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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 422

CONTENTS

Wednesday, May 29, 2019




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 422
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

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

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, this morning I awoke to more bad news for Alberta, and the forecast is foreboding.
     The dark clouds of recession are on the horizon again, and Alberta's economy remains in a fragile state. While we have managed to bolster domestic oil prices through curtailment, we are losing out on millions, even billions, of dollars. Why? Because, as I have mentioned once or twice before, we are lacking the ability to move our oil.
    I would be remiss if I did not spend these last weeks before the House rises reminding the government, and indeed members of the House, about our dire need for progress on this front, not only for Alberta but for all Canadians.
     My constituents are worried, and they have good cause to be. Let us not play politics with Canadian lives and Canadian jobs. Once and for all, it is time to move forward.
    I implore the government to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline by June 18 so we can have shovels in the ground by July 1. Let us get Alberta working again.

[Translation]

Vaudreuil-Dorion Heritage Weekend

    Oyez, oyez, Mr. Speaker! Lords, ladies, nobles and the good folk of Vaudrueil-Dorion will gather on June 6, 7 and 8 for the 27th edition of the Seigneuriales. There, they will eat, drink, play and sing as they celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our community, Vaudreuil-Soulanges. We have a plethora of stories to share and celebrate.
    I would invite all the lords and ladies of Vaudreuil-Soulanges to join me at the Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges to enjoy activities for the whole family, local artisans and everything our seigneury has to offer.
    I hope everyone enjoys the Seigneuriales.

[English]

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

    Mr. Speaker, this week is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, dedicated to bringing awareness to victims.
     Today, I reflect upon a terrible crime committed near my community.
    On July 3, 2010, Lyle and Marie McCann of St. Albert left on a road trip. On July 5, their motorhome was seen engulfed in flames and their bodies were nowhere to be found. Their killer was arrested and following years in the courts, he was convicted. Now, nearly nine years later, we still do not know the whereabouts of Lyle and Marie.
    That is why I introduced Bill C-437, known as McCann's law, hoping to encourage killers to reveal the location of their victims. The bill would make co-operation a factor in parole hearings and would give judges more authority to limit parole.
    All parliamentarians should support legislation that seeks to return the remains of victims to their families. It is time to put victims and families first and pass McCann's Law.

[Translation]

Family Support Centre in Sainte-Julie

    Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you about the Maison de l’entraide, an organization in my riding that has been supporting families in Sainte-Julie for 40 years. The organization got its start with a fundraising drive organized by Denyse Labrecque in 1976 and was incorporated on July 4, 1979.
    Today, the Maison de l’entraide continues to fulfill its founders' mission by supporting low-income families in Sainte-Julie and working in collaboration with local partners to improve their quality of life.
    The organization's main source of funding is a thrift store that is open to the general public. The store generates roughly 80% of its revenue. The board of directors and volunteers are determined to keep overhead expenses as low as possible to ensure that all funds raised go directly to the recipients. This financial support represents about 75% of its expenditures.
    Congratulations to the Maison de l’entraide for 40 wonderful years.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, climate change is a reality in our north. First nations and northern communities are feeling it.
    This past week, the federal government made an announcement in my home community, committing $28 million to rebuild an airport in Thompson, which is sinking because of melting permafrost.
    This is an important investment but it is not enough. It does not change the reality of the 18 communities in our north that are facing a crisis of climate change and isolation. These 18 communities depend on ice roads as their lifeline, and these are disappearing.
     Where is the federal government when it comes to working with first nations to build all-weather roads? Just this month, York Factory came to Ottawa to get support for an all-weather road. Where is the federal government to work with Wasagamack and Pauingassi, which do not even have airports? Where is the federal government to work with first nations like St. Theresa Point and Berens River to build the all-weather road connection they have proposed? Where is the federal government to act urgently for communities trying to deal with the reality of climate change?
    The federal government is not there. First nations and our north cannot afford to wait any longer.

[Translation]

National Health and Fitness Day

    Mr. Speaker, we are honoured to have with us today senior officials from the Fitness Industry Council of Canada. Thanks to them, on Saturday, June 1, hundreds of Canadians will be taking part in National Health and Fitness Day.

[English]

    With activities led by certified fitness professionals for people of all ages and abilities, National Health and Fitness Day will highlight the importance and impacts of a healthy lifestyle through fitness.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

    In Ottawa—Vanier, the Vanier Community Service Centre is organizing the Vanier VéloFest, an event aimed at getting young people on bikes.

[English]

    I would like to thank the Fitness Industry Council of Canada for promoting public health and wellness for all ages and abilities across the country.
    Here is the challenge for Canadians. I encourage them all to participate in and celebrate National Health and Fitness Day.

Scleroderma Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, this Saturday marks the beginning of Scleroderma Awareness Month and while the past few years have seen advancements in treatments that can ease pain and slow the progression of the disease, researchers have yet to find the cause of scleroderma and are still looking for a cure.
     As many in the House know, I have witnessed the terrible effects of this disease first-hand while I was forced to watch my mother Jean deteriorate under the awful effects of scleroderma, which ultimately took her life.
    Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disorder that can attack one's organs and shut them down one by one. This rare disease can also cause weeping ulcers, esophageal dysfunction, Raynaud's disease, skin deterioration and other symptoms. Almost 80% of those afflicted with scleroderma are women and most sufferers are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50.
     We cannot settle until researchers find a cure. I urge all governments, the medical research community and academia to continue to advocate for more funding for scleroderma research so we can stem the tide of this disease and find a cure once and for all.

Long Service Award

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great pride to recognize the hard work and dedication of someone I have worked with for only four years, but has given a great number of years to this place in more ways than I can share in a single statement.
     Last night, she received her long service award for working for the House of Commons for 31 years.
    Throughout her time on the Hill, she has not only worked with MPs and staff, but also developed long-standing relationships with the staff at the parliamentary restaurant, the custodial staff, all the security staff, the IT staff and across all party lines. She has gone above and beyond to advocate for necessary changes to benefit others.
    Her character is that of honesty, courage and integrity. She never backs down from a challenge and represents the glue in my office. Some members may remember her for organizing the All Party Party some years back.
    Although she does not do a single thing for the purpose of credit, when it comes to her substantive contribution to the lives of Canadians throughout her work with various governments and members of Parliament, recognition for her long service cannot go unnoticed.
    Colleen Knight's outstanding reputation precedes her.
     I thank Colleen for not only her unwavering devotion to my office, but for her commitment to working for so many years toward a better Canada.

Loran Scholars Foundation

    Mr. Speaker, the Loran Scholars Foundation awards outstanding young Canadians with a prestigious $100,000 scholarship for their post-secondary studies, helping them achieve their full potential.
     Out of 5,000 talented applicants, only 35 high school students were successful after a rigorous selection process. One of these, Meena Waseem, is from my community and attends high school in my riding. She is not just the president of the Cameron Heights student council, but she is also a politically engaged youth who champions issues like mental health and diversity.
    Meena immigrated to Canada from Pakistan only 10 years ago, yet through her hard work and strength of character, she has already had an incredible and lasting impact on our community.
    I congratulate Meena and invite my colleagues to join me in wishing her well as she continues on her journey.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, tackling climate change requires leadership, but under the Prime Minister's leadership, Canada continues to fall further behind its emissions targets.
     The Prime Minister's personal choices, like flying between Ottawa and Florida four times in three days, are not helping. In fact, his carbon footprint is insulting to Canadians who are already struggling to get ahead and who have to pay the Liberal carbon tax just to drive to work.
     The reality is that Canada will not meet the Paris emissions targets under the Prime Minister. That is because the Liberal carbon tax is not an environmental plan; it is a tax plan. It is a tax plan that dives deep into the pockets of Canadian taxpayers. It is a tax plan that punishes Canadians living in rural Canada.
    The Conservatives will lay out a real plan to tackle environmental challenges. However, the real question is this. Where is the Liberal climate plan?

  (1415)  

Disability Awareness Week

    Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I was honoured to help kick off Disability Awareness Week celebrations at key industries in Saint John.
    Disability Awareness Week is a time for all of us to promote accessibility and inclusion, and to celebrate the incredible social and economic contributions that Canadians with disabilities make to our communities. It is also a time for us to redouble our commitment to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
    Our government is doing this by advancing Bill C-81, which represents the most significant advancement of rights of persons with disabilities in Canada since the advent of the charter. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to the strengthening of this historic legislation at committee, and I look forward to standing up for the rights of persons with disabilities by standing up for this legislation later this week.
    I will always stand up for the rights of persons with disabilities in Saint John—Rothesay.

Pride Toronto

    Mr. Speaker, I am here to spill the tea.
    Pride season in Toronto is coming up and our city's very own Brooke Lynn Hytes has made it to the final four in RuPaul's Drag Race, the reality TV show. This Canadian has done us proud in the competition, which has been the starting point for a lot of important conversations about trans rights, not just in Canada but around the world.
    Conversations about the effects of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are critical to building resiliency in these communities. Our government knows that it is our role to support them more. In fact, this week our government announced an investment of $4.3 million through the national housing strategy for the Egale Centre, Canada's first housing facility exclusively dedicated to homeless LGBTIQ2S youth.
    The theme for Toronto Pride this year is “Freedom”, and it builds on having a safe place to call home because that is the foundation for all forms of freedom and free expression.
    I look forward to marching this year in the Pride Parade. I look forward to seeing Brooke Lynn in Toronto and I look forward to making sure that our community is safe, housed and that the youth, in particular, are thriving.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, firstly, I would like to reiterate to the Liberal government that we, as Conservatives, recognize that climate change exists, that it affects the entire planet and that human activity has repercussions on the changing climate.
    Sadly, the Liberal government has been in power for more than three and a half years and the only solution it came up with is a new tax to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. That does not work.
    The Liberals declare a climate emergency on the eve of an election after buying a pipeline from the Americans for over $4 billion.
    There is no consistency. This Liberal government says one thing and does the opposite. It has lost control on several files. It is high time to get rid of this government.
    I want to assure Canadians that we will introduce a real environmental plan to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. Indeed, we the Conservatives will be responsible, we will contribute to the global collective effort for the environment and we will reach our targets.

[English]

Soccer Camps in Attawapiskat

    Mr. Speaker, four years ago, when students at Bishop Marrocco Secondary School in my riding of Parkdale—High Park saw the youth suicide crisis in Attawapiskat unfolding before their very eyes, they turned to their soccer coaches, Paolo and Dan, and asked what they could do. Together they hatched an idea to fundraise and send their team to Attawapiskat to run a soccer camp, and then they did it again and again.
    For the last four years, these young people have been building bridges, developing trust and learning from their indigenous brothers and sisters in Attawapiskat. What started as a soccer camp is now a sports, dance and multimedia initiative that connects two schools in Toronto, Bishop Marrocco and St. Elizabeth, with the very school in Attawapiskat founded by Shannen Koostachin.
    The story of Canada is truly about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This project is one such shining example. I salute these youth in Toronto and Attawapiskat for their incredible efforts to address youth mental health and to advance reconciliation.

Funding for Women's Organizations

    Mr. Speaker, Women Deliver will take place next week in Vancouver. This month, at the status of women committee, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality described this conference as the feminist Olympics, an unfortunate comparison given the corruption there.
     The minister also stated that the Government of Canada is not and never has been in the business of providing core funding for capacity building to women's organizations. Allow me to correct her. In fact, women's organizations suffered tremendously under the 2007 cuts made by Stephen Harper, and they have been struggling to stay above water ever since.
    The World Economic Forum's annual gender gap ranking places Canada 16th when it comes to economic, educational, health and political equity for women. Without core funding, capacity building is impossible. By continuing to starve women of funding, team Canada will never make the podium. Women's organizations need stable and sustainable core funding to achieve equal status on the field.

  (1420)  

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, following a recent by-election in B.C., the Prime Minister said that Canadians are voting with climate change at the top of their minds. How did he do in that by-election? Voters on Vancouver Island rejected his Liberals, ranking them behind the Greens, the Conservatives and even the NDP.
    Canadians recognize that the Liberal carbon tax will not even come close to achieving Canada's emissions targets under the Paris accord. That is because his carbon tax is not a plan to lower emissions. It is just a plan to raise taxes. Meanwhile, he is giving large industrial emitters a special deal that will exempt them from the tax while making Canadian families pay more to drive to work, heat their homes and put food on the table.
    In the coming weeks, Conservatives will present Canadians with a real environmental plan that will lower global emissions without making Canadians pay a punitive carbon tax.
    Until October, we are stuck with the Liberals, but help is on the horizon. Very soon a Conservative government will implement its plan to protect the environment and protect the pocketbooks of Canadians.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian economy is thriving and we are breaking all of the growth records. Why? Because we are investing in Canadians.

[Translation]

    The economy is doing well because we are investing in innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in our young entrepreneurs at the HEC and the University of Montreal in my riding of Outremont.
    We are helping Montreal become a world leader in AI and we are helping Quebec become a leader in green technology.

[English]

    Foreign direct investment is up 60% this past year, exceeding all expectations. April set a new record for job growth in this country. We have created over one million jobs since 2015.
    After years of economic stagnation under the Conservatives, the Canadian economy is back and it is even better than advertised.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is the best thing that has happened to Donald Trump. He abandoned access to markets for our main exports. He relinquished our influence and gave Mr. Trump all the power. He makes concessions every time he is at the table. President Trump is in charge and thanks to the Prime Minister, Canada can only stand by and watch.
    Why is the Prime Minister so proud of this historic humiliation?
     Mr. Speaker, under our government, the Canada-U.S. trade relationship faced its greatest threat. We worked hard to get a good deal for Canadians.
    The Conservatives cannot make up their minds. In the beginning, they absolutely wanted to abdicate, at all costs, to get any old deal. Then they opposed the good deal that we signed. Now they are in favour of this good deal and have committed to ratifying it. They are all over the place.
    Our government is committed to standing up for Canadian workers, protecting jobs and always being there for Canadians.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, let us remember that the Prime Minister promised a better NAFTA deal. Then he volunteered to renegotiate Canada's trading arrangement and not only did he come back with concession after concession, with no win at all, but he even signed a deal that still had steel and aluminum tariffs in place. Now we learn that there is language in the new agreement that suggests that Canada now has a quota by another name.
    Will the Prime Minister finally admit that this deal on steel tariffs is just not as advertised?
    Mr. Speaker, under our government, the United States trading relationship faced its greatest threats, but we worked hard to get a good deal for Canadians. Conservatives cannot make up their minds. In the beginning, they were in favour of our signing any old deal just to get things done and abdicating on it all, the way Stephen Harper told them to. Then they opposed the good deal that we signed, which we negotiated with the help of all Canadians, and now they are in favour of the deal and they commit to ratifying it. They are all over the place. We are staying focused on supporting Canadians, on fighting for workers—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1425)  

    Order, please.
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, the greatest threat to Canada's trading relationship with the United States is the weakness of the Prime Minister. Any old deal would have been better than the deal that he came home with. Concession after concession on dairy, on autos, on pharmaceuticals and now, in order to get steel tariffs lifted, he had to give away the only piece of leverage that Canada had. He has actually agreed not to put strategic tariffs on other U.S. industries.
    Once again, why did the Prime Minister give Donald Trump—
    The right hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, Stephen Harper told everyone, no matter what, just abdicate to the United States and that is exactly what the Conservatives were recommending we do. We stood strong alongside all Canadians and got a good deal for Canadians the way they expected.
    Do not take any lessons from the Conservatives on trade. They could not get CETA done. They could not get the TPP done. It is this government that made sure that we are the only G7 country to have a free trade deal with every other G7 country.

News Media Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's decision to appoint Unifor to its panel to determine eligibility for half a billion dollar bailout package has destroyed the government's credibility. Unifor is a highly partisan group with aggressive partisan goals. It has made it clear that its objective is to help elect Liberals and defeat Conservatives, yet the Prime Minister has decided to appoint this group to his panel.
    Why does the Prime Minister not just admit that he is openly trying to stack the deck in advance of the next election?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that a strong, independent media is essential to the functioning of a healthy democracy. That is why we wanted to make sure, on our independent panel, that unlike what the Conservatives want, it is not just newspaper owners and media giants that are on that panel. We need to make sure that hard-working journalists are well represented on that panel as well.
    On this side of the House, we will always defend labour and we will always defend workers, unlike the Conservatives, who attack organized labour at every chance they get, including with Bill C-525 and Bill C-377 in the last Parliament.
    Mr. Speaker, Jerry Dias is not a journalist. He represents a union that has called itself the resistance to Conservatives. It is bankrolling partisan attack ads put out by a third party organization and run by high-level Liberal backroom veterans. There are other entities that could represent workers on this panel, but the Liberals chose a Liberal-friendly partisan organization.
    It is very clear that this is just one aspect of the Prime Minister's attempt to rig the next election, including putting caps on Conservatives but not on government spending announcements. Why—
    The right hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, we will make no apologies for putting forward an opportunity to build a strong, independent media that is secure as we move forward to make sure that both employers and employees are represented.
    It is absolutely laughable that the Conservatives, who were found guilty of election fraud in multiple past elections, give any lessons on independence. What they tried to do with their unfair elections act was muzzle Elections Canada, preventing it from talking to young people, removing the right to vote from thousands of aboriginal people, thousands of young people, people right—

  (1430)  

    The hon. member for Burnaby South.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, Canada's opioid crisis has claimed the lives of thousands of people of all ages and in all regions. Thousands of families have lost loved ones, and, tragically, experts say this crisis was avoidable. B.C. has launched a groundbreaking lawsuit and now other provinces are joining in. Again, provinces are leading the way while Liberals are trying to catch up.
    Will the Prime Minister finally agree to join this lawsuit and make sure drug companies are held to account for their role in this public health crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, we are deeply concerned by the tragic impact of the opioid crisis in B.C. and, indeed, right across the country. We have responded by investing $350 million in emergency response, much of it in treatment. We have restored harm reduction and approved almost 30 supervised consumption sites, and we are significantly removing barriers to treatment of those struggling with addictions. We are taking action to do all we can to save lives and turn the tide of this terrible crisis.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, too many families across the country are losing loved ones to the opioid public health crisis.
    The NDP government in B.C. launched a lawsuit against drug companies over their role in the opioid crisis. Ontario has now joined the lawsuit.
    Will the Prime Minister have the courage to support our demand for an inquiry into the role of drug companies in the opioid crisis to bring justice to the families?
    Mr. Speaker, our government stands with those who have lost family and friends in this opioid crisis.
    We continue to act to address this crisis. We are investing $350 million in emergency response, much of it in treatment, we have approved almost 30 supervised consumption sites, and we are removing barriers to treatment. We will continue to do all we can to save lives and turn the tide of this terrible crisis.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, NAFTA is going to have a major impact on our workers, but the Liberals can fix this deal.
    As the national director of United Steelworkers has said, Canada should not leave it up to the U.S. Congress to stand up for our workers. Our priority is protecting jobs in Canada.
    Will the Prime Minister work with us and not rush the NAFTA ratification, so we can be sure that all workers in Canada are properly protected?
    Mr. Speaker, as we are proving every day, our government is there to stand up for Canadian workers and to protect jobs. That is what we negotiated in the new NAFTA.
    The NDP is criticizing the deal in the House of Commons, but at private events it has described the new NAFTA as the best deal possible. The NDP members know that the new NAFTA will protect millions of jobs that were in jeopardy. One need only listen to the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, who said that the new NAFTA is the best deal possible and that it protects workers across the country.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, all the misleading quotes do not change the fact that people are concerned about lost jobs and rising drug costs. Here is a new quote: “Canada continues to stand alone in failing to protect our key industries. The federal government must defend Canadian jobs. We do not support the rush to ratify.” That is from Ken Neumann of United Steelworkers.
    Why is the Prime Minister propping up Donald Trump instead of working with progressives in Congress to get a better deal? When exactly did he give up on trying to do better?
    Mr. Speaker, do they know whom I listen to? I listen to Hassan Yussuf of the Canadian Labour Congress, who said that the updated NAFTA “gets it right on labour provisions, including provisions to protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of gender.”
     I listen to Lino LoMedico, a team leader at Chrysler's Windsor assembly plant, who said, “We're actually very proud of the job that our Canadian government did and kudos to the negotiator”.
    I listen, of course, to our friend Jerry Dias at Unifor, who said that this is a much better deal than the deal that was signed 24 years ago.

