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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 350

CONTENTS

Tuesday, November 6, 2018




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 350
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Parliamentary Budget Officer

    Pursuant to section 79.2(2) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled, “The Strategic Personnel Generation Model (SPGM) Version 1.0”.

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.

[Translation]

Poverty Reduction Act

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

[English]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Forum held in London, United Kingdom, from February 26 to March 1, 2018.

[Translation]

Committees of the House

Canadian Heritage 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage entitled “Bill C-391, An Act Respecting a National Strategy for the Repatriation of Aboriginal Cultural Property”. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

[English]

    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: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Speaker: Call in the members.

  (1040)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 927)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 170


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Alleslev
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Donnelly
Dubé
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Martel
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Poilievre
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga

Total: -- 114


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

  (1045)  

[English]

Points of Order

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised raised on October 31, 2018, by the hon. member for Perth—Wellington, concerning the meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association held on October 30, 2018.

[Translation]

[English]

    When raising the matter, the member for Perth—Wellington explained that during the meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association held on October 30, a point of order was raised about the validity of the meeting. He added that the chair of the association, who is the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ruled that the meeting had not been properly constituted and therefore adjourned the meeting. The member for Perth—Wellington alleged that one of the vice-chairs, the member for Etobicoke Centre, reconvened the group and held an illegitimate meeting during which a motion was passed to remove the chair and elect the presiding vice-chair as the new chair.
    With the website of the association having been updated in consequence, the member for Perth—Wellington asked that, pursuant to Standing Order 151, the Speaker order the Clerk of the House to undo the changes made to the parliamentary records on the association's website and to advise the NATO Parliamentary Assembly that the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill would remain the chair and the head of Canada's delegation at the 2018 session to be held in Halifax from November 16 to 19, 2018.

[Translation]

    In addressing the matter again on November 5, he explained further in what ways he felt that the provisions of the association's constitution had been violated, including the lack of authority for vice-chairs to call meetings.

[English]

    In his response, the member for Etobicoke Centre indicated that, as per our parliamentary customs and conventions, in his view, chairs of parliamentary associations are members of the governing party. Accordingly, he argued that, in deciding to become an opposition member, the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill should have resigned her position as chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. In addition, he believed that her decision to rule the meeting out of order contravened rules and procedures and, as a result, the resumption of the meeting, as well as the procedures followed during the resumed meeting, were legitimate.
    Essentially, what I am being asked to do by the member for Perth—Wellington is to assume an authority as Speaker to regulate a matter internal to a parliamentary association. The only way to answer that is to understand the role of the Speaker and its inherent limitations, as well as the relationship of parliamentary associations to the House.

[Translation]

     Let me begin by saying that I take great pride in the role played by Parliament as an active participant on the international scene and as a leader in parliamentary democracy. This notable work by our parliamentarians is achieved through various avenues, including our well respected parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups.
    Complementary to that is the Speaker’s role in parliamentary democracy, with respect to which House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states at page 311:
…the Speaker is the representative or spokesperson for the House in its relations with authorities or persons outside Parliament.

[English]

    Does this distinct role of the Speaker then intersect in such a way with Standing Order 151 as to grant the Speaker the authority being sought? That rule states:
    The Clerk of the House is responsible for the safekeeping of all the papers and records of the House, and has the direction and control over all the officers and clerks employed in the offices, subject to such orders as the Clerk may, from time to time, receive from the Speaker or the House.
    Specifically, does this translate, in this instance, to an authority over parliamentary association matters? Associations, unlike committees, are not “creatures” of the House. In fact, the Standing Orders fall just short of being silent about them, with only Standing Order 34(1) requiring them to report their activities to the House upon their return to Canada following a trip abroad.

  (1050)  

[Translation]

    Parliamentary committees, in contrast, are created by the House and empowered by its Standing Orders. Even then, as they are generally masters of their own proceedings, the Speaker does not normally reach into the business of committees unless and until a committee sees fit to report a matter to the House and there is a specific mechanism in the rules of the House for them to do just that. The fact that there is not a similar provision for parliamentary associations is telling. Some argued that being an honorary president of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association, confers on the Speaker of the House an authority over parliamentary associations which allow, even obligate, me to rule on this matter. But does it?

[English]

    As members well know, the scope of the Speaker’s ability to enforce and interpret the rules and practices of the House is confined to those deliberations defined as parliamentary proceedings, that is, those that are found to be what is truly necessary to the role of members as legislators. Erskine May’s 24th edition at pages 235 and 236 states:
     The primary meaning of proceedings, as a technical parliamentary term…is some formal action, usually a decision, taken by the House in its collective capacity.... An individual Member takes part in a proceeding usually by speech, but also by various recognized forms of formal action, such as voting, giving notice of a motion, or presenting a petition or report from a committee, most of such actions being time-saving substitutes for speaking.
    The work of parliamentary associations, while important in many respects, falls outside this definition of a parliamentary proceeding. This imposes a distinct relationship between associations and the House, through the Speaker.

[Translation]

     Speaker Parent pointed out in his April 23, 1998, ruling, found at page 6035 of the Debates, and I quote:
    The creation of Canadian interparliamentary groups is governed by certain administrative bodies within the House of Commons and the Senate. ... Interparliamentary relations are carried on under the responsibility of Parliament. There are decision making processes governing their administration.

[English]

    Specifically, these processes lie first and foremost with the Joint Interparliamentary Council, commonly referred to as JIC, as well as the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the House of Commons Board of Internal Economy. The latter two not only created the JIC in 1995 but continue to be the bodies through which the JIC derives its authority. In practical terms, the Joint Interparliamentary Council receives its funding from both Houses but is the governing body empowered to determine all budgetary and administrative matters relating to parliamentary associations.

[Translation]

    The meetings and activities of associations are framed by constitutions containing rules specific to each association, ones that typically specify the mandate of the association, its composition and its rules of procedure, amongst others. In no way is the House, or am I as its Speaker and servant, involved in the establishment or adjudication of these rules, even if they mirror or are inspired by certain rules of the House. This independence of associations from the House is reflected in the fact that the rules and practices governing each association are decided by their members.

  (1055)  

[English]

     It is clear to the Chair that the disputed matters relating to the October 30 meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association should be resolved in a forum other than the House. A general assembly of the association or, alternatively, a meeting of its executive committee, both that can be convened at the request of members, are such forums. Should these avenues fail to settle the matter, any recourse clearly falls under the purview of the Board of Internal Economy, and specifically the Joint Interparliamentary Council, the governing body which reports to the Board of Internal Economy.

[Translation]

    Speaker Parent reminded members in the April 23, 1998, ruling referenced earlier, that the matter would be better raised in another forum. He said at page 6035 of the Debates:
    My duty however is to confine myself to the jurisprudence which exists and governs the operation of privilege. Given the preoccupation over these matters, I would suggest that this particular issue must be handled through a different avenue, namely the Board of Internal Economy, which holds statutory responsibility for such matters.

[English]

     It was made clear even then, that while interparliamentary relations are carried on under the responsibility of Parliament, certain decision-making bodies governing associations are in place, namely the Joint Interparliamentary Council and the Board of Internal Economy. That aside, it would be regrettable if this procedural and, some might say, political impasse was to injure in any way the ability of parliamentarians to pursue together their important role in promoting and defending the interests of our country abroad.
     I thank all hon. members for their attention in this matter.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2

Bill C-86—Time Allocation Motion  

     That, in relation to Bill C-86, A second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the bill; and
     That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Mr. Speaker, today we rise of course as the government is shutting down debate on its 851-page omnibus budget bill.
    This fall, the government released its financial statement, in which it revealed that it had received a $20-billion windfall that resulted from factors completely out of its control. One, the world and U.S. economies are roaring. Two, oil prices have gone up by more than 100%. Three, interest rates, which are not controlled by government, are at near record lows. Four, there has been a housing bubble in Vancouver and Toronto.
     All of these factors are, first, out of the control of government, and second, here today and potentially gone tomorrow. In other words, the government cannot rely on them permanently in order to fund its spending, yet that is exactly what it did. It got $20 billion in new windfall revenue, and it blew every penny of that. Plus, the deficit was twice what the government promised it would be in the most recent fiscal year.
    The government said it would run three small deficits of no more than $10 billion and then balance the budget in the year 2019. That is only a few months from now. The minister has never once said when he will balance the budget, not since the election, when he promised it would happen in 2019. Will he please rise now and tell us in what year the budget will be balanced?

  (1100)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to stand before this House and talk about some of the things that our government has done over the last number of years. I am also looking forward to November 21, when I will be able to provide the fall economic statement and an update on the country's finances.
    The good news we will be able to bring on November 21 is really a product of the work that we have done on behalf of Canadians for the last few years. We started out saying that we wanted to make sure we invested in the success of middle-class Canadians. That was critically important. We saw in the decade before that people were falling behind, that the previous government was not making the kinds of investments needed to ensure that our economy did well and that middle-class Canadians felt the benefits of that growth, so we started right in.
     After getting into office, we lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. That was critically important. Then we moved forward with the Canada child benefit. Looking at 2019 versus 2015, the average middle-class family is going to be $2,000 better off. That is important for those families, because they can spend the money on the things they need to raise their children, but it is also important for our economy.
     What did we see? We actually saw that people took that disposable income and put it back into the economy. What that led to was not a global economic change, a world change, but in fact a Canadian change, reflected most demonstrably in the fact that the Canadian economy grew at the fastest rate among G7 countries in 2017.
    What does that mean for Canadians? That means we are in a better position, a more resilient position, to deal with what we see in the future. Most importantly, middle-class Canadian families across this country are better off, because they will have more money to spend on what matters to them. That is helping our economy.
    Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that if the minister is so proud of his 800-page bill, he would welcome expanded time to be able to discuss and debate it and give it the transparency it needs.
    Women in Canada have been waiting 42 years since pay equity was promised by a previous Trudeau Liberal government, and finally we have pay equity legislation embedded within this 800-page bill. I was at the finance committee this morning, where a witness testified that this legislation means that women will have to go to court all over again. Other witnesses called the pay equity provisions unconstitutional. A further witness said that it offers less protection than existing provisions for part-time and temporary workers.
    Given that testimony, why would we ever want to rush through passage of this vital bill? We have to get it right so that women are paid equally for work of equal value.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her advocacy in this regard.
    We know that moving forward on legislation to ensure that women get paid equally for work of equal value is critically important. This is something we have been focused on since we came into office. Our government has been very focused on how we can ensure that outcomes for women are consistent with outcomes for men in this country. This has been an important and ongoing focus of our budget in 2018 and multiple measures.
    The measure under question, the pay equity portion of the bill, is critically important. We know that women in our country are not paid at the same rate as men. In fact, for similar kinds of work, they are paid about 88.5 cents on the dollar of what a man earns. When we look at it more broadly, comparing women's pay with men's pay overall, it is about 68 cents on the dollar when we incorporate part-time work. We have made it clear that this is not acceptable, which is why we believe it is critical that we move forward with the pay equity legislation in federally regulated sectors, which we have included in this budget implementation act.
     We are looking forward hopefully to seeing the member on the opposite side vote for this so that we can see this equity in future.

  (1105)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Governor of the Bank of Canada sounded the alarm last week for all Canadians. Gone are the days of running deficits without a care in the world, because interest rates are rising and could rise even further over the next year.
    We also know that investments are plummeting in Canada. Canadians prefer to invest in the United States. The government is reporting that Canadian investment in the U.S. is up by 65% while American investment in Canada has dropped by 52%. That is the current situation. This is why we need to have a full and thorough debate on the government's budget measures, but since it is limiting the time allowed for debate, my question is very simple. When will Canada return to a balanced budget?
    Mr. Speaker, the member raises a very important issue.
    It is important to attract investment in our economy. Looking at the current situation, we find that business investments have been increasing over the past year and a half. We need to make sure that continues. That is why it will be my great pleasure to introduce our fall economic statement on November 21. That will be a great opportunity to explain how we can continue to maintain a high level of investment in our economy.
    The investments we have made, of course, have been important for economic growth. We will continue to invest to ensure that people across the country are well positioned for the future.

[English]

    I just want to clarify that in the rules it does refer to being “concise”, but does not state the exact amount of time. However, I appreciate people who are concise, and I want to encourage hon. members to be precise in their questions and answers.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to read into the record what the hon. member for Regina—Wascana, the current Minister of Public Safety, said about the Conservative's budget implementation act in 2012, which was 443 pages long:
     It is a complete dog's breakfast, and deliberately so. It is calculated to be so humongous and so convoluted, all in a single lump, that it cannot be intelligently examined and digested by a conscientious Parliament.
    I have two questions for the minister. Does he agree with his cabinet colleague, and does he not think it is the height of hypocrisy for the Liberals to engage in a practice they once railed against so feverishly in previous Parliaments?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been really clear, both before we formed government and now in government, that it is important that budget implementation acts implement what has been in the budgets that have been introduced. That is exactly what we are doing here.
    As the members examine this budget implementation act, they can be confident that its measures are related to the budgetary measures that we put into effect in 2018, 2017 and 2016. That is critically important, and in direct contrast with what the previous government had a habit of doing, which was to introduce things in budget implementation acts that were not part of budgetary measures. We have committed not to do that, but to move forward in a way that demonstrates a continuous and consistent approach to getting the job done for Canadians through budgets that matter.

  (1110)  

    Mr. Speaker, in this budget implementation act there are three bills concerning important indigenous issues that should be separate and standalone bills.
    First of all, when trying to go to the relevant areas of the document, there are no links. The document is so massive it takes 10 minutes to even get to one area of the bill. No hard copies were provided.
    As well, we were shut down at committee when we wanted to look at the three standalone bills. After the mess the government made with Bill S-3, it is a travesty that the committee responsible for this area is not looking at these three pieces of legislation as standalone bills.
     As the shadow minister, I will not even get a chance to speak in the House at second reading of this bill. This is absolutely shameful, and I would like the finance minister to stand up and justify how he can have three pieces of indigenous legislation not subject to proper scrutiny by the people best poised to scrutinize it.
    Mr. Speaker, since coming into office, we have been working to make sure that we deal with really important challenges concerning indigenous peoples, and have done so in budget 2016, budget 2017 and budget 2018. We continue to find ways to ensure that reconciliation is happening in this country. That continues to be critically important from our perspective. That has been demonstrated through the time we have been in office, and demonstrated again in budget 2018.
    The budget implementation act will allow us to continue to make a difference for indigenous peoples and middle-class Canadians across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, I think anyone who has taken even a cursory glance at this legislation would realize that it is impossible for parliamentarians to study, appreciate and comment meaningfully on all of the provisions within this budget legislation. That is something the Liberals pointed out about the previous government's legislation in the last Parliament. Now they want to hang their hat on the idea that somehow it is acceptable to include in this bill anything that was given minor mention in the budget, or something that could be implicitly interpreted as having meant that legislation might be amended as a result. In fact, the parliamentary assistant to the government House leader had the gall yesterday to get up and cite examples from budget 2017 as justification for why some provisions are in the enabling legislation for budget 2018.
    How far back do the Liberals think they can go? Are they going to be taking budget items from 1956 or 1984? There has to be some meaningful constraint on what goes into a budget implementation bill, and the Liberals are pushing the boundaries so far it does not even make sense.
    Can we please have the time to look at this instead of their ramming it through?
    Mr. Speaker, we know how important it is to get the work done that we promised Canadians we would do. When we put forth the budget implementation act, built on the kinds of things we promised Canadians we would do in our budget, we needed to make sure we got it right. As we look at the page numbers, of course we need to think about its content and how important it is to have those technical details correct. It is not always perfectly straightforward.
     However, I know that members from all parts of this House will agree that it is important to get it right. When we have the financial consumer protection framework in 75 pages, it means that we want to get it right. We want to make sure that we do protect consumers in the financial sector. That is critically important. As well, when we say that we are going to get the intellectual property strategy right and it is 96 pages long, it means it is a complicated subject that we need to be sure we get right.
     That is what we committed to Canadians we would do and exactly what we are doing in this budget implementation act.
    Mr. Speaker, when I was on the finance committee, I was adamant and always fighting for the people of my riding, as well as people across Canada, who are very poor. One of the issues was the Canada child benefit and how those benefits are clawed back from people on social assistance. I was very proud of our minister when he came to our committee more than two years ago and talked about how he would ensure there would not be a clawback from these people, our fellow citizens who too often fall through the cracks because they do not often have representatives here in Parliament who have been in those situations.
    There is mention in the budget about ensuring that if one receives social assistance payments under certain programs, that will not preclude one from receiving the Canada child benefit. That is in the budget. However, I would also like to highlight that in Manitoba, there is a continued clawback by the provincial government of federal funds for young children who are in the care of the state in the child welfare system. The province is actually making a profit off the backs of our most vulnerable children instead of ensuring that those funds go to their long-term education and are built up in a fund so they can receive a long-term benefit. The Province of Manitoba continues to claw back that money to balance its budgets on the backs of our young children. I hope the minister could talk a little about that.

  (1115)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for pointing out that it is important for us to continue to think about how the programs that are making a difference for middle-class Canadians and all Canadians are actually having the desired impact. He points out that we need to consider looking at those things.
    The budget we have this year has done exactly that in a number of ways, but there will always be more work to be done. For example, we looked at the Canada child benefit and realized there were some situations where people were not actually getting access to the benefit appropriately because of their family situation. We made sure we dealt with that, the “kinship” issue, as we call it. We also realized that the Canada workers benefit, which his so important for people who are trying to get into work, was not actually getting to everyone who was eligible for it because they did not necessarily know about their eligibility. We found a way to make sure that was automatically available for people.
    Dealing with people who are at a stage in their work life where there are perhaps not the kinds of opportunities or income they expect is important. We need to think about how these programs interact with other programs. That is something we continue to address. It is one of the reasons why in this budget implementation bill we have some specific language to ensure that we deal with challenges we are faced with, either as a result of the way provinces are dealing with the programs, or because of emerging issues that must be dealt with.
    Mr. Speaker, ironically, the government is moving forward with this heavy-handed tactic to ram through this 800-page bill without having proper debate in the House of Commons. We were in finance committee when we were interrupted by these heavy-handed tactics. We were hearing from a number of witnesses there, including one witness, an economist in fact, who was talking about the fiscal irresponsibility of the government. At a time when the global economy is relatively strong, running these kinds of massive deficits, as the government is doing presently, puts us in real danger if there were to be any kind of a downturn in the economy. It would endanger the fiscal position of the country. Instead of doing what is prudent, as the previous Conservative government did in times that were good, namely, paying down the debt and running surpluses, this government is running massive deficits. That obviously puts us in a terrible position.
    This is a really easy question for the finance minister. It should not be difficult for him to answer it, but he has evaded and dodged it numerous times. I would ask if he would just answer the question. In what year will the Liberal government finally balance the budget?
    Mr. Speaker, I should start by correcting some facts. The previous government actually built up an additional $150 billion worth of debt. As we saw, that government, unfortunately, had among the lowest rates of growth we have seen in a hundred years. It has been an enormous challenge, of course, for us to deal with the challenges left by the previous government, but we took the responsible approach. We said that we would make investments so that we could get ourselves in a better position. The good news—
    Order. I am trying to hear the answer and I am having a hard time with the chatter that is going on.
    I will let the hon. Minister of Finance continue.
    Mr. Speaker, the good news is that we are making responsible investments that are growing our economy and continuing to put ourselves in a position where we have the resilience to deal with the challenges.
    What the member might not know about the issue he was referring to is that the Canadian balance sheet is the strongest among the G7 countries. We have a debt-to-GDP ratio that is less than half the average, in fact the lowest, in the G7 by a big margin. That puts us in a good position for the long term. Importantly, we have taken the right decision to invest in middle-class Canadians so they can have the opportunity to continue to benefit from economic growth in the future.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said earlier that the government wanted to take a long time to get this legislation right because there are important measures in the budget. Those are his words.
    I am wondering why the Minister of Finance does not think there ought to be some sort of proportionate amount of time for Parliament to study these measures and ensure that the government did in fact get those things right. That is our job here. Our job is not just to take the government's word for it. Our job is to examine the work of the government and ensure that it has done the job properly.
    If it takes a long time for the government to develop proposals, and particularly if they are lengthy and complex, why does the minister not believe that parliamentarians should be afforded the same amount of time that the government had to develop them in the first place?

  (1120)  

    Mr. Speaker, we made a commitment to Canadians. We were elected in 2015 with an agenda to make a real measurable difference for middle-class Canadians. We laid out some important things that we wanted to ensure that we achieved over the time period that we are in government, and that is critically important.
    We have moved forward in budget 2018 with measures that we told Canadians we would get at. We said that we wanted to get at pay equity to make sure that women and men have similar outcomes for similar work. That too was critically important. We know on an ongoing basis we need to ensure that we have an intellectual property strategy that allows innovation in our country. We know having protections for consumers in the banking sector is critically important.
    There are measures in this budget implementation bill that would allow us to move forward in a way that is consistent with what we promised Canadians.
    We have done consultations to get to an approach that makes sense. We are looking forward to all members in the House having the opportunity to vote on a bill that would make a real difference for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has highlighted many things he does not know.
    He does not know when the budget is going to be balanced, quite likely because he knows it is a structural deficit and that the government is not going to get out of deficit for a long time.
    He does not know that capital investment is fleeing this country. We saw that in the announcement over the weekend. A company called Encana has basically given up on Canada.
    He may not even know what he campaigned on in 2015, but I will remind him. He said, “Omnibus bills prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating [the] proposals. We will change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to this undemocratic process.” This is like a double whammy because one, we have an omnibus bill, and two, it is under time allocation.
    The minister does not know when the budget is going to be balanced. He does not know that capital investment is fleeing this country. Does he know what he ran on in 2015 when it comes to his democratic policy platform piece?
    Mr. Speaker, there were three comments in that intervention. What we should do is identify the issues that were brought forward.
    First and foremost, we are in a situation where our debt to gross national product ratio is declining over time. That is a responsible way to manage our country's balance sheet and we will continue to do that.
    We also know that business investment, which did go down as a result of the change in oil prices, has been going up for the last year and a half. This is not a situation where these facts are debatable. It is just, in fact, the facts.
    Finally, we committed that our budget implementation acts would be related to budget measures. That is exactly what we have delivered.
    With respect to each one of those comments, we feel that we have moved forward in a way that is appropriate, and importantly, it is having a big impact on Canadians. That is what we are really after.
    Mr. Speaker, there has been some discussion today about what is in this 800-page budget implementation act but there is one key piece of information that is not in the act. My colleagues have asked this question before. According to the minister's projections, in what year does the government believe Canada should balance its budget?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear that it is important to have a fiscal anchor. We have said that investing in the long-term health of our economy is important. Investing in infrastructure is important. The investments we have made in middle-class Canadians with the Canada child benefit are critically important.
    These investments have had the desired impact. They have grown our economy. They have also shown that we can do that while reducing the amount of debt as a function of our gross domestic product. That will continue to be important for us. What I can say is that our fiscal health is strong.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like the Minister of Finance to reflect on the commitment the Prime Minister made to Canadians. He indicated that the first priority was the middle class and ensuring there were tax breaks for the middle class. We have made wonderful progressive moves such as the Canada child benefit program which my colleague from Winnipeg Centre mentioned. We have made deep increases to our guaranteed income supplement. We have seen negotiations between territories and provinces on things such as the CPP and a price on pollution.
    How does all this fit in terms of the important role government has in fighting to enrich Canada's middle class in every way and those aspiring to be a part of it?

  (1125)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is a really important question.
     We need to think about how we make a real difference for Canadians who are trying to make sure they can raise their families in dignity. We started with some measures that deal with the anxiety Canadian families are facing and that was, importantly, a middle-class tax break. For those people earning between $45,000 and $90,000, we reduced the taxes in that category from 22% to 20.5%, a 7% decrease. We then added on the Canada child benefit which helped those families even more, raising hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.
    We realized we needed to do more. The increase in the guaranteed income supplement dealt with single seniors who found themselves in poverty. Of course, for Canadians anxious about their long-term future, we negotiated with the provinces to make sure we could actually enhance the Canada pension plan.
    These are the sorts of measures that have made a real difference for families today. They make a real difference for families and people who are looking toward the future. We will continue to fight for Canadian families to make sure they have the capacity to raise their children and be confident about the future.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for the Minister of Finance, a question he has been unable to answer. It is very straightforward. In what year will the budget be balanced?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to that new question by saying that we need to make sure that our economy and our country are resilient to face challenges. We are not going to do what the previous government did and add $150 billion to our debt and have nothing to show for it. Instead, we are going to carefully manage the amount of debt we have as a function of our economy. Happily our economy is growing, unlike it was with the previous government. That is a very important factor in our ability to manage down that debt load. We will continue to do that because we know being responsible is important while we invest in middle-class Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister's plan is to manage down the debt load by increasing the debt $20 billion every year. That was this year. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the amount of interest on Canada's national debt will rise to $40 billion per year by 2022. That is more than we currently spend on health care transfers. That might be very good for the wealthy bankers and bond holders that travel in the finance minister's circle, but working-class taxpayers will have to pay more in tax so that those wealthy bond holders can have more in their pockets.
    One thing that could mitigate against that injustice and protect us against future economic difficulties that inevitably come is a balanced budget. The finance minister said the budget would balance itself by the year 2019. In what year will the budget balance itself?
    Mr. Speaker, we should examine carefully the issue around how Canadians are feeling with respect to taxes because this government has taken measures that have made a real difference in terms of their ability to take home more pay for their families. By lowering middle-class taxes, by increasing the Canada child benefit and by increasing the guaranteed income supplement, we have put people in a position where they actually have a greater amount of take-home pay. That is critically important.
    By putting a price on pollution, something we do not want but by giving back a rebate to families so they will have more money, in 2019, middle-class Canadian families will find themselves more than $2,000 better off, especially if they are in the four provinces where the federal pollution pricing backstop will be in place.
    We have been able to make the important investments to make our economy grow while we have been reducing taxes on middle-class Canadians to help people have more confidence about the future.

