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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 068

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 8, 2016




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 068 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[Translation]

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

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

The Compass

    Mr. Speaker, in 2002, a number of local churches came together with a mission to provide help for today and hope for tomorrow for families and individuals in my riding of Mississauga—Lakeshore, who are in need, and so they founded The Compass food bank.
    Last year, The Compass distributed 169 tonnes of food to over 1,500 individuals, but it is far more than a food bank. It has become a true community hub. The Compass' weekly ESL training and literacy sessions, employment and resumé workshops, and men's and women's groups bring people together and provide supports to those who are currently most in need.
    I am excited to let everyone know that today, members of The Compass men's group are visiting Ottawa. Under the leadership of Pat Cullen and Trish Trapani and through the efforts of exceptional staff and volunteers like Dave McKeown, The Compass has helped foster a more caring and compassionate community.
    I invite all members of this honourable House to pay tribute to The Compass for its incredible work and dedication to the people of Mississauga—Lakeshore.

High River Community Cancer Centre

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak about a passionate, young entrepreneur in my riding of Foothills.
    Tate Barton lost his mom to cancer when he was just six years old. Unfortunately, Tate and his family spent a lot of time in the High River hospital during his mother's last years, but he also saw an opportunity to make a tribute to his mom, in her honour.
    Over the last three years, Tate has set up his lemonade stand at the annual Little Britches Parade in High River. He has raised more than $10,000 over the last three years, all of which he has contributed to the construction of the new High River cancer clinic. Thanks to Tate, the High River Rotary Club, and the High River District Health Care Foundation, they have raised more than $1 million for this project. Now construction on the much-needed High River Community Cancer Centre is under way and will be completed in November.
    Okotoks is hosting its own lemonade day on June 11 and I invite all members to support the young entrepreneurs in their communities and to thank Tate and the community of High River for their incomparable spirit.

[Translation]

2018 World Equestrian Games

    Mr. Speaker, two years from now, Brome—Missisquoi will be hosting the World Equestrian Games. This is quite an honour for Bromont, which was awarded the games despite stiff competition from many other countries in Europe and around the world.
    The 2018 World Equestrian Games will bring over 500,000 visitors to Bromont and the province of Quebec, and another 350 million spectators worldwide will be watching the games from home.
    I would like to take a moment to congratulate the organizers: the special advisor, Susan Burkman; the chair, Rosaire Houde; the president of Equine Canada, Jorge Bernhard; the CEO of Equine Canada, Eva Havaris; and the secretary general of the Fédération équestre internationale, Sabrina Ibañez.
    I invite all members to come and meet the organizing committee at a reception in the Commonwealth room from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Canada is delighted to welcome the games, along with the athletes from 65 countries and over 1,000 horses.

  (1405)  

[English]

World Oceans Day

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to mark World Oceans Day, an international day to celebrate our oceans, encourage conservation, and address challenges like climate change, pollution, and overfishing.
    This year we are celebrating with the theme “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”, focusing on the prevention of plastic in our oceans. According to the World Economic Forum, if we continue on this path, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Canada can do more to protect our oceans, habitat, and ecosystems. We can take immediate action to lower emissions and restore habitat protections in the Fisheries Act.
     World Oceans Day is a great time to remind each other of the major role oceans have in our everyday lives, like providing most of the oxygen we breathe. We are fundamentally connected to our oceans and we must care for them as they care for us.
    I encourage all members of the House to participate in World Oceans Day today. Together, we can make a world of difference.

Teddy Bear Picnic and Parade

    Mr. Speaker, the Festival Coquitlam Society's 27th annual Teddy Bear Picnic and Parade is this weekend, on Sunday. This fun-filled family event exemplifies the vibrant community spirit that is thriving in my riding of Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam.
    This picnic honours the importance teddy bears have to children. They are cherished friends and confidants essential to a child's early development. Neighbours come together, blanket to blanket, at Town Centre Park to participate. They share food and laughter. There will be storytelling, puppet shows, gymnastics, and more on this memorable day.
    I look forward to participating in the parade with my constituents and meeting all of the teddy bears for the first time as their member of Parliament.

Richmond Multicultural Community Services

    Mr. Speaker, I recently had the opportunity to attend a volunteer appreciation event hosted by Richmond Multicultural Community Services. RMCS welcomes newcomers to Canada and strives to assist them with needs, such as language development and job search skills.
     I was able to meet with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds from across my riding. They are committed to engaging in our community and providing services to new immigrants and refugees.
    Over the past number of years, I have been able to partner with this organization, and I am proud of the work they do in my riding of Richmond Centre. I admire the leadership they show as they promote multiculturalism and diversity in Richmond.
    Congratulations to all of the volunteers who were recently honoured at RMCS. I thank them all for their hard work.

Canadian Forces

    Mr. Speaker, I am so proud to rise today to recognize that the Governor General has approved theatre honours to Canadian Forces squadrons for their work in Southwest Asia and Afghanistan: 405, 407, and 415 long range patrol squadrons, and 423 and 443 maritime helicopter squadrons. I am especially honoured that the Afghanistan honour was awarded to the squadron I had the privilege of commanding: 429 transport squadron from Trenton, Ontario.
    I am thrilled that members of 429 squadron are here with us today. I thank Lieutenant Colonel William Church, Chief Warrant Officer Brian Pierce, Master Warrant Officer Jordan Larson, and Master Corporal Gordon Ridley.
    I want to thank all the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Forces on behalf of all Canadians for the tremendous work they do every day. I send a special salute to the members of 429 squadron.