  (1435)  

News Media Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's decision to put his friend Jerry Dias and Unifor on the media funding panel is going to show how far the Liberals would go in trying to stack the deck in the next election.
     Unifor is overtly anti-Conservative. Its members are planning to campaign against us in the next election. No one is denying that. I guess that is why he is the Prime Minister's friend, but they have no business being on this media panel decision-making process.
    Will the Prime Minister reverse this decision and remove his friend and Unifor from this media—
    The right hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we know that a strong and independent media is the cornerstone of Canadian democracy, so we are acting to ensure that the media continues to hold elected officials to account. As part of that, we are ensuring that both employers and employees are represented on this independent panel.
    The Conservatives keep up their attacks on organized labour; we will defend workers right across this country. The Conservatives will keep up their attacks on the media, including on CBC, which the Leader of the Opposition committed to eliminate; we are going to stay focused on protecting the—
    Order. We need to hear both the questions and the answers. I ask members to co-operate and show respect for each other.
    The hon. opposition House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister actually respected journalists, he would know that they do not want his friend Jerry and Unifor involved in this half-billion-dollar funding.
    Here is what they are saying about the impact it is going to have. They are saying that it is “disastrous for public trust”, that it erodes the independence and places journalists in “a permanent and inescapable conflict of interest”.
    The Prime Minister is making a terrible decision and he is using journalists as his cover. Will the Prime Minister stop putting journalists in this conflict of interest, reverse this decision and remove his friend Jerry and Unifor from this panel?
    Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the arguments the Conservatives are making on this issue are exactly the same arguments they have always made on why we should be eliminating the CBC. We disagree. We believe in CBC/Radio-Canada as a strong public broadcaster with a mandate to bring to Canadians news that matters to Canadians. We are always going to stand up to defend the CBC against the Conservatives, but indeed defend both employers and employees of media organizations against people who want to undermine them and attack them.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Unifor, the largest union of journalists in the country, has clearly picked a side. It has declared war on the Conservative Party.
    What did the Liberals do? With just five months to go before the election, the Prime Minister gathered together his good friends from Unifor to form a panel that will decide how the Liberal government will distribute $600 million to Canadian media outlets. That makes no sense.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and remove his Unifor friends from the panel?
    Mr. Speaker, as we know, strong, independent media are vital to democracy. We will always take action to protect them. We recognize that both employers and employees must be part of the discussion on how we will defend our media.
    The Conservatives may only want to help the bosses and owners of media networks, but we are concerned about journalists and the plight of workers. We will always stand up for our media so that they can do their job, which is to look at issues with a critical eye and keep Canadians informed.
    Mr. Speaker, that is straight-up misinformation. Here is the truth: with just five months to go until the election, the Liberal government gave an openly pro-Liberal and aggressively anti-Conservative union the power to influence who will get $600 million in funding for the media. This is another Liberal ploy to interfere and try to influence the upcoming election campaign.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and boot his Unifor buddies off the panel, period?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives keep attacking organized labour, but we know that unions and workers are an essential part of our society and that they have a crucially important role to play.
     At the same time, we see the Conservatives making the same arguments on this issue that they made when they said we should eliminate the CBC. That is something the Conservatives have wanted for a long time. That is what the leader of the Conservative Party promised in his leadership campaign. We know the Conservatives will always go after the CBC—
    The hon. member for Milton.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, despite the protests of the Prime Minister, the issue here is one of bias.
     The question is whether or not an entity that has sworn that it likes to elect Liberals, and in fact make sure the Conservatives do not form government, an entity that gave $400,000, and boasted about it, to ensure the Conservative defeat in 2015 and as well says it is doing it again, and in fact has started again, is an appropriate appointment to a panel that is making decisions on who gets journalistic money.
    Will the Prime Minister remove Unifor from this panel?
    Mr. Speaker, to follow Conservatives' logic, anyone who has been attacked and mistreated by the Conservatives should not have a voice. That is what the 2015 election countered, as Canadians rose up across the country to reject the Conservative attacks and demonization of media, of indigenous peoples, of environmentalists, of hard-working Canadians, of young people.
    That approach by the Conservatives is exactly what is going to fail them again this time.
    Mr. Speaker, this is actually embarrassing, that the Prime Minister does not understand the concept of bias on a panel that is making decisions.
    However, I should not be surprised. This is the same Prime Minister who thinks it is okay to traipse across the line that separates the judicial system from the executive branch. This is the same Prime Minister who thinks that ethical rules do not apply to him. This is the same Prime Minister who also made sure that he set up, beforehand, exactly what the outcome for Mark Norman would have been in terms of being charged.
    I take no lessons from this Prime Minister. Will he remove Unifor?
    Mr. Speaker, defending our strong, independent media is something that is essential to this government, indeed to all Canadians, if we are going to defend our democracy.
     That means gathering a range of voices that represent different interests within the media universe to make sure that all voices are heard. We feel that it is important that employees, as well as employers, are heard from on that panel.
    The fact that the Conservatives, for many years, unfairly attacked organized labour and attacked unions across this country is now something they are—
    The hon. member for Essex.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, rushing the ratification of the new NAFTA as it stands will hurt workers, communities and our environment. While Congress in the U.S. is fighting for a better deal, the Liberals are busy doing Donald Trump's dirty work. Do Liberals understand how much NAFTA has cost working people?
    We do, because, unlike the Prime Minister, we work shoulder to shoulder with people who lost their jobs. The Prime Minister has no idea what this does to families. Liberals are telling working people that they are more interested in a trophy on the trade shelf than they are in improving their lives.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing for working people and wait for a better deal?
    Mr. Speaker, the negotiation of NAFTA was a long and difficult process, but throughout it we could count on Canadians from all different backgrounds who had our backs as a government, and that was one of the reasons we got to a great deal.
    I was happy that we had former Conservative cabinet ministers supporting us on this. I was also happy that we had so many strong labour leaders supporting us and helping us in the renegotiation of NAFTA. That is why I thank organized labour for their support for this new deal and continue to work with them to protect Canadian jobs.

Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, in February, the minister announced funding to make much needed safety improvements to the Fond du Lac Airport, but now the Liberals are telling the community that it needs to apply again for already promised funding. The Liberals are really quick to make promises to northerners, but they act more like the Conservatives, who never cared to invest in northern Saskatchewan. Northerners are tired of being betrayed by the Liberals.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to his promise to Fond du Lac and release the funding today?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, I had the tremendous pleasure of being in northern Saskatchewan just a week and a half ago to meet with folks in Meadow Lake to see the extraordinary work that is being done as we continue to invest in communities across northern Saskatchewan and, indeed, in indigenous communities right across the country.
    Reconciliation happens when we work in partnership and when we invest historic amounts of money in communities, but mostly when we give communities the strength and ability to build their own futures. That is what reconciliation means and that is what we will continue with.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been forced to confirm that they are cutting benefits for veterans with severe and permanent injuries under the Prime Minister's veterans pension scheme. Veterans like Medric Cousineau have received letters that provide proof of the Prime Minister's betrayal. Even Liberal members of Parliament are calling this unacceptable.
    Does the Prime Minister agree with his Liberal MP from Nova Scotia, or does he still think veterans are asking for too much?
    Mr. Speaker, the well-being and financial security of our veterans has been our priority ever since we took office, because the Conservatives gutted Veterans Affairs to balance the budget and used them for photo ops.
    We made investments of over $10 billion in new dollars in Canada's veterans so they are better supported. We are delivering on the promise to reintroduce the new pension for life, and that policy was designed so that every injured veteran is better off under our new system than they were under the old one. I have instructed Veterans Affairs to ensure that that is the case in every single case.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the valiant Medric Cousineau is joining with those who say that not all veterans who participate in the new pension for life program are treated the same. A Liberal member from Nova Scotia said that if one veteran received less, that would be unacceptable.
    I remember when the Prime Minister said that veterans were asking for more than the government could give them.
    Does the Prime Minister agree with what his member said?
    Mr. Speaker, the well-being and financial security of our veterans has always been our top priority. The Conservatives cut veterans services to try to balance the budget at all costs.
    Our investment of over $10 billion provides more support to veterans. Thanks to our promise to reintroduce a new pension for life program, every injured veteran should be getting better support now than under the former system. I have asked the Minister of Veterans Affairs to ensure that that is always the case.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is the head of the government. He has many roles and responsibilities, but his primary duty consists of two fundamental objectives. First of all, he must ensure our great federation is politically united. Second, he must ensure that the government is there for our military personnel, and that includes giving them the honours they deserve.
    Did the Prime Minister share the profound disappointment felt by Canadians and by our troops when they learned that the families of fallen Afghanistan war soldiers were excluded from the war memorial event?
    Mr. Speaker, we are grateful to the women and men who served in Afghanistan for their work and their sacrifices.
    The chief of the defence staff has apologized and has confirmed that the memorial will be accessible to anyone who wishes to visit it, whenever they like.
    We are working on creating a public monument that recognizes the service of our men and women in uniform throughout the war in Afghanistan. We held consultations with veterans, their families and stakeholders. We will select the location of the monument in partnership with the National Capital Commission. We will always stand up for our veterans and remember their sacrifices.

  (1450)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister asked the chief of the defence staff to apologize for him, but he is the prime minister who has broken promises on veterans pensions. He is the prime minister who forced the Equitas Society's Afghanistan veterans back to court. He is the prime minister who cancelled the Afghanistan monument in 2016, which would otherwise be open to the public today. Moreover, the barring of families and veterans from a secret ceremony a few weeks ago was reprehensible.
     It has been four years of broken promises and four ineffective ministers. Why should military families and veterans ever believe this prime minister?
    Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons on ineffective ministers from that man, who was the one who presided over photo ops and cuts to veterans services under the Harper government. The fact is they used veterans for photo ops, instead of giving them the money they had, so as to balance the budget by nickel and diming them.
    We knew that what we were going to do was to invest $10 billion in veterans. A new veterans pension for life makes sure that every single veteran is better off now, and that is what we are going to stick with.

[Translation]

Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, in a 2013 report on an accident between a bus and a VIA Rail train, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada called for Transport Canada to examine the creation of crashworthiness standards for buses.
    Since then, there have been several of these types of accidents, including the sad accident involving the Humboldt Broncos. We are now at 19 people dead and 33 injured. However, Transport Canada has not yet done anything to change the crashworthiness standard.
    Can the Prime Minister explain why his minister has failed to act on this matter, even though his government has been in power for almost four years?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the Minister of Transport has done a lot of work on the new standards and new ways to ensure Canadians' safety. The top priority of the Minister of Transport and the government is the safety of Canadians who travel across the country and abroad. We will continue to put Canadians' safety front and centre when making decisions, and we will take steps to ensure that this is always the case.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, a delegation from Saguenay is visiting Davie today. The delegation wants to send the clear message that the shipyard is ready to secure new contracts from the federal government and that businesses in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region are ready to reap the benefits.
     The contracting process is taking too long, and that is holding up the potential economic spinoffs.
    Will the Liberals pledge to take all necessary steps to ensure that Davie gets new contracts before the election, thus ensuring all the workers in my region can benefit from the resulting economic activity?
    Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the excellent work done by workers at the Davie shipyard. They always deliver on time and on budget.
     The Conservatives shut Davie out of the national strategy. We awarded $1.5 billion in contracts to Quebec companies, including $700 million for three icebreakers.
    In addition to the strategy, we have announced our intention of awarding Davie a contract to build two new east coast ferries. We will keep supporting workers across the country, including workers in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, gun violence in Canada is on the rise. While crime rates in general have dropped during the past several decades, gun violence has increased. Between 2013 and 2017, gun homicides across Canada doubled. More specifically, in my home town of Toronto we endured 96 tragic homicides in 2018.
    Could the Prime Minister inform the House what steps our government has taken to promote the safety of our communities?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Willowdale for his hard work.
    All of us can agree that one lost life is too many. Yesterday, our legislation passed to uphold our commitment for better background checks, for standardized record-keeping, for impartial classification and for safer transportation.
    Now the Conservatives have said they would repeal this legislation. If the Conservatives remove enhanced background checks, people will no longer need to show a licence when buying a firearm in Canada.
    Together with new federal investments, this bill will combat gun violence and—

  (1455)  

    Order. I remind members that the time to show their disagreement with something is when they have the floor, not by interrupting when someone else has it. That is rude.
    The hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

Gasoline Prices

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's failure to get Trans Mountain built has contributed to sky-high gas prices in British Columbia. However, he says that is exactly what he wants.
    Rural people in my riding have no options. They cannot take public transit. They cannot take jerry cans across the border for cheaper gas in the U.S. When a person has to drive hundreds of kilometres to simply get to a hospital, electric vehicles remain impractical.
    When will the Prime Minister take real steps to address the issue of high gas prices?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that getting our oil resources to new markets is something that matters to Canadians right across the country and will help people in British Columbia.
    Unfortunately, for 10 years the Conservatives failed to get pipelines built to new markets. Their approach was to bulldoze through environmental protection and ignore indigenous peoples. They completely failed to get their exports to non-U.S. markets.
    We are following the court's direction on TMX, in the right way. We are diversifying our exports to support our workers, because, quite frankly, families in Alberta, B.C. and elsewhere cannot afford Conservative failures.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are worried about carbon taxes and the skyrocketing price of gas at the pumps.
    The Prime Minister himself has said that “is exactly what we want”. The Liberals' own secret documents show that the government plans to raise the carbon tax by another 60¢ per litre.
    When will the Prime Minister admit that his carbon tax is nothing more than a blatant cash grab that will hurt struggling Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, it has been almost 400 days since the Leader of the Opposition promised a plan to fight climate change. All the Conservatives have been doing is dragging their feet and encouraging their friends to take the government to court, instead of fighting climate change.
    I was happy to note that 97% of Canadians eligible for the climate incentive actually collected it. This means that families are better off with our price on pollution than they were before, as we fight climate change, because Canadians know that we have to fight climate change to build a strong economy.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is following the direction of his environment minister, who said this week, “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. So just go in.”
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Carleton has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, even the members opposite are following the plan of the Liberal environment minister, screaming louder and louder to cover up the truth.
    The Prime Minister said $1.60-a-litre gas prices in B.C. are exactly what he wants. Will he admit that that is where all prices are going across Canada once his carbon tax is fully implemented?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives are playing the same old game of trying to pit Canadians against each other and distract from the fact that climate change is a real and pressing challenge to communities right across the country. Extreme wildfires, incredible flooding right across the country and greater drought periods are challenges costing Canadian families thousands upon thousands of dollars, and the economy millions upon billions of dollars.
    We have a plan to fight climate change. We know that we do not have a plan to build a stronger economy unless we have a plan to fight climate change. The Conservatives do not know that.
    Mr. Speaker, what we know, whether on climate change or gas prices, is that we do not need another high school drama production from the Prime Minister. We need clear answers.
    The Prime Minister said that he believed $1.60-a-litre gas prices are “exactly what we want”. He admits his price on gas will go up 250%.
    Will the Prime Minister tell us the full and final price increase that his carbon tax will impose on a litre of gasoline?

  (1500)  

    Once again, Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives do nothing but flail about, because they have nothing to counter the fact that our plan is working.
    One million jobs have been created over the past four years. We have the lowest unemployment in 40 years. Eight hundred and twenty-five thousand Canadians have been lifted out of poverty, including 300,000 kids. We have done this because we know that investing in the middle class, protecting the environment and working with all Canadians is the way to build a stronger future and a stronger economy.
    The Conservatives have nothing to say on that, so they resort to personal attacks and scary division tactics.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the people of Grassy Narrows have suffered 50 years of lies, cover-ups and broken promises. Two years ago, the Prime Minister promised that that spring there would be shovels in the ground to build a mercury treatment centre, and nothing was done.
     Enough with the broken promises. Where is the money for the mercury treatment centre? What is the timeline? Why is the Prime Minister refusing to cover the treatment for people who have been poisoned by the corporate and political crime at Grassy Narrows?
    Mr. Speaker, we recognize the numerous health issues the community suffers to this day. We remain steadfast in our commitment to build a health facility in Grassy Narrows. At the invitation of Chief Turtle, the minister is actually visiting the community today. We are focused on moving this critical work forward, working with the community to advance a solution.
    It is imperative that we all work together and ensure that the people of Grassy Narrows get the support they need.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians would like to take pride in our exports. My hometown produces an award-winning electric vehicle that we are proud to ship worldwide.
    The Prime Minister is undermining Canada's reputation when he allows hundreds of garbage containers of household waste, plastics and recyclables to be dumped to rot in other countries.
    When the Environment Minister was called out by the Philippines and Malaysia, the response to its own dumpster fire was that Canadian taxpayers now have to pay millions of dollars to pick up these companies' trash. The Prime Minister will not sign the Basel Convention Ban Amendment to stop companies from doing this.
    How many more countries will he allow to be his personal dumping destinations?
    Mr. Speaker, we agree with the NDP that it was shameful that the Harper government allowed garbage to be exported without permits or safeguards.
    That is why in 2016, we signed the Basel agreement. The NDP needs to get its facts straight on that. We changed our regulations to comply with international obligations and strengthened controls of our exports.
    Despite this garbage having been exported to the Philippines under the Harper government, we are doing the right thing by bringing it back to Canada to ensure that it is properly disposed of.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, two men were recently arrested in Richmond Hill for possessing explosive materials. At the time, the Minister of Public Safety dismissed the incident, claiming that it was not a national security matter. We have since learned that the FBI is investigating. Everyone knows that the FBI does not waste its time investigating trivial matters.
    Will the Prime Minister be transparent about this national security issue in my riding and provide the House with an update on the investigation?
    Mr. Speaker, this government takes very seriously the responsibility to keep Canadians safe. That is why I can assure all members of the House that our security agencies, that our RCMP, take to heart their responsibility to make sure that Canadians are well protected. They are following all the appropriate procedures in every case.
    We have full confidence in the excellence of our intelligence agencies and our police services.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, let's try a different approach.
    The Minister of Public Safety said that the incident in Richmond Hill was not a matter of national security, but we have since learned that the FBI is involved.
    Can the Prime Minister confirm that this is a matter of national security? If not, why would the FBI be here?
    Mr. Speaker, we take our responsibility to protect the safety of Canadians very seriously. That is why we trust our security agencies and our national police force to do what is necessary to keep Canadians safe.
    We will not comment on specific investigations, but we will always assure Canadians that our agencies are doing their job to keep them safe.
    Mr. Speaker, here is another national security matter.
    We have learned that Mexicans have been crossing the border into Canada to commit criminal acts. We know that 190 of them have been arrested by Canadian authorities. However, we also know that 400 drug traffickers have entered Canada and 200 of them are living in Montreal. I want to know the truth.
    The Prime Minister has boasted about being open and transparent, so can he tell us whether drug traffickers are a threat to Canada's national security?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, since January 2018, the visa exemption has allowed Canadians to welcome nearly 500,000 legitimate travellers from Mexico, which has generated millions of dollars in economic benefits.
    During that same period, the Canada Border Services Agency prepared inadmissibility reports for approximately 190 Mexican nationals on criminality grounds. That accounts for 0.04% of all Mexican travellers seeking entry into Canada.
    The CBSA is working with our national and international partners. Information sharing—
    Order. The hon. member for Shefford.

