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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 427

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 5, 2019




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 427
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

    We will now have the singing of O Canada led today by the pages.
     [Members sang the national anthem]

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

D-Day

    Mr. Speaker, on June 5, 1944, at 9:15 p.m., Radio Londres alerted the French resistance that Operation Overlord was about to begin by broadcasting the first stanza of Verlaine's poem Chanson d'automne:

The autumn's throbbing
Strings moan, sobbing
Drone their dole;
Long-drawn and low,
Each tremolo
Sears my soul.

     The next day, the Normandy landings began. The brave soldiers, some as young as 18, came under intense enemy fire. Too many young men fell on the beaches of Normandy, but their sacrifice freed Europe from Nazi rule. Many units from Quebec, like the Régiment de la Chaudière, the Black Watch and the Régiment de Maisonneuve, took part in the Normandy invasion.
    On this day, we honour their sacrifice and their outstanding courage. They died for our freedom, which we so often take for granted.
    I thank all our veterans. Lest we forget.

[English]

Jim Dolan

    Mr. Speaker, in Niagara Centre you would be hard-pressed to find many people who do not know Jim or Mary Dolan.
    Married for 46 years, Jim and Mary not only raised a loving family but were the very definition of community service. Always willing to volunteer, in 1994, they saw a need and stepped up to champion the Kacey-Lynn Fund. Under their stewardship, the program is thriving and has grown to offer assistance to many families throughout the Niagara region with sick or disabled children.
    Their generosity and caring spirits have been felt throughout our community. It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Jim Dolan passed away on May 28. Jim will be greatly missed by his wife Mary, their children James, Kim, Scott and Tammy, as well as his many grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
     Despite our loss, I am certain that Jim's legacy will live on through the many people whose lives he touched.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue to mismanage the public safety of our country. Now they are considering a firearm ban in an attempt to deal with gangs and gun violence. This plan will also fail as it threatens licensed, law-abiding Canadian firearm owners and ignores the obvious problem: criminals.
    News flash: criminals already ignore the law. As gang violence increased, Liberals failed to deliver funding to the police to combat it. As rural crime increased, Liberals turned their backs on rural Canada. Their border security mismanagement has led to dangerous foreign criminals entering our country. What is worse, the Liberals are watering down sentences for some violent crimes.
    The first step to address any problem is admitting that there is one. Right now, many Canadians understand that Liberals are actually the problem.
    The Conservatives have a plan to tackle crime by focusing on criminals and gang violence. It is time to replace Liberal failures with Conservative action.

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill

    Mr. Speaker, my hometown of Corner Brook is the largest community in the Long Range Mountains. The reason the town exists is the pulp and paper mill, which has been an economic stimulator since 1925.
    I was so proud to stand alongside mill manager, Darren Pelley, to announce nearly $11 million from the strategic innovation fund for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. The mill will use this investment to install a new system to dry and use low-quality biomass to limit the need to cut trees for fuel. It will reduce waste sent to landfills, reduce water use by 50% and allow the mill to avoid burning tens of thousands of barrels of oil each year.
    This funding benefits the environment and strengthens the forestry and paper product trades in all of Newfoundland, ensuring our forest sector will continue to be a leader in my province for years to come.
    Corner Brook was a mill town, is a mill town and will continue to be a mill town because of this investment.

[Translation]

Laurier—Sainte-Marie

    Mr. Speaker, I will likely have a chance to speak in the House again, but since this is my last official member's statement, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a number of people.
    I want to thank all of the members of the big parliamentary family, including my colleagues, the staff, the pages and the press. I will miss you.
    I want to thank the community groups and organizations in my riding for their creativity and their commitment to making Laurier—Sainte-Marie a place where everyone is able to live a good life.
    I thank my team, Jean-François, Ariane, Christine and Marianne, and everyone else who has come through my office. I thank Jennifer Pedersen, Lili and Roxane. Good luck, Roxane.
    I sincerely thank the people of Laurier—Sainte-Marie for their trust, their kindness and for inspiring me.
    Finally, I want to thank my husband, Germain Bélanger. We have been together for over 40 years and he is the wind beneath my wings.

  (1410)  

[English]

Status of Women

    Mr. Speaker, Maya Angelou once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
    This week in Vancouver, thousands of women and people of all genders are doing just that. They are standing up at Women Deliver and some of its side events: Feminists Deliver and the pre-conference on indigenous women and girls.
    Thanks to their tireless work, the women's movement has made some hard-fought gains. While some would like to roll back those gains, our government will remain focused on leaving a lasting legacy for women and girls, a legacy of empowerment, a legacy of gender equality, a legacy of change that will benefit us all.

75th Anniversary of D-Day

    Mr. Speaker, June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy invasions. Fourteen thousand Canadians landed at the beaches of Normandy that morning, and by day's end 359 had fallen. In the coming weeks, 5,000 more would die. We, as Canadians, owe a debt of gratitude to the heroes of D-Day that we will never be able to fully repay.
    Among those heroes was a young man named Art Boon. At age 19, Art had already been in the war effort for four years, having enlisted at just 15 years of age. He would go on to participate in the liberation of Holland and would serve his country in uniform for decades to follow.
    Today, Art Boon is back in Europe. Where he arrived 75 years ago to liberate a continent, he returns once more as a hero. History must never forget the heroes of D-Day. Today and always, we honour those who have served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We will remember them.

Cultural Unity

    Mr. Speaker, we Canadians are generally accepting and tolerant people. We celebrate our multicultural and pluralistic society, we value our diversity and we live in relative harmony with many different traditions, religions and cultures.
    Throughout the world, most people, like us, care about the same things. They care about family, friends and their communities and they care about having a better life for themselves and for those they care about, whether it is better physically, emotionally or spiritually. By recognizing this sameness, we recognize a value that unites us.
    While multiculturalism and pluralism tend to emphasize our differences, we can celebrate our sameness from our diverse traditions, religions and cultural beliefs, and that sameness can help us to understand our complex, difficult and sometimes disparate world from our common aspirations, a place not of differences but a place of connections and hope.

Levi Oakes

    [Member spoke in Mohawk and provided the following text:]
    Levi Oakeskénha tehonwaká:nere ne raohwá:tsire, wa’thatsha’tí:ia’ke tsiahiàksera tsi nahe ratironhia'kehronòn:ke shiiotohétston. Karonhià:ke tethakà:nere ó:nen. Ronkwe’tiióhne, tóhske, tahnon raweientehtòn:ne ahaiéntho.
    Ohnakénkha Kanien’kehá:ka Code Talker roiio'téhkwe ne tekeníhaton shiwaterí:io. Tsi tewateriioskó:wa tékeni watòn:tha, wà:ratste’ onkwehonwehnéha ahshakowennohetstánion ne tehotirihwaienawá:kon ronatenróhshon. Iah ónhka tehotitokèn:se oh nahò:ten rotitharahkwèn:ne ne Code Talkers.
    Akwé:kon waharihwáhsehte’ tsi nihoié:ren íhsi nón:we ne tsiá:ta niwáhsen niiohserá:ke nikarì:wes. Akwáh í:ken tsi enhonwaia’tí:sake’ ne raohwá:tsire tahnon raonkwe'ta'shòn:a Í:kehre aonsahihsennakará:tate’ énhskat ó:ya nenkahá:wi’te’ né:’e tsi katá:tis ne owén:na nè:ne wà:ratste’ ne káti aón:ton akwé:kon skén:nen aetewanonhtonniónsheke.
    [Mohawk text interpreted as follows:]
    Mr. Speaker, Levi Oakes crossed over the clouds last Tuesday. There, there was his family when he passed away. He is looking down now from sky world. He was a good man, truly, and he was good at gardening.
    Levi was the last Mohawk code talker; none remain. He used his indigenous language during World War II. He used a secret code to protect his family. No one broke the code talker's code.
    He will very much be missed by his people and his family. I want to honour his name again on one more occasion, by using the language that he used so that we could live in peace.

  (1415)  

Status of Women

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is masquerading as a feminist, willing to tear down any woman who opposes him. As the member for Whitby said when she ran afoul of him, “He was yelling that I didn't appreciate him, that he'd given me so much”.
    Earlier this week, the Prime Minister stated that the history of women's rights shows that every step forward is met by another push back, but it is his divisive actions and words that have pushed back progress for all women.
    It is one thing to describe oneself as a feminist and claim to value gender equality, but quite another to walk the talk, just ask the former attorney general and the former president of the Treasury Board.
    If a woman disagrees with the Prime Minister, she can forget about civil discourse. He will undermine and then dismiss her. Canadian women are not being fooled by his virtue signalling. This Prime Minister is not as advertised.

Status of Women

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to talk about the real and tangible way this government is improving the lives of women and girls. I am talking about the equality fund that our government announced this week. To tackle gender issues, we have to act as a team, because together everyone achieves more.
     We are investing $300 million to build a funding platform and bring together the granting, philanthropic and investment worlds and make Canada the leading donor to women's rights and gender equality organizations in the world.

[Translation]

    Over the next 15 years, we hope to allocate $1 billion to gender equality. In addition to funding, we will play a leadership role. When we act as a driver of change, other countries are bound to follow.

International Women's Day

    Mr. Speaker, the riding of Bourassa, which I represent in the House of Commons, is teeming with talent, knowledge and expertise.
    For the second year in a row, on International Women's Day on March 8, 2019, I had the privilege of awarding a certificate of honour and merit and recognizing eight women from the riding of Bourassa. I am absolutely delighted to welcome them to Ottawa today. The recipients are Micheline Cantave, Gaetana Colella, Julie Demers, Kerline François, Khadija Jyad, Diane Lecouëdic, Sister Pierre-Anne Mandato and Brunilda Reyes.
    I ask my hon. colleagues to join me in extending a warm welcome to these eight extraordinary women.

2019 General Election

    Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government is more centralist, paternalistic and, quite simply, arrogant than any other Liberal government in the history of our federation.
    For the past four years, the government has repeatedly shown that it is out of touch with the spirit of federalism. It refuses to honour the tradition of appointing a political lieutenant for Quebec and instead made a minister from Toronto responsible for the economic development of our province. It is imposing political conditions on federal transfers. It refuses to give Quebec greater powers in the area of immigration. It refuses to respond favourably to the National Assembly's request for a single tax return, something all Quebeckers want.
    I could go on and on. Following in the footsteps of founding fathers Cartier and MacDonald, we the Conservatives will continue to properly honour federalism. In 2008, we recognized that Quebeckers form a nation within a united Canada.
    In 2019, when we form the government, we will respond favourably to the demands of Quebeckers and Quebec.

[English]

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge

    Mr. Speaker, it has been almost four years since I first took my seat in the House. It has been privilege to serve the constituents of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge. I have loved building the relationships that are so important to understanding the needs of my communities.
    There are groups like Pathfinder Youth Centre Society, which supports at-risk youth, and Alisha's Wish Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, which provides services to children and youth who are victims of abuse.
    Groups such as Alouette River Management Society, KEEPS and Watershed Watch work hard to restore fish habitat, advocate education on our diverse wildlife and try to find ways to reverse the damage to our fish and salmon stock.
    Our Seniors Network is a group of individuals and organizations with a shared goal of providing support and resources for our seniors.
    There are all the businesses and non-profits that hire summer students so they can gain valuable experience.
    When we both build and sustain relationships with the grassroots people in our communities, we can work together to create better outcomes. From the words of Helen Keller, alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

  (1420)  

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, Canada committed deliberate race, identity and gender-based genocide against indigenous peoples and we can see the impact of this in every sphere of life: the violence, the loss of life, the child apprehensions, the marginalization, the deliberate exclusion, the poverty, the homelessness rate, the lack of protection, the Indian Act, the sex-based discrimination, the racism and it goes on. This is Canada's shame.
    If we are to show that we have actually heard family members and survivors, we must have an indigenous-led action plan, with a dedicated budget and a timeline for implementation, that is publicly accountable. We must address indigenous land titles and indigenous people's right to self-sufficiency and self-governance.
     We have a duty to address this historic and intergenerational trauma, social and economic marginalization and the ongoing dismissal of their expertise. The calls for justice are not just recommendations, but are legal imperatives that must be implemented.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's sunny climate plan was supposed to save the environment and boost the economy. Well, it did neither. In reality, all it did was punish Canadians for getting groceries, driving the kids to hockey or even running small businesses.
    In reality, the carbon tax is a money grab. The Prime Minister has to pay for his consecutive deficits and reckless spending, so he is making hard-working Canadians pay for it under the guise of a climate plan. If the Prime Minister really cared about the environment, he would not be exempting Canada's largest emitters from the carbon tax and he certainly would not be spending more time flying to his vacations than most Canadians have actually spent on a vacation in the last five years.
    The Liberal government is nowhere near meeting its climate goals and now we are at the point where the United States is closer to reaching its targets than Canada. The sunny ways are over and we are left with a money-grabbing carbon tax. The Liberals' climate plan is not as advertised.

Canada Child Benefit

    Mr. Speaker, when I knock on doors in my riding and meet families with young children, I ask them about the Liberal baby bonus and they tell me they love it.
     Early in our mandate, families in Edmonton Centre hoped that the Canada child benefit would do better for them, and it has. In April alone, we issued over 7,000 payments to over 12,000 children, for a total of $4.6 million into the riding. That is over $55 million tax-free directly to Edmonton Centre families each year.
     Three years into the program, we have lifted 17,000 children in Edmonton out of poverty. That is equivalent to a Rogers Place full of children out of poverty. When we add their parents, it is a Commonwealth Stadium full of people able to make ends meet.
    Across Canada, we have reduced poverty from 13% to 9%. What do we call that in Edmonton? We call that better than advertised.
    Order, please. There are likely to be disagreements here, and there should be, but we cannot all speak at the same time and we should show respect for this place, for each other and for different opinions. Members should not all speak at once and interrupt.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

  (1425)  

[English]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's failures when it comes to dealing with the Government of China are escalating, and his gross mismanagement of our relationship with China will now hurt even more Canadians.
    This time, Canadian meat producers are being punished, after China's customs agency announced that it is going to dramatically increase inspections and open all containers of Canadian meat and meat products.
    Does the Prime Minister not realize that Canadian producers are suffering as a result of his failures? What is he prepared to do about this?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we are working very closely with producers and the entire agriculture industry. Our main objective is to reopen markets in China, which we are doing in various ways in collaboration with my colleagues at the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of International Trade and my provincial counterparts.
    We were informed that China would be increasing pork inspections. That is why we are encouraging all members of the industry to be extremely vigilant as they continue exporting.

[English]

Foreign Affairs

    As if it is the producers' fault, Mr. Speaker. That is absolutely incorrect.
    Five months ago, former Liberal cabinet minister John McCallum had to resign in shame as our ambassador to China. We are now in June and the Prime Minister has not appointed a replacement. Canadians are being detained on bogus charges, soybean producers are facing new barriers, canola producers are having shipments blocked, and now the Chinese government is going after our meat producers. This is going from bad to worse.
    Why has the Prime Minister not appointed an ambassador to China?
    Mr. Speaker, our relationship with China is extremely important. We are very concerned with the detention of Canadians in China, which is why we are rallying a number of friendly countries. Also, we were able to make sure that we had a joint statement with the United States, calling for the immediate release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and rejecting their wrongful detention.
    Mr. Speaker, it is not working. This relationship and the impact are getting worse. The Prime Minister's failure when it comes to the Chinese government is causing real pain and real suffering for Canadians. He has failed to appoint a new ambassador. He is refusing to pick up the phone and call the Chinese premier. Canadian lives are at risk and agriculture producers are suffering.
    When will the Prime Minister finally start treating this crisis with the seriousness, urgency and attention it requires?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that the relationship with China is important. That is why this file is a priority for the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister.
    We are particularly concerned about the unjustified detention of Canadians in China. That is why we established an international coalition of countries that support our position. We have also signed a joint statement with the United States calling for the immediate release of the Canadians held in China.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are all talk and no action when it comes to the China crisis, which keeps getting worse. The Chinese government is now targeting the pork industry. Two factories had their permits suspended, and each container of Canadian pork is now being heavily scrutinized by the Chinese government.
    What are the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture doing to protect our market access? They are doing absolutely nothing.
    When will the Prime Minister finally stand up for our ranchers and farmers?
    Mr. Speaker, our team is working non-stop across the country to fix this situation. Our priority is reopening the Chinese markets for agricultural products.
    We have increased our support for farmers through the advance payments program. Farmers will be able to submit their application as of June 10. They already had access to $400,000 loan advances and will now be eligible for $1 million. As for canola producers, they are entitled to $500,000 interest free.

[English]

    I want to remind my hon. friend from Prince Albert that I can hear him from way down there, but I would prefer to hear him only when he has the floor, of course, as he would understand.
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the canola crisis is not about quality. There is no issue with the quality of Canadian pork and yet the Liberal government stubbornly refuses to deal with this crisis politically. As the director of the China Institute of the University of Alberta clearly said, “I think it is veiled political retaliation”.
    Why is the Minister of Agriculture hiding behind a delegation of experts that is incapable of going to China, and so-called administrative errors?
    Why is the Prime Minister refusing to appoint an ambassador and file a complaint with the WTO?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is cause for celebration because I rarely agree with my colleague. The quality of our Canadian products is absolutely not at issue. We offer agricultural products of the highest quality and our inspection system is very reliable and internationally renowned.
    Our representative raised this issue at the last general council of the World Trade Organization.

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has created the most unequal tax system in the industrialized world. The Liberal system of tax havens and tax loopholes lets millionaires and Canada's most profitable companies get off the hook from paying their fair share.
     Canadians have just found out that the revenue minister has let yet another millionaire tax evader off the hook through the KPMG offshore tax scam. The Liberals have created one set of rules for millionaires and another for everyone else.
     Why do the Liberals always reward wealthy tax dodgers? Why do they not make them pay their fair share?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is firmly committed to fighting tax evaders. Out-of-court settlements are reached through a fully independent process within the Canada Revenue Agency, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, to ensure the integrity of the tax system.
    While we understand that settlements can be used appropriately in certain circumstances, we are concerned about the lack of transparency associated with them. That is why the minister has directed the CRA to review its processes to allow for greater transparency on the reasons why a settlement is reached.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, wealthy KPMG clients accused of using a fraudulent scheme to avoid paying their fair share of taxes were granted amnesty by none other than the revenue minister.
    This is not the first time KPMG clients have obtained a lenient settlement from the federal government. This settlement is proof of the federal government's total lack of transparency.
    When will the government take action, stop giving the wealthiest Canadians special treatment, and force them to pay their fair share of taxes?
     Mr. Speaker, our government is fully committed to fighting tax evaders. Out-of-court settlements are reached through a fully independent process within the Canada Revenue Agency in collaboration with the Department of Justice to ensure the integrity of the tax system.
     While we understand that the rules can be used appropriately in certain circumstances, we are concerned about the lack of transparency associated with them. That is why the minister has directed the CRA to review its processes to allow for greater transparency on the reasons why—
    Order. The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, this government supports big business to the detriment of SMEs, workers and particularly taxpayers.
    Today, Groupe TVA announced 68 layoffs. It is saying loud and clear that the unfair competition from web giants is the main reason for these job losses. The NPD has been calling on the government for a long time to force web giants to pay their fair share of taxes.
    Why does the Liberal government not take action to force web giants to pay their fair share of taxes?
    Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the employees and their families. The loss of even just one job is a tragedy, particularly when it affects the culture and communications sector.
    The NDP should be asking the Conservatives that question. They sat on their hands for 10 years while they were in office. They did absolutely nothing, but we are addressing the problem. There is a committee that is looking into this. We are going to legislate and ensure that, in the end, all those who participate in the system contribute to the system, with no exceptions.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been in power for four years. It is about time they took some responsibility for that. In the past, people and large companies paid equal amounts of income tax. Since then, Liberal and Conservative governments have shifted the balance in favour of the richest companies, and people have been forced to make up the difference. The Liberals and the Conservatives seem to always put the profits of the wealthiest ahead of people trying to get ahead.
     Why do the Liberals not have the courage to make sure the richest in Canada, including the web giants, pay their fair share?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, once again, the question should be asked of the Conservatives. For 10 full years, they did nothing. On our side, we work. We put in place a panel that will give recommendations, and we will change the law, a law that predates the Internet. While they did nothing, we will make sure that anybody who participates in this system contributes to the system, without any exception.

[Translation]

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, all parties at the National Assembly of Quebec spoke out against the paternalistic and centralist approach of this Liberal government. All parties of the Government of Quebec condemned the fact that this government wants to try to bypass the government to allocate funding to the municipalities. That is unacceptable. This law has been on the books since 1867.
    Why are the Prime Minister and the Liberal government so disrespectful—
    The hon. Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague opposite that respecting the provinces means investing in the provinces. That is why we are proud to have announced an investment of over $500 million in the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel. We are proud of our investment in users' safety. We are proud of our investment to modernize Montreal's critical transportation infrastructure, to bring it out of the 20th century and into the 21st century.
    We will continue to invest with the provinces and across the country to improve the quality of life of Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I am not making this up. His Prime Minister told the Federation of Canadian Municipalities last Friday that he was prepared to bypass the provinces to get his way.
     Act M-30 makes it clear that any agreement regarding municipal infrastructure must go through the Government of Quebec. This Prime Minister has no respect for provincial jurisdiction. He is a centralizing and paternalistic Prime Minister.
    Does the minister agree with his Prime Minister about bypassing the Government of Quebec, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that we heard the Leader of the Opposition say yesterday that “Ottawa knows best”. Those are the leader of the official opposition's own words.
    However, we think Canadians know best. We think users know best. That is why we are going to keep investing in public transit and green, modern, resilient infrastructure across the country. We are going to keep investing for Canadians.

