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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 420

CONTENTS

Monday, May 27, 2019




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 420
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer



PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

  (1105)  

[English]

Proposed Changes to the Standing Orders

    (Motion No. 231. On the Order: Private Members' Business:)

April 11, 2019—Mr. Baylis (Pierrefonds—Dollard)—Changes to the Standing Orders
    The House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.
    As members know, in order for a motion to be considered to be before the House it must first be found to be in order, then moved and seconded and, finally, the Speaker proposes it to the House.
    In proposing it to the House, the Speaker would normally read the motion in its entirety, unless, of course, the House gives its permission to dispense.

[Translation]

    In this case, Motion No. 231, standing in the name of the hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, is particularly long. The time it would take to read the motion would exceed the one-hour period allocated to private members' business and deprive members of the opportunity to debate this issue today.

[English]

    Rather than reading the motion in its entirety when proposing it to the House, the Chair could simply refer to it by its number, Motion No. 231. The House can then proceed directly to the consideration of the motion so that members are afforded the full time allotted to debate on this item.

[Translation]

    For reference purposes, the text of Motion No. 231 can be found on the Order Paper and Notice Paper under private members' business, and copies of the motion can be obtained from a table officer.

[English]

    At this time, I would therefore seek the unanimous consent of the House to dispense with the reading of the entirety of the motion. Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: No.

Suspension of Sitting 

    The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard is not present to move the order as announced on today's Notice Paper. Accordingly, the motion will be dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.
    Accordingly, the House will remain suspended until noon.

    (The sitting of the House was suspended at 11:06 a.m.)

Sitting Resumed  

    (The House resumed at 12 p.m.)


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

  (1200)  

Extension of Sitting Hours

    That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, commencing upon the adoption of this Order and concluding on Friday, June 21, 2019:
(a) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the ordinary hour of daily adjournment shall be 12:00 a.m., except that it shall be 10:00 p.m. on a day when a debate, pursuant to Standing Order 52 or 53.1, is to take place;
(b) subject to paragraph (e), when a recorded division is requested in respect of a debatable motion, including any division arising as a consequence of the application of Standing Order 61(2) or Standing Order 78, but not including any division in relation to the Business of Supply or arising as a consequence of an order made pursuant to Standing Order 57, (i) before 2:00 p.m. on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, it shall stand deferred until the conclusion of Oral Questions at that day’s sitting, or (ii) after 2:00 p.m. on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, or at any time on a Friday, it shall stand deferred until the conclusion of Oral Questions at the next sitting day that is not a Friday, provided that, if a recorded division on the previous question is deferred and the motion is subsequently adopted, the recorded division on the original question shall not be deferred;
(c) notwithstanding Standing Order 45(6) and paragraph (b) of this Order, no recorded division in relation to any government order requested after 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2019, or at any time on Friday, June 21, 2019, shall be deferred;
(d) the time provided for Government Orders shall not be extended pursuant to Standing Order 45(7.1) or Standing Order 67.1(2);
(e) when a recorded division, which would have ordinarily been deemed deferred to immediately before the time provided for Private Members’ Business on a Wednesday governed by this Order, is requested, the said division is deemed to have been deferred until the conclusion of Oral Questions on the same Wednesday;
(f) any recorded division which, at the time of the adoption of this Order, stands deferred to immediately before the time provided for Private Members’ Business on the Wednesday immediately following the adoption of this Order shall be deemed to stand deferred to the conclusion of Oral Questions on the same Wednesday;
(g) a recorded division requested in respect of a motion to concur in a government bill at the report stage pursuant to Standing Order 76.1(9), where the bill has neither been amended nor debated at the report stage, shall be deferred in the manner prescribed by paragraph (b);
(h) for greater certainty, this Order shall not limit the application of Standing Order 45(7);
(i) when one or several deferred recorded divisions occur on a bill at report stage, a motion, “That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass”, may be made in the same sitting;
(j) no dilatory motion may be proposed after 6:30 p.m., except by a Minister of the Crown;
(k) notwithstanding Standing Orders 81(16)(b) and (c) and 81(18)(c), proceedings on any opposition motion shall conclude no later than 5:30 p.m. on the sitting day that is designated for that purpose, except on a Monday when they shall conclude at 6:30 p.m. or on a Friday when they shall conclude at 1:30 p.m.;
(l) during consideration of the estimates on the last allotted day, pursuant to Standing Order 81(18), when the Speaker interrupts the proceedings for the purpose of putting forthwith all questions necessary to dispose of the estimates, (i) all remaining motions to concur in the Votes for which a notice of opposition was filed shall be deemed to have been moved and seconded, the question deemed put and recorded divisions deemed requested, (ii) the Speaker shall have the power to combine the said motions for voting purposes, provided that, in exercising this power, the Speaker will be guided by the same principles and practices used at report stage;
(m) when debate on a motion for the concurrence in a report from a standing, standing joint or special committee is adjourned or interrupted, the debate shall again be considered on a day designated by the government, after consultation with the House Leaders of the other parties, but in any case not later than the 31st sitting day after the interruption; and
(n) Members not seeking re-election to the 43rd Parliament may be permitted to make statements, on Tuesday, June 4, and Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at the expiry of the time provided for Private Members’ Business for not more than three hours, and that, for the duration of the statements, (i) no member shall speak for longer than ten minutes and the speeches not be subject to a question and comment period, (ii) after three hours or when no Member rises to speak, whichever comes first, the House shall return to Government Orders.

  (1205)  

    She said: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Motion No. 30, which allows for the extension of the sitting hours of the House until we rise for the summer adjournment.
    There is a clear and recent precedent for this extension of hours to give the House more time to do its important work. It occurred last year at this time and also the year before that. As well, in the previous Parliament, the hours of the House were extended in June 2014.
    Four years ago, our government came forward with an ambitious mandate that promised real change. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our government has introduced legislation that has improved the lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. However, we have more work to do.
    So far in this Parliament, the House has passed 82 government bills, and 65 of those have received royal assent. The facts are clear. This Parliament has been productive. We have a strong record of accomplishment. It is a long list, so I will cite just a few of our accomplishments.
    Bill C-2 made good on our promise to lower taxes on middle-class Canadians by increasing taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians. There are nine million Canadians who have benefited from this middle-class tax cut. This tax cut has been good for Canadians and their families. It has been good for the economy and good for Canada, and its results have been better than advertised. On our side, we are proud of this legislation. We have always said that we were on the side of hard-working, middle-class Canadians, and this legislation is proof of exactly that.
    As well, thanks to our budgetary legislation, low-income families with children are better off today. We introduced the biggest social policy innovation in more than a generation through the creation of the tax-free Canada child benefit. The CCB puts cash into the pockets of nine out of 10 families and has lifted nearly 300,000 Canadian children out of poverty.
    Early in this Parliament, in response to the Supreme Court of Canada, we passed medical assistance in dying legislation, which carefully balanced the rights of those seeking medical assistance in dying while ensuring protection of the most vulnerable in our society.
    Also of note, we repealed the previous government's law that allowed citizenship to be revoked from dual citizens. We also restored the rights of Canadians abroad to vote in Canadian elections.

  (1210)  

    We added gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Also, passing Bill C-65 has helped make workplaces in federally regulated industries and on Parliament Hill free from harassment and sexual violence.
    We promised to give the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer the powers, resources and independence to properly do its job. We delivered on that commitment through legislation, and the PBO now rigorously examines the country's finances in an independent and non-partisan manner.
    Through Bill C-45, we ended the failed approach to cannabis by legalizing it and strictly regulating and restricting access to cannabis, as part of our plan to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the pockets of organized crime. Along with that, Bill C-46 has strengthened laws to deter and punish people who drive while impaired, both from alcohol and/or drugs.
    These are just some examples of the work we have accomplished on behalf of Canadians.
    We are now heading into the final weeks of this session of Parliament, and there is more work to do. Four years ago, Canadians sent us here with a responsibility to work hard on their behalf, to discuss important matters of public policy, to debate legislation and to vote on that legislation.
    The motion to allow for the extension of sitting hours of the House is timely, and clearly it is necessary. We have an important legislative agenda before us, and we are determined to work hard to make even more progress.
    Passage of this motion would give all members exactly what they often ask for: more time for debate. I know every member wants to deliver for their communities and this motion will help with exactly that. We have much to accomplish in the coming weeks and we have the opportunity to add time to get more done.
    I would like to highlight a few of the bills that our government will seek to advance.
    I will start with Bill C-97, which would implement budget 2017. This budget implementation act is about making sure that all Canadians feel the benefits of a growing economy. That means helping more Canadians find an affordable home, and get training so that they have the skills necessary to obtain good, well-paying jobs. It is also about making it easier for seniors to retire with confidence.
    Another important bill is Bill C-92, which would affirm and recognize the rights of first nations, Inuit and Métis children and families. The bill would require all providers of indigenous child and family services to adhere to certain principles, namely the best interests of the child, family unity and cultural continuity. This co-drafted legislation would transfer the jurisdiction of child and family services delivery to indigenous communities. This is historic legislation that is long overdue.
    We have another important opportunity for us as parliamentarians, which is to pass Bill C-93, the act that deals with pardons as they relate to simple possession of cannabis. As I mentioned, last year we upheld our commitment to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. It is time to give people who were convicted of simple possession a straightforward way to clear their names. We know it is mostly young people from the poorest of communities who have been targeted and hence are being left behind. This bill would create an expedited pardon process, with no application fee or waiting period, for people convicted only of simple possession of cannabis. Canadians who have held criminal records in the past for simple possession of cannabis should be able to meaningfully participate in their communities, get good and stable jobs and become the contributing members of our society that they endeavour to be.
    Meanwhile, there is another important bill before the House that we believe needs progress. Bill C-88 is an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. This legislation only impacts the Northwest Territories, and its territorial government is asking us to act. This legislation protects Canada's natural environment, respects the rights of indigenous people and supports a strong natural resources sector. This bill will move the country ahead with a process that promotes reconciliation with indigenous peoples and creates certainty for investments in the Mackenzie Valley and the Arctic.
    Earlier this month, our government introduced Bill C-98, an act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act. This bill would create civilian oversight of the Canada Border Services Agency. It would provide citizens with an independent review body to address complaints about the CBSA, just as they now have complaint mechanisms in place for the RCMP. Let me remind members that it was our government that brought forward Bill C-22 that established the national security intelligence committee of parliamentarians, which has tabled its first annual report to Parliament. We are committed to ensuring that our country's border services are worthy of the trust of Canadians, and Bill C-98 is a significant step towards strengthening that accountability.
    We have taken a new approach. We, as a government, have consulted with Canadians when it comes to our legislation. We have seen committees call witnesses and suggest amendments that often times improve legislation, and we, as a government, have accepted those changes. We were able to accomplish this work because we gave the committees more resources and we encouraged Liberal members to do their work.
    Likewise, currently there are two bills that have returned to the House with amendments from the Senate. I look forward to members turning their attention to these bills as well. One of those bills is Bill C-81, an act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. Our goal is to make accessibility both a reality and a priority across federal jurisdictions so that all people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, can participate and be included in society as contributing members. Bill C-81 would help us to reach that goal by taking a proactive approach to getting ahead of systemic discrimination. The purpose of this bill is to make Canada barrier free, starting in areas under federal jurisdiction. This bill, if passed by Parliament, will represent the most significant legislation for the rights of persons with disabilities in over 30 years, and for once it will focus on their abilities.
    The other bill we have received from the Senate is Bill C-58, which would make the first significant reforms to the Access to Information Act since it was enacted in 1982. With this bill, our government is raising the bar on openness and transparency by revitalizing access to information. The bill would give more power to the Information Commissioner and would provide for proactive disclosure of information.
    There are also a number of other bills before the Senate. We have respect for the upper chamber. It is becoming less partisan thanks to the changes our Prime Minister has made to the appointment process, and we respect the work that senators do in reviewing legislation as a complementary chamber.
    Already the Senate has proposed amendments to many bills, and the House has in many instances agreed with many of those changes. As we look toward the final few weeks, it is wise to give the House greater flexibility, and that is exactly why supporting this motion makes sense. This extension motion will help to provide the House with the time it needs to consider these matters.
    There are now just 20 days left in the parliamentary calendar before the summer adjournment, and I would like to thank all MPs and their teams for their contributions to the House over the past four years. Members in the House have advanced legislation that has had a greater impact for the betterment of Canadians. That is why over 800,000 Canadians are better off today than they were three years ago when we took office.
    We saw that with the lowering of the small business tax rate to 9%, small businesses have been able to grow through innovation and trade. We see that Canadians have created over one million jobs, the majority of which are full-time, good-paying jobs that Canadians deserve. These are jobs that were created by Canadians for Canadians.
    That is why I would also like to stress that while it is necessary for us to have honest and vibrant deliberations on the motion, Canadians are looking for us all to work collaboratively and constructively in their best interests. That is exactly why extending the hours will provide the opportunity for more members to be part of the debates that represent the voices of their constituents in this place, so that we continue to advance good legislation that benefits even more Canadians.
    It has been great to do the work that we have been doing, but we look forward to doing even more.

  (1215)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have a number of questions, although I understand in some ways why the government is extending hours. I know we did it as well when we were in government. However, what I have noticed is that the government is consistently endeavouring to take away the tools that the opposition has to hold it to account. I have noticed in the motion that there are some tools that the Liberals are trying to limit and take away, which I have concerns with.
    I would like to ask specifically about supply days. We do not have our supply day allotted as yet, but I am hoping that the member will not give us yet another short day. Supply days are very important for the opposition. We only have two of them left before the next election, and the government has said in the motion that it will not be giving our supply days that extended period to be able to take them into the evening. We already know that we will not have the benefit of being able to have a truly full day with the extended hours.
    I am wondering if the government House leader could assure me, and I would very much appreciate it being in good faith, that the two supply days we have left will be generous days, not short days like a Wednesday or a Friday.

  (1220)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the understanding of the opposition House leader that it is important to extend the hours in the House so that we can have more debate, and I would take that as a signal that perhaps she will be encouraging her colleagues in the Conservative Party to support the motion.
    When it comes to opposition days, I have been in this role of government House leader now for almost three years, and the Conservatives and New Democrats know very well that they have on numerous occasions, the majority of times, had longer days. With some of the tactics that the opposition members have chosen to deploy, they have been receiving shortened days because we are not able to advance government legislation, and that will always be the priority.
    The point I would like to make, as the opposition leader has alluded to, is that in this place we have long days and short days, but when it comes to the work that Canadians are doing, every day is a long day. Canadians work very hard every single day, and there is no reason that we cannot do the same in this place.
    Mr. Speaker, on that last point, a few years ago we actually took statistics on the evening sessions in the month June. New Democrats, because we come from a very hard-working background and the people who sent us here are hard-working as well, did not miss a single speaking spot, a single shift, to speak on behalf of our constituents. As members will recall, the Liberals and Conservatives between them missed over 200 spots in that same period, which means that over 200 times that a Conservative or Liberal was called to speak in those midnight sessions, not a single Liberal or Conservative member actually got up to speak. We are no strangers to working hard, and we expect the Liberals to actually show up this time and speak on behalf of their constituents, albeit that has not been their record.
    My question for my colleague is quite simple. The mandate letter from the Prime Minister suggested two important things: that parliamentarians must have the freedom to do their most important job, which is to represent their constituents and hold the government to account; and that they work with opposition House leaders to examine ways to make the House of Commons more family friendly for members of Parliament.
    However, the motion before us would strip away the tools that opposition members have to keep the government accountable. Why is the government House leader repudiating her mandate letter?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, on the point regarding debating legislation, as a government, we advance legislation that we have been mandated to do by Canadians. These are platform commitments that we committed to deliver. Canadians elected us as government and we would like to advance that legislation.
    What often happens is that opposition members feel they do not have enough time to speak. Therefore, yes, on multiple occasions I have asked colleagues to perhaps shorten their speeches, just as my speech was shorter than 20 minutes today, so that other people could utilize that time. Yes, on occasion, we have shared our time with the NDP as well as Conservative members. We have shared our time with the leader of the Green Party, as well as independent members, to ensure that they also have an opportunity to speak on behalf of their constituents.
    Something we learn early in life is that sharing is caring. It important to ensure that people who want to speak on legislation are able to. It is unfortunate that the NDP does not recognize the importance of allowing and sharing our time so that more members will be able to share on behalf of their constituents and so that we can continue delivering the results we have seen.

  (1225)  

    Mr. Speaker, there are two pieces of legislation the member mentioned that are particularly important to the most vulnerable individuals in our community, and thus I do not mind extending the hours. She mentioned Bill C-81, which would identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers and level the playing field especially for those with various disabilities. She also mentioned Bill C-93, the expedited record suspension, and, of course, we know that when it comes to simple possession of cannabis it negatively impacts indigenous individuals and people of colour disproportionally.
     If we extend the hours, what is the likelihood we will get these pieces of legislation passed before the House rises?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Whitby for that question, especially when it comes to actually dealing with pieces of legislation that are going to impact people's lives for the better.
    I would like to assure the member that I will use every tool necessary to ensure that we advance this legislation. However, it would be great if opposition members would share the time needed for debate on those pieces of legislation so that we can ensure that everyone who wants to speak on it is able to. There is definitely a difference between members of Parliament standing up and speaking on behalf of their constituents and members of Parliament speaking to advance their party's line. Unfortunately, when we are advancing the party's narrative, we take away from the work we are doing in our constituencies.
     I would agree that Bill C-81 is historic legislation. It has gone to the Senate and we have seen it return with amendments. The minister has considered those amendments, because they would improve the legislation. Therefore, there is no reason that we cannot see this proposed legislation move along quickly. Members will see that the government wants to see it move quickly, and Canadians will be able to see who will block that legislation from happening. Also, when it comes to Bill C-83, once again, we would like to see this proposed legislation move along quickly, and Canadians will also be able to see clearly who blocks that from happening.
    It is clear that the government wants to advance legislation that works for Canadians, but the opposition would rather get in the way of government's advancing legislation at the expense of Canadians, and that is really unfortunate.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister made reference to there being 20 sitting days left. Could she provide her thoughts regarding these 20 important days that Canadians expect we will work on while we are here in Ottawa?
    Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question. I know the member is in the House quite a bit debating every piece of legislation, fighting for his constituents in Winnipeg and all surrounding areas. I know that people in Waterloo often comment on that member's remarks, and they realize that our communities, though diverse and different, are very similar.
     When we are advancing legislation, we are seeing greater impacts on our families. That is exactly what we want to continue doing, making sure that our communities are better off. We are seeing from the historic infrastructure investments we are making that communities are able to grow and create opportunities.
     We know that with our tax-free Canada child benefit, more and more children are being lifted out of poverty because we are giving the most to the families with children who need the most by asking the wealthiest 1% of Canadians to give a bit more. Though that was challenging at first, we are hearing from Canadians that as a result of people around the wealthiest Canadians being better off, they too are better off. Their communities are flourishing. Their provinces are flourishing. The country is flourishing. That is exactly why Canadians have been able to create a million jobs.
    In April, we saw the job numbers come out. Many people thought that the economy was going to flatline and there was no way there could be more growth. However, the numbers came out and Canadians created over 106,000 jobs. It was amazing to see. The majority of the jobs were full-time, well-paying jobs, which means that Canadians are better off.
    The work is not done. We need to keep working hard and that is why supporting this motion is very important.
    Mr. Speaker, I stand today to speak to the government motion that would, among other things, extend the hours we would be sitting in this place until we have completed this Parliament on June 21. It would also take away a lot of the tools we have as the opposition to hold the government to account.
    As we listened to some of the answers by the government House leader, it is no surprise that in the dying days of the scandal ridden, promise breaking, tax raising and very severely ethically challenged disaster of a Liberal government, we are seeing Liberals use disrespectful, draconian and bully-like mannerisms to get their agenda accomplished.
    It was quite interesting and telling when the government House leader was answering questions and referring to a couple of things. First of all, when I asked her about our opposition day and whether she was going to make those days short, she stood and said to my colleague, the House leader for the NDP, as well as to me, that somehow our behaviour earlier in this Parliament was the reason she was going to punish us with shorter days.
    That speaks volumes, and not in a positive way, to the utter lack of respect the Liberals, under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the government House leader, have for the work we do in the opposition. We are not doing anything on this side of the House outside of the rules. We are using the rules, mechanisms and the tools we have to hold the government to account. What is the answer from the government to that? It is going to punish the opposition because it can. It is going to punish the opposition by giving us a very short day and not extend our hours of opposition. That answer was very indicative of the attitude of the Liberal government and the Liberal Party in general to this House of Commons and Parliament.
    Secondly, when the government House leader was giving answers about debate, she talked about members of Parliament repeating themselves or speaking about partisan issues. She felt that that was when she should tell her members not to speak quite as long and that they should shut down their comments. Are we now in a new day and age when the Liberal House leader will tell duly elected members of Parliament that they should not use all of their time, and that she is going to shut down the opposition as well because she thinks that what we are saying is not relevant and that we are repeating ourselves?
    When the Prime Minister appointed the House leader to her position three years ago, a lot of us had concerns because she was a very newly elected MP. She had not been in the House as a backbencher or sat on committees. She had been in her role for I think 70 days or so. She has really done a commendable job in that time with the hand she has been dealt. However, I do believe that with her comments that I mentioned, it is clear that is the message she is getting from the top. That is what she is hearing from the Prime Minister and the people at the top who direct her. She has been told by them to shut the backbenchers down. If members are talking too much on our side, she is to shut them down, as well as do whatever she can to shut down the opposition.
    At the end of the day, the Liberals are in charge and are the bosses, so they are going to tell people what to think and members of Parliament what they can and cannot say. If they are talk too much or for too long, or the Liberals think their remarks are repetitive or partisan, because God forbid, Conservatives act like Conservatives and New Democrats act like NDP, they must be shut down. The Liberals are clearly partisan, but the Liberal belief is that if something does not align with what they think, then it must be dismissed and shut down. We have seen that on a number of occasions.
    Sadly, the House leader's comments in the last few minutes regarding opposition days and that she is going to punish us, as well as telling her own members not to speak because it would be repetitive, are absolutely unbelievable and a very sad reflection of what we have seen over the last four years.
    Now here we are. We have all returned from another May constituency week to another Liberal motion to extend our sitting hours. I have already acknowledged, and will say for the record, that our previous Conservative government did the same thing in 2013 and 2014.

  (1230)  

    In the last election year, 2015, however, we did not have to extend our sitting hours, because we managed the House in an efficient, respectful way. Stephen Harper's government had a well-managed parliamentary agenda. His House leader, my former colleague, the very well-respected Peter Van Loan, would often remind the House of the ambition to have a hard-working, orderly and productive Parliament. That is what Canadians enjoyed up until the 2015 election.
    Since then, things have changed, and they have changed drastically. That change is where the seeds for today's motion were planted. In came a new Prime Minister in late 2015, heavy on charm and light on substance, as it would turn out. One government, ours, with a track record of delivering, was replaced by a government obsessed with something called “deliverology”. Do members remember those days? I think my colleagues opposite were also kind of interested in what deliverology meant and where it was going to take us.
    Deliverology was like a lot of things from the government. There are a lot of buzzwords. No matter how many buzzwords the failed Liberal government has repeated, it has conjured up pretty well zero results.
    Let us go through some of those buzzwords, because they really are interesting to reflect on. Let us look at what was presented to Canadians, what was advertised and what was actually delivered, which was not as advertised.
    Let us begin with the buzzwords “hope” and “hard work”. I am afraid the Liberals put way too much emphasis on a lot of hope and very little emphasis on hard work.
    There were some things they worked hard on. The Liberals worked very hard on mastering government by Instagram and Twitter. They worked hard on posturing and, unfortunately, on dividing Canadians. The Liberals worked hard on finding ways to run endless deficits, to the point where it would take decades for the budget to balance itself, as our Prime Minister said. The Liberals have also worked hard on virtue signalling. In fact, they have that one down to an art form.
    What about actual hard work and actual accomplishments here in the House of Commons? So far in this Parliament, 48 government bills, other than routine appropriation bills approving spending, have received royal assent, with 17 more passed by the House. Some of these bills were simply matters initiated by us, the previous Conservative government, such as a number of the bills related to the border. Those were bills we initially brought forward.
     There were also free trade agreements, such as with the European Union and the Trans Pacific Partnership, as well as bills on victims' rights in the military justice system. Obviously, we agreed with those bills. We basically brought the government to the one yard line, and it took it across the finish line. The Conservatives know that we did the heavy lifting, but we were in agreement with those bills. Those are among the bills the government passed.
    These numbers are also in spite of the government regularly using time allocation and relying on omnibus bills, even though that flies in the face of all the sanctimony the Liberals have thrown our way. Let us remember that. Let us remember that during the 2015 election, the Conservatives were preached at by the then-Liberal candidate, soon to be the Prime Minister, about how Parliament was going to be respected. He was not going to use time allocation. The Liberals would not be using omnibus bills, and they would allow parliamentarians to have their say. Let us remember the sanctimony.
    By comparison, when the 41st Parliament drew to a close, a total of 95 government bills, other than appropriation bills, had received royal assent. That was under the Conservative government.
    The contrast gets no better for the Liberals when it comes to private members' bills. Since the 2105 election, 20 private members' bills have received royal assent. At the close of the previous Parliament, 41 private members' bills had become law. That is why the previous Conservative government was able to claim that it had posted the strongest legislative results in a generation. No matter how many midnight sittings the Liberals plan, they simply will not be able to match our record.

  (1235)  

    I think of all the time the Liberal government has wasted. I think back to a year and a half ago when the Liberal government tried to bring forward changes to the Standing Orders. Those changes would have given us a four-day work week, when the rest of Canadians work all week long. The Liberals wanted us to get Fridays off. The Liberals wanted to make changes so that the Prime Minister would not have to come and answer questions in this place.
    The Liberals wanted to make a number of massive changes, and they fought tooth and nail for them. Thankfully, between the NDP and the Conservatives, we were able to put a halt to that. With the small tools we had that they had not tried to take away, we were able to stop that.
    We have seen, again, the lack of hard work on matters of substance that needed to be completed in the House of Commons on the legislative agenda. It never really happened. That is one buzzword we heard.
    Here is another buzzword we were all really interested in. That was “Canada is back”. Do members remember that one? Boy oh boy. That one has not turned out well at all.
    Right now, under the present Prime Minister, Canada has probably fewer friends than ever. The Prime Minister has managed to tick off and offend just about every one of our major friends and allies. It has been shameful to watch. We know that we will have our work cut out for us when the Conservatives win government in October. We will once again restore respectful, principles-based foreign policy on the world stage so that countries around the world know that they can respect us. They will know that we are not just lecturing them. We will have a relationship with our trusted allies, and we will build on those relationships.
    The Liberals first talked a big game on peacekeeping, then they stalled and dithered. Then, when the rubber had to hit the road, they put forward a token effort, limited in time and scale, yet quite dangerous and misaligned with Canada's national interests.
    In the NAFTA talks, the Prime Minister capitulated and failed to get Canada a better deal. Instead of negotiating, the Liberals focused on opportunistic leaks, photo ops and sound bites.
    The Liberal leader, in the presence of the Japanese Prime Minister, twice mistook him as a representative of China. Do members remember that? That was only a few weeks ago. I am still shocked by that.
    Then there was the strident, knee-jerk virtual signalling tweet sparking a diplomatic standoff with Saudi Arabia, with ramifications in a range of areas, including front-line health care in Canada.
    Speaking of social media, the Prime Minister's infamous “Welcome to Canada” tweet sparked a massive, unprecedented surge in illegal border crossings into Canada.
    In foreign relations, we were told what wonderful doors would open in China for Canada with the arrival of the new Liberal government. Tell that today to canola farmers. Tell that to our pork farmers. Tell that to any number of Canadian businesses, large or small, trying to do business in China. Tell that to individual Canadians who have been harassed by the Chinese government, denied visas, detained and arrested on political grounds.
    Of course, there was the Prime Minister's unforgettable trip to India. It was a seven-day trip with half a day of government meetings. Each outfit was more colourful than the last; each development was more embarrassing than the previous one. The Prime Minister spent tens of thousands of dollars flying in a celebrity chef to cook supper, a celebrity chef who happens to be on his hand-picked Senate selection panel.
     However, that was hardly the worst. The Prime Minister invited a convicted attempted murderer to hobnob with him at two receptions, and when that was discovered, the fingers started pointing. Wow. Of all the things that happened in the Liberal government, when we look back at the India trip, it was probably one of the most embarrassing for Canadians, not only because of what their Prime Minister did in India but because of the aftermath and the blame that was levelled. It started with it being a backbencher's fault. The Prime Minister threw one of his own backbenchers under the bus. He does that quite often.

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    Then it was an Indian government plot, then maybe it was someone else. In the end, Daniel Jean announced his retirement. In no circumstance would the Prime Minister fess up and acknowledge that he had blown it and that his office had blown it with a bad decision and bad judgment.
     God forbid that the Prime Minister would actually apologize for something he did. He will apologize for all kinds of things, but there have been so many opportunities, as we have seen in the last four years, when he has done things that are wrong, when he has done things that are unethical and when he has done things that are on the borderline of illegal. That remains to be seen. He has fired people. He has treated people disrespectfully. He has done things that have shocked and appalled us.
    The India trip was one of those where the Prime Minister could have stood up and said, “I am sorry. I made a mistake. I have issues with bad judgment. I'm trying to learn from my mistakes. All of you are paying for it, but I am human. I err a lot." He should have said that, but no, he did not. Everyone else got the blame.
    Saying “Canada is back” really has not panned out very well, has it? It certainly did not help the Liberals advance their agenda here in Parliament.
    Let just try another one on for size. How about “Sunny ways, my friends. Sunny ways”? Do members remember that one?
    To start with, I think this is one of the things that has disturbed Canadians across the board, even those who voted for the Prime Minister. There were a lot of people, obviously millions of Canadians, who voted for the Prime Minister, believing him, believing his promises, believing that he was a fresh face who was going to do things differently. One of the things that is so frustrating and disappointing is his lack of ability to really embrace diversity. People may wonder how I can say that, because the Prime Minister always says that diversity is our strength. Just like everything with the Prime Minister, he says one thing with his words, but his actions are completely different.
    The Prime Minister has very little tolerance for diversity of thought and different opinions. He wants to embrace diversity when it is easy for him and when it might help him score some political points. However, if an individual dares to disagree with him, that is when his real character seems to be exposed.
    One of those items became very clear when illegal border crossers started crossing into Canada. There were a lot of concerns. A lot of Canadians, including in my riding, have been doing a wonderful job helping refugees who are coming into this country who need solace, who need protection and who need to be able to be in a country where they can live, worship and raise their families. Canada is welcoming them. We have so many private sponsors and Canadians across the country who are helping them, but there have been concerns raised about people coming across the border illegally. However, the minute these concerns were expressed, the Prime Minister, Prime Minister “Sunny Ways”, began the reckless name-calling, calling people racist, or, as his minister said, “un-Canadian”. It is un-Canadian if someone dares to ask questions of the government.
    We will remember the Canada summer jobs attestation, where if one disagreed with the government on matters of conscience, one would not be allowed to have government funding. So much for diversity, again.
    We should have seen this from the very early days and early months of this Parliament, when the Prime Minister almost lost a vote, and certainly lost his temper. Everyone will remember, after his legislation to help his friends at Air Canada squeaked through on the Speaker casting a vote, the Liberals proceeded with the draconian and outrageous Motion No. 6. Does everyone remember Motion No. 6? I think we all remember Motion No. 6, an outrageous and scandalous power play to silence the opposition and sideline critics.