Social Development

    Mr. Speaker, this week is National Accessibility Week, and I am proud of the investments our government has made and the work we have accomplished on accessibility in my riding of Shefford and across Canada since 2015. We are celebrating the accomplishments of Canadians with disabilities and the work being done across the country to give all Canadians the same opportunities to succeed.
    Could the Prime Minister please tell the House what our government is doing to create meaningful change and to help eliminate barriers to inclusion?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Shefford for his question and for his hard work.
    In budget 2019 we made significant investments to better support Canadians with disabilities. Unlike the Conservatives, we are prioritizing the passage of our historic accessibility bill, which will help create a system to proactively identify and eliminate barriers. We are building a country in which all Canadians can fully participate in society. We hope to have the support of all political parties.

[English]

The Senate

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's hand-picked senators have sole-sourced a contract to a private security company to provide extra bodyguards in the new Senate chamber. When questions were asked about this contract, all the men in black, the private mystery security agents, were sent home. There is something rotten in the Senate.
    Why did the Prime Minister's appointed leader of the Liberal government in the Senate break the rules and issue this untendered secret contract?
    Mr. Speaker, for a decade, Canadians saw how the Conservatives mistreated the institution that was the Senate, torqued it, used it for their own particular gain, pushed partisanship, pushed patronage in the Senate, with senators such as Lynn Beyak, such as Don Meredith, such as others. The fact is, we moved forward on removing partisanship and patronage from the Senate. It is now a more independent body of truly sober second thought, and we wish the Conservatives would commit to ending their prospective patronage in the Senate—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope has spoken often today, but he has not had the floor. I would ask him to wait until he has the floor. I will leave that for other times.
    The hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, B.C. gives low-income seniors a bus pass so they can get around, and it also provides rent-geared-to-income housing so they can find homes they can afford to rent. This year, the CRA demanded that B.C. issue forms to those seniors for the full cost of the bus pass, over $500. While this does not affect their taxes, it artificially boosts the income used to calculate their rents. My friend Brigid has seen her rent go up by $240 per year under this new CRA policy.
    Why does the CRA keep going after the people who can least afford it?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are proud of the work we are doing for seniors, whether it was increasing the GIS by 10% for our most vulnerable single seniors or restoring the age of retirement to 65 from the 67 that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives put it at. We have continued to invest in seniors, particularly in housing, with our national housing strategy of $40 billion moving forward. We are making sure that seniors find life more affordable, because we know that supporting our seniors through a broad range of investments is the right thing for our society and the right thing for our future.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, Hamilton is Canada's steel city. The imposition of steel tariffs by the United States caused us great concern, here and throughout North America. We fought back with retaliatory tariffs, which the Conservative member for Durham described as “dumb”, but we held firm, and now the tariffs are fully lifted, protecting thousands of steelworkers' jobs across Canada.
    Could the Prime Minister speak to the House about this important achievement?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek for his leadership on the steel file and for his question. I was incredibly happy to be able to visit plants in Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Sept-Îles to tell workers directly about this huge win for Canada and also to thank them for standing steadfast while we made sure that the United States lifted these unfair tariffs. When our steel and aluminum workers needed to be defended, we stood up and put over $15 billion in retaliatory tariffs against the United States. Despite what members opposite and the Premier of Ontario said, we held strong.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, it has been 59 days since the Prime Minister sent me a letter threatening to sue me for comments I made regarding his political interference in the SNC-Lavalin affair. Now, not only did I not withdraw or apologize for my remarks, I repeated them word for word outside the House of Commons.
    Will the Prime Minister tell me on what date I can expect to see him in court, testifying under oath, for his role in the SNC-Lavalin affair?
    Mr. Speaker, in this time of misinformation and fake news and populism, the opposition leader is doubling down on misleading Canadians. It shows that he is still following Stephen Harper's playbook. We put him on notice, because he and his party have a history of making false and defamatory statements. That is what he did in December against the Minister of Innovation. He was forced to swallow his words and retract his statements. We will not stand by while he tries to mislead Canadians again.

[Translation]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec's National Assembly adopted a unanimous motion noting that all projects involving the transportation of petroleum products must be submitted to the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement, Quebec's environmental hearings board. However, Ottawa does not understand this, because here, the national interest means the interests of oil companies, and that is that.
    We keep repeating over and over that Quebec does not want dirty oil pipelines. We do not want them. That seems pretty clear to me.
    Will the Prime Minister pledge not to revive any dirty oil pipeline projects in Quebec, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that all Canadians expect us to have a plan to protect the environment and grow the economy at the same time. That is exactly what we are doing.
    By putting a price on pollution, investing in renewable energy and new technologies, and creating new parks and marine protected areas, we are going to keep defending the environment while maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. One million new jobs have been created. We have one of the best economic growth rates in the G7. We know that the economy and the environment can go hand in hand, and now we are proving it.

[English]

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Brian Pallister, a former member of the House of Commons, a former provincial minister, and the current Premier of the province of Manitoba.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find the unanimous consent of the House for me to move the following motion—
    Some hon. members: No.
     Ms. Monique Pauzé: Let me finish.
    Here is the motion: that the House of Commons reiterate that a woman's body belongs to her and her alone and recognize her freedom of choice on abortion for any reason.

  (1515)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order resulting out of question period and the question we have been asking about the Afghanistan fallen and such.
     There have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: That in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the sacrifices Canadian military families make on a daily basis and the contributions of these families to the fabric of our society and show appreciation for their ongoing commitment to the safety and security of Canada by designating the third Friday in September of each year military family appreciation day; that the Prime Minister apologize to the military families that were excluded from participating in the secret dedication ceremony for the Afghanistan memorial; and that the government right this wrong and make the Afghanistan memorial accessible to the families of the fallen.
    Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order on the subject of unanimous consent for motions from the floor. Recently, the House of Commons put forward a motion to apologize to Mark Norman for the vicious attack by his government against him that caused a massive heartache for him and his family. The Prime Minister snuck out the door before that could be voted upon. I would like to invite him to rise now and—
    Order, please. The hon. member for Carleton is an experienced member and knows that it is against the Standing Orders to call attention to the presence or absence of a member.

Points of Order

Decorum 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The House has rules and the rule is clear. When a chair occupant rises, all members need to sit down in their place to defer to the authority of the Speaker. I would ask that you clarify the rule of the House in this regard.
    Order, please, I want to thank the hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills for raising this matter. I think many members do not understand that we should have one member standing at a time. In fact, he is quite correct that when the chair occupant rises, other members sit down. I thank him for his intervention.

  (1520)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is not the first time I have risen on this point of order, but it is the first time I have risen on a point of order from my new vantage point in the House.
     The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills is completely correct with respect to his point of order on decorum. Under Standing Order 16, none of the members in this place are to speak when another member is speaking, interrupt him or her or speak disrespectfully.
     As impossible as it is for me to believe it to be the case, my vantage point in this corner of the House subjects me to more noise than when I was in the other corner of the House, and I cannot hear people speaking.
     I am ashamed of my colleagues who cannot control themselves and perform in a way that would make their constituents proud. Think of your constituents before you shout with derision at our Speaker.
    I thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands and other members who supported this effort. I guess I can count on there continuing to be support for decorum. Of course I would remind her to direct her comments to the Chair, as she would understand. Again, I thank her for her efforts in this regard.
    I do remind members that it is certainly rude to interrupt. It is not becoming of this place. In the history of this planet, the time during which there has been democracy is pretty short. While we have a very robust democracy, we should never take it for granted. The image of this place is important in that regard and we must do everything we can to uphold it, all of us.
    I ask members to keep that in mind, and I am speaking to both sides.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Officers of Parliament

    The House resumed from May 15 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.
    It being 3:22 p.m., pursuant to order made Tuesday, May 28, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment of the member for Trois-Rivières to Motion No. 170 under private members' business.

  (1530)  

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

(Division No. 1323)

YEAS

Members

Angus
Ashton
Aubin
Barsalou-Duval
Benson
Bernier
Blaikie
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Cannings
Caron
Choquette
Christopherson
Cullen
Davies
Donnelly
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Fortin
Garrison
Hughes
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kwan
Laverdière
MacGregor
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mendès
Moore
Nantel
Pauzé
Philpott
Plamondon
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Sansoucy
Singh
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Thériault
Trudel

Total: -- 49


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bains
Barlow
Barrett
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chong
Clarke
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davidson
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Martel
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Monsef
Morrissey
Motz
Nassif
Nater
Ng
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Poilievre
Qualtrough
Raitt
Rayes
Reid
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Sopuck
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Trudeau
Van Kesteren
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yip
Yurdiga
Zahid

Total: -- 231


PAIRED

Members

Beaulieu
LeBlanc

Total: -- 2


    I declare the amendment lost.

[English]

    The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.
    And five or more members having risen:

  (1540)  

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

(Division No. 1324)

YEAS

Members

Angus
Ashton
Aubin
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Benson
Bernier
Blaikie
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Caesar-Chavannes
Cannings
Caron
Choquette
Christopherson
Cullen
Davies
Donnelly
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Fortin
Garrison
Graham
Hughes
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kwan
Laverdière
Long
MacGregor
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mendès
Moore
Nantel
Pauzé
Philpott
Plamondon
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Sansoucy
Singh
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Thériault
Tilson
Trudel
Vandenbeld
Weir
Wilson-Raybould

Total: -- 57


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bains
Barlow
Barrett
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Calkins
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chong
Clarke
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davidson
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Harder
Hardie
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Longfield
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Martel
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Monsef
Morrissey
Motz
Nassif
Nater
Ng
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Poilievre
Qualtrough
Raitt
Rayes
Reid
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Sopuck
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Trudeau
Van Kesteren
Vandal
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yip
Yurdiga
Zahid

Total: -- 222


PAIRED

Members

Beaulieu
LeBlanc

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion defeated.

[Translation]

Fairness for All Canadian Taxpayers Act

    The House resumed from May 16 consideration of the motion that Bill S-243, An Act to amend the Canada Revenue Agency Act (reporting on unpaid income tax), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill S-243 under private members' business.

  (1550)  

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

(Division No. 1325)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Alleslev
Allison
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davidson
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Laverdière
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Manly
Martel
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Moore
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Philpott
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shipley
Singh
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yurdiga

Total: -- 134


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Bratina
Breton
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Champagne
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Khalid
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Monsef
Morrissey
Nassif
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
Ouellette
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Trudeau
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Whalen
Yip
Zahid

Total: -- 150


PAIRED

Members

Beaulieu
LeBlanc

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion lost.

[English]

Mennonite Heritage Week

     The House resumed from May 28 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 111 under Private Members' Business.

  (1600)  

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

(Division No. 1326)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barrett
Baylis
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davidson
Davies
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubé
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Iacono
Johns
Jolibois
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Manly
Martel
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Monsef
Moore
Morrissey
Motz
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Ng
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poilievre
Quach
Qualtrough
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Singh
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Trudeau
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yip
Yurdiga
Zahid

Total: -- 275


NAYS

Members

Barsalou-Duval
Boudrias
Fortin
Plamondon
Ste-Marie
Thériault

Total: -- 6


PAIRED

Members

Beaulieu
LeBlanc

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

[Translation]

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act

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

[English]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, today is a big day for Canada. We have just introduced legislation to ratify the new NAFTA and secure free trade across North America.

[Translation]

     When the Americans announced their intention to renegotiate NAFTA almost two years ago, Canadians immediately rose to the challenge. It would be an opportunity for us to modernize this agreement that had been so beneficial to Canada in order to better reflect today's realities.
    We put together an extraordinary team to help us. Provincial premiers, mayors, MPs of all political stripes, business leaders, indigenous leaders, unions, and even a former prime minister helped us assert our interests.
    Right from the start, we set hard targets and determined those things that were non-negotiable to us. A NAFTA without a dispute resolution mechanism or a Canadian cultural exemption was not a NAFTA that Canada would sign. A NAFTA that called for the abolition of supply management or did not rule out the possibility of auto tariffs on Canada was not a NAFTA that we would sign.
    We were convinced that a win-win-win agreement was possible, so we stayed the course. Last October, news of an agreement proved us right.

  (1605)  

[English]

    Modernizing NAFTA was no small task. Our partners are tough negotiators and tensions sometimes ran high, but Canada always stood firm. We refused to back down.
    When the U.S. imposed section 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum nearly a year ago, Canada immediately hit back with retaliatory tariffs. We did everything in our power to protect Canadian workers and their families and to ensure the success of our economy, and it paid off. Less than two weeks ago, the United States announced that tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be fully removed, and Canada lifted its retaliatory tariffs, clearing the last major obstacle standing in the way of our ratification of the new NAFTA.
    Throughout these negotiations, our goal was always clear: get a good deal that was good for Canadian workers, good for Canadian business and good for Canadian families. We have been working for more than a year to secure that deal and to get the tariffs removed. We remained in constant communication with our counterparts, holding countless meetings and making more phone calls over the course of the negotiations.
    Our resolve never wavered, because we knew how important free trade was to the North American economy. We knew how important it was to families whose jobs and businesses depend on a strong relationship with our partners. They were counting on us, and we had their backs.
    With trade between NAFTA members valued at nearly $1.5 trillion in 2018, we cannot overstate how vital it is to maintain free and fair trade between our three countries. Our supply chains are totally integrated. Our companies rely on one another to produce incredible North American products. Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are at their most efficient, most secure and most profitable when they work together, and it is about time we got back to that way of thinking.
    With the tariffs now lifted, members of the House can now move to begin the ratification process of the new NAFTA. A new NAFTA secures access to the North American market for our business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers. It removes uncertainty for our manufacturers, our investors and our workers. A new NAFTA is good for Canada and good for Canadians.
    This agreement will protect jobs and create new ones. It alleviates fears of new tariffs on our automakers, and while it does offer new access to supply-managed sectors in line with what the Conservative government conceded during the TPP negotiations, it also comes with the promise that those working in the dairy, poultry and egg sectors will be fully and fairly compensated. Of course, let me remind the House that in budget 2019, we committed $3.9 billion to compensate supply-managed sectors for changes made in CETA and CPTPP.
    It also improves labour rights. It preserves the Canadian cultural exception in the digital age. It includes a new, enforceable chapter on the environment that upholds air quality and fights ocean pollution. With the proportionality clause now gone, it asserts Canada's full control over our energy resources.
    This agreement is great news for the workers who make Michelin tires in Nova Scotia, for the men and women who work at the Toyota plant in Cambridge, Ontario, and for the ranchers and farmers who sell Canadian beef to our southern neighbours.
    The new NAFTA will secure access to a trading zone that accounts for more than a quarter of the global economy, and it is now time for the members of the House to ratify it.

[Translation]

    We owe a huge thanks to the Canadian negotiation team, without which we would not be here today. I also want to thank Ambassador MacNaughton, Steve Verheul, lead negotiator, the member for Orléans, the public officials, the negotiators, and, of course, the incredible Minister of Foreign Affairs and member for University—Rosedale. They worked very hard to get this agreement done.

  (1610)  

[English]

    We thank them for their unwavering commitment to our workers, our industries and our economy, for defending our interests and upholding our values. They showed the world what we already knew to be true of our friends, colleagues and neighbours: that Canadians are nice, reasonable people, but we will not be pushed around.
    I want to end with a thank you, perhaps most importantly, to Canadians themselves. I know that these negotiations created a lot of uncertainty for many of them and their families. They worried about their jobs, their businesses, about their clients. They wondered what would happen if we did not reach a deal, what it would mean for their retirement, for their kids and for their community.
    And frankly, how could they not? They knew perhaps better than anyone what was at stake. They were reminded of it every morning when they punched in and every night when they sat down for dinner with their families.

[Translation]

    During negotiations that sometimes seemed endless, we asked Canadians to be patient. We asked them to trust us, and I know that sometimes that was a lot to ask.
    However, in the face of adversity, we did what we have always done: we stood together. We were there for each other and we went through this uncertain time together.

[English]

    During the negotiations, Canadians from towns and cities right across the country, as well as mayors, premiers and members of the NAFTA Council, came together as a singular voice, as one Team Canada.
    That is how we reached a new NAFTA. That is how we got the tariffs lifted. That is how we are moving forward today with this legislation, as one Team Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, I actually feel sorry for the Prime Minister. It is quite clear that nobody in his cabinet, in his caucus or in his office has the backbone to tell him the truth. The truth is that this new deal is not better than the original NAFTA.
    Two and a half years ago when the Prime Minister volunteered to renegotiate NAFTA, he promised Canadians he would get a “better deal”. Let us review how we got here, because the Prime Minister's strategy was doomed from the very beginning.
    In his very first discussion with the president-elect on election day, the Prime Minister told Donald Trump that he was “more than happy” to start NAFTA negotiations with no preconditions. Rather than aiming for a speedy resolution with minimal disruption as other countries like South Korea did with its agreements with the Americans, the Prime Minister sought a complete renegotiation.
    The Prime Minister kicked off his negotiating strategy by highlighting aspects of his agenda, insisting that the new NAFTA be focused on a series of conditions that had nothing whatsoever to do with market access or trade.
    In short order, Canada found itself on the outside looking in while Mexico and the United States hammered out a deal, and Canada would only be brought in at the end.

[Translation]

    Instead of seeking a few minor amendments to keep disruptions to a minimum, the Prime Minister wanted to completely renegotiate the agreement. The Prime Minister introduced his negotiation strategy by focusing on his so-called progressive trade agenda and insisting that the new NAFTA follow a set of conditions that have nothing to do with trade. Canada quickly found itself on the sidelines while Mexico and the United States reached an agreement. Canada only participated at the end.

  (1615)  

[English]

    What a failure. The Prime Minister tries to call this NAFTA 2.0. Nobody is calling it that. They are calling it NAFTA 0.5.
    As a result of this deal, automakers operate under new rules that constrain their content and make them less competitive, and the U.S. has set an upper limit on how many cars can come from Canada in case they impose tariffs.
    Canadians will have reduced access to essential medicines and will have to pay higher prices for prescription drugs.
    The U.S. now holds unprecedented influence over our future negotiations with potential new trading partners.