[English]

Interprovincial Trade

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are sick and tired of the protectionism within their own country and the Liberal government's failure to do anything about it. We are one country from sea to sea to sea, and Canadians should be able to buy and sell goods between provinces.
    In the Prime Minister's free trade plan, half the agreement is 130 pages of exceptions. It is time for action, not more Liberal failures.
    Premiers are stepping up for genuine interprovincial trade. When will the Prime Minister do the same?
    Mr. Speaker, I hope there are many Canadians watching TV today, because only the Conservatives can pretend that Ottawa knows best. In 10 years, Mr. Harper's government failed to move interprovincial trade forward.
     The Leader of the Opposition's promise is more empty words and more big promises, with no plan to deliver. Canadians have seen that movie when it comes to the environment: all talk, no plan.
    We will continue to make sure that we have free trade between Canadian provinces.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has failed miserably when it comes to free trade between provinces. In fact, he has fought against it in court. Half the Liberals' Canada free trade agreement is a list of exemptions for things that cannot be traded. This is not free trade. In fact, much like the Prime Minister, his no-trade agreement is not as advertised.
    Interprovincial trade barriers are costing the Canadian economy $130 billion. When will the Prime Minister get out of the way and allow free trade between provinces?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, again, for viewers at home, that is the “Ottawa knows best” side of the House. Let me remind Canadians who are watching that beyond failed promises, the Leader of the Opposition remains consistent on one thing alone, and Canadians know that. Be it on the environment, the economy or the unity of our country, he has no real plan for Canada and for Canadians.
    We have a plan to move goods across Canada. We have a plan to grow the economy. We have one million jobs to show.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, order. There might be more viewers tonight for the Raptors game. I do not know. I think we need to listen to each other. This show needs to improve its decorum a little.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the Kawarthas lost 300 jobs when the Liberals killed the west to east pipeline. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in Alberta and across the country because of Liberal indecision and a lack of planning on TMX.
    Conservatives have a plan. We will work up front with the provinces and indigenous communities on an energy corridor, a plan that will lower assessment costs, improve certainty for investors and create jobs.
    When will the Prime Minister quit attacking the energy sector and allow job-creating projects to move forward?
    Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member and members of the Conservative Party of Canada were really concerned about the energy sector and pipeline projects, they would not have voted to kill and end the process we have put in place to move forward on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
    We are consulting in a meaningful way with indigenous communities, and we are scheduled to make a decision on this project by June 18.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals already killed two pipelines outright, and zero new ones are in service. Getting the Trans Mountain expansion built will lower sky-high gas prices in B.C. and get western and Atlantic Canadians back to work. It will create thousands of jobs outside of Alberta and benefit all of Canada. It will support the 100,000 jobs in Ontario and Quebec that depend on oil and gas.
    The Liberals already approved it once in 2016, and their mistakes have held it up. The majority of Canadians and indigenous communities want the Trans Mountain expansion. This time, what exactly is the plan for construction to start on June 19, and when will it be in service?
    Mr. Speaker, this is a good opportunity to remind the members of the official opposition that their broken system led to failure on northern gateway. Their broken system led to the exclusion of the impact on marine shipping and its impact on the marine environment from the NEB review.
    We are fixing the system that has led to failures. We are engaging with indigenous communities in a meaningful way, in a two-way dialogue, to ensure that we are listening to their concerns. We are offering accommodations on the issues they have identified. We are moving forward on this project.
    I have to ask the hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope and the hon. member for Lakeland not to interrupt when someone else has the floor. I would ask all members to listen when someone else has the floor.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: Order. It is very hard to hear.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, under the pretext of giving us an update, the Liberal government proudly stated that the Canada Infrastructure Bank would be involved in the high-frequency train project.
    That means that if the Liberal Party ever moves forward one day, it will guarantee lucrative profits for its friends instead of providing affordable services to the public. Through its public climate bank, the NDP will ensure the best value for money.
    Can the Liberals try to imagine a day where they fight the climate emergency without lining the pockets of their friends?
    Mr. Speaker, once again my colleague is raising the issue of the high-frequency train. He does that every week.
    I am pleased to announce that we will continue to work on this very serious project that could have an impact on many Canadians.
    My colleague should know that our government is doing its due diligence on this project. When we have something to announce, we will announce it.

  (1445)  

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, provisions in Bill S-3 would eliminate the discrimination against first nations women and their descendants once and for all. All that is needed is for this self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister to bring those provisions into force with an order in council. It has been 18 months since this bill passed, and there is still no action.
    Will the Prime Minister get on with it and immediately enact recommendation 1.3 of the calls for justice so that the 270,000 first nations women and their descendants can finally be free of this sex-based discrimination?
    Mr. Speaker, gender equality is a fundamental human right, and Bill S-3 eliminates sex-based discrimination from the Indian Act.
     Ministerial special representative Claudette Dumont-Smith and departmental officials have held over 200 engagement sessions with communities and have received over 100 consultation reports from our partners on Indian Act registration reform, including recommendations for an implementation plan to remove the 1951 cut-off. She is currently finalizing her report. We look forward to her final recommendations, and I will be reporting to Parliament within the next couple—
    The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness did not listen carefully to my question. I hope he does today.
    We know that the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted 238 individuals, that 27 of them were inadmissible and that three were members of Mexican cartels. That is what we know.
    The problem is that there are 400 other individuals, Mexicans or foreigners travelling on Mexican passports, with ties to organized crime, who have come to Canada and are now operating in our communities.
    My question is simple. Is the minister taking steps to arrest and deport them?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the figures the hon. gentleman refers to are anonymous. They are unverified. There is no obvious source for those allegations.
    The fact of the matter is that the CBSA has reported the hard data both to me and to the parliamentary committee, and the hon. gentleman knows very well what those figures are. If there is anyone in Canada who is inadmissible to this country on the basis of criminality or any other cause, the CBSA and the RCMP take the appropriate steps to investigate and remove them.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. We know that people were intercepted. The issue now is whether 400 Mexican cartel members are actually operating here in Canada.
    I have another question for the minister. Can he confirm that Mexican cartels are currently selling drugs in Canada and that they are very active, yes or no?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman has continued for days to repeat the same unfounded, unverified, anonymous allegation. If he has any proof, if he has any evidence that in any way supports the allegation he has made, he should stop the rhetoric and submit it to the RCMP.

Auditor General of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, like everything else with the current Prime Minister, he says one thing and does another. The so-called transparent and accountable-by-default Liberals are at it again. This time it is not redacted documents or withholding documents for Liberal cover-ups and scandals they are engaged in. This time they are trying to prevent the Auditor General from doing his work to hold these Liberals to account, because for the first time in Canadian history, he will be unable to complete audits as a result of the Prime Minister's refusal to fund his important work. Why?
    Mr. Speaker, first permit me to reconfirm our deep appreciation and respect for the work of the Auditor General and his staff.
     I have to ask if the Conservatives are gluttons for punishment. Let us look at the accounts. They cut the budget of the Auditor General. The Liberals voted against that. We added $41 million to the budget of the Auditor General. The Conservatives voted against that. What is so difficult to understand? We support the Auditor General.

  (1450)  

    I asked why, but there was no answer, so I will tell you why, Mr. Speaker. It is because the Liberals know that they are failing at just about everything they are doing, except looking after their well-connected, well-heeled friends while attacking anyone, including the Auditor General, who would expose the rot within the Liberal Party. At no time in Canadian history have any auditors general ever said that they could not do the job and would have to cancel audits for a lack of funding, until now.
    Is it not true that the Prime Minister is afraid of the truth of his failures being exposed, and that is the reason he has moved in to silence the Auditor Genera?
    Mr. Speaker, of all the reports written by the Auditor General in this mandate, over 70% were directly related to the failures of Conservative policy, and we will be through that batch soon.
    I want to thank the member for giving us multiple opportunities to remind this House of the muzzling of scientists, the cutting of the long-form census and the obstruction during the previous government. Where was this member when his party voted to cut the budget of the AG?

[Translation]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, I have asked our self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister many times to reform his sexist EI program. This program is failing far too many workers, and especially women workers. Fifty percent of men are eligible for benefits, but just 35.2% of women, many of them mothers, are eligible. Workers are tired of the Liberals' inaction and want a government that is on their side.
    When will the Liberals take action and reform this sexist EI program?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy for the opportunity to answer this question.
    Since 2015, we have asserted many times that the EI regime is essential to middle-class families, which is why we have improved it in many ways. We made maternity, parental, caregiver and compassionate care benefits more flexible and more generous. We also created the Canada child benefit, which predominantly helps women, mothers, across Canada by helping nine out of 10 families and lifting 300,000 children out of poverty every month.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, despite the Liberals so-called feminist cred, they have done nothing for women who need to access EI.
    Only one-third of unemployed women can access employment insurance. When they finish their maternity leave, they have to work hundreds of hours to become eligible again. A growing number of women are stuck in precarious employment and cannot access EI.
     Women in Canada are paying the price of an EI system that discriminates against them.
    Why have the Liberals failed to deliver for working women and what will they do to fix this injustice?
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have more time to talk about our investments through the EI system that are supportive of gender equality.
     We are in 2019. Gender equality is a key feature of our economic growth. We have introduced a new parental sharing benefit that gives five extra weeks to parents that share their EI benefits, therefore encouraging greater equal participation of mothers and fathers.
    We are in 2019. We look forward to working more for women and mothers across Canada.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, today is World Environment Day, a day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
    While Conservative politicians still have no plan to tackle climate change, our government knows that protecting our environment and fighting climate change is the challenge of our generation. That is why we are taking real action.
    Could the Minister of Environment please update the House on the actions our government is taking to fight climate change and protect our environment?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his advocacy to protect the environment. I would like to wish everyone across Canada a happy World Environment Day.
    We understand that taking action to protect the environment and tackle climate change is good for the environment, is good for the economy and is good for our kids. It is unfortunate that Conservative politicians do not understand that.
    The Leader of the Opposition says that he knows best, that Ottawa knows best. What the Conservatives know best is how to do nothing on the environment and nothing on climate change.
    Today, we announced $15 million to support Forests Ontario, to support 50 million trees being planted in Ontario. That is good for the environment, it is good for the climate—

  (1455)  

    The hon. member for Lévis—Lotbinière.

[Translation]

Government Priorities

    Mr. Speaker, after giving Loblaws $12 million, this Liberal government is in hot water again for showering $50 million on a handful of Canadian venture capital funds.
    However, two of the three winning funds that applied to the program said they were not in particularly dire need of Ottawa's money. That is totally backwards. This is a gross injustice to those who really need this money.
    Why does the Liberal government not just mind its own business? Why is it giving money to investment funds that do not even need it?
    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to get this opportunity to remind the House that giving money to those who do not need it is a Conservative specialty.
    For 10 years, they lavished handouts and tax breaks on the wealthy. They doubled the TFSA limit. I wonder how many people in my colleague's riding had $11,000 left over at the end of the year to put into a TFSA. We changed all that and chose an approach that works. We have cut poverty in Canada by 20% by introducing the Canada child benefit and lowering taxes for the middle class. This is a plan that works.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, under the Liberals, the national debt is growing by over $2 million an hour, yet it is not stopping them from finding new ways to squander Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars.
     First, the Liberals gave Loblaws $12 million for fridges. Now it is giving $50 million to an investment fund that when asked if it needed the money, said “No, but it's great to have it”. Those are words that most Canadian small businesses would only dream of being able to say.
    Why are the Liberals handing out money to giant companies that literally do not need it, instead of helping small businesses by reducing taxes and cutting red tape?
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise in the House to remind the member opposite that our plan, unlike theirs for 10 years, has been working for Canadians. While the Conservatives were giving tax break after tax break to the wealthiest, we decided to take a different approach and give more to those who needed it most.
    We have reduced taxes for the middle class. We have made the Canada child benefit the most progressive social policy in a generation, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty and reduced poverty in the country by 20%.
     I know that was never the policy intent of the Conservatives. That was never their intent to reduce inequalities in the country. We are taking that very seriously.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, I have asked the Minister of Environment several times to tell Canadians the truth about the Paris targets. Why is she refusing to answer and be transparent?
    We know that this government's so-called environmental plan is not working. The government has to take its head out of the sand. It must be honest and confirm that the Paris targets will not be met.
    I have a very simple question. When will this Liberal government clearly say to Canadians that Canada will not meet its Paris targets?
    Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the Conservatives' questions. I want to wish them a happy World Environment Day and ask them if they will stand with us and vote in favour of our motion on the climate emergency. We must take immediate action on climate change and accept that we must meet our Paris Agreement targets.
    Will they vote with or against Canadians?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal climate plan is a massive failure. In fact, every expert, including the minister's own department, says the that the Liberals are not going to meet their Paris targets. The minister continues to deny the truth and mislead Canadians.
    Two weeks ago, during a very candid moment, the minister admitted what she was trying to do. She said, “if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it.”
    Canadians are smarter than that. Will the minister now admit that her plan—
    Order, please. The hon. Minister of Environment.
    Mr. Speaker, when we are talking about talking points, look at the other side. Who is reading the talking points about how they are going to do less and less to protect the environment and tackle climate change?
    We are committed to taking action to tackle climate change. We have created one million jobs. While we are doing it, we are making life affordable.
    At the end of the day, we all have an obligation. On World Environment Day, I would ask all Canadians to think about how we can tackle the biggest challenge of our generation, climate change, and how we can do it in a way that grows our economy and creates good jobs for Canadians.

  (1500)  

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, Google spent $47 million on lobbying to roll back copyright in Europe. Here in Canada, the Liberal government is leaving the door wide open to giants such as Facebook, Google and Netflix. The government says nobody gets a free ride. Give me a break. It has been singing the same tune for four years now.
    The consequences are very real. Today, TVA announced it is cutting 68 jobs because of Liberal favouritism and the government's refusal to ensure a level playing field for everyone.
    I am ashamed of Parliament for handing our culture, our democracy and our jobs over to Big Brother in the states on a silver platter. The Liberals have not done a thing for four years.
    Why not? God dammit!
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is in fine form today. As I said earlier, he should be saying those things to the Conservatives, who were in power for 10 years and did absolutely nothing.
    Since taking office, we have created a committee that is in the process of analyzing all of this in order to eventually change the law. We will have one system that will be the same for everyone and will ensure that everyone who participates in the system contributes to the system.
    No government has done more for culture than our government.
    Mr. Pierre Nantel: You only have a month left before it's over!
    Order. Let me remind the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert that he may speak only when it is his turn. The other members listened while he was speaking, so he should listen while others are speaking.

[English]

    The hon. member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.

Dairy Industry

    Mr. Speaker, last year, the Minister of Foreign Affairs promised compensation for Canadian dairy workers after three successive free trade deals with thousands of Canadian jobs at risk.
     While budget 2019 promised compensation for dairy farmers, dairy processors who employ 24,000 in Canadian rural communities received nothing. Not one dollar was allocated for dairy processors to compensate them for economic harm stemming from these free trade agreements.
    When will the Liberals deliver on their promise to fairly compensate Canadian dairy processors?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for giving me the opportunity to provide an update on our commitment to supply management.
    We are indeed firmly committed to supply management and to our dairy, poultry and egg farmers as well as to our processors. We will soon be announcing the mechanisms that will be used to provide our industry with the compensation it was promised.

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, Manitoba produces a lot of clean energy, so we can help other jurisdictions reduce their environmental impact with our clean energy resources.
     Minnesota is prepared to buy renewable clean hydroelectricity from Manitoba to displace coal generation in its state. The National Energy Board and the province have both approved the transmission line, but the Prime Minister refuses to allow the project to go forward.
    We know the Prime Minister regularly shows his disrespect for the provinces, but why is he punishing all Manitobans and preventing them from realizing the benefits of this fantastic clean energy opportunity?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is supporting clean energy projects that are reducing emissions and creating good, well-paying middle-class jobs. However, it has become clear that because of the agreement that Manitoba Hydro proposed with indigenous communities, Manitoba Hydro was forced to cancel that agreement by the Manitoba government.
     There are issues that we are trying to resolve to ensure we are concluding our meaningful consultation with indigenous communities in the right way, in a meaningful way, to ensure good projects can move forward.

Forestry Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the community of Vavenby received devastating news on Monday when the Canfor sawmill closed and 178 people were out of work. This follows the Tolko Industries closure, where 240 people in Quesnel are out of work. This is the second major shutdown in the last 30 days. We have an industry in crisis.
    Why did the government fail to make resolving the softwood lumber issue a priority when it renegotiated NAFTA?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to the people and the workers who are impacted by the closures of the sawmills. We know about the reduction in logging and forestry in that area because of the issues of the wildfire as well as the infestation of the pine beetle that have been caused by climate change.
     We are ensuring that proper support is available for the industry and for workers who are impacted by these closures.
    Mr. Speaker, in signing the last softwood lumber agreement, the former Conservative government put an end to the longest and most costly trade dispute with the U.S. We expanded overseas markets, we championed a wood-first initiative.
     However, when the deal expired, the Liberals refused to make securing a new softwood lumber agreement a priority. In my province, over 140,000 jobs are forestry-dependent, 140 communities are forestry-dependent. In the past three weeks, seven mill closures have been announced or are imminent.
    How many more families have to lose their livelihoods before it becomes a priority for the Prime Minister?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives simply do not know what they are talking about. Our government saw the consequences of the horrendous quota deal they accepted on softwood lumber.
     Our government will continue to vigorously defend our industry and its workers against protectionist trade measures accepted by the Conservatives. We are continuing our legal challenges against the U.S. duties through NAFTA and through the WTO, where Canadian softwood has always won in the past, and we will win again.
     Our government will always defend our workers and this industry.

Tourism Industry

    Mr. Speaker, in my 32-year career with Parks Canada, I dealt with tourism operators and agencies across Canada. As a result, I know how important tourism is to our economy, particularly in B.C. where it represents over 300,000 tourism workers.
     Can the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie please explain how the new tourism strategy works to champion job creation in the tourism industry, especially in B.C.?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Cloverdale—Langley City for his hard work. Not one week goes by without him talking to me about tourism.
     After being abandoned by the Conservatives, the 1.8 million workers in the tourism sector know that we have their backs. We just invested nearly $60 million in a new Canadian experiences fund to boost our tourism season in the wintertime and to make sure that we have tourists outside our three major cities to empower our regions. We will also support LGBTQ tourism, culinary and—
    The hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, everyone remembers the huge mistake the Minister of Official Languages made two years ago when she concluded an agreement with Netflix that did not guarantee any French-language cultural production. Quebeckers and francophones across the country were so frustrated that the Prime Minister removed her from that position and she lost the heritage portfolio.
    Here is what she is telling us today. She made a plan for tourism two weeks ago. It contains no guarantees, no investments for the francophone minority communities across Canada. She just made an announcement today and, once again, there is nothing for francophones.
    Was this an oversight on the part of the minister or does this government just not take official languages seriously?
    Mr. Speaker, francophones in Ontario and across the country know full well that our government is there for them. It was the Conservatives who let them down and decided to protect Doug Ford in Ontario, rather than protecting francophones across the country.
    It goes without saying that we will always stand with our linguistic minorities. We invested $2.7 billion in linguistic minorities. This is the first time that so much money has been allocated to support official languages in Canada. We are proud of our track record and we will continue on that same path.

Telecommunications

    Mr. Speaker, with hundreds of people taking to the streets and thousands of petitioners, public engagement in Otterburn Park is strong, for it is clear that the cell tower Telus wants to build in a sensitive woodland does not have social licence.
    The minister offered to meet with city officials, but they are hesitating because the matter is currently before the courts. Will the minister opt for the simplest solution, which is to listen to local citizens and revoke the permit to build the tower, since it clearly does not have social licence?

  (1510)  

    Our government believes that communities should have a say in where these cellphone towers are located in their jurisdictions. Telecommunications companies must consult communities in an open and transparent manner regarding the location of towers. The government has processes in place to respond to every reasonable and relevant concern raised during the consultations. This process guarantees that Canadians can stay connected, without having to pit them against cell tower construction in their communities.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, my riding, Laurentides—Labelle, has an estimated 10,800 lakes and bodies of water, and many of them are used recreationally during the summer. We are working on a number of issues concerning the management and protection of our lakes, but we hear less about boating safety.
    According to the Red Cross, every year there are about 160 boating-related fatalities in Canada.
    Can the Minister of Transport talk about what is being done to raise awareness about pleasure craft safety?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Laurentides—Labelle for his excellent question.
    As members know, we want to promote the best boating safety practices when Canadians take to the water. We want to reach as many people as possible. That is why we are very pleased to have announced additional funding for public awareness programs that will reach as many Canadians as possible and contribute to boating safety.
    We want Canadians to enjoy water-related activities. We want them to know the rules and to have a chance to take to our beautiful waterways.

[English]

Privacy

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has repeatedly broken laws by sharing reporters' private information and their questions on the multi-billion dollar Irving shipbuilding project. Now the government has refused to release a 200-page access to information request on the Liberals' sharing of this private information with Irving.
    Why is the government continuing to break the law and what is it trying to hide?
    Mr. Speaker, our goal is to provide Canadians, including media, with timely, factual information, while ensuring sensitive information remains protected. I directed my department to ensure that we provide accurate information regarding ongoing conduct with industry partners, while ensuring the privacy of all individuals who deal with my department is respected.

[Translation]

Rail Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the people of Lac-Mégantic called for a public inquiry into the 2013 rail disaster. The minister told them that they were spreading conspiracy theories. The fact that 47 people were burned alive in Lac-Mégantic is not a conspiracy. In February there were three deaths in a similar accident in British Columbia; that is not a conspiracy. The increase in rail accidents since the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic is not a conspiracy.
    Will the minister retract his statements, stop insulting the people of Lac-Mégantic and order a public inquiry into rail safety?
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is the only one spreading this conspiracy. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada fully investigated the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
    I met with families who lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, a brother or sister. I can honestly say that the people of Lac-Mégantic want to look to the future, and that is what we will do.

[English]

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, as you have said often in this place, official opposition members ask questions and government members answer those questions, or at least give it their best shot. In that exchange, sometimes opinions are shared or questions are asked that maybe other members disagree with. You have asked us to be respectful toward one another, nevertheless.
    I would like to bring to your attention an incident that took place earlier.
     Mr. Speaker, actually, I would like to bring to your attention the incident taking place right now. I am being heckled by members opposite who want to shut my voice down at this moment. I will wait for you to bring them to order.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1515)  

    Order. The hon. member has not finished her point of order. I will need to hear the rest of her point of order. We all need to hear it.
    The hon. member for Lethbridge.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that you are upholding the rules equally in this place.
    During question period, my colleague, the member for Lakeland, asked a question. My colleague is a grown woman. She was elected by the constituents of Lakeland, who brought her here to represent them. She has been given the opportunity to carry a portfolio that has to do with energy and natural resources in Canada. She is very knowledgeable about that file.
    During question period, she asked a question with regard to that file, which is her privilege in this place. After asking her question, she was heckled by a member opposite. It was the member for Shefford, who told my hon. colleague this.
    I will wait for the members opposite to stop heckling me once again.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Ms. Rachael Harder: Mr. Speaker, the member for Shefford told my colleague, the member for Lakeland, to be quiet. He then said, “Sit down, kid.”
    That is incredibly demeaning, it is incredibly degrading and it is incredibly sexist to tell my female colleague this. She is a grown woman who understands her file very well and was elected by the people of Lakeland to represent them in this place. To call her a kid and infantilize her in that way is absolutely inappropriate in this place. I would ask that the member opposite apologize to my colleague.
    I do not see the hon. member for Shefford rising.
    I will review the recording of question period. I did not hear that comment or a comment like it, but I will certainly review it to determine, if I can, what was said. I thank the member for raising this point.
    I would ask all members, as I appreciate the member mentioning, to show respect for each other and not to interrupt when someone else has the floor. This is a consistent problem.
    The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie is rising on a point of order.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after consultation with the other parties, I hope and believe that you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: That the House of Commons recognize the unanimous motion of the National Assembly stating that any project that may have an environmental impact on Quebec territory, especially those related to the transportation of oil and gas, must be subject to a Quebec environmental assessment process—
    Some hon. members: No.
    I thank the hon. member. He knows that, according to procedure, he has to first request permission to move a motion for which he did not give notice. If permission is granted, he may proceed. Also, putting notice on the Order Paper is always an option. It is now clear that there is no unanimous consent for the motion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There has been talk among the parties, and I am very hopeful that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:—
    Some hon. members: No.
    Ms. Jenny Kwan: Mr. Speaker, that in light of the tabling of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the government recognize the genocide committed against indigenous women and girls—

  (1520)  

    Order. It is important that I hear the member who is asking for consent and it is important that we hear the topic, which we have heard, and it is clear that members have indicated that there is no unanimous consent.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, all members of the House deserve the same respect we owe to our constituents. I would therefore like the member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert to withdraw his insulting, unparliamentary remarks.
    Mr. Speaker, I wish my colleague would tell me what I did that she found so disrespectful. I did indeed say the word “dammit”, but I could just as easily have said “thorn” or “lemon”. I do not see how that is disrespectful towards the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, who, truth be told, has not done anything these past four years.
    That sounds like debate to me.
    The hon. member for Repentigny on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, 3,800 people have signed a petition demanding a public inquiry into the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy. Over a year ago, a motion calling for a public inquiry was unanimously adopted by Quebec's National Assembly.
    I think the Minister of Transport should retract his comments about conspiracy theories.
    That also sounds more like debate.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1

    The House resumed from June 4 consideration of Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    It being 3:22 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 28, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the motions at report stage of Bill C-97.
    Call in the members.
    And the bells having rung:

  (1535)  

[English]

    The question is on Motion No. 1. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 2 to 17.