  (1130)  

[Translation]

    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.

[English]

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

  (1205)  

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

(Division No. 928)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 165


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Alleslev
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Deltell
Diotte
Donnelly
Dubé
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Gallant
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Laverdière
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Martel
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Poilievre
Quach
Ramsey
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 125


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

  (1210)  

Second Reading  

    The House resumed from November 2 consideration of the motion that Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.
    There are five minutes remaining in questions and comments following the speech of the hon. member for Edmonton West.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a wonderful opportunity to ask a question related to the budget implementation act.
    Over the last few years, we have had consecutive budgets that have contained a lot of policy initiatives for the benefit of Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be part of it. What I find interesting is that the Harper Conservatives across the way seem to be quite content on being critical of all aspects of this government's budget priorities, aspects that include things such as tax breaks and enhancements to child benefits and the guaranteed income supplement. There are a lot of positive things in the budget.
    One thing I personally recognize in this budget implementation act deals with increasing the annual allotments for the Canada child benefit. Could my colleague provide his thoughts on the importance of the increase to the Canada child benefit?
    Mr. Speaker, if anyone is sitting at home wondering what we are doing, this is a continuation from my speech on Friday.
    The basis of my speech was built around an Athenian philosopher named Demosthenes. He is famous for a quote that says, “The easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different.” This is very much the world the Liberals are living in, a world of self-deceit.
     Earlier we heard the finance minister, when discussing bringing closure or time allocation to the budget bill, talk about all the wonderful things the Liberals were doing for seniors, including the GIS.
    I have a report from the Library of Parliament that shows, under the Liberal government, all three measures: the low income measure after tax; the low income cutoffs after tax, 1992 base; the market measure, 2011 base. Under every measure, seniors are worse off now than they were in the past.
    The government talks about the middle class. The Parliamentary Budget Officer put out a report recently that showed the middle class income growth was stagnating. The government is living in a world of self-deceit.
    Mr. Speaker, it is so important for us as members of political parties, as people in the world in general, to be willing to challenge our assumptions, to be self-critical, to ensure we are not subject to self-deception.
    The question we have asked the finance minister repeatedly is whether the Liberals have a timeline in mind to balance the budget.
    Members will recall from the last election a Liberal promise to have the budget balanced in the final year of their majority mandate, the 2018-19 fiscal year. Now there is absolutely no timeline set on balancing the budget. If I remember correctly, even the Kathleen Wynne Ontario Liberals at least had a theoretical date in mind for when they said they would balance the budget, however much skepticism there may have been about that date.
    Could my colleague reflect on the problem and the inappropriateness of having absolutely no plan to ever balance the budget?

  (1215)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member brings up a great point about the government's refusal to even address this.
    If we look at the famous Liberal mandate tracker, it actually shows balancing the budget, which was promised by 2019, is in progress with difficulty. The difficulty we see is that there is no end in sight to the Liberal debt being added on. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is forecasting something like $40 billion a year, just in interest payments. We are going to be paying foreign nationals and rich Bay Street bankers to borrow money, because the government cannot get its house in order on spending.
    Every province across the country, with tax-and-spend governments like the NDP in Alberta and the Wynne Liberals, can commit to when they will actually balance the budget. With the federal Liberal government, it is dead silence, talking points and further self-deceit.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to inform you that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Guelph.
    I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-86, the budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2. I want to talk about what I consider one of the most important aspects of the bill, which is the environment and climate action.
    Canadians know that pollution has a price. Pollution has an impact on the health of our communities, the strength of our economy and the well-being of Canadians. The evidence is clear. There were floods in my region, the Outaouais, and more specifically in my riding of Hull—Aylmer and the neighbouring riding of Gatineau. Forest fires are causing more and more devastation, and storms are becoming increasingly violent. I repeat: six weeks ago, six tornados hit my riding, and they caused a lot of damage. This was unprecedented.
    Climate change is real, and its costs are high. Studies show that climate change is expected to cost our economy $5 billion a year by 2020. Canadians want polluters to pay for this. This is the right thing to do for our children and grandchildren, which is why our government has promised action.
    Putting a price a pollution is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Canada meet its international commitments with regard to this extremely important issue. This means that the price of goods and services will reflect the amount of greenhouse gases that are associated with them. The more we pollute, the more we pay. It is simple. The less we pollute, the more we benefit.
    Our government sincerely believes that it is important for business owners and businesses to make more money, but if they pollute, they have to pay. That is all. It is important that our economy better reflect the true cost of pollution and that is what this carbon pricing will do.
    It is in that context that the federal government developed the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change together with the provinces and territories and in consultation with indigenous peoples.
    This plan includes a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution and measures to reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy. It gives the provinces and territories the flexibility they need to use the system that suits them best, either a price-based system, or a cap and trade system, or a combination of both.
    Our government has also committed to implementing a backstop in every province and territory requesting one, as well as in any province that does not adopt a regime consistent with the pan-Canadian framework. I would remind members that the provinces and territories had until September 1 of this year to announce their intentions. Our government was very transparent. We stated from the outset that the federal backstop would have two components. First, there is a charge on fossil fuels such as gas, diesel, natural gas or oil. Second, there is an output-based pricing system for large industrial emitters.

  (1220)  

    I am very pleased that several provinces have developed their own pricing system for carbon pollution. As Canadians, all of us must take action to reduce pollution, and these governments will be able to do so with a plan that is in keeping with their regional reality. To maintain the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution, the federal carbon pollution pricing system will apply as planned in the other provinces and territories.
    We recently announced the next steps in our environmental action plan. Some provinces have voluntarily decided to adopt the federal system to varying degrees and work hand in hand with Ottawa. Governments that did not implement the necessary measures will have to comply with the federal system. That is unfortunate, but we made our intentions perfectly clear to the provinces.
     Let me be quite clear: in all cases, direct proceeds from the federal price on pollution will flow back to the provinces and territories in which they were collected. Let me repeat that: in all cases, direct proceeds from the federal price on pollution will flow back to the provinces and territories in which they were collected. I really want to emphasize that, because putting a price on carbon pollution is not about filling the federal government's coffers; it is about encouraging cleaner growth and a more sustainable future across this great land.
    Provincial and territorial governments that joined the fight against climate change by voluntarily adopting the federal system will receive the direct proceeds and can use that money as they wish. For the four provinces that chose not to put a price on pollution, the federal government will put most of the direct proceeds back in the pockets of families in those provinces.
    The government is also in the process of developing options for direct support to sectors of the economy that will be particularly affected in backstop jurisdictions. That includes small and medium-sized businesses, municipalities, non-profit organizations and indigenous communities.
    Direct proceeds from the carbon price collected in New Brunswick will remain in New Brunswick. Direct proceeds collected in Ontario will remain in Ontario. Direct proceeds collected in Manitoba will remain in Manitoba, and direct proceeds collected in Saskatchewan will remain, as one might guess, in Saskatchewan. The climate action initiative payments made to individuals and families will help offset the increased costs associated with the price on pollution and will reward families that make cleaner, more sustainable consumer choices.
    Since residents of small communities and rural regions have higher energy requirements and more limited access to alternative transportation options, they will receive a supplement to the base amount of 10%. Implementing this formula requires legislative changes.
    Bill C-86, the budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2, would give us the tools we need to implement this important initiative. The bill proposes the changes required to enable the Canada Revenue Agency to offer this rebate to eligible taxpayers when they file their income tax returns.

  (1225)  

    In closing, we must all do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The pricing of carbon pollution is the most effective and efficient means of achieving that. For that reason, I am pledging my support for this bill and these measures, which I truly and very enthusiastically support.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member, in his remarks, spoke a fair bit about the government's environmental policy, or, we might say, its tax policy masquerading itself as environmental policy, yet the government also has a policy of giving a significant break in terms of the carbon tax to Canada's largest emitters. People in my riding certainly have a hard time understanding the differential treatment of large emitters and everyday consumers, who use a relatively small amount of energy resources in their daily lives but still very much need those resources to take the kids to soccer practice, pick up groceries and heat their homes.
    I wonder if the member could share, from his perspective, why the government is providing special treatment for large emitters yet is putting the brunt of the pressure on everyday consumers, moms and dads, and small businesses in my riding and his.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Alberta for his question. Before answering, I would like to look at the premise for his question.
    First, he said that this is a tax and that the revenues will go into government coffers. That is not at all the case.
    What we announced is very clear and I mentioned it in my speech. I know that the hon. member listened carefully to my comments. I clearly explained, as is set out in black and white in Bill C-86, budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2, that all revenues from pollution pricing will be returned to the provinces and territories where they were collected.
    I am sorry for taking a little too much time to answer the question, but I guarantee the member that it is not a tax. It is a pricing measure that we will subsequently return to the province or territory where the tax was applied.
    Mr. Speaker, I greatly appreciate this opportunity to debate with my colleague from the Outaouais about his thoughts on the federal budget. He is very good at expressing just how progressive his riding of Hull—Aylmer really is. It is quite clear that his constituents support putting a price on pollution, and I appreciate how articulate he is in communicating our government's perspective.
    I want to ask the member a question I often hear when I am going door to door in the Plateau and in northern Aylmer, which are areas I represent in Pontiac. Many of my constituents support the historic investments in infrastructure, in particular with respect to light rail in western Gatineau, because we need to reduce greenhouse gases and make our public transportation services more affordable and more effective.
    Can the member talk about how these historic investments in infrastructure in Gatineau are making it possible to look at light rail in the region?

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to start by apologizing to my esteemed colleague from Pontiac. He is doing a fabulous job of representing the people of Pontiac, Quebec, the riding next to mine. In my speech, I mentioned the tornado and how it affected Hull and Aylmer, but I forgot to mention Pontiac, which also suffered serious damage. I want to recognize the member for Pontiac for all the work he has done to help his constituents.
    I would like to thank him for his question about investment in infrastructure. My colleague and I have been working side by side on an innovative project that will directly reduce our region's greenhouse gas emissions. I am referring to the plans to bring light rail to Gatineau, especially the west end in phase one. The train will run right through his riding.
    All this is possible thanks to our government's green investments, the last budget's historic investments in infrastructure. For these environmental reasons, and for the sake of our constituents' well-being, I am delighted to be working with my colleague on this project and I want to commend him for his leadership.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, to have an economy that works for everyone, we need a tax system that is fair and we need all Canadians to pay their fair share. After all, the taxes we pay build the infrastructure that gets our goods to market. Taxes help create good, well-paying jobs and they fund the programs and services that enable Canadians to have a decent standard of living and an equal chance to succeed.
    For the past three years, tax fairness has been a cornerstone of the government's promise to grow a stronger middle class. To that end, one of the government's first actions was to cut taxes for the middle class and to raise them on the top 1%. This measure is leaving more than nine million Canadians with more money in their pockets.
    The government has also acted to support small businesses in Canada. They are, after all, the key driver of our economy, accounting for 70% of all private sector jobs. To enable small businesses in Canada to reinvest in their companies and create jobs, the government reduced the small business tax rate from 10.5% to 10% this year. As of January 2019, this rate will be further reduced to just 9%. Once this reduction to the rate of 9% is fully in effect, the average Canadian small business will have an additional $1,600 per year to reinvest in the business and to help the Canadian economy to thrive even further.
    As our economy grows, we need to ensure that the benefits of that growth are felt by more and more people. This means ensuring that more people have the opportunity to work and to earn a good living from that work. That is why the bill we are considering today takes a major step toward fulfilling the government's commitment to ensure that all Canadians receive the tax benefits and credits to which they are entitled, so that they and their families have the resources they need to succeed.
    In budget 2018, the government introduced the new Canada workers benefit, CWB. This is a strengthened version of the working income tax benefit and will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers, giving people a little extra help they need as they transition to work. The new CWB will encourage more people to join the workforce and will offer help to more than two million Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class. It will also raise some 70,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020.
    Starting in 2019, the government proposes to make it easier for people to access the benefit they have earned by enabling the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the CWB for any tax filer who has not claimed it. That would make the process automatic. Allowing the CRA to automatically provide the benefit to eligible filers would be especially helpful to people with reduced mobility, people who live far from service locations and people without Internet access. With the passage of the bill, an estimated 300,000 additional low-income workers would receive the new Canada workers benefit for the 2019 tax year.
    By improving access to the Canada workers benefit and providing for more generous benefits under the program through the first Budget Implementation Act of 2018, the government proposes to invest almost $1 billion more in new funding for this benefit in 2019, compared to the year before. This will be a very good investment since we estimate that the new and enhanced Canada workers benefit will directly benefit more than two million working Canadians. It can then contribute to our economy even further.
    Mr. Speaker, another important part of the bill is the measures it contains to improve tax fairness in Canada. In this budget implementation act, no. 2, the government is following through on a commitment to allow charities full ability to pursue their charitable purposes by engaging in non-partisan political activities and the development of public policy. Charities play a key role in Canadian society and provide a valuable service to all Canadians. They also provide perspectives that enrich public debate and help shape the formulation of public policy.

  (1235)  

    Under these proposed changes, charities would have a much broader scope to engage in public policy advocacy that advances their charitable aims. The proposed amendments accomplish this by removing the existing limits on non-partisan political activities from the Income Tax Act, including quantitative limits.
    In the first Budget Implementation Act of 2018, the government stood up for our men and women in uniform. We extended tax relief automatically to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and police officers deployed on international operational missions, determined by the Minister of National Defence, regardless of the level of risk associated with their mission.
     In recent years, Canadian police officers have increasingly been deployed on international missions that are independent of missions overseen by the Department of National Defence. Accordingly, in this act, the government is now proposing to allow the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to determine international police missions that would qualify for the tax deduction for Canadian Armed Forces members and police officers. Allowing international police missions to qualify for the tax deduction would ensure the same tax treatment for Canadian police officers deployed on international peace and stability missions as for those who are internationally deployed on missions determined by the Minister of National Defence.
    I would now like to talk about other measures from this bill that would improve tax fairness by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. The bill contains an amendment to the Income Tax Act that would preserve the integrity of Canada's tax base by ensuring that non-residents cannot use partnerships or trusts for tax planning techniques to inappropriately extract profits from their Canadian subsidiaries free of Canadian withholding tax. No one should be able to inappropriately extract profits from Canadian corporations tax-free and move the money offshore.
    It is also known that taxpayers have engaged in aggressive tax planning in which they artificially combine their investments or activities with those of other taxpayers into one offshore entity, in order to inappropriately reduce or defer paying Canadian income tax. Taxpayers who use such tax planning strategies seek to artificially avoid having legal control of their investments or activities or to artificially satisfy a requirement for a minimum number of employees. This act proposes two new amendments that close two separate loopholes and ensure that the taxpayers' investment income is reported accurately. By restricting this tax planning, we would ensure that everyone gets appropriately taxed on their investment income and activities and contributes to Canadian society.
    These amendments are directed at aggressive tax planning used to avoid or defer Canadian tax. Their aim is not to interfere with legitimate investments, but to prevent unjustified tax avoidance and to clarify the intended policy for both taxpayers and tax practitioners.
    Finally, tax fairness is a key pillar of a growing economy. It instills confidence in Canadians and helps to create opportunities for everyone. The proposed tax measures contained in this legislation are important steps in the government's plan for achieving tax fairness and ensuring opportunities for all Canadians to succeed. I urge my honourable colleagues in this House to support this bill.

  (1240)  

    Mr. Speaker, during the time allocation debate, I expressed concerns about the fact that I would not be able to have a chance to speak to this budget implementation act.
    What I would like to ask my colleague is this. This is a big bill. It is a complex bill and in division 4, section 19 there is an addition to reserve policy. Can my colleague tell us with regard to that addition to reserve policy what is being changed from what it was previously and why that change is necessary?
    Mr. Speaker, we have heard comments from the other side that this is too big a bill to be debated and that maybe we are doing too much for Canadians in this bill. My speech was focusing on tax fairness and on the working tax benefit, which is something I am sure the NDP would be very interested in and want to explore further.
    I am limiting my comments today to tax fairness and tax planning, in order to help raise people out of poverty into the middle class.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to read a quote from Teamsters Canada:
    For now, the government must continue their efforts to crack down on tax evasion. Teamsters also urge the government to eliminate the tax credit on stock options.... The write-off disproportionately benefits Canada's richest CEOs, who already earn over 193 times the average worker's salary.
    I am interested in the member's comments on why the tax credit on stock options was not included in the budget. We have been asking for quite some time to have this eliminated.
    Mr. Speaker, it is great to have the member for Kootenay—Columbia in the House. He was in China a few days ago and has been travelling extensively on behalf of the House. I would like to thank him for the good work that he is doing.
    The bill in front of us addresses a lot of our tax issues. We will need to look at a comprehensive tax review of all of Canada's tax laws in the future. This 800-page document does not address every tax eventuality that needs to be addressed.
    I am sure that we will continue to work with Teamsters and with labour to make tax fairness an ongoing discussion in future debates around taxes.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague, our shadow minister for indigenous affairs, just asked an important specific question about measures in the budget dealing with indigenous issues. That was obviously not the focus of my colleague's speech, but it is part of the bill that we are debating today.
    The member for Guelph did not answer that question. I want to give him a chance to answer that question again and if he does not want to answer this specific question, it might be worth asking if he has read this 800-page bill and if he is familiar with the indigenous provisions in it.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the investments that Canada is making in our indigenous communities. We have made investments in mental health and in education. We have also made water advisory investments with indigenous peoples. We are working side by side with indigenous peoples and making the appropriate investments as we go forward with them. We are working on the new relationship recognizing the rights that indigenous people have and reflecting those in our budget documents.
    I am really proud with what we are doing in this budget. I hope to see further advances in investments in indigenous communities in the years ahead.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Guelph talked about the measures in the budget which deal with making sure that there are no tax avoidance strategies, especially ones which would take money out of Canadian corporations and take it overseas. This is an important issue.
    Could the member please speak to that part of the budget implementation act?
    Mr. Speaker, the budget implementation act that we are discussing today would close loopholes. It clarifies some items that were in grey areas that needed clarification, so that tax planners understand what is legal and what is not. We are clarifying the issues around how tax must be paid on money that is generated in Canada.
    It is really a matter of clarification so that going forward, people do not use aggressive tax planning techniques that are counter to the spirit of the bill.

[Translation]

    I wish to inform the hon. members that there have been more than five hours of debate on this motion since the first round of speeches. Consequently, all subsequent interventions shall be limited to ten minutes for speeches and five minutes for questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour and a privilege to rise in this place, and today, in some ways, perhaps more than others, because I will be only one of a handful of members who will have the opportunity to debate this bill at second reading.
    We have heard already today, as we debated the time allocation motion, about how this is an 800-page omnibus bill that will now be debated under the guillotine of time allocation. This is not a scenario where debate had become stale or an opposition filibuster was looming that the government had to move time allocation. This is an example of a government that is simply trying to ram through an 800-page bill without proper debate. There really is no other explanation for what is happening right now.
    This bill is an omnibus bill. As was mentioned by the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo during the debate on time allocation, it is a bill that contains within it three bills on indigenous policy. We understand it contains two transportation bills and changes to some 20-plus statutes, and that the government has allocated a truncated day today plus last Friday for debate on it. It is a shame.
    It is shameful in particular because the Liberal government campaigned heavily on the issue of omnibus legislation. The Liberals promised they would never table omnibus bills. They promised they would change the Standing Orders to prevent any government from tabling omnibus bills, yet amid the debacle in the spring of 2017 over changes to the Standing Orders, the result was a change to the standing order that did give the Speaker some power to split a bill. Indeed, that is what is before us now.
    We are debating this bill in the limited time that we have without knowing yet if the bill will be divided. With every minute that passes, we are closer to having to vote on this bill without clarity as to what we will actually be voting on. The NDP has requested to have this bill split and we do not know yet what the Speaker's ruling is going to be. It is difficult enough to digest an 800-page bill and here we are debating it without even knowing how the final vote will be put to the House later today. It is a shame that we are so hopelessly rushed on this bill.
    This bill is a culmination of several Liberal broken promises. In my riding it came up fairly often during the campaign. People talked about omnibus legislation, and the Liberals promised never to table an omnibus bill. They promised never to invoke closure. They also promised that they would balance the budget by 2019. They actually went out of their way in their campaign to differentiate themselves from both the Conservatives and the New Democrats, who had in our own ways promised balanced budgets.
     A key point of differentiation which the Liberals took to the doors was that they would run a modest $10-billion deficit for a maximum of three years and return to a balanced budget by 2019. They were elected on a promise to run a modest deficit solely for the purpose of funding an infrastructure program. This was not to be a structural deficit. This was not to be a deficit through which to fund ongoing program expenditure. This was a capital deficit that the Liberals were going to run in order to fund infrastructure and infrastructure only. This was what they took to the doors and this is the primary premise upon which the Liberal government was elected.

  (1250)  

    The Liberals have broken their promise on omnibus bills. They have broken their promise on closure. They are hopelessly and helplessly breaking their promise over and over again on the debt and deficit.
     If we look at this bill, at 800 pages, combined with the 400-odd pages each in the spring BIA and in the budget itself, we are up to 1,600 pages of budget bills tabled in this House without mention of any kind of a plan to return to a balanced budget. This was a promise. This was not something that the Conservatives would just fixate on because this is what we promised in the election as to what we think the Liberals should do. They actually took it to their own voters. The people who voted for the Liberal Party voted for a party with an expectation of a balanced budget by 2019, and it has not happened and it is not going to happen.
     We see now that the Liberals government has been lucky. The Liberals walked into a stronger than expected world economy. They have been lucky on interest rates. They have been lucky on real estate inflation. They have been lucky to receive another $20 billion in unbudgeted revenue that they have blown through as well without being able to balance the budget. We know that the finance department's own numbers say that the government will not balance the budget until 2045. How can the government and the governing party members possibly take this to the doors in 2019? The Liberals did not promise their talking points on maintaining a low level of debt-to-GDP. That is not what they promised.
    As for this budget implementation act, which contains no plan for a balanced budget, the Liberals neglect to address an important issue in the budget itself. On page 290, the budget comments on the $20 price differential on Alberta crude. The budget addressed this as a concern. It said that a price differential of $20 a barrel on Canadian crude was a concern and a threat for revenue projections going forward. The budget claims that the differential would shrink in the year ahead from $20 to $15 and that this would be good. Their forward revenue projections assumed a reduction in the differential because new pipelines would be built and the Trans Mountain expansion would go ahead and would get Alberta crude to Vancouver. Then it could be taken to refineries in California, where the heavier oil would get a much better price than if taken by rail to Oklahoma or if it did not go anywhere for lack of any transportation capacity.
    We all know that has not happened. Here we are today with a $50 differential. What is that going to do to the revenue projections? The Liberals are already expecting it to shrink. It has ballooned out to $50 per barrel. There is no plan for a balanced budget. We know that their revenue is threatened by the differential on oil. It is substantial. Billions of dollars in tax revenue are at stake in the differential. We have an 800-page bill on which we have a few hours to debate. I understand it has 300 complicated pages in its pay equity section. There are complicated labour code changes. There is an intellectual property component. There are new CRA components to this as well. All of that has to be dealt with somehow in a short period of time, yet this BIA gives us more spending, more deficits, likely more red tape and more difficulties for small business. There is no plan for a balanced budget. There is no plan to fix the Alberta discount and the threat it represents to Canadian governments, provincial and federal.

  (1255)  

    Therefore, I cannot support this bill and the current government because of its broken promises and shameful use of time allocation and omnibus legislation.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's intervention today. However, I take note of his repeated attempts to say that this particular government, and the Liberal Party, perhaps, has been lucky. It was not luck that led to Paul Martin making sure that the right restrictions were in place when he was finance minister so that we did not lead into the same housing crisis the States got itself into. It is not by luck that a country has the fastest-growing GDP among the G7 nations. It is fiscal, prudent responsibility.
    It is not luck when a decision is made to invest in real investments in infrastructure that will pay off down the road. Rather than buying gazebos, for example, we would invest in roads and bridges, putting people to work and changing the environment we have so that people can continue to succeed. Therefore, I take great exception to that.
    I imagine that the member has a great retort for me, but I thought I would provide that comment.
    Mr. Speaker, in invoking the previous Liberal prime minister, Paul Martin, the member seems to have forgotten that there was another prime minister in between for nine and a half years. The good luck I refer to is indeed that the Liberals inherited the nine and half year legacy of the previous government. The country's fiscal foundation is entirely the track record of the Stephen Harper government. Indeed, the Liberal government could maybe learn a thing or two from the Paul Martin government, while we are at it.