[Translation]

    American farmers will have tariff-free access to a significant portion of Canada's supply-managed sector, while the United States made not a single concession in their own subsidized and protected dairy industry.

[English]

    The Prime Minister just said that it was in line with previous trade deals that the Conservatives signed. That is completely false. The Liberals gave away far more. No Conservative trade deal ever agreed to place a limit on our exports to other countries around the world. Contrary to the Prime Minister's lofty promises at the outset, there is quite literally nothing about this deal that is better than the one before it.
     The Liberals do like to talk about the ratchet clause. I have no doubt that there were lots of intense negotiations, lots of evenings when the team was assembled and they were all focused on the ratchet clause and were up late into the evening explaining to the Prime Minister what the ratchet clause was before they even started talking about it.
     The Prime Minister's only so-called victories from the negotiations are provisions that were already in place that previous Conservative leadership had put into the original NAFTA. Certain binational dispute-settlement processes and maintained flexibility on cultural programs were already there before the negotiations started. The Liberals cannot count that as a victory if all they have done is prevented selling it away. The Americans measured their successes on NAFTA by what they gained. The Prime Minister is measuring his success on what he was not forced to give up.
    Let us remember that he agreed to all of this with steel and aluminum tariffs still in place.

[Translation]

    Once the agreement was reached, the Prime Minister stated that he would not attend the NAFTA signing ceremony unless the steel and aluminum tariffs were lifted. He was very clear about that.

[English]

    The Prime Minister promised that his last hold-out and negotiating card was that he would not participate in the photo op at the signing ceremony unless the steel and aluminum tariffs were lifted. In the end, he backed down again, and there he was sitting beside Donald Trump, and steel and aluminum tariffs were still in place. This brings me to the Prime Minister's final capitulation on the deal in regard to the removal of the steel and aluminum tariffs.
    Of course, Conservatives are pleased that the tariffs have ultimately been removed. I have met steelworkers, as I have in my riding, who were struggling. I know the pressures they were facing. However, this deal is far from the “pure good news” the Prime Minister has been selling it as. It is in fact not as advertised. “Don't bask in the glory of this one”, is how Leo Gerard, the president of the United Steelworkers union, described it. That is exactly what the Prime Minister is doing.
    The deal allows Donald Trump to reimpose steel and aluminum tariffs if there is a “meaningful” surge of imports above historic levels. Who defines what meaningful is? Donald Trump defines it. It gets worse. The deal prevents Canada from responding with retaliatory tariffs targeting key U.S. industries, the best piece of leverage we have. We even had a Liberal MP asking about this during question period, praising the strategy that strategic tariffs on unrelated industries were part of the pressure that finally got the steel and aluminum tariffs lifted. What did the Liberals do? They traded that away.

[Translation]

    Usually Canada would respond to tariffs by imposing its own tariffs on products that strategically target important politicians or industrial sectors, such as bourbon, ketchup, yogourt and farm products. The Prime Minister also relinquished that right. Imagine an investor who wants to grow their business in Canada and who needs to make a profit over the next 10 to 20 years to recoup his investment. The Prime Minister not only gave the United States the power to limit our exports, but he also relinquished our best method of retaliation.

[English]

    Why would anybody take that risk now? We know that the Prime Minister is desperate for anything he can point to as a win, so he has pulled out all the stops to celebrate this new NAFTA as a big victory. However, it is simply not as advertised, and neither is this Prime Minister.
    The Prime Minister had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to negotiate a better deal and he failed. He gave Donald Trump everything the President wanted and more. However, this is the deal that we are stuck with.
    After October 21, our new government will work to mitigate the damage this deal has caused. As Conservatives have done in the past, we will address things by working in a one-by-one process, addressing the issues like the lingering softwood lumber dispute this Prime Minister failed to resolve, the remaining buy American provisions, and the disjointed regulatory regimes. We will negotiate with the U.S. from a position of strength by emphasizing security and defence co-operation and by imposing safeguards to protect North American steel from Chinese dumping. We will diversify our trading partners, as we have in the past, to reduce our dependence on the U.S.
    When Conservatives were in power, we negotiated free trade and investment agreements with 53 countries. We will lower taxes on Canadians and reduce regulatory burdens on businesses so that Canada becomes an attractive place for investors and there are more voices fighting for trade access to Canada and Canadian businesses can compete and win on the world stage.
    In short, Conservatives will once again clean up the mess that Liberals leave them.

  (1620)  

     Mr. Speaker, it boggles the mind how the Liberal government could enter into a trade agreement with a country or think that it was possible to enter into a trade agreement with a country while that country was still imposing illegal trade tariffs on our steel and aluminum. Those illegal tariffs already threatened thousands of jobs. Thousands of jobs were already put at risk for the duration of those illegal tariffs.
    I want to acknowledge the hard work of the New Democrats and the United Steelworkers whose members fought so hard to remove those tariffs. Because of the pressure applied by all those champions, the government finally understood this was something that needed to be done and moved to get those tariffs removed. I particularly want to acknowledge our labour critic and our trade critic who worked so hard on that file.

[Translation]

    The steel and aluminum tariffs must be lifted. They have already had negative impacts on Canadian industry.

[English]

    Now we are faced with a major question. There is an agreement on the table. In the United States, the U.S. Congress is working on improving that deal. If attempts are being made to improve the deal for working people, why would the government rush ahead and ratify it. When we know this deal will not even be in a position to be signed, because of the signs we are receiving from the U.S. Congress, it makes no sense to rush ahead with a time allocated motion to ratify something when work is already being done.
    The Liberals like to bring forward a number of quotes, saying that this is what needs to be done. Let me read a quote from the USW International president, Leo Gerard. He says that the agreement must ensure stronger enforceable labour and environmental measures. “Until you give the ability to have labour law reforms, and to have it enforced in Mexico, we're not going to be out supporting a trade deal.”
    That is from one of the major players in the states, saying it will not to be supporting this deal unless there is some enforcement.
     Let us look at the four major concerns.
    One is the labour condition. Our Canadian workers can compete with anyone in the world if there are fair and level playing fields imposed. We also need to have protection for the environment. If Canadian workers have to work in a context, rightly so, where we protect the environment, but compete with a jurisdiction where those protections are not in place, it creates an unlevel playing field.
    The bill would drive up the cost of medication. At a time when more and more people are relying on medication, at a time when it is out of grasp for so many Canadians and millions of Canadians cannot afford medication, it makes no sense to have a trade deal that will drive up the cost of medication. That is another problem.
    Covering all these issues is enforceability. There is some language in the bill, but there is no concrete guarantee that it can be enforced. Therefore, enforceability is a concern.
     All of these concerns are being raised in the U.S. Congress right now. They are being negotiated and worked on right now. Why would we ratify a deal when four outstanding key elements are being worked on and improved?

  (1625)  

[Translation]

    That is the fundamental issue for us. Our priority is jobs in Canada. We want to protect jobs in Canada and the environment. We are not convinced that this agreement will allow us to do both. What is more, it risks increasing drug costs, which will have an extremely adverse impact on Canadians.

[English]

    We are calling on the Liberal government and the Prime Minister not rush this bill ahead.
    United Steelworkers' national director, Ken Neumann, said that it did not support a rush to ratify the USMCA while its steel markets remained susceptible to foreign dumping and illegally traded products and, by extension, the threat of renewed U.S. tariffs, that Canada continued to stand alone in failing to protect its key industries and that the federal government must implement strong measures to protect its markets and defend Canadian jobs and communities.
    These concerns are outstanding. Without having addressed them, we should not be rushing ahead. We should take the time to improve the deal. We should support the efforts being made right now in the U.S. Congress to improve it. Improving this deal and ensuring there is enforceability, labour rights, environmental rights and protection against the cost of drugs from going up will help Canadians, Canadian workers and will save jobs.
    The New Democrats believe in saving Canadian jobs and working to ensure the environment and workers are protected and the cost of medication is not out of reach.

[Translation]

    Once again, our priority is to defend Canadian jobs and the environment. We are demanding that the government let American politicians continue improving the agreement to help out ordinary folks, workers and the planet.

[English]

    I hope the Liberal government understands its job is not to do the bidding of Mr. Trump. Its job is not to rush ahead because Mr. Trump has requested it. Its job is to defend the workers in Canada, Canadian jobs, the environment and ensure people can afford the medication they need. That is its priority, not getting an award or trophy showing it has signed another agreement. It has to be a fair and good agreement for Canada. As it stands, there is no reason to rush ahead with this. We oppose this idea of rushing ahead. We need to improve this deal.

[Translation]

    Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member for Joliette to add his comments?
    Some hon. members: No.

  (1630)  

[English]

    Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands to add her remarks?
    Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. For clarity purposes, I did not hear anyone who said no, at least on this side, to allow members of the Bloc or from the Green Party to speak. We would like to hear them speak on the issue.
    I did hear noes and that is the end of the matter.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I did hear noes from the other side as well. We all heard some noes.
    Order, please. It was very clear to me that there were noes, so I am carrying on.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statements, Government Orders will be extended by 27 minutes.

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, three reports of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
    The first report is with respect to its participation at the annual parliamentary hearing at the United Nations, held in New York, New York, United States of America, on February 21 and 22.

[Translation]

    The second report concerns its participation at the parliamentary meeting on the occasion of the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, held in New York, New York, United States of America, March 12-14, 2019.

[English]

    The third report is with respect to its participation at the meeting of the steering committee of the Twelve Plus group, held in Horta and Terceira, Portugal, from March 24 to 26.

Committees of the House

Finance  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 30th report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-97, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019, and other measures. The committee has studied the bill and has agreed to report it with amendments.
    I want to thank all committee members who put great effort into researching and debating the substantial budget implementation act. I have to admit that sometimes the debate at committee was boisterous.
    I also want to thank witnesses who brought forward their concerns and suggestions. Certainly, I must thank the legislative clerk and the Library of Parliament analysts for all the work they did on this matter.

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs and International Development  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to table, in both official languages, the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development entitled “Peacebuilding and Development in Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Recommendations for Canadian Action”.

[English]

     Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

  (1635)  

Petitions

Religious Freedom  

    Madam Speaker, this petition highlights the issue of religious freedom in Afghanistan.
    The petitioners call on the government to do more to support religious minorities in Afghanistan, in particular the Hindu and Sikh minorities. Canada has a special relationship with Afghanistan because of the contributions of our soldiers. The petitioners therefore are hopeful that the government will act to help vulnerable minorities.

Animal Welfare  

    Madam Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the good people of Fundy Royal and on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Health, and the good people of Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe to present this petition signed by New Brunswickers.

[Translation]

    Over 800 people have signed this petition that calls on the House of Commons to support Bill S-214, which seeks to ban the sale and manufacture of of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients.

[English]

    I am proud to present this on behalf of New Brunswickers in this great place.

Human Rights  

    Madam Speaker, on the eve of White Armband Day, it is time to reflect on the genocide denial that continues to plague our world. Petition e-1837, which has obtained 2,134 signatures, is an opportunity to examine the possible actions and initiatives that the government could take to combat this horrific behaviour.
     The House unanimously declared April as “Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Awareness Month” and named genocides, which have been recognized by Canada's House of Commons, including the Srebrenica genocide.
    It is time for the government to extend resources to commemorate the victims and survivors of genocide, educate the public and to take specific action to counteract genocide denial, a pernicious form of hate which reopens wounds and reinvigorates division. Truth is justice; honesty is the path to reconciliation and peace.

Animal Welfare  

    Madam Speaker, this petition has a number of signatures from people who believe that cosmetic testing does not require the involvement of animals anymore.
    The petitioners ask for support for Bill S-214.

[Translation]

Forced Migration  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to present a petition from Development and Peace—Caritas Canada's Laval branch. The petition is signed by 343 residents of Laval.
     The petitioners wish to draw the attention of the House of Commons to the root causes of forced migration, such as climate change, persecution and armed conflict.
    The petitioners are asking the government to support grassroots organizations working for peace and to invest more in diplomatic and peaceful solutions to armed conflicts.

[English]

Pay Equity  

    Madam Speaker, I rise to present a petition that calls upon the House of Commons to enact legislation and policies that would promote pay equity and pay equality so that women in Canada get the equal treatment they deserve.

Palliative Care  

    Madam Speaker, I rise to present two petitions today. The first one is with respect to hospice palliative care. It is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with a life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychological and spiritual problems.
    The petitioners are asking the House to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act, so that provincial and territorial governments will be entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system, to be used to provide accessible and available hospice palliative care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories.

Afghan Minority Communities  

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a second petition. I had an opportunity to meet with members of the Sikh community in Ottawa today, as they were lobbying. I am presenting a petition in support of their efforts to press the government to act in support of Afghanistan's hard-pressed Sikh and Hindu minorities. The petitioners are asking the Minister of Immigration to allow members of these communities to be directly sponsored to come to Canada by members of the Canadian community who are ready to provide the necessary support.

The Environment  

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today with a petition from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands calling on the government to take meaningful and bold climate action. The petitioners point out that we must ensure that the global average temperature increase remains at 1.5°C and not above. To do this, they recommend a number of steps, including a national price on carbon, stopping any growth in the oil sands, phasing out coal and other immediate steps.

  (1640)  

Afghan Minority Communities  

    Madam Speaker, I am presenting the same petition as my colleague from Saskatchewan did a moment ago with respect to the very much oppressed Sikh and Hindu populations in Afghanistan. The petitioners request that arrangements be made to allow Sikh and Hindu people from Afghanistan to come to Canada, where there are people ready to help them settle into our society.

Cycling  

    Madam Speaker, it is a real honour to present two petitions today.
    The first calls upon the government to implement a national cycling strategy. The national cycling strategy would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the lives and health of Canadians, and lower health care costs and infrastructure costs. The petitioners from my riding of Courtenay—Alberni are calling for a national strategy that would also enhance national safety standards, including mandatory side guards for trucks.

Natural Resources  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition I am presenting is in opposition to the Kinder Morgan buyout. The petitioners are calling on the government to end its proposition to expand the Kinder Morgan pipeline, due to the threat it would pose to jobs in coastal British Columbia.

Palliative Care  

    Madam Speaker, I rise to present 52 petitions in support of the motion that was passed unanimously by the House of Commons in the 41st Parliament calling on the government to create a national strategy on palliative care to ensure that every Canadian has access to high-quality palliative care at the end of life.

Afghan Minority Communities  

    Madam Speaker, the Minister of Immigration has the power to allow vulnerable minorities to come to Canada as privately sponsored refugees directly from the country where they faced persecution. Today, I am presenting a petition that calls on the minister to use that power in support of Afghanistan's vulnerable Sikh and Hindu minorities.

[Translation]

Employment Insurance  

     Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to present a petition calling on the government to ensure universal access to employment insurance.
    I would like to point out that only 35% of unemployed women are eligible for regular EI benefits compared to 52% of unemployed men. That is a grave inequity.
    The petitioners, most of whom are from eastern Quebec and the North Shore, would like the government to enhance the current system and ensure universal access to it by lowering the EI eligibility threshold to 350 hours or 13 weeks, by establishing a minimum threshold of 35 weeks of benefits and by increasing the benefit rate to 70% of salary based on the best 12 weeks of salary. The petitioners make other suggestions too.
    I am pleased to present this petition on their behalf.

[English]

Afghan Minority Communities  

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to present two petitions today.
    The first is in support of an advocacy priority that is important for much of the Sikh community, which was articulated again to me in a meeting with representatives of the World Sikh Organization.
    The petitioners call upon the government to do more to support vulnerable Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan. They would like to see the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship use the power granted to him to create a special program to help persecuted minorities in Afghanistan, in support of their desire to be privately sponsored by the community here in Canada. They also want to see the Minister of Foreign Affairs raise the issue of the persecution faced by these communities with her Afghan counterpart and strongly advocate for more to be done to protect them.
    I commend this petition for the consideration of the House.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition is in support of Bill S-240, which seeks to address the possibility of Canadian complicity in forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill is currently back before the Senate, and the petitioners hope to see it passed as quickly as possible.

Afghan Minority Communities  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to present a petition that is signed by a number of Ontario residents.
     The petitioners point out that at one time Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan numbered in the hundreds of thousands, but today fewer than 5,000 remain. They point out that the Minister of Immigration is already empowered to create legislation to allow vulnerable minorities to come to Canada as privately sponsored refugees directly from the country where they face persecution. These groups are ready to sponsor Afghan minority refugees. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Minister of Immigration to use his powers to grant special programs to help persecuted minorities in Afghanistan.

  (1645)  

Questions on the Order Paper

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

Motions for Papers

    (Motion P-16. On the Order: Routine Proceedings:)

    May 16, 2019—Mr. Nater (Perth—Wellington)—That an Order of the House do issue for an unredacted copy of the 60-page memo dated October 24, 2018, that former Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick wrote for the Prime Minister concerning Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
     Although I did recognize Motion P-16, there is an opportunity for the government to make a statement or to weigh in, so I will recognize the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader at this point. It is an explanation by the minister or a parliamentary secretary or a member.
    Madam Speaker, all I would like to do is move to go to Government Orders, and the member for Kingston and the Islands seconds the motion.
    Unfortunately, the parliamentary secretary is not able to do that, and therefore the question is being put.
    Is it the pleasure of the House that notice of Motion P-16 for the production of papers be deemed to have been adopted?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those in favour will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Call in the members.