World Oceans Day

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to join my colleague from British Columbia by celebrating today, World Oceans Day.
    Canada is uniquely surrounded by three different oceans, giving us a vast array of marine and coastal areas, and endless opportunities. This gift also demands responsibility to protect and maintain these areas for future generations.
     I am proud of this government's commitment to marine protected areas and the promise to see an increase to 5% by next year.
     As a Newfoundlander, I understand how vital keeping our oceans healthy is. I firmly believe education and awareness are key in maintaining this.
     This is why I challenge all Canadians to join the “ride the wave” campaign, and make a promise to the ocean such as using reusable bags. These small acts can make a huge difference in our waters from coast to coast to coast. Let us keep our oceans healthy for all generations to come.

  (1410)  

Borden Legacy Monument

    Mr. Speaker, in the fall of 1915, Sir Sam Hughes, Minister of the Militia, ordered the construction of a military camp on the outskirts of Barrie, and this year Canadian Forces Base Borden is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
    The year-long celebration will reach its pinnacle with tomorrow's dedication of the Borden legacy monument. This monument is a gift from our community to the men and women of CFB Borden and the two million members of our military who have trained there over the last 100 years.
     The centerpiece of the monument will be the interment of a brass urn containing soil collected from Vimy Ridge, representing the DNA of the 3,500 Canadian soldiers who died and 7,000 who were wounded on the battlefield at Vimy.
     I want to thank Honorary Colonel Jamie Massie and his team for making this incredible project a reality. It will serve as a constant reminder of the indelible bond and respect for Base Borden and those who serve our great nation, from the citizens of the greater Barrie area.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell

    Mr. Speaker, planting season is over, and summer is just around the corner.

[Translation]

    I look forward to joining the people of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell to celebrate the best that our region has to offer. This year, the Curd Festival is celebrating its 22nd anniversary.
    This festival gives us an opportunity to taste the delicious cheese from the beautiful village of St. Albert made with 100% Canadian milk. The festival offers a host of competitions, attractions, and the chance to eat one of the best agricultural products in eastern Ontario.
    I encourage all Canadians to attend the festival from August 18 to 21.

[English]

    Last year, the member from Papineau and now our Prime Minister attended the Glengarry Highland Games. We spoke to hundreds of people. The Glengarry Highland Games are the largest games in North America. Since 1948 close to a million people have come to Maxville to celebrate the games.
     On the last week of July, I encourage all Canadians to attend the Glengarry Highland Games and hear the 50 pipe bands, and see the Highland dance, caber toss competitions, and much more.

Attack on Amritsar Temple

    Mr. Speaker, 32 years ago, the Sikh community changed forever. In a deliberate attack ordered by the Indian government at the time, the Indian army stormed the Darbar Sahib complex, better known in the western world as the Golden Temple.
    On June 1, 1984, the targeted attack on Sikhism's holiest shrine left a scar in the hearts of Sikhs across the world. Innocent lives were lost, the Sikh reference library was burned down, and the Darbar Sahib complex was destroyed.
    As a proud Canadian and as a proud Sikh, the attack on the Darbar Sahib is important to me, because an injustice to a people, whether in the past or in the present, cannot be forgotten.
    As Canadians and fellow citizens of the world, we have an obligation to continue the fight for justice for the innocent lives lost in June 1984 and to advocate for reconciliation as the way forward.
    In 2016, the Darbar Sahib walls shine as brightly as ever, but the bullet holes that remain remind us that innocent lives were lost and that calls for peace and justice continue.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, President Obama's visit to Parliament this month presents an important opportunity for us to advance Canada's national interests, and in particular, to highlight the importance of Canada's energy sector to the United States.
    I hope the Prime Minister will change his tune and emphasize energy in his meeting with President Obama.
    He should tell the President that Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world and that almost all of the other top 10 are dictatorships, human rights abusers, or highly unstable, or some combination thereof.
    Tell President Obama that Alberta's oil sands account for 0.12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. emissions from coal-generated electricity alone account for 3.6% of global GHGs, about 30 times the emissions from the oil sands. Tell the President that we need Keystone XL.
    I am hoping for change from the Prime Minister. This time, put the selfie sticks aside and stand up for Canadian workers.

Conestoga College

    Mr. Speaker, this week, Conestoga College celebrates the achievements of 4,500 new graduates at its spring convocation.
    Conestoga is one of Ontario's fastest growing colleges, with more than 12,000 full-time students. Conestoga is a leader in polytechnic education working in partnership with industry and community leaders. Its programs support the changing needs of our region's dynamic economy. It offers Ontario's only college-based Bachelor of Engineering degree.
    More than 50% of the region's health care professionals are Conestoga College graduates. Conestoga's graduate employment rate is among the highest of all Ontario colleges. The majority of graduates remain in our community, contributing more than $1 billion to the local economy each year.
    I am very pleased to offer my congratulations to Conestoga College's newest graduates and look forward to the tremendous contributions they will make to our region.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Daughters of the Vote

    Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, three Canadian provinces gave women the right to vote. In 2016, only 26% of federal members of Parliament are women. That number is increasing, but it is still far too low. We need more women and young women in politics in order to make Parliament truly representative of our society and ensure that women have a voice in Parliament as well as in our communities.
    That is why I want to promote Daughters of the Vote, an initiative by Equal Voice that will bring 338 young Canadian women between 18 and 23 to Ottawa to attend a leadership forum. I invite all young women to register by June 30 at daughtersofthevote.ca. It is an opportunity to discover active politics and understand its workings.
    I invite all women who are interested in politics or involved in their community, whether they are attending school or not, to register to be among the 338 young female leaders who will be in Ottawa in 2017.