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member across the way that we are still trying to forget about those Harper days.
    Conservatives stand up time and again on the budget, and what they like to talk about is the issue of deficits. When we look at Canada as a nation, with its history of 151 years, I believe that the Conservatives have been in government for just less than 40% of that time and the Liberals the other 60%. However, when we look at the total amount of debt that has been created, 75% has been as a result of Conservatives. If we look at Stephen Harper, he inherited a multi-billion dollar surplus. Even before the recession, he turned it into a billion-plus dollar deficit.
    Why would this government want to take any advice from the Stephen Harper Conservatives, when they did so poorly on the issue of deficit management?
    Mr. Speaker, the history of politics and the change of governments has been one of Liberals creating a financial mess that a Conservative government has had to come in and clean up. We will be there for Canadians in 2019.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge talked a lot about the accumulating debt and how there is no plan to even return to a balanced budget for the foreseeable future. I am wondering if the member could tell us what impact that is going to have on our children and grandchildren in years to come.
    Mr. Speaker, the impact will potentially be severe if we cannot get past this and reverse the track the current government is on. I want to add that every provincial and territorial finance minister in Canada has at least some kind of documented plan to return to a balanced budget. The only finance minister in Canada who simply buries his head in the sand and refuses to answer questions at committee and in this place as to when he will balance the budget is this finance minister. He is the only one in Canada who cannot even say the words.
    Mr. Speaker, while we are on the topic of getting advice from Stephen Harper, we might want to consider taking the advice of his former director of policy, who is currently out there defending a price on pollution. I would argue that yes, there are some folks from that previous government who have at least wised up when it comes to certain issues.
    I welcome the opportunity to speak to this very important piece of legislation. I will be focusing my remarks today on part 1 of the second budget implementation act that is before us today, but before I do that, I would like to read out a few jurisdictions: Alberta, Argentina, Australia, British Columbia, Beijing, California, Chile, Denmark, the European Union, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Massachusetts, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Quebec, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tokyo, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Washington state.
    What do those jurisdictions have in common? I will tell everyone what they have in common. They currently have, or will have in the very near future, a price on pollution.
    That is one of the things I am so incredibly proud of when it comes to this particular bill. We are taking the matter of our changing climate and how the world is going to respond to it seriously. The next time a Conservative member asks what Canada can do or what Canada's contribution to this is because we are responsible for so little in terms of pollution in the world, I will refer that member to the work Kazakhstan is currently doing. I can only imagine what its impact is, yet it still sees this as a very important matter to pursue.
    We talk about why this legislation is important. Let me start with some of the impacts as they relate to health and how people in the world will be affected. These statistics are according to the World Health Organization. It has estimated that almost 12% of global deaths in 2012 came as a result of air pollution. The WHO also estimates that seven million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air, 4.2 million deaths as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution and 3.8 million deaths as a result of exposure to various household pollutants. Ninety-one per cent of the world's population lives in places where poor air quality exceeds the WHO guideline limits. These are just the health reasons why this piece of legislation and doing something about pollution is so important.
    Let us put that aside for a second and talk about the recent study the United Nations put out on climate change and what it means to the world. It means that in a very short time, we are talking about decades, we will change our environment throughout the world in a way that will significantly impact people. We might think, as Canadians, as I have said before in the House, that we live in a relatively safe climate and environment and ask what a difference of 1°C or 2°C will really make to us. That is fair enough, if we buy into that.
    Perhaps we should consider for a second the migration impacts from climate change. When the world starts to make decisions, and people start to move around the world, those migration patterns will cause world disorder and lead to an environment that makes it a lot riskier for Canada to continue to participate on the world stage, as it relates to our economy and social issues, in the way we have come to know Canada can be great.

  (1305)  

    The way the budget implementation act proposes to deal with the price on pollution for those provinces and territories that have chosen not to participate, that have decided that they want to hold out, despite the huge list of jurisdictions I have listed that are participating, is by instituting a price on pollution. This would be a federal price on pollution that we would be collecting and immediately rebating back, sometimes in advance of collecting it, to individuals and households throughout the province in which it was collected. For example, in my home province of Ontario, 90% of the funds that would be collected through the price on pollution would be delivered right back to those households. The remaining 10% would be used to help schools, hospitals, indigenous peoples, universities, colleges, and small and medium-sized businesses deal with matters that pertain to becoming more efficient in terms of the impacts they are having on our climate.
    We have had a lot of debate in this House about why a price on pollution is good and why some might think it would be bad. I stand by the well-documented economic theory that when we put certain prices on different mechanisms in the economy and the marketplace, we see the players in those marketplaces reacting differently. Therefore, when we put a price on pollution, those who are polluting will start to find ways to become more efficient. They will invest, they will create, and they will discover new ways of doing things that do not pollute as much so that they can increase their bottom lines. It is a basic economic principle. The fact that the Conservatives do not buy into this is astounding to me, quite honestly, speaking of which, I think it is an appropriate time to mention some of those who do support a price on pollution.
    Let us talk about Doug Ford, the new Premier of Ontario, who our leader of the opposition is spending a lot of time with and becoming very close with. His chief budget adviser was quoted in an article, which reads:
    Ontario's anti-carbon tax premier once told Canadian senators that putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions is “the single most important thing that any government can do to transition to a low-carbon economy.”
    That was from the chief budget adviser for Doug Ford. I have already mentioned Stephen Harper's former director of policy, who is defending a price on pollution.
    Let us get out of partisan politics and talk about the Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer, who said that a carbon tax is the only way to genuinely and effectively solve climate change, which is exactly what we have been talking about. As reported by CBC,
    Americans William Nordhaus and Paul Romer won this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences for their work in adapting economic theory to take better account of environmental issues and technological progress.
    According to the World Bank, international carbon pricing took off with the introduction of the flexibility mechanisms under the Kyoto protocol of 1997. I bring that up, because I think it is extremely relevant. It was a Liberal government at the time that signed onto Kyoto. However, shortly after, the Conservatives pulled out of it, despite the fact that we were on our way. We heard a little earlier about how the Conservatives fix the mistakes of the Liberals, but I think the exact opposite is happening right now.
    In conclusion, I am extremely proud of this proposed legislation. I am extremely proud to see our government moving forward on this.
     I started off by listing a number of jurisdictions and what they have done in their attempts to put a price on pollution. What I can also say is that a lot of those jurisdictions are reporting huge successes. For example, Sweden enacted its price on pollution in 1991. It was one of the first governments to do so. Sweden currently has GDP growth that is 60% higher than what it was in 1990 and at the same time has reduced its emissions by 25%. It grew its economy by 58%, which shows that growing the economy and decreasing emissions is possible.

  (1310)  

    As members can hear, my passion lies with the price on pollution. I am very proud to be part of a government that is bringing it forward.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's thoughts on one area of the bill, a bill that is 850-plus pages. When parliamentarians stand to vote on the legislation, with the very minimal debate time we have had, people will be very unfamiliar with many parts of the bill because they have not been given proper scrutiny.
    I asked one of the member's colleagues about division 19 of part 4 on additions to reserves. I would like to ask the member about divisions 11 and 12 of part 4 on the changes to both the First Nations Land Management Act and First Nations Fiscal Management Act. Could the member describe what those changes are and why they have been put in place?
    Mr. Speaker, the member started off by talking about how large the bill was. That has been mentioned a number of times by the other side of the House. I do not disagree with that. When we have a budget bill, it will be a comprehensive bill that includes a number of different parts, including the parts she mentioned.
     Let us talk about some of the other parts in the bill, such as pay equity, improving access to Canada workers benefit and modernizing the federal labour standards. If the Conservatives are against any of those, rather than just complain about this being a large bill, why do they not talk about what they are against? Are they against pay equity? If they are, they should just stand and say it.
    Mr. Speaker, in this very limited debate, the government has invoked closure yet again on a vital bill of 800 pages. We are all still digging into the details of it.
    I heard and appreciated my Liberal colleague's comments about the polluter-pay principle. I note one of the pieces that is amended in this 800-page budget implementation bill is the ship-source oil pollution fund. There are a number of measures. This is meant to be an industry-funded provision in the event of pollution in marine waters. My colleague across the way represents a maritime-reliant riding, as I do. Its jobs and the environment are dependent on a clean environment.
    I am concerned that one of the measures proposed in the bill to amend the ship-source oil pollution fund allows the government to top up the fund in the event that it becomes depleted. My information is that industry has not contributed to this fund since 1976. If the member is so committed to the polluter-pay principle, why did his government not make that amendment to the bill?

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are on the right path. The only thing the Conservative and the NDP members can really do is criticize the fact that they do not have enough time to debate the bill.
    However, the reality of the situation is that the budget implementation bills are implementing measures that were already released in the budget. Therefore, members would have known about a lot of this before. Not only that, even with respect to this bill specifically, it is only at second reading. It still has to go to committee. Then it comes back to the House again for debate. It then goes to the Senate and goes through the same process at the Senate. There is a lot of time to be discussing this.
    I look forward to seeing the member at the finance committee so she can be part of the debate on this.
    Mr. Speaker, I would just like to come back to an earlier question by my colleague, the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, about the impacts this legislation would have on first nations.
    It talks about the changes to the financial management system. Section 50 says, “On the request of any of the following entities, the Board may review the entity’s financial management system”, be that a band, a tribal council, an aboriginal group or a not-for-profit organization.
    One of the things I have heard from people in my riding is that there has been some concern about the way the finances have been handled on reserve. Individuals have wanted to look at some of these things. There has not been any way for the federal government to allow individuals to have a look at some of these things. I would like to note that at the indigenous and northern affairs committee, our being allowed to tackle this was voted down by the Liberals.
    Would the member not consider the fact that we would need a little more time just to study this and to get stakeholder feedback from our first nations communities as to whether this is legitimate legislation?
    Mr. Speaker, absolutely, we need to do that work. However, we cannot bring members of the public before the House. We do it in committee. What happens when we pass this at this stage? It goes to committee and then at committee the various different stakeholders can come forward.
    One of the committees that studies legislation in the greatest detail is the finance committee. When the bill comes before the finance committee, which is where it will go when we vote on it, the member will have the opportunity, and I am sure he will be there with the member from the NDP, to ensure these concerns are raised on behalf of the constituents.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak in support of Bill C-86, the second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures.
    Let me start by acknowledging that I am speaking on the traditional land of the Algonquin peoples.
    On this very auspicious day, I would like to wish all those who are celebrating Diwali a very happy Diwali. I hope all my constituents and all those in Canada who celebrate this very special occasion are able to see the light and overcome darkness.
    Speaking of the light, the last three years the Liberal government has shone quite a bit of light on our country. A number of remarkable achievements are worthy of note, in particular on trade. We have set Canada on a course that will enable Canada to be one of the freest and most open trade markets anywhere in the world. These trade agreements include: the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, also known as CETA; the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada and countries in Pacific Asia; and of course most recently, the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement with our North American allies. This means millions of new markets, billions of new dollars in trade and countless opportunities for Canadians today and for the future.
    This unprecedented access to new and emerging markets will create unimaginable global opportunities for all of us. I know my constituents were quite worried earlier in the year about getting a good deal under the USMCA. They were worried about Canada giving in too much or Canada being shut out altogether. That is no longer the case. For close to 18 months, our negotiators have worked day and night to get not any deal, but a good deal for Canada. I want to thank and acknowledge our Minister of Foreign Affairs and her entire team for their tireless work. She has indeed made us all very proud.
    There is more good news. Every time I meet employers, one of the issues they bring to my attention is the difficulty finding the people to fill good jobs in Canada. They complain that they are unable to hire people and retain them, regardless of the money they pay, and oftentimes these are high-paying jobs.
    Right now, we have historically low rates of unemployment. In fact, it is the lowest it has been for the last 40 years. Our government has helped propel our economy forward, making it the fastest growing economy among G7 countries and one of the fastest in the world. This has led to the creation of over a half a million jobs since we were elected in 2015. Of course there is more good news for small business, as our tax rate will go from 11% to 9% as of this January.
    There are many important initiatives in the budget, and I could talk about all of them. In particular, the establishment of the status of women as a full ministry, the implementation of pay equity legislation, along with legislating gender budgeting, are critical parts of our government's agenda. I know many of my colleagues have spoken about it extensively.
    Today, I want to highlight two very important things and focus on them. First is the issue of poverty reduction. The second is the price on pollution.
     Let me start with poverty reduction. Poverty is linked to a number of different socio-economic outcomes in our society. Whether the longevity of our life, or success in education or success in the workplace, poverty is one of the central determinants of success or limitations in our society. Our government believes that everyone deserves a real and fair chance of success. That is what drives us to grow the middle class and support people who are working hard to join it.

  (1320)  

    Canada's first-ever national poverty reduction strategy sets new poverty reduction targets and establishes the federal government as a full partner in the fight against poverty. It also builds on the progress we have made together so far. These include the introduction of the Canada child benefit in 2015 and, most recently, the indexing of the CCB. This has lifted over 300,000 children out of poverty. My riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park alone has been given $76 million in just the last year.
    The second is the reversion of the previous government's changes to the guaranteed income supplement and old age security, which basically restores the age of retirement from 67 to 65 years old and makes benefits for seniors more generous, lifting 100,000 seniors out of poverty each year.
    The launch of Canada's first-ever national housing strategy last year will not only create 100,000 new housing units and renew and renovate more than 300,000 existing units, it will also remove more than half a million Canadians from critical housing need.
    Since 2015, our government has been working hard to lift Canadians out of poverty with the help of programs like the CCB, the top up to the GIS and the Canada workers benefit. By 2019, the government's investments are expected to help lift over 650,000 Canadians out of poverty. The poverty reduction strategy, called “Opportunity for All: Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy”, is a bold vision that will build a Canada where every Canadian has a realistic chance to succeed.
    “Opportunity for All” is a long-term strategy that builds up significant investments that the government has made since 2015 to reduce poverty altogether. There are three pillars to this strategy: first, dignity, lifting Canadians out of poverty by ensuring everyone's basic needs are met; second, opportunity and inclusion, helping Canadians join the middle class by promoting equality of opportunity and full participation in every aspect of our society; and third, resilience and security, supporting the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty by supporting income security and resilience.
    I want to note one aspect of our government's agenda is the anti-black racism aspect, and I would be remiss if I did not address it. It is part of the work I do as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    Our government understands that any plan for reducing poverty must also address systemic barriers, such as racism and discrimination, that hold some Canadians back. By removing barriers and levelling the playing field, all Canadians will be able to reach their full potential. To help address systemic barriers of racism, our government is launching, and is currently in the process, consultations across the country, which will establish a national framework for anti-racism. We will bring together experts, community organizations, citizens, interfaith leaders and others to work out a national strategy. A first step toward this is the recognition that anti-black racism is at the core of the discussions among other forms of racism and discrimination.
    The second aspect I want to highlight is the price on pollution. There is no question that we have a problem with our environment. The disasters we have seen for the last number of decades seem to be getting worse every year. Whether it is the floods in Toronto or the wildfires out west, we see the challenges of climate change first hand.
    Last year for Canada's 150th birthday, I had the opportunity to visit St. Anthony, Newfoundland, a beautiful part of our country where icebergs are prevalent. One thing the local folks told me was that the number of icebergs really spoke to the reality of climate change. We know the temperature is rising and it is hurting the environment and limiting our way of life, particularly for indigenous people. That is why it is important that this government address the issue of climate change by pricing pollution and ensuring that those who pollute pay a fair share to ensure pollution no longer is free. This is not a free commodity that Canadians or industry can take for granted. If people pollute, they must pay. That is the principle behind our pollution pricing plan.
    With that, I would like to once again reiterate my support for Bill C-86.

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, further to the member's speech, specifically regarding poverty and some of the barriers that exist, I think it is important to remember that poverty knows no skin colour. It reaches into all aspects of our society and is something that we all probably face in every single one of our ridings across the country.
    Having said that, some demographics are more stricken by poverty than others. When we are talking about poverty, we are also talking about the cost of living. We are talking about which costs are increasing for those who have the least in society and how that affects them the most. In his speech, the member pushed for a carbon tax, which has also been called a price on carbon or a mechanism, or any of seven different terms, while at the same time speaking about poverty.
    This tax is having the greatest effect on those with the least means to be able to live, so my question for the member is this. How can the government be proposing this tax at the same time it is trying to defeat poverty? This tax is going to further increase poverty in this country.

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, poverty is absolutely an important issue. My friend opposite is correct that it affects all of us in all of our ridings. Particular communities are affected much more deeply than others, such as those in northern and rural areas across the country. That is an important issue we need to address.
     I know that in the past decades, we have failed to address the root causes of poverty. That is what we are really getting into here, particularly the shortage of housing, the lack of investments in public infrastructure and in transportation. It is those very important investments that are critical to uplifting people out of poverty.
    At the same time, we cannot ignore the environment. It is critical and the way that our pricing on pollution has been undertaken, 90% of the money will go back to those families in communities who need it the most. That is our fundamental—
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock.
    Mr. Speaker, the member used to sit with me at the northern and aboriginal affairs committee, and I know he was passionate about his work there. One thing we did was to try to pass a motion calling on the indigenous and northern affairs committee to study divisions 11, 12 and 19 of this BIA bill.
    Seeing that the Liberal members voted that down at committee, could this member just elaborate on what the thinking was behind putting these particular divisions into this bill and how they are going to impact first nations communities?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, each and every committee operates on its own and its membership decides what to do and what kind of study to undertake. Therefore, I cannot speak to the particular point my friend opposite brought up.
    Certainly, there will be ample opportunity, once Bill C-86 goes to the finance committee for study. If the finance committee requires additional support from other committees, they may well ask for that.
     However, at this point, it is important that the bill goes to committee and a full and comprehensive study takes place before it comes back here.
    Mr. Speaker, in the hon. member's speech he talked about the Canada child benefit. Can the member please explain how the Canada child benefit is making an impact in his community and what he is hearing from families about how it is helping them in their day-to-day lives?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and I work closely together, as we represent ridings covering a geographically close area.
    Of course, the topic of the Canada child benefit keeps coming up over and over again. Overwhelmingly, people talk about how it impacts them in a very personal way. In my riding the impact is worth $76 million. It has been put toward to buy food and pay for soccer and other things, such as extracurricular activities at school. It is a game changer in our communities and I am sure it is as well across the country.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we have come together this afternoon to discuss Bill C-86, budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2. Simply put, for anyone listening, this debate is about the bill that implements the principal measures of the budget.
    This debate is vital to Canadian democracy and crucial to ensuring that Canadian taxpayers know how their money is being spent. Unfortunately, closure has been invoked on this debate. Three years ago, the government told Canadians that it was committed to doing things differently, that it would never use closure, and that it would not introduce huge bills like this one. It is doing the exact opposite. Closure has been imposed over 50 times. This bill is not just 10 paragraphs long; it has 858 pages. It is what is known as an omnibus bill. Bill C-86 contains provisions dealing with labour code standards, for instance, and other things that have nothing to do with the budget. The Liberal way is to say one thing during the election campaign and do the opposite once they are in power.
    Furthermore, when you look at Canada's budgetary situation, you see that it is exactly the opposite of what the Liberal Party had promised, with hand over heart, to win Canadians' trust. The Liberals did have their trust, but unfortunately they have squandered it.
    Keep in mind that the Liberal Party promised to run small deficits for three years before returning to a balanced budget in 2019, which miraculously happens to be an election year. The Prime Minister came up with an interesting economic theory. During an interview with CBC, he said that budgets balance themselves, implying that deficits do not exist. I checked with every economic school of thought in the world and aside from the current Prime Minister of Canada, there is not a single serious economist who thinks that budgets balance themselves. The Prime Minister may see rainbows and unicorns when he looks at the budget, but people who know how to count certainly do not.
    If budgets balanced themselves then we could expect the budget to be balanced in 2019, but the opposite is true. For three years the Liberals have been running deficits that are two to three times higher than expected. Today, 2019 is just around the corner and the government has absolutely no idea when it plans to return to balanced budgets.
    It is certainly not for lack of trying on our part. Just today the official opposition finance critic, the hon. member for Carleton, questioned the Minister of Finance five times. He was in the House, where he could have clearly stated when the government plans to return to a balanced budget.

  (1335)  

[English]

    Our question was crystal clear: When will Canada get back to a zero deficit? We asked him that, not once, not twice, not three times, but five times in a row and, unfortunately, the Minister of Finance dodged the issue. Maybe the Minister of Finance will dodge the issue, but he cannot dodge reality, and certainly not his responsibility to Canadian taxpayers.

[Translation]

    Why are deficits bad? They are bad because, ultimately, our children and grandchildren will have to pick up the tab. Running deficits is irresponsible because that is not our money.
    I know that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is a credible person. He is an honourable man whom I respect and hold in high esteem. The problem is the government saying that it is thinking of children in this budget. Sure it is thinking of children—it is forcing them to foot the bill once they hit the job market. That is the Liberal Party way, but that is not how a responsible government that got itself elected by promising small deficits should behave.
    We all remember how the Liberals went on and on about making the rich pay more taxes.

[English]

    The famous 1% of Canadian taxpayers will get hurt by the Liberal government. Oh yes, looking at the results and the figures, since those guys were elected three years ago, the famous 1% have not paid more taxes, but more than $4 billion less. That is the Liberals' economy. That is the Prime Minister's economy. That is the way those guys were elected, by saying, “No deficit in 2019 and the 1% will pay more”. They said that, but that is not the reality today.

[Translation]

    Members will also recall that the Liberals promised to run very small deficits to stimulate the economy while investing billions of dollars in infrastructure. Once again, the results are not there. In one of his most recent reports a few months ago, the Parliamentary Budget Officer indicated that there was no infrastructure plan. It is not the official opposition, members of the NDP or the Conservative Party of Canada who said that. Everything that has been done has boosted the economy by only 0.1%, so that is just one more promise this government has broken.
    The Liberal government has completely lost control of the public purse. People need to understand something. It is only natural that government spending will go up every year for two reasons: population growth and inflation. If the population increases, the government has to provide more services, which costs more money. If inflation rises, the government has to spend more to prevent a freeze down the road. That is fine. However, the government did not take into account the combination of these two basic factors in its calculations. It has spent three times more than it should have based on the combination of inflation and population growth. Simply put, the Liberals do not know how to count and they are spending recklessly.
    That brings us to the troubling signs we are seeing today. First of all, investments in Canada are in free fall, dropping by 5%. If we break down this sad and alarming reality further, we discover that unfortunately, thanks to the current government's ineptitude, combined with the new U.S. administration's solicitous approach to managing and stimulating investment, Canadian investment in the United States is up 65% and U.S. investment in Canada is down 52%.
    The two indices that we use to determine whether the Canadian economy is getting sufficient stimulation from an investment standpoint suggest that Americans are investing less in Canada and Canadians are investing more in the United States. That is bad news on two counts.
    Another concern is related to the announcement made by the Governor of the Bank of Canada. I am not referring to the Governor General, although former governors general have been in the news lately, some for debatable reasons and others for very bad reasons. The current Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, made it clear that playtime was over last week when he announced that after modest interest rate hikes, we should get used to the idea of a minimum interest rate of 3%, or potentially higher.
    This warning sign should to be taken into account when major budget checks or manoeuvres are being done, but unfortunately, this government is not doing anything about it. It does not care. Given that we will be paying $24 billion in interest on our debt this year alone, and that figure could soon rise to $35 billion and beyond, it seems obvious that we need to curb our spending. We need to stop spending three times more money than the inflation rate combined with population growth allows. We need to ensure sound management of public funds.
    Canadians will have to contend with the Liberal carbon tax next year. The Liberals boast about their lofty principles. They are always ready to work with the provinces as long as the provinces work with them and say exactly what they are saying. When the provinces want nothing to do with the Liberal carbon tax, it is imposed on them by the government.
    That is not how federal-provincial relations should be conducted. We must work together. If by chance the provincial governments want to have a carbon tax or participate in the carbon exchange, it would be their choice. However, if they are not interested and decide to opt out, the federal government will twist their arm. That is not the right approach.
    The government is obviously talking out of both sides of its mouth. It says that there must be a price on pollution, which is their new slogan, but it is not for everyone. Under the Liberals, the big emitters will get a discount, not of 5%, or 10% or even 50%, but of 90%.