  (1725)  

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

(Division No. 1327)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albrecht
Alleslev
Allison
Anderson
Arnold
Aubin
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Benzen
Berthold
Blaikie
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Choquette
Clarke
Cooper
Davidson
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Manly
Martel
Masse (Windsor West)
Mathyssen
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Moore
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Sansoucy
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 110


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Boissonnault
Bossio
Breton
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Drouin
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Iacono
Jordan
Jowhari
Khalid
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Monsef
Morrissey
Nassif
O'Connell
Oliphant
Ouellette
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Picard
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rogers
Romanado
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Whalen
Yip
Zahid

Total: -- 139


PAIRED

Members

Beaulieu
LeBlanc

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion defeated.
    Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    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 Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Carbon Pricing; the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, Poverty.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

    The House resumed from May 17 consideration of the motion that Bill C-98, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
     Resuming debate, the hon. member for Durham has nine and a half minutes left from his original speech.
     Madam Speaker, this is a continuation of my remarks on Bill C-98 from over a week ago.
    I would be remiss if I did not note my disappointment with the last vote. This was an opportunity for the government, with a Prime Minister who said that the government would be transparent by default, to release the critical document in the Admiral Mark Norman affair, the memo from Michael Wernick, from the early days, on why Mr. Norman was picked out of 73 people on a PCO list. Mr. Wernick is not a lawyer, so it is not legal advice. Canadians know Michael Wernick and they know the SNC-Lavalin affair.
    Unredacting that memo would have been a gesture of goodwill on the part of the government, in light of the fact that the Crown had to admit in court that it had no reasonable prospect of success at trial. After the terrible ordeal Mr. Norman has been through, that would have been a nice recognition. I have to say that I was disappointed.
    As I was saying in my previous remarks, one of the main issues I have with Bill C-98, and with some of the bills we are debating now, in the final days of this Parliament, is the fact that if the bill were coming here after robust consultations with the people affected, we might be in a position to say that this is legislation that is in the long-term interest of the RCMP and other groups caught by the legislation, but it is not.
    Bill C-98 is another example of legislation related to public safety, related to peace officers and related to police officers that misses the mark yet again. It is unfortunate, because as the minister would know, we tried, in good faith, at the beginning of this Parliament, to work with the government on these issues.
     The minister would remember Bill C-7, the RCMP unionization bill. We worked with the government, and thanks to the member for Beaches—East York, it accepted our recommendations to make the provisions of Bill C-7 more equitable for members, regardless of what province they were in with respect to workplace injuries, rehabilitation and supports. On legislation related to the RCMP, we provided substantive input that helped with that legislation.
     Canadians see at the end of this parliamentary session that we are getting a little raucous and a little feisty. An election is on the horizon. I will remind them that at the beginning of this Parliament, when it came to the RCMP, in light of a Supreme Court decision—

  (1730)  

    I am sorry, but I have to interrupt the member. The hon. member for Durham will have six minutes and 10 seconds the next time we debate this legislation, which will be after the debate on Private Members' Business.
    It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business, as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act

     moved that Bill C-418, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
     He said: Madam Speaker, the first thing I would like to do is to thank the many people across Canada who have shown up to work on this bill. It has caught on across the country. It has restored my faith in the good judgment of Canadians and, hopefully, we will see that same good sense shown in the House and we can have some restored faith here as well.
    I am here today to speak to Bill C-418, which is the protection of freedom of conscience act. I need to point out again that I am surprised at the way this has caught on and caught the attention of the Canadian public. We should thank many Canadians and groups for whom this is an important issue for their work on publicizing and advancing conscience rights in Canada.
    To begin to understand Bill C-418, we need to back up a bit. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has a number of sections in it. Section 1, of course, guarantees our rights and freedoms. However, immediately following that is section 2, which declares the most fundamental rights, and that begins with freedom of conscience and religion. In 2015, the Carter decision in the Supreme Court said that although section 7 of the charter provides for the right to die, it also explicitly said that no one is required to participate in or be part of it.
    We then came to Bill C-14, the government's assisted suicide bill. It is a bill that attracted much attention and controversy and laid out the groundwork for the first round of assisted suicide legislation in Canada. Whether they call it euthanasia, medically assisted dying or assisted suicide, they are all different names for the same thing. Medical practitioners were divided on the issue of participating in ending the lives of Canadians. Whether we supported Bill C-14 or not, it was clear that many within the medical community were very concerned. They did not and still do not want to participate in this activity.
     When Bill C-14 was passed, it included subsection 241.2(9) which did say, “For greater certainty, nothing in this section compels an individual to provide or assist in providing medical assistance in dying.” That was not adequate because it did not lay out an offence, there was no framework for it and there was no penalty in Bill C-14 if someone violated that. It ended up being nothing more than a statement in Bill C-14.
    While the Liberal talking points have repeated this, and the Liberals also claim that everyone has freedom of conscience and religion under section 2 of the charter, this is not the reality that medical personnel are facing across Canada. In spite of the fact that on the surface the charter, Carter and Bill C-14 supposedly agree, the reality is that physicians and medical personnel in this country are being pressured to participate in something with which they fundamentally disagree and there is no protection provided to them.
    Conscience forms the basis of medical professionals' motivation to pursue their particular field. Doctors practise every day with the knowledge that it is their conscience that motivates them to test the limits of their knowledge and skill. Medical professionals know that patient care will suffer if they are deprived of the ability to live with integrity and to follow their consciences. They know the importance of these beliefs to them and their patients better than anyone else.
    For a great many Canadian doctors, the core of their conscience prohibits their participation in taking a life. Indeed, many doctors remain devoted to the black and white of the ancient Hippocratic oath, a pledge that prohibits the administration of a poison to anyone. Through the availability of assisted suicide on demand across Canada, threats to conscience are no longer confined to the theoretical or to the rhetoric of the courtrooms. They are increasingly present in the examination room as well.
    That is why I believe it is time to take action in defence of conscience rights that have stood the test of time for generations. Therefore, Bill C-418 seeks to amend the Criminal Code to do two things.
    The first is to make it an offence to intimidate a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the purpose of compelling them to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of physician-assisted suicide.
    The second provision makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the reason only that they refuse to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of physician-assisted suicide.
    My bill would provide the teeth that Bill C-14 acutely lacks. The Liberals' attempt to provide protection for doctors consisted solely of a rudimentary clause, which stated, as I said earlier, that nothing compels someone to provide or assist. However, the provision lacked the teeth needed for its effective enforcement, as evidenced by the ongoing pressure that is being exerted on physicians, particularly by their regulating bodies.

  (1735)  

    I guess the question is whether these protections are really necessary, and I would say that they are. Throughout the legislative process, I have spoken to doctors who feel overt pressure to leave family medicine because of their conscientious beliefs. I have heard of palliative care doctors in Ontario who have stopped practising altogether. Nurses who feel increasingly bullied are choosing to shift their focus or retire early. I have had personal conversations with people who work in old folks' homes who explain they do not want to participate in this but are increasingly feeling pressured to do so. The pressure on these professionals exists and they are looking for relief.
    What is more, regional associations such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario have introduced regulations compelling conscientiously objecting physicians to participate by providing what they call “effective referrals” for physician-assisted suicide. A recent court decision has upheld this directive, contravening the assurances provided in Carter v. Canada and creating an even more urgent need among physicians for protection. This is in spite of the fact that in this situation in Ontario I am told that the majority of physicians support an allowance for conscientious objections, but the college has not taken that position.
    As strange as it sounds, the recent court decision refers to the college's suggestion that if physicians do not like to participate then they can find other areas of medicine to take up. This is unusual, particularly in a situation where we have such a shortage of physicians and medical services. The college suggests that if they do not like participating they can take up things like sleep medicine, hair restoration, sport and exercise medicine, skin disorders, obesity medicine, aviation examinations, travel medicine or perhaps become a medical health officer.
    For many of us across this country, particularly those of us in rural areas, we know there is an increasing lack of physicians in an increasingly challenged medical system. I find it passing strange that the college would be the one suggesting such a thing for its physicians. The answer does not have to be to do it, find someone else to do it or get out of medicine. Medical personnel and resources are scarce. Why would one try to force people into doing what they believe to be wrong? The example of the province of Manitoba and its conscientious objection legislation shows there does not need to be compulsion in the medical system when it comes to this issue.
    My bill does not address the social acceptability of euthanasia and assisted suicide; that is not the point of it. Protecting physicians' conscience rights is not at all a physicians versus patients scenario. By protecting physicians' conscience rights, patients' rights are enhanced. Bill C-418 is about protecting the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed to all Canadians in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    Parliamentarians from all parties cannot ignore the groundswell of support this bill has received from average Canadians who believe it is time to stand up for doctors and health care providers who are not willing to leave their core ethics behind when they are at a patient's bedside. This is not theoretical. I have had photos sent to me of the revolving TV screens that we see in hospital wards, with pictures of what seems to be a physician's hand gently resting on the arm of a senior citizen, touting assisted suicide as a medical service whereby physicians or nurse practitioners help patients fulfill their wish to end their suffering and a phone number is provided. Interestingly, it makes no mention of palliative care or other ways to reduce pain and suffering. It makes no mention of access to counselling.
    With government, the courts and health care facilities promoting access as a right, should not those who object be allowed to have that fundamental freedom of conscience that is so important?
    I want to close with a quote from “The Imperative of Conscience Rights” by the CRFI. They write:
    The outcomes of the current controversies that engage freedom of conscience will not only signal the extent to which Canadians can conscientiously participate in public life—in other words, whether they can live in alignment with who they are and what they stand for in matters of morality. These outcomes will also speak volumes about who we are and what we stand for—as a society. Suppressing beliefs with which we disagree or that we find offensive in the name of tolerance and liberalism is a contradiction in terms. The fact that the state has deemed something legal does not remove a person’s freedom to express her moral opposition to it. This freedom is not absolute, but its roots—integrity, identity, and dignity—are necessary for human flourishing. These roots must therefore be top of mind whenever limitations on freedom of conscience are proposed. We believe that governments should only limit this human right if there is a compelling justification.

  (1740)  

    Madam Speaker, I am wondering if my colleague has done his research about the Canadian Medical Association and if he has its opinion of it. I know he mentioned the college of physicians and surgeons and I find its response on that somewhat alarming. How does the CMA feel about that, as well as about a remedy for people who feel that they are ruled against in their profession when they feel that they have conscientiously objected to something that is important to them?

  (1745)  

    Madam Speaker, I can tell my colleague opposite that the OMA, as far as I know, has come out in favour of protecting the conscience rights for the doctors who are part of its association, so the college and the OMA are not on the same page on this one.
    The college in Ontario has brought in a much stricter set of guidelines, if we want to call it that, than virtually anywhere else across Canada. Manitoba has brought in a conscientious objection law, which would allow physicians to opt out of this and make it much simpler for them to do that. In Ontario, the requirement is that they “must effectively refer”, which are the words that are used. Many people feel that they just do not want to participate at that level and in this day and age of electronics, there are many other ways that people can access the information. There are a number of other suggestions out there about how that might be done.
    The point of this bill is, first of all, to give the conscience protection that people need if they want to be able to continue to do their work.
    Madam Speaker, I am in substantial agreement with the thrust of the question from the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame.
    The Court of Appeal for Ontario dealt with this question at least insofar as it said that in a dispute between a patient and a physician, “the interests of patients come first, and physicians have a duty not to abandon their patients.” Can the member square his initiative with that requirement in law?
    Madam Speaker, I actually believe that we can. It has been done in other places across the country, but there are numerous ways that people can come to information about assisted suicide or medical assistance in dying. There are certainly a number of options open as to how they might access that information. The question is whether physicians are obligated to refer that, to provide that, or if they can opt out and give them another way to find that information. We believe that is very possible.
    Madam Speaker, in my riding of Perth—Wellington, I have received a fair bit of correspondence on this matter in support of the member's bill. I was wondering if he could highlight some of the support he has had for his bill from constituents in his riding and Canadians across the country.
    Madam Speaker, the interest in this bill has been surprising to me. There are some bills that really catch people's imaginations across the country. There are other ones that we really have to work hard to try to get people to pay attention to. It has been surprising to me how people have taken this on. There is an onslaught of petitions coming into my office every day and I am passing them on to my colleagues as well so that they can understand the interest that people in their ridings have in this issue.
    People generally want to be fair to other people and allow them to have the capacity to operate off of the things they believe in. Every single one of us has a set of beliefs. We have a right to operate under our set of beliefs as long as we are not destroying somebody else's life or are in other people's faces. In this situation, we should be giving medical professionals, who operate every day from a sense of conscience in what they do, the opportunity to do that.
    Madam Speaker, I want to refer the mover of this piece of legislation to the report that was done by the special committee on medical assistance in dying. There was a strong concern in that report that, indeed, we do honour the conscientious objection of medical practitioners, while at the same respect the right of patients to get absolute medical attention. If it comes down to a patient's right or a physician's right, which would the member choose?
    Madam Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, there are a number of options for people to find the information they need. There are many doctors and facilities that will provide this service if they want it, but there are other doctors and medical personnel who do not feel that assisting in someone's premature death is a part of the mandate of what they have been called to as physicians or medical personnel.
    There are enough choices out there that people can have and we can allow those who disagree with this procedure to have their freedom of conscience and be able to live their professional lives in that fashion.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak today to Bill C-418, the protection of freedom of conscience act. The bill proposes to create two new Criminal Code offences, an “intimidation offence” as well as an “employment sanctions offence”. Those offences would seek to protect health care professionals' freedom of conscience by prohibiting the use of intimidation to compel practitioners to provide medical assistance in dying and by prohibiting employers from dismissing practitioners for refusing to take part in medical assistance in dying.

  (1750)  

[Translation]

     Canada's medical assistance in dying legislation came into force almost three years ago, in June 2016. It allows adults who are suffering unbearably while on a trajectory towards death to seek the help of a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner in choosing a more peaceful death. Recently released data from Health Canada's fourth interim report reveals that as of October 31, 2018, more than 6,700 Canadians have received medical assistance in dying.

[English]

    Addressing this issue and any matter of constitutional law in the House is always a pleasure for any lawyer in the House, and particularly for me who practised in this area for 15 years prior to entering the chamber.
     Medical assistance in dying has been and continues to be a complicated and contentious issue. That is a given. It raises questions in relation to fundamental values about how we want to live and die as autonomous individuals, how vulnerable individuals must be afforded protection under the law and also about how we relate to each other as members of Canadian society.
    The complexity of this issue warrants thorough reflection on the many points of view that inform it. Even within this place, different sets of values inform different positions taken when we debated former Bill C-14 at length.

[Translation]

    For instance, as a result of the rich debate that took place, the legislation included a requirement that three independent studies be completed on topics that were particularly complex and beyond the scope of the former Bill C-14, namely, medical assistance in dying for mature minors, advance requests and requests where the sole underlying medical condition is a mental disorder.
    The Council of Canadian Academies undertook the monumental task of canvassing the available evidence on these questions and produced three in-depth reports that will continue to inform the dialogue between the public and policy makers. Importantly, the reports themselves set out a variety of points of view among experts on these three issues.

[English]

    Many members would also know there is ongoing charter litigation right now in the courts in Canada involving the eligibility criteria set out in the medical assistance and dying amendments to the Criminal Code that were passed three years before. These are ongoing matters.
    It would be inappropriate to comment on them specifically, but I mention their existence to highlight the different fundamental values that medical assistance in dying implicates and that the legislation seeks to reconcile: supporting individual autonomy, protecting society's most vulnerable individuals and protecting broader societal values that go beyond an individual's desire to control their own death, such as the equality of all lives and the prevention of suicide.
    We have seen in the opening comments of this debate the issue of the reconciliation of the charter rights held by the practitioners whose rights are being espoused by the member opposite from Cypress Hills—Grasslands, and also by the patients in the medical system, as was raised in the question by the member for Don Valley West and the member for Victoria.

[Translation]

     As these complementary values underpin the particular Criminal Code exemptions that Parliament enacted to permit medical assistance in dying, they also play out on the ground. Indeed, just as Canadians in general may have different points of view about what medical assistance in dying should look like in Canada, so do the persons who are directly involved in this new practice, namely, our health care professionals, and in particular, the medical and nurse practitioners who are permitted to provide medical assistance in dying.
    It is to be expected, and indeed Parliament heard, that this diverse group of professionals holds equally diverse views on medical assistance in dying. Our government firmly believes that medical and nurse practitioners, as well as other health care professionals involved in a patient’s care team, should not be forced to participate in the provision of medical assistance in dying.
    Providing medical assistance in dying is a gesture with the most serious of consequences. Some health care practitioners view it as an important part of their practice that relieves a patient’s intolerable suffering when approaching death. Others view it as contrary to their conscience, religious beliefs or their professional role. Other health care practitioners might support the availability of medical assistance in dying in principle but simply not wish to be involved in the practice themselves. Our government supports and respects all of these different viewpoints.

  (1755)  

[English]

    It is crucial to note that in Canada the legal framework for medical assistance in dying is primarily one of criminal law. Parliament enacted careful exemptions to the offences of homicide and aiding suicide. This means that medical assistance in dying is permitted, but no one is compelled by the criminal law to provide it.
    With the utmost clarity in this regard, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights adopted an amendment to what was then Bill C-14, adding a new subsection 241.2(9) to the Criminal Code of Canada that clearly states that nothing in the medical assistance in dying provisions compels health care professionals or practitioners to participate in medical assistance in dying.
    It is also critically important, since we are debating constitutional law, to keep in mind that paragraph 2(a) of the charter protects freedom of conscience and religion and guards against unjustified government interference in one's religious beliefs and freedom of conscience. We know that. The law reflects that. The Carter decision of the Supreme Court of Canada incorporated that. I will read part of paragraph 132 of the majority decision in Carter, which says that “nothing in the declaration of invalidity which we propose to issue would compel physicians to provide assistance in dying”. Those words entered Bill C-14 and were further strengthened by the amendment proposed by the justice committee and voted on in Parliament.
    Our government is mindful that the availability of medical assistance in dying in Canada may cause tensions in professional settings among medical and nurse practitioners who hold different views on this very topic. Strained relationships with colleagues were noted by the physicians who participated in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Pain Symptom Management, including physicians who are willing providers of medical assistance in dying but who work in environments that are predominantly opposed to medical assistance in dying. This example highlights the unique challenges that medical and nurse practitioners might face when they work in an environment with a majority or institutional view of medical assistance in dying that is different from their own.
    In addition, eligible patient access to medical assistance in dying has to be reconciled with practitioners' conscience rights. This is the reconciliation that was raised in the context of this debate and in the Carter decision, and that has been reconciled within the framework of Bill C-14 as passed.
    Importantly, provinces and territories have responsibility over the provision of health care and the regulation of professionals within their jurisdiction, and they face this complex task. In a context where we are debating constitutional law, it is important not just to look at the charter but also at the division of powers in the Constitution Act of 1867. When we are talking about regulating aspects of physicians in this country, that is germane to the jurisdiction of the various provinces mentioned in some of the responses by the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

[Translation]

    At the federal level, the Minister of Health has recently put in place regulations establishing a permanent monitoring regime for medical assistance in dying. The regime came into effect on November 1st, 2018. It will gather valuable data about written requests for medical assistance in dying and the patient making this request, but also about the reasons why a medical practitioner who received a written request referred the patient or transferred their care to another practitioner, including whether it was because providing medical assistance in dying or assessing someone for eligibility would be contrary to their conscience or religious beliefs.
    National, consistent data about the number of requests for medical assistance in dying that are transferred because of a practitioner’s beliefs will inform Canadians about the breadth of this issue.

[English]

    In addition, the medical assistance in dying legislation itself provided for a five-year parliamentary review of all of its provisions and the state of palliative care in this country. This review could begin as of June 2020. It will no doubt be informed by the comprehensive reports produced by the Council of Canadian Academies and any other available evidence about the Canadian experience, including that of health care practitioners involved in or affected by medical assistance in dying.
    I wish to reiterate our government's respect for health care professionals' diverse points of view and beliefs about medical assistance in dying. We know that they hold their patients—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Victoria.