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    In the midst of the uproar over Motion No. 6, the Prime Minister, as everyone will recall, stormed across the floor of the House, jostled some MPs who were slowing down his day and fiercely elbowed one of my colleagues. It was clear then that this was a prime minister who would have his way when he wanted it. We understood those words just recently with respect to the SNC-Lavalin scandal and how the Prime Minister would ensure he would get his way. We saw this tactic coming, foreshadowed by Motion No. 6.
    Then, a year later, the government House leader released the so-called discussion paper, which I alluded to earlier, about standing order changes. It was a naked power grab that her colleagues on the procedure and House affairs committee were keen to rush through.
     I also remember the government noting that committees were free to do what they wanted to do. That has become the biggest punchline around this place. Committees are not free to do what they want to do. They are completely directed by the Prime Minister. We saw that at the procedure and House affairs committee regarding the Standing Orders.
    This would have eliminated 20% of question periods, would have the Prime Minister show up once a week, would have silenced the opposition at committees and would have created a new time allocation on steroid procedure. Thanks to the efforts of the opposition, the Liberals would back down some six week later on the worst parts of their proposal. That did not represent a very sunny ways type of government.
    With respect to name-calling, I want to mention something particularly disturbing. We heard the finance minister call our deputy leader a “neanderthal” because she dared challenge him on some of the policies he was bringing forward. Then the Prime Minister called her an “ambulance chaser”. I think that was during the time when we were asking why in the world Terri-Lynne McClintic was being moved to a healing lodge. At around that time, the Prime Minister called the Conservatives ambulance chasers.
    Not only are the Liberals trying to shut us down in what we do in the House of Commons, but they are trying to shut down Canadians through this name-calling. We have been specifically called names by the Prime Minister, again, with no apologies at all. I think the former attorney general has also been victim to the same kind of thing. She has been accused of things, called names, maligned and has not been able to defend herself. She not only has not received an apology from the Prime Minister, but has not been able to defend herself.
    This brings to mind somebody else who needs an apology from the Prime Minister. In all honesty, this man more than anybody deserves an apology from the Prime Minister, and it is Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
    All of us on this side are used to these kinds of attacks from the Liberals and the Prime Minister, but not Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who has served his country with such distinction. Before any charges were even brought against him, the Prime Minister was already saying the issue would go before a court. It looked as if the Prime Minister and the PMO tried to bankrupt him. They accused him of things and put him and his family through such an emotional ordeal. I am sure it affected his family's physical health, financial, mental health and reputation. It is absolutely disgusting to see what the Prime Minister and his minions did to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
    I do not like that the Conservatives were called neanderthals and ambulance chasers and that Canadians were called racists and un-Canadian, but above anyone, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman deserves an apology from the Prime Minister. All of us, including those on this side, need to remind the Prime Minister that before he writes up any more apologies to anybody else, for whatever reason he thinks might do him well politically, he needs to apologize to that man, this honourable Canadian. He needs to show the courage that he should have as a prime minister and apologize to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
    The actions and this attitude reflected in the Liberals' relationship with Parliament have only served the paralyze the House, not facilitate the passage of an agenda. As I said, so much for sunny ways.

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    I have given a few examples of all these empty gestures and slogans, but I want to highlight a few of them.
    The next one is, “Better is always possible”. That was another one from the government. After watching how the Liberal government has approached the criminal justice system, I cannot help but think this. After the Liberals leave office, things will get better for Canadians on a lot of fronts. Better will definitely be possible.
    For example, the Prime Minister sees the criminal justice system as a toy. We saw the Prime Minister weigh in and condemn a unanimous jury verdict that he did not like in Saskatchewan. However, that was just small potatoes, as we would learn later.
     As I said, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman would be charged with the breach of trust. That was his interference in that case. The charge was not a surprise, of course. The Prime Minister had been musing for months, a year actually, that Mark Norman would end up before the courts. How could he have known that?
     He had demanded an investigation into an embarrassing leak that some members in the Liberal cabinet were looking to do the bidding of well-connected friends. The RCMP had clear signals from the very top that something must be done. Therefore, once before the courts, the government denied the vice-admiral access to the material he needed to defend himself. He was not even allowed access to his own emails. Things kept getting worse and worse for the Liberals. Finally, a well-respected MP, the Prime Minister's former chief whip, announced he would testify against the government. Days later, the charges were withdrawn.
    I refer back to that case because I want to link it to the SNC-Lavalin affair. Even though a lot has been said, again it very much shows the disrespect of the Prime Minister.
     In short, the Prime Minister wanted yet another friendly corporation to enjoy the blessings of its well-groomed Liberal connections. Amendments to the Criminal Code, as members will recall, to let SNC-Lavalin off the hook from a trial for foreign corruption and a ban on government contracts were shoved into a mammoth omnibus budget bill, the very thing Liberals swore off, and whisked through Parliament last spring. However, the Liberals were stumped, even though they got this bill passed. The director of public prosecutions was simply not going to do what the Liberals expected her to do.
     Therefore, the Prime Minister set all kinds of pressure from various angles upon the former attorney general to get her to overrule the Public Prosecution Service, but she was not going to do it. She said no to the Prime Minister. How dare she, but she did. She said no not only to the Prime Minister, she told the finance minister that he and his staff needed to back off. She told the Prime Minister, his chief of staff and the clerk of the Privy Council, as we all heard on that tape, to back off, that they were interfering.
     However, let us remember that the Prime Minister is used to having his way all the time. Some people who feel they are entitled and have never had to go through a hardship in their life and have a lot of privilege are used to getting their way. Clearly, the Prime Minister is one of those. When the former attorney general stood up to him and stood by her respect for the rule of law in Canada, she stood up to political interference in the criminal justice system. For that, she got fired. Sadly, we have not been able to hear her full story because the Prime Minister has not waived that privilege, but we have seen enough that we can connect the dots. We can see that when she was fired as attorney general and moved to Veterans Affairs, that was the reason why.
    Thankfully, courageously, all of this has been exposed. Although we still do not have the full truth of what the Prime Minister has done, again it has shown Canadians that the Prime Minister is not at all as advertised. So much for hope and hard work, so much for sunny ways, so much for diversity, so much for tolerance, all of that is a sham under the Prime Minister.
    We do hope the Prime Minister will one day lift the gag order. If he will not, the next prime minister probably will, and I think there will be an opportunity for that to happen. Canadians will hear the truth at one point or another.
    What happened? Both the former attorney general and the former president of the Treasury Board stood up to the Prime Minister. and not only did they get fired and resign from their positions, they got kicked out of the Liberal caucus in violation of the Reform Act, again in violation of the law. That is a day in the life of the Prime Minister.

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    How many laws did he break with respect to conflict of interest and ethics? Four. He is the first Prime Minister in the history of Canada to break those laws. Then he broke the rules and the law regarding the Reform Act.
     That entire episode gripped this entire House and paralyzed the government. It was in chaos. I think it had 10 cabinet shuffles in three weeks. The government was in absolute chaos. While there were all kinds of issues going on across the country, the Liberal government and the Prime Minister could only focus on one thing. It lost the clerk of the Privy Council. The principal adviser, Mr. Butts, resigned. It lost a number of cabinet ministers. It was in absolute chaos and shambles. We were gripped with this in the House of Commons as well.
    In fact, it is the continuing mismanagement by the government that has brought the need for it to propose government Motion No. 30, which we are debating right now. It is the mismanagement that comes from the very top.
     The Prime Minister is so infatuated with his own image and so focused on being a celebrity that he overlooks the substance and hard work of leading a government. That is a very sad reflection of the government and where we are in the country today. This is a prime minister who does not understand that being a prime minister is not a ceremonial role, not something just for a celebrity, but the top job in the country. It is governing not only the people of the country but the budget, the economy and foreign affairs. All of these aspects of a country like Canada should be at the forefront in the mind of the Prime Minister. Instead, he is focused on his celebrity status and getting on the pages of Vanity Fair or Vogue. Perhaps it is GQ, People or TigerBeat, if it is still a magazine. Imagine Donny Osmond and the Prime Minister on the cover of TigerBeat. He is sadly overlooking the substance and hard work of leading a government.
    I have been here for almost 11 years and it really has been quite a privilege. I started as a backbencher. Backbenchers are underrated. They do such tremendous work.
     I was on a committee for a number of years and learned so much about how committees worked. I was then privileged to chair a committee. That also helped me understand the rules of this place. I chaired a committee during a minority parliament. Even more so, when chairing the committee, I had to ensure I was impartial and applied the rules equally to both sides, the government members as well as the opposition, which at that point was a smaller Liberal opposition, the NDP and the Bloc. It was such a privilege to learn and work with colleagues. Then I was privileged to be a parliamentary secretary. In 2013, a number of years later, I became a minister. I believe that experience really helped me become a good minister, and now the opposition House leader.
     Many of us on both sides have worked our way up from being backbench MPs to maybe working on committees and into other offices.
    As I watched, I was inspired by the example set by our former prime minister, Stephen Harper, an exact opposite of the current Prime Minister. Stephen Harper knew every file backward and forward. He was not concerned about celebrity status. He wanted to connect with Canadians to know what their concerns were and to govern in a responsible way. He was an example of tireless devotion and hard work on behalf of Canadians.
     The current Prime Minister has not helped his case by building a PMO where everything is reportedly bottlenecked through just one or two staff. We are hearing a lot about that. Even current Liberal MPs are very concerned with what is going on in the PMO and how decisions are being made there. As the House leader just confirmed, she tells her backbenchers whether they should shorten or lengthen their speeches.

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    Another example, and I already mentioned that, is the government House leader's early appointment. As I said, the hon. member for Waterloo had been here 70-some days when she was appointed as the government House leader. I felt that it sent a message. This is with respect to the House leader. She and I work well together. We certainly disagree, and I am certainly not happy that she is giving us more short opposition days, but as I said earlier, I think she has done the best she could with the hand that was dealt to her.
    When the Prime Minister appoints as a House leader an individual who has been here only for 75 days, it tells all of us that he really is not very serious about getting things done. Maybe he thinks her position is just a ceremonial role as well. We certainly have seen her have to carry a lot of very difficult answers and non-answers to questions for the government. She has been put in a position where unfortunately she has lost a lot of credibility. While the Prime Minister is sitting there silently or signing autographs, she is having to defend his trip to billionaire island. While he is sitting in question period staring off into space or thinking about things, she is the one who is standing and answering or not answering very difficult questions. It is sad because I feel that the Prime Minister set her up to fail, and it is very disappointing to see that he has done that.
    I did give a longer speech about this point previously. It was a speech around the Prime Minister's so-called approach to feminism, which I find to be fake. It is a lot of signalling and not true respect for the equality of women, and for us as women in this place being able to be where we are based on merit, based on our ability and our strength, being able to speak truth to power, being able to stand in this place knowing that we got here absolutely on our merit. When the Prime Minister appoints people just because they are women and then does not even respect them and listen to them, as he did with the former attorney general, we have seen time and time again that his approach to feminism is a lot of words and no action.
    I am going back to the power of the PMO. I imagine the House leader has had a lot of struggles with the PMO behind the scenes trying to line up a legislative agenda and trying to get departments to hustle and bring their long-overdue proposals to the cabinet table and convert them into bills, and trying to get her colleagues to meet what a coordinated plan requires of them. However, it sounds like she is basically just telling her colleagues what to do.
    News flash for them, that is not the way it happens. In the previous government, not only did we pass many private members' bills, but we had more government MPs vote against the government's position. We had more free votes than any other government. It was really quite remarkable.
    I would never betray caucus confidentiality, but I will say this. I think this is a departure for the Liberals and it might be a good thing for them to think about when they are the third party again or maybe opposition after the next election, which remains to be seen, but they may want to allow their caucus members to speak their minds freely and not have to set their agenda ahead of time or allow the Prime Minister and his minions to tell them if they can speak. It is wonderful in caucus to be able to stand and not get permission, but be able to speak to the leader freely. He or she listens, and sometimes decisions are changed.
    That actually happened in our previous government, and it is wonderful to be able to speak freely in our caucus to each other and to our leader. That would be a nice thing. Maybe those who have served under previous leaders like Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin or Michael Ignatieff were able to speak freely, but it does not appear that they are able to do that with the current government.

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    It is the Prime Minister's way, or they are out. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more members of Parliament who were Liberals and who, under various circumstances, were disrespected and did not feel welcome anymore in the Liberal caucus. That is very sad to see.
    Let us get to the next mess that the Prime Minister has made, and that is in the Senate. It is quite something to see what is happening in the Senate. The Prime Minister has a leader of the government in the Senate whom he tries to disavow. The Prime Minister has, however, done an excellent job appointing ideological fellow travellers to the Senate, though he likes to call them “independent”. At the end of the day, though, when something comes to a vote, the Prime Minister has always been able to count on his so-called independent senators' votes. However, getting there has not always been very pretty. I have to say it is a bit entertaining to watch on this side.
    The real litmus test for his so-called independent Senate will be whether it heeds Liberal political imperatives in an election year, follows the spirit of Motion No. 30 and passes all of the Prime Minister's bills in the way that he wants. I guess time will tell.
    In the meantime, it means that we have seen a number of Senate amendments to current legislation. Of course, at the end of the day, the Senate has backed down to the government's opinion every single time. It is quite interesting. While there is something generally reassuring about an elected House, even under the thumb of a majority government carrying the day, it has nonetheless meant that the House spends an extra two days or more on every government bill that gets bounced back from the Senate.
     It is also a reflection of the government's lack of consultation with Canadians over many of its pieces of legislation. Bill C-69, Bill C-48 and Bill C-71 are all bills where, had the government just taken a little time to listen to Canadians, had it admitted that maybe it made some mistakes and had it made those adjustments, it might not be seeing the problems it is seeing with the current legislation in the Senate. However, that is what the government is getting.
    The Prime Minister's mismanagement of the Senate has directly contributed to the mismanagement of the House of Commons, hence the need for government Motion No. 30. Here is the present scene: a scandal-ridden, disastrous Liberal government flailing about in the dying days of this Parliament in a rush to just do something, to get something done, something other than making pot legal. That is about the only thing the government has done, and it has actually done that pretty poorly. The legalization of cannabis is really the only notable accomplishment of the government to date. Even with that, it turned out to be a disaster.
    What does the government have left to do, which it is in such a hurry to achieve? The government has horribly failed in meeting any of its lofty commitments to indigenous peoples. Now it is in a panic to rush through Bill C-91 and Bill C-92, the indigenous languages and indigenous family services legislation, so that it can say, “Look, we have done something.”
    There is, of course, yet another omnibus budget bill that it is ramming through the House at this moment. The government will no doubt want to see that piece of legislation and all of its provisions to implement another promise-breaking, deficit budget through Parliament. Rumours have also started to fly that the government will seek to implement, before the election, the Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement, the new NAFTA, where the Liberals capitulated to the American administration on replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    On the NAFTA negotiations, the Prime Minister wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a better deal. However, Conservatives worked hard to get tariffs removed, and we recognize how important free trade with the United States is. We will be voting to ratify the deal in Parliament, but the Liberals cannot take this as a licence to abuse Parliament. We are already well into the 11th hour for this Parliament. I can confidently predict that the House will not be a happy place if the implementation legislation is brought forward at the very last minute and then we are called to rush through the bill with little or no scrutiny to make fundamental changes to the world's most important bilateral economic relationship.
    Again, we need the government, at this very late hour, to show some responsibility and let Canadians know, let members know, what it is planning to do with this agreement and with the ratification.

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    Turning to other priorities the government will seek to advance this spring, we see other economic legislation that is really hurting our economy. The government is the proud owner of a $4.5-billion pipeline, which has not even started to be built. Government members are scrambling to shore up the support of environmental activists, whose votes they heavily courted in 2015 but clearly are losing. Today we are going to be seeing the welcoming of a new member of Parliament from the Green Party. I think when the Liberals talk about an emergency, that is an emergency they are very much seized with, the emergency of their losing their so-called environmentalist vote.
     However, there is some legislation that is really problematic, such as Bill C-88, which is a bill that would restrict pipeline and resource development in Canada's north. Bill C-68 would make negative changes to fisheries laws, which would result in economic activity being hampered. Bill C-48, and it is quite interesting to see what is happening in the Senate with that one, is a symbolic gesture; well, it is more than a gesture, as this bill would ban tanker traffic from part of the B.C. coast, which is where many first nations are calling for greater pipeline development and economic opportunity. At the same time, there is no proposed tanker ban on the east coast, where Saudi Arabian and Venezuelan oil is coming to Canada.
    Of course, there is Bill C-69, the no-more-pipelines bill, which would absolutely stop any energy infrastructure development in Canada. We have heard from experts, stakeholders, provinces and first nation groups that Bill C-69 is an absolute disaster for this country. We would not have any more pipelines built. They will be built in other countries. Canada will miss this window of opportunity. Again, the government does not seem to understand the consequences of its actions. However, I understand there have been many amendments by the Senate, up to 200 amendments, so it will be interesting to see if those are overturned by the Liberals, who are hoping to regain their environmentalist votes.
    In Canada, majority government policies are usually assured of being put into place. Therefore, the shadow cast by these bills has, unfortunately, already done a huge amount of damage in our resource sector and in other parts of our country, putting a chill on investment and development long ahead of these bills becoming law.
    Adding to that is the sad, sorry spectacle of the duelling climate emergency motions before the House this month, which is another interesting thing to watch. Before Victoria Day, the New Democrats put forward an opposition day motion declaring a climate emergency, and the Liberals defeated it. Lo and behold, the very next day, the Liberals brought forward their own climate emergency motion, which we debated for just a few hours. Then, the day after, they were on to something else, and the Prime Minister was flying somewhere in his jet. Can members imagine that there is a climate emergency and the Prime Minister gets on his jet and flies away? It is pretty unbelievable. I call that a high-carbon hypocrite.
    Here we are this morning, back from our constituency break. Where is the emergency debate? I do not see it. The government's emergency is worrying about what is happening on its left flank, worrying about the senators and worrying about getting legislation through. However, this morning we have this debate, which is something different still. This afternoon, the Liberals are going to squeeze in another two or three hours on their climate emergency, hoping that some of their environmentalists are listening and they can fool them into thinking they care about the environment, when in fact the only plan the Liberals have for the environment is a tax plan. Who knows? The motion goes back into the parliamentary ether under the who-knows-when category.
    I think this is just a political emergency. As I mentioned, the Green Party won a by-election on Vancouver Island, with the Liberal candidate running fourth, which is really quite something. I think the Liberals are very worried. They have to be worried about what is going on in B.C. The Prime Minister, as I said, scrambled and stuck something in the window to look like he was doing something. It is sort of fun to watch them do this.

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    I know what the Liberals are going to do. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change actually mentioned it on the weekend. Their approach, according to the minister, is that if they stand in the House and say it loud enough, as well as yell it in question period, Canadians will just believe it. Now we know why the Prime Minister and that minister stand and yell. It is sad to say, but they believe that if they say it loud enough and yell it enough times in this place that Canadians will believe it. That is horrible. It is cynical, disrespectful and shameful. I certainly hope that maybe at their next caucus meeting, some of those Liberals will have the courage to speak up to their boss, the Prime Minister, and maybe a few of their ministers, and tell them that it is about time they respect this place and respect Canadians.
    Here we are debating government Motion No. 30, because the Liberals claim they are working hard to pass legislation. Then we will turn to a virtue signalling motion that will not change one law or do one thing. It is really interesting to see what the Liberal government is doing.
    Let us go back to Motion No. 30. Those were my opening remarks, and now I am getting into the real substance of my speech. I appreciate the encouragement. Motion No. 30 before us today calls us to sit until midnight on four days a week, as well as for most votes to take place after question period. These are understandable. We were in government and understand it, but we did not have to do it in 2015. We were able to manage things so efficiently under Peter Van Loan and Stephen Harper that we did not extend into night sittings in the summer of 2015. However, for all the reasons I have pointed out, the Liberals had to.
    Some of these measures can be understood by us, as Conservatives, as they are things we have asked the House to do. There is one addition to the motion that is truly a nice one, and I am going to compliment the government on it. There is a provision in this motion to have a couple of evenings that are dedicated to statements by retiring members from all sides. We will have the opportunity to set aside partisanship for a short period of time to hear the farewell speeches by our departing colleagues. That is something we do not always get to enjoy when we have one-off statements made in the midst of one political battle or another. I am really glad to see that provision. There are members on every side of the House who are retiring and not running again for various reasons. In the last Parliament, we set aside a couple of evenings for those members, who could invite their families, friends and staff members. It is a really good thing and I am grateful. I thank the government for putting that provision into this motion.
    However, the motion is not perfect. This is where I am going to discuss the parts of the motion that we do not like and believe are a greedy approach on behalf of the Liberals. I have already talked about 2017 and 2018 when the government motion proposed reducing opposition days to opposition half days. We objected then, and we object again.
    This year's motion is very aggressive in some other ways also. The rules normally require report stage votes and third reading debate to occur on separate days. Under government Motion No. 30, that waiting period would be eliminated. Again, this is another way that the government can rush through legislation.
    With regard to the way that the previous motion on extended hours worked, there was a one-day delay between a vote on the previous question and a vote on the main motion. That would be eliminated under government Motion No. 30. In previous years, all dilatory motions were banned after 6:30 p.m., but now ministers would be allowed to propose them. The government wants us to sit late every night, yet wants to keep for itself the power to send us home early.

  (1320)  

    On the last opposition day in each supply period, we vote on the estimates. That is when we go through the government spending plan line by line and approve the items. Unfortunately for the current government, these have often fallen at times when the government was being particularly arrogant, like in March when the Liberals were insisting on preventing the members for Vancouver Granville and Markham—Stouffville from speaking. Therefore, we did have to hold the government's feet to the fire and we triggered marathon voting, which is one of the very few devices left for us to make our disagreements felt.
    Now, government Motion No. 30 would create a backdoor procedural trick to group and apply these votes. That is in an effort to spare the Liberals from standing and voting for their spending proposals, and that is if a voting marathon even happens this spring. Again, this is one of the small tools we have to hold the government to account and draw attention to what the government is doing. The Liberals have taken that away as well. It is shameful. The takeaway from this is that while the Liberals are setting long hours, they want to make light work. Again, it is a lot of hope but very little hard work.
     There is also one small curious difference between this motion and those from the previous years. Normally, when a concurrence debate is interrupted, the government has 10 sitting days to reschedule the conclusion of that debate. Under past motions for extended hours, whether Liberal or Conservative, that 10 days has been increased to 20 days to avoid further extending some House sittings from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Instead, the government motion proposes 31 sitting sitting days, not 20. It is an interesting little change, nuance, in this motion. Since there are only 20 scheduled sittings days left, that tells me one thing: The Liberal government now recognizes it has mismanaged its agenda so badly that it could be preparing for the House to have a summer sitting. I am wondering if all the Liberal members were aware of that little nugget. Again, it is going to be a matter of our watching this space to see what happens.
    Finally, something that is not in the motion also has us concerned. That is the prospect of amendments to the Standing Orders getting rammed through this spring under the cover of midnight sittings. On one hand, there is a private member's motion, Motion No. 231, sponsored by the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard. It did not come through this morning, but many of us have had a chance to look at that private member's motion and have to wonder if it is not under the direction or the support of the Liberals. The Liberal government did—

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, there is getting to be quite a rumble. I am sitting quite close to our House leader and trying to listen very closely. This motion is very important. There is getting to be quite a rumble in the surrounding halls here.
     Could we possibly ask you, Mr. Speaker, to quiet things down?
    I thank the hon. member for North Okanagan—Shuswap for his intervention. Members will know that this does occur from time to time when there are guests of members in the perimeter area. We try to pay attention to that. I am mindful that this disruption has more or less just started, and had it gone on a bit longer, we would typically alert our security and other officials to see if we can get that tamped down. I appreciate the hon. member's intervention, and we will go back to the hon. opposition House leader.
    I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker. We hear a lot of noise in this beautiful new place, and that is one of the pitfalls. It is great having people being active in the parliamentary precinct, but it does get to be a little loud. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
    The noise was not heckling from members on the government benches. I say that in case any of the good folks listening to this speech thought that government members were heckling me. They were not. They were listening intently, and I very much appreciate their interest in my speech.
    There has been some concern around this private member's bill, and that may be because of the way that the government was going to ram through some of the changes. That will remain to be seen.
    One of the other things we are concerned about is ministerial accountability and the lack thereof. My colleague, the hon. member for Edmonton West, has established quite a track record for spotting problems and errors between the budget, the estimates and related tables. This is a result of some of the new Liberal processes. The Liberals brought in changes a year ago, and we at that point indicated concern. However, those concerns were not heeded and we are seeing some of the fallout from that. Thankfully, we have very hard-working members on this side.
    I said that the member for Edmonton West can do the work. I do not know how many hundreds of bureaucrats are in the Department of Finance, and yet one of our members can do the work of one hundred of them when it comes to catching mistakes and errors. We are proud of him and grateful for what he has done.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer, in his review of the 2019 estimates, explained the situation quite well when he said that the government's new approach, which is one of the changes to the Standing Orders:
does not fully address the issues raised regarding the changes in the Estimates process. Parliamentarians will still be required to vote on Budget measures which have not gone through the [Treasury Board] submission process prior to the Main Estimates being tabled in the House of Commons.
     As noted in previous PBO reports, there are often significant differences between the money announced in the Budget versus what is ultimately approved by Treasury Board and presented to Parliament for its review.
     It is ultimately up to parliamentarians to decide whether these improvements are sufficient to outweigh the drawbacks of incomplete information in order to help the Government expedite the implementation of Budget measures. As highlighted in previous PBO reports, a significant part of Budget implementation delays stem from the Government's own internal processes. Were these to be streamlined, the Government would be able to spend money more quickly without the need for Parliament to forego information. It is unclear what the Government intended to do to address this issue.
    Last year, a single committee was entrusted with studying all new spending measures announced in the budget, but the Liberal majority shut down any effort to have anything resembling meaningful scrutiny. That committee, the government operations committee, has itself not given the green light to continuing the government's bad experiment. Let me quote from page 27 of its 16th report, which was tabled in January:
     Since the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates has a mandate to study the process for considering the estimates and supply and the format and content of all estimates documents, among other things, it is best suited to study changes made to the estimates process. The Committee therefore believes that it should study the impact of the new timeline for the tabling of the main estimates before the changes to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons are made permanent
    That is probably the most polite way that one could expect a group of Liberal backbenchers to tell the government publicly to back down from any hasty plans. I would agree with them. The government's experiment on aligning the budget and the estimates requires thorough review. It appears clear to me and to many of us that the experiment has not only failed, but it has made things worse and more complicated.
    Members should not be surprised to see a minister sauntering down to the House in the next few weeks urging us to celebrate the government's changes and to make this nonsense permanent. I hope that does not happen.

  (1330)  

    In conclusion, I want to say that we are very happy to work hard and long hours. We know that is what it takes to get things done for Canadians.
    However, we are not impressed that we are being asked to join the Liberals' desperate scramble to be able to claim that they have accomplished something, rather than having squandered four years in office while surfing on a sense of entitlement, thinking things would just happen for them because, “By goodness, we are so good-looking and we are Liberals”, though, by the way, some Conservatives are good-looking too. It takes more than good looks and well wishes.
    I am trying to get a little smile out of them, but I think I have just hit them too hard. I see the member for Winnipeg North smiling.
    We certainly do not agree with a bunch of temporary and permanent procedural changes being slipped in under the guise of a motion calling for longer working hours that would tip the scale in favour of the government going back to possibly changing the Standing Orders.
    I will be proposing some changes to government Motion No. 30. If the Liberals will agree to our amendments, we will agree to their motion. It is very simple. I am not overly optimistic. I am looking at the faces of my colleagues across the way, and they are not looking too committed. Am I getting a few nods? No one is committing, but maybe I will read the amendment.
    An hon. member: Give it a shot.
    Hon. Candice Bergen: That is what I will do, Mr. Speaker. I will read it first, because it is kind of like how the Liberals have governed for four years, with decisions, favours, policies and grants for Liberals and their well-connected insider friends, with all of the advantages going to themselves. Beyond that, the Liberal government is one that will be remembered for hollow buzzwords, empty symbolism and broken promises. The good news for Canadians is that it will not last forever. There are just 20 sitting days left for this Parliament and, if the voters agree, just 20 sitting days left for this failed government.
    In closing, I move, seconded by the member for Barrie—Innisfil, that the motion be amended as follows:
(a) in paragraph (b), by deleting all the words after the words “provided that” and substituting the following: “any recorded division demanded in respect of a motion to amend the Standing Orders or to make changes to the usual practices of the House shall stand deferred to the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on Wednesday, October 23, 2019”; (b) in paragraph (e), by adding the following: “provided that any recorded division demanded in respect of a motion to amend the Standing Orders or to make changes to the usual practices of the House shall stand deferred to immediately before the time provided for Private Members' Business on Wednesday, October 23, 2019”; (c) by deleting paragraphs (i), (k) and (l); and (d) in paragraph (m), by deleting the word “31st” and substituting the following: “20th”.

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, in listening to my colleague across the way, at times I could not help but think she is often far from the reality of what has actually taken place in the last number of years. I would say that the Conservative Party is still led by Stephen Harper in many ways, and I must say that it has been heavily influenced by Mr. Ford in Ontario lately. Nothing has really changed. From day one, the Conservative Party has made things personal. Its members attack the Prime Minister. It does not matter what the issues are. Whether it is legislation to cut taxes for Canada's middle class or progressive measures, such as the Canada child benefit, it does not matter. The Conservative Party's simple agenda is to attack the Prime Minister.
    My question for the member opposite is related to legislation. We have 20 more sitting days. Canadians want us to work hard. This government will work hard to the very last hour. Would the member opposite not recognize that in order to pass legislation, we need a sense of responsibility from the opposition benches? If we do not, we have to resort to using other tools. The Conservatives, over the last three and a half years, have demonstrated that not only do they want to attack the Prime Minister, they also want to prevent us from passing—

  (1340)  

    The hon. opposition House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sure that my Manitoba colleague is very troubled by the fact that most of the attention has been on his leader, the Prime Minister. Since the Liberals were elected, we have seen over the last four years that it has been #teamprimeminister. That is what the Liberals have run on. It was the Prime Minister who ran on balancing the budget, electoral reform, and having the most open and transparent government and of being a feminist and open to diversity. These are all things that the Prime Minister said. Guess who had to stand behind him, back him and cheer him all of that time? It was these Liberals, who are now very worried I am sure. They are going into their ridings, knocking on doors and their constituents are saying they are tired of the current Prime Minister, that he has failed and his failures are costing them. They saw what Kathleen Wynne did in Ontario. They do not want that from the current Prime Minister. Therefore, I am not surprised the member is worried.
    Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the member's speech. It went on a little longer than I expected, but it was all on interesting points. I have two questions for the opposition House leader.
    First, the mandate letter given to the government House leader talked about working collaboratively with opposition parties to make the House of Commons more family friendly. Does the opposition House leader feel this is really a repudiation of all of those intents the Prime Minister talked about a few years ago? He talked about how he and the government House leader would work to make this a better and more collaborative place. Does she not feel this is a repudiation of those commitments?
    Second, the sad story of the current Liberal government is that despite the fact it talked about working collaboratively and cutting back on the number of closure and bulldozer motions that simply push things through Parliament without proper scrutiny, it is now close to the Harper government's record in terms of the number of closure motions. Does it worry her that the Liberals are now as bad as the former Harper government was?
    Mr. Speaker, that is a trick question. I am not going to fall for it.
    I appreciate my hon. colleague's other comments and will quickly address them.
    The Prime Minister's initial action, when he stormed across the aisle in the House when he did not get his way, I think, set the tone for his caucus and House leader to bulldoze their way through anything. It has been very disappointing when the House leader has stated, on many occasions, that members of Parliament here might be repeating themselves, so that it is her and the Liberals' job to shut them down, including her own members. I think that shows disrespect. Certainly, we have tried to work collaboratively with her as House leaders, but her attitude that if we do not do what she wants us to do, she is going to punish us is very condescending, patronizing and disrespectful. That attitude has come from the very top. It has come from the Prime Minister. When he talks about being family friendly, it may be family friendly for him and maybe he does not feel he has to be here all the time, but there are many of us who feel very committed that when this place is open, we need to be here at work and we recognize that it does take a lot of people away from their families.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my colleague, the hon. opposition House leader, regarding the parliamentary calendar and, more specifically, the government's handling of it.
    As she would know, as every member of Parliament who has been in this place even for a few days would recognize, when we look at the parliamentary calendar that is issued yearly, we see that the last two weeks of each session have asterisks beside the dates. That does not mean we might be able to get out of here early. What it means is that the government, if it chooses to, could extend the sitting hours so that we could have further debate and pass legislation.
    Back in 2015, we never used extended sitting hours, because our government of the day was able to pass legislation in a timely manner, getting it through before we rose for the summer. This is the first time I can remember that we will have extended sitting hours for four weeks, not just the two weeks that are the norm, but four weeks. In my view, that is because the government is failing in its handling of the parliamentary calendar. More specifically, the government's incompetence has not allowed it to bring forward legislation in a timely fashion, and now it has to rush and play catch-up. Was it the SNC-Lavalin scandal that threw the government off its game? I do not know, but this is certainly the fault of the government.
    Could my hon. colleague, my friend, the hon. opposition House leader, expand further upon that?

