to share one story in particular. I was in a very remote community in Guatemala, high up in the mountains, sitting in a family's cinder-block house. It seemed like every couple of minutes more wives, kids, and husbands were coming in to see the Canadian delegation. We saw how proud a father and his son were, talking about their new business. They had just started a potato farm. When we talk about farms, we are talking about maybe hundreds of acres. This farm was a garden plot, probably not much bigger than a couple of desks. They were growing potatoes for sustenance and to sustain their community in this very remote area.
    I learned from this experience that potatoes actually started in the mountains of Peru. I just assumed, Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you would, that this was a Prince Edward Island or an Irish invention. I was proven to be very wrong. These actually started in the Andes Mountains, and people are trying to reintroduce this crop into the mountainous areas in these communities in Guatemala.
    However, they were finding that pests were making it very difficult to get good crops. There was a kind of black mite or wireworm. Of course, these communities cannot afford the pesticides and chemicals that we have here in North America, but they invented their own natural pesticide. It was pepper, vegetable oil, and some kind of wild mushroom, and they were fermenting it in barrels. I am not sure how they came up with that concoction, but it actually worked. It proved to be extremely successful, so much so that communities in other villages around them were coming to this community asking if they could get the recipe.
    The father and son found that this was a great entrepreneurial opportunity. They applied to the Canada Foodgrains Bank, which gave them some seed money to start their own micro-business. They built a little factory. They purchased the barrels, as well as the ingredients and some packaging, and put together a little assembly line. We could see how excited they were to be able to start their own business. Hopefully, it is going to be successful.

  (2015)  

    The one ironic thing I would mention is that, despite being above the clouds in this very remote mountainous area, they have better Wi-Fi and Internet service than we do in many of the rural communities in my own constituency. They were going to be marketing these products on Facebook, and they were building a website. I think we have some work to do here, if the remote areas of Guatemala have better cell service than we have here in Canada. However, they were already thinking that far ahead to market these products. This opportunity would not have happened were it not for the contributions of people back here in Canada. That is why it is so fitting that we take the opportunity to celebrate Latin American heritage month here in Canada, if we look at the partnerships we have built from one country to the next.
    I found it interesting that when it comes to agriculture, there is a large export market to many of these countries in Latin America. More than $2 billion is traded between our countries and between these communities. We have free trade agreements with several countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Peru. Now we are in negotiations for other free trade agreements, with the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and obviously Guatemala, which has the largest economy in that area.
    As we were going through Guatemala, my NDP colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot was also with me. I have visited her riding. She helped me practise my French when I was there as well. I kept it a secret that I could understand French so I could spy. However, we were all there to see the businesses the Guatemalans had started, anything from this little pesticide business to a co-operative of coffee bean growers. Through the support of Canadians, they were able to buy a coffee roaster facility, bring it all together, and become successful on a large scale. It was really exciting to see that first-hand, as well as the co-operation and communication that happens between Canada and Guatemala.
    There is another story I would like to share with members about our trip that I thought was interesting. We visited a communal area in a community where a large number of women had started their own business making scarves, blankets, and a number of souvenir items. It started as the result of our having so many seasonal agriculture workers from Guatemala coming here to Canada. Obviously, it is mainly men making that trip over here for six or seven months to help with our agriculture businesses. At the same time, many of the women were left at home trying to take care of their family and also trying to raise money on their own. A lot of these women were also left without husbands as a result of the decade-long civil war that ended just a few years ago. With the help of a Canadian, who provided the initial funding to purchase looms and material, they were able to start their own business, which has become extremely successful. Now they are selling these products not only across Guatemala in souvenir shops but around the world by marketing them online. We can learn a lot of lessons from some of the things they are doing, and some of the things we are doing here.
    In conclusion, I want to say that it really is an honour to rise and speak about Latin American heritage month. I want to give a quick acknowledgement of Senator Enverga, who brought this forward. We have a large Filipino community in my riding. I had a lot of respect for Senator Enverga and what he did for the Filipino community across Canada. I want to recognize that as well.

  (2020)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Foothills for his incredible speech. It says something about his quality as a shadow minister of agriculture that he can speak on Latin American heritage month and tie in agriculture and the importance of that community and its product to Alberta.
    I am very happy to speak in support of Bill S-218, to establish the month of October as Latin American heritage month.
    I am the 19th Conservative speaking in support of this bill, and I express my disappointment that not a single Liberal has decided to stand up to support this bill or to recognize the importance of this community to Canada. Liberals choose not to participate in the debate to recognize all that this community has contributed to our country.
    Before I address this bill, I want to honour the memory of my good friend, the late Senator Tobias Enverga, also known as “Jun”, who first brought this bill forward in the Senate.
    Born in the Philippines, Tobias Enverga became the first Canadian senator of Filipino descent. He was appoint