  (1545)  

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

(Division No. 1335)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Anderson
Arnold
Barlow
Barrett
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Cooper
Davidson
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Finley
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Jeneroux
Kent
Kmiec
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
Maguire
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Motz
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 72


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Caron
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Choquette
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Kwan
Lambropoulos
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Laverdière
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Moore
Morneau
Morrissey
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 197


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 1 defeated. I therefore declare Motions Nos. 2 to 17 defeated.

[Translation]

    The question is on Motion No. 18. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 19 to 33.

  (1550)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 18, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 1336)

YEAS

Members

Ashton
Aubin
Beaulieu
Benson
Blaikie
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brosseau
Caron
Choquette
Cullen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Fortin
Garrison
Hardcastle
Hughes
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kwan
Laverdière
MacGregor
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Moore
Nantel
Pauzé
Quach
Sansoucy
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Thériault
Weir

Total: -- 38


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Amos
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Barlow
Barrett
Baylis
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davidson
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Hajdu
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hoback
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kmiec
Lambropoulos
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lefebvre
Leitch
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
Maguire
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Morneau
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Viersen
Virani
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 234


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 18 defeated. I therefore declare Motions Nos. 19 to 33 defeated.

[English]

    The next question is on Motion No. 34. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 35 to 43.

  (1600)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 34, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 1337)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Anderson
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barrett
Beaulieu
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Blaikie
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Davidson
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kent
Kmiec
Kwan
Laverdière
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
Maguire
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Philpott
Quach
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 115


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 159


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 34 defeated. I therefore declare Motions Nos. 35 to 43 defeated.

[Translation]

    The next question is on Motion No. 44. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 45 to 51, 53 and 54.

  (1605)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 44, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 1338)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Anderson
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barrett
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Blaikie
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Davidson
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kent
Kmiec
Kwan
Laverdière
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
Maguire
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Philpott
Quach
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 110


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 164


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 44 defeated. I therefore declare Motions Nos. 45 to 51, 53 and 54 defeated.

[English]

    The next question is on Motion No. 52.

  (1615)  

[Translation]

    (The House divided on Motion No. 52, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 1339)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Anderson
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barrett
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Blaikie
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davidson
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kent
Kmiec
Kwan
Laverdière
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
Maguire
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Quach
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 106


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 166


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 52 defeated.

  (1620)  

[English]

    The next question is on Motion No. 55.

  (1630)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 55, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 1340)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Amos
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Baylis
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Caron
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Choquette
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Khalid
Khera
Kwan
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Laverdière
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Moore
Morneau
Morrissey
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stetski
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young

Total: -- 192


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Anderson
Arnold
Barlow
Barrett
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Boudrias
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Cooper
Davidson
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kent
Kmiec
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
Maguire
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Motz
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Rayes
Reid
Richards
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Viersen
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 82


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 55 carried.

[Translation]

    The next question is on Motion No. 56. A vote on this motion also applies to Motion No. 57.

  (1635)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 56, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 1341)

YEAS

Members

Ashton
Aubin
Beaulieu
Benson
Blaikie
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Caron
Choquette
Cullen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Fortin
Garrison
Hardcastle
Hughes
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kwan
Laverdière
MacGregor
Manly
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Moore
Nantel
Pauzé
Philpott
Quach
Sansoucy
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Thériault
Weir

Total: -- 40


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Anandasangaree
Anderson
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Barlow
Barrett
Baylis
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Boissonnault
Bossio
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Calkins
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Chong
Clarke
Cooper
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davidson
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Hajdu
Harder
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kmiec
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lefebvre
Leitch
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Morneau
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
O'Toole
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Peschisolido
Peterson
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Raitt
Ratansi
Reid
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wong
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 230


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare Motion No. 56 defeated. I therefore declare Motion No. 57 defeated.

  (1640)  

[English]

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (for the Minister of Finance)  
     moved that Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, as amended, be concurred in at report stage with further amendments.
     Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion, the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:

  (1645)  

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

(Division No. 1342)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 160


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barrett
Beaulieu
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Blaikie
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davidson
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Finley
Fortin
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kent
Kmiec
Kwan
Laverdière
Leitch
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
Maguire
Masse (Windsor West)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Motz
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
O'Toole
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Quach
Raitt
Reid
Richards
Sansoucy
Saroya
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Van Kesteren
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 111


PAIRED

Members

Gill
LeBlanc
Plamondon
Zahid

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion carried.
    When shall the bill be read a third time? Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 28, later this day.

[Translation]

    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, Housing; the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh, International Trade; the hon. member for Bow River, Justice.

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 responses to two petitions.

Customs Tariff

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (for the Minister of Finance)  
     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act.

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

  (1650)  

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation regarding its participation at the Bilateral Mission to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Rwanda, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kigali, Rwanda, from March 10 to 16.

Committees of the House

Indigenous and Northern Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, entitled “Main Estimates 2019-20”.

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 96th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding amendments to the Standing Orders concerning the mandate of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and oversight of the Centre Block rehabilitation project, as well as the long-term vision and plan.

Justice and Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 27th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, entitled “Striking of Passages from the Evidence of the Meeting Held on Tuesday, May 28, 2019”.

[English]

Liaison  

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 107(3) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Liaison Committee, entitled “ Committee Activities and Expenditures - April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019”.

Health  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to Bill S-248, an act respecting national physicians’ day.
     Bill S-248 would designate May 1 as national physicians' day. I would like to thank retired Hon. Senator Arthur Eggleton and the hon. member for Vancouver Centre for bringing the bill forward. The committee took studied bill and decided to report it back to the House with no amendments.

  (1655)  

Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to introduce the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions bill. This government has made significant and meaningful progress to tackle climate change, but greater ambition is now required to meet our national, intergenerational and our moral obligations. Science demands greater action.
     The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes, “in model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions declined by about 45% from the 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net-zero by 2050.”
     Our international allies are already undertaking this difficult work. The U.K., in early May, published a road map to net-zero by 2050. The EU Commission, and EU Parliament, have adopted the same standards.
     We have made important progress such as price on pollution, phasing out coal, slashing methane emissions, significant investments in public transit, clean energies and more, but the science demands greater ambition. That is why the bill is so important.

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

Petitions

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I have four petitions on three subjects. The first two petitions deal with Bill C-418.
    The petitioners ask Parliament to support the bill. It would amend the Criminal Code 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 in the provision of medical assistance in dying. It would also makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ such practitioners for the reason only that they refuse to take part in that activity.

Rural Crime  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition calls on the Government of Canada to fully fund the RCMP in order to deal with rural crime issues.

Agriculture  

    Mr. Speaker, my last petition calls on Parliament to enshrine in legislation the inalienable right of farmers and other Canadians to freely save, reuse, select, exchange, condition, store and sell the seeds from their farms. It recognizes the inherent rights of farmers to freely do that.

[Translation]

Iran  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by over 15,000 citizens and residents of Canada.
    This petition points out that the closure of our embassy in Tehran and the expulsion of Iraqi diplomats had a serious impact on the consular services offered to Iranians living in Canada. There is no one to help them on the ground.

[English]

    It has also had a negative impact on Iranian citizens who want to visit Canada and cannot access visa services, as well as on Canadian citizens who get into trouble in Iran and do not get the best consular service they can get. They remind us that our European allies, notably the United Kingdom, did renew links with Iran after the adoption of the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
    The petitioners ask the Canadian government to be true to its commitment and re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran, which would enable us to reopen an embassy in Tehran and have Iranian representatives in Ottawa.
    I just want to remind the hon. members, as I see quite a few people who want to present petitions, to try to be as concise and precise as possible.
    The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi.

  (1700)  

[Translation]

The Environment  

     Mr. Speaker, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has granted permit approval to expand the landfill in Coventry, Vermont. Right next door, Lake Memphremagog supplies drinking water to nearly 175,000 people in my region, including those from Compton—Stanstead and Sherbrooke.
    The petitioners are calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask the International Joint Commission to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the plan to expand the landfill in Coventry, Vermont, by 51 acres.

[English]

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions.
    The first one is on palliative care. It is a petition to establish a national strategy on palliative care.

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I also have a host of other petitions, which are on the same subject. These are petitions to establish conscience protections for physicians in health care institutions.

[Translation]

Official Languages  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by hundreds of Canadian citizens who are upset about cuts to French-language services in Ontario.
    Given that the Ontario government made cuts to services in French that will affect the the Franco-Ontarian community's development and quality of life, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to show some leadership by engaging with the provinces and territories to ensure that people's constitutional language rights are respected across the country.
    I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Ms. Chagnon, who collected signatures for several petitions to bring about this change.

[English]

Agriculture  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition signed by a number of petitioners in my riding of Perth—Wellington.
    The petitioners call on the government to allow farmers to save or use select, exchange and sell seeds.

Status of Women  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of the Women's March Canada and the Saskatoon members.
    They point out that feminist women's organizations have been struggling for decades to keep the lights on and the doors open due to a lack of federal core funding. They point out that direct federal funding to women's organizations represents less than 0.01% of the total federal program, spending only $1 for every woman in Canada.
    The petitioners therefore ask the Government of Canada to immediately provide secure, multi-year core operational funding to feminist women's organizations and set national standards to ensure equality of access to services and protections for all women.

Consumer Protection  

    Mr. Speaker, today I have the privilege of presenting two petitions, one that is an electronic petition and one that is paper-based. Both of these petitions are of the same nature.
    The petitioners call on the government to support Bill C-419, which is a private member's bill that I have on the floor on the House of Commons, calling for greater consumer protection with regards to credit card use. Ultimately, this comes down to fairness and transparency on behalf of Canadians.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to table.
    The first is e-petition 1984 on the protection of the environment. This petition was established by a retired physician and member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Raquel Feroe. It represents 1,000 signatures in support of enacting an environmental bill of rights for Canada to impose public trust duty on the federal government to protect the environment and give a bundle of rights to citizens.
    I am pleased to say that today e-petition 2172 was closed. I look forward to tabling that. It will be another 1,800 signatures, calling for an environmental bill of rights.

  (1705)  

Pharmacare  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by over 1,000 Albertans from across the province, calling on the government to take action to establish a universal prescription drug plan for pharmacare.

[Translation]

Forced Migration  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition has been signed by Franco-Albertans who say that, every minute, 31 people are forced to flee their homes. The majority of them live in the poorest countries on the planet under extremely difficult conditions: armed conflict, climate change, massive development projects and persecution. The causes of forced migration are multiple, complex and interwoven.
    The petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to support grassroots organizations working for peace, democracy and human rights and to invest more in diplomatic and peaceful solutions to armed conflicts.
    Nobody should be forced to flee their home.

[English]

Vision Care  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to once again rise to table petitions in support of a national framework for action to promote eye health and vision care.
    The petitioners note that the number of Canadians with vision loss is expected to double in the next 20 years and that this is a crisis that affects all segments of the Canadian population, with Canada's most vulnerable population, seniors, children and indigenous peoples at particular risk. They note that a multi-stakeholder response should reflect the underlying issues common to the prevention of all eye disease and vision loss that will reduce risk, increase early detection and improve access to quality health care services.

[Translation]

    The petitioners join thousands of Canadians across the country who recognize the importance of eye health and would like all levels of government to work together to develop a national eye health strategy and take action.

[English]

Plastics  

    Mr. Speaker, it my honour to present two petitions.
    The first petition is an electronic petition with 9,676 signatures. The petitioners are calling for a national plastic strategy, which includes an education and public awareness campaign highlighting the scope and impact of global plastic pollution; a ban on the manufacturing, distribution and use of all plastics that cannot be recycled; a ban on all single-use plastics that are hard to recycle and most often end up in landfills and waterways; a commitment to encourage a circular plastics economy by keeping recyclable plastics out of landfills and instead reusing them in a closed-loop system, effectively saving billions in manufacturing costs while producing less water waste; a commitment to invest in the infrastructure on a municipal, provincial and federal level to collect, sort, process, recycle and reuse all plastic packaging; and a zero plastic waste Canada by 2030 by ensuring all plastic packaging is 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable.

Veterans Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is for Veterans Affairs Canada.
    The petitioners call upon the Minister of Veterans Affairs to remove any statutory limits on back pay eligibility for the disability allowance, and work with individual veterans to achieve just and due compensation for the disability allowance in a timely manner.

Questions on the Order Paper

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

Motions for Papers

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.
     Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

  (1710)  

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (for the Minister of Finance)  
     moved that Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-97.
    This bill will help implement major investments included in the 2019 budget. Most importantly, it will give the government new tools to help middle-class Canadians, reduce inequality and ensure that in Canada prosperity is truly inclusive.
    I will stress that I am talking about new measures. Bill C-97 builds on our accomplishments and the progress we have made these last four years. We have to remember how we got here and how we achieved the results we see in Canada today. In 2015, the situation was very different. Economic growth was slow or even stagnant. Unemployment was up, and Canada was in a technical recession. Wages were not going up fast enough, but the cost of living, as we know, just keeps increasing.

[English]

    Some families were having a tough time making ends meet, while saving for the future or for an emergency. In the fall of that same year, Canadians made a different choice. I think it was a very smart choice, in all impartiality. They chose a plan that would invest in the middle class, a plan that would make big investments in health, housing and the environment, while also staying fiscally responsible.
    One of the first things Liberals did as a government was to ask the wealthiest 1% of Canadians to contribute a little more so that middle-class Canadians could have more money in their pockets. Today, over nine million Canadians are benefiting from the middle-class tax cut.
     In 2016, we introduced the Canada child benefit. This measure has helped lift almost 300,000 children out of poverty. What is more, our government indexed the Canada child benefit payments two years ahead of schedule, so that benefits could keep pace with the rising cost of living. In July, benefits will increase with inflation to ensure that hard-working parents continue to have the support they need with the high cost of raising their kids.
    With the CCB, nine out of 10 Canadian families with children are receiving more money than they received under the previous system of child benefits, where cheques were sent to families of millionaires, something that the Harper Conservatives and today's Conservatives fought to preserve while voting against the Canada child benefit.
    For the 2019-20 year, on average, families benefiting from the CCB will receive around $7,000 to help with the high cost of raising kids, an amount that will continue to rise with the cost of living, as I have mentioned. According to the OECD, and I understand it is not the Fraser Institute, which the Conservatives like to quote, even though the studies they refer to often in the House have been debunked by just about anyone serious who has taken a look at it, precisely, because they fail to take into account the Canada child benefit.
    However, according to the OECD, when the CCB is combined with the middle-class tax cut, a typical, middle-class family of four in Canada, on average, now has $2,000 more in their pockets than they did under the Harper Conservatives. This is significant progress.
    We did not stop there. We replaced the old working income tax benefit with the more generous Canada workers benefit. The new benefit puts more money in the pockets of more than two million Canadian workers who are working hard to join the middle class.
     In addition, to support Canada's hard-working entrepreneurs, we cut the small business tax rate twice, dropping it to 9% in January. It is now the lowest small business tax rate in the G7, and the fourth lowest of the 36 members of the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which I just referred to.

[Translation]

    The results of the measures adopted by our government since fall 2015 speak for themselves. More than one million jobs were created in the Canadian economy. Last year, all job gains were in full-time positions. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than 40 years, and salaries are increasing faster than the rate of inflation. In sum, the country is heading in the right direction and the Canadian economy is booming.
    Moreover, employment gains have greatly benefited groups that are often under-represented in the labour market, such as new immigrants, single mothers, indigenous peoples living on reserve and young Canadians who do not have a high school diploma. This represents considerable progress, but a lot of work remains to be done to continue reducing inequality in this country and to ensure that the growth and prosperity we are enjoying benefit as many people as possible.
    Some Canadians remain concerned about the future. They are worried about their job security because the nature of work is evolving. They are worried that they will not be able to buy a home because housing is too expensive. They are worried about their retirement and they wonder whether they will have enough savings. These are legitimate concerns, and we will leave no one behind.

  (1715)  

    Bill C-97 is the next step in our plan to invest in the middle class and grow the economy today and for years to come. I will take a moment to elaborate on this before getting into some of the details of Bill C-97. Over the past three years, the government's action was based on three main pillars. That is the plan we presented to Canadians and it is working very well.
    One of these three main pillars is investment in infrastructure. We know there are infrastructure needs across the country, from coast to coast, and we know how serious they are. Our environment also demands investments in public transportation infrastructure, for example. We committed to investing $180 billion over 12 years in infrastructure. These investments are paying off across the country and are helping many municipalities and provinces carry out meaningful infrastructure projects. Sometimes these projects appeal to the imagination, as is the case with public transportation. Others are a bit less glamorous, but just as important. Take waste water for example. We lose a lot of drinking water to aging waste water treatment systems.
    The second pillar involves reducing inequalities through the measures I mentioned. These measures have helped reduce poverty by 20% in Canada. Child poverty was reduced by 40% in just three years. That is huge.
    The third pillar is competitiveness. We are making sure that Canada has access to foreign markets, whether through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CETA, the renegotiated NAFTA, reduced small-business tax rates or strategic investments, all of which were sorely needed in Canada during the decade that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada were in power. They neglected the sciences and stopped investing in science. This undermines our country's competitiveness and prosperity over the long term.
    Those are the three main pillars. In budget 2018, we reaffirmed the importance we place on science by making the largest investment in science in Canadian history, after a dark decade for scientists, science, research and innovation under Stephen Harper's Conservative government.
    The budget and Bill C-97 are based on these three main pillars, which are working and have made Canada one of the G7's leading economies since we came to power three years ago.
    Speaking of competitiveness, let us talk about skills.

[English]

    That is something that I would like to talk about. In the first quarter of 2019, there were more Canadians employed than at any moment in Canada's history, including more women employed than at any moment in Canadian history. That is great news but we cannot take anything for granted. We know that not everyone has the right skills to take advantage of some of the new well-paying opportunities.
    The nature of work is changing around the world and the challenge for workers, employers and governments is to find new ways to make sure that people have the skills they need to succeed in the changing work environment. For example, automation is on the rise. The OECD estimates that about one in 10 Canadian jobs are at high risk of automation within the next 10 to 20 years and that one out of three jobs is likely to experience significant changes.
    Canada is not alone in this. Other countries will face the same challenge, as workers try to figure out how to get the training they need to keep their existing jobs or to prepare for new jobs.

[Translation]

    We are determined to ensure that Canadian workers have the skills they need to succeed on the job market of tomorrow. To get there, Canadians must have access to appropriate training. That is why we introduced a new program, the Canada training benefit, in budget 2019. It is a personalized, portable benefit that will help Canadians get the time and money they need to learn new skills.
    Bill C-97 will implement an important element of the benefit, namely a $250 annual credit for every worker to be put toward the cost of future training. This credit can add up to $5,000 over the course of a career. Eligible workers will receive their first credit this year, in 2019, and may start using it next year to register for a course they may need.

  (1720)  

    The Canada training benefit will open more doors for workers, which will help them contribute to the Canadian economy and benefit from its growth. This measure will be equally helpful for employers because it will give them access to a more skilled workforce, which will help them grow their businesses and create more well-paying jobs.
    Clearly, if we want to prepare Canadians for the high-quality jobs of tomorrow, we must pay close attention to my generation and to young Canadians, something our government fully understands. When the Minister of Finance introduced budget 2019, he highlighted the steps we have taken to remove barriers to education and training.

[English]

    With the measures in this budget implementation act, students would not have to start repaying their Canada student loans until six months after they graduated, and interest would not accumulate during that period on these loans. Paired with the budget's commitment to lower the interest rate on Canada student loans, the interest-free grace period is expected to save the average borrower approximately $2,000 over the lifetime of a loan.
    We are taking these steps because young Canadians need our help. They are the most educated, connected and diverse generation this country has ever seen. They are changing our communities for the better and are taking the lead in building a fairer and more sustainable future.
    At the same time, we are hearing from many young Canadians that they are still worried about what the future holds for them. Will they be able to afford college or university? Will there be good jobs ready for them when they graduate? Will they be able to afford a good place to live? We are taking action to answer more of these questions for young people and for all Canadians.
    Let us take housing. Many young Canadians dream of owning their first home, a feeling shared by middle-class families. However, with rising house prices, it is getting increasingly harder for people to make that dream a reality. Our government believes that every Canadian should have a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why we are taking important steps to make housing more accessible and affordable, especially for first-time homebuyers.
    The legislation we are debating proposes measures to help Canadians take their first step toward home ownership. It would amend the National Housing Act to allow the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to offer shared equity mortgages to eligible first-time homebuyers. This important measure would be called the first-time homebuyer incentive. Through this new incentive, CMHC would provide 5% of the value of a home for a first-time homebuyer, helping to reduce the size of an insured mortgage and lowering monthly mortgage payments.
     To encourage the construction of new housing, the incentive would increase to 10% for newly built homes. This could mean a lot for many young Canadians. For a middle-class family buying a new condo or new house worth $400,000, the savings could be about $225 a month. That could make a real difference. It is expected that this new incentive could help as many as 100,000 Canadian families buy their first home.

[Translation]

    That is not all. The budget implementation bill also proposes to increase the limit on withdrawals from the home buyers' plan, or HBP. These amounts, which first-time homebuyers can withdraw tax-free, can help fund the down payment. As announced in budget 2019, the limit is being increased from $25,000 to $35,000 per person, or from $50,000 to $70,000 for a couple. The maximum withdrawal amount had not been adjusted in 10 years, so we thought it was time to do so. Modernizing the homebuyers' plan will help more people purchase their first home or first condo.
    In addition, Bill C-97 will enact the new legislation for the national housing strategy. In concrete terms, it will require the federal government to give priority to the housing needs of the most vulnerable Canadians.
    The government will also be required to report back to Parliament on the progress made in implementing the strategy and in achieving the desired results with respect to housing. These targets, such as cutting homelessness in half in this country and building 100,000 new units, as well as repairing and renovating another 300,000, will make a real difference in the lives of many Canadians.
    I think these reinvestments in housing are all the more important in light of the federal withdrawal from housing investment, which, I should point out, began before the Conservative government took office and escalated during the 10 years that Stephen Harper was in power.

  (1725)  

    I think it is time for the federal government to take responsibility for housing and make a bold, ambitious comeback. That is what the national housing strategy does.
    The bill also offers meaningful assistance for Canadian seniors, because all Canadians deserve a secure and dignified retirement, free of financial worries. Sadly, retirement can be a daunting prospect for some seniors, especially those living on low incomes.
    Since 2015, the government has taken a number of steps to make retirement more affordable. For instance, it restored the age of eligibility for old age security and the guaranteed income supplement to 65. The previous government had moved it up to 67, plunging hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Canadians into poverty.
    We increased the GIS top-up for single seniors, a measure that benefited 900,000 Canadians.

[English]

    Our government also reached an historic agreement with the provinces to enhance the CPP, which will raise the maximum retirement benefit by up to 50% over time. This will help more than one million families who would have faced a drop in their standard of living when they retired.
    Budget 2019 and this BIA propose a series of new measures to help even more Canadians age with confidence in their finances. To help low-income working seniors, Bill C-97 proposes to increase the earnings exemption for the guaranteed income supplement and to expand the exemption to self-employment income. This means that more low-income working seniors would be able to keep more of their pay and their benefits.
    We are also taking steps to ensure that everyone who is eligible receives her or his retirement benefit from the CPP. While the standard age to receive CPP benefits is 65, some people choose to delay receiving their retirement benefits until age 70, at which time they will receive a bit more each month. A small number of people, however, are currently missing out on receiving their CPP benefits. This happens because some apply too late, and some do not apply at all. To ensure that all Canadian workers receive the full value of the benefits they deserve, this BIA proposes to proactively enrol, as of 2020, CPP contributors who are age 70 or older who have not yet applied to receive their retirement benefits. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 Canadians would begin to receive a retirement pension as a result. They deserve that money. Making sure that they get it is the right thing to do, and this legislation would make it happen.
    Budget 2019 and Bill C-97 are about investing in people, and I have given plenty of examples in this speech. However, it is also about investing in communities. That is why budget 2019 proposes to support local infrastructure priorities by providing a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion, doubling the federal municipal infrastructure commitment in 2018-19. This $2.2 billion injection of cash this year would help cities and towns of all sizes, as well as indigenous communities. It would provide them with much-needed funds to address short-term priorities and crucial repairs and help them finance other important projects, such as recreational arenas, soccer facilities, new roads, public transit extensions, improvements to drinking water infrastructure and so on. Transferring funds to communities will get projects built. Supporting this BIA will get projects built.
    In recent years, this funding has supported approximately 4,000 projects each year that have contributed to productivity and economic growth, a cleaner environment and stronger communities. We promised this help, and we are delivering in this BIA.
    I could go on about what is in this budget, because when it comes to investing in the middle class, there is a lot of good news to share. However, I will conclude with this. Canadians have made a lot of progress since the fall of 2015. They should be proud of the strong communities and the strong economy they have helped build.