  (1800)  

    Madam Speaker, I wish to rise today to speak on behalf of the NDP in respect of Bill C-418, the initiative of the hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.
    We must oppose this bill. We are concerned that it creates a loophole whereby health professionals could deny a referral to a patient seeking medical assistance in dying. I want to be very clear at the outset. I had the honour of representing our party, both on the special joint committee that dealt with medical assistance in dying and the justice committee.
     At that time, I put an amendment before the justice committee to ensure that the rights of health care professionals would be respected, that no health care worker should ever be compelled to provide medical assistance in dying. I am proud of that contribution. I am proud that it became part of the law.
    However, what is equally important is that there be the ability, always, for the patient to exercise his or her constitutional right to avail themself of medical assistance in dying. In a contest between a physician and that patient, the law is crystal clear. It is the patient's right that must prevail. I will come back to that in a moment.
    Therefore, this no doubt well-intentioned bill before us uses very vague language that talks about directly or indirectly doing certain things. That, of course, is the problem with this bill. We in the NDP have always championed the rights of health care professionals, but we must address this critical balance.
    Part of ensuring there is what is called an “effective referral” is that the doctors, the health care professionals, are able to find another route, but that, nonetheless, the patient always has, at the end of the day, the final ability to avail themself of that service. It is not enough to say they can self-refer themselves, that they can look in a phone book or go to a website. As I will illustrate in a moment, it just does not work that way.
    In a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 2019, a judge found that the rights of the patient must prevail over the rights of the physician. There must be what the Ontario court terms an “effective referral”. That term was defined as follows:
    A referral made in good faith, to a non-objecting, available, and accessible physician, other health-care professional, or agency.
    The quote that I find the most important in the entire decision is as follows:
    The interests of patients come first, and physicians have a duty not to abandon their patients.
    That is the Court of Appeal speaking.
    It is an unimaginably difficult situation for a person who is by definition in severe pain and interminable suffering to be challenged to find a particular doctor in circumstances where they have less resources than would normally be available to them. They have a relationship with their physician. Let us say that physician does not accept the legitimacy of the law of Canada and has a conscientious reason for opposing it, which is, as I said at the outset, certainly their right. There are issues of confidentiality. Not everyone can simply go to their family and say, “Can you assist?” or has the wherewithal at the end of life to go to a website or to a telephone book to try to find that.
    That is why the court of appeal, in its wisdom, made the statement that I just read. A doctor, in other words, cannot effectively cut their patient adrift.
    It also must be said that this particular bill, and that case to which I referred, have significant implications for a woman's right to choose. That, as well, is something for which an effective referral is required at law. The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund intervened in that case, and after speaking about effective referral in the terms I just raised, said the following:
    The Court agreed with LEAF that “due to historic inequalities in accessing the medical system, many women are dependent on physician approval to access reproductive services.” Since physicians act as gatekeepers to the system, an effective referral may be the only channel through which these women can access the care they need.

  (1805)  

    Therefore, there are implications of the bill that need to be understood as broader than the way it might be considered on its face.
     We want to ensure what we did in those difficult debates about medical assistance in dying becomes a reality for people at end of life. No matter where they live in Canada, these services should be available.
    Where I live on Vancouver Island, we have the highest uptake of this service in the country by a considerable amount, because the medical system has responded. Many physicians are providing this service. However, from talking to colleagues in places such as Atlantic Canada, I know it is an entirely different world elsewhere. As Canadians, we all have the same constitutional rights. The disparity is unacceptable, but that is the world in which we live. We have to do better.
    Reasonable access, if that is what the law requires, is simply not a reality in many rural and remote parts of our country. It cannot be that a doctor can thwart the ability of patients ability to avail themselves of that service.
    Some people may not want to talk to anyone other than their family doctor or a particular physician because of confidentiality issues. They may not even want their parents or children to know that they are considering this.
    It is my belief that the bill, as it exists today, will disrupt the very careful balance that was achieved in this Parliament regarding physician assisted in dying.
    I would like to share with the House an anecdote that was provided to me by a woman named Shanaaz Gokool, who is the chief executive officer of Dying With Dignity Canada. She tells a story about a gentleman who is only identified by his initials, R.A.
    In 2018, R.A.'s mother was dying of terminal cancer. R.A. was her primary caregiver. He was an educated, loving son who was financially secure and able to take a leave of absence from work to provide daily care for his mother. The family was from another country and English was not their first language. His mother requested help with physician assisted dying, but her doctor did not think that was appropriate and declined to provide a referral.
    R.A. did an Internet search and found somebody in a hospital nearby. The hospital sent him an email with more information about how to use the service, but he was overwhelmed in caring for his mother and missed the email. Some three weeks later, he finally got more information and called Dying With Dignity to witness his mother's MAID request. She was found eligible and a number of months after she first asked her primary care physician to help, the service was made available to her.
    Unfortunately, days before she was to receive medical assistance in dying, she died a terrible death, essentially choking on and drowning in her own vomit, when her son looked away briefly.
    When he was to testify to this before the Ontario Court of Appeal, he went back to check the email that was sent to him by the hospital care coordinator. It was a heart-breaking moment when he realized the email had the email address and phone number for the Ontario medical assistance in dying care coordination service. He had the information all along, but he was so busy caring for his mother he did not see the details in the original email.
    The point of the story is that sometimes people need a physician or a health care professional to provide them with an effective service. This story is a tragic example of where that was not done. Sometimes a phone number or web address is simply not enough.
    We believe that coercion and intimidation are always wrong. However, it is important we keep the balance that was carefully struck in this Parliament when we took the step of creating a regime for Canadians to avail themselves of their constitutional right to medical assistance in dying in certain circumstances. We should keep that balance and not destroy it.

  (1810)  

    Madam Speaker, right now many medical practitioners face the real threat of being discriminated against because of their deeply held ethical or moral beliefs.
     Bill C-418 proposes to amend the Criminal Code to extend protection to those who choose not to provide or effectively provide medical assistance in dying by making it a punishable offence to use violence, threats of violence, coercion or any other form of intimidation to force a health care professional to participate in euthanasia.
    The bill was brought forward by my colleague, the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands. I wish to commend him for his noble efforts.
    Two years ago, it was against the law for a doctor to take the life of a patient. In fact, one would think it unimaginable due to the oath a doctor takes. Medical assistance in dying was considered murder and any doctor who carried it out was deemed responsible for manslaughter.
    It is now two years later. Medical assistance in dying is now permitted under Canadian law. However, medical professionals and Canadians from many backgrounds do not wish to participate in any form as it goes against their conscience.
    While Bill C-14, the bill that makes medical assistance in dying legal within our country, advocates for those wishing to participate in the practice, it neglects or altogether fails to protect the medical practitioners whose conscience would be violated if they had to participate. This is a big problem as the professional judgment of many doctors still affirms that good medical care does not include hastening death.
    Under section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadians are free to follow the religion of their choice. They are guaranteed the freedom of thought, freedom of belief and freedom of expression. These are considered fundamental freedoms in Canada. Nevertheless, Bill C-14 leaves physicians and Canadians of faith completely unprotected.
     In Carter, the Supreme Court of Canada explicitly stated that the legalization of euthanasia did not entail a duty of physicians to provide it. It was not supposed to be forced upon them. To pay lip service to this ruling, this place, the House of Commons, put within Bill C-14 subsection section 241.2, which states, “nothing in this section compels an individual to provide or assist in providing medical assistance in dying.”
     Despite these words, which is exactly what they are, simply words, the current government outright refused to put conscience protections within the federal legislation. This was despite the fact that many witnesses came forward to committee during this time and asked for conscience protections to be explicitly placed within Bill C-14.
     I sat there during those committee meetings and listened to that testimony. I was one of the individuals who advocated for those conscience protections. There is absolutely no reason why they should not have been a part of the legislation. However, they are not, so it requires this private member's bill, Bill C-418, in order to adequately protect the conscience of our medical practitioners in the Canadian system.
    Canadians should never be put in a situation where they feel they are forced to choose between their careers or beliefs. We live in Canada. We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We should be able to engage in the career of our choice and have our ethical and moral values respected. We should be able to function according to our conscience. Currently, that is not the case. Those protections are not granted to medical practitioners the way they should be. Therefore, I call on the House to make a change, as is the member who sponsored this private member's bill.
    Canada is a religiously plural and multicultural society. It allows its citizens to live out their lives according to their conscience, beliefs and values. In this country, freedom is our strength. I know the Prime Minister likes to talk a lot about how diversity is our strength. Sure, it contributes to it, but only when our freedom is intact and respects that diversity that exists. As soon as that freedom is attacked, diversity fails; diversity is no more.
    Bill C-418 would restore such freedom of religion and conscience. It acts to defend medical professionals who act in good conscience and within their constitutional rights to not participate in medical assistance in dying. It should be argued that this bill addresses a legislative gap that was left by the current government. It completes the work the Supreme Court asked this place to do.

  (1815)  

    This bill is about protecting the very foundation of our country, Canada's religiously, plural and multicultural society, one that we are so proud of, happy to belong to and defend in this place as elected officials.
    In 2016, medical assistance in dying became legal under law in Canada. As stated, that was Bill C-14. Just prior to that, in 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that to prohibit medical assistance in dying was actually a violation of section 7 within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to life, liberty and security of the person who wished to die. As a result, the Criminal Code was amended by the current government, which again is Bill C-14.
    This has created a significant problem for many Canadians within the medical field, but it was not supposed to be this way.
     When the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the prohibition of medical assistance in dying was unconstitutional and needed to be fixed, it was stated that the legalization of medical assistance in dying did not compel or entail a duty for a physician to provide it. However, nothing was done to protect religious medical professionals from being forced to carry out this practice.
     As a result, many practitioners across the country are calling on this place to make a further amendment to the Criminal Code in order to ensure their rights are respected. Their right to freedom and to act according to their conscience must be respected.
     The argument often used is that medical practitioners can just refer their patients to another medical doctor, who will then provide the service. However, it should be noted that for some it is against their conscience even to refer someone to another medical practitioner. Those beliefs must also be respected.
    Regional associations and regulatory bodies across the country have introduced regulations that strong-arm medical practitioners whose religious beliefs do not allow them to practise euthanasia in any capacity whatsoever.
     In 2016, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario adopted a medical assistance in dying policy requiring medical professionals, who would not provide medical assistance in dying themselves, to provide an effective referral. This policy was challenged by religious groups.
     A group of more 1,500 Canadians came together and challenged this regulatory decision. They said that it violated their constitutional rights, their rights to freedom of religion and conscience. Unfortunately, on May 15, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that religious physicians and medical professionals must provide effective referrals if they themselves would not be involved with medical assistance in dying. It went on to say that those medical practitioners who believed this violated their conscience could go and find a job within the medical profession where medical assistance in dying would not be required of them.
     That is incredibly demeaning to those individuals who have gone through years of training and who, with great dedication and commitment to their patients, have served. These are the women and men who have been trained as medical professionals and it is their conscience that motivates them and compels them to function with dignity, respect and honour and to provide the utmost level of care to their patients. Now they are being punished for holding those beliefs, for holding that level of dignity, respect and honour for their patients.
    Again, I would plead that it does not have to be this way, that a change can be made to the Criminal Code that would in fact protect the conscience rights of these medical practitioners who, because of their deeply-seeded beliefs, are not able to participate in any way in medical assistance in dying.
    I ask that the House rightly respond to the Supreme Court's decision in the Carter v. Canada case and put this change within the Criminal Code to rightly respond to that decision.

  (1820)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to speak today to Bill C-418 tabled by the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands in 2018.

[English]

    Bill C-418, an act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), would amend the Criminal Code to create two new offences aimed at protecting the freedom and conscience of health care professionals who object to participating in or providing medical assistance in dying.
    One proposed offence would focus on intimidating or threatening behaviour aimed at forcing a health care professional to participate in the provision of medical assistance in dying against their wishes.
    The other proposed offence would prohibit an employer from punishing a health care professional because he or she objects to participating in the provision of medical assistance in dying, either by firing the individual or refusing to hire them.
    This legislation proposes to build on Bill C-14 that Parliament adopted nearly three years ago. Bill C-14 amended the Criminal Code to legalize medical assistance in dying in response to the Supreme Court decision in Carter v. Canada, 2015.
    These Criminal Code amendments created new exceptions for the offence of culpable homicide and aiding a person to die by suicide. The exceptions permit medical professionals to bring about a peaceful death for patients who can no longer endure the physical pain or psychological suffering they experience toward the end of their life.
    We must keep in mind the seriousness of this behaviour. Health care providers are being asked to end life. This was not just prohibited by the criminal law until very recently, but also expressly prohibited by medical ethics.
    These are just some of the reasons why medical assistance in dying is a deeply personal and difficult issue, implicating many values of the highest order of importance in our society. I am speaking of fundamental societal values, such as equality, individual autonomy, respect for life, protection of vulnerable persons, dignity and compassion.
    Medical assistance in dying also implicates the conscience rights of medical professionals. This is the fundamental value that I understand motivates Bill C-418.

[Translation]

    In its reports on certain types of requests for medical assistance in dying, which were tabled in the House only a few months ago by the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health, the Council of Canadian Academies said that a person’s individual life experience, values and beliefs inform their perceptions about the question of medical assistance in dying.

[English]

    While we all share certain experiences and values, each of us also has our our own unique experiences. This diversity of life experience, as the Council of Canadian Academies alludes to, gives each of us our own unique way of ordering the importance of the values in circumstances when they come into conflict.
    Members of the chamber have no doubt seen firsthand this diversity of views in the letters they have received from constituents, or through conversations they have heard from coast to coast to coast. Many may have read the testimonies or written submissions that Canadians and organizations made to our justice and human rights committee while it was studying former Bill C-14.
    Canadians have expressed a wide spectrum of perspectives and views on the issue. Some may resonate with our own personal beliefs and some may differ with them greatly. Many consider the question of health care providers' conscience rights and how they might be balanced against the rights of patients who are suffering unbearably and who choose medical assistance in dying.
    While former Bill C-14 amended the criminal law to enable health care providers to respond to the wishes of patients who seek assistance in dying, it also made clear that it did not compel providers to provide or participate in the activity. This is stated in both the preamble of the bill and the relevant Criminal Code provisions.

  (1825)  

    

[Translation]

    Before this, the question of conscience protections was directly raised before the Supreme Court in the Carter case. In paragraph 132 of its ruling, the Supreme Court addressed several aspects of this question.
    First, it explained that nothing in its ruling would compel physicians to provide assistance in dying, because its ruling simply rendered the old criminal prohibition invalid. This is consistent with the approach Parliament adopted in former Bill C-14, namely that in permitting medical and nurse practitioners to participate in medical assistance in dying, the criminal law does not compel them to do so.

[English]

    The court did acknowledge that a physician's decision to participate in assisted dying is a matter of conscience and, in some cases, of religious belief. It concluded by underlining that the charter rights of patients and physicians would need to be reconciled.
    Members of Parliament should not forget that medical assistance in dying is a complex issue with many facets and for which there are complementary spheres of responsibility. While Parliament is responsible for criminal law, provincial legislatures are responsible for the delivery of health care services and medical colleges and similar bodies are responsible for the regulation of health care professionals.
    Medical assistance in dying is very new in Canada. On the ground, our health care systems and institutions are still adapting to the change. Some new laws and policies in the provincial domain have been developed, while others may still be under development.
    ln terms of data, former Bill C-14 required the Minister of Health to put in place regulations for monitoring medical assistance in dying based on mandatory reports from health care providers. After a period of development and public consultation, this regime came into force on November 1, 2018. The first report is expected in 2020. lt may shed light on the quantity and quality of cases where practitioners who are asked to provide assistance in dying transfer care of the patient for reasons of conscientious objection.

[Translation]

    In the meantime, Health Canada has released interim reports based on information voluntarily shared by the provinces.
    According to the most recent report, released on April 25, 2019, over 6,700 Canadians have obtained an assisted death. That is a rather amazing figure.

[English]

    There has also been some independent research conducted in Canada. One study, which is entitled “Exploring Canadian Physicians' Experiences Providing Medical Assistance in Dying: A Qualitative Study”, found that, in some cases, providers who participate in medical assistance in dying reported that it negatively affected their working relationships with colleagues. This finding is just as alarming as the prospect that practitioners would be physically threatened in order to coerce them into participating.
    I ask members of this chamber, and all Canadians, to be respectful of the beliefs, values and perspectives held by others, even when they differ vastly from their own opinions. There is no single right answer when values collide. Our way forward must be a journey in which we engage, listen and try to accommodate, not threaten or provoke conflict.
    I am pleased that Bill C-418 again gives us an opportunity to discuss medical assistance in dying and also focus on the vital importance of respecting differences and diversity. I urge all members to approach this bill and ongoing public and policy debates on medical assistance in dying with open minds.

  (1830)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that we would be debating the member opposite's bill today. We had a fairly passionate debate just a couple of years back. The debates I really enjoy and become engaged with are when members share stories of their own. When we talked about the assisted dying legislation, with the phenomenal amount of work done both in the House and outside the House through committees, we saw a great effort from Canadians and stakeholders from all regions of the country who provided direct input to the House. That went over and above what we did as parliamentarians. I am sure members can relate. We had constituents who were very passionate on this particular issue.
    I was listening to the parliamentary secretary responsible for the legislation providing comment on the government's official position on the issue. I believe that the concerns the member opposite has, in good part, are addressed by the legislation we passed not that long ago.
    I recall vividly many of the debates we had when it came to the issue of palliative care. Every member can relate to the issue of palliative care. It is an area this government has talked extensively about in terms of how, through health care, we can ensure that there are more palliative care facilities in all regions of our country. There is so much more we can do on that file to improve the conditions for providing this service to our constituents. It is a service that is provided to our constituents through our provincial administrations.
    I used to be the health care critic many years ago in the province of Manitoba. One of the areas that would often surface was the issue of how many individuals we had in hospitals who would have been better off in a home care facility and how many times they were looking for palliative care beds. Many years later, after the time when I was the health care critic, we finally have a Prime Minister and a Minister of Health who have said that we need to see more palliative care units in Canada.
    I see that my time has expired. I hope I will have another opportunity to continue my thoughts on this very important issue.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg North will have six minutes and 33 seconds coming to him when the debate resumes.
    The period provided for consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired, and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Accessible Canada Act

    The House resumed from May 28 consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today at the last stage of debate on Bill C-81, an act to ensure a barrier-free Canada, also known as the accessible Canada act.
    Dedicated and tireless work has gone into this bill ever since it was introduced in the House last June. Many, many people spent considerable time and energy on this historic bill, including people with disabilities, stakeholders and organizations that have a role to play in making Canada accessible. More specifically, the disability community was heavily involved throughout the parliamentary process, and thanks to their efforts these people now have a bill that reflects their voices and priorities.
    We should all be very proud of the hard work that went into this bill. Everyone who took part in this process understands the particular significance of this legislation.
    This bill represents a historic milestone for the rights of persons with disabilities in Canada. It builds on our country's strong human rights system and is a major step in the ongoing implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  (1835)  

[English]

    Canada has certainly come a long way on accessibility. However, for millions of persons with disabilities across this country who continue to face barriers every single day in their communities and workplaces, this bill is long overdue. The proposed accessible Canada act pursues a simple, but essential, goal: to realize a Canada without barriers.
    What the accessible Canada act is proposing is a major culture shift. Right now, our current system requires persons with disabilities to fight for access and inclusion. We have all seen it. We all know somebody who is facing challenges with their mobility, people who cannot hear and people who cannot see, who yet want to make a contribution to our society and live their lives fully. We have to take them into account. We have to address their needs.
    The proposed accessible Canada act sets out to change that and create a Canada that is inclusive and accessible for everyone from the get-go. Canadians with disabilities are tired of being treated as an afterthought. This is what Bill C-81 sets out to do: to transform our perceptions of disability and ensure accessibility and inclusion from the start.
    Improving the quality of life of Canadians with disabilities is a priority of this government. That is why we are not even waiting for this legislation to be enacted before taking meaningful steps. The steps that we are taking to improve the Canadian Transportation Agency regulations are a good example of this. The goal of these regulations is an ambitious one: to create the most accessible transportation system in the world.
    Here I want to take a minute to thank the Canadian Transportation Agency, which is playing a pivotal and extremely important role in addressing the issues related to transportation. That is the kind of ambition that we need and which Canadians living with disabilities deserve.
    We are taking a sectoral approach with this legislation. The opposition has criticized us for this, but it makes sense to take this approach since accessibility is everyone's responsibility. All departments need to take accessibility into account as they make decisions, devise policies and prioritize spending. There must always be a focus, among all of the other priorities associated with legislation and regulations, on what those do with respect to accessibility. That is why, for example, in the transportation realm, we are strengthening the powers of the Canadian Transportation Agency. This will have a significant impact across the country for Canadians living with disabilities.
    