[English]

150th Anniversary of the First Meeting on Parliament Hill

    Mr. Speaker, these walls are celebrating a special anniversary: 150 years ago, the buildings on Parliament Hill opened. Ottawa was chosen as the capital of the United Provinces of Canada by Queen Victoria in 1857. Its location was strategic. It was far enough from the border to be safe from a surprise American invasion yet enjoyed accessible transport routes by river and canal.
     A year after opening, with the achievement of Confederation, these buildings would become the Parliament for the new Dominion of Canada. Our history since has been shaped by decisions made in these Parliament buildings.
    Fifty years after the doors opened, tragedy struck when Centre Block burned. In the midst of World War I, the accident was a source of alarm for many, but Canadians persevered, and Parliament was rebuilt, bigger and better and with less wood.
     Earlier today, members of Parliament and senators gathered outside to commemorate the 150th anniversary. It is my hope that in another 150 years, parliamentarians will come together again to celebrate this great place and will remain committed to keeping Canada the true north strong and free.

Attack on Amritsar Temple

    Mr. Speaker, as long as I can remember, the month of June has symbolized a blemish on the Sikh-Indian identity, an identity that many Canadian Sikhs take pride in.
    In June 1984, this identity fell victim to the tanks and bullets of the Indian government of the day. The attacks targeted the heart of Sikhism, the holy site of Harmandir Sahib, known as the Golden Temple. Within minutes, Sikhs became outsiders inside their own country. The events that occurred in 1984 led to thousands of Sikh men, women, and children being tortured, raped, and murdered based on their Sikh identity.
    We continue to seek justice for the victims and also demand an explanation as to why and how Sikhs were targeted by organized mobs.
    I stand with the Sikh community and all other communities that seek justice for the violation of their human rights.

150th Anniversary of the First Meeting on Parliament Hill

    Hon. colleagues, today we are celebrating an important anniversary: the 150th anniversary of the first meeting on Parliament Hill.
    On June 8, 1866, the Legislature of the Province of Canada met for the first time in the new Parliament Building in Ottawa. Prior to the opening of the Parliament Building in Ottawa, sessions were held in Quebec City. Although the building was not completely finished, the Legislature assembled in the very location that would become the Chamber of the House of Commons.

[Translation]

    On June 8, 1866, at 2 p.m., a gun salute marked the arrival of His Excellency Lord Monck, who then ceremoniously made his way to the Legislative Council chamber. In his speech, he stated:
     I venture to express the confident expectation that the next Parliament which will be held within these walls will not be confined to an Assembly of the Representatives of Canada, but will embrace those of all the Colonies of British North America.

  (1420)  

[English]

     Speaker Lewis Wallbridge presided over the legislature, which included 84 members, half representing Canada East and half representing Canada West. Present in the chamber on this day were John A. Macdonald, Alexander Mackenzie, and John Abbott as well as George-Étienne Cartier and Thomas D'Arcy McGee, to name but a few of the assembled members.
    This auspicious occasion marked the final session of the Legislature of the Province of Canada.

[Translation]

    After Confederation, this legislature was replaced by the Parliament of Canada, and the first session of the first Parliament of the Parliament of Canada was held right here, in the House of Commons, on November 6, 1867.

[English]

    All of us are marching in the footsteps of these honourable men.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, on International Women's Day, I asked the Prime Minister if he would take action to help protect Yazidi girls who have been forced to be sex slaves by ISIS. I asked if he would step up and ensure that Yazidi girls get placed in the joint sponsorship program so they can come to Canada. He had no answer.
    Yesterday we learned that another 19 Yazidi girls were burned alive for refusing to become sex slaves to ISIS terrorists.
     After three months of silence, I am still waiting for an answer. Why are the Liberals turning a blind eye to the atrocities being committed against these girls?
    Mr. Speaker, that is certainly not what the Liberals are doing. Our acceptance of refugees is based on those who are most vulnerable, as determined by the United Nations, irrespective of religion.
    I might point out that in seven short months, we admitted twice as many refugees as the previous government did in a whole year, so I am proud of our record on refugees, especially compared to the previous government's.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, one of the Prime Minister's first actions was to pull our CF-18s from the fight against ISIS and the genocide being waged against the Yazidis and other minorities. Now the Liberals claim a so-called urgent need to replace jets they do not even want to use. What could be more urgent than protecting vulnerable people from the atrocities of genocide? If the Prime Minister will not even use our fighter jets to destroy and degrade ISIS, what exactly is he going to use them for?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting the mission in Iraq and Syria. Our troops on the training and advising are doing wonderful work. I recently got a briefing from the counter-ISIL mission. Progress is being made. I am very proud of the work our men and women are actually doing on behalf of Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal record under the decade of darkness is clear: they refused to buy any new jets; our troops had to beg for rides, because the Liberals refused to buy any new heavy-lift airplanes; and they sent our troops into the dessert with green uniforms.
    It was our Conservative government that put an end to the decade of darkness. Every time we bought new equipment, the Liberals opposed it. Now they are again choosing politics over buying the best equipment for our troops. With that kind of record, why would anyone believe them?
    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, it was the previous government that cut over $3 billion from the budget. Our government is committed to making sure that we purchase the right equipment for our troops, and that is exactly what we are going to do.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign the Prime Minister promised a transparent procurement process for the fighter jets. It seems that the dice are loaded and the deal is sealed. How can the 40 Quebec MPs be okay with jeopardizing aerospace jobs in the greater Montreal area?
    Can the Prime Minister guarantee that there will be a bidding process and that these 40 MPs will stand up for the aerospace industry and Quebec?

  (1425)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in terms of the replacement of our fighter jets, we are committed to replacing our jet fighters, and we will do so. No decision has been made at this time. However, we are committed to making sure that we get this right. I will make sure that we do a thorough analysis of this. When a full analysis is done, we will make an appropriate announcement in this House and to Canadians.
    I will refer to the comments of the Prime Minister on the F-35s.