  (1340)  

    These are the same people who said that the rich would pay more, when in fact they are paying less. These are the same people who said that they want to tax carbon and polluters, except for the biggest polluters.
    In light of this, we will be voting against the bill and exposing the Liberal government's contradictions.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent is known for his bombast, but the problem is that his comments on pollution pricing mean nothing. He knows full well that our proposal is, I dare say, a Conservative principle. We want to put a price on pollution. The very concept of an economy involves putting a price on the production inputs required for our economic activities. Pollution is one such input.
    Why is he against putting a price on pollution? I do not understand. I know the member to be an honourable man whose beliefs are generally consistent.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to say hello to my member of Parliament. When I am in the House, the member for Hull—Aylmer is my MP. I get his email updates regularly.
    I have two things to say in response to his comments.
    If he truly wanted to be consistent with the price on pollution, as he calls it, or rather the Liberal carbon tax, he would make it applicable across the board, to all those who emit greenhouse gases. Instead, Canada's biggest polluters will get a 90% exemption. This is the way the Liberals operate, and, I should mention, this applies everywhere in Canada.
    Our approach was always to help businesses pollute less. This is a positive and constructive approach. The Liberals punish, but we help reduce pollution. The former government's results speak for themselves and cannot be ignored: greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.2% under the Conservative government, while Canada's GDP increased by 16.9%. This was the Conservatives' record, and Canadians are proud of it.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I start off by congratulating my friend across the way for winning his award last night.
    Having said that, I wonder if my friend could explain to me how it is that when we look at what I would classify as the bottom line of a good government, the number of jobs that have been created working with Canadians and small businesses from across virtually all regions of the country, we have been able to see well in excess of 500,000 new jobs to Canada's economy. That far exceeds anything even remotely close to what Stephen Harper ever did.
    Can my friend explain why it is that Stephen Harper's government was never able to achieve the type of job growth that this government has been able to achieve in two to three years? I suggest that is one of the reasons that our plan is working. Canada's middle class is growing. It is healthier today than it ever was under Stephen Harper.
    Mr. Speaker, first let me pay my respects to my colleague from Winnipeg North for having been nominated twice yesterday for a Maclean's award. I also congratulate him for the award he got a year ago.
    Let us talk about the facts.

[Translation]

    The reality is that the current government arrived in midstream when the global economy is ticking along, our main economic partner, the U.S., is going through a remarkable economic boom, and the price of a key component of our exports, in other words oil, increased rather nicely over the past few years. These are all factors that are making the Canadian economy grow and that the current government has absolutely no control over.
    I would remind hon. members that when our government was in power, we had to deal with the worst economic crisis of all time, even worse than the crisis in the 1920s. Despite that, our government managed to ensure that out of the G7 countries, Canada came through the crisis the fastest, the most effectively, with the most results, and the highest job creation levels. We can be proud of our record.
    Mr. Speaker, today we are debating the sixth omnibus budget bill since the last election. It is 850 pages long and includes 70 pages of additions to the Income Tax Act, yet there is not one word about tax havens. Three years, six bills and 4,500 pages of budget bills, and still not a word about tax havens.
    The Liberal government's record on taxation is a monumental failure. It is worse than failure, actually, because to fail implies that one has tried. This government is not even trying. It chose to leave the door wide open to tax havens and the people who cash in because of them. It is doing so knowingly and deliberately. Despite all the nice things it says about the middle class, it has picked sides and it is siding with Bay Street bankers. I cannot overemphasize that tax havens are probably the worst financial and economic scandal of our time. When it comes to attacking this cancer, Canada's performance is among the world's worst.
    Canada represents just 2% of the world's GDP. Canada's three largest banks, the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotia Bank, and the CIBC, represent 80% of the banking assets in Barbados, Grenada, and the Bahamas. Canada has just 2% of the world's GDP, but 80% of its banking assets are in these three tax havens in the Caribbean.
    That is not all. In the eight other tax havens that make up the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, Canadian banks own 60% of banking assets. Canada is not an economic superpower, but it is a superpower in tax havens.
    As social democrats, we cannot accept that. There is no social justice without tax justice. There is no justice at all when the financial sector hides its money in the Caribbean and ordinary people are left paying the bill. Ottawa is allowing that to happen and at the same time is cutting transfers. Left with a shortfall, Quebec is making cuts here and there, while Quebeckers made it clear in poll after poll during the recent electoral campaign in Quebec that their priorities were health and education.
    In the meantime, bankers continue to grow their billions of tax-free dollars in the sunny Caribbean. This is not illegal because the government has introduced no provisions in six budget implementation bills to prevent it. For this reason alone, everyone in the House should vote against this bill. That is what the Bloc Québécois is going to do.
    However, this bill also contains some good measures. It will establish pay equity at the federal level, both for the government and businesses operating under its jurisdiction. It is about time that Ottawa moved into the 21st century, especially since John Turner's government announced this measure in 1984, or 34 years ago.
    I will now speak to the issue of consumer protection in banking, which is addressed in Bill C-86. We have to acknowledge that the regime proposed by Bill C-86 is a big improvement over the mess proposed two years ago in Bill C-29. I have to say that I am proud of the work that we did to make the government reconsider and go back to the drawing board.
    The Liberal government trampled over Quebec consumers to accommodate Bay Street. I remind members that Quebec is the most advanced society in North America when it comes to consumer protections. The Quebec government sets the strictest guidelines to ensure that consumers are not swindled. This was one legacy left to us by Lise Payette, who passed away last month.
     Bill C-29 sought to eliminate all of the safeguards that protect ordinary people but upset rich Bay Street bankers, including measures that ban misleading advertising and hidden fees, those that prevent unilateral changes to contracts, and those that prohibit banks from increasing the maximum liability for unauthorized credit card charges to more than $50.
     The Quebec act provides for a simple, free and legally binding recourse mechanism, which is the Office de la protection du consommateur. This organization defends ordinary people rather than profiteers and has the ability to initiate class action suits so that David does not have to go up against Goliath alone. Ottawa wanted to eliminate all this, usurp all the power and use it to give the banks a nice big gift of vague requirements and non-existing recourse—essentially a paradise for bankers.

  (1350)  

    I will say that Bill C-86 is not as blatant an attack as Bill C-29 was. The obligations that the government is imposing on banks are real obligations. They are not written in the conditional tense as mere suggestions, as we saw two years ago.
    The government is much less explicit about its desire to stifle Quebec and set aside its provincial Consumer Protection Act. It has eliminated the infamous clause about federal paramountcy. It seems the two regimes will be able to coexist. I say “it seems” because whether that will really happen is unclear. That is why this needs to be studied in greater detail.
    With regard to consumer protection, the federal act has one massive shortcoming: recourse. In Quebec, the process is simple. If someone feels their bank has misled them, they can complain to the Office de la protection du consommateur, a consumer protection bureau that will investigate and, if necessary, take the case to court. There is no cost to the complainant, and the government helps the consumer assert their rights. That is not what Bill C-86 does. The consumer will have to contact the banking ombudsman, a kind of mediator who makes recommendations but has no actual power and, moreover, is paid by the banks. Would consumers trust a judge they knew was in the bank's employ? Of course not. What we needed was a government institution, not an employee of the bankers' association.
    If the bank does not listen to the recommendations of its ombudsman, what other recourse do clients have? They can take the case to federal court alone and at their own expense. Does the government really think that a client who is charged $50 in hidden fees is going to take the case to federal court alone and deal with his or her bank's army of lawyers? Consumer protection is new in federal law. It would be in the banks' interest to limit the scope of their obligations as much as possible. We can be sure that they will do everything in their power to ensure that the case law does not come down too hard on them. They will fight. Taking a case to the Supreme Court can cost up to $1 million. No one is going to subject themselves to that to recover $50 in fees. The remedies contained in Bill C-86 are ill suited for an area like consumer protection, where it is often a matter of many small amounts of money.
    Also, although the bill imposes obligations on banks, it does not provide any real recourse for clients, which means that the obligations may be more theoretical than real. Here is what I expect will happen. Since clients who have been shortchanged will not have any real recourse at the federal level, they will continue to turn to the Office de la protection du consommateur du Québec. That organization will take on the case and the banks, as they have always done, will defend themselves by claiming that they are above Quebec laws. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in a case such as this. It found that the Quebec laws applied to banks and that they could not claim to fall exclusively under federal jurisdiction. However, the Marcotte ruling is a subtle one. One must read between the lines. Basically, what the court said was that banks are subject to Quebec law because the federal Bank Act does not include a comprehensive and exclusive consumer protection regime.
    Would the court have reached the same decision if Bill C-86 had been passed? Would it have found that what we are debating here today is a comprehensive and exclusive regime? Incidentally, “exclusive” means that it excludes the application of Quebec's laws. I do not know. No one knows. That is why this legislation needs a detailed study, and not a quick glance as part of an omnibus bill. There is a real risk that Bill C-86 will eliminate the simple, free and binding recourse mechanisms we have in Quebec, and replace them with virtually pointless mechanisms. This will give the Toronto-based banks what they have always wanted: the privilege of being above the law.
    To support Bill C-86 without understanding its impacts is tantamount to gambling with consumer rights in Quebec. It would be irresponsible. That is why I would like to move the following amendment to the amendment: That the amendment of the hon. member for Carleton be amended by deleting all the words after the words “other measures” and substituting the following: but that it be split and that clause 10 introducing the financial consumer protection framework be now referred to the Standing Committee on Finance before second reading.

  (1400)  

    The hon. member for Joliette moved an amendment to the amendment, but in this case, it is out of order. Page 542 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states:
    Each subamendment must be strictly relevant to, and not at variance with the sense of, the corresponding amendment and must seek to modify the amendment and not the original question. A subamendment cannot enlarge upon the amendment, introduce new matters foreign to it or differ in substance from it.
    The time provided for questions and comments on the speech by the hon. member for Joliette will resume after question period, when we resume consideration of Government Orders.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, employment insurance is a sexist program designed for men. It is out of touch with today's society, and it is way out of touch with women.
    Women are less likely to be eligible for employment insurance than men. They collect fewer benefits and they might not be entitled to any benefits at all if they lose their job while on maternity leave.
    Why? Because claimants have to have accumulated qualifying hours over the previous 52 weeks. Women on parental leave do not pay into the system. If they do not contribute, then too bad for them.
    There is a simple solution. Periods of maternity leave and preventive withdrawal should not be counted in the qualifying period. Women should not have to suffer because of hidden flaws in a program that is out of touch with their reality. Those days are done.

[English]

Canada Post Corporation

    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to creating a more inclusive, accessible and barrier-free Canada. That is why enhancing Canada Post's accessible delivery program is a key part of our government's renewed vision for the postal service.
    I am pleased to rise to inform the House that this week marks the first meetings of the Canada Post accessibility advisory panel. This national advisory panel of experts and advocates for persons with disabilities and seniors will advise Canada Post on an enhanced accessible delivery program to make it easier for Canadians to access their mail and parcels.
    The accessibility advisory panel will serve as a valuable forum for input and dialogue on the issue of accessibility. I thank the distinguished Canadians who have agreed to serve on the panel and help Canada Post continue to improve delivery for all Canadians.

Science

    Mr. Speaker, top scientists from Canadian academia have come to our nation's capital to participate in the first ever science meets parliament program. This initiative connects scientists and parliamentarians. Organized in partnership with the office of the chief science adviser, science meets parliament aims to connect policy-makers and the scientific community.
    During this two-day event, 29 scientists, all of them Canada research chairs, will shadow 43 parliamentarians from both sides of the aisle. Scientists will get to learn how policy is made here in Ottawa, while transferring their passion for science to parliamentarians.
    Let us build on Canada's long accomplishment in science, from Banting and Giauque to McDonald and Strickland, to strengthen Canada's scientific community for the betterment of our collective humanity.

Amherst Internment Camp

    Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the largest prisoner of war camp in Canada was located in Amherst, Nova Scotia. The Amherst internment camp held over 850 POWs, mostly German sailors from ships that had been captured or sunk. A hundred years ago from today, that camp was full.
    The Cumberland County Museum has a room dedicated to these POWs, their letters and photographs, and especially their precision handmade models of ships, wagons, animals and artillery. Eleven German POWs died while captive at the Amherst internment camp, and in the Amherst Cemetery, a single gravestone with 11 names on it stands as a reminder.
    Although most of the captives were German sailors, there was one exception. In 1917, Mr. Leon Trotsky was an inmate at the Amherst camp, and some say he helped plan the Russian Revolution while in Amherst. Although this happened 100 years ago, the story of these German POWs in Amherst is still alive in the incredible handicrafts that were made by these prisoners and are still very much appreciated by local residents.

  (1405)  

Lou Battochio

    Mr. Speaker, either heaven is in for a real treat or it is about to get really shaken up, because Lou Battochio, the ambassador of Schumacher, is finally going home. Lou's story is the story of the porcupine. His immigrant Italian parents came to the multi-ethnic mining town of Schumacher, and Lou spent his childhood as a rink rat at the Mclntyre Arena, that mini Maple Leaf Gardens that produced so many hockey greats. Over the years, Lou was a coach, a referee, a hockey scout, a community organizer, a teacher, a politician and an inductee into the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.
    However, it was Lou's love of community and social justice that made him special. He used to hold court every day at the Mclntyre Coffee Shop, where he would argue politics on anything from municipality issues to taking on Donald Trump. I loved talking with Lou and his wonderful wife Cecile, because he was a man of integrity. He lived nine decades on this earth, committed to the belief that we are here to build a better world.
    Lou is going to the angels, and they are about to get an earful.

Elections

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, newly elected municipal councils were sworn in across British Columbia, and today, the United States is holding its mid-term elections.
     Elections are on our minds. They allow us to get reference points. They allow us to express our values as facts, policies and practices, and the facts are debated. That highly respected philosopher Homer Simpson once said, “Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true.” Fourteen per cent of all people know that.
    We extend our congratulations to the newly elected mayor of White Rock, Darryl Walker, and to the newly elected mayor of Surrey, Doug McCallum.
     As a former mayor, I am conversant with the challenges and opportunities, and it is truly an honour to be in an elected position. Of course, all of us in this House know that these are the facts.

Diabetes

    Mr. Speaker, November is Diabetes Awareness Month, with November 14 being World Diabetes Day. Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Many take between three and 12 prescription medications and find the cost of equipment and supplies to be in excess of $15,000 each year.
    That is why it was such a failure of the Liberal government to reject 80% of people living with type 2 diabetes from collecting the disability tax credit to help pay for these costs. After our questioning, 58% were subsequently reapproved, but 42% were denied again without notice. It is important to support people living with diabetes by making life with this disease more affordable, and that is what the Conservatives would do.
    This week, people can increase their awareness by visiting the mobile screening unit, which is parked on the Hill today, or by dropping by the research fair from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in Centre Block, to meet with Canadian researchers working on improvements. Together, we can raise awareness and help eradicate this disease.

Agriculture

    Mr. Speaker, members of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry are with us today to celebrate Fall Harvest days on the Hill. The economic impact alone of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain is $14 billion in GDP. This industry is a huge employer for local economies, employing Canadians in both rural and urban Canada.
    These farmers sustain our people and others around the world. Their work can be gruelling, often fighting against the uncertainty of the elements to get the crop from the field to the fork, but we know that for many it is a labour of love and we here should appreciate all that goes into their efforts.
    I thank the people in the industry for what they do, providing fresh fruit and vegetables for the nutrition of all and keeping us all in good health.

Violence Against Women

    Mr. Speaker, gender-based violence is a serious issue in Canada. We need all Canadians to work together to end it. Violence against women will not stop if boys and men are not included in the conversation and do not become part of the solution.
    Men and boys in my riding of Oakville slipped on a pair of hot pink heels and walked through Oakville's downtown for Hope in High Heels. This raises funds for Halton Women's Place and the work its members do, providing a safe haven for women and children in crisis and providing education to build a future without abuse. I am so thankful for their important service to our community.
    Gender-based violence can be ended in our lifetime. Karina, Pam and I are challenging all our male colleagues here in the House to join us after question period, to walk the talk at Hope in High Heels on the Hill. We have a pair of pink heels for everyone who wants to support ending violence against women. I will see them on the steps, or the rotunda if it is raining.

  (1410)  

    I will remind members that we do not refer to each other by first names. Of course the intent of that is to avoid conflicts, and I do not see any particular conflict arising from that, but one should generally avoid that, of course.
    The hon. member for Calgary Shepard.

Del Reinhart

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to remember a dear friend and supporter, Del Reinhart, who passed away September 2 at the age of 79. I could talk about his successful business ventures or his work as an accountant, but I will not, because his most important work was his family and his beloved wife.
    Like many Albertans, Del was actually born in Saskatchewan, at Kerrobert specifically. He married his wife Jeanette in 1964. They had four children: Greer, Michelle, Brett and Kim. They had 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
    Although he wintered in Arizona, he politicked in Alberta. Del loved talking politics. He would engage young Conservatives, brimming with ideas, and teach and mould them. He door knocked, persuaded and talked politics always. My favourite memory of Del is getting a returned phone call from a pay phone somewhere in Yuma to talk politics. In Jeanette's words, he relished political discussion.
    Del now rests at St. Mary's Cemetery.
    

Eternal rest, grant unto your servant Del O Lord
and let eternal light shine upon him.

Credit Unions

    Mr. Speaker, whether it is providing a loan for a first home or the funds to start a new business, credit unions are there for the millions of Canadians they serve. They are the backbone of many Canadian urban and rural communities, helping local economies grow and thrive. In my community, we are fortunate to have IC Savings serving the needs of thousands of hard-working, middle-class Canadians, playing a vital role in helping us ensure we all achieve financial well-being.

[Translation]

     Canada's credit unions serve over 10 million Canadians and employ over 75,000 people. Countless credit union members contribute time and valuable resources to many charitable causes.

[English]

    Credit union means community, being rated first in customer service for 14 years in a row.

[Translation]

    I invite my colleagues to applaud the Canadian credit union representatives visiting Parliament Hill today.

Science

    Mr. Speaker, the Hill is hosting its first-ever Science Meets Parliament initiative. Twenty-five Canadian scientists and engineers, all experts in their fields, are here with us today. This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties between the political community and the scientific community. Today I had a chance to observe three researchers up close and learn some very unique things about their work and the exciting advances being made in their respective fields. Dr. Moehring is exploring the foundations of neurology and behavioural genetics. Dr. Bourgeois is examining program evaluation methods. Dr. Rini's research focuses on moral psychology and neuroscience. I have a great deal of respect for these women and men of science who help improve our lives, keep us safer, and blaze new trails. I want to thank them for being here today.

[English]

Remembrance Day

    Mr. Speaker, today I stand to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, who offered their lives so that we might know peace, we might know hope, so that we might be free. I say “might” because at some points in World War I and World War II, there were no guarantees of victory for our Canadian and Allied forces.
    Stagnant lines in World War I, defeat at Dieppe in World War II, were overcome with valour, courage, persistence and above all else, self-sacrifice. This character forged a nation at Vimy Ridge and it was solidified at Juno Beach.
    lt was through this sacrifice by generations of young Canadians that we stand here, in this place today, speaking freely, practising democracy, pursuing equality and preserving the destiny that our forefathers laid before us, to be the true north, the strong and the free.
    We will remember.

  (1415)  

Diabetes

    Mr. Speaker, today Diabetes Day starts on the Hill. Across Canada, millions of people live with diabetes, and it is critical for all Canadians to get screened to see their risk of this disease.
    Today, parliamentarians are learning about their own health risks thanks to the mobile cardiovascular screening unit on the Hill. I want to thank Diabetes Canada for all of the important work they do and welcome them to the Hill.
    lt is clear that Canada needs a national strategy to address the growing challenge of diabetes, a strategy like Diabetes 360°. I invite all members to join us tomorrow night for a reception to hear from leading researchers on groundbreaking new treatments, like beta cell replacement and islet transplants, to help Canadians living with diabetes.
    Canada gave insulin to the world, and if we work together, we can defeat diabetes.

Parliamentarians of the Year Awards

    Mr. Speaker, last night, MPs and staff gathered together at the Maclean's, L'Actualité, Parliamentarians of the Year awards.
    In a rare and refreshing spirit of bipartisanship, we celebrated MPs from northern Saskatchewan to Quebec City, from Chicoutimi to Toronto, from Nepean to Burnaby, who do us all proud. However, I rise today to pay special tribute to our friend Paul Dewar who deservedly won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
    After learning of the devastating news of Paul's cancer diagnosis, letters poured in from across the country. One person wrote “This is a story of a life well lived because it was done in community”. His longtime friend, Kiavash Najafi, recently said that Paul is a man who cannot be stopped in pursuit of a better world, and we see this on brilliant display with Paul's Youth Action Now initiative.
    In his gracious and moving acceptance speech last night, Paul urged all of us to talk to one another with curiosity and compassion, and to find that space in between.
    To Julia, Nathaniel and Jordan, enjoy these precious moments. To Paul, we are thankful for your sharing with us and all Canadians a life that continues to be very well lived.

Diwali

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish all Canadians a happy Diwali.
    Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is a Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn across the world. One of the largest holidays of the year in India, Diwali has a religious meaning for members of the Hindu faith and other religions about truth over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. It is also a symbol of the best traditions of Indian culture and history. Diwali is a time to celebrate life and to look forward to the year ahead.
    In mandirs and gurdwaras across Canada, as people pray and celebrate Diwali with family and friends, I wish them happiness, prosperity and joy.
    I wish everyone a happy Diwali.

Science

    Mr. Speaker, today I had the honour of spending some time with two leading ocean scientists, as well as the health research chair from my riding of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge. We shared their research that looks into marine microbes, glacier dynamics, ocean productivity and even the impacts of medical tourism. When would I ever have such a great opportunity?
    As a government, we pride ourselves on creating evidence-based policy and this requires building a meaningful connection between the scientific and political communities. Today is our first annual “Science Meets Parliament”, a new initiative that brings scientists here to the Hill, with the goal of creating dialogue and promoting mutual understanding. Up to 28 scientists have spent the day meeting with members of Parliament and senators.
    We have a great opportunity to learn from world-class scientists, who, in turn, can better understand how the political process works. We have a chance to build lasting connections, become better informed and learn about how research benefits our economy. Tonight at SJAM, I invite everyone to come mingle with 28 of the best and brightest minds and see what they missed.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

  (1420)  

[English]

Privacy

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has displayed an outstanding capacity to be out of touch with Canadians on the issue of Stats Canada seizing personal financial data. More and more experts are joining Canadians in their outrage at what the government is doing. A respected constitutional expert at the University of Waterloo said, “What a moral failure...The government has no more business looking at personal banking transactions than it has putting cameras in bedrooms”.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and stop this practice?
    Mr. Speaker, we take the privacy of Canadians very seriously, and so does Statistics Canada. In fact, Statistics Canada has been engaged with the Privacy Commissioner in regard to this pilot project, which has not yet been launched.
    We also understand the importance of quality and reliable data for Canadians. During 10 years, Conservatives ignored data and governed only through ideology. We witnessed the consequences: historically low economic growth while they were in power.
    We will continue to protect the privacy of Canadians and promote evidence-based policy.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wants to make an evidence-based decision. Exhibit A, Stats Can has acknowledged that it is going to seize financial data linked to social insurance numbers. Exhibit B, the government has had 56 violations of security in its time in office. Exhibit C, the government had to pay out $17.5 million in a class action lawsuit because of a data breach.
    Will the Prime Minister make an evidence-based decision and cancel this practice?
    Mr. Speaker, again, we take the privacy of Canadians very seriously. The Conservatives pretend to be concerned about privacy, but Canadians can see through this Conservative game. They continue to be opposed to Statistics Canada just doing its job. As recently as this weekend, the opposition House leader indicated that the Conservatives still oppose the long-form census, which we brought back after the Conservatives eliminated it.
    While the Conservatives continue their fight against facts and science, we will protect the privacy of Canadians and ensure our decisions are made—
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, this is not about the government's ability to make decisions. This is about the rights of Canadians to have their financial data protected.
    The Prime Minister would believe that the ends justify the means and that it is okay to violate fundamental rights when it comes to people's personal information. Conservatives reject that notion. The Prime Minister has the ability to do the right thing and cancel this practice. Will he do so?
    Mr. Speaker, these are the same kinds of arguments that the Conservatives put forward when they were in government as justification for eliminating the long-form census, which apparently they still oppose.
    On this side of the House and in this government, we trust the work of the Privacy Commissioner to protect Canadians' privacy. That is why we are working with him. We are ensuring that Statistics Canada works with them on this pilot project that has not yet been brought in, to ensure that we always protect the privacy of Canadians while ensuring reliable data.

[Translation]

Member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel

    Mr. Speaker, the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel told a CBC journalist last Friday that he was busy working on specific duties on behalf of the Prime Minister.
    Can the Prime Minister explain exactly what those specific duties are, as they are keeping him away from Ottawa, where he is supposed to be representing his constituents, while still pocketing a generous salary from a private firm?
     Mr. Speaker, the member in question has publicly indicated his intention to leave public office in January. He has shared the issues he will be working on until then on behalf of his community.
    Of course, we expect every member in the House to work in the best interests of their constituents.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, that is very nice for the Liberal MP. He gets to collect his salary all the way to the end of January while he is earning a paycheque from a private firm. That is all okay to the Prime Minister. In fact the Prime Minister has asked him to stay away from Ottawa, to not vote, to not give speeches and to not represent his constituents.
    Why does the Prime Minister think it is fair for a member of Parliament to not show up for work, collect a paycheque from a private firm and still get paid by the taxpayer?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member in question has publicly indicated his intention to leave public office this coming January and has shared the issues he will be working on until then on behalf of his communities. Of course, we expect every member in the House to work in the best interests of their constituents.