[Translation]

    Our government has devoted special attention to accessibility in the transportation sector, which has been made a priority item in this bill. We are committed to protecting and promoting the dignity and human rights of people with disabilities by ensuring that we have a transportation system that is truly accessible from coast to coast to coast.
    I myself take the train every week, I fly frequently, and I use other modes of transportation from time to time. We are very conscious of the fact that using the modes of transportation we take for granted can make travel very challenging, if not impossible, for certain people with disabilities.
    In the federal transportation sector, service providers will be required to develop accessibility plans and provide progress reports, as well as respond to the feedback generated by the process. They will also be required to consult people with disabilities in the development of those accessibility plans so as to ensure that the community is reflected in the plans now and in the future. They will also have to implement meaningful organizational and culture change with respect to accessibility.
    The bill sets out additional requirements to guarantee that the government proactively assumes its responsibilities when it comes to identifying, removing and preventing barriers. Where barriers do exist, we need to have stronger redress mechanisms.

  (1840)  

[English]

    This is our opportunity to achieve yet another historic milestone for disability rights in Canada. Here, I want to take a second to speak about the incredible leadership of our Minister of Public Services and Procurement on this particular file, as well as the leadership of our Prime Minister, who, for the first time in our history, has given the issue of accessibility the importance, the priority and urgency it deserves.
    Accessibility and inclusion benefit everyone. The proposed accessible Canada act will not only improve the day-to-day lives of millions of people in Canada, but also have broader positive economic and social benefits. Ensuring accessible workplaces and employment practices means taking advantage of a large and untapped and talented labour market. Making goods, services, facilities and programs accessible means benefiting from the business of a major client base. Removing and preventing the barriers that stop persons with disabilities from fully participating in our communities means levelling the playing field so that every person can live a full and meaningful life. This is what Canada is all about.
    We now have the chance to address the systemic barriers and inequity that still exist today. The barriers faced by persons with disabilities are real and tangible. To take down those barriers, we need to get Bill C-81, the accessible Canada act, passed as soon as possible. We cannot afford to wait. Persons with disabilities have so much to offer our society. They are willing, eager and able to participate and contribute and we need to insist on their much-needed social and economic participation.

[Translation]

    We have the opportunity to make Canada truly accessible and inclusive. We must do our duty as the federal government and pass the accessible Canada act without further delay. Canadians expect an innovative and forward-thinking transportation system that is dependable, safe and accessible.
    The bill ensures that these objectives are met, especially when it comes to promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities, and that Canada is recognized as a global leader.
    Today we literally have an opportunity to make history. We have been extremely flexible and open to all the proposed amendments. By passing Bill C-81, we will take another step toward an inclusive society where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. We will no longer have a system where persons with disabilities have to struggle every day to obtain basic access.
    It is essential that we pass this bill to bring down the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in Canada. We must get this bill passed as soon as possible to start working together for a barrier-free Canada. The real work will begin once the bill has been passed, and we must do it together.
    I will conclude by asking all members of the House to take a few seconds to think about the following.

  (1845)  

[English]

    All members know somebody who is facing challenges with respect to a handicap. We all know people in that situation, and we all know they face barriers in society that they should not have to face. All members know that we have an obligation, as a responsible government, to do something about that.
    I urge all members to pass the bill as quickly as possible. The time has come, and the discussion is over. This will be historic and important for all Canadians for years to come.
    Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the hon. member knows, the bill will pass in about half an hour or less. After a couple more speeches, we will be at that point. It is a good day for Parliament.
    I have had the opportunity to serve with the member on the industry committee in a previous life, prior to the last election, and I enjoyed the non-partisan conversations we had at that time, just as I enjoyed his speech today. He rightfully gave commendation to the minister, recognizing the work she has done in sharing her life experience to help people who have had similar life experiences.
    I would also like to recognize our former minister of finance, who did the same thing for 10 years in the House, using his life experience to inform his policy decisions.
    This is questions and comments, and I am going to sit down and leave this as a comment, thanking the Minister of Accessibility for her work on this file and thanking the Minister of Transport, who just spoke, for his non-partisan speech.
    In the spirit of this day, as we work together to create a better world for Canadians living with disabilities, I will end my comments there.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his comment. Indeed, he is right. We have had the opportunity to work together. In the old days before the last election, when I was the industry critic, I appreciated working with him and I appreciated his open-mindedness. We quite often agreed on a number of things, although not every time.
    I want to commend my colleague for the example he has shown in this Parliament every year by speaking about his son and about autism. I think he has played an enormously important role in sensitizing all of us in the House. I commend him for his work and for his positive comments today.
    Mr. Speaker, I would again like to thank all of the ministers who put this together and worked with all parties on this very useful and timely bill. As I mentioned earlier in another debate, I married a person who is very smart and who is going through challenges because he is losing his sight. As I have said, seniors also age into disabilities. That is something the two ministers could also look into. How can we help seniors who are not born disabled or do not have chronic diseases, but are aging into disabilities?
    I was in Australia on my own time and dime looking at some of the job training programs there. One of the very successful things it has done is to train autistic adults, who have now, as a result, actually learned enough skills to become independent. I agree with my colleague, the shadow minister for finance, that creating jobs and training opportunities for these adults with autism or other challenges is utterly important. As soon as persons with disabilities have financial independence, then everything goes well with them. I wanted to bring that to all of our attention. We should look at training these adults so they can be able, rather than disabled, people.

  (1850)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is very right. Sometimes we have a tendency to think of persons with disabilities as having been born with those disabilities. That is sometimes the case, but she is quite right in pointing out that sometimes disabilities occur later in life as people age. People sometimes age into disabilities.
    I certainly remember watching my mother very closely before she died, somebody I remember in my youth as being very active, a tennis player, somebody who skied and brought up four children, and I know the frustration she felt as she grew older and could not move around on her own but needed help to do so in the last three or four years of her life. She was also blind because of macular degeneration, which is a fairly common thing that happens when people get older. I sensed her frustration, and it closed her world.
    Even though she was past the professional working age, it closed her world down. It is important to think not only about what we are doing with this bill to help people to participate in professional life, but also to think of the quality of their lives after their professional lives and as they get older. I thank the member for bringing that up.
    Mr. Speaker, I know this legislation has definitely shown leadership by this government and the minister responsible. What I would like to know, and I know my constituents in my riding of Waterloo would like to know, is how Transport Canada is getting ahead of the measures in this act to ensure that more Canadians will be able to benefit and be part of a more inclusive and accessible Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the areas that is very much a responsibility of Transport Canada is passenger rail service. At the moment, the existing accessibility requirements are very basic. There is a position in a passenger wagon that can accommodate one wheelchair, and it can be challenging to get the person into the train itself.
    The VIA fleet is being renewed and we knew ahead of time that accessibility was going to be an important consideration. As this VIA fleet is being replaced, we are providing a requirement that people be able to stay in their wheelchairs and be lifted into the train, and also that one of the passenger wagons be capable of accommodating two wheelchairs side by side. These are examples of things that we are thinking about ahead to time, so that in 2022, when the new fleet begins to come in, this kind of capability will be there.
    We are also talking to the airlines and will be talking to the intercity bus services to look at what measures we need to put in place to satisfy accessibility requirements.

  (1855)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would really like to thank the minister for his speech.
    I know that a lot of people are watching right now, including individuals who worked very hard on this bill, so I would just like to take this opportunity to tell them that this is a step in the right direction. It is a good bill.
    Let's not forget that this should serve as a model to all other sectors. This bill covers only federal entities, but I hope many other organizations and large corporations will follow this example and adopt their own accessibility plans so as to make all workplaces and communities more accessible for people with mobility issues and other limitations.
    That is the message I wanted to share. It is definitely a first step, but much more needs to be done. I think this bill, which will become law, can be used to set an example for all other Canadian industries and businesses.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments.
    He is right. The proposed bill has federal jurisdiction. However, other levels of government and the private sector must follow suit to ensure accessibility everywhere.
    The provinces are taking notice of our leadership. They want to model their policies after ours.
    I believe it is important that this bill move forward because I am certain the provinces will follow our example in their own jurisdictions. We know that some municipalities are already taking action on this.
    Momentum is building for accessibility and it is very encouraging. I believe that passing this bill will truly help focus attention on accessibility.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the ministers for the work they did on Bill C-81. I would also like to recognize the excellent work of the member for Edmonton Mill Woods, who motivated us and brought us together on this bill. My colleague who is here beside me also deserves a round of applause for his work.
    It is an honour for me to speak to this bill, and I believe I may be the last one to do so. I have always cared about and been committed to the cause of people with reduced mobility and disabilities.
    When I began my career, I was a young radio host and the very first volunteer work that I was called upon to do in that capacity was to host a radiothon, a telethon for cerebral palsy. I do not know whether Quebeckers or members of the House remember the major cerebral palsy telethon with well-known radio and television host Serge Laprade. Every year for many years, Quebeckers looked forward to this major televised event, which sought to raise money for people with disabilities.
    It was a first. Once a year, on television, we were seeing people who had difficulty doing the same things as everyone else. We were seeing people who needed help and money from others to live. I do not know whether similar events were held elsewhere, so I will talk about Quebec.
    Quebeckers were always very generous. Year after year, more and more people contributed to this cause. In addition to helping people with disabilities, this event began to raise awareness of the importance of meeting the accessibility needs of people with disabilities, who are people just like us. In the beginning, these telethons had a tendency to paint people with disabilities as people we should pity. That is how it was. The scenes that were shown depicted the challenges and hardship these individuals face. People with cerebral palsy sometimes have difficulty speaking and so those watching had to pay close attention to understand what they were saying.
    Canadians and Quebeckers had a rather fraught relationship with disabilities. There were these telethons, but there were also telethons in small regions like my own. The Caisse populaire had hosted a small local telethon and brought in people with cerebral palsy. People found out that talking with them was very pleasant. The problem was that the people with disabilities could not actually get into the buildings where our telethons or radiothons were being held. They had to be picked up and carried in. Even the places hosting telethons or activities for people with disabilities were not accessible.
    One of the first decisions that the volunteer organization made was to build a ramp. Now these people could get into the building where we were ready and willing to help them. We wanted to involve them so they could be there with us to help raise funds. That is one of the objectives of the bill that I am going to talk about later on.
    I had so much fun at the telethon that I decided to become president of my riding's cerebral palsy association in Thetford Mines. It was a small association, yet it somehow managed to raise $50,000, $60,000 or $80,000 a year. It worked miracles with that money, mainly raising public awareness, because renovating buildings costs a lot of money, more than $60,000 or $80,000.
    Anyway, I became president of the association, and one of the first things we did was increase the number of directors with cerebral palsy or other disabilities or conditions, so that we could make decisions with them, for them. That is one of the elements of the bill that really struck a chord with me. This is not a bill that is going to impose anything on people with disabilities. Instead, it focuses on working with them to find solutions.

  (1900)  

    A particular decision may sometimes seem like a smart one, but it could ultimately serve no purpose to persons with disabilities. They may not need it. The radiothon was more than just a first volunteer experience. It was an opportunity to interact with people who are different, who have things to say and who want to do things. These are extraordinary people.
    My volunteer experience changed my perspective. Everywhere I go, every organization or public building I visit, anytime I play a sport or recreational activity, I always take some time to ask myself whether the space is accessible by all. I ask myself if everyone can participate in this sport or if everyone can work in this space. Unfortunately there is still a lot more work left to do.
    Although I completely agree with this legislation, it really is just a first step. The bill allocates money, shows goodwill and proposes some plans, which all represent one small step. Although this step is a small one, it is still a step forward. This is something that had not yet been done and that was necessary.
    As I said, I started doing volunteer work on the radio in 1985. It is now 2019 and we are still trying to implement accessibility plans. I have had the opportunity, and I truly consider it an opportunity, to work with persons with disabilities. It makes absolutely no sense to me that we are still having to introduce accessibility legislation. Accessibility should already be standard practice. We should not even have to ask the question. An accessibility plan should simply be the same thing as the architectural plan for all spaces, for all projects. This is why it is a great honour to speak to this bill this evening.
    Volunteering gets in your blood. It is infectious. I was the mayor of Thetford Mines. One of the first things I did was check all the municipal buildings to make sure everything was okay. I was mayor of Thetford Mines for seven years. I did not manage to make the Thetford Mines city council chamber accessible. It is not an easy thing to do. It costs a lot of money and requires a lot of investment. We have to send a message: every infrastructure project should always include an envelope for making all public buildings accessible. If not, then we have to convince seven other people who did not have the same volunteering experience that I did to invest a significant amount of money to allow a person from the community to attend a municipal council meeting once a year. Trying to convince colleagues around the table is not always easy. I did not succeed.
    We started making progress. We decided to move the council chamber. We gutted a building and decided that the next council chamber would be at that location on the ground floor and therefore accessible. We did not get that far because we did not manage to get the funding to build a new city hall, but that is another story.
    In any case, that is where we are today. All elected officials, anyone who is in a position of authority, all departments, organizations and Crown corporations under the minister's responsibility must keep this in mind and steer policy in that direction. If a portion of infrastructure budgets is not dedicated to improving the quality of life of people who cannot access the full range of services they are entitled to, to the same degree as all other Canadians, then we will have failed.
    I will speak to Bill C-81 and review a few points for people listening to us, because this is important.
     The purpose of this bill is to benefit all persons, especially persons with disabilities, through the progressive realization, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, of a Canada without barriers, through proactive compliance and enforcement measures of accessibility standards that regulated parties must respect and uphold. Upholding these standards is another important aspect.

  (1905)  

    Sometimes, a grant is provided to install a ramp. However, the ramp has to be maintained. After five years, a hole may appear in the ramp and someone in a wheelchair will not be able to use it. If it cannot be used, it is no longer accessible. The ramp needs to be maintained. It is great to receive a given amount of money, but these structures have to be maintained. That is why the accessibility plan requires us to report after a certain number of years. That is an important element of the bill. It is a good initiative.
    The requirement for all federally regulated entities, including private enterprises, to create multi-year accessibility plans, set objectives and present a report on what was done has been included in the bill. That is what I was referring to in the question I put to the minister just before giving my speech.
    It is good to set an example, but that is only the first step. This needs to happen everywhere. We have to ensure that all Canadians get the message—not just those working in federally regulated sectors, but those working in large and small businesses as well. Thinking about the accessibility of our buildings should be second nature.
    The Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization is a Crown corporation tasked with creating standards. I am always a bit afraid of new agencies. I always worry that more money is being invested in the offices than on the ground. That is one of my concerns. However, if we do not start somewhere, we will not get anything done. It is a vicious circle.
    Personally, I hope that this organization will be more concerned with what is happening on the ground than with office management and expansion. We do not want to have everyone with disabilities working in the same agency. We want them to work everywhere, in all the federal government buildings, and not just in one place. That is something we must absolutely keep in mind.
    We have supported this bill and we will support it now, because it is a necessary piece of legislation. Clearly, we would have liked it to go a little further. We would have liked it to be less permissive with regard to the minister’s discretion, and we would have liked to see the minister require a little more of the people who will have to implement the bill.
    We proposed some sixty amendments, but only three opposition amendments were agreed to. I hope that further improvements will be made to this bill in the future. As I see it, there are still about 57 good ideas that are not reflected in this bill.
    I think this shows that there is still work to do. Whatever party forms the next government, it will still have work to do. Everyone knows I cannot give a speech without saying that I hope my whole team and I will be part of the next government. It is hard to deliver a 20-minute speech without being partisan. The members opposite know me.
     The Senate adopted 11 amendments to Bill C-81, and those amendments improved the bill tremendously. I think it is a step in the right direction. Thanks to the Senate amendments, American Sign Language, Quebec Sign Language and indigenous sign languages will be recognized as the primary languages for communication used by deaf people in Canada. That is in line with stakeholders' recommendations and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the Harper government ratified in 2010.
    Even with the amendments, the bill uses permissive language, as I already mentioned. If possible, I hope that the ministers who will be implementing the bill will change “may” to “must”. If they make this personal, they will be able to do it. The bill says that they may do it, and I hope that they will.
    As I was saying, these new standards will apply only to regulated individuals and entities, but it would be worthwhile to expand this and to use this bill as a model to help make life better for everyone.
    In conclusion, I want to read a few excerpts from an open letter on the need to swiftly pass the Senate amendments, which was signed by a number of organizations. This open letter congratulates the minister but it highlights a comment made by Senator Chantal Petitclerc, which I really liked. She said that the committee's amendments reflect the maxim of disability communities: “Nothing about us without us”. This must absolutely guide our decisions.

  (1910)  

    This is what should guide ministers, agency directors and anyone who is called upon to participate in the development of these accessibility plans and all related measures.
    Some very good ideas might come from people like us who do not have disabilities, but although we sometimes think we have the solution, that is often not the case. People with disabilities are able to tell us what the solution should be and how we can help them. That might cost a lot less than implementing our own solutions. I have seen this in the past. These individuals do not want the hottest Cadillac or the ultimate in accommodation. They want to live their lives and thrive like the rest of us, and the best way to help them is to work with them.
    Many organizations want this legislation to be implemented quickly. I will name them, because they deserve to be recognized for the work they have done throughout the long process of getting Bill C-81 passed.

[English]

    They are the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, AODA Alliance, ARCH Disability Law Centre, Federal Accessibility Legislation Alliance, Citizens With Disabilities-Ontario, Ontario Autism Coalition, Spinal Cord Injury Canada, StopGap Foundation, Travel For All, Older Women's Network; Physicians of Ontario Neurodevelopment Advocacy; Barrier-Free Canada; B.C. Coalition of People who use Guide Dogs, the Keremeos Measuring Up team, National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs in Canada, The Project Group Consulting Cooperative, VIEWS Ontario For the Vision Impaired, Communication Disabilities Access Canada, British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, DeafBlind Ontario Services, March of Dimes Canada, North Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre, Peterborough Council For Persons With Disabilities, Québec Accessible, CNIB Foundation for Ontario and Quebec, Electromagnetic Pollution Illnesses Canada Foundation, Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy, and the Rick Hansen Foundation.