[Translation]

    I think it is a source of pride for Canadians, or it should be, that in three short years, we managed to turn around the situation that the Stephen Harper government ineptly and regrettably got us into. During that decade, we saw the lowest growth in employment since the Second World War, the lowest growth in exports and a disastrous economic record.

  (1730)  

    They also managed to add $150 billion to the national debt.
    We managed to turn around the country's fortunes with the best economy in the G7, the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 40 years, and a 20% reduction in poverty in 2017. It never occurred to them to reduce poverty and inequality. It was the right thing to do for the country. To us it is obvious that the more inclusive our prosperity is and the more we reduce inequality, the better off the entire Canadian economy will be.
    That is what we have managed to do and that is what we will continue to do.
    The hon. member will have 10 minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on this bill.
    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]

Health Care Delivery in Rural Canada

    That the House: (a) call on the Standing Committee on Health to undertake a study and report its findings to determine (i) the factors that contribute to significant disparities in the health outcomes of rural Canadians, compared to those in urban centres, (ii) strategies, including the use of modern and rapidly improving communications technologies, to improve health care delivery to rural Canadians; and (b) call on the government to work with the provinces and territories, and relevant stakeholders, to further address and improve health care delivery in rural Canada.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a pleasure to get the chance to speak to my private member's motion, Motion No. 226, which relates to health care delivery in rural Canada.
    As a representative of the Kenora riding, one of the largest rural ridings in Canada, which stretches from almost the American border all the way to Hudson Bay, I know this is probably one of the easiest ridings to use to explain what it means for an area to be remote and inaccessible, or accessible only by plane or a winter road when the lakes freeze over.
    This is an important subject matter for all rural Canadians, because it is one of those issues all Canadians think about, which is their health care, the health care delivery and the ability of government to deliver health care products to all Canadians, particularly in the north. For these reasons, northwestern Ontario presents a unique case study in many ways. From infrastructure to environment, transportation and employment, the north forces us to think outside the box.
    Health care can be approached from many different angles, including mental health treatment, health care providers and availability, prescription drug coverage and culturally appropriate care, just to name a few.
    The 2016 Statistics Canada census data indicates that Canada's population was over 35 million individuals, of whom 16.8% live in rural Canada. The 2006 report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information entitled “How Healthy are Rural Canadians? An Assessment of Their Health Status and Health Determinants” found that rural Canadians have higher death rates, higher infant mortality rates and shorter life expectancies than their urban counterparts.
    Health-related factors such as a higher proportion of smokers, lower consumption of fruit and vegetables, and obesity disproportionately affect rural residents. Additionally, the population in rural areas tends to be older than in urban areas.
    The recruitment and retention of physicians and health care professionals are also a significant challenge. Throughout the years that I have been involved in this, it has never been easy to find enough professionals to work in rural Canada. According to 2016 data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, there were approximately 84,000 physicians in Canada, of whom only 6,790, or 8% , practised in rural settings.
    In 2006, the Canadian Institute for Health Information issued a report that found that populations living in rural areas had a shorter average life expectancy by almost three years for men, as well as higher smoking rates compared to their urban counterparts. These numbers are statistically significant, according to the report.
    Mortality risk for diseases such as heart disease and heart attacks, as well as respiratory diseases like influenza and pneumonia, were also significantly higher in rural versus large urban areas. There is a variation in the levels of services available, as rural areas lack the population base to warrant the construction of extensive health infrastructure.
    In addition, rural and remote communities face challenges in recruiting and retaining health care professionals. I will keep repeating that, because it is something we talk about in my riding almost weekly.
    On the youth side, there is no process for measuring health disparities in Canada. If we look at the experience of rural children and youth in the health care system, we get a good idea of what is happening. Indigenous populations, particularly those that are rural and remote, are the most underserved communities in all of Canada.

  (1735)  

    I would like to take a minute to provide an example of health care delivery in the north so that we can see how different it is from the urban experience.
    In September 2018, the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority released “Our Children and Youth Health Report”, which represents the experiences of 31 first nations communities in the Sioux Lookout area.
    Since 1991, the population of the Sioux Lookout area first nations has grown by 74%. The primary point of care for the majority of these communities is the local nursing station, and in many cases, emergency services are available only by plane. For example, women from Sioux Lookout first nations leave their homes and families and travel hundreds of kilometres to give birth at a hospital. Can members imagine being put in a situation like that? In these communities, basically for all the births, families have to fly out, leave for weeks when it is close to the due date, and then be prepared to spend weeks waiting for the child to be born.
    The primary point of care for the majority of these communities is their local nursing station, and in many cases, emergency services are available only by plane. For example, women from Sioux Lookout area first nations leave their homes, as I said, and if infants need emergency care, they are transported out by medevac, because there are no emergency departments in these communities. Since 2012, there has been an 11% increase in the rate of emergency room visits for infants.
     In the Sioux Lookout area, first nations youth attend the emergency room department for mental health reasons at a rate five times greater than the Ontario average. Between 2012 and 2016, the rate of emergency department visits for mental health increased by 123%.
    These are examples of just some of the issues faced by rural and remote communities when it comes to health care delivery. I am here to talk about how we can find a way to deal with the challenges that rural communities face in making sure that their health care and their standards are equal to the health care standards of urban centres.
    Jurisdictional issues pose one of the largest roadblocks to providing quality health care in the north. What is the role of our levels of government in this game of what I would call jurisdictional football? The federal government is responsible for the delivery of health care to certain population groups. Of course, the provinces are responsible for the general population of the province.
    Section 10 of the Canada Health Act stipulates that each province's health insurance scheme must be universal, which means that it “must entitle one hundred per cent of the insured persons of the province to the insured health services provided for by the plan”. What does this mean? It boils down to the need for a collaborative approach. Rather than working from the top down, we need to approach these communities and regions to establish their unique needs and find those solutions.
    Simply put, there is no cookie-cutter answer, and what works for one community may not work for another. The bottom line is that we need to listen to those who live and work within the system every day to make sure that we understand how to deliver health care in rural Canada.
    When we have these discussions, sometimes it is hard for people to compare apples and apples or oranges and oranges, so I spent some time doing some comparisons between Canada and Australia. Like most developed countries, Canada and Australia have publicly funded, universal health care coverage. The two countries have similar population densities and geographic areas. As of June 2018, just under 25 million people resided in Australia, and 11.4% resided in remote or rural locations. The Australian federal government is playing an active role in addressing health disparities between urban and rural or remote populations.

  (1740)  

    The Australian government provides funding to incentivize physicians to work in rural or remote areas and to encourage the uptake of telemedicine technology in those areas. Like rural Canada, rural Australia is under-serviced with respect to the number of physicians. However, the Australian government also realizes that to change that, it needs to have a solution. This is what Australia is doing, and it is something that I think Canada should consider.
    Like rural Canada, rural Australia is under-serviced, so in 2009, the Rural Health Standing Committee of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council was asked to develop a national strategic framework for rural and remote health. It was published in 2011, and then updated in 2016.
     In 2014, the Australian government implemented the indigenous Australians' health programme to improve access to health services that are culturally appropriate, throughout Australia.
     In June 2017, the Government of Australia passed legislation to establish a national rural health commissioner, as part of the government's efforts to reform health care in rural and remote Australia. As in Canada, the indigenous population in Australia is more likely than non-indigenous Australians to have respiratory diseases, mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, as well as reduced life expectancy.
    In the private members' business we are in, it is always good to try to do this from the perspective of making sure that it is non-partisan and that it crosses party lines. Last month, I was pleased to second Bill C-451, an act to establish a children’s health commissioner of Canada, which was put forward by the member for Simcoe—Grey. Bill C-451 puts priority on the well-being, health, security and education of children and youth by recognizing that every child has the right to enjoy a standard of living that allows for the child's physical, mental and social development to flourish. To help see these measures through, the bill seeks to establish an independent commissioner to report, advise and provide recommendations to Parliament.
    To complement Bill C-451, my motion seeks to shed further light on the health care delivery gaps between rural and urban Canadians. This area needs to be studied, because current evaluations of the health status of rural Canadians are very limited. Because we do not have the population density to build some of the health infrastructure necessary to deliver adequate services, we must look at existing, new and emerging technologies to address this service gap. This particular type of study has never been undertaken in Canada, so I look forward to working with all parties to see that it takes place.
    In my riding, we are working on an all nations hospital. We are looking at health care delivery in our region from the perspective of an all nations hospital health care system, to include everyone in the region. We have included all governments and the local communities to look at how best to deliver those kinds of services. This is a potential way forward.
    I think that working together, as we did last week with the Minister of Indigenous Services when we announced our government's support for the all nations hospital health care system, we can find ways to better deliver health care in rural communities.
    In conclusion, no matter whether a person is rich or poor, young or old, living in a rural or urban setting, Canada's public health care system must provide equal access and care to all. I believe very much that this government and this Parliament have a role to play in making sure that we do the right assessments and find the right structures to put in place good health care.
    My last point is that if people are to be allowed to live their lives in rural Canada, including as seniors throughout their retirement years, we are going to have to find the right health care system to make sure that this takes place. Otherwise, as I hear from all my colleagues, a lot of seniors move to urban centres because they have few choices for places to live in rural Canada.

  (1745)  

    I thank the House for the opportunity to say a few words about this motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting this motion by the member for Kenora. It is a study that is long overdue.
    I, like the member opposite, represent a rural riding, but I will also say as a physician that patients who live in rural communities have substantive and challenging issues. In Nunavut, if someone sprains their ankle, we can take care of that. However, if a child breaks their femur there, it is an expensive endeavour, both for the parents and the government, to bring them all the way to Ottawa to be treated.
    I support the member's motion, but I would like to ask him if there are some specifics that we should be focusing on in the study to make sure that rural Canadians receive the health care they deserve.
    Mr. Speaker, there are some specifics I am looking for the health committee to review.
    First of all, I would like to see the health committee go back and look at some of the reports and some of the commitments that were made by all levels of government in the early 2000s. In 2004 and 2006, the federal government was in the process of negotiating with the provinces, and part of the program for putting health care dollars in the hands of the provinces through equalization payments and through our social development program was to also include studies and/or analysis of health care throughout those provinces. In my case, in Ontario, it was intended to be an opportunity to look at and report on the success of health care delivery in Ontario, both rural and urban. That did not take place.
    In fact, I am still wondering and questioning why no province has reported on that commitment that was made a number of years ago to tell Parliament and Canadians and rural Canadians just how their health care system was being delivered.
    In answer to other questions that I will get in the next few minutes, I will elaborate on what I mean by that.

  (1750)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to know why the member only moved one motion in the last four years. The motion was tabled last April.
    Why is this the only motion he tabled? Why did he table a motion that is not binding instead of a bill that would have been a lot more binding? Why did he move a motion calling for study in committee, when we know that will never happen? The House will adjourn in two weeks and we will surely not have time to vote on the motion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member would be aware that I did not choose when I could present my motion. That is done by a process in this place. If I had been one of the first on the list, the motion would have been here two or three years ago. That is not the issue.
    The real issue, as many of us know and as many of us will argue, is that we do not need to have this conversation, because it is a provincial jurisdiction. Health care being a provincial jurisdiction, the Government of Canada cannot move legislation to make things different in relation to rural care. We need a partnership with all the other levels of government, including provincial, municipal and first nations.
    What I am looking for is co-operation from all governments, including indigenous and municipal, as I was talking about earlier in relation to my region, so that we can find better ways to deliver health care services.
    I have said, and I will say again, that this is not a partisan issue. This is what Canada is all about. We have a huge piece of geography and we are trying our best to make sure that all citizens, no matter where they live, have good health care and better health care indicators, as I mentioned in my earlier comments. Our health care indicators in rural Canada are not as good as they are in the urban centres.
    We need to work together. We need to start this debate. If I were the member, I would not worry so much about the election. Elections come and go, and we will all be back in some form. We will want to continue to move on this conversation. I think rural Canadians deserve better than they are getting. We have not put enough time and emphasis on this issue.
    I personally want to live my life in rural Canada, and I do not want to have to move when I get older because of health care or the lack of it. It is in the same way that this conversation is very fundamental and important for all rural Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Motion No. 226. which seeks to give instructions to the Standing Committee on Health regarding health care delivery in rural Canada.
    There is an extremely concerning shortage of family doctors and nurses in Canada, particularly in rural areas. The lack of broadband Internet also prevents rural communities from accessing online health services. The committee should also consider the worrisome deterioration of rural hospitals in its study.

[English]

    I want to thank the member for Kenora for bringing the motion before the House. My daughter was a nurse in his lovely riding, so she is well acquainted with its hospital and the health care services that are available there.
    As the member for Sarnia—Lambton, I note that Sarnia is a mixture of urban and rural, so there are also quite a number of parts of my riding where services and transportation are not available.
    I would like to start by talking about the current situation in health care in general in Canada.
    We know there is already a shortage of doctors and nurses across the country. I have travelled from coast to coast to coast and spoken with people in various ridings. I would like to give members a few examples of the shortage, starting with what I think is one of the worst cases I have heard, which is Cape Breton.
    Cape Breton was missing 52 emergency room physicians and a vascular surgeon. People who cut an artery in Cape Breton would lose a limb or die because they would not be able to get to Halifax in time to get the services.
    Let us look across the country. Given the wait times in Ottawa, it takes six years to get a family doctor. The former member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith ran provincially, and one of the priority issues she brought up was the shortage of doctors in B.C. Truly, there is a shortage of health care workers.
    This is particularly disturbing, as we have an aging population. Right now, one in six people is a senior, and that will be one in four in the next six to 10 years. With that comes a need for a number of different services.
    First of all, we are seeing a movement toward more chronic disease, in part due to rising obesity rates, smoking issues and so on. Also, as people are living longer, we are seeing an increase in dementia, and there is a need for palliative care. Of course, I have been a strong advocate for palliative care during my time in the House. About 70% of Canadians do not have any access to palliative care, and this is especially true in rural and remote places. It is a pressing problem.
    As I look to the government that has been in power for four years, I see absolutely no plan to address the gaps that exist regarding the resources for health care workers and all the infrastructure needed in places like Petrolia, which is one of the hamlets within my riding. Right now, the electrical and mechanical systems in place at the Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital are so obsolete and so likely to fail that Petrolia is planning how it will shut down the hospital when the systems fail. All of the patients will have to be moved to the nearby high school. Petrolia needs $5 million to repair that infrastructure.
    I could tell members similar stories, from across the nation, of hospitals that have not received any funding for infrastructure. Clearly the provinces do not have money for that. One solution the government could bring forward in that light is a program that would specify rural hospitals and their infrastructure needs, which would address some of the outstanding issues there.
    Another need in many rural and remote places is broadband Internet. As we move increasingly to using virtual services, such as virtual palliative care and virtual consultations, communities need broadband Internet to receive them. There is a huge need for this in the north. My riding has several places without good access to the Internet. I think it will be incredibly important to address this need.

  (1755)  

    One of the other problems with the rural and remote health care system is just accessing the services. Transportation can be very costly and, as the member for Kenora has mentioned, it can take a really long time. In Kenora, people transit by airplane. In my riding, even though there are many services, a lot of people have to go to nearby London, which is an hour away. For low-income people and those who do not have transportation, there is no service to take them for weekly cancer treatments or other procedures. Transportation is a big barrier, and we need to find solutions to address that.
    There have been some really innovative solutions that I discovered when I was working on the palliative care private member's bill. One of them was the use of paramedics to deliver palliative care. Trained paramedics, during the hours they are not taking care of emergencies, would distribute pain medications and perform procedures that patients need. This is really cost-efficient, because they are already on the payroll, and it is a great service for people who have trouble accessing services and cannot get the transportation they need. It is those kinds of innovations that will be really important as we move forward.
    Another issue in my riding—and I heard it is also an issue in Kenora—has to do with how to attract doctors, nurses and health care workers to go to rural places. There has to be some kind of incentive. One of the great innovations, also in Petrolia, was a clinic that was put together with multiple family physicians and nurse practitioners providing various services. Because the doctors did not have to be sole family physicians working umpteen hours in practice and then being on call for emergencies, the balance of life and work was much better. There was a real effort made to attract doctors to that practice. They are doing a fine job and making services very accessible to people who live nearby. In fact, because of the quality, in some cases people are even coming from Sarnia to Petrolia to access services.
    We need to come up with solutions on how to provide health care and work with the provinces and territories. Every region is different. We talked about some of the barriers, such as travel during bad weather, for accessing services, but in some places, the problems are different. Some places have an aging population. In my riding, 50% of people are over the age of 57, so care for seniors is a key issue, and I know that is true as well in Nova Scotia and a number of places across the country.
    At the end of the day, I would be happy to have the health committee study this issue. I wish we had time in this parliamentary session, but, as has already been pointed out, it is unlikely that a study could be taken up at this point in time. Perhaps it will happen in a future Parliament.
    This is an urgent need and something we need to consider. We need to put together a plan that will identify the health care workers required and how to get them. In some cases, there are enough workers in Canada; in some cases, we will have to change how we train doctors, for example. There was a very innovative example in New Brunswick, where, although there is no teaching hospital or university for residencies, the province partnered with Dalhousie University and Sherbrooke for a residency program that would provide medical services in New Brunswick and allow doctors to be certified. That kind of innovation is needed to address the health care worker issue.
    In addition, there is a need for an infrastructure plan, as I have mentioned, for broadband Internet and hospital care and other services. For example, we see an increasing need for home care. Home care in rural and remote situations is increasingly difficult because of the amount of travel time and, in some cases, the weather, etc.
    When we get this plan together with the resources and infrastructure and decide which services we will need as we move toward more chronic disease and an aging population with more dementia, thus requiring more palliative care, then we can start to execute that plan. It could not happen soon enough because, as I have said, one person in six being a senior now will be one in four within six to 10 years.
    It is an urgent issue, and I am happy to support this motion.

  (1800)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to clarify something about the motion. Although the federal government does have jurisdictional powers over certain aspects of heath care, including that of ensuring that all Canadians have equal access to health care services, the actual implementation of health services is a provincial responsibility.
    The federal government provides health transfers to the provinces, but it is up to the provinces and the provinces alone to decide how to use those funds. Managing all health services falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces. This motion is aimed at improving the delivery of health services. It therefore interferes directly in a provincial jurisdiction. The member himself even admitted it. Strategies and communications technologies pertain to health care management, so this motion extends beyond the federal government's general jurisdiction. Only the provinces can deliver health care directly to Canadians and are able to develop the strategies needed to change health care management.
    The NDP recognizes the importance of respecting provincial jurisdiction, especially in Quebec. That is why we adopted the Sherbrooke declaration, which acknowledges Canada's asymmetry and affirms Quebec's right to opt out with compensation. The member's motion directly interferes in an area under provincial jurisdiction.
    Let me say that the timing of this motion is peculiar. When the member answered my question, he said that he did not choose when to present his motion, but the fact is, he most certainly did have a choice. He could have chosen to present any number of measures over the past four years.
    For example, I myself presented a number of bills and motions that I believed merited the attention of the House even though I was well aware they would not be debated. Unfortunately, members have only one chance to introduce a bill of their own, and that is if they are lucky. The member presented the motion a month ago knowing full well it would probably never be voted on. This motion would have to go to committee, but that will never happen.
    If the member truly wanted to improve the health outcomes of rural Canadians, which, I recognize, is a very important issue, he could have chosen measures that do not overstep federal jurisdiction. For example, he could have asked that federal health transfers be increased by the amount requested by the provinces. The Quebec health minister has said that the federal government must stop meddling in provincial jurisdictions and that it start by increasing our health transfers.
    Lack of money is one of the biggest obstacles to the implementation of different technologies that could help rural Canadians. Hospitals are already accumulating deficits because they pay nurses a lot of overtime due to the shortage of staff and staff burnout. Unfortunately, the increase in health transfers is not enough to meet provincial needs. That is one thing that the member could have requested and that would have fallen within federal jurisdiction.
    With respect to the labour shortage, there is another useful measure that falls within federal jurisdiction: improving the immigration process and the recruitment of foreign professionals. I have often been told by hospital administrators that they had found a very interesting candidate, a specialist from abroad. The specialist was interested in the position but was discouraged by the process and chose to settle in another country where procedures are much less complex. The process is expensive and very complicated. Also, immigration services do not exist in rural regions.

  (1805)  

    A hospital board that wants to recruit abroad does not even have access to services in its region where it can get help and support and find out the most effective way of handling the process. If the board wants access to those services, it has to manage by telephone, by Internet or by talking to agents who do not really understand all the ins and outs of the process. It is extremely complex. The member could have asked for immigration services to be set up in rural areas. That would also have helped in terms of recruitment.
    To help improve care and services in rural areas, the member could have done something about travel. Patients often have to travel long distances, which gets expensive. That is difficult from a financial perspective.
    In order to be entitled to the medical expense tax credit, which can include travel expenses, a person must be making a certain income. If that person did not pay any taxes, he or she is not entitled to the tax credit. In the end, we are not helping those who would benefit the most from this help, those who cannot afford to pay for travel expenses.
    There are quite a few concrete measures that the member could have chosen instead of moving a motion calling for a committee study that will never be done. That is why the motion does not sit well with me. I can see that the member is genuinely concerned about health care in rural areas, but I am having a hard time understanding why he chose such an ineffectual way to address the issue. It is most unfortunate, especially considering he has been an MP for four years. Some of us have been here longer, but the member has been in the House of Commons for four years. He could have sought advice. He knows enough about how things work that he should have realized this was not the best way to proceed.
    If the member is really interested in what has been going on with new technologies, he could have asked the research service for help. All MPs have access to the services of the Library of Parliament for conducting research. For instance, the member could have asked the Library of Parliament to perform an exhaustive search for different strategies that have been used in various regions across Canada or around the world to improve services in rural areas. That would have generated plenty of fascinating reading material for him.
    When new technologies become established, scientific, medical or nursing journals often publish articles highlighting their positive impact. The data on the methodology are already available and accessible to anyone who is interested.
    Once again, I understand the member's desire to improve health care services in rural areas, but I do not think that we should be trying to make improvements by interfering in provincial jurisdictions.
    I suggested a number of ways to find a much more effective solution for our rural areas. These methods fall within federal jurisdiction.
    I strongly urge my colleague to talk to his colleagues and to listen to Quebec's minister of health and social services. She has suggested that the current government stop interfering in provincial jurisdiction over health care and immediately increase federal transfers to the provinces so that they can implement the measures that are already on the table but cannot be implemented because of a lack of money and commitment from the federal government.