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, the government has delivered a lot of broken promises and empty symbolism to Canadians. What we are seeing today with this motion is a culmination of that.
     It is certainly anticipating massive problems from the Senate in response to much of its legislation, because its so-called promise of listening to Canadians is empty and broken. It has mismanaged the House. The member articulated very well how the calendar is set up and the fact that under our previous Conservative government, we managed things effectively. When in government, sometimes time allocation does have to be used, and we did.
     However, we want to highlight the hypocrisy of the Liberal government and its members standing up and sanctimoniously preaching at us the Conservatives and everybody before us who used time allocation, despite the Prime Minister saying he would use neither it nor omnibus bills. He has. He has used draconian measures, and is doing so even now. Even at that, the Prime Minister is having so many problems getting legislation through.
    It is kind of like his foreign policy, and this is the problem. How did Margaret Thatcher put it? She said that “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” The Prime Minister, even in enacting legislation, could have said that despite his government being a majority one, it would sometimes use time allocation, and here is the agenda and what we are going to do, and the opposition can use its tools. Sure, we would have been going back and forth, but it is the hypocrisy I'm referring to. It is the Prime Minister standing up and saying that he is better than everyone else, that he is sunny ways, that he is tolerant and that he believes in Parliament and he is going to respect backbenchers. It was all fraudulent. None of it was true.
    This motion today is clear. It is as clear as the nose on all of our faces. The government is not doing what it said it would do. It is about broken promises, empty rhetoric and empty symbolism.
    Mr. Speaker, again, the member opposite is quite far from reality.
    To try to give the impression that the Harper government did not use similar measures to what we are using today is just wrong. It did. The Harper government used these measures to pass legislation.
    The Liberal government is focused on Canadians. The Conservative Party is not prepared to work late on the last 20 days of the government. It does not want work late for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader just made my point.
    The Prime Minister came in, trying to shame us and say that we were a terrible government because we used the tools available. The Liberals are doing exactly what they said they were not going to do, and they are doing it even more, using time allocation and draconian measures. At least the former Conservative government allowed private members to have a say and to have free votes.
    Not only are the Liberals using time allocation, and here I guess the Liberals talked to the previous government about how to do it, they are also shutting down debate for members of Parliament and are controlling committees, which we did not do. The former Conservative government did not fire our attorney general because he would not interfere in a criminal case. Who fired its attorney general because she did not interfere in a criminal case? It was the Liberal government.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating the member for Vancouver Granville and the member for Markham—Stouffville, who have announced they will be running as independents in the federal election to be held this fall. They stood up to the Prime Minister and for judicial independence and they paid a terrible political price, being banished from the Liberal Party. Both of them are putting the future and the final decision in the hands of the voters of Vancouver Granville and Markham—Stouffville, which is as it should be.
    I would like to mention the last time we sat for four weeks in night sessions. The New Democrats are no strangers to hard work. We believe our job is to be here and fight as hard as we can on behalf of our constituents and all Canadians.
    Statistics were kept of the last time we sat for four weeks until midnight. Canadians know there is a rotation. The Liberals get a chance to speak, then the Conservatives, then the New Democrats. Then independents and non-recognized parties occasionally will have their opportunity as well.
    The last time we sat late for four weeks, I am proud to say that not a single speaking spot was missed by the New Democrats. Every time it came to the NDP, and that was frequently, the New Democrats rose in the House and spoke on behalf of their constituents and of Canadians.
    Sadly, that is not the case with the Liberals and the Conservatives. The last time we sat for four weeks of midnight sittings, the Liberals and the Conservatives failed to show up over 200 times. A Liberal speaker would be called and not a single member of the Liberal caucus rose to speak on behalf of his or her constituents or on behalf of anybody.
    I find it a bit rich when the government House leader talks about the Liberals wanting to work harder. The opposition House leader said the same thing, all be it more eloquently. The reality is that this happened 200 times over 20 days. Over that period, or 10 times a day, the Conservatives and the Liberals failed to stand and speak on behalf of their constituents.
     The New Democrats have a record of wanting to work hard and we believe all members of the House of Commons should work equally hard on behalf of their constituents. Therefore, our problem is not the midnight sittings. To the contrary, we have proven over the years that the New Democrats are here to work and work hard, and we will continue to do that.
    The problem with the motion is that it strips away all the tools that opposition members can use to hold the government to account, and this is no small matter. When we look at the mandate letter the Prime Minister provided to the government House leader in 2016, it speaks very clearly to what the government told Canadians it wanted to bring as far as a new spirit in the House of Commons.
    The Prime Minister wrote in the mandate letter:
     I made a personal commitment to bring new leadership and a new tone to Ottawa. We made a commitment to Canadians to pursue our goals with a renewed sense of collaboration.
    He said further in his mandate letter, which directs the government House leader on how to work with members of the opposition in the House of Commons:
    As Minister, you will be held accountable for our commitment to bring a different style of leadership to government. This will include: close collaboration with your colleagues; meaningful engagement with Opposition Members of Parliament....
    He went on to say:
    Parliamentarians must have the information and the freedom to do their most important jobs: represent their constituents and hold the government to account. It is your job to help empower all Members of Parliament to fulfill these essential responsibilities.
    The Prime Minister went on to say that the government House leader should be changing the House of Commons Standing Orders to end the improper use of omnibus bills. We have seen some of the most egregious examples of omnibus legislation in our history as a country and our history as a Parliament under the Liberal government, the most recent being the incredibly inappropriate use of trying to gut immigration legislation through the use of an omnibus budget bill.

  (1350)  

    My colleague, the member for Vancouver East, has spoken eloquently, as have dozens of organizations across the country, about the cutting off the ability of refugees to apply for refugee status in Canada, something that has been applauded by white supremacists and has been derided, quite legitimately, by organizations that are very concerned by the government's incredible shift to the right on this. This should never have been put into omnibus legislation, given that the Prime Minister committed to ending the improper use of omnibus bills. It is just another commitment that has been left by the wayside.
    The Prime Minister asked and directed the government House leader, in her mandate letter, to “Work with Opposition House Leaders to examine ways to make the House of Commons more family-friendly for Members of Parliament.” Nothing in the mandate letter that was given to the government House leader is reflected at all in the motion the government has brought forward, which strips the opposition of rights and imposes on the government no obligation whatsoever with respect to how it runs through the next few weeks of Parliament.
    We know from history, as I cited earlier with my sad example, that on over 200 occasions, the Liberals and the Conservatives failed to show up to work in the evening up until midnight. Shift workers, nurses, firefighters and police officers show up to work. People who work in plants, as I did on the shop floor, work 12-hour shifts, from midnight to noon. We showed up to work. Canadians show up to work, yet it is sadly the case that more than 200 times, in only 20 sitting days, the Liberals and the Conservatives failed to show up to speak on behalf of their constituents.
    In the motion, which strips the opposition of all its rights, there is no obligation at all on the government side to do anything in particular. There is no obligation for the government to accept the many amendments that NDP members and other opposition members provide to improve legislation.
    As we saw in the Harper years, on almost a dozen occasions, legislation that was passed after being railroaded through the House of Commons was rejected by the courts. Parliament exists to ensure we get legislation right the first time, not to have to rely on the court system to override egregiously bad legislation that has been pushed through the House of Commons.
    However, this is what the Liberal government has done. In complete repudiation of its commitment to be a different government and in complete repudiation of the mandate letter I just cited, the Liberals have rammed through bad legislation that is now moving to the courts as well. Under the Harper government, legislation was rejected a dozen times.
    It is a bad practice, yet there is nothing in the motion that obliges the government to listen to witnesses in committee. There is nothing in the motion that obliges the government to entertain the amendments that help to make legislation better. There is nothing that actually improves parliamentary procedure in this place.
    That is the fundamental problem and that is why tomorrow, when I have a chance to speak a little more to the motion, I will speak about what the government should have done and how it should have been approaching this, doing so in that spirit of collaboration, which now seems so remote and removed.
    Four years later, all of the promises of sunny ways that we heard from the Liberals belong on the trash heap of history. We have had a very mean-spirited government that has tried to railroad the rights of Parliament repeatedly. Ultimately, I think the Liberals will pay a price for this on October 21.

  (1355)  

    The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby will have 10 minutes remaining in his time for remarks when the House next gets back to debate on the question that was before the House.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to congratulate the Memorial Cup champions, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. They showed their mettle by coming from behind to claim the top prize yesterday in Halifax.
    We would also like to congratulate the Mooseheads, who did not go down without a fight.
    Let me point out that the final pitted two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams against each other, which was a great way to celebrate the league's 50th anniversary.
    We would like to congratulate the players, the head coach, Mario Pouliot, and the whole organization. A special shout out to Joël Teasdale: tournament MVP will look pretty good on the young Canadiens prospect's resumé.
    The Huskies' glorious Memorial Cup victory is not unexpected considering the team's record-breaking 59-win season in the QMJHL.
    Rouyn and Abitibi are basking in their team's triumph, and all of Quebec is proud of its champions.
    Bravo, and thank you.

  (1400)  

[English]

Tamil Canadians

    Mr. Speaker, Saturday, May 18, 2019, was an important day in the Tamil Canadian community. It was the 10th anniversary of the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. We remember the trauma and loss over the 26 years of war, an armed conflict the United Nations declared a genocide.
    As we recognize the end of this conflict, the Government of Canada believes that the best way forward is through engagement with the Sri Lankan government, with accountability, openness and transparency as the building blocks of peace and stability.
    In my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville, we have a strong and vibrant Tamil community that I have come to know over the last 20 years. I want to thank the Senior Tamils Society of Peel, the Mississauga Tamil Association, the Canadian Tamil Congress and SOPCA, the Screen of Peel Community Association, for all their hard work and community-building, which adds to the cultural diversity of Mississauga.
    I am looking forward to continuing to work with them now and in well into the future.

Tourism

    Mr. Speaker, whether it is dining out at Timmy Tom's Pizzeria in Winnipeg, which won this year's World Pizza Championship, planning a round of golf at the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada's Cultural Tourism Award winner Quaaout Lodge and Talking Rock Golf resort, in Chase, B.C., visiting Condé Nast Traveler award winner Quebec City to stroll the old world beauty of Quartier Petit Champlain, browsing Toronto's Lonely Planet hotspot, Kensington Market, or enjoying the Eat the Castle culinary excursion tour at the Fairmont Banff Springs in my own riding of Banff—Airdrie, Canada offers a unique and special tourist experience in each region of the country from one coast to another.

[Translation]

     May 26 to June 2 is tourism week, a time for us all to celebrate the contributions and experiences of Canada's tourism industry.
    I urge all Canadians to celebrate by visiting Canada's magnificent sites and taking advantage of all the experiences our wonderful country has to offer.

[English]

Business Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize a franchise that is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Vin Bon is a modem boutique micro-winery that brings the very best of wine culture to communities across this country. Combining elements of the traditional winemaking experience with the emerging craft wine concept, Vin Bon creates a diverse selection of wines and offers customers an opportunity to engage intimately with a historically exclusive lifestyle. As it seeks to bring the winery experience to the people, Vin Bon presents an innovative, versatile concept that treats guests to quality wines, a relaxing atmosphere and a cultural experience like no other.
    I would like to say congratulations to the Locilento family for all their hard work over the last 40 years. They have been a true friend to my family, and I look forward to having a glass of their fine wine together in the future. Congratulations on 40 years in business. I wish them nothing but success in the future.

Labour

    Mr Speaker, 100 years ago this week, the federal government ordered postal workers participating in the Winnipeg General Strike to return to work and sign anti-union pledges or be fired. Provincial and municipal employees, including the police, were given the same ultimatum. In a show of unity, thousands of strikers gathered at Victoria Park to reject these unfair demands and press forward.
    This past Saturday, just months after the current government legislated postal workers back to work, thousands of Winnipeggers and labour leaders from across the country marched through Winnipeg to commemorate the 1919 strike. Two attempts in this Parliament to recognize the historical significance of the strike have failed to achieve unanimous consent. This disappointing fact is a testament to the ongoing political significance of the strike.
    We live in a time of rising inequality, with political forces that have openly declared war on the right of workers to organize and demand fairness at work. May the legacy of the strike continue to inspire working Canadians as an example of the power we have when we put aside the things that divide us and focus on our common interests in the workplace and at the ballot box.

Mary Steinhauser

    Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize Mary Steinhauser, a fallen Canadian prison classification officer. She was a nurse, social worker and trailblazer in her approach to inmate rehabilitation. In 1975, Mary bravely offered herself as the principal hostage during a prison riot at a federal maximum security penitentiary in New Westminster, British Columbia. She and 14 other officers were held for 41 hours. During a bungled rescue attempt, Mary was fatally shot by a prison guard.
    In the words of the Right Hon. Pierre Trudeau, “Mary will be remembered with respect and gratitude for her outstanding courage and fortitude...and for her service in a most difficult and demanding vocation”.
    I would like to take this opportunity to honour her memory and thank our corrections personnel, who continue a tradition of selfless service for all Canadians.

  (1405)  

Privacy

    Mr. Speaker, as chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, it is my honour to welcome parliamentarians from Argentina, Chile, Equador, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore and the United Kingdom to Ottawa. They join us here for the second meeting of the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy. Together we represent over 440 million citizens, all of us looking for ways to protect the privacy of our citizens in this digital age.
    Over the next three days, we will hear from experts about the issues surrounding big data and privacy as well as about how we can work to find solutions to protect the rights of our citizens. Representatives from all major tech companies will also be giving testimony. To that end, I once again urge Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to respect the will of lawmakers and comply with our subpoena and show up.
    To my international colleagues, welcome to Canada.

[Translation]

Non-profit Entrepreneurship Centre

    Mr. Speaker, this month, the former Juvénat Saint-Jean in Dolbeau-Mistassini began welcoming new students enrolled at the Centre spécialisé en entrepreneuriat multi-ressources.
    A class of about 15 forestry entrepreneurs just started their training. This building has been renovated to house modern classrooms, boardrooms and administrative offices. To maximize the number of students who can participate, the course includes on-site room and board. Although the entrepreneurship centre is tailored to the needs of Lac-Saint-Jean, anyone from Quebec can enrol. Since this month is Forest Month, I want to offer my congratulations and best wishes to Pierre-Olivier Lussier, the director of the centre, and to all the new student entrepreneurs.

[English]

Firefighters

    Mr. Speaker, in our community, our local firefighters are real-life heroes, but too often these brave men and women are taken for granted, despite the fact that they suit up every day and put their lives on the line.
    For almost a generation, our firefighters have called on members of Parliament to make sure that we have their backs and the backs of their families, and that is why we established the memorial grant program for first responders. It is a program that provides a tax-free, $300,000 payment to support families of first responders who fall in the line of duty. This is the least we can do, especially since fighting fires and responding to emergencies is only the start of the contributions our firefighters make.
     The Burnaby and North Vancouver firefighters charitable societies also selflessly volunteer their time to raise money for local charities and causes. Even after they retire, they find ways to contribute. Just ask our new mayor, ex-firefighter Mike Hurley. I was proud to be the first politician to volunteer for their charitable dunk tank in Burnaby, so come out this Hats Off Day, and support our local firefighters.

Government Policies

    Mr. Speaker, over the last few months, Canadians have been losing trust in their Prime Minister as a result of the SNC-Lavalin and Vice-Admiral Mark Norman affairs. In return, he has been stacking the deck in favour of the Liberal Party.
    The Liberals have changed spending rules in advance of the election, so he is tying the hands of his political opponents, while the Prime Minister jets across the country dispensing money. The Liberals have changed election debates, taking planning for the debates out of the hands of the media and the political parties and giving it to his hand-picked debates commission.
    The Liberals acknowledge that there is foreign influence ahead of the election and have done nothing about it. Most egregiously, they have given one of their top supporters control over a $600-million media fund on the eve of the election. Jerry Dias and Unifor are well known for their partisanship and well known for their support of the Liberals. They call themselves the worst nightmare of the Prime Minister's opponents. It is shameful.
    Canadians see sunny ways turning into shady ways, but stacking the deck will not fool Canadians in the fall.

[Translation]

Brain Tumours

     Mr. Speaker, today eight Canadians will learn they have brain cancer. That is 3,000 people per year. I am wearing a grey ribbon to raise awareness about brain tumours among Canadians.
    The diagnosis of a brain tumour, whether benign or malignant, slow-growing or aggressive, is devastating for patients and their families.

[English]

    I was the natural caregiver for my mom, who battled a brain tumour with courage and dignity for 15 years. I understand the effects of neurological damage from brain tumours on patients' physical and cognitive abilities and the toll it takes on their quality of life and that of their families.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

    I want to thank the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for its work in educating people about this disease and for providing invaluable support to patients and their families. Thanks to the foundation's efforts, brain tumour researchers are making breakthroughs in Canada and around the world.
    Let us fight this disease together.

[English]

Camp Molly

    Mr. Speaker, young women are leading our country forward in so many ways. Last week I hosted my third annual Young Women in Leadership program, which offers young women in Halton an opportunity to job shadow in a local business, agency, organization or government office. This year over 60 young women shadowed with over 50 mentors in various workplaces. Our program motto is that if you can see it, you can be it.
    One of those mentors was the Oakville fire service. Recently Oakville hosted the inaugural weekend at Camp Molly, which offered 24 young women from the Halton region the opportunity to explore the fire service as a career path. Camp Molly was created by Oakville's deputy fire chief, Monique Belair, to break the stigma that firefighting is a man's job.
    Congratulations to all the young women in our community who are breaking barriers.

[Translation]

2019 General Election

    Mr. Speaker, in less than 150 days, Canadians will have the chance to say goodbye to the Liberal government, but for now the Prime Minister is desperately trying to stack the deck, to say the least.
    To start, we have the infamous expert panel and the $600-million media bailout. The Liberals asked Unifor to be on that panel. Unifor is a sworn enemy of the Conservative Party and the self-proclaimed worst nightmare of the Leader of the Opposition. They call that objectivity, but it is nothing of the sort.
    The Liberal government is reducing allowable expenses for political parties before the election, but ministers will be able to criss-cross the country making all kinds of electoral promises.
    As far as the leaders' debate is concerned, the Liberals created a committee without any consultation to fix a non-existent problem, yet they have failed to adopt very strict rules to prevent foreign interference in Canada's electoral process.
    Canadians are no fools. On October 21, they will have the opportunity to elect a responsible party and a responsible leader. They will have the opportunity to elect a Conservative government.

Franco-Ontarian Games

    Mr. Speaker, 106 Franco-Ontarian secondary schools took part in the largest annual event for Franco-Ontarian youth in the province, the Franco-Ontarian Games, which have been held every year for the past 26 years. This year's games were hosted for the first time by the community of Hanmer, in Valley East, which is in my riding of Nickel Belt.
    This three-day event showcases the talents of francophone students in eight areas of the arts and physical activity. This gathering under the white and green flag perfectly demonstrated these students' pride and spirit of co-operation and gave them the opportunity to show off their talents in various sports, cultural activities and the performing arts.
    The Franco-Ontarian Games gave participants and volunteers the opportunity to immerse themselves in French heritage, language and culture, while reminding these leaders of tomorrow of their origins and what it means to be French Canadian.

[English]

Salmon Habitat

    Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday I had a very special experience in my riding. I have always championed our amazing Cowichan River and its importance to our community, but the water levels in the river are at dangerously low levels, having reached just 30% of where they should have been in the month of March. Joe Saysell took me down the river on his drift boat, and along the way, we stopped at several locations to rescue coho and chinook salmon fry that were stranded in pools in the rapidly receding main river.
    The single biggest thing we can do for fish in the Cowichan River is raise the weir so that we maintain adequate flows for their survivability. Protecting critical habitat is crucial for the long-term health of salmon species.
    The federal government must step up and make this a priority for our coast, especially in the face of future climate change projections for our region.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, in a signal that the Liberals' have absolutely no respect for the intelligence of Canadians, there was the environment minister in a bar in St. John's caught on video in all her honesty saying, “I...gave them some real advice. I said that if you actually say it louder, we've learned in the House of Commons, if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it.”
     Given her admission, let us look at what the minister has repeated loudly, over and over, in the House of Commons to try to get Canadians to totally believe her: The carbon tax will be revenue-neutral; Canadians will get more than they pay in the carbon tax; and we need a price on pollution. Canadians are much smarter than the Liberals and the environment minister give them credit for.
    On October 21, Canadians will use the loudest and most powerful voice they have been given in our democracy and they will repeat it over and over, not in the House of Commons but in ballot boxes across this great nation, by marking an X for the Conservative Party of Canada and totally rid Canada of the failed Liberal experiment.

  (1415)  

Toronto Raptors

    Mr. Speaker, Saturday night was one of those times in our country's sports history when the emotions of millions of passionate Canadian fans were united and in sync, riding a roller coaster of emotions. Canadians across Canada were united in cheering on the Toronto Raptors.
    Down 15 points in the third quarter, the Raptors made an amazing comeback as “We The North” defeated the Milwaukee Bucks. Passionate and loud cheers echoed not only in the arena, but even louder outside in Jurassic Park.
    Wherever Canadians were watching, we were all cheering on our basketball heros: Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell and Marc Gasol.
    As the Raptors head to their first ever NBA final, Canadians are united behind them. We will see the warriors in the finals. Let's go Raptors.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

New Member

    The Speaker: I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Manly, member for the electoral district of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

New Member Introduced

    Paul Manly, member for the electoral district of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, introduced by Ms. Elizabeth May.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

News Media Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's decision to appoint Unifor on his panel to determine eligibility for a half a billion dollar media bailout package has destroyed the credibility of this process.
    Unifor is a highly partisan group with very aggressive and partisan goals. It has made it clear that its objective is to help Liberals win the next election, and yet the Prime Minister has decided to appoint this group to the panel.
    Will the Prime Minister just openly admit that he is stacking the deck in his favour?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are playing a very dangerous game. We know that the newspaper industry has been suffering for 10 years. We know that 41 dailies have closed their doors. We know that about 10,000 jobs have been lost.
    The Conservatives think that all journalists can be bought. We totally disagree with that. We trust professional journalism. We are there to support them.
    Order, please. I had no trouble hearing the question. I should not have any more trouble hearing the answer.
    Mr. Speaker, none of the challenges facing the news industry justifies putting an openly partisan group on the panel to determine who gets funding.
    Unifor has published tweets, calling itself the resistance to Conservatives. It is bankrolling partisan attack ads put out by third party groups run by high-level Liberal operatives.
     Journalists who are actual members of this union agree that the government's actions have destroyed the credibility of this process and threatens to undermine the independence of the press.
    Will the Prime Minister remove Unifor from this panel?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, again, this is a dangerous game. The Conservatives are saying that the journalists can be bought in our country and we strongly disagree with that.
    Journalism is one of the pillars of our democracy. We should be there to support it, instead of attacking like the Conservatives are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, the only dangerous game being played is by the Prime Minister putting partisan groups on a panel to hand out government money. That is what undermines the credibility of this process and threatens the independence of the media.
    This is not the first time the Prime Minister has abused the power of his office. He has limited the amounts political parties can spend in the run-up to a federal election, while no limits have been placed on government spending announcements or travel in advance of the writ period.
    Will the Prime Minister finally admit that he is abusing the power of his office to rig the system in advance of the next election?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians were fed up with their tax dollars being wasted on blatantly partisan ads by the Harper Conservatives.
    That is why Liberals moved quickly in 2016 to ban partisan government ads and establish third party oversight. We also banned government advertising in the 90 days that proceeded a fixed-date election and for any government program that was yet to be approved by Parliament.
    By focusing government advertising on Canadians' needs instead of partisan objectives, we have been able to cut the government's advertising budget by half.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, in their attempt to buy off the media before the election, the Liberals are getting their Unifor buddies to choose who will receive subsidies. Don Martin, from CTV, called this the greatest threat to freedom of the press. Academic Andrew Potter called it a disaster.
    Why does the government want to destroy the media's reputation by trying to buy them off with taxpayer money before the election?
    Why is the government trying to rig the election?
    Mr. Speaker, the real threat is the Conservative Party and what we just heard. The threat is the suggestion that journalists can be bought. These people built their careers on integrity, professionalism, neutrality and facts. The Conservatives are saying that these people can be bought. We completely disagree. Journalism is a pillar of democracy and we will defend it, unlike the Conservatives.
    Mr. Speaker, if the minister listened to journalists, he would realize how ridiculous his scheme is. If he does not kick Unifor off his panel, Canadians will have yet another reason to kick the Prime Minister out of office in October.
    Taxpayers' money should not be used to fund the Liberals' election campaign and their schemes. All this move does is further undermine confidence in the media. That is according to the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Aaron Wudrick.
    Will the minister step up and kick Unifor off the panel, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, when the panel was created, including representatives from across the industry was essential. The panel is made up of people from newsrooms, newspaper owners, worker advocates, journalists, ethnic media and francophone communities. It is a balance.
    That is not the real question, though. Here is the real question. Why are the Conservatives attacking Canadian journalism? Why did they sit idly by for all these years? Why would they rather see Canadian journalism die than stand up for it?
    That is the real question.

[English]

Pharmacare

    Mr. Speaker, the health minister spoke recently at a pharmacare forum that was one sided and stacked with industry and insurance insiders. Progressive medical groups and health researchers were not even invited. Under the Liberals, it seems that better is possible for their wealthy and elite friends, but everyday Canadians are told again and again that they have to settle for less.
    Will the Liberals stop this rush to a one-sided, industry-first approach and instead agree to the New Democrat plan for pharmacare for all?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, I receive a lot of invitations to speak about the good work that this government is doing to lower the price of medication, and I always have the same message.
    We have taken concrete steps to lower the prices here in Canada. We are in the process of regulating the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. We have joined the pan-Canadian pharmaceutical alliance, and we have saved over $2 billion a year when it comes to price and medication. We have created the advisory council on the implementation of a national pharmacare program. We want to have a concrete plan because we want to get it right.
    I will certainly not apologize to the member opposite.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as we speak, people are being forced to choose between paying the rent and buying medication.
    Instead of creating a universal pharmacare system, the minister is attending a forum dominated by groups that oppose universal drug coverage.
    We have the courage to say no to insurance and drug companies and put people first. Will the Liberals support our plan for pharmacare for all?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, we want to move forward with a pharmacare plan for all Canadians. That is why the first thing we did was take steps to lower drug prices.
    We joined forces with the provinces and territories, and we have saved over $2 billion so far. We are going to continue with these measures, because we want to make sure Canadians have access to affordable medication.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, trade with the United States needs to be fair and work in the best interests of Canadians, but the Liberals have not made that happen.
    Right now, the U.S. Democrats are working hard to secure an improved NAFTA to better protect our workers. Canadians expect the Liberal government to stand up for these progressive changes.
    Will the Liberals wait before signing the agreement to make sure it truly works in the best interests of Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we held out for a good deal, and that is what we got.
    This deal will protect $2 billion per day in trade. The International Trade Commission has announced that once the new deal is in place, Canadian exports to the United States will increase by $19.1 billion a year.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that this deal risks any Canadian jobs out of the country and drives up the cost of medication. While progressives in the U.S Congress pressure Donald Trump to improve the deal, the Liberals race forward to ratify a clearly flawed agreement. This is great news for multinational drug companies, but bad news for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
    Democrats are actually working harder than Liberals are to protect Canadian jobs. Instead of helping Donald Trump, will the Liberals work with American progressives to fix this deal?
    Mr. Speaker, let me urge the leader of the New Democrats, who allegedly speaks for working people, to talk to some actual Canadian workers, because that is what I do every day. Canadian workers are delighted that we have secured continued privileged access to the U.S. market, and they are delighted that we have succeeded in a full lift of the 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.
    Order. I would ask the hon. member for Windsor West not to be yelling when someone else has the floor.
    The hon. member for Brantford—Brant.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, to dedicate the memorial to our Afghanistan heroes and to exclude the families of the fallen from participating in that ceremony is not only insulting to those who gave their lives, it is cruel to the families and shameful.
    The chief of the defence staff has already done the right thing and apologized, but the Minister of National Defence was at the secret ceremony and obviously knew of the details in advance. Why did he approve a secret ceremony for the Afghanistan memorial?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt apologies to the families of the fallen. As the chief of the defence staff has already written a letter to all the families, we will direct the department to make sure that this hall and memorial will be made accessible to all the families. It will be done in an appropriate manner. We will always honour the families of the fallen.
    Mr. Speaker, it is too little too late. The chief of the defence staff is once again the fall guy for the Prime Minister and the defence minister. General Vance has apologized to insulted veterans and families of the fallen who were disrespected when the Afghanistan war memorial was dedicated in a secret ceremony. The defence minister knew exactly what was going on. He was there and he did not see anything wrong with it then.
    Is the minister brave enough to look each and every one of those families in the eye and say that he is sorry to them personally?
    Mr. Speaker, I will stand up in the House, stand up in public, to be able to apologize for the insensitivities of that ceremony. As I stated, we have directed the department to make sure that the hall is accessible to all the families. I was able to meet with some of the families at the memorial when they visited Kandahar as well. We need to always honour the families of our fallen, and that is exactly what we are doing.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the cenotaph from the Kandahar airfield, a monument dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers from the war in Afghanistan, was moved to Ottawa and inaugurated on May 13 in secret, a move that showed a blatant lack of empathy. The families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan felt betrayed. The Minister of National Defence should apologize.
    Why was the ceremony hidden from the media and, especially, from the families?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I have stated already, not only have I apologized, but the chief of the defence staff has apologized for the insensitivity to the families of the fallen. I understand where the members are trying to go with this. The decision for this memorial was made back when the member was the parliamentary secretary to national defence.
    We also want to make it accessible to families of the fallen. Also, a public memorial will be announced so that the entire public can honour the sacrifice of our fallen.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the commemoration of the Second World War is tinged with sadness every year, and planning the event itself is stressful. Our cousins in Bernières-sur-Mer, France, where thousands of Canadians landed on June 6, 1944, including some of our very own ancestors, learned in the news that the 40 veterans would simply not be attending the event. This news came just days in advance.
    Do we not believe that a more dignified and honourable approach would have been for the minister to call the mayor himself to inform him and then the veterans of the decision?
    Mr. Speaker, the delegation's travel itinerary is not yet finalized, but it will visit Canada House in Bernières-sur-Mer during a ceremony in Normandy.
    On June 6, the delegation will attend two large ceremonies on Juno Beach. The main Canadian ceremony will be held in the afternoon, and the international ceremony is to be held on the Saturday evening. There are indeed some details to be ironed out; that is what we are working on at the moment.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the reason that military families and Afghan veterans were upset by the secret ceremony a few weeks ago was that the government, in 2016, cancelled the national monument to the Afghanistan mission. Having the chief of the defence staff apologize and write letters for the minister's incompetence is not enough.
    Will the minister stand in the House today and give a date on when a national public memorial for the Afghanistan mission will be completed?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite spoke about accessibility, but the monument proposed by the Conservatives to commemorate the Afghanistan mission was not accessible 12 months of the year.
    We are proposing a public monument accessible to all that recognizes the service to Canadians throughout the Afghanistan war. We held broad consultations with veterans, their families and our stakeholders. It may take us some time, but we will move forward in the right way.