[Translation]

    Yesterday, the Prime Minister expressed doubts about the capabilities of the F-35 fighter jet. There are already 185 of these jets in service. Eleven allies, including the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy, have already decided to continue investing in this program.
    Can the Prime Minister explain why allied countries, except for Canada, are buying this aircraft? Is he questioning the judgment of our allies?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, just so the member fully knows, it has interim operability right now. It is not at full operational capability, but we are committed to replacing our fighters. We are going through a thorough process. I will make sure that my officials and I take the time to make sure that we get this right.

Air Canada

    Mr. Speaker, today Manitoba is joining Quebec and indeed thousands of Canadians in condemning the government's Bill C-10, which is a get out of jail free card for Air Canada not obeying the law.
    It is interesting that the recent Liberal nominee to the Senate, André Pratte, said something yesterday that is of a great deal of concern to us. It would appear that there is a deal that Air Canada is threatening if it does not get what it wants.
    We want to know, on behalf of those workers, what is in the secret deal with Air Canada, why is Senator Pratte saying that if we do not remove the threat of lawsuits, the deal will fall—
    The hon. Minister of Transport.
    Mr. Speaker, there is no deal. The reason we proceeded with modifications to the Air Canada Public Participation Act has been stated very many times. It is to clear up the possibility of future litigation.
    It is because the Quebec and Manitoba governments arrived at an arrangement with Air Canada to drop that litigation and, at the same time, we felt it was necessary to give Air Canada a more level playing field because it has to compete with other commercial, domestic, and international airlines.
    Not future litigation, Mr. Speaker, it was litigation to force Air Canada to respect an existing law of the Parliament of Canada. That is what is at stake here. Senator Pratte is making it quite clear that he has knowledge about a deal.
    Will the minister say to this House and to Canadians from his seat that there is no such deal with Air Canada? Is that what he is telling Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, there is no such deal.

[Translation]

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, we are going to take him at his word, but we will see what their word is worth.
    The Minister of National Revenue is well aware that we have a major problem with KPMG's super rich clients.

[English]

    While KPMG helped super rich clients dodge their taxes with an illegal offshore tax scam, they were wined and dined with CRA officials and got an amnesty deal for the tax cheats with no penalties.
    It is a very simple question, very much like the question on Air Canada. Why does the Liberal government believe that wealthy tax evaders and their accountants should be above the law?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, our government firmly believes that all Canadians need to pay their fair share. The CRA is currently investigating the taxpayers identified in the KPMG schemes.
    This matter is before the courts, so I would caution my colleague. I want to reassure all Canadians that no one can shirk their obligations.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, it is completely false to say that this matter is before the courts because, if it were, it would be public. One thing about our courts is that the cases are public. You are hiding the names. KPMG was ordered to provide a list of names 30 days ago and it has refused to do so. Why protect people who are breaking the law?
    The F-35 is another example of a broken promise.

[English]

    After saying that the Conservatives were wrong on the F-35, they were the ones who started the program, the Liberals said they would cancel it. Now they would sole source the next jet fighter.
    Will they please explain to us the difference between the F-35 and the new jet fighter if the problem is sole-sourcing? Why the contradiction?

  (1430)  

[Translation]

    I would like to remind the hon. member for Outremont to address his comments to the Chair. When the word “you” is used here, it refers to me.

[English]

    The hon. Minister of National Defence.
    Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, we are committed to replacing our fighters and we will do so, but no decision has been made at this time.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' first decision involving our fighter jets was to park them on the sidelines while allies continued to degrade ISIS from the air.
    Now, the Liberals are making up an imaginary capability gap. They should really listen to the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force who said that our CF-18s have the capability to get the job done until 2025.
    When the minister claims there is a capability gap, is he saying that the Royal Canadian Air Force is lying?
    Mr. Speaker, all of our service chiefs, including the commander of the air force, have the job of ensuring they get the job done with the resources they have.
    However, we are risk-managing a gap between our NORAD and NATO commitments at this time.
    I want to make it clear that our air force and CF-18s do tremendous work on a daily basis, whether air policing in Europe or training here, and responding to our NORAD commitments.
    Mr. Speaker, the only real gap that exists is the Liberal credibility gap. The flaws in the Liberal decision to sole source were pointed out by the former head of procurement for National Defence, who said, “It’s not good for the men and women in uniform, the taxpayer, or the industrial benefits.”
    If the minister goes ahead with this, it will cost thousands of Canadians their jobs. When will the Prime Minister put the interests of our troops, taxpayers, and Canadian workers ahead of those of the Liberal Party?
    Mr. Speaker, maybe the hon. member should have been asking more detailed questions when he was the parliamentary secretary of national defence because I am going to tell the member about a gap that we are also dealing with regarding our joint support ships.
    That is a gap that was created, a capability gap, and now we do not have joint support ships. We are looking at interim measures. However, we will be ensuring that we replace our fighters before any capability gap gets too big.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the government is inventing a crisis that does not exist in order to acquire Super Hornet fighters. The only ones who are talking about a capability gap are the minister and the parliamentary secretary.
    I would like to remind members that on April 14, in committee, General Hood said, “We have enough trained personnel; we have enough aircraft and enough maintenance people...and we have the money...to operate.”
    By saying that there is a capability gap, is the government suggesting that the Royal Canadian Air Force is lying?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the only crisis that has been created is that of the previous government not replacing our jet fighters sooner.
    As I stated, the commander of the air force does tremendous work with all the assets he has and conducts risk management with all our missions. We are in a gap situation right now between our NORAD and NATO commitments.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, the National Post quoted a former Royal Canadian Air Force officer and pilot who contradicted the government's claims.
    He says that there is no reason to rush to replace the CF-18s and purchase the Super Hornet. There is enough time to hold an open competition to choose the best aircraft to replace our CF-18s. It is hard to understand why the Liberals are in such a rush.
    Can the minister explain the capability gap? Is this part of Boeing's sales pitch?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I find it ironic and rich for the opposition to talk about an open source full competition, considering they were going to be sole-sourcing the F-35. No decision has been made, but we will be replacing the F-18. When a decision is made, we will be reporting to Canadians and to this House.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence testified that he could not even provide a ballpark timeline for the jet fighter replacement process. Now we learn that they are sole-sourcing the Super Hornet. Here is great news. The International Business Times reports that Canada's order of the Super Hornet would create thousands of jobs in the United States.
    Will the minister tell us why he misled Parliament when he was planning to sole source and create thousands of jobs south of the border?
    Mr. Speaker, I will make it very clear. No decision has been made in replacing our CF-18s right now.