[Translation]

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, this week is dedicated to the veterans who risked their lives to defend us, but the best tribute we can pay them is to take care of them when they return to Canada. However, when they call about services, our veterans have to wait hours and hours and are redirected half a dozen times before they finally get to speak to the right person.
    Then the Liberals find a way not to spend $372 million after three years, despite all their promises.
    Is the Prime Minister prepared to support our motion and to spend the entire budget for veterans?
    Mr. Speaker, since 2016, we have spent $10 billion in programs and services for veterans, we have increased financial support for veterans and caregivers, and we have supported a continuum of mental health services.
    In budget 2018, we announced $42.8 million to increase service delivery capacity and launch the pension for life. We also re-opened all Veterans Affairs offices that the former Conservative government closed.
    Mr. Speaker, is that his response?
    In addition to the $372 million that was left unspent, the Minister of Veterans Affairs admitted that an accounting error caused Ottawa to accidentally withhold $165 million over seven years.
    The government is also going to save more than $500 million over five years by abolishing the lump sum payments made to veterans with a disability. The Liberals are refusing to commit to using this money to fill the gaps in the veteran pension system.
    Is the government really working for veterans or is it saving money at their expense?
    Mr. Speaker, our government remains committed to supporting and honouring Canada's veterans and their families.
    Unlike the previous government, we are ensuring that funding is in place to support veterans when and where they need it. The Conservatives cut services for veterans including the veteran services offices in order to create a bogus balanced budget. In three years, we have increased financial support for veterans by more than $10 billion.
    We will always be there to support our veterans and we will of course support the NDP motion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Prime Minister criticized the Harper Conservatives for lapsed spending at Veterans Affairs. He said, “They left unspent more than $1 billion that Parliament allocated for veteran support. Canadians know that this is wrong.” He was right: this is wrong.
    The Liberals have now left $372 million unspent at Veterans Affairs, even as service levels deteriorate.
    My question is simple. Will the Prime Minister do the right thing today and end lapsed spending at Veterans Affairs, and ensure that money budgeted for veterans is actually spent on veterans?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is, and continues to be, committed to supporting and honouring Canada's veterans and their families.
    Unlike the previous government, we ensure that the necessary funding is made available to veterans when and where they need it. What the Conservatives did was to cut services to veterans, including service offices, to create a fake balanced budget.
     In three years, we have increased financial supports by over $10 billion, putting more money in veterans' pockets, increasing mental health supports, and are delivering on the promises we made to veterans and their families.
    Mr. Speaker, passing this motion today would be a victory for veterans, but ending lapsed spending is only the tip of the iceberg.
    The Liberals are now making veterans wait until 2020 to pay them back $165 million they are rightfully owed, and have introduced an unfair system for pensions that will actually reduce benefits for some veterans.
    The government has a sacred obligation to our veterans, who have waited long enough. The Prime Minister voted in favour of this sacred obligation to our veterans. Why is the government not applying it?
    Mr. Speaker, the well-being and financial security of Canada's veterans is our top priority.
    Our investment in veterans is $10 billion in new funding, including delivering on our promise for a pension for life option. Because more veterans are expected to take the $1,150 monthly tax-free payment for the rest of their lives, rather than a lump sum upfront, the budgetary costs are obviously spread out over a longer time. We immediately increased financial support for veterans, increased mental health support, and are delivering on our promise to veterans.

  (1430)  

[Translation]

Privacy

    Mr. Speaker, for the past two weeks, we have been asking the Prime Minister to stop invading Canadians' privacy, yet the Liberals persist in doing so and in defending the indefensible.
    How can the Prime Minister think it is okay for the government to collect people's personal and confidential information, such as credit card purchases and citizens' bank account information, without their consent?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    Let's talk facts. Personal information will be removed, and Canadians can rest assured that their banking information will remain private and protected. Statistics Canada absolutely cannot share that information. It cannot share that information with any individual, organization or government, not even with the Prime Minister. Canadians' privacy will be protected.
    Mr. Speaker, that must be why the Privacy Commissioner launched an investigation into the government's actions. It is troubling. We have a Prime Minister who uses a pilot project as an excuse to condone the fact that the government can collect the confidential information of more than 500,000 Canadians. We have a Liberal government that is violating Canadians' privacy rights without their knowledge. We have a Prime Minister that is okay with the government doing things in violation of the Privacy Act.
    I will repeat my question for the Prime Minister for the tenth time: will he continue to accept this indefensible situation?
    Mr. Speaker, our government takes Canadians' privacy very seriously. Let me be clear: this is a pilot project that is still in development. No information has been collected. Statistics Canada is working with the Privacy Commissioner.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, every Canadian chartered bank promises that personal financial information will only be shared with client consent, but the Liberals are defending an exception in law, allowing Statistics Canada to harvest deeply personal financial data without asking. Europeans this year have new privacy laws that prohibit this sort of privacy exposure without specific client consent.
    Why will the Liberal government not defend the privacy of Canadians and require Statistics Canada to ask permission before it pries into Canadians' most private financial dealings?
    Mr. Speaker, let us highlight some key facts. It is important that we talk about the facts.
     Statistics Canada is pursuing a pilot project. No data has been collected. Customers would be informed and personal information will be removed. No breaches of Statistics Canada servers have occurred.
    Those are the facts. Enough with the fake outrage.
    Mr. Speaker, if this is only a pilot project, I can only imagine what the full monty will look like. The new European privacy law gives citizens full control of personal data held by banks and financial services, that is, the right to say no to requests to share that data with third party organizations.
    Last week, Canada's Privacy Commissioner told our committee that “Individual privacy is not a right we simply trade-off for innovation, efficiency or commercial gain.”
     Why will the Liberal government not allow Canadians to say no to Statistics Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, again, that is a lot of over the top rhetoric, a lot of fearmongering. What is really important to know is that under this pilot project request, Statistics Canada used section 13.1. How often was section 13.1 was used under Stephen Harper? It was used 84 times.
    Again, enough with the fake outrage, enough with the hypocrisy. Let us be straight with Canadians.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, yes, let us be straight with Canadians, and enough of the hypocrisy from the other side of the chamber. Let me put it this way: Canadians expect informed consent when people are taking their financial data.
    I would like to know from the Minister of Innovation and Science, did he seek to consult with Canadians before he allowed Statistics Canada to send those letters to Canadian banks?
    Mr. Speaker, we had this debate in 2015 when it came to the long-form census. Opposition members wanted to make it voluntary. We wanted to make sure it was mandatory. Why? Because we believe in good quality, reliable data.
    The members opposite have a fundamental problem with Statistics Canada, because they do not like the facts, they do not like good quality data. They do not like science, they do not like evidence-based decision-making. If they want to have this debate, bring it on.
    Mr. Speaker, to the member's comment “bring it on”, he can consider it brought on, and we look forward to fighting this issue.
    The track record of the current government when it comes to consultation is just so suspect: it introduced small business tax changes with fully drafted legislation, and when it consulted on intellectual property, it got 18 comments.
    Here is some evidence and facts for the minister: 98% of the residents of Calgary Signal Hill say no, and 18,000 Canadians in five days have written in to say no to this—
    The hon. Minister of Innovation.
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has given the impression that she can do a better job than the chief statistician. That I find that very amusing.
    We believe in Statistics Canada. We believe in its methodology. More importantly, we believe in the issues around privacy and data protection. Statistics Canada has a very rigorous process of removing personal information. According to subsection 17(1) of Statistics Canada's act, no courts, no government, no prime minister, no government agency can compel Statistics Canada to reveal any personal information. It never has and never will compromise on privacy and data protection.

[Translation]

Employment

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Lowe's announced that it is closing 24 Rona stores, including nine in Quebec. In 2016, when Lowe's bought Rona, the NDP asked the Liberals to review the foreign investment review process to ensure that it is transparent and that potential job losses are considered. We also wanted the buyers' intentions to be spelled out. People have the right to know.
    Do the Liberals intend to review the Investment Canada Act to prevent workers from always being sacrificed?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. Our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by these store closures. We are always concerned when we hear about job losses. We are prepared to provide the support and services required by the workers affected, and we are closely monitoring the situation.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister bragged about saving a few executive jobs as Lowe's deep-sixed Canada's Rona. Meanwhile, Canadian front-line workers were not impressed by his “I feel your pain” offering, because U.S. workers get to keep their jobs whereas they are fired.
    Under the Investment Canada Act, the minister has the power to say no and to protect Rona workers and to stop store closures as part of the deal, but he took a pass. Now that we are in this mess, people are losing their livelihoods and communities are losing their stores. What is he going to do to fix it?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite obviously raises a very important issue. We understand how difficult this is for the workers, their families and the communities impacted by these store closures. Of course, these store closures have occurred in Canada, and also in the United States. We are always concerned to learn of any job losses. Under the Investment Canada Act, as the member opposite has highlighted, we engaged the Quebec government as well. We were able to secure the head office in Boucherville and a footprint of jobs in Canada as well. We will continue to monitor the situation on a going-forward basis.
    For what? What are they going to do?
    I encourage the member for Windsor West to wait. Of course, he had a turn. Maybe he will have another one before too long.
    The hon. member for Carleton.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the current government has raised income taxes on middle-class families by $800 per year on average, while taxing the wealthiest 1% $4.5 billion less. It has raised business taxes on plumbers, farmers and pizza shop owners, while protecting the finance minister's billion dollar company and the Prime Minister's multimillion dollar trust fund.
    Now, with respect to the carbon tax, it taxes the consumer and gives a total exemption to the polluter. Why is it that the little guy always get the freight whenever the government is hungry for money?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder that the members of the party opposite always talk about our climate plan, since they do not have a climate plan. We are committed to working with small businesses. To do what? It is to help them reduce their emissions and do their part to tackle climate change, and also support them to be more energy efficient so they can save money, which they reinvest in their businesses. We have a plan to tackle climate change and grow our economy. The party opposite has neither.
    Mr. Speaker, the government does not have a climate plan. It has a tax revenue-raising plan. If it had anything to do with the environment, the government would be charging those large industrial corporations rather than putting 100% of the burden on small businesses, seniors and soccer moms.
    Let us get this straight. Corporations that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year are exempt while small businesses and suburban commuters have to pay. Why?
    Mr. Speaker, what is the party opposite's climate plan? The Conservatives always talk about our plan. We have a plan that makes polluters pay.
    Let us be clear. The Conservatives do not have a plan to put a price on pollution. It would be free—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I cannot hear the answer. I need to hear the answer. I heard the question.
    Order. We have to hear both sides whether we like what is said or not. We have to each wait our turn.
    The hon. Minister of Environment.
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The party opposite would make it free to pollute for everyone. We have a plan to make sure that polluting is not free, to tackle climate change, to ensure that we are putting more money in the pockets of Canadians and do what we need to do.
    We owe it to our kids to have a serious plan to protect the environment, tackle climate change and also grow a clean economy and create good jobs.
    Mr. Speaker, under the Liberal plan, pollution is free if it is a large industrial corporation. The Liberals are saying to families, “Don't worry. If you can figure out how to pump 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases out of your chimney, we will give you an exemption, too.” That is the Liberal plan.
    Once again, if this is really about the environment, why are the Liberals taxing consumers and not polluters?
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Under our plan pollution is not free. Under the Conservatives' plan—no, wait. There is no Conservative plan. The Conservatives have no plan to put a price on pollution. They have no plan to grow a clean economy.
    We can do both. We are going to continue doing what Canadians expect, which is to tackle climate change, reduce our emissions, grow a clean economy and create good jobs.
    Mr. Speaker, so I keep asking that if this tax really will save us all from climate change, why is it that the large industrial corporations get a complete exemption? The only answer we have heard so far is that if a tax is applied to those corporations, they might move out of the country and take their jobs with them, which raises the question: If a tax drives jobs out of the country and global emissions up, then why are the Liberals applying it to thousands of small businesses right across Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. We have a plan to tackle climate change. We also have a plan to put a price on pollution. Polluters need to pay. Unfortunately, those on the other side want to make polluting free. They have no climate plan. They have no plan for the economy. They have no plan to create jobs.
    We are going to do both, because that is what Canadians expect.
    Order. The hon. member for Provencher will come to order and lots of others too, I hope.
    The hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

Status of Women

    Mr. Speaker, women waited 42 years for Liberals to legislate pay equity, but we heard this morning that pay equity provisions in the government's 800-page bill might be unconstitutional. They weaken protection for part-time and temporary workers. The Equal Pay Coalition said that it means women will have to go to court all over again. Liberals cannot call this pay equity if it does not protect precarious workers.
    Will the self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister fix the bill?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are incredibly proud to be the first government to take pay equity seriously and to introduce proactive pay equity legislation for all federally regulated workers and employers. This is historic legislation. It is going to right the wrong of decades, if not a century, of work.
    We are really looking forward to working with employers and stakeholders to ensure that the regulations are set well so that we can move forward with this legislation.
    There was no answer, Mr. Speaker, so we will try again.
    Bill C-86 is a massive omnibus bill, a direct contradiction to the Liberal promise not to do this anymore.
    The Equal Pay Coalition told the finance committee that pay equity provisions in the bill are unconstitutional and will force women back to court to fight for rights. That is appalling. The Liberal bill would provide even less protection for part-time and temporary workers. That is worrisome.
    Bill C-86 is badly botched on pay equity. Rather than ramming it through the House, will the government pull back and work with civil society, pay equity advocates and the NDP to fix the bill?
    Mr. Speaker, our government knows that pay equity is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for our economy. If we were able to close the gender wage gap and pay equity as part of that, we could see the addition of $150 billion to our economy by 2026.
     We are committed to ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of proactive pay equity in federally regulated workplaces. Employees' right to equal pay of equal value will be protected and any proposed exemptions will be developed in consultation with stakeholders.

Sport

    Mr. Speaker, there is nothing quite like the Olympics. There is no denying that it brings the country together, unifying it around the power of sport. I remember the 1996 Olympic Games like they were yesterday. Now, we have seen that Calgary and the Province of Alberta are putting together a bid to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2026. I know that our government has been very involved in the negotiating process of these games.
    Would the Minister of Science and Sport please provide this House with an update on this bid?
    Mr. Speaker, in response to the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, a former Olympian, our government worked with the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta to reach an agreement for a Calgary 2026 Winter Olympic Games bid.
     Calgarians will now vote in a plebiscite and if they decide to support the games, they will have a strong partner in our government. The Olympics are good for the economy, our athletes and for all of us who would witness history in our own backyard.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked a question about instituting a needle exchange program in prisons, and the minister replied that the program was about EpiPens and insulin syringes.
    The reality is that the minister no longer plans to prohibit narcotics use in prison and is putting criminals ahead of correctional officers' safety.
    Jeff Wilkins, the president of the union's Atlantic region, said that allowing for the use of needles in cells will considerably increase risks for union members.
    Is the minister dismissing Mr. Wilkins' comments?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, these types of programs are in use in correctional facilities in various locations around the world. They are based on scientific research and the best advice of health care professionals. The total point here is to prevent the spread of disease and to keep our institutions safer. We are determined to do that in a safe and secure way.
    I would point out that those facilities already include EpiPens for allergic reactions. They already include syringes for insulin. That demonstrates the correctional service can manage this situation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, perhaps Mr. Wilkins' comments do not carry enough weight.
    Jason Godin, the national president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, called for the program to be suspended immediately. This has nothing to do with EpiPens and insulin for diabetics. These needles will be given to prisoners to allow them to inject drugs that enter the prison illegally. This makes no sense. Corrections officers say that they were not consulted on this and are calling for it to be stopped immediately.
    Will the minister listen to the union?

  (1450)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, obviously, the views and the opinions of the correctional service officers who perform such excellent work in our facilities under very difficult considerations are very important to us. We also would take into account the best scientific evidence and the experience from around the world, which demonstrates that this program can be done effectively and safely.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, of the total number of people who illegally entered Canada via the U.S.-Canada land border and subsequently claimed asylum in Canada between January 2017 and today, how many are employed in Canada? How many are drawing social assistance payments? How many are housed in homeless shelters, hotels or other government-subsidized housing? What is the total cost for other government programs that they have accessed, for example, for education, health care or day care?
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise this House that we have actually made very substantial progress in reducing the number of people who are entering the country irregularly over the last few months.
     In addition, I have very good news to share with this House. Of the 464 individuals who were temporarily housed in the city of Toronto at the beginning of June, only 35 of those people remain in a temporary shelter and the rest, through the excellent work of the City of Toronto and COSTI, have found more permanent housing.
    The system is working.
    Mr. Speaker, actually, Canadians have no way of knowing if the system is working because the government is not tracking the information I just asked for. It is not tracking how many are employed or the total cost of social assistance programs. It is not tracking the cost of subsidized housing. It is not tracking the impact on Canadians who are in need.
    Why does the government not understand that the only way to gain acceptance for immigration in Canada is to fix the broken system rather than spending tax dollars on propaganda programs?
    Mr. Speaker, I would simply point out to the member that, first of all, on the issue of asylum seekers, it is a totally separate system determined by an independent tribunal from the larger immigration system.
     I do not think I need to explain to the member opposite the enormous contributions that immigrants have made to this country. Our country has been built on the hard labour of immigrants and their contributions. For those who first come who may require some support and assistance, we are a welcoming country.

[Translation]

Poverty

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' poverty-reducing bill does not include any investments or new programs. Did those who are living in poverty really need to wait three years for that?
    In 2016, the Liberals voted against my bill, saying that they would do better, but they have shown a blatant lack of ambition in that regard. FRAPRU is criticizing the government for recycling existing measures. The Liberals' bill is smoke and mirrors, and the minister knows it.
    Why are the Liberals once again content with rhetoric when they should be taking action?
    Mr. Speaker, our government was elected with a mandate to grow the middle class, to help more Canadians join the middle class, because that will grow the economy. We began doing so in 2016 with the introduction of the Canada child benefit, a historic measure that alone is lifting nearly half a million people out of poverty, including 300,000 children.
    We have implemented measures that, by spring 2019, will have lifted nearly 650,000 Canadians out of poverty. We will continue to work hard on this because we know it is important, and we are counting on the NDP's support so that this bill can be quickly passed.

[English]

Canada Post Corporation

    Mr. Speaker, Canada Post workers on disability and mothers depending on their top-up are being wrongfully targeted. It has been a week since I first raised this in the House and it has been longer since they have been cut off. Whatever the government says, this is not a normal part of the collective bargaining process. We know the minister responsible for Canada Post can call off the dogs at any time.
    What is she waiting for? Is she waiting for someone to miss a mortgage payment or skip their medication? What exactly is it going to take for her to call Canada Post and tell it to stop bargaining on the backs of sick and vulnerable workers?
    Mr. Speaker, we absolutely understand the impact that work disruption is having on employees and their families. That is why our government has been encouraging both parties to reach a fair deal for everyone. Unfortunately, when a strike occurs, the expiry of the collective agreement affects some of the supplemental benefits available to employees. It does not, for example, affect prescription drug coverage or long-term disability. Rest assured, employees also continue to receive their EI benefits and parental and maternity benefits. Canada Post is also accepting requests, on compassionate grounds, for exceptions. I encouraged the union last night to tell their members of this possibility.

  (1455)  

[Translation]

Government Spending

    Mr. Speaker, on top of her generous pension, we now learn that former governor general Adrienne Clarkson claims as much as $200,000 a year in expenses, a decade after leaving office.
    That is a lot of money, and we are not getting any answers on this issue. Even the British royal family is more accountable for its spending.
    What do the Liberals have to hide?
    Do they know that hiding these expenses sullies our institutions?
    Will the Liberals tell Canadians how their money is being spent?
    Mr. Speaker, with a commitment to public life, governors general provide a great service to Canada.
    It is clear that Canadians expect transparency and accountability when public money is spent. This applies to all organizations, all institutions, including the Governor General.
    We will look very closely at how the support we provide them with is structured to ensure that we are following best practices and meeting Canadians' expectations.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, he is correct. Canadians do expect the government to be transparent, which then begs the question yet again.
    Adrienne Clarkson, a former governor general, has spent $200,000 per year since 2005 when she left office. That is over and above the amount that she takes home for her pension. Former governor general David Johnston has come forward and pre-emptively offered that his accounts could go on public record.
    My question is simple. Will the Liberals release a detailed account with regard to the expenses incurred by Adrienne Clarkson?
    Mr. Speaker, with a commitment to public life, governors general provide a great service to Canada. Canadians expect accountability and transparency when public money is spent. This applies to all organizations, all institutions, including the Governor General.
    Therefore, we will look very closely at how the support we provide them with is structured to ensure we are following best practices and meeting Canadians' expectations.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the G7 summit was held in my riding. I have written to the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs twice seeking answers about the compensation program for businesses that suffered serious financial losses. My colleagues can guess what came next: radio silence.
    It emerged today that the government spent $23 million on 631 cars that are no longer in use, while local businesses struggle to get compensation.
    When is the government going to uphold its commitments and compensate—
    Mr. Speaker, we saw how proud the residents of Charlevoix were to welcome people from around the world and show them how beautiful their region is.
    In the months leading up to the summit, we actively collaborated with all local partners, and I can assure my colleague that the compensation policies for affected local businesses are exactly the same as they were under the Harper Conservatives in 2010.

[English]

Tourism Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the tourism industry is an important economic driver for all our communities from coast to coast to coast, especially in my beautiful rural riding of the Long Range Mountains. In Newfoundland and Labrador alone, tourism provides close to 30,000 good jobs for middle-class Canadians. However, we know that better is always possible.
     Could the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie update the House on the government's plan to grow our tourism sector, create more jobs and grow our economy.
    Mr. Speaker, indeed, tourism is an important driver in Canada. It provides one in 10 jobs in the country, 1.8 million Canadians work in the tourism sector and it is an industry of the future. It is growing at one of the fastest paces in the world, at 4%.
    Therefore, the Prime Minister has asked me to develop a new federal strategy for tourism. By making sure we support good jobs, in this Canada-China year of tourism to bring more Chinese tourists to Canada, we can grow the numbers, grow revenues—
    Order, please. The hon. member for Durham.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, as one of the Liberal members just said “better is always possible”. Better should be possible when it comes to the Vice-Admiral Mark Norman affair. In one of the first Liberal cabinet meetings, it tried to stop the Davie shipbuilding contract. We know that several Liberal ministers and members of the Liberal caucus have real or perceived conflicts of interest.
    We also know the Privy Council investigation showed that 73 people were aware of cabinet secrets from that meeting. Will the minister commit to release the names of these 73 people?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, there is a prosecution going on in Canadian law courts. Both sides in that important legal proceeding are competently represented by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and by eminent defence counsel. They are pursing the documents they need. A court of law will determine the status of those documents and whatever rules of privilege or confidence apply to them.
     The fact of the matter is that these matters are determined in court and not in Parliament.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, payment delays in construction lead to job losses, slowed projects and small business bankruptcies. Trade contractors perform 80% of all construction work in Canada and they are disproportionately affected by these payment delays. They are unfair, and the Liberals promised to fix the problem.
    Now that the government has consulted and published a report on this matter, will it commit to tabling prompt payment legislation so it has time to become law before the next election?
    Mr. Speaker, we absolutely agree that contractors deserve to be paid promptly and we are absolutely committed to bringing forth legislation before the election to remedy this.

Air Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, last summer, our government made an important announcement for rural communities in northern Manitoba with investments to strengthen the safety of the Gillam and Bloodvein River airports.
     Regional airports play a vital role for small communities. They are not only important hubs for residents and businesses, but provide essential air services, including community resupply, search and rescue, forest fire response and air ambulance. During my time in Manitoba's air ambulance program, our ability to provide life-saving medical procedures and evacuations depended greatly on the airport's accessibility and safety.
    Could the minister please update Manitobans and all Canadians on this important initiative?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley for his service to his country.
     We know that local airports in Manitoba are extremely important to the local economy for travel, for tourism, for resupply and for medevac. That is why we are increasing the safety at two airports in Manitoba, at Gillam and Bloodvein River, by providing them with snow removal equipment. On top of that, we previously announced funding for airport improvements at Gods River, Red Sucker Lake, Flin Flon, Brandon, Tadoule Lake, The Pas, and Thompson.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Kimberly Moran and her newly-adopted son have been stranded in Ghana, Africa for over three months as they seek citizenship papers to allow them to return to Canada. After months of silence, the minister finally responded by saying that he could not even give a time frame for completion of this process. How callous. It appears the Liberal government does not care about the Moran family or its adopted boy.
    When will the government finally act to bring this family home?
    Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak about the specifics of this case due to privacy laws, but I can assure my hon. colleague that like all matters that deal with inter-country adoptions, we take all cases seriously. In all cases of inter-country adoptions, our first priority is the health and well-being of the children involved. International adoptions are governed by strict rules and we must comply with the rules of both the sending and the receiving country.