  (1915)  

[Translation]

    That is just a small number of people, but they worked hard to encourage us to change our habits and ways of doing things. Having once been a member of one of these organizations, I know that we still have a lot of work to do. These organizations work so hard.
    First, they work with their clients. Second, they try to persuade the government to change things. Third, they raise funds, because they do not have big operating budgets. Lastly, they improve the lives of many people living with the disabilities that have been mentioned.
    In closing, I would like to thank everyone who was involved in introducing Bill C-81. I want to remind the government that 57 amendments could have been adopted to improve the bill, but all the same, the bill is a step in the right direction.
    I thank all my colleagues who worked on the committee and did their utmost to speak for those who could not be there. It is our role, as members, to be a voice for the voiceless and to make sure they get a chance to speak when and where they want to.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to speak, but the member is yelling over me.
    Order. The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech, which was mainly a testimonial.
    After I was elected as a city councillor, it likely came as no surprise to anyone when I was appointed as the person responsible for accessibility in the municipality, given my experience working with organizations for people with disabilities. Every year, the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec asked us to report on the measures that had been taken to promote accessibility in the municipality. We had to have an action plan that set out concrete measures.
    I therefore decided to set up a committee made up of representatives from organizations for people with disabilities, and they are the ones who introduced me to the notion of universal accessibility. As my colleague was saying, it costs money to implement such measures, and these people did not want to be excluded from society because of a targeted action plan. According to the notion of universal accessibility, what is good for a person in a wheelchair is also good for a person pushing a stroller, and an elderly person with a walker has the same needs as a pregnant woman.
    What is more, we realized that, by putting fences up around our parks to make them safer, we had made them less accessible. By deciding to set up patios on the sidewalks downtown, we had suddenly made our city less accessible. That is why it is important to listen to organizations for people with disabilities. They are experts on this.
    I would especially like to commend my colleague from Windsor—Tecumseh for her work. The member mentioned the 57 amendments, but my colleague's job was to listen to what organizations for people with disabilities had to say and speak on their behalf. Unfortunately, not many of the recommendations were adopted in the bill.
    I would like the member to elaborate on the amendments that were not accepted that should be adopted by future governments to improve this bill.
    Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge my colleague's passion. I know that she also worked and was involved with community-based organizations.
    This evening, I am not going to talk about the 57 amendments. I think the message was received and we all agree. What I want to say is that it is important that every one of these actions are taken in collaboration with the people we are meant to serve. They also need to be made public.
    In Thetford Mines, we also made plans and had the same obligations. However, we did not make the plans public. They were good for three years and we would come back to them three years later. We decided to make them public. We organized public meetings with disability organizations and that is when we understood that they did not want us to do everything all at once. They just wanted us to take one step at a time. I think that is what we are doing here this evening.

  (1920)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise in the House to ask one of the last questions before we adopt this bill.
    When I was parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Science and Sport, we worked on this issue. When I got the call telling me I was to be parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Science and Sport, the Prime Minister mentioned that the position included the persons with disabilities file. I said I knew nothing about it. He said he was giving me a chance to learn.
    It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my political career. Alongside the minister, I worked with persons with disabilities and participated in consultations. Today is a great day for the minister and for me as well.
    With all the parties coming together on this, does my colleague opposite think the future of persons with disabilities can continue to improve, just as we improved Bill C-81?
    Mr. Speaker, that will depend on what the parties choose to do in the future.
    We cannot predict what will happen, but I think we can build on what we just did, on what we have been doing since 1985 and on what these people have done to raise Canadians' awareness of their situation, their reality and, most importantly, their desire to participate fully in Canadian life just like us.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on his speech. He was right about Canadians who have many problems, especially those who are disabled.
    It is important that the bill apply across the country. Does the member believe that the bill the government has drawn up has that objective?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague's French was better than my attempt to pronounce the name of his riding. I thank him for the question. I have to say that I understood it all. I understood everything and I understand the question perfectly.
    I will tell him once again that this bill is a step in the right direction. We cannot say that passing this bill resolves everything. There is still much work to be done on the other side. There is still much work to be done in the departments, agencies and in many other places. We heard the objectives that have been set. Now the requirements must be met.
    Parliamentarians have done their work. That is good. It is now up to the government and its organizations to take action and ensure that this piece of paper becomes a reality as quickly as possible.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to acknowledge the number of Canadians with disabilities, their advocates and the interpreters here on the Hill today and all day yesterday. I thank everyone very much.
    I also thank everyone in the House for recognizing the importance of this legislation. Yes, of course, we can always do better, and we will strive to do so, but this is a very important first step. I thank everyone here today for taking this journey with us. I thank the many who have come before me personally and have allowed our country to be one where someone with a significant physical disability can be in cabinet and can do this great work on their behalf.

  (1925)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the last word. I thank the minister and all my colleagues who worked very hard on this bill. We have to get to work right away.
    Is the House ready for the question?
    Some hon. members: Question.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to, amendments read the second time and concurred in)

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I believe if you were to canvass the House, you would find unanimous consent to see the clock at 12:27 a.m.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

ADJOURNMENT PROCEEDINGS

[Adjournment Proceedings]
    A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

[English]

Carbon Pricing  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a right to know exactly what the new Liberal carbon tax is going to cost them. In refusing to release Finance Department studies, paid by taxpayers, the Liberals Party is telling Canadians that carbon taxes will continue to increase.
    Here are the facts.
     At the rate the Liberal carbon tax kicked in at on April 1 of this year, the $20 a tonne carbon tax now being collected will not come anywhere near the Paris accord targets. To meet the Paris goals, the Liberal carbon tax will rise to $200 a tonne. The carbon tax is a consumption tax, just like the HST. If blended with the HST, it would have to rise another 6% to comply with the Paris accord. That means residents in Ontario will be paying a rate of 19%, which is a rate of 19% on every purchase. With the bulk of the taxes paid by the middle class, it will be average Canadians who suffer the most from the Liberal carbon tax.
    The member for Ottawa Centre uses climate change as an excuse for every bad policy her government forces on Canadians. The carbon tax is the best example. The same minister, after invoking climate hysteria, claims the rebate bribe on this year's tax return will compensate for the Liberal climate change carbon tax grab.
    Where is the compensation for the property owners along the Ottawa River who have lost their homes as a result of bad climate policy made by the Liberal government? The minister makes the comment, “We are all in this together.” Yes we are.
    Therefore, let us talk about what is happening in the Minister of Environment's own backyard.
     New rules are coming that will make flooding on the Ottawa River a regular occurrence. Bill C-68, which is now before the Senate, will render dam operators on the Ottawa River powerless to protect property owners from flooding.
     Ontario Power Generation, OPG, looked at its generation portfolio in hydro power and determined that it “would take 80 per cent instantaneous passage of flow as a principle for meeting the objectives of the new definition of “fish habitat””. OPG modelled one of the outcomes of the legislative changes contained in Bill C-68.
     OPG testified before Parliament that had the new rules been in place during this year's flooding “One of the outcomes was that the city of Montreal would have been under a metre more of water if we had not had the ability to store water on the watershed because of flooding in the Great Lakes.” What little authorities can do to control the Ottawa River levels will be removed by Bill C-68.
    Anne-Raphaëlle Audouin, president of WaterPower Canada, and the Canadian Electricity Association add “If Bill C-68 is passed in its current form, its impact on our industry’s ability to operate its current stations and build new ones will be catastrophic.”
    While the Ottawa River flooding issue is a shared issue for Ontario and Quebec as well as the federal government, Ottawa has legislative authority over “all works connected with the same, or in or on the waters of the River.” That definition is written into legislation that gives responsibility for the Ottawa River to the federal government. I am referring to an act respecting certain works on the Ottawa River, legislation, I might add, that has been on the books since 1870.
     It is a given, and everyone knows the historic flood of 2019 has resulted in unprecedented financial losses and expense. Flooding victims have suffered much hardship and are angry and frustrated. Flooding victims are grateful for the help being provided by emergency response teams at all levels of government, including volunteers and soldiers from Garrison Petawawa. However, now is the time to start talking solutions or 2020 will be worse than the flood of 2019.

  (1930)  

    Mr. Speaker, I find it astounding to sit here at this hour of the evening and listen to so many falsehoods peddled by the hon. member. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she believes them to be true. However, I would like to correct the record.
    Before I get into the specifics of her remarks, I would like to just state, and it is shameful that I even have to start here, that climate change is real, that it is caused primarily by human activities, and that we have an obligation and an opportunity to do something about it. We know, based on the advice of world-leading experts in climate science and climate policy, that the most effective thing we can do to transition to a low-carbon economy is to put a price on pollution.
     However, we also know that affordability for families in Canada is paramount. That is why we are returning the revenues to families directly, and eight out of 10 families in the hon. member's province are going to have more money at the end of the year. She does not have to take my word for it. I would invite her to read the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. If she cannot find a copy, I will provide one to her, gladly.
    It confirms not only what we have been saying, that eight out of 10 families will be left better off at the end of the year, but that the only families that will be out of pocket will be the wealthiest 20% of families in any province where the federal backstop applies.
    This is important. We have made great efforts to ensure that affordability remains paramount. This is a theme of our government, with the Canada child benefit putting more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families, with the middle-class tax cut that raised taxes on the wealthiest 1%, with the guaranteed income supplement that helps the lowest-income single seniors make life more affordable. I note in particular that the Conservative caucus voted against each of these measures.
    However, when we are dealing with the economic impact of our plan to put a price on pollution, it is important that we examine the results other jurisdictions have experienced. Long story short, it does not have a drag effect on the economy. If anything, it creates opportunities in the green economy.
    The Province of Saskatchewan has actually been found to be burying a report that confirms that the economic impact would be minimal, if it could be discerned at all.
    Our plan to put a price on pollution is based on the advice of folks like Prof. William Nordhaus, who actually won the Nobel Prize last year for developing the kind of approach we are now implementing. Conservatives such as Preston Manning support our approach. Mark Cameron, Stephen Harper's former director of policy, supports this approach. Even Doug Ford's chief budget adviser has testified before the Senate in this Parliament saying that the single most effective thing we could do to transition to a low-carbon economy is to put a price on pollution.
    The hon. member said that the cost would have to rise to $200 a tonne. This figure is seemingly made up; it is false. We have been clear and transparent with our plan to put a price on pollution, starting at $20 a tonne, which will rise to $50 by 2022. To say that we are going further than that is not based on fact. I do not know where the number comes from; she seems to be making it up.
    The hon. member has indicated that average Canadians will be impacted the most. That is simply false. I pointed her earlier to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report. I have seen her now blame Liberal policy for the floods that exist in the province of Ontario, when she will not acknowledge the science behind it, which actually demonstrates that human activity is causing climate change.
    I sincerely hope, for the sake of honesty in this debate, that the hon. member, during her one-minute rebuttal, will stand up and acknowledge that climate change is real, that it is driven primarily by human activities and that we have an obligation as legislators to do something about it. I would ask that she not go down the path of Doug Ford, who makes cuts left and right. He has cut a budget for planting 50 million trees, cut conservation projects, dismantled the system that was in place that was creating good jobs and boosting the green economy in that province, and dismantled the flood protections that were in place. Then he puts his hands up in the air and says that it seems there must be something happening with these floods.
    The something that is happening is climate change. It is driven by people. I invite the hon. member to stand up and acknowledge that, rather than standing here in solitude, being the only member who voted against Canada's adherence to the Paris Agreement in this chamber.

  (1935)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is the position of the Prime Minister, when he showed up for a photo op with his children at Constance Bay on the Ottawa River, that flooding is due to man-made global warming.
    Flood victims are asking, “Do we really want to go through this every year, understanding that climate change issues will not soon be resolved by the government?”
    One thing we know for sure is that climate change is a world issue, and not one caused by the flood victims. Given that the Prime Minister was quite happy to fly to Paris and give Canadian taxpayer dollars to help rebuild Notre Dame cathedral, and hand out millions in deficit dollars to respond to climate change in other countries, a just and equitable financial settlement for flood victims is reasonable.
    We are all in this together. It is time to look after the needs of Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member suggests that we are all in this together, but she seems to have put herself on an island by opposing Canada's participation in the global effort to reduce our emissions in order to protect our environment, not just for ourselves but for our kids and our grandkids.
    I would point the hon. member not only to the documents I referred to in my opening remarks, but if she wants to have a deep dive, she can read the Saskatchewan court decision that came out just recently, examining the constitutionality of our pricing mechanism. It said that pricing GHG emissions “is not just part and parcel of an effective [climate change policy]” but “an essential aspect” to reduce global emissions.
    We are moving forward with a plan that is going to reduce emissions, put more money in the pockets of families and put people to work at the same time. I encourage the hon. member to join us in the 21st century.

[Translation]

Poverty 

    Mr. Speaker, I recently asked the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development why, in a country as rich as ours, 1.4 million children are still living in poverty, and more than a third of them rely on food banks. These statistics are alarming and unacceptable.
    In its 2018 Hunger Count, the organization Food Banks of Quebec reported that the number of free meals for children has gone up 48.5% since 2013 and that 37.8% of the households that rely on food banks are families with children. The figures for my riding, which were supplied by La Moisson maskoutaine, show that 34.1% of the people receiving food assistance are children under 17. That is one-third. It is a huge number.
    Food banks across Canada are doing amazing work, and I want to take a moment in the House to thank them for their dedication and their efforts. I especially want to thank the organizations in my riding, their volunteers, their boards of directors and the people who work there day after day. They are making life easier for the people of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale.
    With regard to food assistance, I am especially thinking of the Centre de bénévolat de St-Hyacinthe, the Centre de bénévolat d'Acton Vale, the Comptoir-partage La Mie and La Moisson maskoutaine.
    In the riding, there are many organizations that do extraordinary work every day for those much less fortunate. I am thinking of ACEF Montérégie-est, the Centre Louise Bibeau and La Clé sur la porte.
    Back in March, when the most recent Hunger Count was being compiled, La Moisson maskoutaine reported giving food aid to over 2,300 people across the RCM, including close to 200 children. It provided 31,751 kilograms of food to 13 organizations across the region and fed thousands of families and individuals who live with food insecurity. Specifically, 2,312 people received food assistance that month alone. I thank these organizations for their tremendous and essential work.
    I also want to take the time to thank the organizations that work with and strongly support our children and young people.
    I would like to thank all these organizations' members, volunteers and boards of directors. I am thinking about: Sylvie Joubert, Martin Rivard and Sylvie Caouette, from the Club Optimiste d'Acton Vale; Sylvie Carbonneau and Linda Proulx from the Club Optimiste de Douville, and particularly for their Tribute to the Youth activity; the Centre d'intervention-jeunesse des Maskoutains; Jeunes en santé and its coordinator, Jezabelle Legendre; Espace carrière; Grands Frères Grandes Soeurs de la Montérégie; the JAG, which stands for Jeunes Adultes Gai-e-s; and the Maison le Baluchon, where I worked for over a decade.
    These people and others in my riding truly care about working with young people and children to improve their quality of life. Let's not forget the Maison jeunesse L'Oxy-bulle de Roxton, the Maison des jeunes de Saint-Hyacinthe, the Maison des jeunes d'Acton Vale, the Maison des jeunes des Quatre-Vents, the Table de concertation jeunesse maskoutaine and the Grand Galop, under the direction of Chantal Pelletier.
    A simple expression of thanks in this debate pales in comparison to the incredible reach of their actions. I am well aware of that. I just want them to know that I continue to support them and have the greatest admiration for them. People like them make me proud to be from that riding and represent it as a member of Parliament.
    In their name—

  (1940)  

    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot for giving me the opportunity to talk about poverty in Canada.

[English]

    This gives us a chance as a government to discuss the first-ever poverty reduction strategy in the country, and we need to do that. Poverty affects all of us, regardless of the socio-economic circumstance in which we find ourselves.

[Translation]

    Poverty affects all of us.

[English]

    It affects children, seniors, Canadians with disabilities, men, women, visible minorities and recent immigrants as well as indigenous people. The unfortunate thing about poverty is that it does not discriminate.
    Our first-ever poverty reduction strategy commits to reducing real poverty by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. However, these numbers are never going to be good enough until they reach 100% . Until it is entirely eliminated in this country, no government has the right, let alone the opportunity, to rest on its laurels. It has to work harder. We have to eliminate poverty in this country, in particular for the issue that was raised by the member and my colleague opposite, the poverty that confronts children. No child in this country, or on this planet in fact, should live in poverty. We are committed to finding and using every tool of government to eradicate poverty wherever we find it in this country and to work with the leadership of affected communities to make sure that, whether they are living in rural Canada, on the coasts of Canada, in the centre, in the cities or in rural communities or self-governing reserves in provinces or territories, we work together to eliminate poverty.
    The opportunity for all program builds on a number of the flagship measures this government has implemented and invested in since the day we took office. We have made significant investments for children, seniors, low-wage workers and other Canadians who find themselves living in vulnerable circumstances.
     For example, the Canada child benefit has helped to lift more than half a million people, including 300,000 children, out of poverty in Canada. Single mothers have seen their poverty rates decline by 30% since 2015. In the city I represent, the city of Toronto, which has one of the highest rates of child poverty in Canada, 52% of single mother-led households are now living above the poverty line as a result of investments we have made directly in their lives, in their children's lives, in the housing system, in the transit system, in the day care system and the health care system. We have made a profound difference, but we are not at zero. Until we are at zero, we have work to do and sleeves to roll up.
    We have also introduced the guaranteed income supplement, which targets single seniors, primarily women. For women who did not earn enough in the workplace and were discriminated against historically in this country over generations, we have made sure that their Canada pension plan and guaranteed income supplement are boosted to help lift them out of poverty as well.
    There is now the Canada workers benefit.
    As well, we have made a series of other investments, including a $55 billion investment in the national housing strategy, which aims to lift 500,000 Canadians out of core housing need within the next 10 years.
    We are making progress beyond, I think, even the expectations of the parties opposite. We have made substantial progress. However, as I said, the work must continue. I can assure the member opposite the work will continue, because even though we have hit our 2020 targets a year early, that does not mean we cannot get to 2030 even sooner.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to hear my colleague say that even one poor person is one too many. We need to continue to fight poverty. I talked about some organizations in my riding. It is on their behalf that I will continue the fight and never give up.
    It would be nice to hear government representatives talk more about the work that still needs to be done, rather than boast about what has been done. There are still 1.4 million children living in poverty in this country. That is far too many. We must focus on what still needs to be done.
    Yes, we have taken some steps in the right direction, but in order to stay on course towards the goal of eliminating poverty, we need to stay focused on what remains to be done and on the challenges in front of us. We need to make sure that, in a country as rich as ours, no one lives in poverty.
    I therefore repeat my question. When will the government take the next steps to lift children out of poverty?

  (1945)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I honestly want to thank the member opposite. She has a been a strong, steady and consistent voice on the issues of social justice and, in particular, on eliminating poverty not just in her riding but in ridings right across the country. I have a great deal of respect and affection for her persistence and dedication to this.
    I also have a concern that has to be spoken to, because as good as our government has been, as hard as our government has worked and as strong as the investments in child care, housing, poverty reduction and the Canada child benefit have been, we have provincial governments now in power in this country, in particular in the province I come from, that have literally declared war on children's services.
    As we step forward as a federal government and do all the good things we are doing, we have a government in the province I come from that has cut teachers and classrooms, cut libraries for students, cut meal programs for children and cut the child advocate, the very person who advocates for children in the province of Ontario. It has cut program after program. The party behind this slash-and-burn campaign to wipe out services that support kids in vulnerable situations is the Conservative Party of Ontario. If Mr. Ford continues—
    The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to order adopted May 24 and pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 7:47 p.m.)
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