  (1435)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, in their election platform, the Liberals said, “We will immediately launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft.”
    Six months later, the Liberals are back to their shenanigans. They want to award a multi-billion dollar contract without a bidding process to create jobs in the United States.
    Can the minister tell us how many jobs will be lost here in Canada as a result of his party's arbitrary about-face?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we need to ensure that in the Canadian Armed Forces our men and women have the right equipment. We want to ensure that our industry also benefits from the right procurement process. We will go through an appropriate evaluation.
    When I am good and ready, our government will be announcing it to the House at the appropriate time and to all Canadians.

[Translation]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Human Rights Watch released a damning report on access to drinking water in indigenous communities.
    The organization believes this issue is the direct result of discrimination against first nations in this country. There are no regulations and there is a flagrant lack of oversight. People's health is being put at risk, and this is a violation of their human rights.
    Can the government share its plan to put an end to this inhumane crisis, which has been going on for far too long?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank Human Rights Watch for its enlightening report.
    We completely agree that there is an urgent need to fix the lack of clean drinking water on many reserves. We are studying the report to determine how we can best work together to address the specific recommendations in the report.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, international Human Rights Watch has called out the government for the systemic water crisis on indigenous reserves. Not only are families getting sick or suffering bacterial infections, we have had youth die from mercury poisoning at sites like Grassy Narrows that should have been cleaned up years ago.
    The Prime Minister made a personal commitment to have clean drinking water in every single community within five years, but government documents show it will not get close to that target because it is short-changing the commitment by billions.
    Why is the government continuing this shameful legacy of leaving indigenous families at risk?
    Mr. Speaker, as we know, we have committed and we will deliver on no boil water advisories within the next five years.
    We made a historic investment in budget 2016 of $2.2 billion to improve it. We know we need to do more with supervision regulation. We will get on it. We will get this done.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said yesterday that Conservatives are the only ones pushing for a referendum. I guess the Prime Minister must have missed that poll showing 73% of Canadians want a referendum.
    Canadians understand that any consultation process that takes place as to the form of an electoral reform proposal is different, separate from, and prior to the actual yes or no decision.
    When a legislative proposal is finally made by the government to change the way we vote, will Canadians get a yes or no decision in a referendum?
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the House said yes to establishing an all-party committee to study the options available for Canadians for their electoral reform, to reach out to those pockets in our communities that are not often reached out to, to hear from those who are often marginalized in the process, and to come back to the House with a proposal.
    I look forward to the co-operative and collaborative nature that the committee will work in, in the same spirit that it was established, and I look forward to working with the member opposite.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, just imagine. The Prime Minister thinks electoral reform is too complex for Canadians to have a say. Every democratic government in the world uses referendums to make decisions about issues as complex as separating or uniting nations.
    Is the Prime Minister saying that Canadians are less intelligent than citizens of other countries?
    Will he finally listen to all the analysts, his own Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Canadians and promise to hold a referendum so that all Canadians can have their say?

  (1440)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are smart reasonable people, which is why an overwhelming majority in the last election voted for electoral reform. We are working on ensuring that we continue the conversation that Canadians began to have with us about modernizing our democratic institutions.
    We look forward to demonstrating to them and to those who have come before us that in this House co-operation is possible.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps claiming that the electoral reform process is more complex than a yes or no in a referendum. Apparently, the Prime Minister is so arrogant that he thinks Canadians will not understand the choices, or maybe he is so arrogant that he thinks Canadians do not deserve the final say on changes to their electoral system. Either way, it seems that the Prime Minister seems to think that the only opinion that matters is his.
    Why will the Prime Minister not let Canadians decide this fundamental choice on their democracy through a referendum?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, it is out of a great deal of respect for Canadians and these institutions that our Prime Minister committed to bringing together an all-party committee to reach out to Canadians, and to hear from them what values and what reforms they would like reflected in their democratic institutions.
    It is in that spirit of respect and co-operation that we will continue this work.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister clearly still does not get it. The government does not respect the millions of Canadian voters who would like to have a say on how they elect their representatives to this place, and is limiting that consultation to the few hundred people that show up as hand-picked witnesses at a parliamentary committee.
    Why does she disagree with the wisdom of 73% of Canadians who believe that this Parliament should observe the long-standing convention in other Westminster parliaments and Canadian provinces of allowing the voters to decide instead of politicians?
    Mr. Speaker, we are counting on the wisdom of Canadians, of indigenous persons, women, those in rural and remote communities, those with—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I would remind colleagues that most members in all parties are able to sit and listen to the questions and answers without reacting, even when they be provocative or they do not like what they are hearing. Please, let us do that and show respect for this institution.
    The hon. Minister of Democratic Institutions.
    Mr. Speaker, we are looking forward to within nine days from today all parties bringing forward the names of the individuals they would like represented on this committee so the committee can begin its work.