  (1435)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member should access the site by visiting the naval monument right beside where the Afghanistan monument was going to be.
    The Liberals have broken promises to veterans on pensions. They paid veterans benefits for a cop killer while they allowed veterans to wait for PTSD benefits, with skyrocketing wait times. They have had four ministers of Veterans Affairs, but one defence minister, who has allowed failure after failure to occur.
    Will the minister stand in this place and apologize to the families of our fallen from Afghanistan?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate that the previous government made cuts for 10 years to everything we did for veterans.
    We reopened the offices, we rehired the front-line workers and we consulted veterans about their needs instead of making cuts to balance the budget at their expense.
    We have nothing to learn from the Conservatives from the past 10 years.

[English]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, right now, Democrats and labour in the U.S. are working hard to achieve a better NAFTA. They are trying to improve labour provisions that will protect jobs, fight big pharma to keep medication affordable and strengthen the language of the deal to protect the environment.
    Canadians expect the Liberal government to push for these same changes here at home. This new NAFTA is too important to be rushed, and the U.S. is not even close to ratifying the agreement.
    Do the Liberals understand that rushing the ratification of the new NAFTA can have devastating impacts on Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I know the member for Essex worked for Unifor before entering the House. I would therefore hope that she is familiar with the comments from Unifor leader Jerry Dias. Here is what he had to say: “There are some incredible victories in this deal, things we've been arguing and fighting for for the last 24 years”, and “Traditionally, trade deals have been about profit, not people. I can honestly say these negotiations included discussions about people — about workers.”
    Mr. Speaker, I worked at a real job on an auto assembly line, and workers want a better deal.
    After a very difficult year of steel and aluminum tariffs, they are gone, but the threat remains. The U.S. has reserved the right to reimpose them, even if the imports surge beyond historical levels. The problem is that no one knows what the definition of “surge” is, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    What is to stop the U.S. from calling any increase in Canadian imports a surge? Canada is not safe from tariffs if the language of this agreement can be manipulated by Donald Trump.
    How will the Liberal government protect our steel and aluminum sectors, given the loopholes—
    The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    Mr. Speaker, let me thank the hon. member for giving me a chance to say something that I think comes as a great relief for all Canadians.
    A week ago today, illegal and unjust tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum were lifted. Today, Canada is one of the only countries in the world with unfettered access to the U.S. market, and that is right.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, it is bad enough that ISIS traitors move back to Canada and that illegal migrants crossing our borders are greeted by a welcoming committee. Now we learn that criminal members of Mexican cartels are living comfortably in Canada and doing business here. That is another consequence of the Prime Minister's rosy outlook.
    What is the plan for sending these criminals home and stopping others from coming here?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we are examining very carefully the numbers that have been referred to in the media. They are not immediately verifiable. However, at any port of entry if someone seeking to enter Canada cannot be properly identified, or is unlikely to present themself for proper processing, or presents any danger to the public, they can be and are detained to keep Canadians safe.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, what we do know is that criminal organizations and Mexican cartels have set up shop here in Canada, especially in Montreal. We know that there are nearly 200 criminals, including contract killers.
    The Prime Minister changed the immigration rules in 2016. He wanted to be nice to Mexico, and we have been having problems ever since.
    When will the government change the rules to keep criminals from ending up here?

  (1440)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, again, the hon. gentleman is referring to unverified statistics. The CBSA takes its responsibilities very seriously with respect to border protection and national security. Its main priority is obviously the safety of Canadians. The CBSA's border management is based on a multifaceted approach that provides for the control of travellers and goods at several stages in the travel continuum, as early as possible, both abroad while in transit and on arrival at the Canadian border. The whole purpose of that system is to keep Canadians safe.
    Mr. Speaker, yet again the current government has failed Canadians at our borders. More than 400 Mexicans with ties to drug cartels have entered Canada since the Liberals removed visas for Mexico. Can the Prime Minister please tell us what his plan is to return these criminals back to Mexico?
    Mr. Speaker, again opposition members are repeating unverified numbers. I would point out that the whole point of the Canadian screening system is to prevent illegal entry into Canada and to keep Canadians safe. The CBSA works closely with its domestic and foreign security partners and shares information with relevant partners as required, in accordance with the strict parameters of Canadian law, to detect and prevent illegal cross-border activity, including organized crime and smuggling narcotics. When persons are determined to be ineligible, they are removed.
    Mr. Speaker, tens of thousands of illegal border crossers have already strained border security. Now, it is reported that under the current Liberal government, 400 nationals from Mexico with links to the drug cartels, many using fake passports, have entered Canada. The threats to Canadians from drug cartels, gangs and organized crime officials are obvious.
    Canadians want action, but the Liberals continue to put politics ahead of public safety. What is the plan to make sure that no more criminals enter Canada, and when will those already here be removed?
    Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, we take all possible steps, before, during transit and after a party arrives at the border, to make sure that the screening system is strong to detect any criminal activity. When that activity is detected, persons are inadmissible. When they are inadmissible, they are removed from Canada as quickly as possible. The safety of Canadians is absolutely paramount.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, this is our last chance to fix NAFTA 2.0. We need to give the Democrats time to improve the terms of the agreement.
    Considering the results of the Liberals' negotiations, agricultural producers are still very angry. With another breach in supply management, the Liberals are jeopardizing the viability of our family farms. Once again, agricultural producers are the ones paying the price for this bad deal.
    Instead of getting a good deal for farmers and workers, why are the Liberals in such a hurry to ratify a terrible agreement?
     Mr. Speaker, the NDP says one thing in the House, but behind closed doors it admits that this agreement protects Canadian jobs. The leader of the NDP celebrated the agreement at an event held in Ottawa. The member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, who is also the NDP's Quebec lieutenant, described the new agreement as the best deal possible.
    Mr. Speaker, because of the breaches in our supply management system, farmers are once again the ones who will lose out under the new NAFTA.
    South of the border, Democrats are working hard to improve the terms of the agreement. They want to protect workers, keep drug prices down and protect our environment, which are common sense objectives.
    Instead of rushing to get this deal through, why are the Liberals not doing the same thing as the Democrats, that is, working to improve NAFTA and fill in all the gaps?
    Mr. Speaker, let me continue to quote the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. He said he wanted to congratulate all the Canadian negotiators on the fantastic job they did, and that the agreement would protect workers across the country. We agree with him on that.

  (1445)  

[English]

Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, it is National AccessAbility Week, and this is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the contributions of Canadians with disabilities, and to help raise awareness about the need for greater accessibility and inclusion in our society.
    While our government is breaking down barriers, many still exist. Can the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility inform the House how our government is taking action to ensure an inclusive, accessible Canada for all?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Calgary Centre for his tireless effort and advocacy on behalf of citizens with disabilities.
    This is indeed National AccessAbility Week, the third annual that our government has put forth. This week we celebrate the contributions of individuals and organizations who are indeed removing barriers. We also, God willing, have the proposed accessible Canada act here in front of the House of Commons again this week, so that we can remove barriers in the law and create a proactive system to make sure that everybody is treated equally.
    I want to thank all the advocates who made this bill the best that it can be, and I reiterate our government's commitment to accepting all of the amendments put forth—
    The hon. member for Calgary Midnapore.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister changed the Elections Act for his own personal gain. He decided on the debate format without any consultation. Now, we have learned that he appointed partisan groups to determine which media outlets will receive over a half a billion dollars in subsidies.
    When will the Prime Minister admit that he is trying to rig the election?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are playing a dangerous game.

[English]

    They are undermining the integrity of so many of our democratic institutions, whether the CEO of Elections Canada, the commissioner of Canada elections, the debates commissioner, and now independent journalism and media. These games have to stop. Our democracy depends on it.
    Mr. Speaker, instead of safeguarding the upcoming election against foreign interference and protecting the privacy of Canadians and their data, the Prime Minister was too busy trying to rig the election for his own personal gain.
    Now he wants us to believe that his partisan panel will fairly distribute funds to media outlets when its membership has clearly expressed its intention to campaign against the Conservatives in the next election.
    Why does the Prime Minister not just admit that he is trying to stack the deck to win the next election?
    Mr. Speaker, let us go over the record.
    In our update to the Canada Elections Act, we levelled the playing field with regard to what political parties can spend in the upcoming election. We made sure that all Canadians do not just have the right to vote, but are able to vote. We also made it easier for Canadians to be informed about how to vote. We have re-empowered the CEO of Elections Canada to speak to Canadians about voting. We have given the commissioner of Canada elections even more power and authority to ensure that this Elections Act is fair and able to be enforced.
    Let us talk about that. Let us make sure that we are all working for democracy.

News Media Industry

    Mr. Speaker, one of the most blatantly stacked decks is the Liberals' partisan election year bailout of news industry fossils, a bailout welcomed by owners and publishers of failing newspapers, doled out by a Liberal panel deciding which newsrooms—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I need to hear the questions as well as the answers. Order, order. I ask members to settle down. I do not think any word there was that controversial.
    Mr. Speaker, this is a bailout welcomed by the owners and publishers of failing newspapers, doled out by a Liberal panel deciding which newsrooms are acceptable and which are not, a panel stacked by partisan big union bosses, but a bailout denounced by mainstream journalists.
    Why will the Liberals not accept that they cannot rig an independent news industry?

  (1450)  

    That is a direct attack on our journalists, Mr. Speaker. Our colleague had a very long career in journalism. I am sure he acted very professionally, independently and neutrally. I am sure he did a great job. Therefore, why does he not show the same respect to our journalists who work here and around the country who are very professional? We know that we have to act to protect journalism in our country. I wonder why the Conservatives are attacking them instead of supporting them.

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, I would invite the member to ask the journalists above to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down on this outrageous program.
    Another item in the Liberal election year stacked deck is found in the pre-writ advertising limits imposed on opposition parties while the Liberals will blow government resources on ministerial campaign-style events. The Liberals also refuse to commit government departments to not releasing research or reports that may influence public opinion during the summer pre-writ period. We know that these Liberals are increasingly anxious about October 21, but have they no shame attempting to rig the election?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said before, Canadians were fed up with the partisan advertising under the Stephen Harper Conservatives. Our government has ensured that in the 90 days leading up to the election, there will be no government advertising for programs that are not previously approved by Parliament.
    Furthermore, we have ensured there is a level playing field in the lead-up to the election. That is fair. That is what Canadians expect. I would hope the Conservatives would stop undermining our democratic institutions. Our democracy depends on it.

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, last year brought a deteriorating human rights situation for Tibetans, which included further suppression of Tibetan language rights, surveillance programs and renewed attempts to silence protests through intimidation and arbitrary arrests. Last week, while visiting Tibet, the U.S. ambassador to China expressed concerns about religious freedom and limits on international access to Tibet. He called on China to begin substantive talks with the Dalai Lama on the status of Tibet. Will the current government join in this renewed call for China to open dialogue with the Dalai Lama or will we just stand by as these injustices mount?
    Mr. Speaker, our government strongly believes, as I think is the view of all Canadians, that human rights need to be a part of our foreign policy, even when it is hard to speak out. When it comes to China, the issue that I have been particularly concerned about is the treatment of the Uighurs. That is something that we have spoken about publicly. That is something I have raised directly in meetings with my counterpart, the Chinese foreign minister.

[Translation]

News Media Industry

    Mr. Speaker, for four years, the media industry has been floundering. Thousands of journalism jobs have been lost. Our information and democracy are in jeopardy.
    Last week, the Conservative leader basically announced that he will do nothing to address the media crisis. Come to think of it, nothing is exactly what the Liberals are doing. After four years of studies and committees, last week, the Liberals came up with the half-baked idea to set up yet another controversial committee that will not release its findings until just after the House rises for the summer.
    Why did the government wait four years, a full term in office, before finally coming to its senses about the crisis? Are the Liberals that afraid of the Conservatives?
    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague that the Conservatives did absolutely nothing for an entire decade. I commend him for pointing that out.
    With regard to the other part of his question, we have been working for a long time to set up a program to support professional journalism. The industry is in crisis. In recent years, 41 daily newspapers have disappeared and 10,000 jobs have been lost.
    Rather than insulting our journalists, as the Conservatives are doing, we will support them because journalism is a pillar of our democracy.

  (1455)  

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal carbon tax is not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we can prove it. We know that Quebec has had a carbon exchange for the past four years. A report by Quebec's environment ministry tabled by the Premier of Quebec at the National Assembly states that, in 2014, 2015, and 2016, greenhouse gases did not not decrease, they increased. That is what the Liberal carbon tax does for us. It has no impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
    Will the government finally acknowledge that the Liberal carbon tax is not going to enable us to achieve the Paris targets?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, with respect, every climate scientist, and in fact anyone who has any equity in the conversation around climate science, would disagree with the statement the hon. member has just put on the record.
    If we look at the decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, it said that GHG pricing is not just one component of an effective plan to reduce emissions, but “an essential aspect” of the global effort to curb emissions. If the hon. member would like to refer to the paragraph, he will notice that the word “essential” is put in italics so people like him and others sitting in the House can actually understand how important it is.
    We are moving forward with a plan that is going to reduce emissions and make life more affordable for Canadians.
    Order. I remind members, including the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment, that it is not helpful in the House to be questioning the ability of members to understand things.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's climate plan is falling apart. The experts all say that the Liberals will not meet their Paris targets, yet the minister continues to deny the truth.
    This past Friday, the minister was caught on video telling Canadians exactly what she thinks of them. She said, “If you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it.”
    When will the minister apologize to Canadians and admit that her government will not meet the Paris targets?
    Mr. Speaker, I will take advice on talking points from the hon. member when he stops reading questions from the notes in front of him in question period.
    The fact is that we have heard Conservative members of Parliament in this chamber for months repeat misleading statistics, one time after another. They say the big emitters do not pay under our plan; that is false. They say that families are worse off; that is false. They say that our plan will not reduce emissions: false again.
    The facts are these: Big emitters will pay; families will be better off; emissions will come down. I will repeat these truths in the House as many times as it takes.
    Mr. Speaker, one cannot make this up. The Liberals are going to miss their Paris targets by a country mile. Every credible source says so, yet the minister was actually caught on video explaining how she was going to convince Canadians that the Liberals will meet the targets. She said, “If you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it.”
    Canadians are not stupid. They will not be fooled. They do not believe the minister one bit.
    Will she now admit that her government's plan is failing?
    Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy built into the question, the Conservatives talking about repeating falsehoods and trying to trick Canadians into believing them, is astounding. I have listened to them time after time put falsehoods on the floor of the House of Commons in order to trick Canadians into believing that our plan will not be effective.
    For the hon. member's benefit, our plan includes over 50 measures, including a price on pollution. It will bring emissions down and make life more affordable. By 2030, 90% of our electricity will be generated from non-emitting sources.
    We are on the right track. We are going to meet our targets. I look forward to proving the member wrong from this side of the House after the next election.

Privacy

    Mr. Speaker, as our lives are increasingly lived online and companies increasingly profit from big data and our personal information, we need to respect, protect and strengthen our privacy and digital rights.
    Our parliamentary privacy committee has worked across party lines to highlight and take these issues on, and this week we are joined by parliamentarians from around the world to protect our privacy, strengthen competition and hold social media platforms accountable.
    How is our government working to address these issues and to build trust for Canadians in our increasingly digital world?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his leadership when it comes to privacy.
    A few days after the leader of the official opposition laid out an economic vision right out of 1993, I announced Canada's new digital charter based on Canadian values, based on 10 principles designed to really help empower Canadians to have more control over their data and also level the playing field for Canadian businesses so they can innovate and grow and create good-quality middle-class jobs right across the country.
    We have a plan for the digital economy. We have a plan for the future, and we will continue to advance that through the digital charter.

  (1500)  

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's answer to everything is a new tax on hard-working Canadians. The solution to climate change: a tax plan called the carbon tax. The solution to waitresses getting too many freebies: tax their free sandwich. Now we have learned that Liberals think life is much too affordable. Their solution is a tax on pop.
    Will the Liberals come clean on their planned new soda tax?
    Mr. Speaker, we want to make the healthy choice the easier choice for Canadians, and that is why we have moved forward with our healthy eating strategy. I am so proud that this year we have launched Canada's new food guide, and it was extremely well received by all Canadians. We have banned industrial trans fats. We are also moving forward with restricting marketing to kids.
    We are moving forward with a healthy agenda, as we want to make sure that Canadians have the best chance to succeed.
    Mr. Speaker, Manitoba Liberals have called on the legislature to stop holding blood drives in protest of the Canadian Blood Services' discriminatory treatment of gay men. The CBS policy is based on stigma and prejudice, not science, but the Liberals in Manitoba have chosen the wrong target for their outrage. The outrage is not that well-meaning Canadians are organizing blood drives. The outrage is that these Liberals, the ones right here in Ottawa, have had almost four years to stop this discrimination, four years to finally treat gay men who want to save lives with respect, and they are still waiting.
    When will these Liberals finally fix the problem?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians should be proud of their blood service because it is one of the safest blood systems in the country.
    I am proud that our government has taken further steps to reduce barriers that prevent men who have sex with men from donating blood. Just last month, we announced that the deferral period was reduced from one year to three months, and I am looking forward to continuing this work to make sure that we get it to zero.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, last week I visited Tobique First Nation and toured the site where the community is renovating and expanding the Maliseet Gas Bar and Convenience Store. Once completed, the expansion will offer customers an enhanced location, additional shopping options and convenient services, while creating additional employment for both members of the community and members of the surrounding area during construction and beyond. Our government is pleased to have supported this vital project with a contribution of nearly $400,000 through the community opportunity readiness program.
    We know that indigenous peoples are the fastest-growing population in Canada and yet are under-represented in the workforce. Can the hon. Minister of Indigenous Services please tell me what we are doing to support these people?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question on this essential matter facing our country.
    Ensuring that first nations, Inuit and Métis are able to fully contribute to and share in Canada's economic success is a critical part of advancing reconciliation and self-determination. That is why budget 2019 will invest $78.9 million in the community opportunity readiness program to support more first nations and Inuit entrepreneurs, and $50 million for Métis small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
     We will continue to work with indigenous partners to share in and contribute to Canada's economy, because when indigenous people succeed, Canada succeeds.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, what part of “advanced payment” does the Minister of Agriculture not understand? Three weeks is an eternity for canola farmers when the silos are full and money is not coming in. The minister is telling farmers to wait a few more weeks.
    It took months of pressure from provincial premiers, the Leader of the Opposition and canola farmers for the Prime Minister to finally take the canola crisis seriously.
    When will the Prime Minister dispense with the empty words and promises and stand up to China?
    Farmers want to sell their canola. What is their government doing to help them?
    Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that we are working hard to reopen the Chinese market to our canola producers.
    To help our farmers in the meantime, we improved the advanced payment program and I can assure the House that we are working very hard to make this happen as soon as possible. We are changing the rules and we are soon going to reach an agreement with the 36 agencies that administer the funds. I can assure the House that we are standing up for our canola producers.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the B.C. Court of Appeal sided with the federal government. Now Ottawa is free to ram a pipeline down our throats, and there is nothing we can do about it.
    It does not matter that British Columbia and Quebec do not want pipelines. It does not matter that residents do not want pipelines. It does not matter that first nations do not want pipelines. Oil companies want pipelines, so Ottawa will build some, and that is that.
    Could the Prime Minister pledge not to build any pipelines in Quebec without the approval of the people of Quebec?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    With regard to pipelines, especially pipelines that cross provincial borders, it is up to the federal government to do the work.
    We take that responsibility very seriously. We believe it is vital to engage with indigenous peoples and ensure that the environment is fully protected. We speak with everyone, including local communities, the provinces and indigenous peoples.
    When it comes to major projects for Canada, we take everything into consideration.
    Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a climate emergency. In the kingdom of Canada, pipelines rule.
    Social licence and protecting our lands and waters are not important. What matters are pipelines full of dirty oil that will enable Canada, a so-called green country, to line its pockets with petrodollars with the blessing of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
    Why is this government always putting the interests of oil companies ahead of the interests of the people and the planet?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we take our responsibility to the environment and to indigenous peoples very seriously. For every project proposed, we put rules in place to ensure that all factors are taken into account before moving forward.
    As for those comments, we are investing heavily in clean energy and renewable energy. We are making historic investments in clean technologies. Although there is still a lot to do, we are very proud of the work we have done and we will continue that work.

[English]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, is the government prepared to take emergency action to help people in crisis with affordable housing under the national housing strategy? We have people with disabilities, low-income seniors and single-parent families who are finding themselves homeless in our communities due to rising housing costs and a lack of affordable housing.
    Will the government take emergency measures to help our most vulnerable citizens?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to welcome the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith to this House, and we all look forward to working with him on all issues of matter to his constituents, including giving every Canadian in his riding a safe and affordable place to call home. I have very little time to inform him of the national housing strategy, but I look forward to talking with him about the very important details, including reducing chronic homelessness by at least 50%, giving half a million Canadian families a safe and affordable place to call home.

Presence in Gallery

    I wish to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Radek Vondrácek, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Use of Unanimous Consent—Speaker's Statement

    I would now like to make a statement regarding the use of unanimous consent in the House in light of recent use of this procedure.
    Members are aware and appreciate the fact that, while most decisions of the House are made following the usual process of debate and the putting of a question on a motion, the unanimous consent process offers a viable means for the House to expedite its decision-making. In fact, it is an accepted and effective procedural tool adopted by the House for the benefit of members.
    Part of its usefulness, and dare I say success, stems from its simplicity. There are just two steps: First, a member must obtain the consent of members to move the motion, and then, if consent is granted, the member can move the motion to allow a decision by the House.
    Inherent in this is the assumption, even expectation, that the wording of the motion will be read in extenso, in its fullness, so that members know exactly what they are being asked to decide. Not only did this become our common practice, but it is even prescribed by our rules when used in the context of Standing Order 56.1.

[Translation]

    That said, it also confers on the Chair a certain discretion to determine to what extent a motion needs to be read, particularly when they are unusually lengthy or when multiple motions are presented one after another. On February 6, 2004, Speaker Milliken had cause to state at page 245 of Debates:
    I want to say right off that if every member had the right to stand up and ask for consent to move motions and then stood here and read motions all day, no business would be conducted in the House. In my view members do not have such a right. They are asking for consent and if consent is not going to be given, then we cannot have interminable requests for unanimous consent.
    The Chair then must seek to safeguard the House against unilateral attempts to repurpose or redefine our procedures. As the Deputy Speaker reminded members as recently as May 17, at page 28029 of Debates:
    It is known to be common practice of the House to use the unanimous consent motion approach when there is known agreement among parties for the acceptance of these motions. Nonetheless, I would ask members to refrain from using those opportunities for debate. It is not what they are for.

  (1510)  

[English]

    In other words, requests for unanimous consent are not to be used as a method to thwart the rules of the House or as a dilatory tactic. Therefore, to uphold the integrity of the process, the Chair will continue to invoke its authority, particularly when it becomes clear that the motions are deliberately too lengthy, when they are continuously attempted in a repetitive way or when they stray into the realm of debate.
     As Speaker, I am confident that members still expect the process of unanimous consent to be used for its rightful purpose and in the manner in which it was intended, including ensuring that the necessary consultations take place prior to these requests being raised in the House so that the motions can be read in their entirety, as is expected. Although as of late there has been a departure from this, the Chair is committed to working in collaboration with members to restore and preserve this important procedural process.
    I thank all hon. members for their attention.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Ways and Means

Notice of Motion  

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1) I wish to table a notice of a ways and means motion respecting an act to implement the agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 83(2) I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of this motion.

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 62 petitions.

2019 General Election

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to share an update with Canadians on our efforts to safeguard the 2019 federal election.

[Translation]

     As everyone knows, Canada's 43rd general election will take place this October.

[English]

    Elections are an opportunity for Canadians to be heard and for Canadians to express concerns and opinions through one of the most fundamental rights, the right to vote. However, this election will also experience an unprecedented amount of scrutiny.

[Translation]

    In recent years, we have witnessed foreign actors looking to undermine democratic societies and institutions, electoral processes, sovereignty and security.
    Their malicious, multi-faceted and ever-evolving tactics constitute a serious strategic threat. Tools that were once used to strengthen civic engagement are being used to undermine and disrupt democracy.

[English]

    Such malicious activity strikes at the heart of trust. It threatens to erode faith in democratic institutions. We must be prepared for this. We cannot allow this trust to be broken.
     I can assure the House that our government takes this issue very seriously. A growing awareness of global cyber-threats has, if anything, strengthened our resolve to preserve the things we treasure.

  (1515)  

[Translation]

     We have taken steps to understand the possible threats to our democratic institutions, where they come from and how they could affect our electoral process.
    We have a comprehensive and solid plan to anticipate, recognize and respond to these threats.

[English]

    This plan is based on four pillars: enhancing citizenship preparedness, improving organizational readiness, combatting foreign interference and expecting social media platforms to act.

[Translation]

    The plan builds on the important legislative changes made in Bill C-76 regarding the online ad registry, banning platforms from knowingly accepting foreign funds for ads, strengthening enforcement provisions, and clarifying the language around false statements and impersonation of candidates, parties and electoral officials.

[English]

    It is impossible to halt all attacks, but we must work together to mitigate the impact of interference in our democratic processes.

[Translation]

    This includes governments, political parties, social media platforms and citizens.

[English]

    Canada has one of the most-connected populations in the world. Almost three-quarters of Canadians use online platforms regularly like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

[Translation]

    Online platforms have had a revolutionary impact on Canadians’ lives. They bring us together in ways unimaginable to previous generations. They make possible the sharing of ideas on an unprecedented level.

[English]

    Yet, throughout the world's democracies, we see an online threat environment where malicious actors interfere with and try to influence the outcome of elections. These attacks are malicious. Sometimes they can be well masked and hard to detect. These threats can weaken our confidence in our democratic system and processes.

[Translation]

    In January, as part of our plan of action to protect the election from foreign interference, we announced our expectation that digital platforms would step up their efforts to combat cyber threats and foreign attempts to manipulate their communities.

[English]

    I am here today to update Canadians on our progress in securing voluntary action from major platforms. We have been engaging digital platforms in ongoing, good-faith discussions.

[Translation]

    We have attempted to reach consensus on a common set of expectations to protect the integrity of the 2019 election.

[English]

    We have had productive conversations, but these discussions have not come without challenges. Our guiding objective throughout these discussions has been simple. We want to see meaningful action to protect our democracy and our citizens.
    The best way to do that is to be transparent, to be transparent about what we as a government are doing, but also insisting that platforms be more transparent with Canadians about where their information is coming from, who is behind the information they consume and with whom they are engaging online.

[Translation]

    The better we understand the information we are consuming, the more empowered we are with how we use that information.

[English]

    That is why today I am presenting Canada's declaration on electoral integrity online. It details basic responsibilities for digital platforms and the government.
    To ensure the integrity of online content, we expect platforms to intensify efforts to combat disinformation and inform Canadians about efforts to safeguard the Internet ecosystem, to promote safeguards to address cybersecurity incidents, to protect against misrepresentation of candidates, political parties and key electoral officials and to ensure privacy protection.

[Translation]

    For its part, the government will ensure that platforms have clear points of contact for election-related matters during the pre-election and election periods.

[English]

    To promote greater online transparency, we expect platforms to help users to understand when and why they are seeing political advertising and to ensure that terms and conditions are easily accessible, communicated in a manner that is easy to understand and enforced in a fair, consistent and transparent manner.

  (1520)  

[Translation]

     For its part, the government will implement the critical election incident public protocol to ensure that public communications on potential incidents are clear and impartial.

[English]

    To provide greater authenticity, we expect platforms to remove fake accounts and inauthentic content from their platforms, assist users to better understand the sources of information they are seeing and block and remove malicious bots.
    In return, platforms and the government will work with civil society to support efforts aimed at improving critical thinking, digital literacy and cybersecurity practices and will facilitate the sharing of information within relevant legal mandates on emerging developments and practices that help to protect Canada's democracy.

[Translation]

    We are encouraged that Microsoft and Facebook have agreed to support this declaration, and on behalf of Canadians, I urge other platforms to follow suit in the coming days.

[English]

    I wish to stress that the wild west online era cannot continue. Inaction is not an option. Disinformation must not stand.

[Translation]

    Our citizens demand and deserve no less.
    In recent years we have seen foreign powers strive to manipulate online platforms to achieve their narrow disruptive goals.
    We have seen false information presented as fact. We have seen divisions stoked. We have seen concerted efforts to undermine democracy and unravel social cohesion.

[English]

    The government has a responsibility to protect Canadians from such foreign threats. We will continue our work with platforms over the next few months to measure progress against the expectations set out in this declaration. I commit to keeping Canadians informed of that progress.
    This is a call to action for digital platforms, the latest call amid a growing international demand that platforms do more to protect their users.

[Translation]

    I call upon digital platforms that are operating in Canada and that care about protecting our election to join Microsoft and Facebook and publicly commit to meeting these expectations.
    Democracy is rooted in the trust people have in the process and in the legitimacy of the outcome. Canadians are knowledgeable and engaged.

[English]

    Canadians can be reassured that as they prepare to exercise their right to vote, we are working hard to prepare for a free, fair and secure 2019 federal election so that we can continue to uphold the trust and confidence we all share in our democracy.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has dismissed the importance of our democratic institutions over the last four years as it goes about its policy agenda.
    Our democracy and our democratic institutions are the foundation of our system of governance and one of the primary reasons for our country's prosperity and success. Canadians deserve and expect a healthy democracy, which includes a competitive multi-party system, secure and regular elections as well as significant public access and transparency.
    The Liberal government has failed to uphold these principles. Through Bill C-76, which received royal assent in December, it introduced a pre-election period whereby political parties are subject to numerous restrictions, including spending limits. However, during the pre-election period, the government is not subject to the same restrictions on activities. The government is still allowed to conduct numerous activities, such as town halls that are paid for by taxpayers instead of the Liberal Party. This will put opposition parties at a severe disadvantage.
    The Liberal government knows that the Conservatives are its biggest threat leading up to the election, and that we have consistently out-fundraised the Liberal Party over the last several years. Liberals are using these spending cap provisions in Bill C-76 as a part of their attempt to rig the next election in their favour.
    Foreign interference in our elections is a serious global threat. The Communications Security Establishment reported that there was foreign interference in the 2015 election, and it is expected that there will be more in this year's election. Every vote cast by a Canadian citizen matters, and the Liberal government should be working harder to keep foreign entities from undermining our democratic institutions. Unfortunately, the government is not taking the necessary steps to eliminate the possibility of foreign influence in future elections.
    Omnibus Bill C-76 encompassed a vast number of reforms, but one of the key objectives of this bill was to implement policies that would prevent foreign interference in our elections through third party financing regulations. Canadians deserve to know where the money for elections is coming from, and it is up to the Liberal government to ensure that third party entities are being fully transparent. However, the government has left extensive loopholes, which would allow for foreign interference in our elections to still occur.
    At the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, our party put forward numerous amendments at the committee stage of this bill to fix this. Regrettably, the Liberals used their majority to vote these amendments down. If the Liberal government were serious about preventing foreign influence or interference, it would have considered and passed these amendments. Instead, it is continuing to allow Liberal-friendly foreign special interests to interfere in our elections.
    On October 31, 2018, the Liberal government announced the creation of a debates commission, which is to be implemented for the 2019 election. It has essentially created a new and unaccountable office to oversee elections and interpret vague and poorly worded regulations. By unilaterally imposing new rules around televised leaders' debates, the Prime Minister is once again attempting to rig the election in his favour.
    There is absolutely no reason or precedent for the executive branch of government to impose election regulations without even a debate in the House of Commons. It is an affront to our democracy.
    A debates commission, as long as it is under the prerogative of the government, will have difficulty remaining entirely independent from the government of the day. Elections must be decided by Canadians in a transparent electoral system that is fair for all parties. This is not what is happening under the Liberal government. It unilaterally chose the commissioner for the debates' commission when it was recommended that it be chosen through consensus of the House of Commons.
    The criteria to participate in the leaders' debates was also determined by the Liberal government, when it was recommended to be determined by an independent advisory board. How debates are formatted has a tremendous impact on elections and on how Canadians view their potential leaders. It has been made evident that the leaders' debates are best left in the hands of parties, candidates, the press and Canadian voters to negotiate, not the government.
    The federal government has named the eight Canadian organizations that will sit on a special advisory panel tasked with determining the eligibility to receive part of the Liberal government's $600-million media support fund. A healthy democracy relies on an independent press, free of political influence. It should never be up to any government to determine which media outlets receive government support and which media outlets do not.
    The Prime Minister is compromising both the independence of the media and the integrity of our electoral process with this election year bailout.