  (1810)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to Motion No. 226, concerning health care delivery in rural Canada. This is a very important motion.
    A good part of the riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook in Nova Scotia, just on the outskirts of Halifax-Dartmouth, is rural. In Nova Scotia, all surveys indicate that 24% to 26% of Nova Scotians feel that this is a top priority for Nova Scotia and so it is a big issue. One reason is that 70% of our communities in all of Atlantic Canada are rural. Therefore, we have some challenges and this is a good example of the challenges we have.
    In my riding in the eastern shore area, the residents have been looking for a doctor and nurses for a number of years. We are in dire need of supporting the communities and helping them to find solutions. This discussion is moving that agenda forward. I and members of the Nova Scotia caucus have had discussions with the minister to try to find different incentives and strategies that we could put together to move this forward.
     I like the motion that my colleague has brought forward. It would allow for various solutions to come to the table. Recruiting high school students from rural communities to get into medical school and bringing them to practise and do their residency in their rural communities, those factors could help act as different incentives. Again, I want to thank the member for Kenora for drawing this to the attention of the House. I also want to recognize his hard work on this agenda because he has been a strong member of the Liberal rural caucus for four years.
    This motion has two major objectives. One is to have the committee conduct a study and bring witnesses to find solutions. In the second objective, the member calls on the government to further address and improve health care delivery in rural Canada by working with provinces and territories and stakeholders. When people talk about jurisdiction, we are all in here together. It is the responsibility of all levels of government, even if an area belongs to a particular jurisdiction, to work together to find solutions to make life better for Canadians right across this country. That is the opportunity this motion brings.
    Although the percentage of Canadians living in rural Canada has continued to decrease over the centuries, there has been a major shift within Canada's economy from an agricultural-based and industrial-based economy. We can agree that rural Canada continues to be a very crucial part of Canada and contributes directly to Canada in many ways. That is why we have to find doctors, we have to bring in broadband and we have to do more for rural Canada and bring that lens. This is why our government just appointed a new minister for rural Canada. That guarantees us that we will focus even more on these issues.
    Canadians take pride in the fact that we live in a country where we are fortunate enough to have a world-class medical system. However, while the health care system is successful, our government recognizes that there are some discrepancies that exist, especially in the rural context.
     The Canadian institute of health 2006 report, “How Healthy Are Rural Canadians? An Assessment of Their Health Status and Health Determinants”, found that rural Canadians have higher death rates, higher infant mortality rates and a shorter life expectancy than their urban counterparts. These health disparities are even more pronounced in indigenous communities located in rural areas. First nations men and women have average life expectancies that are 8.4 and 7.9 years shorter, respectively, than other Canadians. The determinants of health in rural populations in Canada differentiates their health needs and outcomes from urban populations. Health-related factors, such as higher proportions of smokers, lower consumption of fruit and vegetables, and obesity disproportionately affect rural residents.

  (1815)  

    The availability of medical professionals in rural areas is also a very important issue. A recent study of the medical profession, conducted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, found that in 2017 only 8% of physicians was working in rural communities when 18% of Canadians lived there. Once again, for indigenous peoples living in rural communities the situation is even worse. According to a 2015-16 regional health survey, 22.6% of first nations people over the age of 18 face even more barriers in trying to find an available doctor.
    The statistics demonstrate that the recruitment and retention of health care professionals, such as physicians, is a significant challenge in rural communities. This may be because personal and professional considerations, such as social isolation and longer work hours, are factors that disproportionately affect rural medical professionals compared to urban counterparts. Despite the challenges associated with rural medicine, there are many solutions available to us.
    While primary responsibility for the provision and delivery of health care services falls under provincial and territorial governments, the Government of Canada recognizes that we also have a role to play and welcomes constructive feedback to help move this agenda forward.
    For instance, it has been shown that medical graduates from rural backgrounds or who have practised or have had residencies in rural communities are more likely to stay. In order to retain more physicians in rural communities, governments could explore providing greater levels of support for high schools students, such as inviting them to take on the sciences, and increasing the acceptance rate of medical school applicants for rural areas. That would be a big help as well.
    In 2018, a pre-budget submission of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, entitled “Advancing Rural Family Medicine”, also argued that more needed to be done to support specific competencies for rural family doctors and rural specialist medicine and to provide support for obtaining these competencies through physician training and practices.
    Once again, I cannot enforce this point enough. It is very important to get together and get this job done to help rural communities with health care.
    Health care delivery in rural areas is extremely important. Moving this agenda forward will require more research and coordination across all jurisdictions. Let us find out how we can help these communities on the ground.
    I would like to thank my colleague from Kenora again for bringing the motion forward. I would also like to thank the House for providing me with the opportunity to speak to this important issue.
    Nova Scotians, Atlantic Canadians and rural communities across the country need our support. It is our responsibility to work with the provinces and territories to find solutions so we can ensure we have more medical doctors and nurses in our rural communities.

  (1820)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House of Commons today. As a lifetime resident of a rural community, it is a pleasure to talk about rural health care and rural issues.
     Just talking with different health care providers in the riding, talking to farmers in our communities and what we see in the news, mental health issues in our rural communities are probably the most significant we have ever seen. I do not mean to point farmers out, but people in the agriculture sector feel this due to the stresses of finances, crop prices, trade, last year's harvest and this year's spring planting. Therefore, when we look at the entire package of health care, mental health needs to be a priority. Of course, the proposed study will not happen in this Parliament, but hopefully it will in the 43rd parliament.
    Youth suicide is another issue. The youth suicide rate in rural communities is higher than anywhere else. Any information or strategies we can put together to dovetail mental health and youth suicide rates would be very important.
    Another topic is addiction. There is an opioid addiction crisis from coast to coast in our small communities. Opioids are a big issue as is crystal meth. It does not really matter what part of the country we are in at this point in time, it is in every one of our communities. Therefore, addiction and mental health treatment and having facilities that are world class and state of the art would help people of all ages deal with these issues, but primarily in a rural area where one has to go so far. People cannot just go down the street for their treatment; it could be several hours away.
    Another issue is the number of health care providers who provide a certain service. If we look at mental health, people may require treatment, but they might be told it could take three months to get an appointment. When people are at the point where they have come forward and have asked for help, to tell them that can get that help in three months is not a solution to the problem. Getting hard data to put into this report would be fantastic and would build out these action plans. I know there is lot of it out there, but we need to hammer this home.
    In rural Ontario, where I am from, there have been higher rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity for years and decades. Numerous strategies have been put together with respect to this, but we need proactive health care in our rural communities. We need facilities that will promote a healthy lifestyle and get people out exercising.
    COPD are is unique to communities as are some forms of cancer. We need further information on that moving forward.
    Baby boomers are getting to the age where they have a different set of health care requirements than they once had. In my community, there is now a geriatrician, which is a vital specialist, to provide help to our aging population. I am from a rural community, Huron County and Bruce County, which is on Ontario's west coast. It is a favourite destination for retirees to head to when they are of that age. We have a higher proportion of seniors than other communities. Therefore, a geriatrician is a vital physician.
    A couple of weeks ago, one of our beloved members from British Columbia talked about the issue of palliative care doctors. We could use a lot of palliative care doctors in our rural communities, which would help provide a fitting tribute to some of our hard-working Canadians.
    Doctor attraction and retention has been an issue in our rural communities. Going back 20 years ago, for example, Goderich, with a population of over 10,000 people, needed doctors. It put together a great doctor attraction and retention program.

  (1825)  

    Many may know of Gwen Devereaux from Seaforth, Ontario. From coast to coast, she has been educating and informing Canadians on how to attract doctors to rural communities. She has been on CBC and different radio stations, talking about what she has done.
    Someone else mentioned that having a beautiful state-of-the-art clinic would attract physicians to the area. Spouses having meaningful employment would go a long way in attracting a physician to a certain community. The provision of services, which can be as basic as broadband Internet or a community centre with a fitness centre, would also help. All of these things contribute to attracting well-educated physicians, nurses, radiologists or whatever position to go into communities, plant roots and live there.
     When most doctors and other health practitioners make a commitment to rural communities, they love it and want to stay, and people are happy to have them.
    There has been a lot of improvement with e-health records from coast to coast. It defies logic to look at our phones and see what the technology sector can do, yet health continues to lag behind. It is making innovations, but it is lagging behind. Another good innovation is the Ontario Telehealth Network, which we are happy to have. It is changing outcomes in people's lives.
    I think we can all agree that we need hard infrastructure. For example, communities need CT scanners. For people who have strokes or heart attacks, scanners can make a difference in their lives. However, does it make sense that a community has to fundraise to have a CT scanner in its hospital? It defies logic. When we talk about ways the federal government can work with all jurisdictions, why make a community pay for that? There may be strategic ways to provide funding for CT scanners.
    Something else communities desire are hospices. They are few and far between. Communities have to fundraise to build them. In Ontario, where I am from, if communities are fortunate enough to have funding for the land, which is only 60%, they have to continue to fundraise in perpetuity for the other 40%. The federal government could play a role in working on a national plan to change this and be a little more fair to communities.
    It is the same thing for long-term care. Many long-term care facilities are way out of date and need serious upgrades. There are no addiction treatment centres in my area. They are regional, yes, but there is a whole pile of changes we could make to that.
    Last, and probably most important, if we do this study in the 43rd Parliament, the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health should be invited. It is in my riding and it is the only research facility like this in Canada. It was modelled on a U.S. idea. It does rural health research in partnership with universities. The best and brightest minds come to my community every year to do rural health research, and people are so happy for it. Again, they do it on their own dime. It would great if the federal government and the provinces could come together and provide operational funding to different research facilities like this, which provide great research to rural Canada and, in some cases, encourage these bright, young minds to stay in the area.
    I look forward to coming back in the 43rd Parliament. I am sure my colleagues across the way would like otherwise. Regardless of the outcome, it would be great if the health committee would do this study and look at moving beyond jurisdictions.
     National defence provides health care and we provide all sorts of health care to indigenous Canadians. There is a role for us. If we all work together, we could rise above the partisan lines.
    I wish all my colleagues the very best this summer and in the election in October.

  (1830)  

    The time provided for the 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.
    [For continuation of proceedings see part B]
    [Continuation of proceedings from part A]

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

Members Not Seeking Re-Election to the 43rd Parliament

    It being 6:31 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 28, the House will now proceed to statements by members not seeking re-election in the 43rd Parliament.
    Before we begin this evening's debate, I would like to remind hon. members of how the proceedings will unfold.

[Translation]

    Each member speaking will be allotted 10 minutes. No time will be allotted for questions and comments.

[English]

    The order also prescribes that tonight's debate will be interrupted after three hours or when no member rises to speak.
    We will begin with the hon. member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, dear parliamentary colleagues, I believe in a policy of inclusion and engagement.

[English]

    In public life, I try to practise adaptation, reconciliation, obligation, understanding and compromise. I believe this is how we achieve lasting change, and today I would like to share some outcomes of this past term as a result.
    Picture being on the west coast of Canada. In the Pacific northwest, salmon probably arrived first. Salmon best describe the co-evolution of human life with the natural world. They are the ultimate statement of being in this world together, which we all are.
    In 2015, I was worried about the survival of the DFO lab on the waterfront in West Vancouver, because under the previous government, the property faced the very real possibility of being sold. Under the new name of the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre, which was just a name, we reached out to science partners, community leaders, the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam nations, and local DFO staff to create a vision for renewed investment and scientific research. Our ideas had to gain acceptance from the minister and staff at DFO as well as from Public Services and Procurement Canada to justify a long-term reinvestment.
     For me, working with staff behind the scenes in two departments in Ottawa was very challenging. I was asking them to create a major culture shift, and they were amazing.
    The following are absolute firsts in the history of DFO.
    The Coastal Ocean Research Institute has moved 18 scientists into the lab who use the new lab space for research into ocean plastics. West Vancouver's Streamkeepers and multiple stewardship groups use the facility now all the time.
    The West Vancouver School District developed a senior curriculum, and the first class will graduate this June with high school diplomas in environmental studies, having spent all year long accessing the ocean, the creeks, the waterfront and the DFO scientists who work at the lab.
    Squamish Nation children and elders have returned home with their ocean-going canoes, and there is a lineup of partners wishing to work with the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre.
    Ocean plastics, glass sponge reefs, underwater vessel noise, habitat loss, cetaceans, ocean warming and marine protected areas: We know now that solving complex environmental challenges takes off when the federal government opens up.
    In the same spirit, I am particularly proud that our government honours the knowledge of local governments. Investment in infrastructure means equality for all Canadians through clean drinking water, waste water treatment, public transportation, secure housing and access to digital technology. The national agenda has benefited from the inclusion of local priorities.
    In health, collaboration and research is fundamental. I chair the all-party juvenile diabetes caucus, which garnered a $15-million federal investment. Matched by a $15-million contribution from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a $30-million health research partnership formed between JDRF and the Canadian Institute for Health Research, which was another first.
    It is also obvious when we are missing the spirit of understanding and compromise, perhaps most profoundly felt today in the disconnect between British Columbia and Alberta. Western Canada needs to stick together. We matter: for our innovation, our enterprise, our experimentalism and our strong environmentalism. The hope for our energy future lies with innovation by the clean tech sector. It lies with companies that understand that a price on pollution drives innovation, with indigenous communities that want to work together to transition Canada to a clean energy future and share in the ownership and management of resource companies, and with investors who are already moving us toward a low carbon future. No amount of yelling comes close to innovation and inclusion.
    Obligation means that no one should be afraid to expose money laundering in Canada. The Pacific caucus stressed this to the minister in 2015, and early studies began. I am very pleased that Minister Eby, in B.C., is pursuing this and that our government is supportive.
    Our housing strategy responds directly to the values of equality and inclusion, as does the Canada child benefit.
     I have always and will always be working toward truth and reconciliation. For me, we should be more afraid of exclusion than inclusion.
    Turning to global affairs, I would like to thank two ministers of foreign affairs who I have had the privilege of serving as parliamentary secretary.

  (1835)  

    In 2015, on the first day I met with minister Dion, he said three things: one, I must know my files; two, I must not let him down in the House of Commons; and three, I must tell him one thing I wanted to achieve, and he would support me.
    I said I would like to work on women, peace and security. Women play a marginal role, at best, in bringing peace in international conflict situations. It is short-sighted in the extreme. The research is clear: when women are involved in peace-building, peace negotiations, peace talks and the implementation of peace processes, outcomes are better. Today, under the leadership of our current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada's foreign policy is a feminist foreign policy, as is our international development policy.
    The Government of Canada is committed to improving opportunities for women in defence and for women in policing. The Government of Canada has just launched the equality fund to leverage the philanthropic community and the private sector to build gender equality.
    I would like to thank and extend my gratitude to the current Minister of Foreign Affairs. She leads with considerable knowledge and experience, with pragmatism and with understanding.
    I would also like to thank the former minister of international trade because he placed his trust in me. He credited his whole team with our successes, and he led an effort that built and broadened free trade agreements with Europe and the trans-Pacific region. We worked hard to engage around the world, and our negotiators kept inclusivity and accommodation top of mind.
    There seems to be a belief that a member of Parliament cannot speak up or deviate from the party. I can think of some occasions when I deviated. When the Minister of Finance brought in tax reforms that were not popular at home, I told him that I, no doubt, would be very engaged in serious public consultations. Over that summer, and as a result of expert advice, we submitted 10 solutions, of which eight were accepted by the minister.
    When it comes to transitioning away from open net pen fish farms on the coast of British Columbia, I voted against our government. Everyone knows that, and my work to transition to closed containment will be ongoing.
    I respect the leadership of the Prime Minister. In my experience, he encourages differing views, especially when offered in the spirit of compromise and a better way.
    It will not surprise members to know that I am deeply disturbed by the stultifying and soul-destroying House of Commons rules that stipulate that the House sit on Fridays every week, or until midnight, or all night long. This is not democratic. This is not even humane. We should all be here in the House of Commons as our best selves, energized, not sleep-deprived; optimistic, not frustrated.
    Finally, no MPs can give their very best without a great staff team. Stephanie, Deanna, Marjan, Lucie, Natasha, Rav, Diana, Alexandre and Morgan, and in global affairs, Jillian, Joshua, Jim, Kyna, Sher and Isabella, have all worked as an incredible team. Gruelling schedules, mountains of material, stressful conditions and multiple demands on their time somehow brought them together. I admire all of them. I thank them for the standard they have set for all we do.
    As with most MPs, we have also been very pleased to support four interns over four summers, Marjan, Clio, Claire and Nicola. We throw them in the deep end and encourage them with every new ripple that comes along. May the four of them go on in their lives to ask: Who have I not included? What am I not seeing? Am I accommodating? Am I bringing a solution? If they do that, then Canada is in good hands, and they, and I, and those who hold the public trust in their daily work, will have been worthy of the office and the honour.
    My heartfelt thanks to the people of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country for the opportunity to serve them and for our opportunity to serve Canada. My personal commitment to them will never end. I will see them at home. À bientôt.

  (1840)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to present a retiring statement.
    It has been an honour to represent the residents of the riding of Oakville and to have served as a member of the 42nd Parliament. I want to begin by thanking the residents of Oakville for this opportunity.
    It has been fascinating to be part of our democratic legislative process and to have worked beside, and sometimes against, other parliamentarians as we have debated and sought the best path forward for Canada. I have never gotten over the sense of responsibility that overcomes members as we walk up to the Parliament building, enter the door and take our seats in the chamber. I have also never gotten over the feeling of gratitude I have for the residents of Oakville for entrusting this responsibility to me.
    I am proud of what our government has accomplished over this term. From renegotiating NAFTA, to supporting middle class families, to fighting climate change, to lifting 825,000 Canadians out of poverty and stimulating the creation of over one million new jobs, the government is making real and positive change in the lives of Canadians.
    I entered this role with a focused set of priorities. I want to reflect on those briefly tonight, but I also want to talk about the unexpected things that have happened to me over the past years that have enriched my understanding of my community and, surprisingly, of my family.
    When I was elected, at the top of my list was working to protect the Canadian health system. It was an honour to be asked by the Prime Minister to serve as the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health and to speak on her behalf with Canadians and in the House of Commons. I was delighted to be part of the Standing Committee on Health. We issued numerous reports and recommendations on issues affecting the health of Canadians.
    Another big priority for me was my concern that coverage of essential medicines is not part of our universal health care model. Canadians should not be denied access to essential medicines because they cannot afford them. I was part of the standing committee that issued a clear recommendation that universal, single-payer coverage is critical to ensuring that all Canadians have equal access to essential drug therapy. I was overjoyed to see provisions in the 2018 budget to appoint a council to study the implementation of national pharmacare and to see provisions in the 2019 budget to create a Canadian drug agency and to take steps toward the development of a national formulary.
    I was honoured to chair the all-party health research caucus, which worked with Research Canada to profile in Ottawa the amazing health research that is happening across Canada.
    Besides health, I was focused on jobs and ensuring that the government was creating the right conditions for success in the advanced manufacturing industry. In Oakville, Ford Canada is the largest employer. I was honoured to have chaired the Liberal auto caucus and to have fought hard for appropriate funding to stimulate innovation in the sector, including in zero emission vehicles and autonomous operations.
    As vice-chair of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, I participated in and once led a mission to promote trade between Canada and the EU.
    Finally, with the leadership of Andrew Quinn, my executive assistant, I was happy to see our motion, Motion No. 168, protecting net neutrality in Canada, receive unanimous support in the House. Hey, Andrew, “Velociraptor.”
    These are the things I set out to accomplish when I was elected, and I am happy with those achievements. However, what about the unexpected experience that I did not anticipate?
    Here on the Hill, in the House, I have been struck by the integrity of all parliamentarians in representing their ridings and speaking passionately about their beliefs and aspirations for the future of Canada. Likewise, I have been impressed by the breadth and scope of committee work. This activity is invisible to most Canadians, yet I learned that it is at committee where most non-partisan discussions are held to amend legislation and make thoughtful recommendations to government. I will miss the collegiality and the give and take with my fellow parliamentarians.
    Some of the most unexpected experiences and learning happened in the riding of Oakville.
    I was invited as the member of Parliament to tour many businesses. I had no idea of the diversity of manufacturing enterprises in the riding. Do members know that every time people land at the Ottawa airport, it is highly likely that the landing gear that drops down and safely puts them on the tarmac was manufactured and assembled in Oakville? Every time a person buys a glazed donut product or fruit-filled product at Tim Hortons anywhere across Canada, the glaze and filling came from Oakville.
    The restoration of the Pickering and Bruce nuclear plants was dependent on parts from Oakville. The raw products for Crisco, Becel margarine and other famous edible oil products are refined in Oakville. Of course, we also have the Ford assembly plant, which assembles over 270,000 vehicles a year and supports a rich ecosystem of parts manufacturers.

  (1845)  

    I move on now from learnings about the diversity of industry to learnings about the diversity of faith.
     I am a long-time member of the United Church, and I was honoured to be invited and warmly welcomed at mosques, the synagogue, the temple, the gurdwara and the many churches of my community. I learned first-hand that although religious observances are different, people are drawn to their houses of worship for the same reasons: to seek a closer relationship with a sacred, holy spirit; to ask for atonement and reconciliation; to be part of a community of faith; and to unite their families in long traditions of religious celebration.
    Then there is Sheridan College, a world-class education facility right in my backyard, producing Academy Award winners in animation and acting as a crucible to develop world-renowned artistic shows like Come From Away. What an amazing opportunity we have as MPs, and what a luxury to be introduced to so many aspects of our home community and to have those shared with us so openly. I wish everyone had that opportunity.
    I mentioned learnings about my family. My wife's family members are refugees. They fled Poland in the early 1980s, when my wife was about 12 years old. They sought refuge in Austria for about six months and then received permanent refuge in Canada. My wife's younger sister married a Vietnamese gentleman who, along with his family, was likewise a refugee, so when I sit down to eat supper with my wife's family, I am the only non-refugee at the table, yet they do not think of themselves as refugees. They are Canadians who are hard at work building their families, running businesses, and in my wife's case, being a school board trustee.
    While I have long known my wife's background, it was not until I met with refugee families from Syria and elsewhere in the world in Oakville that I fully realized the hardship and challenges the parents were facing: language barriers; unemployment; separation from family, loved ones and networks; and learning new cultures.
    I want to say a huge thanks to Barbara and Waldemar Krasowski for having the courage to leave their homeland and for persevering through these challenges to seek a better opportunity for their children. Through them, I thanks to all the refugee and immigrant parents who have known these challenges and shown such incredible courage and sacrifice. I hope they all know the successes that my wife's family has enjoyed.
    ln closing, I would like to say thanks and acknowledge the tremendous contributions made by my staff: Fiona Fraser, director of operations; Andrew Quinn, executive assistant; Nancy Buchan-Terrell; Valerie Campbell; Hannah Wieler; Lori Weston; and Mala Sharma. They have provided superb support not only to me but, more importantly, to the community we served over these past four years. I could not have done any of this without their tireless work. Most have been with me and supported me from the very beginning; way back when I sought the Liberal nomination. I thank each of them so much for their support and steadfastness.
    I also thank the Oakville Federal Liberal Association, under the capable leadership of Alan Johnston, and the hundreds of volunteers who worked with me during the 2015 campaign.
    Finally, the real burden of a parliamentarian's job falls hardest on our families, those who are closest to us and whom we love the most. We are absent from home while in Ottawa and often absent from family activity and being with family during constituency weeks. I hope every member is blessed with a family as supportive as mine, and I thank my family for its unwavering support. My family includes my loving and lovely wife, Joanna Oliver; my fabulous children, Rachel, whom I congratulate on the new job; Alexander, whom I congratulate on his film; and William, whom I look forward to hanging with; my inspirational mother, Ellice Oliver; and my sister and brother, Heather and Richard Oliver. Sadly, we lost my father, Peter Oliver, during this Parliament, but we remember him through his long-time friend Annie Chandler.
    It has been said that families are the compass that guides us, our inspiration to reach great heights and our comfort when we falter. My family is my blessing. I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart for their ongoing love and encouragement.