[Translation]

Foreign Investment

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals let Lowe's take over Rona without any conditions. They were happy to take the company's cash in exchange for six commitments that are not legally binding. What happened? It has already broken two of them.
    On top of that, some secret commitments were apparently made between the company and the government, but we have no way of knowing what they were. It is as secret as the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel's mission.
    Will the government show some transparency and tell us what the so-called commitments are that Lowe's is supposed to fulfill?

  (1505)  

     Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by these store closures.
    That transaction was scrutinized to ensure that it would present an overall net economic benefit to Canada. Consultations were also held with the Province of Quebec. Lowe's has made some commitments that must be fulfilled. We are monitoring the situation closely.
    Mr. Speaker, we might find out what that means one day.
    Let's talk about the minister's analysis. I asked his department if I could see any document, analysis or study that the minister may have received regarding the sale of Rona to Lowe's before the transaction took place.
    I was told, and I quote: “We regret to inform you that we did not find any documents that correspond with your request.”
    They did not even find a Post-it note.
    Will the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development release the impact assessments or is he telling us that he authorized the sale without any analysis?
    Mr. Speaker, I disagree with my colleague. We have been very clear. Transactions and jobs that are good for everyone are our government's top priority.

[English]

    We have been very clear, under the Investment Canada Act as well, that this transaction really advances the economic benefits, where the head office would be located in Boucherville as well. We engaged the Quebec government as well. We will continue to monitor the situation on a going forward basis.

Steel Industry

    Mr. Speaker, after determining that China was dumping and subsidizing structural steel, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal applied countervailing duties. However, LNG Canada has sought an exception so it can ship in steel modules from China rather than building them here. We should seize this opportunity to develop Canada's steel industry.
    Could the government commit to enforcing existing tariffs against unfairly traded Chinese steel?
    Mr. Speaker, that is an important question. There is a process whereby if there is an investment being made and if there is an opportunity for something to be purchased that cannot be produced in Canada, we consider remission orders. That is exactly what happened in the case of LNG Canada. By the same token, we do want to have a situation where we encourage steelmakers to produce the goods we need in Canada. That will be our continuing goal while considering exceptions where exceptions are warranted.

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP who have been chosen to participate in the 2018 Remembrance Day sentry program: Sergeant Isabelle Leclerc, Leading Seaman Harveer Gill, Corporal Dany Lessard, Master Corporal Simon Hughes, Lieutenant Derek Carter, Constable Steve Monkley and Sergeant Jeremy Leblanc.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Service Standards for Veterans  

    The House resumed from November 5 consideration of the motion.
    It being 3:10 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Monday, November 5, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni relating to the business of supply.
    Call in the members.
    And the bells having rung:
    The Speaker: The question is on the motion.

[English]

    Shall I dispense?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    [Chair read text of motion to House]

  (1515)  

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

(Division No. 929)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fry
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Harder
Hardie
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
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
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Martel
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morneau
Morrissey
Motz
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Ng
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poilievre
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tilson
Tootoo
Trost
Trudeau
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zimmer

Total: -- 301


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, government orders will be extended by eight minutes.

[English]

Points of Order

Motion Regarding Commemorative Plaque for Sam Sharpe  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, which relates to a unanimous consent motion passed in the House of Commons on May 24, and it relates to the unanimous consent given on the installation of a plaque commemorating a former MP from the Great War, Sam Sharpe. The unanimous consent motion was seconded by my colleague on the other side, the MP for Pickering—Uxbridge, and there was much help from the member for Scarborough—Guildwood as well.
    The installation is to be held before the 100th year anniversary of the armistice that ended the war. We have been informed in recent days that it is the intention of the Minister of Veterans Affairs not to install the plaque, as per the unanimous consent of the House, but to display the maquette. The maquette, the model for the commemorative plaque, was displayed in 2015. The intention of the House on May 24 was to install the plaque here in Centre Block.
    I would quote from the unanimous consent motion passed on May 24 in this place:
one day before the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of MP Sam Sharpe, [this House] call for the commemorative bronze plaque of Samuel Simpson Sharp, sculpted by Canadian artist Tyler Briley, to be installed in the Centre Block ahead of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War
    It went on to give discretion to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, during the period of closure of Centre Block for renovations, to allow the plaque to be removed from its installation and loaned to the Operational Stress Injury Clinic at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.
    All sides agreed to a very detailed and very much discussed unanimous consent motion, and it is my sincere hope, in the spirit of bipartisanship in relation to reducing the stigma associated with mental injuries from service, that before 100 years passes from the end of the Great War, we can rectify an omission by the House of Commons almost a century ago, when the iconic statue of George Baker was provided in the lobby here and no mention was made of sitting member of Parliament Sam Sharpe.
    That unanimous consent motion was passed on the eve of the 100th anniversary of his death by suicide in the year the Legion has decided to make the Silver Cross Mother the mother of Private Welch, who was a casualty, through a similar means, after the Afghanistan war.
    Let us show a spirit of bipartisan co-operation to meet the goal and the clear, express intention of the House and install the plaque tomorrow or before November 11. That is really our duty. That was the will of the House. The fact that the intention of the minister is now to deviate from that express will brings my point of order for your clarification.

  (1520)  

    I thank the hon. member for Durham for raising his point of order. I will look into the matter and come back to the House.

Privilege

Time Allotted for Consideration of Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege as well as the point of order raised on October 31, 2018, by the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby regarding Bill C-86, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures.

[Translation]

     I would like to thank the member for having raised the matter as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House for his observations.

[English]

    In regard to his question of privilege, the member for New Westminster—Burnaby contended that the government's intent to allow a few days of debate on Bill C-86 would not allow for sufficient scrutiny of its clauses, given the length of the bill, at 850 pages. As parliamentarians have a fundamental right and responsibility to examine legislation, he concluded that a bill of this size is more than an omnibus bill and constitutes an obstruction to his ability to perform his parliamentary duties.

[Translation]

    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader assured the House that time will be available for the bill to be considered at each stage of the legislative process and, thus, the member’s privileges are not being breached.
    Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the member for New Westminster—Burnaby’s concern with his ability to scrutinize a bill of this magnitude thoroughly and, in turn, debate with confidence. This is a massive bill, the largest budget implementation bill to date.

[English]

    That said, the rules and practices of the House have yet to address the issue of limits on length of legislation. Even with the addition of Standing Order 69.1, which grants the Speaker some authority with respect to omnibus legislation, there is no mechanism for the Chair to deal with legislation based solely on its size. This is no less true when there is a supposition being made about the limited amount of time that will be allowed for debate on any given bill. Whether or not a reasonable amount of time has been allowed for debate is not a question that the Chair can answer, even now when members are being asked to digest a “gargantuan bill”, as the member for New Westminster—Burnaby called it.
    As my predecessor said on June 12, 2014, at page 6717 of the Debates, “it is the House that retains that authority and therefore must continue to make that determination as to when and if a bill has received adequate consideration.” For these reasons, I cannot conclude that the objection raised constitutes a prima facie contempt of the House.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

Points of Order

Bill C-86—Proposal to Apply Standing Order 69.1--Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    Turning now to the point of order, the hon. member asked me to divide the question on the bill pursuant to Standing Order 69.1 on omnibus bills. He argued that specific measures in the bill, namely clauses 461 and 462 dealing with protections for workers, and clauses 535 to 625, dealing with the head of compliance and enforcement, did not appear to arise out of measures announced in the budget. Therefore, in his view, these sections should be separated out for a distinct vote. He felt that there were likely other matters contained in the bill that were unrelated to the budget, but the short timeline had not permitted him the opportunity to make a thorough review.

[English]

    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader responded by saying that there was, indeed, a link between these measures and what was promised in the budget. In the case of the provisions relating to the head of compliance and enforcement, he indicated that the government had signalled its intention to amend and modernize the Canada Labour Code in last year’s budget and that these provisions were in response to that commitment.
    Standing Order 69.1 allows the Speaker to divide the questions on the motions for second and third reading of a bill when there is no common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked. Paragraph (2) of that Standing Order provides an exemption for budget implementation bills, by which the question cannot be divided if the bill contains only provisions announced in the budget or referenced in the budget documents.

[Translation]

     On November 8, 2017, in a ruling regarding Bill C-63 found at pages 15165 to 15167 of the Debates, I explained that:
    I believe the purpose of the standing order is to allow such a division in relation to those matters which are unrelated to the budget, accepting that the purpose of the remainder of the bill is to implement the budget.

[English]

    Therefore, the only question at issue is whether the provisions identified by the hon. member have any link to the budget presented in this place on February 27. If they do, then I would not separate them out for a distinct vote.
    As I mentioned in the ruling last year, establishing such a link is not always obvious. The budget document is over 360 pages, accompanied by nearly 80 pages of supplemental tax information. Sometimes commitments are very specific and targeted, while other times the language may be vaguer. A generally stated policy intention may translate into a series of detailed and technical legislative amendments. Accordingly, a provision announced in a few sentences may require pages of legislative changes to implement. It is with this in mind that I have reviewed the provisions identified by the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

[Translation]

    Clause 461 of the bill creates a new division VI.1 in the Canada Labour Code relating to temporary help agencies. The provisions seem to deal largely with matters relating to pay equity. Page 43 of the budget indicates that pay equity legislation will “include job types such as seasonal, temporary, part-time and full-time positions”. While this measure falls outside the pay equity act enacted by clause 416 and related measures in clauses 417 to 440, it seems reasonable to conclude that it is part of a series of provisions dealing with equal pay for equal work and fair treatment in the workplace, in line with the objective announced in the budget.

  (1530)  

[English]

    Clause 462 changes a heading in the Canada Labour Code relating to maternity leave and other types of leave. For many years, it was our practice that headings were not subject to amendment, as they were not considered to be part of a bill. However, in recent years, it has become more common to see clauses or amendments that change headings. In fact, this particular heading had previously been changed by Bill C-63.
     The substance of the present change seems to be to group a list of different types of leave into a more concise heading. The parliamentary secretary noted that page 46 of the budget indicated that:
…the Government proposes to amend the Canada Labour Code to ensure that workers in federally regulated industries have the job protection they need while they are receiving EI parental benefits.
    I am prepared to accept that the heading change flows, at least partially, out of this commitment.

[Translation]

    Clauses 535 to 637 amend the Canada Labour Code to allow a minister to designate a head of compliance and enforcement and spell out this person’s powers and responsibilities. Some of these relate to harassment and violence in the workplace. Page 236 of the budget makes reference to “…protecting federally regulated employees from harassment and violence in the workplace” and at least some of these measures clearly align with that objective. However, the parliamentary secretary’s main argument for not separating out these provisions is that they fulfill a commitment made in budget 2017 to strengthen compliance and enforcement mechanisms in the Labour Code.

[English]

    The parliamentary secretary’s contention is that the exemption in the Standing Order applies to a bill whose purpose is the implementation of “a budget”, inferring it need not be this year’s budget. I think this is a bit of a stretch.
     The title of Bill C-86 references the “budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018”. Clearly, the main purpose of the bill is to implement this year’s budget, not last year’s. I do not believe the intention of the Standing Order was to also exempt provisions from previous budgets.
     Had the commitments been repeated in this year’s budget, I may have been inclined to accept his arguments, but that does not appear to be the case. For that reason, I am prepared to allow a separate vote on the provisions contained in subdivision B of division 15 of part 4.
     Accordingly, given that a reasoned amendment has been moved, there will be three votes at second reading for this bill. The first will deal with the reasoned amendment. If it is defeated, the second vote will deal with all provisions relating to the head of compliance and enforcement in the Canada Labour Code, which includes clauses 535 to 625 of the bill, while the third will deal with all remaining provisions of the bill.

[Translation]

    I thank hon. members for their attention.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, speaking for the NDP, I rise to speak about Bill C-86, the budget implementation bill. I will run through some of the things we do not like, some of the things we wish were there and some of the measures that we have some qualified support for, particularly around oil spill response. I will then speak a little more in depth about pay equity, which is a long-awaited provision. We have been eagerly looking forward to it being brought into the House for three years, actually 42 years if we count the total sweep of time since it was first committed to by Liberals, and a lot of questions have come up about the mechanics of it.
    However, first, there is one big missing piece. Although the bankruptcy laws would be amended through this proposed budget implementation act, they would only protect commercial licence-holders and corporations but fail completely to protect workers' pensions with those same bankruptcy laws. Our NDP colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain, has been working for three years on this. When there is a bankruptcy, workers' pensions, which they have paid for, should be at the front of the line. How could the government, when it is for the middle class and all that jargon, have opened up that section of the bankruptcy laws but not introduced this amendment? It is so important, whether one is a Sears worker or Stelco worker. It is a major miss and a great disappointment. In fact, some have said it is a “moral failure”.
    What is missing? If this were a New Democrat budget, we would have web taxation for the giant web companies. We would end pension theft. We would have universal child care. We would have closed tax loopholes. We would have much stronger measures against tax havens. A major way to fund our social programs in this great country is to close the offshore super-rich tax loopholes. We would have sick leave in EI. We would have universal, affordable pharmacare. We would have closed the funding gap for indigenous education and access to drinking water on reserves. There would have been more help for rural communities.
    Here is one proposed provision that there is a mix on. We are glad to see an increased number of weeks for parental leave when divided between working parents, but, again, and we have made this argument every budget, it would only be effective for people who can afford to live on just 33% of their salary. It is not within reach or affordable for families who are not super well off. Also, as my colleague pointed out, six in 10 workers do not have access to EI. The program is still designed in a way that does not accommodate part-time and precarious workers, the people who most need the social safety net of EI. Therefore, it is a provision that although on paper looks good, and it is a good step I guess, it would not actually get to the people who need it. Of course, it does not get at the heart of the matter, which every gender-focused government and progressive government in the world has done, and that is invest in universal affordable child care. This proposed budget would not do that.
    An issue I have been working on for at least 10 years in my role as Islands Trust Council chair and during the whole three years that I have been representing here concerns oil spill response. I represent a coastal community by the ocean. It has a lot of shipping traffic, a very sensitive ecology, fast-moving currents and big tidal fluctuations. A lot of jobs are dependent on the region; people are very concerned about oil spill response. Therefore, we were glad to see in the proposed budget a mechanism for the Coast Guard to receive upfront funding from the ship-source oil pollution fund.
    Members might remember this fund from when I worked with the former fisheries minister, the member for Nunavut, to have the Viki Lyne II removed from Ladysmith Harbour. After four and a half years of trying, it cost $1.2 million, which was funded through the ship-source oil pollution fund. That abandoned vessel had been towed into Ladysmith Harbour by Transport Canada. The government brought it into our riding, and it took us that long to get it out, but that fund was used to remove the Viki Lyne II on the basis that removing that abandoned vessel would prevent an oil spill.

  (1535)  

    Therefore, it is good there is some conversation in this budget about how this fund might be used in a new and modern way. However, a provision in the budget implementation act that worries me is that it creates a mechanism for the government to put taxpayer money into the fund in the event it is depleted.
    We have heard a lot of speeches in the chamber about polluter pays and making corporations pay for pollution. I agree with that, but this is the exact opposite of the intention of the ship-source oil spill pollution fund.
    The following is part of a letter that I wrote when I was the Islands Trust Council chair in 2013 for the Tanker Safety Panel Secretariat under Transport Canada:
...this fund cannot be viewed as a “polluter-pay” arrangement, when industry has only contributed $34.86 million between 1972-1976 and none since then. On the other hand, I am told the taxpayer has contributed more than $424 million and the fund has paid out more than $51 million for industry's annual premiums to the international compensation funds. It makes sense to us
    —that is, the Islands Trust Council—
that cargo owners and pipeline owners with marine terminals who profit by risking our marine environment and the health of our communities, should contribute to this fund to avoid the burden falling on the Canadian taxpayer.
    That is how it should be. Industry should be paying for this fund. We really do not want to see the government opening up a mechanism to put taxpayer funds into this, even if it is only in an emergency situation. Rather, right now we should be asking the polluters to make contributions so that in the calamitous event there is an oil spill, we are able to have the funds right there that industry has already paid for.
    Most importantly, I want to talk about the pay equity provisions. Going back in history, members will remember that it was 42 years ago that Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government committed to pay equity. In 2004, again under a Liberal government, there was a task force that had tremendous buy-in from all sectors and made very strong recommendations on pay equity that were never implemented. The NDP's very first opposition day motion in this Parliament was to have the government strike a special committee to find a way to implement those 2004 recommendations.
    Here we are, three years later, and we wish it had not taken this long. However, we are glad to see the pay equity legislation finally tabled here. That it is buried in an 800-page omnibus bill is very discouraging. It means we cannot dig into the details, and there are a lot of them.
    I have some questions about where this does not seem to align with the 2004 pay equity task force recommendations, which this Parliament's special committee unanimously said should be implemented. Pay equity is a fundamental human right, but this act's purpose clause defines it in terms of the employer's need. This is unheard of in a human rights statute in this country and completely contrary to the 2004 task force recommendations.
    There will be no legal support centre for non-union women, as recommended in the 2004 task force. There will be no standalone enforcement entity as a specialized pay equity commission and tribunal. Again, that recommendation was ignored. The definition of “employer” is left out.
    We had some testimony just this morning indicating that the finance committee ran through some of these mechanisms. We are getting good advice, but, again, we wish we had more time to debate and implement it.
    A question was asked about why the new federal pay equity legislation would reduce the entitlements that women employed in precarious jobs currently have with that protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act. How could it possibly be that precarious workers would have less protection in this new bill than they do right now?
    The timeline is a significant problem as well. Again, we have been waiting 42 years. It took the government three years to get to this point. The new pay equity act says that women could wait more than 10 years to receive a pay equity remedy: one year to develop the regulations, three years for pay equity plan development, and eight years for compensation and remedies to paid out in the case of workplaces with fewer than 99 employees.
     This is not a situation where more consultation and more research is needed. Other countries have gone way ahead of us. Women have waited far too long. We really want to accelerate the implementation of equal pay for work of equal value.

  (1540)  

    One point is that the NDP continually wants us to do things faster, but then to slow down once we start doing them. I am trying to reconcile that contradiction.
     The second point is that in 2004, when pay equity legislation was on the table in the House and ready to be passed, as were the Kelowna accord and the proposed national day care program and an actual $2.7 billion for housing, the NDP chose to move to support a confidence motion rather than wait. The opposition controlled the timing of that. It supported the confidence motion first, rather waiting for those pieces to pass and then moving the confidence motion. The NDP have never explained to Canadians for why they gambled all of those things away. However, those things were gambled away.
    My question is this. I think the member opposite raised an important issue around EI. She agreed that remodelling EI to reach more Canadians is necessary. If that happens, would she agree with what the Conservatives often say that it is a payroll tax rather than an insurance process? Would she support it even if it did have an impact on premiums?

  (1545)  

    Mr. Speaker, of the seven questions asked, I will say that having waited 42 years, we want to get pay equity right. As for the closure that has been invoked on debate and the very limited committee time that it looks like we are going to have, I promise that we are not trying to slow down pay equity. We want it to be implemented more quickly and to have the time in committee and in the House to be able to get the details right. This has an enormous impact on women in all sectors.
    Another piece that was not accommodated in the legislation was the question of intersectionality. Indigenous and racialized and immigrant people, not just women, should be accommodated within this pay equity act, and it looks that is missing.
    These are all detailed questions that we want to work on with the government to get this right. I really wish the government had not waited until the third year of its mandate to bring the legislation forward. I wish it would give us more time to have this conversation right now.
    Mr. Speaker, as all of us in the opposition have discussed, this bill is is over 800 pages long. For those who objected to Conservative budget legislation, this is double the length of what we saw under the previous government. It is a comparison that should put those on the government side who railed against omnibus legislation utterly to shame.
    I want to ask the member for her perspective on the indigenous consultation issue in the context of a budget bill that has implications for the lives of indigenous people in a number of its particularly important provisions. We have not had much time in the House to discuss those provisions, given the vastness of the bill and the limited time we have.
    In this member's view, does the process conform to the requirements in UNDRIP for consultation of indigenous people on things that affect their lives?
    Mr. Speaker, I would love to be able to answer that question. I am so proud of the work my colleague, the member of Parliament for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, did to bring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into legislation and have it bind future governments. Honestly, I have not even looked at that section. I have not been home since this omnibus bill was tabled. I have not heard from the Snuneymuxw, Stz'uminus, and Snaw-naw-as councils in my region.
    Again, the current government is one that says that the nation-to-nation relationship is the most important. We have the ability to lock this into law. If there are good provisions, I would love to be able to support them. However, this is such a rush.
    Mr. Speaker, in my colleague's speech, she mentioned the bankruptcy laws, which in its budget, the government had promised it was going to have consultations on. It even campaigned that it was going to use every tool in the tool box. My colleague mentioned that the government is using this now to open up the bankruptcy laws for companies, but not for the workers' pensions. Can she tell us what her constituents told us at the town hall meeting where they expressed this concern?
    Mr. Speaker, when I co-hosted a town hall in Ladysmith with my colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain, we had a lot of people come out. There were former Sears employees, who really liked the mechanism that had been proposed by my colleague to put workers first in the queue in the event of bankruptcies. They recognized that these are earned pensions that they have paid into all their lives. I am sure they will be dismayed to learn that the government chose to open up the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, but not to protect workers' pensions.
    Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to acknowledge our presence on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples, who have taken care of this place for generations upon generations.
    I am standing in the House to speak to, and urge my colleagues to support, Bill C-86, the budget implementation act, part 2, more affectionately known in this House as BIA 2, and to speak to the measures that help grow Canada's middle class and support those working hard to join it. I firmly believe that, when passed, these measures will help support Canadians across the country and help to grow our economy.
    I also need to acknowledge the work of the feminists who have come before us, those who have worked so hard, those effective trailblazers and courageous silence-breakers who have brought us to this moment in time when we recognize that equality is a driver of economic growth. In fact, this past October, we launched Women's History Month, with the first online gallery that captures the stories of Canada's women of impact. This particular website tells the stories of women like Elsie Knott, the first woman to be chief of a first nation in Canada; Louise Fish; and young women like Faith Dickinson, along with the more well-known trailblazers, like the Right Hon. Kim Campbell. I encourage my colleagues and Canadians to google "Canada's women of impact" and read their stories. There is a teacher's guide so that we may share those stories in an effective way. Of course, Canadians are welcome to provide their nominations for other women whose stories ought to be on that website.
    I mention those women, because our government is committed to continuing their legacies. Advancing gender equality is the right thing to do, and it is indeed the smart thing to do. We would benefit to the tune of $150 billion in Canada's economy over the next decade if Canada's women participated equally in our economy. We would increase our GDP by 4%, we would fill critical labour shortages, and would ensure that Canada's middle class grows, and that we stay competitive.
    There are several measures in Bill C-86 to close the gender wage gap and to build on our government's existing efforts. I would like to speak broadly to five of those.
    The first is the introduction of an act that would ensure there is a new and full department with a broader mandate to help Status of Women Canada evolve. It would evolve into the department for women and gender equality, WAGE in short. There is proactive pay equity legislation. We are legislating the application of a gender and diversity lens to all federal budgets moving forward. There are provisions for shared parental leave, and there is also a new benefit of five days of paid leave for survivors of family violence.
    I would like to speak to the enabling legislation that would ensure that the department for women and gender equality would be able to build on the good work of the small but mighty agency that is Status of Women Canada. I will take this opportunity to thank my predecessors, as well as the team at Status of Women, who, regardless of the whims and values of the sitting governments of the day, kept the work of gender equality alive, kept tools like GBA+ sharp and applicable in Canadian contexts, and worked tirelessly, with limited resources, to help transform an agency into a full department and help meet the additional demands on their expertise with a feminist government.
    The department, to be called WAGE, the department for women and gender equality, will have a wide mandate for the advancement of equality, including social, economic, and political equality with respect to sex, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, rurality, indigeneity, immigration and immigrant status, as well as to ensure that we take into account the wide range of varieties that Canadians find themselves in.
    The proactive pay equity legislation included in this bill, Bill C-86, is historic. It is a historic step that will ensure that women in federally regulated industries, whether in the public service or others, are paid equally for work of equal value.