  (1525)  

    Including Unifor in the panel that will determine eligibility for a $595-million bailout package will also greatly undermine the credibility of this panel's work. In the 2015 general election, Unifor was a registered third party that conducted massive amounts of partisan advertising. It is an extremely partisan group and has campaigned extensively against the Conservative Party. In November, it even published tweets calling itself the “leader of the official opposition's worst nightmare”. This is just the latest example of the Liberal government trying to stack the deck in its favour to get re-elected in October.
    Although the Liberal government is fighting hard against the opposition and abusing its powers, we will use every tool at our disposal to continue to hold the Prime Minister accountable when he fails to protect our democratic institutions. We will fight his desperate and pathetic attempts to rig the next election in his favour.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the minister for her speech. I think we agree on the threats to Canadian democracy.

  (1530)  

[English]

    As much as we agree on the analysis of the threats that Canadian democracy faces in an age of social media, I have to say that I found the minister's statement today quite disappointing, in a number of respects. She was quite explicit that part of the purpose of her statement was to give some reassurance to Canadians so that they will not have to worry in the next election, and if they do worry, that there will be tools available to them to ensure they are getting good, credible information, that their neighbours, friends and family members are also getting good, credible information. They will not be the victims of the kinds of misinformation campaigns we have seen in elections in other countries or in referenda.
     We know very well that there was controversy surrounding the Brexit referendum and the way that social media was used to be able to get certain results. Therefore, foreign interference is a real thing and an emerging threat, and we have heard from Canadian experts that Canada will not be spared from it.
    We were hoping today to hear something from the minister that would give us some reassurance that the Liberals are not going to continue on the path they have so far, which is to ask really nicely of social media platforms, who have shown no interest in substantially changing the way they do business, to suddenly have an epiphany and do things differently. Facebook is in conflict right now with Canada's Privacy Commissioner because the Privacy Commissioner has criticized Facebook's practices. He has said that it needs to do more and has enumerated a number of ways that Facebook can do more to protect the privacy of Canadians from the breaches by foreign actors to influence politics in other countries.
    However, instead of seeing any meaningful commitment to that kind of change, we hear words like this. Even one of their four pillars says that the Liberals are simply expecting social media platforms to act. They are not going to require them to act. They are not going to force them to act. They are just going to expect it. They say that we should be reassured by the fact that they announced their expectation that digital platforms would step up their efforts. We should be reassured by the fact that the minister said they have attempted to reach consensus on a common set of principles. They mention again and again their expectation of social media platforms, but they are silent on how they intend to require social media platforms, which so far have shown a real resistance to changing the way they do business, to actually change.
    For the government's part, all it has committed to today, that I can see, is that it is going to essentially set up a hotline for social media platforms so that if they have questions about their own business and how they might change, they will know who to talk to in government. I find this kind of distressing. We heard from the minister today that apparently the government has been having good conversations with the social media platforms for a long time. Therefore, I find it kind of strange that an important thing the government would do with companies, which it has apparently been having a long-standing dialogue with, is making it clear who these platforms would contact. Presumably if the government has been negotiating with them, it should already be clear who they would contact. I do not think that Canadians should be particularly reassured by a minister who promises that she has spent a lot of time working on this, and the best she can do is to say that if social media platforms have a question, they will make sure there is someone there to pick up the phone. I think that Canadians, given the threat to our democracy, expect more from their government.
    Likewise, we hear from government that it has developed a critical election incident public protocol, and the only thing it is going to do, other than the hotline, is to observe it. That is to say, it would report on incidents after they have happened, which does not give any real assurance to Canadians that the government is doing what it takes to ensure these things do not happen.
    We in the NDP understand that it may mean taking a more regulatory approach instead of going cap in hand to social media giants and asking them to pretty please change the way they do things, or would they consider doing it this way instead of that way? It is ultimately leaving it up to them, and leaving it up to Canadians to find out, very likely only after the election, whether those things had actually happened and whether they were successful or not.
    We understand that there is no silver bullet here. There is no one person or one party with all the ideas to guarantee Canadians that there will not be the kind of foreign interference we have seen in other elections. However, we certainly expect that the government would be doing much more than what we have heard today.
    We could expect that when the Privacy Commissioner criticizes Facebook for not acting in good faith and not complying, the government could step up and defend Canada's Privacy Commissioner to Facebook and offer him the tools he says he needs in order to take on those web giants.
    We could expect more from a government whose oversight panel consist largely of deputy ministers appointed by the government, when the traditional approach on elections-related issues is to ensure that all parties are represented and that officers of Parliament who are impartial and not related to the government of the day are the ones to take the lead and provide the leadership we so desperately need on this kind of issue.
    Those are the kinds of real and concrete measures that could have been announced today in the statement, but they were not. It gives me no reassurance and I know it probably does not provide Canadians much reassurance that the government is seriously committed to doing something about this problem as opposed to paying lip service to it while the Liberals continue to coddle up to their corporate friends in the backrooms. That has been the real theme of the government and unfortunately we see that influence at work in the statement the minister made today.

  (1535)  

[Translation]

    Does the hon. member for Montcalm have the unanimous consent of the House to participate in this debate?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Madam Speaker, we indeed need to act to ensure that elections are held according to the rules without any cheating or outside interference via social media. We must ensure that the content that people see and share is based on facts and reality. We must ensure that there is no impersonation. The measures that the minister just outlined are not enough.
    First, the government is relying upon the good faith of web giants. The minister's entire declaration was in the conditional tense. To ensure the integrity of online content, platforms would have do this or they would have to do that. The government stubbornly refuses to force web giants to follow the laws and regulations in place here. Can we really trust them? The answer is no. The founder of Facebook was very clear when he testified before the U.S. Congress. He believes that there should not be any regulations. He also indicated that it was up to the government to impose regulations if it so desired, and that he would do everything in his power to generate profits for his shareholders. That is the kind of person that Ottawa is protecting by failing to put in place a strict regulatory framework. The government is refusing to impose regulations on web giants to protect the integrity of our electoral system, just as it is refusing to subject them to the same tax laws as every other business. Ottawa keeps giving web giants more and more free passes.
    Second, the government sees the mote in its neighbour's eye but not the beam in its own. The main reason we must be wary of interference and impersonation in federal elections is that the existing regulatory framework is full of holes. Fake news? There was plenty of fake news in the last election, including polls with incomplete data. I remember one party here making headlines with a commissioned survey in the riding of Papineau that indicated the Prime Minister might be trailing in his own riding. That was not the only riding, nor was it the only example. In fact, back in 2006, one firm had to apologize for misinterpreting polling data.
    People are worried about foreign interference in our election. Everyone points to Russia and the last U.S. presidential election, but other nations interfering in federal elections is not the only thing we need to worry about. There is another factor that may interfere and make the democratic process unfair. That factor is most certainly present here in Ottawa; that factor is money.
    As long as the old parties keep hosting exclusive cocktail fundraisers at $1,500 a head to sell preferred access to ministers and the Prime Minister, as long as they refuse to restore the old system of public funding for political parties based on votes received, as recommended by former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and as long as they continue to reject this democratic solution, we must guard against the influence of lobbyists on our electoral system.
    There is another problem that the government refuses to address, namely the fact that anyone can vote in a federal election without having to prove their identity. Voters are not even required to produce photo identification. That is ridiculous. A person can vote without ID, even without a photo, as long as someone else is willing to confirm their identity, by taking an oath, of course. Think about that for a second. Anyone can vote in a federal election with their face covered up and without ID. This raises questions about the possibility of identity theft.
    For all of these reasons, the Bloc Québécois is not impressed with the minister's statement today. We urge Canadians to be vigilant, because the federal government plainly has no intention of taking action to fix the flaws in the system.

  (1540)  

[English]

    Does the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands have unanimous consent to participate in this debate?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Green Party of Canada, I wish to reply to the minister's statement on the subject of the use of—
     I just want to remind the member that her microphone is right in front of her and her paper is creating some distraction, so it is hard to hear, especially for those who will be interpreting her speech.
    The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    Madam Speaker, I have just recently relocated so this is the first view I have had from this corner in eight years. I have always been in another corner and my desk may have a different microphone. We have accommodated the new Green Party member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith and I have been moved to a space where I have a much better view of the Speaker and do not need my earpiece to hear discussions even with heckling all around me, as in question period.
    I want to respond to the minister's comment. The minister's speech on the subject of digital platforms and how we protect ourselves during elections is a critical issue. I want to put on the record that as leader of the Green Party, I do not suspect for one minute that the current government is trying to rig the election. I was quite shocked by the comments of my friend from Calgary Midnapore. I want to put on the record that the idea that the leaders debates are being in any way rigged must be called out right here, right now.
    In the 2015 election campaign, as leader of the Green Party and member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands, I was invited to participate in those debates by the media consortium. The Conservative leader, the prime minister at the time, Stephen Harper, said that he would not participate in the debates run by the media consortium. Joined by then the NDP, he managed to get the debates, which reached over 11 million Canadians in 2011 and had been the way in which leaders debates had been run since 1968, cancelled, depriving Canadians of the opportunity to hear leaders of the various parties state their positions and appear on the same stage in the same format.
    To now have a member representative of the Conservative Party attacking an attempt to create a non-partisan panel of experts, headed by our former governor general David Johnston, saying that this is an attempt to interfere and rig an election, I am sorry. I have been in too many election campaigns as leader of the Green Party. Every time, the person and the party trying to keep the Green Party off the stage was Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada. I will not stand by and pretend that it is not important for democracy that we have leaders debates and that they be televised.
     I would really like to know whether the current leader of the official opposition is prepared to give his word that he will show up. The connivance and the backroom trickery around leaders debates has to come to an end. I have said this before that it would have been better if the Minister of Democratic Institutions had brought forward as a part of Bill C-76 a panel to run leaders debates.
    However, I really find it offensive. I reject the notion about a panel where the debate commissioner is known to us. It is our former governor general David Johnston. That process is, by my appreciation at this moment having watched it unfold, a fair process despite missteps in not having it grounded in full consultation with all parties. It is a fair process and I want to step up and make it very clear that what the member for Calgary Midnapore said is not how I observed the process. It is an attempt at fairness after many elections that have been unfair, given connivance and backroom operations to shut down debates.
    In this case, I do not see what the minister is offering as further evidence of Liberal connivance to rig the election. However, I do entirely agree with the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona that this is not enough.
     This does appear to be a request of Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter to do better. It is a request of those platforms to live up to our standards. I know those operations are trying to clean up their act. I have heard apologies in various media from the U.S. Congress where they have appeared. I have heard Mr. Zuckerberg say that he is sorry that Facebook information was misused. We are in a very serious crisis for democracy if the best we can do is hope for better from multinational digital operations that will see the Canadian election as small potatoes.

  (1545)  

    Digital platforms missed the boat. They did not pull down fake platforms, fake identities and fake users, as they should have. I recently saw that although they admitted that a video of Nancy Pelosi that has been placed on Facebook was altered to make her appear disreputable, they were not prepared to pull it down.
    I do not want to go into the 2019 election trusting in the good intentions of Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter. We are going to need to actually regulate. We are going to need to make sure that they pay fair taxes. There are many things we are going to need to do.
     I appreciate the spirit in which the minister has brought forward this new declaration on digital platforms, sharing of information and keeping Canadians informed and up to date. However, much more is going to be required. I do not think we will get very far with kind entreaties. We are going to need to say that election campaign ads and the placement of profiles online will start requiring cleaning up the space, from abuse, misogyny and racism and giving oxygen to white supremacists.
    We have to stop allowing any of the digital platforms to provide publication rights on their platforms to people who are not transparent about their names and addresses, and they must be verifiable. We must ensure that we apply the same kind of publication identity to digital platforms that our print media have from time immemorial. We do not allow someone to write to The Globe and Mail and publish something using someone else's name and identity. The newspaper requires people to give their names, addresses and daytime phone numbers. The same thing should be required for Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and any of the accounts out there that have the potential to steal an election.
    By the way, as a small addendum, for anyone who does not understand the power of these entities to steal an election, I recommend the film Brexit. It was made as a dramatic film, not as a documentary. It is very close to being produced in real time. If members are is not aware of how dangerously these instruments can be used in a democracy to mislead and lie to people, they specifically target people who are prepared to believe a certain argument. They find out who they are. They run fake contests to collect people's information. That is why our dear friends in the Parliament of Westminster are in an ongoing hell on earth. It is because of the very actors we are talking about today.

  (1550)  

[Translation]

    I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statement, government orders will be extended by 36 minutes.

[English]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, five reports.
    The first is entitled “Report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation regarding its participation in the pre-NATO Summit Conference”, held in Brussels, Belgium, July 11-12, 2018.
    The second is entitled “Report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the 16th Summer Defence Conference”, held September 10-11, 2018, in Paris, France.
    The third is entitled “Report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation regarding its participation at the Parliamentary Transatlantic Forum”, held in Washington, D.C., United States of America, December 10-12, 2018.
    The fourth is entitled “Report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the Joint Meeting of the Defence and Security, Economics and Security, and Political Committees”, held February 18-20, 2019, in Brussels, Belgium.
    The fifth is entitled “Report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the Standing Committee Meeting”, held in Zagreb, Croatia, March 29-31, 2019.

Committees of the House

National Defence  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Canada's Role in International Peace Operations and Conflict Resolution”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    Madam Speaker, I have a dissenting report attached to the official report from the Standing Committee on National Defence. The Conservative members on the committee feel that there are a number of omissions in the report. There was some testimony that was absent and understated, and the report did not reflect all the testimony we heard.
     We believe that the Liberal members on the committee neglected to demonstrate how the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali serves our national interest, were unable to substantiate their rhetoric on what actually is peacekeeping, failed to address the risk environment inherent in modern peacekeeping missions and failed to acknowledge the importance of consulting Parliament before committing our troops to war zones. More important, the report also failed to address the issue of crimes committed by troops from contributing nations during UN missions, which actually undermines the overall statement on modern-day peacekeeping.
    We have made several recommendations. We have included testimony from General Fraser, General Lewis MacKenzie, Bruce Jones and Ian Johnstone, who we felt provided a lot more depth and robust discussion on both the positives and negatives in UN peacekeeping missions.

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 94th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to its study of the main estimates 2019-20.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, during the dissenting reports on the national defence committee report, the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke stood to present his dissenting report as well, and you, Madam Speaker, failed to recognize him.
    If the hon. member wishes to speak, he would need unanimous consent from the House to do so. Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to speak to the previous report from the member for Kelowna—Lake Country to present his dissenting opinion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

National Defence  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the members for giving me the opportunity to stand to talk about why we did not support the government's report on peace operations.
    There were two major reasons. One is that the government has stuck to its idea that we are going to leave Mali early, before our replacements are there for the very important peacekeeping mission we are doing there. This is a symbol of how we believe that the report fails to address that the government is not living up to the commitments it made on international peacekeeping at the conference in Vancouver.
    The second reason is that the overall report fails to emphasize the importance of UN peacekeeping missions and making UN peacekeeping missions the priority for Canadians, because UN missions focus on the peace process, are civilian led and have the best record of success in restoring peace and stability.

  (1555)  

Status of Women  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women on the main estimates, 2019-20.

Petitions

Access to Information  

    Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to raise today.
    The first is petition e-1090, which is from about 900 Victorians calling on the government to immediately begin turning over all historical documents to public archives and to reform the Access to Information Act and Library and Archives Canada to ensure that historical material does not remain hidden outside of our public archives.

Animal Welfare  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition raises an issue of importance to people not just in my constituency but from across Canada. It calls on the House of Commons to support Bill S-214 and ban the sale and/or manufacture of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients in Canada. The petitioners submit that the European Union, one of the largest cosmetics markets in the world, banned animal testing in 2013, and they ask that Canadians have the same opportunity.
    Madam Speaker, I wish to present a petition from many residents of Saskatchewan, who call upon the House of Commons to support Bill S-214 and ban the sale and/or manufacture of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients in Canada moving forward.
    We have about 300 signatories, mostly from Saskatoon but all from Saskatchewan, and I present this petition on their behalf.

Health  

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be tabling 10 petitions in the House today.
    The first petition draws the attention of the House to the following: whereas the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”; whereas our national concept of health care should include disease prevention and health promotion, not merely the management of disease once it occurs; whereas investments by Canadians in their own health through spending on self-care options, including natural health products, over-the-counter medicines and wellness services, provide significant benefits and reduce costs to the system; and whereas the government of Canada should make an effort to make health care more accessible to Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable populations, the petitioners urge Parliament to instruct the Standing Committee on Health to undertake a comprehensive study of the impact of uninsured self-care products and wellness services and of the barriers that exist for those wishing to access them.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition is in support of Bill S-240 on organ harvesting, which is currently in the Senate.
    The third petition is also in support of Bill S-240.
    The fourth petition is in support of Bill S-240.
    The fifth petition is in support of Bill S-240.
    The sixth petition is in support of Bill S-240.
    The seventh petition is in support of Bill S-240.

Canada Summer Jobs Initiative  

    Madam Speaker, the eighth petition deals with the Canada summer jobs program and draws the attention of the House to violations of the right to freedom of conscience that occurred through the Canada summer jobs program. It calls on the Prime Minister and Parliament to ensure that the rights of all organizations seeking Canada summer jobs funding are respected and that people's rights under section 2 of the charter are respected in that context.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the ninth petition is in support of Bill S-240 on organ harvesting, which is currently in the Senate.
    The tenth petition is also in support of Bill S-240.

Person with Disabilities  

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of several dozen constituents in the cities of Burnaby and New Westminster.
    These citizens call on the Government of Canada to do all within its power to ensure that employers do not discriminate against members of Canada's disabled community, especially those with epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar affective disorder, Down syndrome, schizophrenia, Elsberg syndrome, cystic fibrosis or speech, language or hearing impairments. Constituents call on the Government of Canada to ensure that employers do not discriminate against members of the disabled community.

  (1600)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 2379, 2383, 2390 to 2393, 2403 to 2405 and 2408.

[Text]

Question No. 2379--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
    With regard to the Prime Minister’s desire to have SNC-Lavalin offered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA): (a) has the government taken any steps towards providing a DPA to SNC-Lavalin; and (b) has the Director of Public Prosecutions received any instructions or advice from the government in relation to SNC-Lavalin, and, if so, what are the details including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) instructions or advice?
Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, with respect to part (a), deferred prosecution agreements are at the discretion of the prosecution.
    With respect to part (b), any advice sought or received from any government source is privileged; no instructions can be provided to the director of public prosecutions other than a formal directive by the Attorney General, which would be published in the Canada Gazette.
Question No. 2383--
Mr. Peter Kent:
    With regard to the warning that the government received from Fitch Ratings about the rising debt level: (a) what specific action, if any, is the government prepared to do to ensure that Canada retains the “AAA” credit rating; (b) does the government have any projections on the effect of losing the “AAA” credit on the government’s finances and, if so, what are the projections; and (c) has the government received warnings from any other credit ratings agencies, since January 1, 2017, that it may lose its “AAA” credit rating and, if so, what are the details of any such warnings?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, with regard to part (a), ratings issued by credit ratings agencies are based on their assessment of a sovereign’s strengths and weaknesses under several categories, including economic strength, institutional strength, fiscal strength, external financing, a country’s ability to address adverse economic/financial shocks and how susceptible the country is to these risks; and a country’s performance according to environmental, social and governance, ESG, factors.
    Canada fares well in overall credit ratings assessments. Canada is one of only a few countries that continues to receive AAA status, with a stable outlook, from S&P, Moody’s and Fitch. Canada has held its AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s since 2002, and from Fitch since 2004.
    With budget 2019, the government is continuing to invest in people and in growing the economy for the long term while carefully managing deficits and debt. Indeed, since November 2015, targeted investments and strong economic fundamentals have contributed to creating over 900,000 new jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to around its lowest levels in over 40 years. Canada also had the strongest economic growth of all G7 countries in 2017, and was second only to the U.S. in 2018.
    The government continues to manage deficits carefully while delivering real results that grow the economy, create jobs and improve the quality of life for the middle class and people working hard to join it. As projected in budget 2019, the federal government deficit is projected to decline from $19.8 billion in 2019-20 to $9.8 billion in 2023-24. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio, which is Canada’s debt in relation to the size of our economy, is also projected to fall in every year of the forecast horizon, reaching 28.6% of GDP by 2023-24. According to the IMF, Canada also has the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio among G7 countries.
    It is also important to note that while general government debt measures are useful for international comparisons, provinces and municipalities are responsible for their own fiscal and debt management.
    With regard to part (b), there is a large degree of uncertainty regarding the estimated impact of a downgrade on the government’s finances, as shown by the wide range of impacts seen with recent international experiences. Australia’s downgrade warning in 2016, triggered by a persistent period of slower-than-expected growth and concerns over the government’s will to curtail budgetary deficits, saw very little market reaction. The British gilt 10-year yield increased by about 100 basis points following the downgrade in 2013. As the 2016 downgrade was due to the Brexit vote, it is impossible to disentangle the impacts of the downgrade from general market reaction. With regard to France during the period 2011 to 2015, in 2011, the spread between French and German 10-year government yields increased by about 100 basis points for approximately nine months. There was little market reaction to the 2013 and 2015 downgrades.
    With regard to part (c), the most formal way for credit ratings agencies to signal concerns or issue warnings over ratings would be to assign a “negative” outlook, although ratings do change sometimes without first getting a “positive” or “negative” outlook.
    Since January 2017, Canada has not received a negative outlook. Fitch, S&P and Moody’s continue to rate Canada as AAA with a stable outlook, meaning that the three major ratings agencies do not expect changes to Canada’s AAA rating. Canada has held its AAA rating, with a stable outlook, from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s since 2002, and from Fitch since 2004.
Question No. 2390--
Mr. Guy Caron:
    With regard to the government’s ratification strategy for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty: (a) what measures has the government taken so far to comply with the Treaty; (b) what other measures does the government plan to take to comply with the Treaty; (c) what is the timeline for each of the measures in (b); (d) did legal opinions show that measures in Bill C-47 failed to comply with both the spirit and letter of the Treaty, broken down by (i) department, (ii) agency; and (e) for the responses to (d), what are the file numbers of each of these legal opinions?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. With regard to parts (a) to (d), the Government of Canada is committed to promoting peace and security here at home and around the world. This includes finally acceding to the Arms Trade Treaty, ATT, which Canada failed to do in 2013 or 2014.
    The ATT is the only international treaty that seeks to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons. By acceding to the ATT, Canada is supporting the multilateral efforts to address the violence caused by this unregulated and dangerous trade.
    On April 13, 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs introduced legislation that made the necessary changes for Canada to accede to the Arms Trade Treaty.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs also announced $13 million over five years to allow Canada to implement the ATT and further strengthen its export control regime, and a $1-million contribution to the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation, in order to help other countries accede to the ATT.
    On March 8, 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the government’s support for further legislative amendments to strengthen Canada’s arms export system. This included putting the Arms Trade Treaty assessment criteria into law. This means that all considerations of potential exports must include international human rights law, peace and security, and gender-based violence.
    Through the amended legislation, which received royal assent on December 13, 2018, the government is also introducing a new legal requirement for the Canadian government to refuse permits for arms exports that would violate these criteria. This is the most significant change to Canadian arms exports in over 30 years.
    The government is currently preparing the necessary regulations to enact these changes. These have been informed by public consultations from December 2018 to January 2019, which included over 190 participants from industry associations, businesses, civil society organizations, academia and legal professionals, as well as by pre-publishing in part I of the Canada Gazette from March 2019 to April 2019.
    Four regulations will establish Canada’s brokering controls, and two regulations will enhance transparency and reporting by enabling the Government of Canada to collect data on the export to the U.S. of the full-system items for which the ATT requires reporting.
    In addition to this work, government departments including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence are currently updating their internal processes to ensure the Government of Canada is fully compliant with the ATT.
    Global Affairs Canada’s legal division has confirmed that the steps Canada has taken to accede to the ATT comply with both the spirit and letter of the treaty.
    All Canadian exporters, including those working with the Canadian Commercial Corporation, CCC, will continue to be required to comply with the Export and Import Permits Act, and with the new legislative changes. CCC is putting in place policies and procedures to address the ATT assessment criteria and to ensure that the Canadian exporters it supports do the same. All exports of controlled goods, including those facilitated by CCC, require an export permit and will be subject to the ATT assessment criteria.
    Shortly after the final publication of the regulations, Canada will deposit its instrument of accession to the ATT with the United Nations and formally become a State Party of the ATT in 2019.
Question No. 2391--
Mr. Guy Caron:
    With regard to the contract to sell light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, which Canada signed in 2014 and the government approved in 2016: what meetings were held between Global Affairs Canada and General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, as of October 2018, including (i) the date of the meeting, (ii) the location of the meeting, (iii) the participants, (iv) the purpose of the meeting?
Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. The Government of Canada has demonstrated its clear commitment to openness and transparency. The Government of Canada believes in evidence-based policy-making and meaningful consultation with Canadians.
    Meetings with key stakeholders and experts help to inform the policy development process. For a listing of lobbyist interactions, please visit the Registry of Lobbyists, which is the central source of information about individuals, not-for-profit organizations and for-profit corporations who lobby the federal government: https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/clntSmmrySrch?lang=eng
Question No. 2392--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
    With regard to the statement in Budget 2019 that “To date, Canada’s efforts to reform fossil fuel subsidies have resulted in the phase-out or rationalization of eight tax expenditures”: (a) what are these eight tax expenditures; (b) of the tax expenditures in (a), (i) which ones have already been abolished and which ones are being phased out, (ii) which ones have been rationalized and which ones are being rationalized; (c) what is the timeline for phasing out or rationalizing each of the tax expenditures in (a); (d) how much will be saved in total by phasing out or rationalizing the tax expenditures in (a); and (e) what is the annual cost of each of the tax expenditures in (a)?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, the combined response to parts (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) is as follows. The eight tax measures, and the actions that have been taken to phase out or rationalize them, are listed below. For most of the measures, an estimate of cost savings was provided when the phase-out or rationalization was announced in the budget. For reference, these estimates are summarized below. However, these estimates are not up-to-date and have a number of limitations.
    First is the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for the oil sands from budget 2007, completed in 2015. No costing information was included in the budget for the period affected by the phase-out. See page 374 of the budget plan 2007, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2007/pdf/bp2007e.pdf).
    Second is the reduction in the deduction rates for intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects to align with rates in conventional oil and gas sector from budget 2011, completed in 2016. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $220 million from 2011-12 to 2015-16. See page 263 of the budget plan 2011, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2011/plan/Budget2011-eng.pdf).
    Third is the phase-out of the Atlantic investment tax credit for investments in the oil and gas and mining sectors from budget 2012, completed in 2017. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $135 million from 2014-15 to 2016-17. See page 380 of the budget plan 2012, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2012/plan/pdf/Plan2012-eng.pdf).
    Fourth is the reduction in the deduction rate for pre-production intangible mine development expenses, including coal mining, to align with the rate for the oil and gas sector from budget 2013, completed in 2018. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $45 million from 2015-16 to 2017-18. See page 331 of the budget plan 2013, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/doc/plan/budget2013-eng.pdf).
    Fifth is the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for mining, including coal mining from budget 2013, to be completed in 2021. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $10 million in 2017-18. See page 331 of the budget plan 2013, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/doc/plan/budget2013-eng.pdf).
    Sixth is allowing the accelerated capital cost allowance for liquefied natural gas facilities to expire as scheduled in 2025 from budget 2016. No costing information was included in the budget for the phase out of this measure. However, when the measure was introduced in budget 2015, the cost was estimated as $45 million over the 2015-16 to 2019-20 period. See page 210 of the budget plan 2015, https://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/docs/plan/budget2015-eng.pdf).
    Seventh is the rationalization of the tax treatment of expenses for successful oil and gas exploratory drilling from budget 2017, to be completed by 2021. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $145 million from 2019-20 to 2021-22. See page 6 of the tax measures supplement, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/tm-mf/tax-measures-mesures-fiscales-2017-en.pdf).
    Eighth is the phase-out of the tax preference that allows small oil and gas companies to reclassify certain development expenses as more favorably treated exploration expenses from budget 2017, to be completed in 2020. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $5 million from 2019-20 to 2021-22. See page 6 of the tax measures supplement, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/tm-mf/tax-measures-mesures-fiscales-2017-en.pdf).
    The department provided the above estimates of cost savings over the budget horizon at the time the phase-out or rationalization of each measure was announced. Once an announcement has been made, the department does not continue to update or track the resulting cost savings. As such, the cost savings amounts listed above are indicative only and actual savings may be different. The amounts should not be added up, as this would not accurately represent total cost savings.
Question No. 2393--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
    With regard to all legal fees paid since November 4, 2015: what are the details, including the nature of the complaints or charges, the amount, the date of payment, and the government representative that received the money, of all legal fees paid pursuant to (i) section 8.6.1 of the Policies for Ministers’ Offices, (ii) section 6.1.14 of the Policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification, (iii) previous provisions of either of these sections?
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, with regard to the policy on legal assistance and indemnification, the government is not able to produce and validate a comprehensive response in the time allotted.
    In processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. A response to the question could disclose personal and solicitor privileged information.
Question No. 2403--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
    With regard to the changes made by Veterans Affairs Canada to the disability questionnaire meant to document post-traumatic stress disorder claims by former soldiers: why was the minister's mental health advisory committee left out of the development of the new questionnaire and not consulted about the changes?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, to deliver faster decisions for veterans related to their disability benefits applications, Veterans Affairs Canada shortened the medical questionnaire for psychiatric and psychological conditions. The questionnaire was simplified to allow medical professionals the ability to complete the process quicker. This provides veterans with faster decisions on their disability benefits applications, which allows faster access to treatment. The changes are designed to increase efficiency of the process and to ensure that veterans in need get access to treatments faster.
    Veterans Affairs Canada consulted its service excellence advisory group. This advisory group is focused on initiatives aimed at streamlining processes for veterans and health professionals. A team of mental health professionals, including those from operational stress injury clinics who are frequent users of the questionnaire, was also consulted and requested revisions to the form. As a result, the questionnaire was modified and streamlined to improve the turnaround times for completion and get benefits out to veterans faster.
    Veterans Affairs Canada has a new approach to making disability benefit decisions for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, in that the department now only requires minimal diagnostic information. Veterans Affairs Canada asks health professionals to provide a diagnosis and accepts their professional assessment.
    It is important to note that 97% of first applications for post-traumatic stress disorder were approved, according to the 2018-19 statistics.
    The following changes were made.
    The questionnaire was modified and streamlined. It was reduced in size to ease the paperwork burden on physicians and to improve turnaround times for completion. This is expected to result in faster decisions for veterans.
    Veterans Affairs Canada is no longer asking for health professionals to substantiate their diagnosis. Veterans Affairs Canada is taking them at their word. The information on the form focuses on assessing the severity of their injury.
    The privacy notice was updated.
    The medical diagnosis heading was renamed to “Confirmed Medical Diagnosis’. In addition, the diagnosis section has been revised. The physician/psychologist information has been moved to the last page.
    A single psychiatric condition could be assessed at 100%, if the individual meets the highest ratings in each table in the table of disabilities.
Question No. 2404--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the Treasury Board Secretariat’s YouTube video titled “Cracking the Code” released on May 30, 2018: (a) how much was spent to create the video; (b) was an actor or actress paid to do the voice-over for the video and, if so, how much was the actor or actress paid; and (c) how many full-time equivalents worked on the video from development to publication?
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, in response to part (a), the video was created in-house by the TBS multimedia team, using their equipment. Sixty dollars, $60, was spent to acquire the music track.
    In response to part (b), no actor or actress was paid for the voice-over. A TBS employee provided this service on a volunteer basis.
    In response to part (c), seven people worked on this project part-time, for a total of 84 hours from development to publication.
Question No. 2405--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
    With regard to the $12 million in government funding for Loblaw Companies Limited to install new refrigeration systems, between January 1, 2019, and April 9, 2019: how much funding was provided to smaller, less-profitable independent grocery stores for new refrigeration systems and what are the details of any such funding, including (i) date of announcement, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) amount?
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, the over $500 million low-carbon economy challenge is part of the low-carbon economy fund, LCEF. The LCEF is designed to leverage Canadian ingenuity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support Canada’s clean growth as part of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
    The challenge has two streams. The champions stream provides funding to eligible recipients, specifically provinces and territories, municipalities, indigenous communities and organizations, large as well as small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Independent grocers were eligible to apply, but we did not receive any proposals. The project referenced is one of 54 successful champions stream projects, which are providing solutions to cut pollution and increase energy efficiency in communities across Canada. Announcements for successful champions stream projects are ongoing.
    The second part of the low-carbon economy challenge, the partnerships stream, was launched in December 2018. Eligible recipients for the partnerships stream are small municipalities, indigenous communities and organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and small and medium-sized businesses, including independent grocery stores. This stream provides an additional opportunity for smaller businesses, organizations and communities to participate in the shift to a low-carbon economy. Proposals are currently under review, and results will be communicated to applicants in 2019.
Question No. 2408--
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to the statement in Budget 2019 that “Canada will continue to review measures that could be considered inefficient fossil fuel subsidies with a view to reforming them as necessary”: (a) how many measures that are considered inefficient are currently being reviewed; (b) what is the name of each of the measures listed in (a); (c) what is the timetable for phasing out or rationalizing each of the measures in (a); and (d) what is the estimated annual cost of each of the measures in (a)?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Madam Speaker, here is the response of the Department of Finance to parts (a), (b), (c), and (d). As committed to in the department’s action plan following the 2017 Auditor General report on fossil fuel subsidies, the department completed a review of 13 tax measures that are specific to the fossil fuel sector. Based on evidence currently available, it is not possible to conclude that any existing tax measures are inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
    The department will continue to support the government in fulfilling its commitment to phase out or rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. As part of that work, Canada and Argentina recently committed to undergoing peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the G20 process. Peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies can increase transparency, encourage international dialogue, and help develop best practices while moving toward a low-carbon economy. This voluntary process will enable both countries to compare and improve knowledge and push forward the global momentum to identify and reduce inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns.