  (1850)  

    Mr. Speaker, being a Canadian is a privilege almost without equal in the world. To be selected by our fellow Canadians as a representative in the House of Commons is as high an honour as there is. Thanks to the incredible people of Simcoe—Grey, who put their faith in me, I have been a member of Parliament for eight years. First and foremost, I want to thank them.
    I grew up in a family where my parents, Lynne and Kit Leitch, lived certain values. My mom emphasized hard work every day. She was the most generous person I have ever known. None of my friends could leave our house without a toque on their head or a hug if they needed it. Sadly, after a strong fight, she lost her battle with breast cancer in 1989.
    My dad continually challenges us to have free thoughts and develop new ideas every day. Even now, he challenges me to work harder and be better. Like so many who live and were born on the prairies, he believes that everyone is equal and should be treated respectfully. He is the epitome of tolerance.
    In many ways, my parents are the embodiment of Canadian values, and these values matter. They are the reason Canada is a beacon of hope around the world for those fleeing persecution or seeking a better life. The values that Canadians share, that my parents taught us, are what make this country, Canada, the greatest country in the world, one that it has been an honour to represent.
    The one question I get asked all the time as a member of Parliament is why a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon would run for office. There are three reasons.
    First, my mom was insistent that public service is good for us.
     Second, as a doctor, I would be helping dozens of kids every day. I loved my job, but in 2006, I was asked to chair the expert panel on the children's fitness tax credit. This opportunity allowed me to see first-hand how good public policy can have a positive impact on the health of thousands of Canadian kids, not just one child at a time, as I did as a doctor.
    Third, I was asked. It was that simple. Jim Flaherty called me at the clinic one day on a Friday morning and said, “I hear you're running for office.” I said, “No.” We can see how well that worked out. On May 2, 2011, my name was on the ballot in Simcoe—Grey as the Conservative candidate the day the Conservative majority government was won.
     I was appointed as a parliamentary secretary immediately after the election. As a PS, I was assigned the task to develop a new EI rate mechanism reform in the May budget. I also contributed to the creation of the Canada job grant.
     As an Albertan, I heard every day from family and friends—especially my sister, who is a no-nonsense, super-smart engineer in Calgary—about the need for skilled labour. I led the consultations across the country related to this program, which revolutionized on-the-job training by providing incentives for employers to train people.
    On my dad's birthday in July 2013, I was invited to meet with the Prime Minister. The PM appointed me Canada's first minister of status of women as well as minister of labour. I remember accepting and then immediately formulating in my head how to eliminate the department. I thought, as a professional woman, how ridiculous it was that the department even existed. My sister completely agreed. When I returned home that night and told my father, to my surprise he was ecstatic. He thought this was the best role ever. I thought he was crazy.
    In retrospect, I will say that being the minister of status of women was one of the more meaningful and most fulfilling roles I have ever had. I learned so much, and realized that the department is in fact necessary and important. I have a strong belief that women are most successful in all aspects of their lives if they can be independent, when they can stand on their own two feet and make choices for themselves and families unencumbered by others and government. Our great team at Status of Women focused all its efforts on helping women of all backgrounds achieve this independence.
    I am particularly proud of our focus on championing women entrepreneurs. Early in my term, I realized that for women to be successful, they needed three things: mentors, money and markets. As a young medical student, I benefited from mentors. Therefore, it was no surprise to me when I met with women across the country and heard they needed mentors and found it challenging to succeed without one.
    The expert panel on championing and mentorship for women entrepreneurs was launched in 2013. Its work created “It Starts with One – Be Her Champion”, an initiative to provide mentors for women in all fields. As I leave public life, I look forward to continuing to support and build this program so that young women across our country can reach their greatest potential.

  (1855)  

    I have always championed children. I am told that my face lights up when a child walks into the room, so it was not challenging for me to embrace the idea of the International Day of the Girl Child at the UN and become one of the driving forces of its creation in 2013. This experience is the reason that today I am passionate about organizations that help eliminate the practice of early, child, and forced marriages around the world, such as Girls Not Brides.
    When I was growing up in Fort McMurray, Alberta, my father ran a construction company. My talented brother Michael now runs that firm, and it has never had unionized workers, nor was there ever a desire for our labourers to unionize, so being Minister of Labour in Canada was a new place for me.
     I was determined to have Canada ratify the UN ILO Convention No. 138 on minimum age for admission to employment. As a pediatric surgeon, I was somewhat dumbfounded that Canada had not ratified this basic convention, which we finally did in 2014. Our team at labour also spearheaded changes to the Canada Labour Code to ensure that interns were covered by health and safety protections and that these young Canadians received the pay they were due when they worked hard.
     I believe that we as Canadians need to lead internationally by example as well as practise what we preach. The changes to these policies did both.
    Politics is a rough sport. I realized that during the challenging 2015 campaign, and during my leadership campaign I learned that in spades. During the leadership campaign, I learned many things. I now have a better wardrobe and I wear makeup, and sadly, I also learned how much these material items matter. How we look is often as important as, if not more important than, our ideas or intellect, especially as women.
    I also learned that not all Canadians are tolerant.
     In Canada, as children we are encouraged to have new ideas, talk about those ideas and encourage debate. That is not at all what I experienced. What most Canadians saw during the campaign was people slandering me and my reputation. They saw me bullied continuously. I was subjected to the worst type of threats online. My home was broken into. My constituency office was compromised with hate banners illegally hung. My staff was intimidated. My Parliament Hill office even received long letters in which people outlined in graphic detail their plans to sadistically rape me.
    This was all fuelled by people who claimed they were champions of freedom of speech, champions of women and champions of a tolerant society. I can tell members that these people are anything but that. I acutely learned that when individuals are unwilling—or, more often, unable—to debate an issue in a tolerant and respectful way, they turn to bullying, intimidation or worse. I would not wish this treatment on anyone, even on those who subjected me to it.
    My campaign sparked debate on issues that Canadians wanted to talk about. I am proud to say that unlike some, I am not afraid to tackle the elephant in the room. For me, health care will be one of those topics as we go forward. We need an open and healthy debate in this country about our health care system. Today, politicians get to say when and where we get our care, but they are not accountable to deliver that care in a timely manner. Canadians are ready for a thoughtful discussion about the future of health care. As elected leaders, we need to be ready too.
    Canadians have always been the most successful in all fields when we embrace our responsibilities as well-educated and tolerant people who put forward bold ideas on important subjects. Canadians elected us in the House of Commons to be leaders. We are expected to speak about issues that matter. We are not supposed to be afraid of tackling the tougher issues, and we should be able to discuss issues like health care, climate change, abortion and immigration without name-calling, without bullying, without resorting to insults or character assassinations. If we are not prepared to tackle the tough issues in a respectful manner in this place, then who is?
    Leadership is about courage and about having the courage to act. As one politician once accurately outlined, most politicians, with the exception of a few with great courage, wait to see how political events are breaking before they risk their own political capital. I can say that I now understand that. Even with my challenging experience during and following the leadership campaign, I will continue to talk about issues that matter to Canadians, like the ones they talk about every day at the dinner table and at Tim Hortons. This country and the responsibility we have as Canadians to help others both here and abroad is too important to me not to.

  (1900)  

    I challenge members in the House to not shy away from bold and controversial issues. Do not be afraid of the critics and the media, the trolls and the angry people. Have courage and move forward.
    It is an honour to serve in this House. I have many friends in this place and I have had many conversations, some more animated than others. No matter what our beliefs or political backgrounds, we share a common dedication to this country and to making it better. For that I thank my colleagues.
    I encourage the leaders in this place to remember to take courage and bring forward bold ideas. Canadians are expecting us to do so.
    Mr. Speaker, as most of you know, I will not be running in the upcoming fall election. Tonight I will be saying goodbye to all my colleagues in this House on all sides. It is hard to say goodbye to fellow workers, to a job or a career that you really enjoy.
    Retirement: this is not my first kick at the can. Over 50 years of public service have been very rewarding to me. Am I ending it now? I do not really know. I am not sure yet. I was blessed to be born in a great country and a prosperous province, Alberta. Life has been good to me. For me to give back was just natural.
    I am a second-generation Ukrainian who grew up on a farm near Chipman, Alberta. After graduation, I joined the RCMP in April of 1968. I took a train and headed to Regina to be a Mountie. I think most of the farm boys did that back in the 1960s. It was a good choice for me. I served 35 years and had nine postings and five detachment commands. I went from a constable to staff sergeant and finished my career in the city of Fort St. John in B.C. Fort St. John is a great community in northern British Columbia.
    I met my first wife, Stephanie, in 1968. We had two daughters, Kim and Susan. Stephanie was with me throughout my service. I lost her to cancer a month after I retired.
    In 2002, municipal politics called me. I was elected to council and three years later re-elected as the mayor. This was a great place to learn about politics. I think it is the best politics. In 2004, I married Nancy, my current wife, who has been my strongest constituent, my right arm, my adviser and my critic. She loves politics. She gave me so much: time, love and support.
    Nancy and I decided to move from B.C. to Edson, Alberta, in 2011. I was home again. My stepdaughter, Sommer, her spouse, Brad, and grandchildren Kaylynn, Jenessa, Brayden and Tyler lived there. They live there today. We built a new home on the McLeod River, just outside of Edson, to retire.
    Then we met Rob Merrifield, who was the member of Parliament for Yellowhead. The next thing I knew, he asked me to join his EDA. Then I ended up being president. I never could say “no”. I have to learn that one day.
    In the fall of 2014, Rob called me on a Sunday and said, “Jim, put together a special EDA meeting for tomorrow at 6 p.m.” I asked why and he said he could not tell me. He wanted to meet with Nancy and me at 4 p.m. before the meeting. I asked why. He said he could not tell me. Was I confused? I was. As the EDA president, he was telling me nothing and I had to phone everybody.
    At 4 p.m. the next day, Rob and his wife, Brenda, met with Nancy and me and Rob told us he was retiring. When? Immediately. Nancy said, “What are we going to do?” Rob replied, “Jim, I think you should run. I spoke to Prime Minister Harper and it will be a great honour for you to serve as the federal MP for Yellowhead”. I said I could not, and to look at me, I was older. “No,” he said, “You're great. You have lots of experience.” I asked how long I had to make up my mind. He answered, “Two hours” because he wanted to tell the EDA. Forty-five days later, I was the MP for Yellowhead riding.

  (1905)  

    I was so proud to serve the Yellowhead riding, and I want to thank all my supporters in Yellowhead for electing me in 2014 and again in 2015. What a year it was, with two elections and opening an office in Ottawa and an office in Edson.
    I remember my first week in Ottawa, when I was walked down the corridor here by Prime Minister Harper, being sworn in. The administration gave me a set of keys and said my office was 301 Justice. I asked where that was and was told, “Down the hill”. I met with finance and was told I could only spend this, could not spend that and to be careful. I was told to hire someone to work in my office. When I asked where I would find someone, they said to look around and that I would find somebody. Then I was told, by the way, I was on the immigration committee and it sits on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so to make sure I was there tomorrow. Then it was, “Goodbye and good luck.”
    How many of us did that happen to? That was day one. From there we learned as we went. I love challenges, but I have to say, thank God the men's washroom was across the hall from 301 Justice.
    In politics, time quickly flies. I have flown back and forth about 100 times. I have spent around 800 days on the Hill, approximately 1,000 days in the Yellowhead riding, and 15 hours every weekend, transitioning back and forth between here and there. Will I miss it? You bet. It has been an honour to serve my riding of Yellowhead, my province of Alberta, and my country. The friendships we develop here, from all parties, I will always cherish.
    The people Nancy and I met in our riding, the friendships we made, they are such great people. Yellowhead riding is large, 77,000 square kilometres. As an MP, I could not have represented this great riding if it were not for my staff in Edson. I was lucky that Rob's staff stayed on when I was first elected: Jude, Annette and Theresa. If Jude is listening, she was the nerve centre of the riding, the type of person who knows everyone and everything. She was a great help. I thank the staffers who are there today, Annette, Marsha and Sandra, and those who have moved on, Amy, Sylvie and Jude.
    In Ottawa, I was lucky. I hired Jeannette. What a find and what a knowledgeable staffer. She trained me, guided me and kept me in line, and that was difficult. Her knowledge and wisdom on the Hill is awesome and I thank her. Through her, I became so much better. I hired her as an employee, but I consider her a friend. I thank Jamyn, a former staffer in my Ottawa office, and Volodymyr, who is there now, for their service to me and the Yellowhead riding. I thank the four Ukrainian interns I had during the summers.
     I thank my Conservative colleagues. I have learned so much from them. It has been an honour to serve with them in the government and in opposition. I will always cherish the friendships we developed. I will miss them, all of them.
    I will miss the Hill, the security people, the drivers, the people in the cafeteria, the personnel around here. I stop and talk to as many of them as I can in a day. I will miss my staff. I will miss my constituents. However, I will not miss that weekly flight riding from Ottawa to home and back.
    I have been so lucky that Rob Merrifield asked me to run. I have been so lucky that my constituents supported me. I have been so lucky to have had a great campaign team. I am so lucky that my replacement candidate, Gerald Soroka is a great guy, a friend and, hopefully, he can have a good office, at 301 Justice, after the federal election when he joins our prime minister, Andrew Scheer.
    I could not have done any of this if it were not for my wife Nancy. I know she is listening. I thank “Beebs” for travelling back and forth across the Yellowhead riding with me, for helping in speeches, counselling me, campaigning, etc. She is special. She represented me so many times in the riding when I was here in Ottawa, giving speeches and doing all those other things. I was getting worried because people were telling me that they were starting to like her more than me. Nancy is my soulmate, a friend, and I thank her so much.

  (1910)  

    People ask me what I am going to do when I retire. There is that word again: retire. I have my health, thank God. My motor home wants to travel. My motorcycle wants to be ridden. My restoration projects are begging to be finished. My grass continues to grow. There are fish in the McLeod River that need to be caught. My deer need to be fed; I have a herd of about 15 of them.
    However, mostly, I look forward to visiting my three sisters, my sister-in-law, their husbands and our four children, and spoiling our 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter who needs to see me more.
    Canada is a great big country and I am about to hit the road, folks. Yes, I will go back to boring holes in the sky, enjoying the freedom of flight.

  (1915)  

    Mr. Speaker, first, I want to start with the thanks.
    To my staff of over 15 years as a member of Parliament, I have been blessed to have wonderful, loyal staffers. Murray Heinzlmeir, Vikki Ruby and Brianne Toupin started with me 15 years ago and are still with the team today. Al Chant put in 13 years. When he retired, I was, in his words, “improving my staff” by hiring his wife Elizabeth. Mattea Merta joined the team these last few years. Denae Ferguson started out doing maternity leaves until her own maternity leave caused her to move on. I must also remember my Humboldt staff of previous years, Arlene Jule and Melanie Bain.
     They have all been very loyal. I appreciate their putting up with the quirks and mannerisms of their boss. To have so many of them stay for so long has meant a lot to me.
    I thank Lori Isinger, my first campaign manager, who was and is gracious and kind. She helped me put together a team in 2004 that won a riding that was considered unwinnable. I thank Ron Ardell, a very special friend, and we all miss him.
    Volunteers like Denise Hounjet-Roth, campaign managers like Rod Meier, riding presidents, volunteers, supporters and donors who are too mention, in all my campaigns supported me. Thanks, my friends.
    I thank my leadership campaign team, Russ, Joseph, Mike, Wally and Wayne, for all that we went through together.
    I thank my family. My mom and dad were always there in each election. I thank my brothers and their families for their support. My service here was definitely a family accomplishment and the wins were theirs as much as they were mine.
     Gerelt, my wife, joined me half-way through this adventure. I am not sure if it is what she expected, but she has embraced it with enthusiasm. I thank her for her support, love and encouragement. I love her very much.
    I thank the voters of Saskatoon—Humboldt and Saskatoon—University for the privilege of being their voice. I have tried to serve them faithfully whether I received their vote or not. I was once told the Trost family motto should be, “A Trost is a majority of one”.
     In my time in the House of Commons, I have striven to stick to the principles that I came here with. While it has been said that politics is about compromise, I have always believed politics should be about principle.
    What are the some of the principles I have stood for during my years here?
     Human life matters from conception to natural death. This is a fundamental right which should never be denied. To take away sweet human life as we do in our country is the greatest tragedy of Canada's history.
     Freedom matters, in our economic system and in our political system. A government that is large and all-encompassing is not a government that is the servant of the people, but is the master of the people. Government aid is often to be feared more than government neglect.
     Democracy matters: The price previous Canadians paid for our system of government is one that should not be forgotten. Even if we do not agree with everything this system has given us, it is still the best the world has ever seen.
    Let me close my brief speech by saying something for Isabel Anu Trost and Helena Esu Trost, my two little girls. Their dad ran for office, not because he thought he could win, but because it was the right thing to do. I believe in my Canada. I believe in the values of freedom, faith, family and free enterprise. This is what has made Canada great. I have tried to uphold these values so that some day they will inherit a Canada that is moral, just and strong, a country that believes in the rule of law and the supremacy of God.
    I thank everyone who has shared this journey with me. I did my best to serve. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens. To God be the glory.

  (1920)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I was first elected on May 2, 2011, as part of the famous orange wave. It came as a shock, but it was also an honour and a privilege to represent the people of my riding and stand up for my values in this honourable House.
    I would like to thank the people of Beauharnois—Salaberry for giving me that first opportunity to dive into politics and have this fabulous, intense, enriching and altogether human life experience. It has been a pleasure to serve them.
    My first speech in the House was on a topic that was as dear to my labour activist heart then as it is now. On June 24, 2011, Quebec's national holiday, I spoke out against the Canada Post bill. The NDP stood up to the Conservative government of the day for three days in a row so that unionized postal workers could negotiate their working conditions with the Crown corporation executives. That was my first ever three-day Thursday.
    My second speech was just as emotional and powerful. In September 2011 we were debating Bill C-4, a Conservative government bill on boat people. This brought about a two-hour conversation with my mother on how my family came to Canada after fleeing persecution in the wake of the Vietnam War. She recounted their escape, the attacks by pirates, their fight to survive, their life at the refugee camp, their arrival in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and the welcome they received. This is the Canada I know, a Canada that gives a family of refugees the opportunity to prosper and that allows their daughter to become a two-term member of Parliament.
    As one of the few members of Parliament of Vietnamese origin, I had the opportunity to meet with diverse Vietnamese communities in Canada and to work with them to acknowledge how much the Vietnamese have contributed to the diverse Québécois and Canadian culture and to fight for human rights in Vietnam, in particular. During my eight years in the NDP, I was mentored by some formidable and passionate members of Parliament, colleagues with whom I grew up and with whom I learned to be more self-assured. Most of all, I laughed a lot in all of our battles here in Parliament. It takes a healthy dose of humour and self-deprecation to alleviate the stress of this frenzied political life.
    My first challenge was to discover my riding. It took time and effort to understand the challenges of the different regions and also to discuss subjects that I knew little or nothing about: the world of agriculture ever present in the riding, the business world, which scared me to death, the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne.
    After the riding boundary was changed, the region of Soulanges was another area to be studied and understood. I travelled around the RCMs by bike, on foot and by car. I thank the 400 community organizations who work hard with limited means. I thank the mayors of the 31 municipalities who are the foundation of our democratic fabric and without whom nothing works, and the entrepreneurs, whom I found so intimidating at the beginning. I thank them all for giving me material for my speeches, for advising me, often at the last minute, when I was drafting my bills, or for turning my attention to the issues they were concerned about.
    I thank all the constituents who attended the countless public consultations or sent comments on my work by responding to the monthly mailings. Their contribution was invaluable to democracy and my ability to represent them in House of Commons every day. I hope they will continue to be as active and involved with the next MP. I thank them for placing their trust in me a second time in the 2015 election. To me that second election was an acknowledgement of my ability to stand up for the interests of the riding.
    When it comes to agriculture, I fought tooth and nail with my NDP colleagues to protect supply management in its entirety and ensure that dairy farmers received compensation every time they were sacrificed in the signing of free trade agreements. We worked hard with my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé and others and used pressure tactics against diafiltered milk. Unfortunately, this could come up again because of the treaty negotiation with the United States and Mexico.
    One of my personal victories is the agriculture investment announced in the last budget. My team came up with the slogan: at the federal level, we eat locally. For more than six years now, I have been fighting to get a local foods procurement policy. I introduced two bills on this and in the March 2019 budget, we finally see investments to buy local food in schools and to develop and support distribution channels such as public markets. Through the support of many organizations, nearly 3,000 signatures on my petition, and emails of support, we were able to put enough pressure on the government to agree to include these measures in its recent budget.

  (1925)  

    This is a step in the right direction, but I still dream of seeing a buy local policy take shape someday.
    Lastly, an important aspect of my work has been solving problems, whether it is a constituent not getting a service they were entitled to or an issue like the Kathryn Spirit, which was a problem 114 metres long and weighing 12,300 tonnes. My office has handled over 1,500 constituent cases, problems involving the Canada Revenue Agency, old age security or the guaranteed income supplement, and temporary foreign worker files. More and more Canadians are calling their MPs for help when they are unable to get a response through the usual channels. After all the public service cutbacks, that is the unfortunate reality.
    One major case was the Kathryn Spirit, my region's biggest headache. This huge wreck had been towed into Lake Saint-Louis in 2011 without proper authorization by the company Groupe St-Pierre. This was blatant proof that corporate self-regulation does not work. The wreck was resold to a Mexican company and then abandoned. This case also highlighted the limits of the federal government, which declined to get involved every time, up until the very last second. At the end of the day, the polluter won. The company that had brought in the vessel ended up with at least $11 million of public money in its pockets. As they said on Infoman, this is like someone dumping trash in the neighbour's yard and then getting paid to take care of the mess they made. All in all, this incompetence and mismanagement of public funds cost taxpayers $24 million. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of Canadians, elected officials and local journalists, this problem is now behind us.
    Now, let's talk about struggles and victories in Ottawa. As a young woman who has served in the House since 2011, I know what a challenge it was to get people to take women and young people seriously.
    In 2014, four NDP female colleagues and I had to fight to have the right to bring our children inside Parliament and breastfeed them until the age of 18 months. We won that fight.
    The next fight was to get a family room in Parliament. We won that one too. I would like to thank my colleagues, including Nycole Turmel, the former whip, for fighting alongside us and not only making this room a reality, but also creating better conditions for mothers who want to go into politics.
    I am also proud to have launched the women in the lead event, which, since 2016, has welcomed 80 to 150 women every year to share what they have experienced in decision-making positions and talk about female leadership. There is still a lot of work to do to attract more women to politics, especially in terms of work-life balance. It is hard when we must vote or sit until midnight, like we do at the end of each session. There has been some progress, but we need to keep going.
    It is also important to highlight my efforts to promote the French language. I am proud to have debated in French in committee and in the House of Commons over the past eight years. I am also proud of having created the Réseau des jeunes parlementaires de la Francophonie.
    I would be remiss if I did not talk about youth and their passionate commitment to a number of issues. It is often said that young people are the segment of the population that is the most active and involved in the community right now. That is true, and we need to listen to them, because they challenge our ways of thinking and doing things. However, our decision-making structures are still lacking in young voices. That is why I introduced a bill in the House of Commons to create a commissioner for young persons.
    I also want the government's youth policy to include an action plan, instead of just paying lip service. I want the Prime Minister's Youth Council to let young people say what is going well and what is not without having to go through the Prime Minister's communications office.
    Lastly, I want to talk about the environment, an issue that is of vital importance to young people. This issue has no colour. It is not green, red, blue or orange. It really is everyone's responsibility. I think the work that the NDP did by unveiling its green platform last week is very ambitious and worth exploring.
    I am very proud to have started the first forum on clean energy and industry in 2014 with my colleagues from New Westminster—Burnaby, Drummond and Edmonton Strathcona.
    In closing, I am honoured to have served as the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry and Salaberry—Suroît for eight years. I am going to get very emotional when I leave this place in a few weeks. I could never have done this work without the invaluable help of the dedicated assistants I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with over the past eight years.