[Translation]

Dairy Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the government promised to fix the diafiltered milk problem, but it is taking its sweet time, and farmers are paying the price.
    The fact is, the government does not want to upset the Americans. Sooner or later, the Liberals will have to pick a side: either they defend supply management and take a stand, or they let the United States tell them what to do.
    Why is the Liberal government protecting American farmers instead of Canadian farmers?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question and concern. That is why we are working to find a sustainable solution for this important issue.
    In the last month I have met with dairy farmers and processors right across the country. With the information we have received, we will be able to make decisions to find a long-term, sustainable solution for the dairy industry in our country.
    This government supports supply management and always has.
    Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the government is failing to protect supply management and Canadian dairy farmers.
    Canada has rules on diafiltered milk, but the government is not applying them, and that is sad. Every day Canadian farmers lose money and American farmers get more money.
    The Liberals have broken their promise to fix this problem. Instead of solutions, all we get is consultation and farmers are losing money. In other words, delay, and we are wasting time. Farmers do not need more consultation. They are done. The time is up. The government needs to act.
    When will the government finally stand up on these trade issues and defend Canadian dairy farmers?
    Again, Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to my hon. colleague who has a great concern for this issue, I have met with dairy farmers, processors and Canadians. They understand that this government fully supports supply management.
    Even if there are some members of the opposition who do not support supply management, we as a government will find a long-term, sustainable solution so we have a strong dairy industry in our country under the supply management system.

  (1445)  

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.
    Advocates within the legal community have repeatedly called upon the federal government to provide more legal aid funding. Adequate funding is essential to operating an efficient and effective justice system, and to protecting vulnerable persons and youth at risk of incarceration. Adequate funding is essential for access to justice.
    Could the minister inform the House what the Government of Canada is doing to protect the charter rights of Canadians to a fair trial even where they cannot afford a lawyer?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to addressing access to justice issues, including properly funding legal aid programs. That is why we committed $88 million in budget 2016. I am proud to say that this morning we committed an additional $30 million annually to the provinces and territories to ensure we modernize our justice system and maintain a culture of rights.
     Legal aid funding has not been increased in over a decade, and we are pleased to make this announcement.

Canadian Coast Guard

    Mr. Speaker, the government House leader has found himself a new part-time job as the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, but the rules from the Ethics Commissioner leave him unable to properly manage a number of important files in the department.
    We would like to know if Irving shipyards has completed the warranty work on the mid-shore patrol ships to the satisfaction of the Canadian Coast Guard? Wait a minute, the minister's conflict will not let him answer that question. Could someone else on that side stand and answer it for us.
    Mr. Speaker, I will give the member a bit of an education on the work that is actually being done in Halifax. It is not working on Coast Guard ships; it is working on the combat ships. All of the Coast Guard work is being done by Seaspan in Vancouver, so there is no conflict of interest on behalf of my hon. colleague.

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, one would hope that the procurement minister would know what a mid-shore patrol ship is. However, warranty work on the patrol ships is not the only file the part-time minister cannot deal with. Canada's Atlantic salmon are in jeopardy, and the minister finds himself in another conflict. The Irvings are involved in the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and the minister's advisory panel on the Atlantic salmon.
    Will the minister act on the recommendations to protect Atlantic salmon? Wait, I forgot, he cannot he deal with that file either. Maybe someone else on that side could stand up and deal with it.
    Mr. Speaker, I hope the record will show the excitement of my friends in front of us, on the other side of the House, that I am answering an important question about Atlantic salmon.
    Our government is committed to the conservation and protection of Atlantic salmon. We understand the importance of this industry, not only to Canadians but to people around the world who come to visit our pristine rivers in provinces like mine. We will always work in the best interest of preserving and protecting Atlantic salmon and its habitat.
    Mr. Speaker, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission was established in 1955 by Canada and the U.S. It was established on a fixed cost-sharing basis. The United States has consistently increased annual funding to the commission. In budget 2016, the Liberals failed to support the important work of the commission, which includes protecting our Great Lakes from invasive species such as Asian carp and sea lamprey.
    Will the fisheries minister please take action to ensure that Canada pays its share to protect our Great Lakes fisheries, yes or no?
     I know the member is rightfully concerned by the persistent problem of invasive species. He has identified the Great Lakes as an area of considerable concern. I am really excited, because my colleague, the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, will have some very important and significant news on this exact issue, probably in the next 48 hours.
    Mr. Speaker, I wait in anticipation, but the truth is that more than ever we need the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to have the tools it needs to protect our Great Lakes fisheries.
    Just recently, a commercial fisherman in Quebec reeled in a 29 kilogram Asian carp from the St. Lawrence River. The results will be devastating if an Asian carp population enters the Great Lakes in great numbers, or in any numbers in fact.
    Why have the Liberals failed to protect an $8.3 billion recreational fishery in Canada?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, it will not surprise members that I do not share the pessimistic view of my colleague in the opposition.
    I have said that we are committed to working both with provincial partners and the Americans on the important challenge of invasive species. We are working particularly with staff members in the province of Quebec on the shared experience they have in response to this important issue in respect to the capture of carp in the St. Lawrence near Montreal. This is why I know that the anticipation is very exciting for my colleague, but he should remain calm. We have very good news coming.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, Liberals were elected on a promise to make it easier for Canadians to find an affordable home. However, with housing prices up 30% in Toronto since 2014, and 37% in greater Vancouver in the last year alone, what has the government done?
    The Minister of Finance announced a study, and made it harder for middle-class Canadians to get a mortgage.
    We do not need another study to prove that water is wet, and the CMHC changes target the wrong buyers. This is a crisis. Where is the real action from the government?
    Mr. Speaker, we recognize the importance of housing to Canadians. We recognize the very real challenge of people in Vancouver and Toronto as the housing market is active.
    Upon coming into office, we immediately took a look at measures on which we could move forward. We did so in December by moving some rules around down payments for expensive homes.
    We are doing a deep dive to look at all evidence around the issues that are impacting our housing market so as we make decisions we can make them with evidence to keep this market strong for Canadians.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised during the election to fix the NEB's broken review of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, but instead they just added a smokescreen to the gutted Conservative review process.
    Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and B.C. first nation leaders from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations are in Ottawa today sounding the alarm on the Liberals' flawed environmental review process.
    Is the Prime Minister really planning to dismiss their concerns as easily as he broke his promise to British Columbians on the Kinder Morgan pipeline review?
    Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure on January 27, with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to announce a new set of rules in order to re-establish some kind of Canadian confidence in the regulatory system that, unfortunately, was broken after the last 10 years.
    We have added time for a panel of three distinguished western Canadians to hear the concerns of the mayor of Vancouver, the mayor of Calgary, and indigenous communities up and down the line, so at the end people will say, “We have confidence in the regulatory process.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, the campaign platform of the Liberals said the Syrian refugee initiative would cost $250 million, but total costs to date are nearing in on $1 billion. In spite of this, refugees are not receiving language training, are living in bug-infested apartments, and are having difficulty finding employment. Groups providing services to refugees are struggling.
    The minister was happy to spend taxpayer money on, yes, a glossy staged photo op at Pearson airport. Why has he not developed a comprehensive plan to support refugees?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of what Liberals have done on refugees.
    In seven months, we admitted 46,000 refugees, which is twice as many as the Conservatives admitted in a whole year. We re-established refugee health care, which the Conservatives had abolished, and that had been declared unconstitutional. We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to welcome refugees, including the teaching of English and French.
    Mr. Speaker, the real record after seven months is that the minister's officials could not tell us how many refugees were unemployed or how many were using food banks. Later the minister was forced to apologize, after he claimed that the use of food banks by Syrian refugees might have a “cultural element”.
     Food banks across the country are raising concerns. Costs to the federal government are escalating. The refugees' one year of federal funding is coming to an end.
    When will the minister admit that he has no plan and no costing to support these refugees?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not accept the premise of that question.
    In terms of achievements, I will update the member on a very good number. Ninety-nine per cent of all the refugees are now in permanent housing. While it is true that we do not have precise numbers on jobs and language training, because that takes longer than finding housing, we are certainly investing much money and making much progress in terms of language training. We are working with employers to get jobs for the refugees.
    We are working hard on all fronts.