    Madam Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 2371 to 2378, 2380 to 2382, 2384 to 2389, 2394 to 2402, 2406, 2407 and 2409 to 2425 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 2371--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to the March 2019 leak of information related to the Supreme Court nomination process: does anyone in the Office of the Prime Minister know who leaked the information, and, if so, who leaked the information?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2372--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
    With regard to federal spending from January 1, 2019, to April 1, 2019: (a) what expenditures were made in each of the following municipalities (i) City of Saguenay, (ii) City of Saint-Honoré, (iii) Municipality of St-Ambroise, (iv) Municipality of Saint-Fulgence, (v) Municipality of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, (vi) Municipality of Saint-Charles-de-Bourget, (vii) Municipality of Bégin, (viii) Municipality of Saint-Nazaire, (ix) Municipality of Labrecque, (x) Municipality of Lamarche, (xi) Municipality of Larouche, (xii) Municipality of Saint-David-de-Falardeau; and (b) what are the details of all grants, contributions and loans given to any group, broken down by (i) name of recipient, (ii) date of funding, (iii) department or agency that provided the funding, (iv) amount received, (v) program under which the funding was granted, (vi) purpose of the expenditure?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2373--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
    With regard to housing investments and housing assets held by the government: (a) how much federal funding has been spent in the riding of Jonquière on housing over the period of 1995 to 2018, broken down by year; (b) how much federal funding is scheduled to be spent on housing in the riding of Jonquière over the period of 2015 to 2019, broken down by year; (c) how much federal funding has been invested in cooperative housing in the riding of Jonquière over the period of 1995 to 2018, broken down by year; (d) how much federal funding is scheduled to be invested in cooperative housing in the riding of Jonquière over the period of 2015 to 2019, broken down by year; (e) how many physical housing units were owned by the government in the riding of Jonquière over the period of 1995 to 2018, broken down by year; (f) how many physical housing units owned by the government are scheduled to be constructed in the riding of Jonquière over the period of 2015 to 2019, broken down by year; and (g) what government buildings and lands have been identified in the riding of Jonquière as surplus and available for affordable housing developments?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2374--
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to claimed stock option deductions, broken down by the 2015 and 2016 taxation years: (a) what is the number of individuals who claimed the stock option deduction whose total annual income is (i) less than $200,000, (ii) between $200,000 and $1 million, (iii) more than $1 million; (b) what is the average amount claimed by an individual whose total annual income is (i) less than $200,000, (ii) $200,000 to $1 million, (iii) more than $1 million; (c) what is the total amount claimed by individuals whose total annual income is (i) less than $200,000, (ii) between $200,000 and $1 million, (iii) more than $1 million; and (d) what is the percentage of the total amount claimed by individuals whose total annual income is more than $1 million?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2375--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
    With regard to the statement in Budget 2019 that, “since Budget 2016, the Government has taken many actions to improve the fairness of the tax system”: (a) what is the name of each of these actions; (b) what is the total amount collected by the Canada Revenue Agency, broken down by each of the actions in (a); (c) of the actions in (a), how many actions sought specifically to address aggressive international tax avoidance; and (d) of the actions in (a), how many sought specifically to address international tax evasion?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2376--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
    With regard to the Offshore Tax Informant Program, for each fiscal year since 2015-16 to the current date: (a) how many calls have been received; (b) how many files have been opened based on information received from informants; (c) what is the total amount of the awards paid to informants; (d) what is the total amount recovered by the Canada Revenue Agency; (e) how many current investigations are the result of information received through the program; and (f) how much money is involved in the current investigations?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2377--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
    With regard to advertising paid for by the government for each fiscal year from April 1, 2016, to the present date: (a) how much did the government spend on advertising; (b) what was the subject of each advertisement and how much was spent on each subject; (c) which department purchased the advertising and what are the detailed expenditures of each department in this regard; (d) for each subject and department mentioned in (b) and (c), how much was spent on each type of advertising, including but not limited to (i) television, specifying the stations, (ii) radio, specifying the stations, (iii) print, i.e. newspapers and magazines, specifying the names of the publications, (iv) the Internet, specifying the names of the websites, (v) billboards, specifying their locations, (vi) bus shelters, specifying their location, (vii) advertising in all other publicly accessible places; (e) for each type of advertising in (d), was it in Canada or abroad; (f) for the answers in (b), (c) and (d), how long did the advertisements run for; (g) for each advertising purchase, who signed the contracts; (h) for each advertisement, who was involved in the production; (i) for each advertisement, was a third party involved in its publication or did a third party coordinate other advertisements based on the government advertisements; and (j) for each advertisement, did the purchase and publication coincide with a specific event, such as a sporting event?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2378--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
    With regard to wrapping or other advertising expenditures for the exteriors of buildings since November 20, 2017, broken down by department, agency, Crown Corporation, or other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent on wrapping or advertising, broken down by individual building; (b) what are the details of all wrapping, tarp, or similar type of advertising on government buildings, broken down by individual building, including (i) vendor, (ii) scope or description of services or goods provided, (iii) date, (iv) amount, (v) file number, (vi) address of building?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2380--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
    With regard to the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft by Transport Canada: (a) what specific safety tests were conducted by Transport Canada prior to the certification of the aircraft; (b) what specific tests results did Transport Canada use from the United States' Federal Aviation Administration in lieu of Transport Canada conducting its own tests; and (c) did Transport Canada rely on any testing information provided directly by the manufacturer instead of conducting its own tests, and, if so, which tests did Transport Canada rely on the manufacturer’s information for?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2381--
Mr. Ed Fast:
    With regard to government funding in the riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, since November 4, 2015: (a) what are the details of all grants and contributions to any organization, body, or group, including (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant or contribution was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) what is the total of all funding provided in (a)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2382--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to the sewage lagoon which burst at the North Caribou Lake First Nation this past winter: (a) why did Indigenous Services Canada initially refuse to provide emergency repairs to the lagoon; (b) what amount has the government provided for repairs to the lagoon; and (c) when was the funding commitment conveyed to the North Caribou Lake First Nation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2384--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to the government’s investigation into the leak of information about the reported $10.5 million payout to Omar Khadr: (a) what specific measures did the government do to investigate the leak; (b) how many individuals were assigned to duties in relation to the investigation; (c) what were the findings of the investigation; (d) how much did the government spend on the investigation; (e) did the government refer the leak to the RCMP; (f) which departments and agencies were involved in the investigation; and (g) what are the details of any contracts related to the investigation, including (i) amount, (ii) date, (iii) vendor, (iv) description of goods or services?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2385--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
    With regard to expenditures on government advertising with Internet search engines such as Google and Bing, since January 1, 2016, broken down by year: (a) what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) amount, (ii) date and duration of contract, (iii) vendor, (iv) name of search engine, (v) purpose of advertisement or summary of campaign; and (b) what is the total of all expenditures in (a)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2386--
Mr. Luc Thériault:
    With regard to federal spending in the constituency of Saint-Maurice—Champlain, for each fiscal year from 2010-11 to date: what are the details of all grants, contributions and loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2387--
Mr. Larry Maguire:
    With regard to the government's agriculture trade commissioners based in Canadian consulates or embassies in foreign countries: how many were employed, in each country, from fiscal year 2015-16 to date?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2388--
Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach:
    With regard to the 12 benchmark tax measures specific to the fossil fuel sector identified by the Department of Finance: (a) has the department finished assessing the measures and, if not, why did the department not respect the December 2018 deadline established in its action plan; (b) how many measures are still being assessed; (c) what is the assessment deadline for each measure in (b) or the deadline for all assessments; (d) what is the estimated annual cost of each of the 12 measures; and (e) how many of the measures that have been assessed constitute inefficient tax subsidies in the opinion of the department?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2389--
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to the partial inclusion of capital gains tax expenditure, for the 2018 taxation year: how many individuals can claim this exemption, broken down by the 2018 federal income brackets of (i) $46,605 or less, (ii) between $46,605 and $93,208, (iii) between $93,208 and $144,489, (iv) between $144,489 and $205,842, (v) over $205,842?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2394--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
    With regard to the staff of the Office of the Prime Minister, as of February 1, 2019: (a) how many earn an annual salary of $150,000 or more; (b) how many earn an annual salary of $200,000 or more; (c) how many earn an annual salary of $250,000 or more; (d) how many earn an annual salary of $300,000 or more; (e) of those who earn an annual salary of $200,000 or more, how many received a performance bonus; and (f) of those who received a performance bonus, how much was each of those bonuses?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2395--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the government’s GoHere Washroom Locator App participation announced on December 11, 2018: (a) how much has been spent on joining this program; (b) how much does it cost to maintain participation in the program; and (c) how many full-time equivalents monitor the government’s participation in the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2396--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the Phoenix Pay System: (a) to date, how much is the government owed in overpayments; (b) of the amount in (a), how much has been collected and how much remains to be collected; (c) how many new pay issues, or transaction errors, have been logged since March 31, 2018; and (d) of the transactions listed in (c), how many are serviced in Miramichi and how many are serviced by other government departments based elsewhere?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2397--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the recent government mail-out for the Climate Action Incentive payment in the form of a mail card: (a) how many cards were printed and what was the associated cost to print the cards; (b) broken down by province, how many cards were mailed out and what was the associated cost to mail the cards; (c) what are the details of all expenditures related to the mail-outs, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of goods or services rendered, including quantity; (d) were carbon offsets purchased to offset the production of these cards and, if so, what are the details of any such expenditures; (e) was 100% recycled paper used and, if not, why not; and (f) what is the carbon footprint associated with the production of the cards, including estimated greenhouse gas emissions?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2398--
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
    With regard to the Capacity-Building Fund of the Women’s Program under the Department of Women and Gender Equality (formerly Status of Women Canada), what are: (a) the names of each organization that submitted an application for the funding; (b) the names of each organization that received or will receive funding under this grant period; (c) the amounts of funding awarded to each organization receiving it, broken down by name; (d) the names of each organization whose application did not result in funding; and (e) the detailed descriptions of the funding allocation under this program to organizations operating federally, provincially, and regionally?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2399--
Mr. Glen Motz:
    With regard to funding of Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP), since January 1, 2008, and broken down by year: (a) how many times has the government required repayment of the government contributions to a Registered Disability Savings Plan since the RDSP was established; (b) how many RDSP holders have passed away before being able to draw on their RDSP; (c) how much funding has been recovered by the government from RDSP contributions in percentage and total dollar figures; (d) how many times has the government waived repayment; (e) what conditions must be met in order for repayment to be waived; (f) how many times has an RDSP holder passed away while having children under the age of 18; and (g) what is the average value of a recovered portion of an RDSP?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2400--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
    With regard to the $1.5 million grant provided by the government to La Passerelle I.D.E. by Public Safety Canada under the Crime Prevention Action Fund: (a) how much of the grant has been paid out to date; (b) what was the original purpose of the grant; (c) does the government believe that this money has been spent appropriately by the receiving organization and, if not, does it plan to recover any of the funding; (d) what specific action has the government taken with the organization to ensure that the money went towards its intended purpose; and (e) is the government concerned with the report in the Toronto Star that innocent women who are not sex workers have had their names put forward by the organization and, if so, what action has the government taken in response?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2401--
Mr. Peter Kent:
    With regard to Global Affairs Canada providing over $900,000 in funding to Wi’am through a $4.8 million payment to Kairos Canada as part of the government’s Women of Courage: Women, Peace, and Security program: (a) when did the government become aware that it was funding a group which supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sactions (BDS) campaign; (b) what is the government’s position on the statement from the director of Wi’am that “The world needs to be liberated from this guilty feeling that Israel has tried to instill in them and the world should be helping Israel shed its victim identity through BDS”; and (c) will the government immediately stop any funding to Wi’am and, if not, why not?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2402--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    With regard to concerns that federal government job advertisements on Facebook were microtargeted at certain demographics while excluding other demographics, since November 4, 2015: (a) which government jobs were advertised on Facebook; (b) what are the details of all job advertisements, including (i) date advertisement started, (ii) job title; and (c) for each advertisement, which ones were microtargeted at certain demographics and what demographics were (i) included, (ii) excluded?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2406--
Mr. David Anderson:
    With regard to the government’s handling of the Canola crisis: (a) how many times has the Minister of Agriculture met with or called the Minister of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China to discuss the matter; (b) for each instance in (a), what (i) was the date, (ii) was the type (telephone, in person, etc.), (iii) were the results; (c) how many times has the Prime Minister met with or called the Chinese President to discuss the matter; and (d) for each instance in (c), what (i) was the date, (ii) was the type (telephone, in person, etc.), (iii) was the results?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2407--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the appointment of Ministerial Special Representatives since November 2015, broken down by year and individual appointment: (a) what is the name of the Ministerial Special Representative; (b) which Minister appointed them; (c) were they paid for their services; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, how much were they paid in total, including expenses for travel, etc.; and (e) what was the stated purpose of their appointment?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2409--
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to government advertising since November 4, 2015: (a) how much has each department, agency and Crown corporation spent on advertising (i) on Facebook, (ii) on Xbox, Xbox 360 or Xbox One, (iii) on YouTube, (iv) in sponsored tweets on Twitter, (v) on Instagram; (b) for each advertisement, what was its (i) nature, (ii) purpose, (iii) target audience or demographic profile, (iv) cost; (c) what was the media authorization number of each advertisement; and (d) what are the reference numbers of the documents, reports and memoranda concerning each advertisement or its after-the-fact evaluation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2410--
Mr. Wayne Stetski:
    With regard to the Rental Construction Financing Initiative: (a) what are the details of projects approved to receive loans, including the number and sizes of proposed rental units, project locations, interest rate, and repayment period; (b) on what basis has the government calculated affordability of proposed rental units of varying sizes for approved projects; and (c) how will the government ensure rental units in approved projects remain affordable over the long term?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2411--
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) announced by the government in 2016: (a) how much money, has been allocated to Transport Canada under the OPP, since 2016, broken down by year; (b) how much money has been spent under the OPP, by Transport Canada, since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (c) how much money has been allocated to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans under the OPP, since 2016, broken down by year; (d) how much money has been spent under the OPP by the Department and Fisheries and Oceans, since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (e) how much money has been allocated to Environment and Climate Change Canada under the OPP, since 2016, broken down by year; (f) how much money has been spent under the OPP by Environment and Climate Change Canada, since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (g) how much money has been spent under the OPP on efforts to mitigate the potential impacts of oil spills, since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (h) how much money from the OPP has been allocated to the Whales Initiative, since 2016, broken down by year; (i) how much money has been spent under the OPP on the Whales Initiative since 2016; and (j) what policies does the government have in place to ensure that the funding allocated under the OPP is spent on its stated goals in a timely manner?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2412--
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the communities which comprise the federal electoral district of Courtenay—Alberni, between the 2005-2006 and current year fiscal year: (a) what are the federal infrastructure investments, including direct transfers to the municipalities and First Nations, for the communities of (i) Tofino, (ii) Ucluelet, (iii) Port Alberni, (iv) Parksville, (v) Qualicum Beach, (vi) Cumberland, (vii) Courtenay, (viii) Deep Bay, (ix) Dashwood, (x) Royston, (xi) French Creek, (xii) Errington, (xiii) Coombs, (xiv) Nanoose Bay, (xv) Cherry Creek, (xvi) China Creek, (xvii) Bamfield, (xviii) Beaver Creek, (xix) Beaufort Range, (xx) Millstream, (xxi) Mt. Washington Ski Resort, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure, (iii) project; (b) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the regional districts of (i) Comox Valley Regional District, (ii) Nanaimo Regional District, (iii) Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, (iv) Powell River Regional District, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure, (iii) project; (c) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the Island Trusts of (i) Horny Island, (ii) Denman Island, (iii) Lasquetti Island, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure; (d) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to (i) the Ahousaht First Nation, (ii) Hesquiaht First Nation, (iii) Huu-ay-aht First Nation, (iv) Hupacasath First Nation, (v) Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, (vi) Toquaht First Nation, (vii) Tseshaht First Nation, (viii) Uchucklesaht First Nation, (ix) Ucluelet First Nation, (x) K’omoks First Nation, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure, (iii) projects; (e) what are the infastructure funding of Pacific Rim National Park, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure (iii) project; (f) what are the funding of Highways, including but not limited to, (i) Highway 4, (ii) Highway 19, (iii) Highway 19a, (iv) Bamfield Road, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure, (iii) projects; and (g) what are any other infrastructure investments provided through the funding of national parks, highways, Build Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Gas Tax, Small Crafts and Harbours, BC Ferries, etc., broken down by (i) fiscal year (ii) total expenditure, (iii) project?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2413--
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to each of Canada’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres (MCTS Centres): what was (a) the projected spending compared to the actual spending for the 2012-13 through 2018-19 fiscal years, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location; (b) the total number of staff for each MCTS Centre from the 2012-13 through 2018-19 fiscal years, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location; (c) the projected staffing at MCTS Centres for the 2019-20 fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location; (d) the total expenditures related to travel and overtime of staff members in the western regions from the 2012-13 to 2018-19 fiscal years, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location; (e) the projected MCTS officer graduations from Canadian Coast Guard College, in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and at all other accredited institutions in the 2018-19 fiscal year; (f) the total number of officer shifts which “ran short” at the MCTS locations in Victoria and Prince Rupert, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location; and (g) the total expenditures on building and equipment maintenance at each MCTS Centre, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2414--
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the government's use and receipt of credit cards since 2015-16 to 2018-19: (a) how much has the government paid in credit card merchant fees, broken down by (i) year, (ii) company, (iii) amounts withheld, forgone or otherwise held by either credit card companies or service providers; (b) how many credit cards does the government currently have in use for staff, and which companies provide them; (c) for cards provided by the government to staff, what is the annual fee paid by the government per card; (d) does the goverment provide any cards to staff that include redeemable rewards and, if so, what are these rewards and who collects them; and (e) how much has the government paid in late or overdue balances, broken down by year?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2415--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
    With regard to the new, coordinated plan to deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in new investments in rural broadband Internet service over the next 10 years: (a) when will the details of the new plan be announced; (b) will the government release the details of the new plan to the public; (c) what minimum speeds will be required to be eligible for funding, broken down by (i) Connect to Innovate, (ii) the new Universal Broadband Fund anticipated by the government; (d) what minimum monthly usage allowances will be required to be eligible for funding, broken down by (i) Connect to Innovate, (ii) the new Universal Broadband Fund anticipated by the government; (e) which costs will be eligible or ineligible, broken down by (i) Connect to Innovate, (ii) the new Universal Broadband Fund anticipated by the government; (f) of the proposed $5 billion to $6 billion in investments, (i) how is the funding broken down by department or agency, (ii) what percentage of the funding will be allocated to private-sector partners, (iii) what percentage of the funding will be allocated to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, (iv) what percentage of the funding will be allocated to not-for-profit partner organizations; (g) according to the government’s estimates, what percentage of households and businesses do not have access to broadband Internet service in the current year; (h) what is the annual target to deliver broadband Internet service to households and businesses between 2021 and 2030, inclusive, broken down by year; (i) what is the annual projection to deliver broadband Internet service to households and businesses between 2021 and 2030, inclusive, broken down by year; and (j) do budgetary considerations explain why the target of providing 100% of households and small businesses with broadband Internet access cannot be achieved before 2030 and, if so, what are these budgetary or other considerations?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2416--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
    With regard to financial assistance applications made to the Economic Development Agency of Canada for Quebec Regions, for each fiscal year from 2015-16 to date, broken down by regional office: how many requests were approved and how many were rejected when submitted for the approval of (i) the regional director, (ii) the director general, (iii) the vice-president, (iv) the president, (v) the minister?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2417--
Mr. Michael Cooper:
    With regard to Bill C-337, Judicial Accountability through Sexual Assault Law Training Act: did anyone in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Office of Leader of the Government in the House of Commons or the Privy Council Office advise the Leader of the Government in the Senate to delay or prevent passage of the Bill in the Senate and, if so, (i) who provided the advice, (ii) what advice was given, (iii) when was the advice provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2418--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to the Impact Canada Initiative: (a) what is the overall budget; (b) how were members of the Impact Canada Advisory Committee chosen; (c) how much compensation or remuneration is being paid to members of the Advisory Committee; (d) are members of the Advisory Panel required to recuse themselves on any funding advice which may benefit any entities which they own or are employed by and, if not, why not; and (e) what are all the funding decisions made to date by Impact Canada?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2419--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
    With respect to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and with respect to the agriculture stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: (a) how many applications has the government received for temporary labourers for the 2018 crop harvesting season for each program; (b) how many applications have been approved thus far for the 2018 crop harvesting season for each program; (c) how many applications have been denied thus far for the 2018 crop harvesting season for each program, including rationale; (d) how many applications did the government receive for temporary labourers for the 2017 crop harvesting season for each program; (e) how many applications were approved for the 2017 crop harvesting season for each program; and (f) how many applications were denied for the 2017 crop harvesting season for each program, including rationale?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2420--
Mr. Robert Aubin:
    With regard to VIA Rail’s high-frequency rail proposal for the Toronto–Quebec City corridor: (a) did the Canada Infrastructure Bank have meetings with (i) Transport Canada, (ii) Department of Finance Canada, (iii) Infrastructure Canada, and, if so, for each of the meetings in (a), what were the (i) date of the meeting, (ii) location of the meeting, (iii) meeting participants, (iv) topics of discussion, (v) names of potential investors; and (b) was a public-private partnership or public-public partnership option assessed or is one being assessed, and, if so, what delivery model options for the public-private partnership were discussed or assessed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2421--
Mrs. Sylvie Boucher:
    With regard to the G7 Summit held in Charlevoix in 2018: (a) what are the total expenditures to date; (b) what is the breakdown of expenditures by financial code, including a description of what each code represents; and (c) what are the details of all contracts related to the Summit, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date and duration of contract, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) quantity of goods or services provided, if applicable?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2422--
Ms. Sheri Benson:
    With regard to all federal programs, services, grants, transfers, contributions, and all other initiatives related to the construction, upgrading, renovation, and maintenance of all public and private housing projects between fiscal year 2014-15 and the current: (a) what are all the projects funded for each electoral district; (b) what is the specific fund or program each project was funded through; (c) what is the dollar amount contributed by the federal government to each project; (d) what are all the other funding partners for each project, including (i) provincial, (ii) municipal or Indigenous governments, (iii) private owners, (iv) renters, (v) investors, (vi) contractors or operators, (vii) not-for-profit organizations, (viii) individual or household, (ix) other; (e) what is the dollar amount contributed by each funding partner for each project; (f) what is the number of new housing units or dwellings created by each project; (g) what is the number of existing housing units or dwellings renovated by each project; and (h) what is the completion date or expected completion date for each project?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2423--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
    With respect to the announcement in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement making available up to $755 million on a cash basis over 10 years to establish a Social Finance Fund, and specifically with respect to the reference on Page 167 of Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, regarding Renewable Funds (British Columbia) provides early-stage growth capital to for-profit social enterprises with the potential to create social or environmental change in industries such as clean technology and sustainable agriculture: (a) what is the exact funding amount earmarked for Renewable Funds (British Columbia); (b) what are the definitions of “sustainable agriculture” and “clean technology” with respect to this Fund; (c) how will that funding be allocated between clean technology and sustainable agriculture; (d) who are the “professional investment managers” who will manage the allocated funding; (e) what is the application process for enterprises seeking funding under this Fund; and (f) which government departments or agencies oversee this Fund?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2424--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the First Nations On-Reserve Housing Program, the British Columbia Housing Subsidy Program, the On-Reserve Non-Profit Housing Program, the First Nation Market Housing Fund, and the British Columbia New Approach for Housing Support, since November 2015, broken down by (i)program, (ii) year, (iii) region, (iv) First Nation: (a) how much has been allocated to the program; and (b) how much has been spent through the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 2425--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to Government of Canada delegations to the United Nations in New York or Geneva, broken down by department and fiscal quarter since November 4, 2015: (a) what was the number of individuals in and accompanying each delegation, including (i) ministers and parliamentary secretaries, (ii) exempt staff, (iii) public servants, and (iv) guests; (b) what was the total cost for each category of attendee outlined in (a); and (c) in the case of guests, what was the rationale for their invitation to join or accompany the delegation for each case?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

The Environment

    The House resumed from May 16 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.
    Madam Speaker, if we are now talking about the climate emergency we are currently facing, it is because, year after year, every time the alarm sounded, Canada hit the snooze button. Ottawa has known for decades that, without a transition to green energy, we were heading towards a wall. We are just about there.
    I say “we” because Quebec can try all it wants, but as long as Ottawa keeps on polluting, the global result will be the same. The planet is warming and the climate is destabilizing.
    A few weeks ago, the NDP wanted to get one up on the Liberals with a motion on the climate emergency. Now the Liberals want to get one up on the Conservatives with a motion on the climate emergency. While they try to outdo one another, no one is really doing anything to address the issue, even though we have known about it for years. That is how climate destabilization has turned into a climate emergency.
    Let's go back in time a bit. On December 19, 2002, Canada ratified the Kyoto protocol on climate change. That was almost a generation ago. A fine motion was moved in the House and eloquent speeches were made on the urgent need to act, similar to what we are seeing today, but then, that was it.
    David Anderson was environment minister at the time in Jean Chrétien's government. He was tasked with developing a plan to meet the Kyoto targets, but it was a huge failure. Emissions rose by 20% instead of decreasing by 6%.
    Mr. Anderson gave a long interview in February 2007, after he quit politics, to explain his failure. What he had to say now sounds like a warning. While he was minister, everyone claimed to want to combat climate change, but everything fell apart when it came time for real action.
    There is good reason to take action when a country is the largest consumer of energy per capita and the second-largest GHG emitter per capita, but there is also a lot of resistance. This means that as soon as he proposed something, someone would be unhappy and the measure would be stalled.
    Sure, some business somewhere may have to make changes if the government takes action. This was the case with the Liberals, and also with the NDP, which was afraid of squabbles with the unions. I remind members that oil and auto workers were pushing hard against Kyoto. The Ontario auto sector was, in large part, made up of gas guzzlers like GMC trucks and Ford Crown Victorias.
    Each Canadian produces twice as much GHG emissions than a Quebecker. If it cost more to pollute and were more profitable to not pollute, Canadians would be in trouble and Quebeckers would hit the jackpot. That is why nothing ever gets done, despite the rhetoric.
    Let me again reference Mr. Anderson, the former minister. When he was listing all the problems, he said that the only leader whose support of Kyoto never wavered was the Bloc Québécois leader. That was true at the time, and it is even more true today. Finding a policy that suits Quebec without hurting western Canada is impossible.
    As a result, any pan-Canadian party that aspires to govern has to cater to both sides. Having a coherent policy becomes impossible. It cannot bring forward sound policy, because it would favour Quebec too much. That is why we are currently in a full-blown climate crisis. That is why the Bloc Québécois had to sign the citizens' universal declaration of climate emergency. The Bloc was the first party in the Parliament of Canada to do so. It remains to be seen as to whether we will remain the only party to do so, for the same reasons that have been motivating the same Canadian parties to continue to accept the same compromises for decades.
    As I said earlier, there have been quite a few motions. The NDP moved one to try to corner the Liberals on the climate emergency, and the Liberals moved one to try to corner the Conservatives. However, when it comes time to make a personal commitment, no federal leader, apart from Yves-François Blanchet, has acknowledged the urgent need to sign the citizens' universal declaration of climate emergency. No federal leader, apart from Yves-François Blanchet, has acknowledged the urgent need to support the massive citizen engagement around this issue. No one else has acknowledged the urgent need to support the 365 municipalities that have signed the citizens' universal declaration of climate emergency and that already have an action plan. Also, on May 14, 2019, the organizers of the declaration wrote to the Minister of Environment asking her to table the declaration in question in the House.