  (1930)  

    I want to thank my current staff, Edith Gariépy, Glen Cyr, Amélie Leduc, Jean-Marc Fagelson and Katherine Massam.
    I also want to thank everyone who has worked for me over the past eight years, including the assistants, volunteers and interns who made my work look good every day, in good times and bad. I also want to thank the teams in the House leader's office and the whip's office, who work behind the scenes and look after us so well every day. I will miss them, but I will see them again.
    I will close by thanking my friends, my family and my in-laws for supporting me throughout this wonderful adventure. I will be eternally grateful to my love, my beloved, my sidekick, my poet, my confidant, Mathieu, who agreed to be a stay-at-home dad for the past five years so I could thrive as a woman, an MP and a mother. I want to thank my daughter, Mila, who often had to share me and did not always understand why, if I was my own boss, I was not staying at home to play with her instead of going to work. Mila, I will be home soon.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, this is quite an occasion for me, personally, and for my family. What a rare privilege this is, to stand, at any point, in the House of Commons, a place I consider sacred in our democracy. It is a privilege, as well, to be able to talk about life in politics.
    This is called a farewell speech. I looked around, and I quite like this quote from Steinbeck:
    Farewell has a sweet sound of reluctance. Good-by is short and final, a word with teeth sharp to bite through the string that ties past to the future.
    I like the idea of farewell. The last number of weeks and months have been quite a strange experience for me. It has been a bit like being at my own funeral, actually. People come up to me and talk about how they feel about me, good and bad, and I get to hear comments that I think we do not share with each other nearly often enough.
    I had some reluctance about giving this speech. I did not want to do it at all. My wife, Diana, said, “Don't be stupid”, which is often the advice she has for me. How do I sum up 15 years in politics in a 10-minute speech? How do I, in a 10-minute speech, properly sum up all of the proper thanks that I have for the many volunteers, the staff, the people who support us and make what we do possible? How can I properly express, in a 10-minute speech, the gratitude I feel for the privilege and the opportunity to be a member of Parliament?
    I can recall my first speech, which, to no surprise of my parents, Margarite and John, I was late to. I was rushing to the House. I was a new MP and was told that my staff would write my speech, and then I would read it. I bolted into the House, and as soon as my backside touched the seat, the Speaker said, “The member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley”. I popped up and started to read the text that had been prepared over many diligent hours by my staff, Jerry. Within the first paragraph, I was bored out of my mind. I thought that if I was bored, it was very unlikely that anybody else would be interested in what I was saying, so I turned the page over, and I just spoke as best as I could.
    It was a bit intimidating, because in the front row, at the time, was Ed Broadbent, who had come back to politics. He turned around in his seat to watch. I thought that if I could get through this trial by fire, with the steely eyes of Ed Broadbent looking at me, then I would do okay.
    I know I have been here quite a while now. I knew this as I was walking through the city just last year and saw construction projects that had been started and completed during my tenure as a member of Parliament, government projects. It was shocking. I do not want anyone to look back, but it has been so long I actually had a full head of hair when I got here. I will ask that no one google that.
    I thought of how to try to put this all together in my mind. A favourite quote of mine is from the great writer Thomas King, who said, “The truth about stories is, that's all we are.” I firmly believe this. I think we are all stories. We all have our past. We all have our memories, our family, our connection to this place.
    My story of getting into politics was a most improbable one. I was a working-class kid growing up with a single mom in Toronto, a cashier at a Dominion food store, with no political inclinations in our family whatsoever, and I ended up in the northwest of British Columbia through a very strange series of fortunate events.
    I was asked by a good friend, Bill Goodacre, to consider running. I think many of us have this story, of a friend saying, “You should run.” I said the appropriate thing to Bill: “You're crazy. That is a terrible idea.” He was quite skilled at convincing me that this might be a good idea.
    I believe politics, at its best, is a vocation. It should be a calling, not a job. It is not something people show up to. It is something that people are called to do, to serve that calling as best they can.
    My goals in coming to Parliament 15 years ago were quite modest. I wanted to leave with my health; I wanted to leave with my family; and I wanted to leave with the integrity I came with intact.

  (1935)  

    Now, those might seem like modest goals, but they are actually not that modest, as I learned, because this can be a brutal place. It can be hard on families. It can be hard on relationships. It can be hard on us as individuals, and we do not often talk about the strains of being away, the mental health struggles many of us have and do not talk about, maybe increasingly so now.
    However, I am proud to represent a place like Skeena—Bulkley Valley. Those who have not been there should go, because it is a magnificent part of the world. It is vast. It is beautiful. It is breathtaking. It is the very best of our country, and even better still are the people who live there. We have an expression up north: “The people don't make the land. The land makes the people.” We are informed by that place, and I am proud of the work we have done.
    In this strange life, I have had opportunities to meet great, powerful men and women, such as presidents, kings and queens. They are all impressive in their own way, but the most impressive people to me have been the leaders I have been fortunate enough to encounter in the northwest of British Columbia: local mayors, local community activists and indigenous leaders, who have let me into their hearts and their worlds to express what their vocation is.
    A number of years ago, I was attending a Nisga’a celebration called Hobiyee. It is a beautiful, ancient celebration. It is the coming back of the salmon and the eulachon to the northwest. The ceremony goes on all night, and the chiefs at one point come into the hall. Members have to imagine a community hall in northwestern B.C. on a beautiful night, and the chiefs are all milling about outside in their beautiful regalia with amazing masks. One of the chiefs came to me and said, “Walk in with us”, and I said, “This is not my place. This is your hall. This is your place. I am just an observer.” He said, “We've talked about it, and you're walking with us.”
    As I came into the hall for Hobiyee, the first three rows on either side were filled with women singing, and they sing into the middle, where the chiefs walk in. Outside of them are the drummers. The Nisga’a have a tradition of turning a bent wood box drum on its corner, and big Nisga’a dudes pound away in a heartbeat rhythm. I walked in with the chiefs. It is a very slow procession, and they sing to their leadership. They call their leadership forward and hold them up to represent them. I thought about what we needed to learn from that as parliamentarians, as people who purport to lead and speak on behalf of others.
    I have been so blessed. We are a family, and there are many families that inform our politics. My political family is here, and in my riding in Skeena, executive and volunteers, far too many to name: Jennifer Davies, Rob Goffinet, Len and Irene, and Pat Moss. We all have dedicated Canadians who care and inform us. My political family was also Jack, whom I miss to this day.
    We also have our parliamentary family, and that is not often spoken of. We, as colleagues, struggle with one another and disagree, but we also meet in this sacred place, and sometimes, not often enough maybe, we find common ground as we seek to make this country a better place.
    Then I have my actual family, who are here: Diana and my beautiful boys, Isaac and Elliot. We have some plans. We have some time together, which I so look forward to.
    We join together in the northwest to defend what we believe we must defend. We try to reach out across traditional political lines of interest and groups of interest to support one another and defend what is sacred to us, which is the land and the rivers that feed us, the very world that enriches us. For 15 years, the folks in the northwest have decided to put me forward as their voice, and no more of a humbling experience have I ever had.
     I believe we are actors passing across the stage. We all have our moment here, and we can lose perspective as we pass across this stage, yet others will pass behind us. May we, in all of our efforts, seek to not only leave Parliament a better place, but leave this country a better place. For sure, I have been left better by this experience.

  (1940)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, on May 2, 2011, I was granted the tremendous honour of being elected to represent Hochelaga. I was the first woman and the first New Democrat to represent that riding federally. The class of 2011 had to learn fast. Less than a month after we got here, the government was forcing Canada Post employees back to work.
    During what Tom Mulcair called the week of four Thursdays, when NDP members fought for workers' rights day and night for 58 hours, the government misled the public by saying the strike was hurting small business, when it was really the employer that had locked employees out and had only to let them back in. In addition to forcing people back to work, the government also forced workers to accept a wage increase that was well below what the employer had offered. When it comes to interfering in the business of Crown corporations, the Conservatives cannot be beat.
    My first speech in the House focused on the reason I had recently become involved in politics. I wanted to protect Canadians' rights and make their lives easier. I worked on that speech all night, but I was proud to be part of the NDP team on that day, June 24, even though it meant I would miss my first national holiday as the MP for my riding. On that day, the NDP proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it stands up for workers and gives Canadians a voice.
    I remember asking someone to sign a petition and hearing that it was the first time she felt that what she had to say was important and that she was being listened to. Listening to the public is supposed to be our job. I wanted to give the people a voice, a voice that would be heard by the Minister of Transport, so I agreed to sponsor a petition and take other steps to show that citizens are opposed to the proposed location of an overpass for trucks between the highway and the Port of Montreal in Hochelaga.
    As my colleagues know very well, housing is a hobby horse of mine. My nationwide tour and my lengthy discussions with housing advocacy groups clearly showed me that the cuts and lack of ambitious investments by successive Liberal and Conservative governments are responsible for the current crisis. That is why I fought for years, using bills, motions, questions and statements, for the right to housing, the renewal of social housing agreements, an overall housing strategy and a targeted strategy for indigenous housing.
    In order to properly represent Quebec's vision, I repeatedly told the minister responsible for housing that it was important to maintain a general and community-based homelessness partnering strategy. Unfortunately, the Conservatives do not believe that housing is a right, and when the Liberals finally came up with a housing strategy, they did not have the guts to make the budget choices that would have ensured its success.
    In Hochelaga, an elected official who is not present in the community, who does not do his or her job, and who is not in touch with the people will soon be a former elected official. There have been many dedicated, loyal assistants who have helped build an excellent reputation for the NDP team in my riding over the years. They are François, Catheryn, Maxime, Chantal, Patrick, Philippe, Olivia, Éric, Julien, Ariane, Anne, Alexandre, Niall, Sandrine, Samuel and Émilie. I learned a lot from them. People from other ridings that I will not name regularly call us to get the help they could not get anywhere else, because they heard about the work that we were doing.
    I owe a debt of gratitude to all of my colleagues. Thank you. It is because of their help that a homeless shelter was able to reopen, that Jessica got the federal funding she needed to help her take care of her children who have disabilities, and that Enet and her two young children were able to stay in Canada and escape the threats of Mexican cartels. Every year, my colleagues also helped plan the CAP St-Barnabé share store, which I believe is the largest share store on the island of Montreal and helps feed hundreds of local families in need.
    With the help of some generous volunteers, including those from the NDP riding association in Hochelaga and some ingenious interns, my office has held many celebrations this year for new Canadian citizens to make them feel welcome and appreciated. We give everyone a certificate and take nice family portraits. They love this activity. Another very popular event is our lively annual brunch, where we get together and chew the fat. People talk about what their local MP can do for them and get a chance to meet their neighbours. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, and, like every year, we are expecting a full house.
    We are also working on problems caused by gentrification and the opioid crisis. As you can see, we are always hard at work in Hochelaga.

  (1945)  

    I have learned a million things, and I have been very blessed in this job. I got to speak before the Council of Europe, through the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association. I also visited every Canadian province.
    I was NDP whip for three and a half years, and I had the opportunity to work with Rob, Anthony, Christian, Chuck, Theresa, Wassim and Audrey. These people are so generous and compassionate, and they are an endless source of information. With the help of them, some of my colleagues and the Speaker of the House of Commons, I was able to make Parliament more accommodating for young families, and I am very proud of that.
    I must admit that we are spoiled in the House of Commons. The staff treats us like royalty, which makes our job much easier and much more pleasant. I thank them for that.
    I want to apologize to my friends, and above all to my family and in-laws, for all of the events that I have missed. To my father Gilles, my mother Solange, Jacques, Elena, Michel, Karina, Claude, Sylvie, Guy, Manon, Lynda, Richard, Peggy and Marnie, I love you.

[English]

    Without the support and love of my husband Doug, my sons Alec and Nicholas and their partners Lauren and Anne, I simply would not be here. They believed in me, gave me self-confidence and pampered me. Did I ever tell them I love them? Only a million times.

  (1950)  

[Translation]

    I urge the people of Canada to bring all these terrific NDP members, and more, back to Ottawa in October. They are here for their constituents, not for themselves. Working to make the world a better place is in their DNA. I know them well, for they have become my good friends over the years. Canadians can put their trust in them.
    I thank the people of Hochelaga for being so warm, imaginative and genuine. They gave me the honour of allowing me to represent them, and they have been so delightful. I just hope I was able to help them in some way.
    I will be 64 in October, so I have decided to retire. There are so many things I have not yet had time to do.
    Before becoming a member of Parliament, I was an archaeologist and guide at a museum. I worked in the labour movement, but I had never been involved in politics. My uncle, Marcel Pelletier, was a clerk in the House of Commons for many years. My ancestor, Charles Alphonse Pantaléon Pelletier, served as an MNA, an MP, a senator, speaker of the Senate—no one is perfect—and lieutenant governor of Quebec. Perhaps Anne-Marie Aubert and Jack Layton sensed something, and my political career was foreordained.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to deliver my farewell speech in the House of Commons, a place that I have been honoured to be in for 19 years, close to two decades.
    Although there are a number of friends and family here tonight, one person is not here who I wish was. It is my seatmate, the member for Langley—Aldergrove, who is in a hospital tonight in Langley. If he is watching or listening, our prayers are with him tonight, not just those from me and my family but those from our entire caucus.
    I also have another very close friend, Dale Markwart, who is lying on a bed in a hospital in Castor, Alberta tonight. He is in a tough battle. Dale is a close friend and he means a lot to us all.
    After six elections, 19 great years and various positions in the official opposition and the government, it is now time for me to spend more time with my family, which had so selflessly and stoically stood by my side through this long and demanding journey. It is time for me to return to the farm and dedicate more time to those who mean the most to me: my family, those in my community of Killam, Alberta and those in the county of Flagstaff.
    However, I do so with a very heavy heart, as I have so much enjoyed the privilege of being not only a member of Parliament, but a member of Parliament for the riding of Crowfoot, which later had its name changed to Battle River-Crowfoot.
    I cannot thank the good people of my riding enough for their support. For 19 years, they were my boss. Every day I have received letters, emails, telephone calls and face-to-face words of encouragement and prayers that mean more to me than they will ever know.
    I was first elected in November 2000. I stood in the House, on February 1, 2001, to deliver my maiden speech, in which I said:
     I thank all the people of Crowfoot for bestowing their faith in me. I promise to respectfully and truthfully represent their views and concerns here. I pledge to work hard, with the same diligence that the majority of the people of Crowfoot demonstrate daily as they go about their occupations and their careers in our predominately rural riding.
     I have worked hard to keep my word. I firmly believe that is why I was returned to Parliament in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015.
    The people of my riding are important. However, it has been my faith in Jesus Christ and the hope he offers the world. That has been at the heart of my keeping my word, staying principled, serving with humility and respect and working hard every day to earn the trust of my constituents.
    When I thought about writing this speech, I thought I better go to Wikipedia to see what it said about me. It sounds a little selfish and vain, but I just want to mention some of the things Wikipedia views as accomplishments.
     It says I represent “a riding that is very conservative even by the standards of rural Alberta.” Well, as my staff has reminded me, a three-legged dog could win in Crowfoot as long as it is a Conservative. It also says, “most of his territory has been held by a centre-right MP without interruption since 1935.” I love Crowfoot. It goes on:
    He has won the riding by some of the largest margins ever recorded in Canadian politics. He was first elected in 2000, taking 70.5 percent of the vote, and since then has never dropped below 80 percent of the vote. In January 2006, he was re-elected with 82.5 per cent of the popular vote, the highest total recorded by a Conservative candidate in that election.
    Wikipedia also notes that I chaired the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security and the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan while the Conservatives were in government. In opposition, I have received a remarkable amount of enjoyment out of chairing the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
    These opportunities, as well as being the public safety critic while in opposition, have given me such an appreciation for the institutions and traditions that have shaped this place and such respect for the many and varied stakeholders who come to us to plead their cases for change, accountability and principled policy that makes a difference in the everyday lives of average Canadians.

  (1955)  

    Being appointed to these positions as a member of Parliament has been the greatest distinction in my working career. All of it is thanks to the tremendous support of the amazing constituents of Battle River—Crowfoot, the many volunteers on my election campaigns and the dedication and the sage advice of my board of directors and executives.
    I want to mention some of my campaign managers: Norman and Marian Steinwand, Bill and Judy Wilson, and for the last five elections, Steven Snider, as well as my president, Martin West. There are so many people I could thank.
    I thank my current and former staff for their outstanding work and support in running my Ottawa and constituency offices: Leslie Olson; Gail Nordstrom; John Howard, who passed away while he was employed in the office; Emily Gilroy; Kirsty Skinstead-Lutz; Amy Jackson; Damien Kurek; Jeannie Smith; Linda McKay; Nancy Stewart, Dan Wallace; Melissa Johnston; and Paula Wilkie. Without them and their tireless efforts and loyalty, we could not have provided the first-class assistance that my constituents so richly deserve and have received.
    I am equally indebted to my former ministerial staff led by chief of staff, Bram Sapers, who also professionally helped me navigate cabinet committees, memoranda to cabinet, departmental briefings and the onerous and exhausting budget preparations.
    I have had the privilege of serving under amazing leaders. Preston Manning was the one who got me excited about politics and interested in making a change in this country. Stockwell Day showed confidence in me after one year by appointing me as the public safety, or solicitor general in those days, shadow minister.
    I also need to thank our former prime minister, the right hon. Stephen Harper for the faith that he placed in me as the minister of state for finance, a position I served to the very best of my ability. I am so proud to have called the hon. Stephen Harper my Prime Minister, my leader and more importantly, my friend.
    He led his caucus and this country with unparalleled wisdom, humility and, yes, the tough veneer that is so necessary as a respected world leader of his calibre. I was proud to stand by his side and give him unconditional support as we negotiated trade agreements, steered through the recession and balanced successive budgets to ensure the future of this country and that of our children and grandchildren.
    Serving in his government was the highlight of my political career. Likewise, it is an honour to serve with our current leader, Andrew Scheer. I campaigned for him in 2004. We saw him as the Speaker of the House and hopefully as our next Prime Minister.
    For many of my colleagues and I there were some negatives. We will always remember the terrible day on October 22, 2014, when we feared for our lives and the life of our Prime Minister, as shots were fired just outside our caucus room doors. Corporal Nathan Cirillo had already been fatally shot a the Canadian National War Memorial before his killer made his way up here to Parliament and into Centre Block. Shots were fired. People were hit. All parties were in the midst of their caucus meetings. It was a long and scary day that is forever embedded in one of the darkest memories that I have of Parliament.
    The other was 9/11. I remember my nine-year-old daughter running onto the deck and telling me that a plane had hit a building. Less than a year after being elected and six months after being made public safety critic for the official opposition, I was tasked with responding to the ministerial statement calling on the Liberal government for anti-terrorism legislation.
    Those dark days are all but washed away by the many fond memories I have of Parliament Hill and the friendships I have forged. There are so many that I need to thank.
    First of all, more than anyone, I will miss my good friend and roommate for 19 years, the member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands. David and his wife, Sheila, have become lifetime friends. Thank you for all the late-night chats as we ate pizza and popcorn, solving all the problems of Canada and the world, sometimes frustrated with political correctness. Today is his anniversary and he has been together with Sheila a little longer than he has been with me.

  (2000)  

    To my parents, Ralph and Jean Sorenson, and my in-laws Ben and Alice Redekop, I thank them for their prayers and support. They have meant so very much to me and to my wife Darlene. My father, who watches most question periods with my mom, is now 93 years old and I am not hearing anymore, “Dad, it's time to get a life.”
    To my wife Darlene, and our children Ryan, Kristen and her husband Matthew, and now my grandson Kayden, words are not enough to express the deep appreciation and love I have for them all. I am so proud of each one of them. Darlene has been my partner, my sounding board, the anchor that has kept our family grounded and so much more. She has given speeches on my behalf, has campaigned and has always been there beside me. I love her more now than I have ever loved her.
    Once again, and in conclusion, I thank the people of Battle River—Crowfoot for bestowing their faith in me. They are truly the best constituents in all of Canada. I will miss this place. I will miss this job. It has been an honour to serve the people of Battle River—Crowfoot.
    Finally, to my colleagues here this evening, I thank them for indulging me. I thank them for helping me along the journey of being a member of Parliament. I thank them for allowing me a few moments tonight to reflect and to give thanks. I want to give God praise. God bless everyone here tonight, and may God continue to bless this great land that is the greatest country in the world: Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, I was born in Chatham, Ontario, in 1955 and have lived there all my life. I attended school in Chatham, was married in Chatham, raised a family in Chatham and started my business in Chatham. Chatham has always been my home. I have always been proud to live in the city that was once the site of the battle that claimed the life of the great Chief Tecumseh in 1813 in the War of 1812, that was the end of the Underground Railroad, and the city where John Brown came to recruit combatants before his fateful attack at Harper's Ferry. It is also the hometown of the great Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Fergie Jenkins.
    I had no formal training for the job, but I always had a unique fascination for politics. Therefore, finally at the age of 49 after narrowly losing my first election in 2004, I found myself elected to represent the people of Chatham-Kent—Essex on the eve of January 23, 2006. I am so privileged tonight to rise to give my final remarks in the House of Commons after serving here for over 13 years.
    Let me first thank the constituents of Chatham-Kent—Leamington, as it is now known, for giving me this opportunity to serve them. It is an honour to have been chosen to represent them. Of course, this would not have been possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers manning phones, pounding signs, door-knocking and donating both their time and money during the past five writ periods.
    After I was elected, I would never have been able to serve without the excellent staff who worked alongside of me. Let me speak about them.
     Jill Watts-Declare joined me shortly after I arrived here in Ottawa in 2006. As a new member of Parliament, I had a lot to learn. She provided the office with stable and knowledgeable expertise on how to navigate my way around Parliament Hill. She has faithfully served in her role as an experienced office manager and has mentored several other staff members throughout her years here. She is greatly appreciated for all her service. I thank Jill for all her hard work.
     Peter Roos was my first campaign manager, but also a loyal friend and confidante from the beginning. Peter joined the office team in 2010, and finally decided to hang them up just before his 80th birthday last year. That has not stopped him from continuing to run passport clinics and he still comes in to help when we are short-staffed. I thank Peter.
    Another one of my friends and confidantes is George Paiciovich. I know George is listening. He is one of those political hacks we find around our circles, having been around Parliament since the 1970s. He served under several MPs and was the chief of staff to Garth Turner in the days of the debt clock; that was his brainchild. Early after my election, he offered me advice and guidance and then joined the team responsible for training our younger members and serving the riding with business, municipal needs and special projects. I thank George for his friendship and his tutoring throughout these years.
    I could not forget Nate Veltkamp and Adam Roffle, who served as my special assistants. I thank them for their dedication and great work. They have each moved on to greater challenges and continue to serve in the community. Presently, this position is being carried out by Will Pennell, who is now in George's boot camp.
    My Chatham office was served from day one by Julian Belanger, who also ran against me for the Conservative nomination. We all remember his professionalism and his political savvy, which were so important to me in those early days. Sadly, Julian was taken from us in 2014. We all miss him terribly.
     Wayne Hasson has filled this vacancy, and also served as my campaign manager in the 2015 election. He is doing a tremendous job in the Chatham office, managing the constituency casework, and I thank Wayne.
     Peter Bondy and Lisa Mitchell were also important leaders who served in the constituency and who helped me shape the office in those early years. I say thanks to Peter and Lisa.
    Of course there is my EDA: Dale, Eldon, Bernice, Mike, Gary and so many more. They were all there right from the very beginning and are still there today. I thank them for their loyalty and their hard work.