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    In doing so, we consulted with employees and employers and advocacy organizations and worked to strike a balance between the recommendations that came from the Bilson report, as well as the hard work and the report presented to the House from the committee that worked on pay equity. Proactive pay equity legislation is part of our government's efforts to get our house in order, and to continue to lead by example, hopefully compelling other employers to do the same.
    The third item I would like to speak to is gender budgeting. BIA2 includes legislation that enshrines gender budgeting in law. This will ensure that future governments apply a gender and diversity lens to their budgetary decisions. This is an important example of how our government is working to ensure that an intersectional gendered lens is applied to our decision-making, including the federal budget.
    The fourth item I would like to speak to is a new benefit to advance gender equality. Our government's five-week EI “use it or lose it” parental sharing benefit which is available to two-parent families, including adoptive and same sex couples, proposes to provide greater flexibility, particularly for mothers to return to work sooner, if they so choose. It encourages the second parent to take part in the work that is caring for a newborn.
     We know that it will help shape and change some of the gender norms around who provides the care. We also know that for mothers who experience postpartum depression, having that additional support in those early days will provide some relief.
    The fifth item that I would like to speak to is a budget measure that is tabled by our government that will ensure that survivors of family violence receive five days of paid leave. Advocates, women's organizations and unions have told us that these five days will ensure that those who experience that violence will have some time to figure out next steps, to come up with a plan, to take a time out, whatever that may be. This is something that we heard from advocates across Canada and we listened.
    Regardless of our political persuasions, we all agree that nobody should have to live in fear, in economic uncertainty, of not having access to a decent job, or being paid less for work of equal value. Everyone should have the opportunity to succeed in this great country, no matter their gender, gender identity, age, language, origin, race, abilities, rurality or other identity factors.
    I encourage my hon. colleagues in this House to support this bill. The measures introduced, combined with our government's efforts, like support for women's organizations, like child care, like a national housing strategy that has a carve-out for women who are escaping violence, like the work we are doing to support women entrepreneurs and women leaders, like Daughters of the Vote, all of these measures combined will ensure greater equality in Canada, will grow Canada's middle class and will support those working hard to join it.
    I hope that colleagues support Bill C-86. I am happy to answer any questions they may have.

  (1555)  

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, in her speech, said that we need to tackle the problem of violence against women and girls. I agree. Then she went on to say that we need to tackle this problem, because it will mean that our economy will be advanced, that it will be good for our economy. What she is saying, in essence, is that in Canada we face a problem where women and girls are mistreated, and we need to make sure that we take care of that problem so that these women and girls can go back into the workforce, so that they can contribute to our economic well-being as a country, and so that they can pay taxes to the government.
    My question is very simple. As women, do we not have inherent dignity, inherent value and inherent worth? Are we not worth fighting for, just because we are women, because we are human beings, because we belong to a country called Canada?
    In this country, we believe in the security and the freedom of a human being. We believe in making sure that is preserved and protected. We believe that every single Canadian from coast to coast should be able to walk in this country freely, that they should be able to walk in this country knowing that their security is intact, that they should not be attacked or mistreated by others, including the Prime Minister, I might add.
    My question is very simple. Why is the hon. member devaluing women by saying that they simply need to be looked after so that they can better contribute to the economy?
    Violence against women and girls is worth going after just because it is the right thing to do.

  (1600)  

    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague. Advancing equality and preventing gender-based violence is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do.
    I am sure my hon. colleague knows that domestic violence is costing us $12 billion a year. I am sure my hon. colleague knows that, if given the choice, many would prefer to be out and reaching their full potential and contributing to society and the economy.
    This is why we have invested over $200 million in a strategy to address and prevent gender-based violence. This is why we are investing tens of millions of dollars in women's organizations that are doing this work. This is why our government was the first to introduce a strategy to address and prevent gender-based violence. I also would like to remind colleagues that our party is the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we too, like my colleague opposite, believe in protecting these rights, protected and fought for by others who have come before us.
    I would like to add that the Conservatives had 10 years to address the challenges around gender-based violence. I would like to add that they closed down regional offices across the country. They shut down and stopped funding women's organizations that were advocating for a better life and for the dignity that is now being mentioned. The Conservatives worked every step of the way to undermine, undervalue and underestimate Status of Women Canada and women in this country. It is good to see them come on board and see the merit in our plan. I look forward to any future collaborations.
    Mr. Speaker, in my many years in Parliament, I have seen governments squander a lot of things, and one thing majority governments are dangerous about squandering is the word of the prime minister, through sheer arrogance.
    We remember how the Prime Minister won, saying this was going to be the last election under first past the post. He said there were going to be new relations with first nations. On prorogation and the use of omnibus bills, we remember how he said that Stephen Harper used omnibus bills, but the Liberals would change the Standing Orders and they would not do that. Now we are looking at this ridiculously large omnibus bill that comes from a Prime Minister who figures that the words he said to get himself elected actually do not count for all that much.
    What really concerns me in this is the Liberals have shoved into this massive budget implementation bill fundamental questions about first nations issues. They do not even believe they have to bother consulting first nations. It is the same old attitude of the same old government that goes all the way back.
    How, in God's name, does the government have the gall to shove issues about first nations rights and land into an omnibus budget bill without consultation?
    Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that we are open to engaging with all peoples of this land, especially the first peoples of this land, to ensure that we move together effectively in an era of reconciliation.
     I can speak to pay equity. We are absolutely in consultation with indigenous communities across the country. I would be happy to provide my hon. colleague with an update on that.
    I would also say that our government supported UNDRIP, the proposal that was placed in this House, and my hon. colleagues from the Conservative Party did not.
    We will continue to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of race, ability, disability and gender identity, have the opportunity to reach their full potential in this great country. I urge my hon. colleagues to support this bill so we can continue to do that work.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise. As usual, I would like to say hello to the many people of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching us live on CPAC or on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter later.
    I would like to comment on the speech by the Minister of Status of Women. I found it somewhat hypocritical when she said that she hopes her opposition colleagues will support the bill and the budget's feminist measures, which she presented, when the Liberals actually and strategically included all these measures in an omnibus bill, the 2018 budget implementation bill. Clearly, we, the Conservatives, will not vote in favour of Bill C-86 because it once again presents a deficit budget that is devastating for Canada's economy and for Canadian taxpayers. It is somewhat hypocritical for the minister to tell us that she hopes we will support the measures to give women more power when she herself was involved in hiding these measures in an omnibus bill.
    I would like say, as I often say, that it is a privilege for me to speak today, but not for the same reason this time. I might have been denied the opportunity to speak to Bill C-86 because this morning, the Liberal government imposed closure on the House. It imposed time allocation on the speeches on the budget. This is the first time in three years that I am seeing this in the House. Since 2015, we have had three budget presentations. This is the sixth time we are debating a budget since 2015 during this 42nd Parliament. This is the first time I have seen the majority of my Conservative colleagues and the majority of my NDP colleagues being denied speaking time to discuss something as important as Bill C-86 to implement budgetary measures. The budget implementation legislation is what formalizes the budget the government brought down in February. Implementation is done in two phases. This is the second phase and it implements the Liberal government's budget.
    By chance, I have the opportunity to speak about the budget today and I want to do so because I would like to remind those listening about some key elements of this budget which, in our view, are going in the wrong direction. First, the Liberals are continuing with their habit, which has become ingrained in their psyches. They are continuing with their deficit approach. It appears that they are in a financial bind. That is why they are creating new taxes like the carbon tax. They also lack the personal ability to govern. You might say that it is not in their genes to balance a budget. The Liberals' budget measures are bad and their economic plan is bad. They are so incapable of balancing the budget that they cannot even give us a timeline. They cannot even tell us when they think they will balance the budget.
    This is the first time that we have seen this in the history of our great Canadian parliamentary democracy, established in 1867, and probably before that, in the parliaments of the United Canadas. This is the first time since 1867 that a government has not been able to say when they will balance the budget. I am not one for political rhetoric, but this is not rhetoric, this is a fact.
    The Liberals made big promises to us in that regard during the 2015 election. Unfortunately, the Liberals put off keeping those promises. They promised to balance the budget by 2019. Now, they have put that off indefinitely, or until 2045, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a position that, let us not forget, was created by Mr. Harper. That great democrat wanted to ensure that there was budgetary accountability in Parliament. The Liberals also promised that they would run small deficits of $10 billion for the first three years and then balance the budget. The first year, they ran a deficit of $30 billion. The second year, they ran a deficit of $20 billion. The third year, they ran a deficit of $19 billion. Just a week or two ago, we found out from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that the Liberals miscalculated and another $4 billion in debt has been added to that amount. The Liberals have racked up a deficit of $22 billion. That is 6.5 times more than what they set out in their plan to balance the budget.
    The other key budget promise the Liberals made was that the small deficits of $10 billion would be used to build new infrastructure as part of a $187-billion program.

  (1605)  

    To date, only $9 billion has flowed from the coffers to pay for infrastructure projects. Where is the other $170 billion? The Prime Minister is so acutely aware of the problem that he shuffled his cabinet this summer. He appointed the former international trade minister to the infrastructure portfolio, and the new infrastructure minister's mandate letter says he absolutely has to get on this troublesome issue of money not being used to fund infrastructure projects.
    There is a reason the Liberals do not want to give us more than two or three days to discuss the budget. They do not want the Conservatives and the NDP to say quite as much about the budget as they would like to say because we have a lot of bad things to tell them and Canadians.
    Fortunately, we live in a democracy, and we can express ourselves in the media, so all Canadians can hear what I have to say. However, it is important for us to express our ideas in the House too because listening to what we say here is how Canadians learn what happened in history.
    Things are not as rosy as the Liberals claim when it comes to the economy and their plan. For instance, in terms of exports, they have not been able to export Canadian oil as they should. We have one of the largest reserves in the world, but the Liberals tightened rules surrounding the National Energy Board in recent years. As a result, several projects have died, such as the northern gateway project and energy east, and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project, which the Liberals managed to save in the end using $4.5 billion of taxpayers money. In short, our exports are not doing very well.
    As for investments, from 2015 to 2017, Canadian investments in the U.S. increased by 65%, while American investments in Canada dropped by 52%.
    On top of that, one thing that affects the daily lives of Canadians even more is the massive debt, which could jeopardize all our future projects for our glorious federation. In 2018, the total accumulated debt is $670 billion. That comes out to $47,000 per family. Not counting any student debt, car payments or mortgage, every family already has a debt of $47,000, and a good percentage of that has increased over the past three years because of the Liberals' fiscal mismanagement.
    That is not to mention the interest on the debt. I am sure that Canadians watching at home are outraged by this. In 2020, the interest on the debt will be $39 billion a year. That is $3 billion more than we invest every year in health.
    The government boasts about how it came up with a wonderful plan for federal health transfers with the provinces, but that plan does not respect provincial jurisdictions. What is more, it imposes conditions on the provinces that they must meet in order to be able to access those transfers. We did not do that in the Harper era. We are investing $36 billion per year in health care and spending $39 billion servicing debt. Imagine what we could have done with that money.
    I will close by talking about the labour shortage. I would have liked to have 20 minutes so I could say more, but we cannot take the time we want because of the gag order. It is sad that I cannot keep going.
    Quebec needs approximately 150,000 more workers. I am appalled that the minister would make a mockery of my questions on three occasions. Meanwhile, the member for Louis-Hébert had the nerve to say that the Conservatives oppose immigration. That has nothing to do with it. We support immigration, but that represents only 25% of the solution to the labour shortage. This is a serious crisis in Quebec.
    There are many things under federal jurisdiction that the government could do and that, in combination with immigration, would help fill labour shortages. However, all the Liberals can do is make fun of me, simply because I am a member of the opposition. I hosted economic round tables in Quebec City with my colleagues, and all business owners were telling us that this is a serious crisis. The Liberals should act like a good government and stop making fun of us every time we speak. Actually, it is even worse; they want to prevent us from speaking.

  (1610)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his very interesting comments. I have visited regions all across Quebec on behalf of the Minister of Innovation, and I have also heard the heartfelt appeals regarding the labour shortage.
    Is the hon. member prepared to encourage his colleagues to promote innovation across Quebec and Canada?

  (1615)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is such a dishonourable question. He is doing exactly what I just criticized his colleague from Louis-Hébert for doing. That is fearmongering. The Liberals are doing exactly what they are accusing us of doing. They are making a mockery of what we are saying and the work we are doing as Her Majesty's opposition.
    When we were in power, over 300,000 immigrants entered Canada every year, and there were no crises at our borders because we made sure that the our immigration system was orderly, fair and peaceful.
    At an economic round table, the executive director of the Association des économistes du Québec told us that immigration was only 25% of the solution to the labour shortage. Even if we welcomed 500,000 immigrants a year, that would still not completely solve the labour shortage.
    We need to help seniors who want to return to the workforce. We need to allow foreign students in our universities to stay longer. We need to make sure that fewer young men in Quebec drop out of high school. All kinds of action could be taken, but all the Liberals are capable of doing is launching completely false insinuations and hyper-partisan attacks on us.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou, who is also a young father. He talked a lot about the colossal debt that the Liberals are accumulating with their mismanagement. They talk a lot about the environment, but they are bringing in a tax that will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    As a young father, does my colleague believe that the government racking up all this debt during a period of relative economic prosperity will put the country in a vulnerable position in the coming years?
    What would he say is the right path for ensuring that we leave a sustainable tax environment and a lasting ecosystem for future generations?
    Mr. Speaker, the government needs to be serious and show some leadership. That means being capable of making decisions for the future well being of Canadian society.
    Why are the Liberals coming up with a carbon tax and bogus plans to fight climate change when they know a recession is coming? Everyone is talking about it. There will be a recession by 2020. What are they going to do in a recession with a $30-billion deficit? They have run up deficits or more than $100 billion in three and a half years. When the next recession hits, what are they going to do to get the economy moving again without any money?
    We know what to do. From 2006 to 2015, the Conservative government managed to get through the worst economic crisis in history since the recession of the 1930s. We had the best result in the G7 and the OECD.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my question is brief and it relates to the member's comments on the deficit. If he is so concerned about debt, how does he explain the fact that in 150 years since Confederation, the Liberals have been in power for 60% of the time and the Conservatives have been in power for—
    One moment please. I believe we have a problem with the sound system. Can everyone hear my voice? Let us give it another shot then.
     The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands. A 30-second question will get a 30-second answer.
    I will start again, Mr. Speaker. When the member talks about debt, I am curious as to how he can rationalize the fact that in 150 years since Confederation, the Liberals have been in power for 60% of the time, the Conservatives for 40% of the time, yet the Conservatives have racked up 75% of the national debt.
    How do the Conservatives square that away? Where do they get off lecturing this side of the House on not racking up debt?
    Mr. Speaker, there is the expression that Conservatives times are tough times. Why is that? We always have to clean up the Liberals' mess every single time. They were in power more often than us because they do not have principles. All they want is power. We stand up for the people and principles.
    Before resuming debate, I want to remind hon. members that shouting across the floor is not parliamentary behaviour.
    Resuming debate, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

  (1620)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to talk about the changes the bill makes to the Copyright Board.

[English]

    When we listen to music, it is rare that we fully appreciate all the people who contribute to our favourite songs. We certainly do not reflect fully on the legal and marketplace frameworks that make this listening possible, whether we are tuning into a radio station or streaming from one of our devices.
    The Copyright Board is a very important part of this behind the scenes framework. It is a specialized, independent and quasi-judicial decision-making body that establishes royalty rates to be paid for certain uses of content, allowing rights holders to band together to allow for efficient access and payment. In doing so, the board facilitates the development and growth of markets that rely on copyright in Canada while safeguarding the public interest.
    Copyright Board business is in a sense big business. The royalties it sets are estimated to be worth half a billion dollars annually. When one thinks of the many ways in which we experience content, the board has an impact on the lives of nearly every citizen.
    However, over the years, as new technology has increased the use of collectively managed copyrights and made rights management even more complex, decision-making at the Copyright Board was hindered by significant delays, so much so that royalty rates are regularly being set years after copyright-protected content is used. Retroactive decisions by the board are a distinctive feature of doing business in Canada. This results in Canadians having less access to and creators less revenues from innovative services, including digital content services. This also delays payments to creators, creates challenges for royalty collection and freezes capital that could otherwise be put to more productive use.
     When, at Parliament's urging, the government looked into this issue and consulted stakeholders, we found that significant and structural challenges in the board's decades old decision-making framework prevented it from operating efficiently.
    The government is now taking comprehensive action to address these issues initially in a budget 2018 initiative which saw a 30% increase in financial resources for the board, and now accompanied by legislative proposals. Along with several new appointments to the Copyright Board's core staff posts, these measures will set a new course and ensure that the board can once again issue the timely, forward-looking decisions that copyright-based markets need to thrive.
    The proposed amendments fall into three broad categories: ensuring more predictability and clarity in board proceedings, improving timelines and reducing the board's workload. We are ensuring more predictability by codifying the board's mandate and setting clear criteria for decision-making. This will help parties streamline their argumentation and the board to structure its decisions.
     We are improving timelines by making tariff filings earlier and making those tariffs last longer. We are also introducing case management to move proceedings more expeditiously, as well as a regulatory mechanism that will allow the government to set deadlines by which decisions will have to be rendered.
    We are also reducing the board's workload by allowing more collectives and users to enter into direct agreements among and between themselves. This will ensure that the board's resources are focused where they are most needed and not in areas where there is agreement between the parties.
     These reforms will have positive results for rights holders and users alike by reducing legal costs for all participants in board proceedings. They will better position our creators and cultural entrepreneurs to make, produce and reinvest in high-quality Canadian content and will support strong, vibrant and healthy creative industries for the benefit of all Canadians.
    I believe these steps are important in making our copyright more efficient and effective and to enable our businesses to innovate to create good middle-class jobs and contribute to Canada's prosperity. There is widespread agreement across the swath of copyright stakeholders about making changes that improve the functioning of the Copyright Board.
    These are not the only provisions going on in copyright policy in Canada. As some will know, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, INDU, as well as the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, CHPC, are currently conducting a statutory review of the Copyright Act. Such a review is required every five years, according to the law, to take stock of the overall effectiveness of the act in light of fast evolving technologies and to make recommendations to government regarding potential improvements when warranted.

  (1625)  

    During our consultations on the Copyright Board, some stakeholders recommended that the government clarify when board-set rates must be paid and that it provide collective management organizations with tools for their enforcement. They argued that there is uncertainty around the enforceability of board-set rates. Obviously, this argument touches on fair dealing.
    Fair dealing has been part of Canadian copyright since 1921. A series of landmark Canadian Supreme Court decisions, in particular in 2004 and in 2012, have outlined the nature and parameters of fair dealing in Canada, in particular in a 2012 decision that applied to works in the educational context. This was coupled with changes to the Copyright Act brought in 2012, which allowed for education to be a unique heading in fair dealing, where previously the Supreme Court's decision earlier in 2012 had based the same kinds of rights under the heading “research or private study”.
    There was an impact from that. We have heard diverse and sometimes conflicting accounts in that regard. Authors and publishers feel that they would like to be fairly remunerated for educational uses, while the educational community maintains that the current framework has begun to work well and that librarians, professors and teachers need the flexibility to thrive in a digital context, with new sources of digital materials coming online.
    I would also point out that a Supreme Court decision in 2014 maintained that tariffs could not be mandatorily applied to users, as it went around the basic law of contracts and undermined fair dealing rights.
    We have asked for clarity and more opinions on both sides of this debate. Consequently, the Minister of Canadian Heritage as well as the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development have written to the two parliamentary committees conducting the review and have asked them to provide specific insight on educational copying, including with regard to the applicability and enforcement of board-set rates.
    The government's vision is to have a creative middle class, where authors and publishers are paid fairly and where educational institutions and students continue to have access to quality Canadian works. Educational institutions of provincial and territorial governments rely on the availability and affordability of quality materials to give our students a world-class education rich in Canadian content.
    Although we may not always see the inner workings of the copyright framework behind the creation and dissemination of the content that surrounds us, the proper functioning of the Copyright Act and the proper functioning of the Copyright Board is of vital importance. That is what ensures that our enjoyment is sufficiently translated into fair remuneration for creators, and ultimately, returning to the beginning of my remarks, the making of our next favourite songs. With Copyright Board reform, we strengthen the virtuous circle for the benefit of all Canadians.
    Finally, on another note on the copyright file, we also, in the bill, strengthen our notice and notice regime to make sure that it is not abused by people pretending or claiming that there is a copyright infringement and that they should be paid a certain amount of money as a settlement offer.
    We heard, in the context of notice and notice consultations through INDU, good things about the notice and notice regime, as an initial response, to prevent abuse. It is the case that under notice and take-down regimes, copyright is asserted to take down content, even when the claim has nothing to do with copyright or the copyright is, in fact, legitimate. Our notice and notice regime will provide for a more standard form to prevent abuse in this context.

  (1630)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague's speech brings back some fond memories of when I was working as a parliamentary secretary and assistant on the industry file and we were involved in some extensive consultations on copyright. Certainly, we never would have dreamed of rolling those consultations into an 800-page budget bill, as opposed to moving forward with stand-alone consultations, discussions, review and legislation.
    Since we are talking about music, does the member think the government got a good deal from Netflix?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the hard work he did as parliamentary secretary. I can certainly speak from the same position and can appreciate the amount of work that has been done.
    The question raised is part of an ongoing review. It is not just the Copyright Act that is being reviewed but also the Broadcasting Act and the telecommunications sector generally. That is where that question would be better placed.
    As has been said a number of times in the House, the government subscribes to the principle that people who take a benefit from the system have to make a contribution at some point. As a government, we have tried to move forward on the Netflix file by ensuring that it contributes to Canadian and Quebec content, and we are continuing to monitor that situation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague said, “to make a contribution at some point”. Is “some point” in six years?
    What a meaningless answer. The Liberals are just putting things off. Honestly, I completely understand my colleague from Quebec. I am not sure if that is the name of his riding, but everyone knows who I am talking about. He was getting very worked up listening to the government's petty answers. The government is clearly under the impression that the blue bloods, the members of royalty, know what to do. It is appalling.
    There is something that really sticks in my craw. I have been a member of the House and vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for seven years. This year, we did not agree with the Conservatives, but at least they were doing things properly. When we began the copyright review, we knew it was a big deal. There was an ad hoc committee for all the parties participating. There were special clerks, analysts and advisors.
    In order to get its own way, the government decided to revamp the Copyright Board of Canada without knowing what changes would be made to the legislation. It is like trying to build a Japanese car with American tools. The government knew it was not a good idea, but it did it anyway.
    The government asked the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to examine certain provisions of the act here and there. Members did not have the slightest idea of the scope of the task they were being asked to do.
    Did the government do that to be able to get its own way? Do the Liberals think it is right that universities and colleges pay for electricity and insurance but do not pay royalties to authors?
    Mr. Speaker, as I just said, two House of Commons committees are holding consultations. Both committees have very rich histories and include very effective members of all parties. The committees are currently studying the impact of changes brought by the Supreme Court and the Copyright Act in 2012 that affected the education sector.
    Order. It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, The Environment; the hon. member for Vancouver East, Natural Resources; and the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, Housing.

[English]

    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the discussion today on Bill C-86, the budget implementation act.
    It is well known by everyone inside and outside this House that we are going into an election year. I often think back to the last election in preparation for my plans for what is going to become the 2019 election for Canada. Of course, I look forward to being the nominated candidate, which I am, for the election in October 2019. Congratulations to you, Mr. Speaker. I see that you received your nomination last week.
    In the last election, Canadians chose to elect the government with a plan to invest in the middle class and a government that planned to truly build an economy that would work for everyone, not just a select few. The results over the last four years speak for themselves. There are more Canadians employed today than in years and years. We have the lowest unemployment rate we have had the good fortune to have in well over 40 years, and that is a result of investments and the infrastructure and so on that our government has done.
    Since November 2015, the Canadian economy has created nearly 600,000 jobs, most of which are full-time jobs. The unemployment rate, as I mentioned, is near historic lows, and that is something I know everyone in this House is pleased about. Canada has had the fastest-growing economy among G7 countries.
     Wages are increasing. People are being paid a better wage, and then they are taking that wage and reinvesting it by purchasing things for their families. They are able to upscale to new homes or better cars. Consumer and business confidence is clearly stronger than ever. Middle-class Canadians, as I said, are seeing first-hand that our plan is continuing to work. By this time next year, a typical family of four will be better off, with more money in their pockets. If it is a family of four, we are talking about $2,000 more. If it is a family of eight, it will be reflected in the child tax benefit.
    More money in their pockets is something that will be tremendously important to the families in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek. I have a particularly interesting riding. It is mixed, very multicultural, with a lot of new immigrants and a lot of people who are struggling to get ahead, find jobs, get decent housing and achieve the Canadian dream. What our government is doing is clearly going to help them achieve that dream. More money in their pockets means that the constituents in my riding can afford to buy additional things they need for their children. They can purchase school supplies and maybe even have the opportunity for a nice evening out with a loved one. They can have the ability to offer music classes to their children or enrol them in hockey or soccer or many activities that are quite expensive.
    That all being said, for these things I have mentioned to happen, we must see Bill C-86 pass. Bill C-86 needs to pass to support our government's people-centred approach and ensure that every Canadian, from coast to coast to coast, has a fair chance for success.
    Our government is taking the next step toward building an equal, competitive, sustainable and fair Canada. By making substantial investments and real progress for the middle class, our government is demonstrating its commitment to all Canadians, and especially to those who need it the most in our communities. My riding of Humber River—Black Creek is no different. There are a number of key measures contained in Bill C-86 that would have a positive impact for Canadians, but I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the measures that will impact the lives of the people of Humber River—Black Creek in a positive way.