  (1605)  

    They wrote that it is time to walk the talk. We are still waiting. It seems the Liberals are struggling with the kind of frictions one should come to expect when attempting at all costs to keep Quebec within a dysfunctional federation that does not serve our interests.
    We agree with every part of the motion we are debating today. We know that climate change is a real crisis that impacts the environment, biodiversity and even human health. That is undeniable. However, we also know that while they were coming to this conclusion, the Liberals were also green-lighting nearly $20 billion in investments in fossil fuels. Furthermore, we know that the Liberals are following the same plan as the Conservatives, who sometimes think they are living in the age of the dinosaurs.
    The targets use 2005 as the base year, whereas Quebec and the rest of the world use 1990. Only the “ROC”, meaning the rest of Canada, and the United States use 2005. This practice hides 15 years of free pollution for oil companies.
    We also know that, if current trends continue, these “Liberal-Conservative” targets will not be reached. That is not the way to handle a real crisis. The Prime Minister is fiddling while the world burns.
    We know that we feel the effects of climate change. Just ask the thousands of Quebeckers who still cannot return home because of the flooding. The cities and towns of Quebec need $4 billion to deal with climate change. Instead of giving them $4 billion, Ottawa spent $4.5 billion buying the Trans Mountain pipeline in western Canada.
    We know that climate change is having an impact on coastal communities. Shoreline erosion is a serious problem in Quebec. The shores of the Magdalen Islands are disappearing into the Gulf of St. Lawrence at a rate of 60 centimetres a year. Highways 138 and 132 are under constant pressure from the changing climate. In Montérégie, people are losing their seawall and fear that their homes will end up in the water. When the government talks about the coasts it does not mention erosion. It talks about a coast-to-coast pipeline to export even more oil from the oil sands.
    Lastly, we know that the goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to 1.5°C. In Paris they said we need to limit warming to 2°C, but ideally to 1.5°C. Now people are saying we must not exceed 1.5°C and we have already reached 1.1°C. We also know that Canada is getting further and further away from these targets instead of getting closer. If the world followed Canada's lead, global warming would reach 3°C by the end of the century, a threshold that Climate Transparency calls catastrophic.
    Making a commitment to protect the environment is about more than voting in favour of a motion to ease our conscience. We need to firmly believe that everyone has the right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment. The fight against climate change is the Liberal government's biggest broken promise. I was in Paris in 2015, and I clearly remember that historic agreement. I saw the government make promises to the entire world. I felt as though I was participating in a historic event. Cities, federated states, scientists, banks, NGOs, businesses and others were all there. Everyone was there and they all sincerely believed that something had changed. Denial was no longer an option. I heard the Minister of Environment say that we needed to stop talking and start taking action.
    The Paris Agreement was supposed to be a beginning, not an end. However, there is a good chance that nothing will come of it here because Canada does not have the courage to turn that commitment into an bold, ambitious, radical plan, rather than just a simple motion to keep Parliament talking. Quebeckers will not be fooled.

  (1610)  

    Madam Speaker, the Liberal motion that we are debating today says that Canada needs to make deeper reductions in line with the Paris Agreement's objective of holding global warming below 2°C and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5°C.
    Let us compare that to the motion that was moved by the NDP a few days earlier. In parts (f) and (g), we said that we should not proceed with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and immediately eliminate all federal fossil fuel subsidies, including through Export Development Canada funding.
    Does my colleague not find that the measures proposed in the NDP motion are much more concrete and would help us get closer to meeting the Paris targets much more quickly?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for that reminder about the NDP motion, which we supported, just as we support the Liberal motion.
    The problem is acting on those motions. In Canada, it is impossible to do anything that is in the interest of both Quebec, which has clean hydro, and the West. In debate, we have seen and heard the Conservatives and the Liberals lob that one back and forth, to no end. It is impossible. As Mr. Anderson, the former Liberal environment minister, concluded, whenever it is time to take action, nothing gets done.
    The NDP motion was a good one, with constructive, concrete measures, but it is still clear to us that nothing can actually get done.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I disagree with the member opposite when she talks about Quebec versus Canada and the interests involved.
    If we look at the issue of the environment, what we had prior to this administration was a bit of a patchwork. Some provinces, like the Province of Quebec, were very progressively dealing with the price on pollution. Other provinces had nothing in place.
    Through a strong national government with good leadership on the environment, we are now going to have a nation where there is a price on pollution. To me, that is a good thing. It is good for Quebec, as it is for Manitoba, as it is for British Columbia.
    Would the member not agree that having a strong national government is healthier for the environment, especially when there is the understanding that many of these environmental issues do not recognize provincial boundaries and that we need to see that strong national leadership? That is what we have witnessed here in Canada in the last three years.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question, which gives me a chance to talk about the Conservatives' infamous targets, the ones the Liberals copied. The targets use 2005 as the base year, whereas Quebec and all the other countries are using 1990 as the base year. By opting for the Conservatives' targets, they are basically ignoring 15 years of pollution, especially oil companies' emissions.
    In other words, no, I do not think a national government is useful, if all it does is adopt the same targets and fail to meet even those—and all signs point to it not meeting those targets.

  (1615)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand in the House today to talk about this motion. It gives me an opportunity to highlight some of the discrepancies in some of the Liberal policies when it comes to talking about issues and important crises around the world, and certainly in Canada, and to highlight the failures of the Liberals becoming very much apparent when it comes to addressing these crises, instead of just talking about them.
    As we discuss this motion that was brought forward last week, and then talk about the amendments put forward by my colleague, the member of Parliament for Abbotsford, it really highlights some of the differences we are trying to put forward. When I talk to Canadians, and certainly constituents in my riding of Foothills, they understand that climate change is an issue. It is something that we all agree we need to do our best to address. However, we also need to look at this as a global problem and not put the onus only on Canadians. The solution certainly is not just simply taxing Canadians, that is, coming up with a tax solution rather than an environmental and climate solution.
    The amendment put forward by my colleague from Abbotsford and seconded by my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill reads:
the House recognize that:
(a) climate change is a real and urgent global problem requiring real global solutions, and that Canada can and must take a leadership role in developing those global solutions;
    It is very important to recognize that this is a global issue, and we must look at it in that context. The amendment continues:
(b) human activity has an impact on climate change, and its effects impact communities across the country and the world;
(c) Canada and the world must take urgent action to mitigate global climate change and combat its impacts on the environment;
(d) the government’s own “Clean Canada” report shows the government is falling short of the Paris targets by 79 million tonnes;
and, therefore, as an alternative to its current proposal to tackle climate change involving a non-binding declaration, the House call upon the government to produce a real climate change plan that will enable Canada to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions according to the targets of the Paris agreement.
    Something I really want to focus on in my intervention today is the difference between talking about something and taking definitive action to resolve a problem. What we see in this motion brought forward by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, once again, is nothing more than an empty gesture and more rhetoric by the Liberal government, which is very good at window dressing, virtue signalling and talking about the problem but very ineffective and falling short when it comes to governing and doing the heavy lifting needed to try to resolve these issues.
    When we look at this motion, we see that the Liberal government is defying logic when it says that imposing a carbon tax on Canadians will somehow resolve our GHG and global emissions problems. I have brought this up many times as I have heard the rhetoric of my Liberal colleagues become more and more heated over the last couple of months. I think that was highlighted by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change when she said that if she stuck to her talking points and said it loudly enough, people would really buy this.
    We keep hearing about climate change and forest fires, floods and these types of things. I grew up in the community of High River, which had a devastating flood in 2013. However, that community has had many floods over my lifetime, as well as floods that go back generations. I find it a bit disingenuous to go back to my constituents and tell them that if they just pay a carbon tax, they will never have to worry about flooding again. That is a bit of a reach and far-fetched, but it is exactly the argument the Liberal government is putting forward. The government is saying that if people pay a carbon tax, they will somehow get the money back, which I do not think any Canadian believes, and that they are never going to have any of these natural weather phenomena. I do not think that is a fair argument.
    The government is trying to sell Canadians a bill of goods. We have talked about these issues for quite some time. The government has to start being honest and doing the heavy lifting when it comes to addressing our environmental goals.

  (1620)  

    Instead of the government imposing a carbon tax on Canadians, why do we not go out of our way to embrace the technological advancements and innovation that we have across Canada and create new technologies and innovation that will help the Canadian economy while also addressing environmental goals not just here in Canada but around the world? This is something we absolutely have to do.
    As we have seen over the last several weeks through polling and Canadians talking about this, they are sick and tired of the political posturing. They do not want to hear the rhetoric of impending doom. They want to talk about real solutions and real ideas when it comes to addressing climate change and measurable reductions in our emissions.
    This motion highlights the Liberal approach to just about anything when it comes to government. When a crisis arises, the Liberal response is always to tax it or talk about it, but not actually to do anything about it. They want to make sure they get a photo op. They want to make sure they get out in the community and fill one sandbag and carry on, but not do anything to address the situation.
    Another great example this week, which also came up in question period, is the sudden issue of obesity. What is the solution? The Liberal solution is a sugary drink tax. Whenever there seems to be a problem, the Liberal government, for whatever reason, thinks the solution is to tax it and the problem will go away: a carbon tax; a sugary drink tax; a mortgage tax, which is supposed to address the housing crisis. It just seems to be an ongoing broken record that does not resolve the problem. The Liberals have to get their hands dirty. They have to come up with solutions. They have to come up with ideas.
    There is no question about that if we compare it with a couple of other issues that we have seen in the energy sector and agriculture. I want to compare the Liberal response to these issues.
    When the Liberal government feels there is an issue with climate change, it puts out this flowery motion, but when there is an issue in our energy sector, what has it done? Can anyone give me an example of a definitive action the government has taken to try to resolve this? Almost 200,000 people have lost their jobs in the energy sector, and I do not recall the Liberal government putting forward a motion saying it is a national emergency. When $80 billion in capital investment leaves Canada to go to other jurisdictions, I do not recall a motion calling it a national emergency, let alone the government taking any action to address the issue.
    I toured some facilities last week, including a lodge of the Building Trades of Alberta, which cover boilermakers and pipefitters as well. Seventy per cent of its members are out of work. I do not recall that being a national crisis, but it is, and we need to have definitive action to address it, action such as the Leader of the Opposition has talked about, a national energy corridor. This would be a definitive solution toward addressing what is a national emergency. Embracing our energy sector would very likely address the issue we are talking about today, our environment and our global greenhouse gas emissions.
     Instead of putting up every obstacle possible, like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 do, blocking the development and export of Canadian energy or talking about phasing out Canada's natural resource sector, just imagine we were exporting our innovation and our technology as well as our natural resources that are developed under the highest standards of environmental and human rights in the entire world. Imagine we were exporting those initiatives to countries around the world that are not developing their resources to the same Canadian standard. We would be addressing our global GHG emission targets while at the same time creating good quality middle-class jobs right here in Canada.
    The world needs more Canada. The world needs more Canadian energy. The world needs more of the innovation and technology that is developed right here in this country, such as in situ mining, horizontal drilling, carbon capture and storage. These are incredible technologies and innovations that have been developed right here in Canada and that we could be exporting and sharing with other countries around the world, allowing us to definitively meet the targets and the goals that we have set for ourselves when it comes to our global emissions.

  (1625)  

    The current government is doing none of those things. It is listening to a very small group of environmental activists and foreign actors and doing everything it can to try to shut down our energy sector. If we really looked at it, that sector is likely one of the main potential solutions to addressing the problem this motion is allegedly talking about. Imagine if we were able to develop an energy corridor that would make Canada energy self-sufficient by 2030 and displace the foreign oil that is being shipped thousands of miles to Canada from other countries like Venezuela, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. We could develop our own resources right here at home with world-class standards, and cut our reliance on those other sources. That would address our global GHG emission targets.
    Another example we talked about is our canola crisis. I would say that our producers in western Canada, in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, are certainly facing a crisis. What is the Liberal solution to this crisis? The Liberals are keeping their heads down and hoping it will resolve itself. We asked the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of International Trade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take some very strong action to try to address this with our colleagues from China. Thus far, there has been nothing.
    The one initiative the Liberals tried was the advance payments program. Late last week, when approached by producers who said they had filled out the applications and put the paperwork in but could not get the funds, the response from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was that it could be several months before those payments are rolled out the door. Several months? Our farmers are having to pay their input costs right now. When they harvest in the fall, they are going to have a significant amount of canola, 27 million tonnes, with nowhere to go. They do not have storage. Many producers I have spoken with were going to use that advance payments program as an opportunity to buy additional storage bins. Now they cannot even do that. Once again, we asked the minister for another solution, such as filing a complaint with the WTO against China regarding canola. The response was that the government does not think now is the right time. When is the right time? Is it when our farmers are bankrupt and insolvent, or when they harvest in the fall and have nowhere to put their canola because they have not been able to sell last year's crop?
    Once again, this goes to show that when there is a real crisis, the Liberal solution to everything is to talk about it, get that photo op and bring forward a motion in the House. The Liberals had three and a half years to try to do something about the environment and our emissions. Clearly, they have not done anything. They are going to miss their own Paris targets by 79 million tonnes. However, at the very last minute they are going to try to do something. It has been the same with our energy sector, and certainly when it comes to agriculture. How can we compare the two? On the canola issue, we are talking about 43,000 producers and 120,000 jobs across Canada relying on that industry. Not addressing the canola issue has expanded the problem. Now, 95% of our soybeans that were previously exported to China are no longer being exported to China, which is one of our critical markets. We have two pork processors that have had their export permits revoked. Certainly, we have to wonder what is next. Is it going to be B.C. fruit, beef or seafood? What is the next target?
    Our producers are wondering what qualifies as a crisis. We cannot send our canola and soybeans to China. We cannot send our pulses and lentils to India. We cannot send our wheat to Italy. We cannot send our barley to Saudi Arabia. Vietnam is also blocking Canadian commodities. As a producer, that is very thin pickings, yet I have not seen a motion by the Liberal government saying it is an emergency. In fact, Conservative members got up in the House eight times asking for an emergency debate on the canola crisis, and eight times the Liberals said no.

  (1630)  

    Conservative members of the official opposition have recognized this as a crisis and put forward definitive solutions or potential solutions to try to address this: name an ambassador to China, file a WTO complaint on the canola issue and withdraw the funding of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. These are all things that Liberals have chosen not to do.
    We have even asked that the government, at the very least, send a high-level delegation to China to start addressing this issue. Again, the government has not even done that. If we were able to file a WTO challenge, it would ensure that the science question, which the Liberals continue to say this is all about, would be addressed in a formal process. Both parties would be forced to find a mutually agreed-upon solution. During the consultation phase, there would be consultation between the parties, adjudication by different panels, and there would be an implementation of a ruling. We would have this resolved. However, so far, nothing.
    When producers are asked, they say they do not want aid; they want trade. Having the advance payment program is a solution to the problem: try to throw some money at it and hopefully it resolves itself. That would allow our producers to go further in debt. However, they will not get out of debt if they do not have a market to sell their product in next fall.
    The comment from the ambassador to China last week was that the relationship between Canada and China is at rock bottom; it is frozen. That certainly does not give our producers and constituents any encouragement that this issue will be resolved any time soon.
    I know that this is not necessarily talking about climate and environment, but I wanted to highlight the similarities to what we are talking about here, the similarities between the various issues that have come up during the Liberal mandate over the last three and a half years. Whenever there is a crisis or an emergency, their solution is to put something in the window to try to show Canadians they are working to resolve the problem.
     However, when it comes to actual governance, to putting forward legislation and making the tough decisions to ensure these issues are resolved, the Liberals have failed. They have failed our energy workers, and they have certainly failed our agriculture producers. They are failing when it comes to our emissions goals and our targets for our environment.
    What Canadians are looking for is a definitive solution to these problems. That is exactly what our leader, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, the Leader of the Opposition is going to be offering Canadians. In the next couple of weeks, we are going to be unveiling our own environment policy. It is going to be the most comprehensive environment policy ever tabled by an opposition party in the House of Commons.
    I am very proud of the program we are going to be putting forward. We are going to be standing with Canadians, ensuring that we create solid jobs here in Canada, without putting the burden of that on Canadians or small businesses. We are going to ensure that we use our technology and innovation to address the global issue of climate change and emissions.
    I hope that the members of this House will take a very hard look at the amendment to this motion that we have put forward, which talks about this issue as a global problem, not one that is on the backs of Canadians. It certainly puts forward definitive actions to try to address and maintain our goals when it comes to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

  (1635)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for his contributions. I will confess that a lot of people are waiting with bated breath for this apparent plan that has been 380 days in the making. We do not have a lot of confidence in that. The confidence is fuelled by the dispelling of a lot of myths that are actually perpetuated by the members on the other side.
     I do not think it is befitting of him as a parliamentarian, or his caucus, when people are not clear and accurate about the fact that there is a climate action rebate incentive, about the fact that the plan is an entirely revenue neutral plan. It is not a tax, despite the fact that the opposition calls it that. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal indicated that because it is revenue neutral, it is actually a regulatory charge.
    I will address something that the member raised in his comments, because he talked at length, and rightfully so, about the importance of job protection. What I will say is that maybe we can find common ground on this. Climate change is not just a national problem, it is an international one. It requires national and international solutions. Things like the liquified natural gas facility at Kitimat, which runs through Alberta and terminates in Kitimat, B.C., is a good solution, because it helps Asian countries get off dirty coal and it creates jobs in this country.
    Would the member opposite agree?
    Madam Speaker, I am going to address my colleague's first comment that we are being disingenuous when we are not saying this carbon tax is revenue neutral.
    I will talk about just one farmer in my riding, who showed me his energy bill from the last year. We have a carbon tax in Alberta. His energy bill was $23,000 from the carbon tax alone. The Liberal government is offering Canadian families in some of the provinces around $300. That is significantly short of the $23,000 he is paying in a carbon tax. Therefore, I find it to be very disingenuous that this member can get up and say that this is going to be revenue neutral. No Canadian believes that they are going to be paying a carbon tax and, thank goodness, they will be getting it all back. What is the point of a carbon tax if the government is going to give it all back?
    To my colleague's other question, those opportunities that we have should be embraced. Northern gateway, Trans Mountain, an energy corridor across Canada are the opportunities that a Conservative policy will embrace to ensure we are addressing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions as a global issue.
    Madam Speaker, my riding is predominantly a rural riding, so when my colleague gives accounts that he has heard from farmers in his riding, it is exactly the way he says it. I have seen those same bills. For anyone who is drying grain and carrying on with the farm practices we have, the cost is huge. When I think back 35 years ago when I was farming, our practices have changed. We have brought forward modern agricultural practices that are much better for our environment than they ever used to be. Farmers have been told and shown how modern practices can make a difference in their yields, and it has, so farmers have done that.
    What my colleague said in his speech is a very good insight that I would encourage the Liberals to listen to. Regarding the cash advance that the Liberals have talked about so much and have yet to get out to the farmers, my colleague nailed it on the head when he said that money is paid back when crops are taken in and sold in the fall. Then he pointed out that we do not have that market back. What happens if our canola is not sold in the fall? Now the Liberals are going to pile onto many of our farmers a significant problem as far as credit rating and other things go.
    I know my colleague is very in touch with the rural and agricultural sector. Could he enlarge a bit on that, and also on his thoughts on what farmers have done already to help our climate and environmental program?

  (1640)  

    For the members who want to ask questions, if they are asking for a response, I would ask them to try to keep their preamble short enough to get to the question.
    The hon. member for Foothills.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague from Battle River—Crowfoot knows this industry as well as anyone, and he is exactly right.
    A recent study by CropLife showed that Canadian agriculture has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by close to 10 million tonnes, by doing things like zero tilling, getting away from summer fallow, and 200-million litres less in diesel fuel. These are things that the Canadian agriculture sector has done on its own. Our farmers are the best stewards of our land, and they have improved their own carbon footprint substantially. They have not done this by pressure from the government. They have done this because they love the land and this is something they truly believe in. They grow more food on less land with a smaller carbon footprint, and if anything, they should be getting credit for that, not punished for it through a carbon tax.
    My colleague mentioned the advance payment program. That is not a grant. That is a loan that borrowers have to pay back within 18 months. How are they going to pay that back if they cannot sell the commodity that the Liberal government's failed foreign policies have cost them?
    Madam Speaker, I too want to pick up on the point that at the end of the day, we have within this chamber and among countries around the world, substantial support for the idea of a price on pollution. The Conservative Party in the House is the only political party that does not believe there is a need for a price on pollution. We see other countries around the world that have adopted a price on pollution as one of the ways in which we can have a significant positive impact on our world and our environment, yet the Conservative Party has gone out of its way to spread misinformation. A majority of the constituents I represent will be financially better off as a direct result of a price on pollution. That is something that comes from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, not from the Liberals, but from an independent office.
    Would it be that member's intent or the Conservative Party's intent to take away that aspect of the rebate?
    Madam Speaker, we would not take away the rebate, we would repeal the carbon tax, so there would be no reason for a rebate. The member says that other countries around the world support the carbon tax, but other countries such as Australia and France have removed their carbon tax. It is not revenue neutral, as British Columbia has proven, which is the one that the Liberals like to tout as the proof. It is not revenue-neutral.
     This is the diametrical difference between the Liberals and Conservatives. Liberals are likely to think that academics support the carbon tax. They should be talking to real Canadians on the ground, the vast majority of whom do not support a carbon tax. They understand that taxing them will not resolve this problem, especially when the burden is on small businesses, farmers and manufacturers who do not get a carbon tax rebate.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we should remember why we are studying a motion concerning the climate emergency today. Before the government moved this motion, the NDP moved a motion to declare a climate emergency and to take action.
    First, we must stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry. Next, we must stop purchases related to Trans Mountain. Finally, we must reconsider the decision to buy this pipeline. That is what we need to do with respect to the climate emergency.
    The motion on the climate emergency before us today does not propose any measures. The Liberals are actually proposing to adopt the same measures and the same 2030 targets that Stephen Harper's government did.
    I just wanted to mention that this debate on climate emergency is an NDP initiative.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is not much of a question, but I will agree with my NDP colleague that the Liberals should never have bought the Trans Mountain pipeline. It was a waste of $4.5 billion in Canadian taxpayers' money. They are now stuck with it, and it may or may not ever get built.
    The New Democratic Party's solution is to not support any fossil fuel development. Every study in the world says that the demand for fossil fuel is going up over the next 50 to 100 years.
    The oil and gas is coming from somewhere, and if we just shut down our industry, which the Liberals and the NDP would like to happen, it is going to come from other sources, such as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, that are using technology and natural resource development that is nowhere near the environmental and human rights standards here in Canada. We do it better than anyone else in the world, so we should be energy self-sufficient by 2030. That will address our global GHG targets.

  (1645)  

[Translation]

    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 Drummond, Natural Resources; the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona, Government Contracts.

[English]

    I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis.
    I applaud the minister for bringing forward the motion. I and my constituents know that climate change and its effect on the environment is the most pressing issue facing our planet, as do the courts of the country. About three weeks ago, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal called it an “existential threat”.
    This motion declares, rightfully, that Canada is in a national climate emergency and it should be supported in a non-partisan manner by every member of the chamber.
    We know that climate change is real and that it is a product of human activity. We understand the urgency of the situation, an urgency that was underscored by the IPCC report released in October 2018, which prompted an emergency debate in this chamber. We know from that report that we have 11 years to limit a climate change catastrophe. A recent report from officials within the Government of Canada at Environment and Climate Change Canada tells us that Canada is actually warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, and I will return to this point later. Therefore, urgent change is needed to limit the risk of extreme weather events, some of which we have already begun to see happen at home and around the world, and the repercussions that follow them.
    These repercussions are many. They can range from extreme poverty to an impact on the physical health of Canadians to even the movement of people with respect to fuelling a migrant crisis. The motion before the House is about that. It is about addressing these situations, and this needs to be done as a matter of urgency.
    The motion also acknowledges the fact that climate change especially impacts coastal, northern and indigenous communities. These groups are often the first to experience the effects of climate change because of the heavy reliance on the lands they live on in order to sustain themselves. Whether it is the alteration of animal migration routes, the dwindling numbers of certain species of animals in provinces like B.C., Alberta and the territories, such as moose or caribou, or the degradation of habitat in coastal communities leading to marine ecosystems disappearing, these communities on the front line of climate change feel the brunt of its devastating effects.
    Since 2015, our government has consistently invested in measures that will shore up protections against climate change. We have invested $500 million in the Canada nature fund, which is available to the provinces, territories, not-for-profits, corporate and other partners, that allow us to secure private lands, support environmental species protection efforts and help build indigenous capacity to conserve land and species.
     We have invested $1.5 billion in the oceans protections plan, the largest of its kind in the world, helping to restore marine ecosystems and creating innovative cleanup methods. As well, we have made a $1.4-billion investment in the low-carbon economy leadership fund which will support clean growth and reduce greenhouse gases.
     We are putting this money on the table and co-operating with provinces that want to co-operate. We have made that funding available to municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals and organizations even where provincial governments do not want to co-operate with the low carbon economy leadership fund initiative. I am speaking specifically about the province I represent in the chamber. The government of Doug Ford has clearly stepped out of the battle against climate change, which I will address later on in my comments.
    In last year's budget, we also invested $1.3 billion for land conservation, the largest such investment in Canadian history, which will more than double the amount of protected areas in the country.
     There are $20 million to support a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
     Also, Bill C-69 is geared at addressing the environmental assessment system and ensuring that consultation with indigenous communities is at the forefront, as well as protecting our marine species and waterways when we are considering energy projects.
    However, members on this side of the aisle are under no illusions, and I will be crystal clear on this. We know that despite the initiatives I have mentioned, despite the real progress we have made, there is still much more to be done to ensure a cleaner future for our children and our grandchildren. The motion recognizes this.
     The motion talks about working harder to meet the emission targets under the Paris climate agreement. It also talks about making even deeper reductions in line with the effort to keep global warming below 1.5°C. I have heard about this in my riding, in Toronto, in Ontario and throughout the country in the travel I have undertaken for my parliamentary duties.

  (1650)  

    I have heard it in my riding from entities such as Green 13 and the Greenest City. I have heard that from significant stakeholders like environmental defence and the leadership of Keith Brooks. I have heard that from people like Catherine Abreu at Climate Action Network. They are saying that the writing is on the wall and we need more ambition. This motion addresses the need for more ambition.
    The single most important step is the economic step that was raised in the previous contribution to this debate about putting a price on pollution. Therefore, let me say a few things about the price on pollution.
    First, this was initiated by Stéphane Dion when he was the leader of the Liberal Party back in 2008. Then it was vilified as a green shift and a completely abhorrent policy by then leader Stephen Harper. That was inaccurate then and it remains inaccurate now. Unfortunately, the vilification continues with inaccuracies, untruths and outright falsehoods being propagated about this policy. Let us list them, because they are numerous.
    First, we are working on a policy that came into place in January against businesses. The plan does include businesses. This is falsehood number one which has been perpetrated by the side opposite.
    Second, it is a very basic concept that pollution should not be free. When it is free, we have more of it. When it is not free, we have less of it. The logic is that simple. Basically, elementary kids understand it. They are the kids who are leaving schools on Fridays for Future because they are trying to convince adults, some of whom are in this chamber, about that very simple logic.
    Another important aspect is that it has somehow been labelled as a tax. I am trying not to be a constitutional lawyer about this, but allow me one point here. A tax is something collected that goes to general revenue. It is money collected through something like a GST that can be spent on streetcars in Toronto or bridges in Halifax. It is spent as the government of the day sees fit.
     A regulatory charge is revenue neutral. One collects money, attributes it and spends all of it on one particular program. That is exactly what this is. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal found exactly that. This is a revenue neutral regulatory charge. I am stupefied by the inability of the members opposite to grasp this, because they voted on this issue and it is entrenched in the bill. They did not support it, but hopefully they would have read it.
    Fourth is that no one is getting anything back. That is just false on its face. There is something called a climate action rebate incentive that is being returned to people. It is $307 for a family of four in Ontario. It is larger in places that are more rural. In fact, there is even a rural top-up. Money is going back into people's pockets. It is not being taken from them. Eighty per cent of people in the country will be better off because of this process. It is a process that has been shown to work. Where has it been shown to work? Places like British Columbia have had this process in place for the longest amount of time.
    This is one that I absolutely adore, that we do not have the jurisdiction to act. Again, let us take it back to that grade three elementary logic. Air pollution and water pollution traverse provincial borders. Ergo, the national government has jurisdiction to act. That is exactly what we are doing. That is exactly what the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal validated.
    What I find most troubling is that underpinning all of this is some sort of skewed logic. When one goes to the climate change conference, which I did in Poland last year, one sees the United Nations literally begging the nation states of the world to take action on what is not just a national problem; it is an international problem. Nevertheless people like Jason Kenney, Scott Moe, Brian Pallister and Doug Ford are saying that the Government of Canada does not have the jurisdiction to act. That is false on its face. It has been shown to be false in law. It is also fallacious logic and it is unbecoming of people in the chamber to perpetuate it.
    All of this information is readily available to discerning people. We try not to patronize, but try to elevate the level of debate, not only for the people in the chamber but for Canadians who can grasp these issues.
     Some of those Canadians are stakeholders in my riding. I want to outline some of the important advocacy they have done, like Cycle Toronto that advocates for active transport. We have delivered that with more bike share stations. There are people in organizations like Roncy Reduces in my riding. It talks about addressing the need for plastics by curbing the demand for plastics and by encouraging people to take things like Tupperware into stores in Roncesvalles Village so they are not using styrofoam containers. That is leadership and it starts at the grassroots level. It is organizations like Roncy Reduces. It is organizations like Cycle Toronto. Organizations like Green 13, Green Parkdale and the Greenest City are pushing this forward. They are educating me. They are educating other parliamentarians. They are educating all of us, of all ages to get tough with this issue. It is an existential threat. We need to call it an emergency because that is what it is.

  (1655)  

    Madam Speaker, I have a procedural question for my friend. He is very much into making arguments about technical details. He knows we are in the House having a debate about a motion that would make no legislative change whatsoever and responds to a political emergency the government faces, which is that it saw the Green Party win a by-election.
    Meanwhile, while the government is proposing a non-binding motion, with no legislative impact whatsoever, as opposed to proposing legislation that could address the issues it says it is concerned about, it is increasing taxes on everyday Canadians as part of its environmental plan, while giving subsidies to other Canadians who are supposedly doing very well in the name of the environment.
    I have a two-part question.
    First, why is the government not proposing legislation to respond to this issue as opposed to feeling the need to spend all this House time on a motion?
     Second, why is it always everyday Canadians who have to pay more and well-connected and already successful businesses that pay less as a result of the environment? Why can it not be the other way around?
    Madam Speaker, there are four points to which I will respond.
    First, it is not a crisis when somebody from the Green Party gets elected. It shows the political culture in the country is maturing to the point where everyday Canadians are recognizing what the Green Party has known for a long time.
    Second, it is fallacious to say that we are increasing taxes. The member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is a man of considerable intellect, and we know that by the contributions he makes in the chamber. This, again, is a revenue neutral regulatory charge; it is not a tax. He should read the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision.
    With respect to enacting legislation, we have already done that. That is the legislation I urge him to read. It stipulates that the matter is revenue neutral.
    The fact that businesses are somehow getting off from their responsibility is fallacious on its face. It is called the output based pricing system. It went into effect four months prior to the individual charges being levied on fuel. It compels polluters to reduce their pollution on pain of financial punishment. Therefore, the levers for businesses that are large polluters are already in this package.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the first three points in the motion we are debating today essentially say, “Oh, my God, we need to do something.” The fourth point also says we need to do something, but what? There are absolutely no specifics. There are no tangible measures to meet objectives, nor is there a date. There is nothing. What is the point of a motion that says absolutely nothing, other than, “Oh, my God, we need to do something”? We moved another motion that set objectives and that was much more concrete.
    Did the Liberals feel left out when the NDP moved a motion, so they decided they should say something as well?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question.
    As I pointed out in my speech, we have already invested in land conservation and green energy.
    What I have not yet said is that we have also invested $20 million in public transit and $20 million in green infrastructure. We are making investments, we are putting a price on pollution and we are proposing this important motion. It means something to use a word like “emergency” in a motion.

[English]

    Emergency is used to describe what is actually happening to the country and the planet. That is why the motion is complementary to all the other initiatives but equally important, because of the symbolic use of that language to emphasize the point that needs to be made in the chamber.
    Madam Speaker, during my colleague's speech today, we heard many times the little catchphrase “price on pollution”, and many of his colleagues are using this phrase over and over again.
    How much was the price of pollution for the eight billion litres of raw sewage that was dumped in the St. Lawrence River in November of 2015, or the 160 million litres of raw sewage that went in from the city of Longueuil or for the 46 million litres of raw sewage that Quebec City released into the St. Lawrence River in February of 2018? I do not recall any price on pollution for those misdemeanours. Could my colleague enlighten us on that?