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Kitchener has raised $70,000 to privately sponsor a Syrian refugee family.
    This family passed all needed security and health checks in February, but is still waiting to come to Canada. The church and family were told they would arrive in Canada by the end of February. Well, here we are three months and $7,000 later, and all anyone has received is a form letter from the Prime Minister.
    Why have the Liberals failed one more Syrian refugee family?
    Mr. Speaker, we actually satisfied 46,000 Syrian refugees who we admitted in the space of seven months.
    It is true that in view of the enormous generosity of Canadians, and that is a good thing, who want to support refugees, we have been unable to keep up with the pace of demand for refugees from all these generous Canadians. That is why we have stepped up to the plate. We have committed to bring in all the refugees whose applications were made by March 31. We have sent more officials out into the field. We are working very hard to satisfy the demand of—
    The hon. member for Ottawa South.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, a few days ago the Minister of Canadian Heritage held a press conference to outline the Canada Day 2016 activities in the national capital region.

[Translation]

    This year, we will be celebrating the 149th anniversary of Confederation, and as we head into a big year of celebrations, I would like to ask my hon. colleague what activities Canadian Heritage has planned for Canada's birthday on July 1 in the national capital region?
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Ottawa South asked an excellent question.
     I would like to inform the House that, on July 1, there will be a number of celebrations in the greater national capital region, including at Major's Hill Park, on Parliament Hill, of course, at noon and in the evening, and at the Canadian Museum of History.

[English]

    The programming will be very diverse. There is going to be iconic Canadian artists such as Coleman Hell, Les Hay Babies, Coeur de pirate, Metric, and of course, Indian City. I really hope that Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be joining us in Ottawa and if they cannot, they can watch CBC/Radio-Canada—
    The hon. member for St. Albert—Edmonton.

Consular Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, it has been 299 days since the Azer children were abducted by their father. We now know that the children are in Iran. How much longer do these children need to be in harm's way? When will the government demand that Iran safely return these four Canadian children?
    Mr. Speaker, the safety and well-being of the Azer children are a priority for this government. The Prime Minister did meet with Ms. Azer and reiterated justice. Our parliamentary secretary for consular affairs remains in frequent communication with Ms. Azer. It is important to understand that he is doing all he can as we continue to work both at home and abroad for the children's safe return. We will not stop until the children are reunited with their mother.

[Translation]

Softwood Lumber

    Mr. Speaker, we are letting others walk all over us. The Kénogami mill will be closed for 11 days because of the 18% export tax on supercalendered paper.
    As if that were not enough, we seem to be headed straight for a fifth trade war with the United States over softwood lumber. Everyone has sounded the alarm. Thousands of jobs are at stake, including 5,000 in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. The government promised us a solution within 100 days. That deadline is now 10 days away, and mills are already closing.
    What will the Prime Minister do, and when will he do it?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question.
    We are very concerned about the United States' action on this file. We are in regular contact with the stakeholders, including Resolute.
    Our team is also in contact with the office of Quebec's minister of forestry and the economy. We have called for the creation of a special binational panel under chapter 19 of NAFTA , and we participated in consultations in Washington on the creation of a World Trade Organization panel. We will defend Canadians' interests.