  (1635)  

    Our government is taking the next step to help grow the economy in a way that would strengthen and grow the middle class by introducing the new Canada workers benefit. The Canada workers benefit will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers and deliver real help to more than two million Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class.
    Canadians who qualify for the Canada workers benefit will be automatically enrolled, thereby ensuring that no worker will be left behind. We often hear that when the government initiates programs people are not aware that they have opportunities for support in various ways. Automatically enrolling people will ensure that people get whatever benefit they are entitled to. The Canada workers benefit will raise approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020.
    Our government's poverty reduction strategy is a really important issue for communities like mine that have a lot of new immigrants, a lot of people who are struggling to find jobs and settling in with their families. The first three or four years after moving into a new community are very much a struggle for them. The government's poverty reduction strategy will help many newcomers.
    Since taking office in 2015, our government has been growing the middle class by helping those working hard to join it. There has been an increase in the numbers when we talk about the middle class today.
    Housing is a very big issue in my riding. I know of three or four homeless people in my riding who are looking for housing. They are women and at the moment they share a room with a friend. They have their names on a list that contains the names of about 18,000 other people who are also trying to find safe housing.
    The enhanced seniors benefit is important. Our government has done a lot on the seniors file. We now have a new Minister of Seniors whom we are thrilled with. She and our government will do a lot of work to deliver assistance to our seniors.
    Thanks to programs like the Canada child benefit, the national housing strategy and others, by 2019, our investments will have lifted over 650,000 Canadians, including more than 300,000 children, out of poverty. All of us should be thrilled with that.
    Guided by opportunity for all, Canada's first national poverty reduction strategy, we are establishing an official poverty line for the first time ever, and setting firm targets for reducing poverty to the lowest level in Canada's history. Opportunity for all represents a bold vision for poverty reduction that will build a Canada where every Canadian from coast to coast to coast has a real and fair chance at success.
    Pay equity is another very important goal that we finally managed to see achieved. We have talked about it for well over 25 years and it is nice to see that it is finally going to come to fruition. We have been having discussions about pay equity for the full 19 years or so that I have been here.
    I have appreciated the opportunity to say a few words today and I welcome questions.

  (1640)  

    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague has been here a long time. She was here and was outraged when the previous government invoked closure. Granted it was a different time. There was an economic emergency and we had to get things moving forward.
    As my colleague quite rightly said, our economy is doing very well, not because of the Liberal government but because we are right next door to the United States and its economy is churning like crazy.
    The present Liberal government is the first government to have ever gone into so much debt in a time that was not a time of war or during a recession.
    I have been here as long as you have, Mr. Speaker. We were first elected in 2004. I have always had the opportunity to do a speech for my constituents, but unfortunately, I am not going to get a chance to do that on this bill.
    I am wondering if the member could comment on the fact that the Liberal government was supposed to be a government that was going to do things differently and here it is the same old same old.
    This bill has 850 pages. It is an omnibus bill the size of which I think is unprecedented. Why does she support the government's action to invoke closure on this bill and not give us the ability to speak for our constituents here in the House?

  (1645)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is always nice to get a question from my hon. colleague. In many ways, we share similar points of view on a variety of things.
    One of the issues that I have been working on for the last almost four years, which started when I was one of the members in opposition, is the issue of paying our bills promptly. One of the things that I find most aggravating here is the fact that it takes forever to get anything done. It takes years to get legislation through. It takes years to make changes. If the government has an omnibus bill and it is including a lot of things in that bill, sometimes that is a way of helping move certain agendas along.
    Let us talk about the issue of protecting our marine environment. There are a variety of things in this bill that are important and need to get done, yet there were more delays as we progressed and moved along. There are complaints all the time that governments take far too long to get things done and, as the previous government did, sometimes the decision is to take a different avenue to get things done. At the end of the day, government is responsible to move legislation along and to move bills like Bill C-86 along as well.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her presentation.
    One thing she said was quite striking, to say the least. Apparently omnibus bills are now the way to help move certain agendas along. I have serious doubts about that, but supposing I agreed with that statement, why does this massive omnibus bill not include a clause about what happens to workers' pensions when their employer goes bankrupt? This is a file the NDP has been working on for years, and it certainly serves as an example of how things can take time. What will the government do to make sure that workers who have invested in company pension plans, some of them for their whole lives, will get the priority consideration they deserve and not be left high and dry when the company goes bankrupt?
    If omnibus bills really are the way to move agendas along, then why is this legislation not in the omnibus bill? The NDP is not the only party talking about this. A growing number of bills on the subject have been introduced in both the House of Commons and the Senate.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we have been doing a lot of work on this whole issue of what we can do when it comes to bankruptcy and insolvency. Sears is an example and Nortel is another example before that. There have been many debates and discussions in this House as to how we work forward to protect pensions. I think our government is looking at that and I know several other parties in the House are also looking at trying to find a solution to a difficult issue.
    People's pensions have to be protected. People have to know they can count on the money that has been put in for their retirement. We all need to work forward to try to ensure that very much happens.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are drowning Canadian job creators in red tape and tax hikes. Whether it is the carbon tax, small business tax hikes or the many cancelled tax credits and deductions, the Liberals are driving businesses out of Canada and killing Canadian jobs, hurting workers and middle-class families across the country.
    Every other day major oil and gas companies cancel future projects, stop expansions or completely sell their Canadian businesses and take their money to other countries. It is a crisis, and it is not a result of external factors beyond the government's control. In fact, it is a direct consequence of the Liberals' message to Canadians and the world that Canada is closed for business because of the Liberals' added red tape and imposed cost increases.
    Context is important. The energy sector is the biggest private sector investor and accounts for over 11% of the value of Canada's economy. To put this in perspective, it contributes twice as much as agriculture and fisheries combined, sectors in which farmers and fishermen also often have jobs in oil and gas. It contributes more than the banking and finance sector and more than the auto sector. The benefits are shared across Canada. Every one job in the oil sands creates seven manufacturing jobs in Ontario. Every one upstream oil and gas job in Alberta creates five jobs in other sectors, in other provinces.
     However, spending in Canada's oil and gas sector declined 56% over three years, from $81 billion in 2014 to $45 billion in 2017. More money has left Canada's oil and gas sector since the 2015 election than at any other comparable time period in more than 70 years. The equivalent value would be losing 75% of auto manufacturing in Canada, or almost the entirety of the aerospace sector in Canada, something no one rightfully would accept.
    The biggest beneficiary is the U.S. where spending in oil and gas increased 38% to $120 billion in 2017. Today, U.S. investment in Canada is down by more than half. Canadian investment in the U.S. is up by two-thirds. The consequences of these losses are hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of work and less revenue for core social programs and services at every level of government in every single province.
    Over 115,000 Albertans are out of work and not receiving any employment insurance assistance right now and tens of thousands more have lost their jobs. The Liberals' anti-energy agenda is clearly both hindering the private sector from being able to provide well-paying jobs, but it is also risking the life savings of many Canadians.
    Oil and gas companies are a big part of most people's pension plans, and whether through employer provided defined contribution plans or personal investments in mutual funds, chances are that most Canadians are invested in oil and gas. When oil and gas companies leave Canada, the value of those investments in Canada drops, reducing the value of everyone's retirement savings. Now CPP and the Ontario teachers' pension plan are also investing in the United States.
    I want to highlight an aspect of this legislation that will compound uncertainty and challenges for Canadian oil and gas proponents. On page 589, in the very last chapter of this 840-page omnibus bill, clause 692 implements sweeping new powers for the federal cabinet to impose regulations on marine transport. Included in these powers is the ability to pass regulations:
(j) respecting compulsory routes and recommended routes;
(k) regulating or prohibiting the operation, navigation, anchoring, mooring or berthing of vessels or classes of vessels; and
(l) regulating or prohibiting the loading or unloading of a vessel or a class of vessels.
    This means the Liberal cabinet can block any class of tanker from any route leaving Canada or from docking at any port the Liberals choose. In Bill C-48, oil tankers of a certain size will be prevented from travelling and from the loading and off-loading of crude at ports only off the northern coast of B.C.
     This legislation, Bill C-86, would be a dramatic expansion, giving the Liberal cabinet the power to block oil exports from any port anywhere in Canada or to block oil tankers in general from entering Canadian waters. Places like the Arctic could lose access to the fuel tankers that keep power on during the winter. Offshore oil and gas development in Atlantic Canada could be blocked overnight. That is alarming in itself, and it gets worse.
    This legislation authorizes a single minister to be able to make legally binding changes to these regulations for a year at a time and even up to three years, regarding “compulsory routes” and “prohibiting the operation, navigation, anchoring, mooring or berthing of vessels or classes of vessels”. One minister with one stroke of a pen can shut down an entire industry with wide-ranging impacts.
    This is a pattern. The Liberals repeatedly demonstrate their hostility to the oil and gas sector in Canada. The Prime Minister of course said that he wants to phase out the oil sands, and Canadians should believe him. He defended the use of tax dollars for summer jobs to stop the Trans Mountain expansion. The Liberals removed the tax credit for new exploration oil drilling at the very worst time.

  (1650)  

    Also, many Liberal MPs ran in the last election opposing the export of Canada's oil to the world. Since they formed government, the Liberals have used every tool at their disposal to kill energy sector jobs.
     Canada is the only top 10 oil-producing country in the world, let alone in North America, to impose a carbon tax on itself. While there are significant exemptions for major industrial emitters, it will hike costs for operations across the value chain, and certainly for the 80% of Canadian service and supply companies that are small businesses. Moreover, individual contractors will still have to pay it.
    The proposed clean fuel standards—which would be unprecedented globally because they would be applied to buildings and facilities, not just to transportation fuel—will cost integrated oil and gas companies as well as refining and petrochemical development in Canada hundreds of millions of dollars. Canada is literally the most environmentally and socially responsible producer of oil and gas in the world, oil and gas that the world will continue to demand for decades. We are falling dramatically behind the United States and other countries for regulatory efficiency and clarity.
    The Liberals imposed the tanker ban, with no substantial economic, safety, or environmental assessments and no real consultation, and a ban on offshore drilling in the north against the wishes of the premier of the Northwest Territories.
    The Prime Minister vetoed outright the northern gateway pipeline and then intervened to kill energy east with delays, rule changes and a last-minute double standard. Now, the Liberals' failures have driven Kinder Morgan out of Canada. Construction of the Trans Mountain expansion has never started in the two years since the Liberals approved it, and they have repeatedly kicked the can down the road for months. The consequence is that crude oil is now being shipped by rail and truck at record levels, negatively impacting other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and retail.
    The Liberals would add uncertainty and great expense for any resource project that has even a ditch on its property, by subjecting all water to the navigable waters regulatory regime in Bill C-68. Moreover, their “no more pipelines” Bill C-69 would block any future pipelines and therefore stop major oil and gas projects from being built in Canada.
     Kinder Morgan is now going to take all of that $4.5 billion in Canadian tax dollars the Liberals spent on the existing pipeline and will use it to build pipelines in the United States, Canada's biggest energy competitor and customer. The consequences are that large companies are pulling out of Canada and investing in the U.S. or elsewhere.
    Encana, a made in Canada success story, is selling Canadian assets to buy into projects in the United States. Gwyn Morgan, its founder, did not mince words. He said:
    I’m deeply saddened that, as a result of the disastrous policies of the [Liberal] government, what was once the largest Canadian-headquartered energy producer now sees both its CEO and the core of its asset base located in the U.S.
     It is estimated that the Liberal failure to get pipelines built is forcing Canadian oil to sell for $100 million dollars less a day than what it should be worth. That is $100 million dollars a day that is not providing for middle-class families, that is not fuelling small businesses, and not generating taxes to pay off the out-of-control Liberal deficit.
    RBC recently reported that in 2008, taxes generated by oil and gas were worth $35 billion a year for provincial and federal governments. That is now down to almost $10 billion a year in 2016. That is more than $20 billion a year that could have gone to health care and education or to cover old age security costs, or be invested in building bridges and roads. Of course, the Liberals promised a deficit of only $10 billion a year and that the budget would be balanced by 2019, but none of that is anywhere in sight. They choose to spend recklessly: millions of dollars on perks like renovations for ministers' offices, a $5 million hockey rink on Parliament Hill that operated for a couple of months, or $26 million for vehicles. Never mind the billions of dollars spent outside Canada, building oil and gas pipelines in Asia with Canadian tax dollars or funding groups linked to anti-Semitism and terrorism.
    Never has a government spent so much and achieved so little. The end result is Canada is trapped in a debt spiral. The ones who are going to pay for these deficits are millennials and their children, and it makes life less affordable today while federal government debt increases interest rates across the board. That poses significant risks to Canada and leaves us utterly unprepared for a global economic recession or worldwide factors that the government cannot control, unlike the Liberals' damaging policies. Future generations will find that their governments cannot afford services or programs they are counting on, and their governments will be in a trap of borrowing and hiking taxes. That is why Conservatives advocate balanced budgets, because it is the only responsible thing to do for Canada's children and grandchildren.

  (1655)  

     The out-sized contributions of the energy sector to the whole country's economy and to government revenue is also why the future of energy development in Canada is one of the most important domestic economic questions facing all of us. That is what makes the Liberal layering of red tape and costs on Canadian energy so unconscionable, and the consequences so devastating for all of Canada.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member opposite whether she nevertheless agrees that the policies put in place by our government, particularly the infrastructure investments, were worthwhile. The IMF recommended this type of approach. When the economy is slowing down and interest rates are low, it is worthwhile making smart investments in our infrastructure to stimulate growth.
    When we came to power in 2015, people wondered whether we were headed for a recession. Today, we are no longer in that situation. The economy is booming, in part thanks to the investments we made.
    If the member cannot agree that these investments in infrastructure that communities across the country really need were worthwhile, she should look at the results in her province.
    There have been tax cuts and the more progressive approach that we have adopted will provide more money to families. Consequently, in the spring of 2019, Canadian families will on average have $2,000 more in their pockets than under the former government.
    Will this approach not yield very concrete results for the people she represents?

  (1700)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have a lot to answer for in regard to their infrastructure commitments. Municipalities and rural and remote communities across Canada, as well as provinces and territories, deserve those answers because only 6% of the $180 billion the Liberals committed for infrastructure across Canada has flowed and 95% of it has not even made it out the door, just as it is with almost every single thing the Liberals talk about in budgets or when making promises to Canadians.
    As the leader of my party said to me a couple of weeks ago, the Liberals are really good at “announcerology” and not so good at “deliverology”. That is certainly the case with infrastructure.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the very disturbing fictions that is being perpetuated by the Liberals every time they stand to speak, specifically about this bill, is how incredible the child tax benefit is, how many children are being helped and brought out of poverty by this government.
    I do not know what it is like in my hon. colleague's riding, but I deal almost daily with single mothers who are suffering a staggering level of harassment from CRA. They have had their benefits cut off at Christmastime. We have had to get food baskets for children in my region because their right to the child tax benefit has been denied by the CRA. The minister sits here day after day defending the indefensible, the $1 billion clawed back from ordinary working class people, while Liberals ignore friends like the Bronfmans and friends of the Prime Minister, who keep their money in offshore havens.
    In light of this level of scrutiny and the hoops the Liberals force single mothers and young working class families to go through so that the government can claw back money and show a surplus from benefit reviews at the end of the year, does she not think that is a really unconscionable way of raising money and taxes when the Liberals are leaving the super rich protected in these offshore tax havens?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly hear the same thing from my constituents, especially families who have been decimated by the job losses and loss of investment in the energy sector, and indigenous communities and families throughout Lakeland who are also involved in oil and gas development and have suffered job losses in the same way as others across the riding.
    I heard similar things from families in my riding about their dealings with the CRA, particularly around the disability tax credit that they, and sometimes their children, are dependent on. It is the Liberal way, is it not, to say one thing and do the complete opposite? The fact is that under the Liberals, the wealthiest 1% in Canada are paying fewer taxes, and the average middle-class family is paying more.
    We are proud of our record as Conservatives, for having left a surplus to the current government while lowering taxes to their lowest level in 50 years. Also, child poverty in Canada dropped to its lowest level since records have been kept. All the while, we managed to increase transfers to the provinces for health and social services so that those governments could provide the programs their citizens value.
    Yes, I would agree with the premise of the member opposite that the Liberals raise funds in unconscionable ways for their out-of-control spending.
    Mr. Speaker, what we will do now is talk about the realities of what has actually been happening over the last three years. Conservatives and the NDP want to come together at times. I have heard them saying that their enemy is their friend type of thing, and often I see them come together as they try to portray something far from reality. Let me explain to my friends across the way what that is.
    Let me backtrack to the days when our Prime Minister was the leader of the Liberal Party on the opposition benches, when there were about 30 or so Liberal members of Parliament way on the other side in the back corner, as someone pointed out. Even back then, the leader of the Liberal Party stated very clearly that Canada's middle class was priority one. After being elected, from day one this government has been focused on Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it.
    Day after day, we see opposition members consistently trying to change the track. I believe they realize there are a lot of good things happening in Canada under this regime. As opposed to discussing good solid policy ideas, they tend to make personal attacks.
    I would like to set the record straight and go back to day one. What were some of the very first initiatives of this government? Members will recall that it was the tax break for Canada's middle class, something that the Conservatives and NDP voted against.
    Another piece we brought forward was a special tax on Canada's wealthiest 1%. Again, the Conservatives and the NDP joined hands and voted against it. Then we brought in the increase to the Canada child benefit program, and within this budget, we have proposed annual increases to that program.
    We acted so that individuals making a lot of money would not receive as much and people who needed the money and support the most received the most. In fact, from the Canada child benefit program, Winnipeg North, the community I have the distinct pleasure of representing, receives over $9 million every month. Imagine what that does for the macro amount of disposable income, if I can put it that way, the amount of consumer spending that takes place as a direct result of that one initiative.
    However, we did not stop there. We also increased the GIS for our seniors. Some of the poorest seniors in the country happen to live in Winnipeg North. In Winnipeg North, many of those seniors received a top up of over $900 a year. We literally saw tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of children and seniors being lifted out of poverty. Again, it was the NDP and the Conservatives who joined together to vote against that, as they have done time and time again.
    It is interesting listening to their arguments. For several days, I have now listened to New Democrats and Conservatives try to come up with the best arguments against this budget. For the Conservatives, it is all about the deficit. They like to cry about how bad the deficit is. I would like to remind those who are following the debate about a couple of very interesting facts. Number one, Canada is 151 years old, and the Conservatives have been in government just under 40% of that time. During that time of theirs, they accumulated about 75% of Canada's national debt. When we point that fact out to them, in a twisted sort of way, they try to blame the Liberals. The reality is that nothing is further from the truth.

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    All they have to do is look at Stephen Harper. They all know Stephen Harper. We would think Stephen Harper is still sitting in those benches; the Conservatives are still operating on Harper's policies. When Stephen Harper became the Prime Minister of Canada, he inherited a multi-billion dollar surplus. Within two years, even before the recession, he took that multi-billion dollar surplus and converted it into a multi-billion dollar deficit. For almost 10 years, Canadians had to put up with Stephen Harper. The Conservatives try to say that in their last year they had a balanced budget. They sold off those GM shares and brought in a billion dollars here and a few million more here and there, and they try to say that they have—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

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    Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary is speaking. He has a good tone and it is very loud and very good, but even with that talent I am having a hard time hearing because there are some comments. It is nice, because he engages everyone, and it is nice to see but I do not think it is quite the way we want to see it here in Parliament. I am going to ask the hon. members to let him speak. I am sure he will tone it down if everyone lets him talk, and he can continue.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker.
    We have heard the saying, “the truth hurts", and that is what is happening. I am trying to explain for my friends across the way the reality of the Stephen Harper era, which was not all that good for Canada when we stop and look at it. In the last three years, with the support of small businesses in every region of our country, and good government, we have seen over 500,000 full-time jobs and tens of thousands of other part-time jobs. Even in the best years, Harper could not even come close to that.
    We have demonstrated very clearly that the biggest benefactor under these policies and under the budgets that this government has introduced is Canada's middle class. That is something in which we take, collectively, a great sense of pride because that was the number one commitment that we made to Canadians in the last election. Because we recognize the importance of the middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, we recognized it was time that government gave them the attention that they deserve. We saw that budget after budget after budget. We will take that to the next election because of the many different initiatives that we have brought forward.
    I do not want to leave my friends, the New Democrats, out. I listen to my New Democratic friends, and what do they have to say? They could never spend enough money. It is almost as though they live in some sort of a fairyland where they say we should have a national child care plan, even though, when they had the opportunity to vote in favour of it, they voted against it and caused the government to fall, along with other issues. They have wild, crazy dreams of spending billions of dollars, yet they cannot fool Canadians. We remember in the last election when Thomas Mulcair was their leader. Mr. Mulcair said that he would balance budgets at all costs. That is what the NDP said back then. They know full well that many of the things they say when they criticize this budget, they would never do themselves. That is the reality even with my New Democratic friends who try to give an impression, which I would suggest is a false impression.
     In this budget, on some of those social programs that are so important to Canadians, such as health care, we see a commitment to look at how we can develop a pharmacare program that Canadians could be proud of. For generations, we have seen virtually nothing done on that file. Under this Prime Minister, in this government, we are addressing the high cost of medications. We are looking at ways we could take a national pharmacare working with different provincial entities, territorial entities and other stakeholders. We recognize how close to the heart Canadians hold our health care system.
    I am so proud that one of the things we have been able to accomplish that Harper could not accomplish was getting agreements with all the different provinces and territories on a health care accord. This is a government that truly cares about Canadians. It understands that a healthy economy ensures that we have a healthier middle class. We strive day in and day out to work with Canadians to create the opportunities for our middle class and all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the member for Winnipeg North. He talked about fooling Canadians.
    I remember, back in 2015, Liberals boasted about real change coming to Parliament. I remember, in my first term here in Parliament, when that member was part of the third party at that time, sitting in the wee corners of this wonderful House of Commons, how he railed against omnibus bills and how undemocratic they were.
    The 2015 Liberal platform talked about real change. This is what it says:
    Stephen Harper has also used omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating his proposals. We will change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to this undemocratic practice.
    An 850-page omnibus budget implementation bill is unheard of. Is that the real change Liberals were talking about?

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    Mr. Speaker, let me tell the House what real change means.
    It means a tax increase on Canada's wealthiest 1%, a tax decrease for Canada's middle class, tax fairness, a small business tax cut from 12% to 9%, over $400 million invested to try to recover billions from tax evaders, guaranteed income supplement increases, Canada child benefit program increases, historic investments in infrastructure, a health care accord, a Canada pension plan agreement, an agreement on carbon pricing or a price on pollution that is something completely foreign to the other side, a public inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous girls and women, a gender-balanced cabinet, assisted dying legislation, labour legislation, access to information modernization from over 34 years, admitting Syrian refugees, restoring eligibility of old age security from 67 to 65, and so many things. The list goes on and on.
    That is real change that we have witnessed. At the end of the day, the average Canadian is going to receive more money from the government than under Stephen Harper. We have seen incredible job opportunities that have come available, as I have indicated. Over 500,000, over a half million jobs in the last three years, and those are full-time jobs, plus tens of thousands of part-time jobs.
    This government has put in real change, and we look forward to the challenges ahead in 2019.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his enthusiastic speech. It was truly amazing.
    The member has announced many times how the Liberals are helping middle-class Canadians. One of the things that the Liberals ran on in 2015 was that they were going to help people and when it came to bankruptcies, people's pensions would be protected. The Liberals also said it at the Liberal convention, and made it a priority.
    However, what we see here is nothing. Three years and there is nothing on it. You are going to open things up to help wealthy companies, but you are denying people's pensions being protected. People are tired of having their pensions stolen.
    What are you going to do about it?
    I just want to remind the hon. members that I did not deny anything. I would like them to speak through the Speaker. I will let the parliamentary secretary answer that question.
    Mr. Speaker, the enthusiasm is there because in 2019, we expect to see an election. I am actually fairly excited about it. When I look at the commitments that this government made in the last federal election, I look at the next election in a very excited way. I believe that Canadians as a whole will be very pleased with the many different accomplishments that we have been able to achieve over the last three years.
    However, there is so much more to come. The member made reference to pensions. We can talk. I made reference to the guaranteed income supplement. The government increased it for the poorest seniors across Canada. I have talked about that. We have decreased the age from 67 to 65, so that in the future when seniors hit 65, they will be able to retire. That means a lot to a lot of seniors.
    Most importantly, we also had negotiations and discussions with different provinces to increase the CPP, which means there is going to be more money in the pockets of seniors when they retire. That is something Stephen Harper could not get done, or refused to get done. We were able to bring everyone together to do that.
    Is there more work to do? Absolutely, and that is one of the reasons why in 2019 we are going to go to Canadians and say, “Here is what we have been able to accomplish in a relatively short span, and we can do so much more with a new mandate.” I am hopeful that we will get that new mandate.

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