  (1700)  

    Madam Speaker, the member for Kitchener—Conestoga raises a very important point. No one in this chamber would stand and defend the sewage dumping that occurred in those three locations. That is a tragedy for the marine ecosystem and for Canada at large.
     I would emphasize that we need to be more cognizant of those kinds of situations. I would also emphasize the investments we are making in green infrastructure, including sewage and waste water treatment facilities. That is a significant component of what we are doing as a government. It complements the work we are doing in the other 49 initiatives. However, it is critical to get that infrastructure in place to avoid those disasters he mentioned, and rightfully so.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to this very important motion.
    I think the motion has two objectives. First, it will continue to not only raise awareness in the country but also in the House regarding the need to act in a serious manner on the issue of climate change, as there is a need for constantly evolving measures to address this crisis. Second, it is an opportunity for the government to get the support of the other parties in the House for strong action now, and even stronger action in the future, to address climate change.
    I am quite proud of our government's bold leadership on the climate file. We have introduced a price on carbon, namely through backstop legislation, and it is the first time a federal government in Canada has introduced a price on carbon. It is for those jurisdictions that have not already developed and implemented mechanisms to make carbon pollution no longer free.
    It is important to note that the opposition is building a narrative around the price on pollution and our environmental plan, which involves more than just a price on pollution, as I will talk about in a little while. The opposition is feeding the notion that somehow there is no public support for this kind of measure. However, our policy came out of a platform commitment, and Canadians voted to give our government the mandate to put a price on carbon pollution.
    Environmentalists have said to me that it is all fine and good to put a price on carbon pollution but that we need to do more. In fact, we are doing more. We are doing much more than implementing a single policy measure.
    That is why I think the motion is important. It provides an opportunity to elaborate further on all the measures our government has implemented since coming to power to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.
    We have introduced a suite of measures. As a matter of fact, we have become world leaders in the battle against climate change. Canada's foremost resource economist, Mark Jaccard, has said, “Canada is innovating a model of growing interest to policy-makers in developed and developing countries.” He mentioned policies earlier in his article, which I will describe in a moment, and to that end he says, “In just four years, these and other policies have transformed Canada from a global pariah under the Harper government to a model for climate action under [the current Prime Minister's government].”
    We are becoming a world leader. Countries are talking about and being influenced by the measures we are implementing.
    What are some of the measures we have implemented other than a price on carbon?
    We founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance with the U.K. Now it involves a number of countries, all of which are working to eliminate coal production.
    We have also introduced regulations against carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. These are meant to eliminate the use of coal power generation in the next few years.
    We are currently working on regulations to reduce methane emissions from industries like the oil and gas industry. These regulations will be flexible enough that industries can work within them.
    We have also introduced the low-carbon fund, a fund of $2 billion, to invest in innovative approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    We will be introducing a clean fuel standard as well. It is essentially a system of tradeable credits that will induce fuel distributors and producers to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuels. It will even go on to incite the adoption of electric vehicles.

  (1705)  

    There will be benefits under this system to those fleets that adopt electric vehicles. This is another important measure that we have implemented. It goes beyond simply putting a price on carbon. It includes a whole suite of measures. In the latest budget we introduced an incentive for those who purchase zero-emission vehicles, including of course different types of hybrids.
     Global climate change is having its impact. There is flooding, as we have seen this spring. There is drought. There are forest fires. Meanwhile, the Conservatives twiddle their thumbs. They do not have a plan for addressing global climate change, which has very serious impacts like flooding and drought.
    Canadians have a right to be distrustful of the Conservative approach to climate change. The only measure that I can remember the Conservatives implementing in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions was the public transit tax credit. This was the showpiece of the Conservative climate change plan. The interesting thing about the public transit tax credit is that it was billed as a climate change measure, but in fact it was not. It was not a climate change measure and the government knew that, and I will tell the House how the government knew that.
    I remember that when we were in government before the Harper government came to power, I thought this idea was a rather interesting one. It had a lot of intuitive appeal. I remember sitting on the environment committee and asking witnesses from Finance Canada why we did not have a public transit tax credit. The representatives said it just does not work, that it does not incite a significant change in commuter behaviour. It does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a significant amount, yet it costs the public purse a lot of money. The cost of reducing one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions through a tax credit like that ends up being about $1,000 per tonne.
    Conservative members on the other side of the House are fighting what is essentially a $20 per tonne cost for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, yet they implemented something that cost $1,000 a tonne. It was not as advertised. It was not a climate change measure. It obviously had other objectives.
    The interesting thing about the Conservatives' opposition to a price on carbon is that there is an inherent contradiction in their position with the traditional Conservative adherence to the free market. There is a fundamental contradiction that leads to the incoherence of the Conservative Party's approach to climate change.
    The price on carbon works through the price system, and that is at the core of the free market system. That price signal will allocate resources towards one area or another, and that is exactly what a price on carbon is meant to do. Canadians need to know that there is a fundamental contradiction in the Conservatives' position. A price on carbon sends a price signal to the market. It changes consumer behaviour.
    There was an interesting quote in an article on the weekend by Andrew Coyne, who is no Liberal apologist I might add. He basically said as a result of the price on carbon, “the consumer, through the choices he makes in the marketplace, will be an effective agent, not only of his own interest, but of society's.” This is what happens when there is a price on carbon pollution.
    The last point I would like to make is that there must be a bit of division in the Conservative ranks, because we have had a price on carbon in Quebec for many years and I have not heard any Conservative member disagreeing with Quebec government policy on pricing carbon.

  (1710)  

    Madam Speaker, the member argued in his speech that a commitment to free markets should lead us to support all possible market mechanisms in the form of taxation. Of course, that is not the case. Supporting free markets does not oblige one to support market-based taxation measures. That is so elementary.
    The contradiction in the member's remarks that I would like to dwell on for a moment is that he said we cannot have tax incentives like the transit tax credit because they do not work and are too small and marginal, yet on the other hand, he said that imposing a tax that someone further to the left would say is far too little would make all the difference in terms of behaviour.
    If the member thinks that a tax will make a difference in behaviour, why does he not think a tax incentive will make a difference? The Conservatives' approach was based on tax incentives, and it worked and emissions went down.
    Madam Speaker, the member is actually wrong. The University of Ottawa did a study of the impact of the public transit tax credit and found that the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions was marginal and ended up costing the Canadian taxpayer, which the member purports all the time to be defending, $1,000 per tonne of greenhouse emissions reduced. The current price of carbon is about $20, going up to $50 by 2022. This is, of course, scandalous to the member, yet his government spent $1,000 per tonne to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an ineffective credit.
    This has been borne out by studies especially at the University of Ottawa. A price on carbon does work because the demand curve is downward sloping. This is economics 101. Prices and demand go in opposite directions. The track record in B.C. proves that through a price on carbon we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by quite an amount.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in Saint-Hyacinthe, young people who are well aware of the climate emergency organized demonstrations. I was with the 150,000 young people who marched in Montreal during the protest. I read the protest signs and talked with them. What these young people were saying is that the government needs to put words into action. They think that a government that believes in the climate emergency would not subsidize the fossil fuel industry or buy a pipeline.
    When the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food states in the environment guide she is putting out in her riding that the purchase of a pipeline is unavoidable, does she mean that the government is not capable of standing up to the pressure exerted by oil companies?
    Does my colleague not realize that, by taking to the streets in Montreal, these 150,000 young people are saying that the government's words are not consistent with its actions?
    Madam Speaker, young people are indeed taking charge of their future. They are sending an important message to us as legislators. The message is that we need to take action, and that is what our government has done.
    At the beginning of my speech, I read a whole list of measures that our government has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is important to take all of those measures into account. However, some of them are quite technical and the media does not talk enough about them.
    I think that this motion will draw attention to all the measures that the current government is taking to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is an urgent need for action, and we need to continue to fight against climate change. I am very pleased that young people are getting involved and that they have such a high level of awareness of this problem.

  (1715)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Souris—Moose Mountain.
    The motion in front of us today proposes to declare a climate emergency. I agree that there is a climate emergency. Just over two weeks ago, on May 11, something extraordinary happened on the planet that has not happened any time in the last 800,000 years. For the first time ever, the planet's daily baseline of carbon dioxide went over 415 parts per million.
     Let us put that into perspective. Humans have been on this planet only for some 315,000 years. For over 99.99% of the last 800,000 years, carbon dioxide concentrations have ranged from a low of 160 parts per million to a high of 300 parts per million. We know that from daily measurements that have been taken from an observatory at the top of a mountain in Hawaii, which is maintained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of San Diego. We also know that from core ice samples that have been taken two miles deep in both Antarctica and Greenland.
    It has just been in that last 0.01% of the last 800,000 years, in other words in the last 60 or 70 years, that C02 concentrations have risen above 300 parts per million. They blew through 400 parts per million in 2013, and just two weeks ago, on May 11, they blew through 415 parts per million.
    Clearly, the planet's atmosphere is changing and there is an urgency to address climate change.
    However, the motion in front of us today encapsulates what is wrong with the current government and its climate change plans. The government has made grand pronouncements with no action to deliver. It promised to respect parliamentary institutions, yet the PMO shut down two investigations at the ethics and justice committees in the SNC-Lavalin affair. It promised electoral reform, but abandoned that. It promised to lighten the whip and the PMO control over MPs so they could represent their constituents, but it has more control than ever before. It promised to respect the rule of law, but it has failed to do that with the irregular expulsions of the member for Markham—Stouffville and the member for Vancouver Granville. It promised action on climate change.
    This motion is an example of a government that is all about these grandiose pronouncements, with little to back it up. According to the government's own data, greenhouse gases are rising in Canada. Yes, members heard that right: GHGs are increasing, not decreasing. The current government has been in power for almost four years. According to the latest national inventory report, submitted last month to the United Nations by the current government, Canada's emissions actually rose in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, by eight megatonnes to 716 megatonnes.
    According to the government's own projections released by Environment Canada last December, a mere five months ago, Canada is not on track to meet its Paris commitment. According to that report of last December, under the government's pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, Canada will fall short of its Paris commitments by some 79 megatonnes.
    To be fair, this problem of Canadian governments making promises they do not keep is not restricted to the current government. Jean Chrétien's government agreed to the Kyoto protocol in 1997, and the prime minister of the day himself signed it in December 2002. Despite having almost nine years to enact a plan, when the Conservatives came to power and were appointed in February 2006, little action had been taken. We all know what happened next. The Conservative government blew through its Kyoto protocol commitments and withdrew from the protocol in 2011.
    The previous Conservative government committed to the Copenhagen accord, setting a new set of targets, which was a commitment to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by next year. With less than 12 months to go in this calendar year to 2020, we are going to blow through that commitment.
    The current government signed the Paris accord, but in its own data and projections, it is on track to blow through those targets.

  (1720)  

    What is so astounding about all of this, about what Canadian governments promise and what they deliver, is that never in the history of this country has the PMO had so much control over this legislature and its committees. Despite this control, despite this ability to effectively get its way on legislation, little action has been taken.
    What is so egregious about the Liberal government on the file of climate change is that it promised to do things differently. It is no secret that the previous Conservative government viewed climate change as a thorn in its side. It avoided the subject to the greatest extent possible and acted only when it was forced to act. However, the government across the aisle promised to do things differently. It promised action on climate change, but it was all words and little action.
    It was not always this way. At one time, Canada's word was its bond. There are Canadian war graves scattered around the world, in little places and in big towns, that are a testament to that. For most of this country's history, when we gave our word, that was our bond. We contributed to the defeat of Fascism in Europe and totalitarianism in the far east. As a result, in the post-war period, Canada was a founding member of most of the post-war structure. We were a founding member of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and dozens of other organizations. We paid that price in blood, because Canada's word was its bond. There were some 60,000 dead in the First World War, a century ago, and some 40,000 dead in the Second World War, in places like the Netherlands and Hong Kong.
     Have we honoured that legacy, where our word is our bond, in recent decades? We made a commitment in 1970 to spend 0.7% of Canada's GDP on foreign aid, on overseas development assistance. We barely meet half of that commitment, and it has been decades in the making. We promised NATO that we would spend 2% of our national economy on military and defence spending, and for decades we have barely met half that commitment. Most of our western European allies and the United States meet or exceed that commitment.
    In fact, I remember a speech in this House, in this very Parliament, in 2016, when American President Barack Obama chastised Canada for not meeting its NATO commitment and told this Parliament that we should meet our NATO commitment. Both sides of the aisle erupted in applause, but we are nowhere closer to doing that today than we were when he gave that speech in this House some three years ago.
    On climate change, whether it was the Kyoto protocol, the Copenhagen accord or the Paris accord, we have failed to uphold our word. Our word is no longer our bond. We are squandering the inheritance that we as parliamentarians received, built on generations of those Canadians who came before and who, when they spoke, meant that their word was their bond.
    According to a recent report by Climate Transparency from last November, Canada is now the highest per capita emitter in the G20. That is right: We emit more per capita than our friends and neighbours south of the border. Canada has only 1.5% of total global emissions, but we are the ninth largest emitter on the planet. If we are not going to do our part, as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, what hope is there for countries 10th through 190th to do their part?
    California met its Copenhagen targets four years early, in 2016, despite the fact that its population grew from some 30 million in 1990 to 42 million today, despite the fact that its per capita GDP has skyrocketed in the last 30 years, and despite the fact that it is the world's fifth largest economy.
    The motion in front of us today makes a mockery of those who came before; when they gave their word, it was their bond. It belies the inheritance that we received as parliamentarians. The silly motion in front of us today is not a motion that I can support, for all those reasons.

  (1725)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a reasoned speech and one that makes some important points and pushes us to do better. That is exactly the role of the opposition, and I respect it as presented.
    However, the challenge we have is that we inherited a government that had literally gone in the wrong direction for 10 years. Its only real claim that greenhouse gas emissions were reduced was because of not just one, but two recessions. The second was as the Conservatives left office. The reality is that the steps taken in this country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are uniformly opposed by Conservatives from coast to coast to coast, particularly in provincial capitals right now. In terms of things like the transit tax, which the other side likes to speak about, it did not make more people take transit; it simply cut the cost for affluent transit users.
    In dealing with this issue, we have to do two things: We have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we have to make it cost-effective. Many of the investments to be made have long-term impacts rather than immediate impacts. The existential wish to suddenly cut greenhouse gas emissions is very difficult to achieve when there is constant pressure on resource extraction, resource development and resource foundation, which generate most of the greenhouse gas.
    In terms of practical ideas that the member opposite spoke to, since he now admits that we need to make progress here, what are the things that his party will contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions, instead of fighting every single attempt to do that from this side of the House?
    I want to remind members again that this is not the time for major speeches. It is questions and comments. Please keep the preamble short enough to allow others to ask questions.
    The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.
    Madam Speaker, the Conservative leader has said that he would come forward with a climate change plan in the next several weeks. I look forward to that, as I am sure members opposite will as well.
    On the previous government's record, while it failed to meet Kyoto, it is interesting to note that of the nine years that government was in power, three were years when emissions declined in Canada. The point my speech was trying to make was that, whether it is on overseas development assistance commitments, NATO commitments or climate change commitments, successive governments in the House of various political stripes have failed to uphold Canada's word, and we as parliamentarians have to do better.
     We have to get away from these silly debates on silly motions in the dying days of a Parliament that do nothing to advance the cause on climate change and so many other issues, and get to work on actually achieving the goals that Canada promised when it put its signature to these documents.
    Mr. Speaker, I have to say, once again, that I always enjoy debates that turn on the Liberals and the Conservatives talking about who has the worst record on a very important crisis that is before us, like climate change.
    I listened with interest to the speech of the hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills, but what I do not find is any mention of what the Conservatives would actually do about climate change. We can fault the Liberal motion for having nothing of substance in it, but I have not seen any substance from the Conservative side, either. I am going to join in the debate in that same spirit, saying that both are equally absent when it comes to the real measures we need to fight climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, the short answer to the question is that I do not know what measures we are going to propose. That is a tightly guarded secret from the Conservative leader, and he will be making an announcement in due course, in several short weeks, about what the Conservative plan is on the environment and climate change.
    More broadly speaking, it behooves all of us in the House to focus on the substance at hand, which is the fact that Canada is one of the highest per capita emitters in the world, higher than the Americans. We emit more GHGs per capita than do people living in President Trump's America.
     We have failed to uphold the Kyoto protocol commitments and the Copenhagen accord commitments, and we are going to blow through the Paris accord commitments. That is the fact of the matter. Until we face the facts, we will never devise the solutions necessary to uphold the word and the signature that Canada put to these international documents.

  (1730)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to have a chance to speak to today's emergency motion and the amendments to the motion put forward by my hon. colleague, the member for Abbotsford.
    As indicated in the Paris Agreement, the issue of climate change will take a joint global effort to reduce emissions going forward. The whole world needs to be involved.
    I strongly feel that most Canadians understand this and are willing to do their part to reduce emissions where they can. In fact, this past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit some friends at a campsite. A number of the young children there were talking about the issue of climate change and the issue of the carbon tax. Their point was that this carbon tax is being put on them to reduce emissions, but every one of them said that it is not going to do it and that it is not going forward. Canadians understand that. At the same time, we recognize that Canada is responsible, and these young people understood that. However, it has just 1.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is minuscule compared to other countries. There truly needs to be an international, co-operative effort to address climate change.
    The Liberal motion we are debating today will, unfortunately, do nothing to address climate change. There are no concrete actionable items in the motion. It asks that we in the House recognize that climate change is a real and urgent crisis. Yet it is only now, three and a half years into the Liberals' mandate, just before an election, that this issue has suddenly become urgent. We have known about climate change for decades. It is not a new concept. Why, days before the House rises for the summer, have the Liberals decided that it is urgent now?
    Furthermore, the motion fails to acknowledge the fact that Canada continues to fall short of its emission reduction targets. Just weeks ago, the Minister of Environment appeared at the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development and was asked point blank whether Canada could meet its targets as set out in the Paris Agreement. She answered that yes, we are “on track”. However, we know that she was not telling the truth, as figures show that Canada fell 44 megatonnes short of its target in 2016, 65 megatonnes short in 2017, and 79 megatonnes short in 2018.
    I cannot understand why the minister would mislead and provide misinformation to Canadians in this way. Perhaps it is embarrassing, given that the government painted itself as a champion of the environment. It seems that the Liberals are trying to save face with the motion we are debating today, yet anyone can see that this motion will have zero impact on reducing emissions and will not get Canada any closer to meeting the targets we agreed to under the Paris Agreement.
    We know that there are many great innovative ideas being developed every day in our great country. People all over Canada are coming up with innovative and knowledgeable ideas that utilize the natural resources we are blessed to have here. I would like to speak about some of the efforts that are ongoing that are actually having a measurable impact on emissions reductions and climate change in Canada.
    A recent report conducted by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlined how crucial the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is in reducing emissions, and one of the ways that this is done is through carbon capture and storage. Many of my colleagues have heard me speak about this incredible technology in the past.
    Carbon capture and storage, CCS, is an innovative green technology that allows the capture of waste CO2 emissions produced by industrial large emitters, including coal-fired power plants. The technology allows for underground storage of the waste CO2, which can then be utilized for things such as enhanced oil recovery. This means that the CO2 produced by a generator that has been fitted with CCS will not enter the atmosphere and will be reused in other industries or absorbed three kilometres below the ground. Furthermore, the waste product generated as a result, fly ash, is also used by other industries and can be sold for cement production. In fact, the City of Vancouver is currently using this very fly ash in the construction of its sidewalks. The use of fly ash in cement further reduces emissions, this time for the cement company that utilizes it, for which CCS does not get credit.

  (1735)  

    Also worth noting is that the flue gas from coal-fired power plants is almost the exact same flume gas that comes out of cement and steel plants, among others. CCS can take that gas and remove the particles from it. This means that this great technology could be moved into all these other areas and do the same thing. By utilizing this knowledge, CCS has a wide range of applications that will only benefit the environment.
    In my riding of Souris—Moose Mountain, there are three power plants: the Boundary Dam Power Station, the Shand Power Station and the Poplar River Power Station. CCS is installed on unit 3, or BD3, at the Boundary Dam Power Station. Boundary Dam was the first power station in the world to successfully utilize this technology. BD3 went online in October 2014, becoming the world's first utility-scale, fully integrated post-combustion carbon capture facility. With CCS, BD3 now produces 115 megawatts of power, enough to power over 100,000 homes in Saskatchewan annually. It is capable of reducing SO2 emissions from the coal process by up to 100% and of reducing CO2 emissions by up to 92%. So far, the use of CCS technology on BD3 has resulted in the capture of over 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 since its operational start-up. Let us not forget nitrous oxide and particulate matter, at 99.95%, or the fact that sulphur dioxide is sold to chemical companies and that CO2 is sold to oil companies.
    This is innovation. This is exactly what the minister and Prime Minister should be championing when it comes to emissions reductions in Canada. CCS is the technology that will allow power plants in Saskatchewan to continue operating for their functional lifespans, rather than shutting down in 2030 with no solid alternative available for the production of electricity. This is something the Liberals should be promoting, yet the minister has barely made mention of this world-first technology, despite the fact that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that CCS is considered essential in three of four pathways to keeping global warming within 1.5°C. The government should be shouting this from the rooftops, but unfortunately, the silence with respect to CCS has been deafening. Not only is this technology appropriate, it continues to allow for the employment of over 400 middle-class workers at the power plant and 365 at the Westmoreland Coal Company. These are skilled, trained, knowledgeable, hard-working Canadians who simply want to continue to work.
    In the past, one of the issues governments worldwide have had with CCS is the cost. It is not cheap to retrofit a power plant, but I have some good news on that front. A report released by the International CCS Knowledge Centre, “The Shand CCS Feasibility Study”, addresses this concern. It states that retrofitting Shand with CCS would be 67% cheaper per megawatt hour compared to Boundary Dam. Again, that is a 67% reduction in cost. That is huge. With economies of scale, we should continue to see even further cost reductions.
    With the full-scale CCS facility at Shand, roughly two million megatonnes of CO2 could be captured every year, which is twice the capacity of Boundary Dam. Clearly, CCS technology is getting better and better as it is refined and optimized over time, and that is something the Canadian government should be supporting wholeheartedly.
    Furthermore, up to 140,000 tonnes of fly ash could be resold in the concrete market, which could offset emissions in concrete production. This equates to a potential net reduction of 125,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, resulting in a facility with net negative CO2 emissions. This means that the facility could be considered carbon neutral. Is this not exactly what the minister wants? Shand would be a power plant that was actually carbon neutral. It would drastically lower emissions while allowing hundreds of hard-working Canadians to keep their jobs.
    Today's motion, which again is being classified by the Liberals as urgent and an emergency, is simply ineffective. The amendments put forward by my colleague from Abbotsford have substance and call on the government to produce a real climate change plan that will enable Canada to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions according to the targets in the Paris Agreement. That is real, measurable action, and by working with our international counterparts and ensuring that we are all doing our part, we will make a difference toward emissions reductions worldwide.

  (1740)  

    Mr. Speaker, one of the things that was accomplished in Ontario was the elimination of coal and using coal to generate power for electricity. That effectively was how the Harper government claimed it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in the last decade.
    Does the member opposite now support what the Province of Ontario did by eliminating coal? Does the member opposite now recognize that providing tax cuts for upper middle-class transit riders instead of providing transit is the wrong way to get people to use transit? It does not matter how many tax credits we give people, because if there is no bus, they are not going to use transit. They are going to drive. Would the member opposite agree that providing transit is an incentive to use it and therefore not drive?
    Would the member opposite also agree that when premier Wynne eliminated coal power as a source of energy, and when Dalton McGuinty did the same, that was the actual accomplishment the Conservatives like to hang their hat on?
    Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan, for the longest time, has generated 50% of its electricity from coal, and it has reduced that with the increases it has done. That said, we are seeing things such as carbon capture being put on Boundary Dam 3, which is providing tremendous effects and benefits with respect to cleaning the air and the environment.
    The member talked about transit. I have been to his riding. I lived in that area when I was much younger. It is great to have buses all over the place, but having a green bus to take someone from Maryfield, Saskatchewan, to see a doctor in Regina, which is two hours away, is not going to happen. It is not going to happen no matter how many buses the government promises to put forward.
    The plans that are put forward are plans for urban Canada. The government does not recognize rural Canada in any of its efforts, and rural Canadians are suffering as a result. The carbon tax the Liberals are putting forward is going to hurt them even more.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, a few years ago, the Conservative government gutted environmental protections for thousands of lakes and rivers by amending the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Now, the Conservatives are telling us that they are going to propose an environmental protection policy.
    How can Canadians and the members of this House take them seriously when, in the past, they showed us they were doing just the opposite?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as we progress and move forward in the next three weeks, we should be able to be open to everyone in Canada about what our plan will be. I look forward to doing that. Everyone will hear about our plan at the same time. I appreciate the steps we look forward to. We have technologies and things we have talked about.
    My hometown in Saskatchewan is called the sunshine capital of Canada. SaskPower, which is our power agency in Saskatchewan, is looking forward to producing more solar power units around the province, but those units are not being built in Saskatchewan. They are being built elsewhere. When they come in, they are put up, and one person mans them. It is the same for the windmills. When the windmills are put up, we do not see any vehicles or people working there unless the windmill is broken.
    That is the biggest thing that is going to happen with this carbon tax and the plans that are being put forward. People are going to lose their jobs, and there are going to be more people unemployed.

  (1745)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg North.
    It is an honour to stand in the House today on behalf of the people of Burnaby and North Vancouver to speak in the strongest possible terms in favour of this motion. Canada and the world are in a very real and urgent climate crisis. If we are to ensure a better future for our kids, our grandkids and their grandkids after that, we can no longer take our environment for granted.
    Since being elected in 2015, our government has been firmly committed to climate action. The pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change is a comprehensive framework that will ensure we meet our Paris targets and go beyond them. I encourage everyone in this House to read my 10-page report on the topic, entitled “Our Government's Work on Climate Change and the Environment”. It is available on my website at terrybeechmp.ca/policy.
    I have a special guest with me today, my daughter Nova, who is now five and a half months old. This is her first trip to Ottawa. I thought there would be no better opportunity for her to visit this House than during a debate on the defining issue of our generation.
     The IPCC has made our collective impact on the world very clear. Already, the human race has warmed the planet a full degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. If we do nothing, this will increase to 1.5°C between Nova's 12th and 34th birthdays. We are running out of time.
     Climate change should not and cannot be a partisan issue. It needs to be an issue that brings us together so that we collectively bring all of our tools to the fight. I come to this House every day hoping to be inspired, not just by my own party but by all of the amazing and talented people Canadians have sent to this place to fight on behalf of our collective futures. Working together and alongside our colleagues in the world, I know we can solve this.
    There have been people who refer to different versions of the green new deal as a potential path forward. The version I am most familiar with is House Resolution No. 109, brought forward by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez in the United States. After reading this resolution, it is quite inspiring to see how much contemporary Canadian policy has already made its way into the proposed green new deal.
    Here are 10 quick examples:
    Number one, the green new deal calls for a reduction in emissions, with a goal of reaching net zero. In Canada, we have a national price on pollution as part of a 50-point plan to lower emissions.
    Number two is the creation of good, high-paying jobs, especially in the energy sector. In Canada, we have created more than a million jobs in the last three and a half years, many of which are in the clean energy sector.
    Number three is major investments in infrastructure. Our historic $180-billion infrastructure plan is shortening commutes, protecting our environment and making life more affordable.
    Number four is to secure clean water, air and soil. We have restored and modernized environmental protection legislation, invested billions in protecting and restoring habitat and phased out the use of coal, just to name a few.
    Number five is to empower indigenous people to thrive. No relationship is more important to our government, which is why we are taking unprecedented action to ensure indigenous Canadians have a more prosperous future.
    Number six is having 100% clean power. We are on track to have 90% of our power coming from non-emitting sources before 2030.
    Number seven is to upgrade buildings to be more energy efficient. In budget 2019, we dedicated more than $1 billion to doing just that.
    Number eight is investing in transportation infrastructure and electric vehicles. This week, we announced a further $1.4-billion investment in SkyTrain capacity, not to mention the $300 million in electric vehicle incentives and a quarter of a billion dollars in charging infrastructure that has already been announced. Canadians have told us that they want to drive their electric vehicles from Vancouver Island to Prince Edward Island, and we are making that a reality.
     Number nine is to increase forestation. Canada has long been a leader in sustainable forest management, another environmental issue that B.C. has shown leadership on.
    Number ten is investing in research and development. Our government has recommitted Canada to being a leader in research, science and development. In budget 2018, we made the largest investment in science and university research in Canadian history.
    Obviously, these measures do not get us the whole way that we need to go, but they do represent a significant down payment that is putting Canada on the right track. This month, Clean Energy Canada, a think tank at Simon Fraser University, released a new report entitled “Missing the Bigger Picture”. This report detailed the extraordinary growth of the Canadian clean energy sector. Canada's clean energy sector grew at an annual rate of 4.8% over a period of seven years. In 2017, this sector accounted for 298,000 jobs spread across every province.

  (1750)  

    In 2017 alone, there was $35.3 billion invested in this space: $5.3 billion was invested in British Columbia, and accounted for 32,000 British Columbia jobs. British Columbia's leadership, as the first province to set a price on pollution, has given it a noticeable strategic advantage. In fact, if we look at the Global Cleantech 100 list, out of the 12 Canadian companies that made the list, half of them are located in British Columbia.
    Let us talk about carbon pricing. In B.C., where this was first implemented in 2008, we witnessed a 16% reduction in per capita fossil fuel use, while per capita use increased by 3% in the rest of Canada. During this time, B.C. also enjoyed the best economic growth in the country.
    To be clear, a market-based economic incentive has to be a part of the solution if we are going to reverse the trajectory of climate change. Carbon pricing is effective for four primary reasons. First, it gives every person and business an economic incentive to make better environmental choices. Second, it speeds up the tipping point at which renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Third, it gives Canadians an advantage in building innovative clean energy companies and technologies. Fourth, and most importantly, it helps to save the planet and it is the right thing to do for future generations.
    Done correctly, our policies will work to protect the environment and grow the economy at the same time. I would recommend that individuals in this House read my other report, entitled “Our Government's Work to Strengthen The Economy”. This 12-page document is also available on my website at terrybeechmp.ca/policy.
    There are two primary arguments against putting a price on pollution. The first is that Canada makes up less than 2% of global emissions. While this is true, Canada is also the ninth-nighest emitter in the world. In fact, if we take the top 10 countries, China, America, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Canada and Saudi Arabia, we collectively account for 64% of emissions. This also means that countries that contribute less than 2% of emissions individually, collectively account for 46% of emissions.
     This gives Canada a very special opportunity to be a leader in the world. We are big enough to be a part of the top 10 and make a real difference on 64% of the problem, but we are also small enough to demonstrate to the world what a country that makes up less than 2% of the world's emissions can do to help save the planet.
    We know that the best catalyst for good policy is precedent, so let us work together to make Canada a positive example for the world.
    The second argument is that putting a price on pollution is simply unaffordable for the average Canadian. This argument is a bit disingenuous given that our price on pollution is revenue-neutral. If affordability is truly a cause that members in this House want to show leadership on, then I question why so many have not supported our policies to make life more affordable for Canadians.
    We have made historic investments of more than $55 billion to improve housing affordability, invested $7.5 billion in child care and lowered taxes for the middle class. We have lowered taxes for small business, reduced credit card service charges and made massive investments in public transit. We have improved the working tax benefit and moved forward on a national poverty strategy that has seen 825,000 Canadians lifted out of poverty.
    Canada now enjoys the lowest rate of poverty in the history of our country. The Canada child benefit on its own lifted 300,000 children out of poverty. This means that our children are not only going to be better off today but 25 years from now, when they become the next generation of doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs, Canada itself will be better off as well.
    In summary, we are in a climate emergency, and we need to continue to move forward in a way that protects the environment, grows the economy, and makes life more affordable so that the average Canadian can get ahead. It will not be easy, but Canadians are counting on all of us to work together to make sure we get this right.