  (2005)  

    Now let me talk about my family.
    My wife Faye and I are blessed with eight children and their spouses—Jeremy and Jolene, Rachael and Justin, Mike and Angela, David and Katie, Joel and Shawna, Andrea and John, Adam and Mel, and Eric and Katie—and 39 grandchildren.
    I only have 10 minutes, so I will not name them.
    They were all there, helping and supporting me at every election, pounding signs, going door to door, making calls. With this devoted army, it is no wonder I have had success these past four elections. Thank you, and we do love you.
    To Jeremy and Jolene, who under their leadership, and with David and Joel, grew a mom-and-pop dealership and faithfully built it into one of the finest Hyundai dealerships in the country, thank you for your sacrifice.
    My wife Faye has travelled beside me these 44 years on some crazy paths, and yet has continued to support me, encourage me, advise me and keep me grounded throughout the trip. She is the one who has kept the home fires burning, tending to our children and grandchildren over all the years I was away. She is the unsung hero who helped make all of this possible. Many times I have advised those seeking political office that unless they have the full support of their spouse, they had better not consider this job. Faye, I love you and I thank you for your support.
    I thank the office staff here in Ottawa who delivered the services that help make this great country work. I thank the many volunteers who make the passport clinics and other such events such a success. I thank my friends and family and supporters who have helped me through these years.
    Lastly, I thank my God for giving me this opportunity to serve Him as a member of Parliament for my country. I thank God for holding me and keeping me these years. I thank God for sustaining my health when working the long hours and for protecting me on the road each week as I drove back and forth.
    I know I must have forgotten to thank someone, but they should be sure to know that they are greatly appreciated. I am truly a blessed and fortunate man, and I owe it all to the goodness of others.
    Now let me spend a little time on some of my experiences here in Ottawa.
    This job has allowed me to travel to all parts of the world to meet with leaders and experts in many countries. I have witnessed the vibrant economy of Asia, honoured our soldiers in Europe, witnessed democracy at work in South America, encouraged peace in the Middle East, and saw extreme poverty but also hope in Africa.
    I have served on many parliamentary committees—ethics, fisheries, industry, finance, foreign affairs, international trade, status of women, and health, and currently I serve as vice-chair on the Library of Parliament committee. Last but not least, I remember all the years as chair of the Ontario regional caucus.
    I have shared these experiences with some extraordinary men and women. I want to talk about Steven Fletcher. Steven is a quadriplegic who overcame tremendous obstacles after an accident. He told me that he even had to relearn how to breathe. Although he does not experience sleep, he still arrived each day to serve as a member of Parliament and even achieved cabinet in the Conservative government.
    I have met so many special people here, and many have become my closest friends. I will not begin to name them, as that would be unfair. Their friendship will always remain as we return to our private lives.
    In closing, let me say that this has been a tremendous honour, but it is time to go back home, back to my family, back to Faye, back to the folks of Chatham-Kent—Leamington, and maybe some here will join me there soon so that Faye and I can give them some southwestern Ontario hospitality.
    I thank you. May God bless you, and may God bless Canada.

  (2015)  

    Mr. Speaker, I should point out right off the bat that you were one of my team members yesterday, and thanks to your efforts, our team won. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It was a pleasure to serve with you on that team.
    I had the honour of being elected in this House nine years ago this October. I was elected in 2010 with a minority government; again in 2011, five months after my first win, with a majority government; and then again in 2015. I have experienced being a member of a minority government, a majority government, and the opposition. I have had the honour of spending a lot of time in Centre Block. Over a nine-year career, I have been very fortunate.
    Why does a person enter politics? Quite simply, it is to make a difference.
    My political transformation from a wet-behind-the-ears, know-nothing teenager to a budding Conservative actually started in 1968. We lived in Winnipeg. I am of Czechoslovakian descent, and we were part of a small Czech community in Winnipeg. What happened in 1968 is the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. Our family took in refugees from Czechoslovakia. That gets a person thinking about the power of government and how government can be a force for evil, but if a person works hard enough, it can be a force for good.
    Of course, being a Czech, we are made fun of a lot. I have been called a bouncing Czech, a cancelled Czech, a blank Czech. As long as I am not a phony Czech, I will be okay.
    As the evolution of my political thought moved along, I bought a farm south of Riding Mountain National Park. I had a dream of becoming a farmer, living off the land, building a log house back in the woods, all that kind of stuff.
     What went through my mind were the opportunities that this country offers. If people take risks, they can fail, but they can also succeed.
    I am a Slavic person, as my mom was born in Poland. Slavic people like me have an inordinate fondness for property rights. We are visceral when it comes to owning our property. As I looked at the world around me, I could see that there were forces out there that were basically threatening my way of life and the way of life of all other property owners, and I do not just mean farmers; I mean people who have built something with their lives and how important that is to them. When government gets in the way of that, that is simply evil. People need a free society and the ability to take risks.
    What comes with a free society? It is is personal responsibility. I get a little tired when people talk about crime statistics all the time. I will be quite blunt: It is as if it is my fault when somebody commits a crime.
    Personal responsibility lies within the individual, so as I recite these characteristics, what political party would someone possibly join? It's the Conservatives, of course. These are the things that we stand for.
    I represent a large rural area of 66,000 square kilometres. Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa is one of the most beautiful places in Canada. My community is very diverse, with ranchers, farming, forestry, hunting, trapping, oil exploration and so on, yet with all that resource development, it remains an extraordinarily beautiful place.
    Actually, conservation is one of the major activities of the communities in my constituency. People are harvesting trees in their day job, and then in the evening working with their fisheries habitat group to repair streams. Those are the kinds of people who are in my constituency, and I get very angry when people like that are attacked. Whether it is the animal rights movement, environmental extremists or people who want to take their firearms away, I get angry. We are not supposed to get angry in this job, but I simply could not help it. The injustice of what happened when those good people got attacked made me even more determined to defend that particular way of life.
    I think we have a number of colleagues here who do exactly the same thing. I am very proud to be a colleague of members such as the member for Red Deer—Lacombe, the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap and the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.
     I have been on the farm of the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound. I would defy any environmentalist to go to his farm and see anything that he is doing wrong. He gently manages the land. He looks after it. He looks after the wildlife and cares about the world. The member for North Okanagan—Shuswap was the president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the member for Red Deer—Lacombe has a fisheries background just like mine, so Conservatives have absolutely nothing to apologize for in terms of our conservation ethics.

  (2020)  

    We are the people who actually get things done. Who negotiated the acid rain treaty? Brian Mulroney did. Who negotiated the ozone treaty? Brian Mulroney did. When I hear all this environmental stuff, all I know is that Conservatives can be very proud of our contributions to conservation.
    I did not travel as far as my friend from Chatham-Kent—Leamington. I stayed at home and spent all my time on the fisheries and environment committees, and I very much enjoyed that. We had some very contentious bills to deal with such as Bill C-69, Bill C-68, CEAA 2012 and so on. I have to say, though, that I really enjoyed my time on the fisheries committee, because believe it or not, it worked across party lines. It is a very collegial group, and most of the reports were unanimous. I see the chair of the fisheries committee here, and I want to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Canada's fisheries.
    Getting back to the constituency itself, what can I say about constituents? They place their faith in us. Nothing touches me more than when people I do not know comes up to me and says that they voted for me. Is that not something? We have all experienced that, because we cannot know everybody in our constituencies.
    I want to thank my EDAs and the volunteers, of course. The late Jeff MacDonald was a mentor to me, as was Bob Lepischak. I thank all those people who worked so hard: the fundraisers, the EDA and so on.
    What can I say about my family and my darling Caroline? I know she is watching—hello, darling. She was my best political adviser. As I said before, she is a spouse who praised me when it was required and made sure I knew what I was doing wrong when that was required as well.
     Caroline texted me earlier. She was out today planting tomatoes in the garden. She is what we call a “bush chick”, which is a term that I use with the greatest respect. She lives in the woods and knows how to do things.
    Tony and Marsha are our kids, and their spouses are Lainee and Graham. We have three absolutely beautiful grandchildren, Eden, Senon and Esmee. One of the reasons I will be heading out is to spend time with the three grandchildren on the farm. They love the farm. They love taking the guts out of a duck, cleaning a fish, driving a quad and doing all those things with papa.
    I want to thank my brother and sister, Tim and Joyce, for their support over the years. I also thank the neighbours. Those who live in rural areas know how important neighbours are. When my wife Caroline is by herself on the farm, I know the neighbours are there for her. That is a very important fact.
    I want to thank my mom and dad, Joe and Ida Sopuck. They have sadly passed on. They were both born in eastern Europe, dad in Czechoslovakia and mom in Poland.
    I want to thank my mentors. They include Alan Scarth, an environmental lawyer from Winnipeg, who is a deeply philosophical man who helped me; Ted Poyser, who was chief of staff to Duff Roblin—and I am going to talk about Duff in a minute; Charlie Mayer, whom many members know, as he represented part of my area; and the sainted Harry Enns, who was the longest-serving MLA in Manitoba's history.
    Harry gave me some really political advice. He said, “Robert, my boy, there are two things a politician never passes up: a chance to give a speech and a chance to go to the bathroom.” When one has a constituency as big as I do, one knows where all those spots are. I will leave it at that.
    I thank my Ottawa staff Branden and Alex, who are in the office now, as well as Duncan, Brett, Jay, Dan, Olivier, Kyle, and the constituency staff Judy, Janell, Megan, Grace, Nellie and Valerie. I am sorry to go so fast, folks, but I do not have time to stop.
    I really want to thank the House of Commons staff, the security staff and the bus drivers. They are salt-of-the-earth folks. As the member for Battle River—Crowfoot said, I was there in October when Parliament Hill was attacked, and we can never forget that these people will take a bullet for us. They deserve all of our respect.
    I want to end by thanking my colleagues all around the House. I made friendships that will last for years. The value of the team is so important. I especially want to thank the Manitoba caucus, the member for Brandon—Souris, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, the member for Portage—Lisgar and the member for Provencher for their help and support and indeed love over the years.
    I too want to talk about what it was like to serve under Prime Minister Harper, who, as history will show, was one of the greatest prime ministers this country has ever seen.
    It has been an honour and a privilege to serve with all members on all sides of the House as I end my political journey.

  (2025)  

    Mr. Speaker, I hope I am not getting all this applause because my colleagues are glad to see the backside of me. I will have a few jokes about that later.
    It has been a very interesting evening. It is fabulous hearing from all the members. I am really touched by the speeches of my colleagues. I thought I would start on a lighter note.
    I was impressed by my former colleague, Libby Davies, who actually recounted in detail her first day as an elected member of Parliament on the Hill. I wondered how she remembered that, and then I remembered my first moment stepping onto the polished marble floors of Centre Block and almost doing the splits. My sage advice for all the new female MPs who will come in the next election is to make sure that they have rubber soles on their shoes.
    I am so happy I could serve in Centre Block. I miss those stained glass windows.
    I first want to thank my brother and my niece for being there for me, keeping me fed and my spirits high. The whole world deserves a brother like mine. I am equally indebted to my wonderful friend Carol, who never thinks about politics. It is a delight to come home and talk to her, because we talk about everything else: the tulips being up or a beautiful walk in the forest. That is the kind of friend a politician needs. I thank Carol, who has kept my house and garden whole.
    I thank my dear friends Donna and Hans, Frances, Cheryl, Darlene and Stephen for endless friendship and support, my friends from across Canada.
     I extend my deep gratitude to my amazing campaign manager, Erica Bullwinkle, and my wonderful campaign teams for all four elections. I notice that not many people have talked about their campaigns, but that is a big part of who we are. We would not be here if we did not campaign. They donated incomparable amounts of time and energy to send me to Ottawa, and what fun we had in those campaigns. It is so much fun canvassing with youth. For those who have never canvassed with young kids, they should try it out. It will change their lives.
    Among my fondest memories of an election win was dancing in a pub with the visiting Mexican soccer team, excited that a socialist had been elected for Alberta. As with my colleagues, I was the first NDP and the first woman elected in my riding, but I was also the first NDP elected in Alberta in 25 years, and then re-elected and re-elected again.
    I continue to thank people who say they worked on my campaign, and far too often I have to say thanks, because I did not have a chance to thank them before, because Erica kept me out canvassing 24 hours a day.
    Absolute, profound accolades are sent to the dedicated Edmonton Strathcona federal constituency association, which, for 11 years, helped at every constituency event, serving refreshments, flipping burgers or sweeping hall floors. These volunteers are the source of democracy in Canada. They are the unsung heroes. They never get volunteer awards, because they are “partisan”. We need to change that.
    Too often, the unsung heroes of MPs' offices are their staff. I have been blessed with the most amazing group of dedicated people in my Hill office and in my constituency. There are too many, over the 11 years, to list in my Hill office, but I thank Lorena and Michelle. It is so great to finally have an Albertan working with me on the Hill. We need more Albertans here. There were many staff before that. Angela was my first fabulous legislative assistant, and I still consider her a dear friend.
    Currently holding the fort in the riding are Lisa, Melissa and Nigel. Those who have moved on are Erica, Daniel, Niki, Helen and Adi, who is now with Amnesty International. I have had so many incredible staff. I kept saying, “Why are you wasting your time here, Adi? Get out and get a law degree." He graduated from the University of Ottawa law school, organized all the rallies at the American embassy and is now articling with Amnesty International.
    I thank my leaders: Jack Layton; Tom Mulcair; Nicole Turmel; and now the member of Parliament for Burnaby South. Where would we be without our leaders inspiring us?

  (2030)  

    I thank Rob, Christian, the incorrigible Anthony and Theresa, now at city hall. I know we drove her crazy, but she is in our hearts.
    To my marvellous caucus colleagues, and I know they are laughing because they cannot believe I am saying this about them, but it has been my challenge to try to get them all to think like Albertans.
    I like to think that I am also leaving behind a few friends from other parties.
    I thank all the parliamentary officers and staff. I extend a heartfelt thanks to the parliamentary security officers, who, during the 2014 attack on the Hill, put their lives at serious risk to keep us safe. My deepest thanks to all of them.
    Few Canadians fully comprehend the dual role of members of Parliament or the limitations on our capacity to tackle every need or concern constituents bring to us, despite our desire to remedy every frustration with a failed service or policy.
    I must attest to the heavy hearts of my staff for our failure to resolve every immigrant or refugee claim and every request for better services or better policies that actually help people. However, we have so celebrated those moments of pure joy when our efforts helped a constituent gain long-awaited citizenship, obtain a federal grant or veterans benefit or win a dispute with CRA.
    I remain surprised and grateful still when a constituent approaches me in the street, in airports, in the grocery store or when I am travelling overseas. Those Edmonton—Strathcona constituents are everywhere. They approach me to thank me for my service, and it is always unexpected and equally appreciated. It keeps me going, and I most certainly believe that is the same for all members of Parliament.
     My 11 years serving as a member of Parliament were diverse and often had unexpected turns.
    It has been a privilege serving on the executive of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, supporting Ukraine through election monitoring and hosting fabulous young Ukrainian interns.
    It has been my honour to represent the extraordinary Francophone community in my riding.
    I was privileged as a lawyer to benefit from the support of University of Ottawa law school interns, who were invaluable in helping me craft my bills and motions. I encourage every university and every legislature to introduce the same kind of program.
    I participated in many of the climate COPs, inspired greatly by the interventions of NGOs and indigenous peoples.
     I had the honour of meeting with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile during the commemoration of their 60 years in exile, and look forward to seeing the president again tomorrow here in Ottawa. I am blessed with a wonderful Tibetan Canadian intern.
    I travelled to west Africa with the Governor General and to east Africa to meet with parliamentarians.
    I held a remarkable array of critic portfolios: environment; indigenous affairs; western economic diversification; public works; natural resources; and international development. I do not know if I am missing any. I had a lot of them.
    I advocated in the House and at the UN for a nuclear disarmament treaty and for enforceable measures for sustainability.
    No surprise to those who know me well, I infused an environmental angle into every one of those portfolios. I issued a report on the impact of oil sands on water. I proposed strengthened public and indigenous rights in federal laws on toxins, impact assessments, energy regulation, navigable waters, sustainable development and trade deals.
    In public works, I proposed investments in energy efficiency for federal buildings to save taxpayer dollars.
    In transport, I proposed stronger measures to regulate dangerous rail cargo and engaged communities directly. That came because of my personal experience with a major CN derailment into Wabamun Lake. The government still has not taken action on that.
    I have four times tabled an environmental bill of rights, and I will be debating that bill tomorrow for the last time.
    I wish to thank all the environmental community and indigenous leadership who allowed me to be one of their voices for change. It has been an honour representing my constituents and having the privilege of fighting for environmental protection from the inside.
    My retirement agenda is to get a rescue dog. My brother says it is my turn.

  (2035)  

    Mr. Speaker, I think I should sit down, because the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona has said it all. All I am going to do is footnote what she has already so ably said in expressing her gratitude to so many people, on all sides of the House, the people who work here and make our lives easier every day.
    Because this may be my last time to speak in the House, I want to say a few things. First, I have to thank a lot of people. Then I want to talk about some of the highs and some of the disappointments, before offering some general conclusions.
    It has been almost seven years since I was elected, first in a by-election. It was not a particularly auspicious occasion. I just about lost, but I managed to squeak through, and then I happily did better the next time, in the 2015 election.
    My list of people to thank must start, of course, with the people of Victoria who put their faith in me to represent them. The cliché, which has been said more than once this evening, is that it is an honour to have our fellow citizens go into a polling station and put an X beside our names, but I am so grateful to the people of Victoria and Saanich and Oak Bay, the nearby communities, who put their faith in me by doing just that. Every day I am mindful of the enormous responsibility that comes from that debt of gratitude.
    In the very first speech I gave in this place, I used the Nuu-chah-nulth word eesok, or respect, because I think that has to be crucial in our role as parliamentarians every day.
    The experience of being elected as a member of Parliament has really given me an enormous opportunity to know the amazing community of Victoria, where I live. I got to know people, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure it is the case for you, from all walks of life. I got to know people who make their living as so-called “binners”, people who get money from recycling bottles and cans, which is how they live, all the way to billionaires, because Victoria has both categories.
    I am really proud of Victoria. I like to brag that it has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada but also has the people with the biggest hearts in Canada. It is a generous, compassionate community, and I am so proud to live there. It is quite a magic place, because it is both dynamic and gorgeous at the same time. Most people care deeply about their natural environment and about the well-being of their fellow citizens.
    I promised I would thank a number of people, so bear with me.
    First, I want to thank the people in my Victoria office who do the heavy lifting every day of navigating a sometimes cold and distant federal bureaucracy to help people. I want to start with Alisma Perry, Tony Sprackett and Lucy Mears.
    Next I want to thank the front-line people in my Victoria and Ottawa offices over the years: Edward Pullman, Danielle Dalzell, Maura Parte, Andrew Johnson, Krystal Thomson, John Luton, Tyrone Lehmkuhl, Tabitha Bernard, Charlotte Smoley and Alana Cahill. It is quite a list.
    Then I want to thank my Victoria political family: Erik Kaye, Ellen Godfrey, Samantha Montgomery, Sarah Bergen, Shannon Ash, Andrew Cuddy, Breanna Merrigan and especially the very talented Victoria councillor Laurel Collins, who I hope will succeed me as the member of Parliament for Victoria in the next election.
    Finally, I want to thank my family, my two sons Ben and Mark, who I am so very proud of, my remarkably supportive spouse, Linda Hannah, who is here with me tonight, and my extended family, represented tonight by Leslie Hannah and Barry Lassiter, from Calgary, who have come all the way to be here.
    I promised to say a few things I am proud of and then a few disappointments. Let me start with the good stuff.
    One of the most important and meaningful things I had the pleasure to work on since coming here was to secure pensions for people who were the victims of thalidomide poisoning. It is serendipitous how this works in politics.

  (2040)  

    I got a call from a friend who was doing pro bono work for the Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada, the indomitable Mercedes Benegbi, who asked, “Can you help us?” I went to Libby Davies, which she talked about in her amazing book, and we went to Rona Ambrose, the then minister of health. We managed to get every single member of Parliament to vote in favour of long overdue pensions for people at the end of their lives suffering from the effects of thalidomide.
    Then there was the debate on medical assistance in dying. I had the good fortune of having a law partner and a dear friend, Joe Arvay, who went to the Supreme Court of Canada on a case called Carter, reversed a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on a case called Rodriguez and established a constitutional right for Canadians who were suffering interminable pain to avail themselves of medical assistance in dying.
    To me, that was the finest moment in this place, with people working across parties. I want to pay particular tribute to the then minister of health and the then attorney general, the member for Markham—Stouffville and the member for Vancouver Granville. However, I would be remiss if I did not pay tribute to the member for Don Valley West who ably chaired one of the committees. There was a Senate committee, a justice committee, and we worked with senators like Senator Cowan and Senator Joyal, and my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot who was very wise on that committee.
    We ended up, despite our differences, despite profound philosophical ethical differences, coming up with something that I think serves Canadians well. I am very proud of the way Parliament worked. To me, that was its finest hour since I came here.
    More recently, my work as vice-chair on the justice committee allowed Canadians to understand the revelations of the former attorney general in the SNC-Lavalin matter and remind Canadians of the crucial importance in our democracy of the rule of law.
     I am also very proud of something that I cannot even talk about, which is the work I have been doing under the able leadership of the member for Ottawa South with the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, which looked at a special report on the Prime Minister's trip to India. However, much more importantly, it did the first in-depth review of our security and intelligence community, which is the work that Canadians do to counter espionage, terrorism and foreign interference, and of course, to safeguard our freedoms. We spent endless hours on that work, and I am very proud of that.
    I am proud of the fact that I was given the honour of being elected by my peers as one of the hardest working MPs. I am proud of the public service of Canada with which I have had the opportunity to work over the years.
    On the more frustrating side, I am frustrated by question period; I do not mind saying that. I think a lot of us are. We can do much better for Canadians. The tired lines and the bad theatre is wearing a little thin. I know that I do not look forward to it, and I know people on the other side feel the same way. Surely we can do better.
    I am frustrated, as all of us are, when our private member's bills are not passed. On one I did, I worked with the late federal tax lawyer, Robert McMechan, on tax reform, which did not go through, nor did the one I worked on to expunge cannabis convictions, which I still think is the right way to go. However, the government has brought in a half measure and we will see if that works.
    I am deeply disappointed with the progress Canadians have made toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples.
    I am particularly disappointed in our collective failure to address the climate crisis. We have to do better. Today is World Environment Day. It has to be that we give our future generations a better planet to live on. It is going to take hard work on all sides of this House for Canada to do its job.
    By way of conclusion, I am a proud social democrat. I have Tommy Douglas's picture on my wall. I think he was justly elected the greatest Canadian for his work in giving us something we now take for granted: medicare. I am hoping that the next Parliament will complete his work and bring in a comprehensive public pharmacare program for all of Canada.
    Let us all recommit to a fairer Canada. Let us reduce the enormous and growing inequality between the rich and poor in our society. What J.S. Woodsworth said is still true today: “What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all”. However, Jack Layton still said it best: “My friends, love is better than anger.... So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.”

  (2045)  

    
    I want to take this opportunity to thank all the members who spoke this evening, sharing their successes and their frustrations, their histories and everything they have gone through since they made it here.
    I am going to have to check the rule book to find out what the penalty is for bringing tears to the Speaker's eyes because many times I was listening and could not help but get emotionally involved in the story.

[Translation]

    I thank everyone for their stories and their service. I wish them the best of luck in all their endeavours for the rest of their days.

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, be read the third time and passed.