  (1500)  

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces are among our country's greatest assets and parliamentarians often wish to visit military bases such as Base Gagetown in the riding I represent, to establish relationships and learn about our Armed Forces. The previous government restricted members' access by requiring ministerial approval for such visits, significantly hampering opposition members.
    Could the Minister of National Defence share what measures he has taken to improve access to military bases for all parliamentarians?
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that our government has fulfilled its commitment and has reversed the policy of the previous Conservative government. Members of Parliament and senators no longer require ministerial approval in order to visit a military establishment. Requests are now only subject to the discretion of the base commander or a commanding officer. It is important for parliamentarians and senators to have unimpeded access to our military all across Canada.

Manufacturing Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals ran on a platform of growing the economy from the heart out. Since December, Canada has lost over 51,000 manufacturing jobs and fallen to 10th place in the world in business competitiveness. Output is dropping, unemployment is rising, and the heart out approach is not working.
    When will the Liberals stop ripping the heart out of Canadian manufacturers?
    Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to providing an innovation agenda to help grow the economy and create prosperity. We will be working with all members of the House by shortly announcing this innovation agenda. We will be taking a look at different aspects of where Canada's economy should be, whether that is in the clean tech sector, in incubators, or in the manufacturing sector.
     We are also looking forward to the committee report from the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on the manufacturing sector and the additive manufacturing sector. We believe in growing this economy and creating prosperity and jobs for all Canadians.

[Translation]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday CIBC's former chief economist said that the energy east pipeline makes no sense from a strictly economic standpoint.
    Last week the Parkland Institute demonstrated that Canada cannot expand its energy sector and reduce its greenhouse gas reduction targets without destroying all other economic sectors. Between the economy, the environment, and the oil sands, one of them will perish.
    As long as we are talking about democratic reform, I propose a preferential vote on this. Can the government specify, in order of preference, which of the three it would like to sacrifice?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we believe that environmental sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand. That is why, when we assess these energy projects, we look at all aspects of their consequences on the environment and on jobs for Canadians. The energy east project is not yet before the regulator, and when it is, there will be many months for the members opposite to offer their opinions on both economic growth and environmental sustainability. I invite them to do both of those things.

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety, Attorney General, and Government House Leader of the House of Assembly for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

  (1505)  

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1.

     The House resumed from June 7 consideration of Bill C-15, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
     It being 3:04 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the motions at report stage of Bill C-15.
    Call in the members.
    The question is on Motion No. 1. The vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 2 and 3.

  (1510)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 82)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Fortin
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 144

NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 172

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare Motion No. 1 defeated. I therefore declare Motions Nos. 2 and 3 defeated.

[English]

    The next question is on Motion No. 5. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 6 to 8.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe that if you seek it, you will find agreement to apply the results from the previous vote to this vote.

  (1515)  

     Mr. Speaker, Conservatives agree to apply and will be voting yes.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP agrees to apply the vote and we will vote yes.
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the vote and we will vote against the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, the Green Party agrees to apply the vote and votes yes.

[English]

    Just to be clear, is there unanimous consent to do it this way?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (The House divided on Motion No. 5, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 83)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Benson
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 134

NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 182

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare Motion No. 5 defeated. I, therefore, declare Motions Nos. 6 to 8 defeated.

[Translation]

    The next question is on Motion No. 9.
    The hon. Chief Government Whip.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I believe that if you seek it, you will find agreement to apply the results from the previous vote to this vote.
    Does the member have the unanimous consent of the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
     Mr. Speaker, Conservatives also agree to apply and will be voting yes.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thought there was unanimous consent, but the NDP agrees and votes yes.
    Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois agree to apply the vote and vote in favour of the motion.

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the vote and vote yes.

[Translation]

    (The House divided on the motion No. 9, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 84)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Fortin
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 144

NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 172

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare Motion No. 9 defeated.

[English]

     moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.
     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.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to apply the result of the previous vote to this vote, with the Liberal members voting in favour of the motion.

[English]

    Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this manner?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives also agree to apply and will be voting no.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP agrees to apply the vote, but this time our members are voting no.
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the vote, but we are voting against the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, the Green Party agrees to apply the vote and is voting against the motion.

[English]

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

(Division No. 85)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 172

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Brown
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Fortin
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Hoback
Hughes
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Julian
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Laverdière
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Moore
Mulcair
Nantel
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Plamondon
Poilievre
Quach
Raitt
Ramsey
Rankin
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saganash
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Trost
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 144

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.
    When shall the bill be read a third time?
    Later this day, pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 7.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[ Private Members' Business]

  (1520)  

[Translation]

Fairness in Charitable Gifts Act

    The House resumed from June 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-239, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (charitable gifts), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-239 under private members' business.

[English]

    The question is on the motion.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 86)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Barlow
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Brassard
Brown
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Christopherson
Clarke
Cooper
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Erskine-Smith
Falk
Fast
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fuhr
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Harvey
Hoback
Housefather
Jeneroux
Jordan
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Khalid
Kitchen
Kmiec
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacKenzie
Maguire
Malcolmson
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Oliphant
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Raitt
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 103

NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Chen
Choquette
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Dion
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Foote
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Gill
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Hardie
Hehr
Holland
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Kwan
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
McCallum
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morneau
Morrissey
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 209

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion defeated.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine proceedings]

  (1530)  

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled “Minamata Convention on Mercury”, signed in Kumamoto, Japan, on October 10, 2013. An explanatory memorandum is included with the treaty.

[English]

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (for the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs)  
     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-17, An Act to amend the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

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

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, two reports of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union respecting its participation at the third IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians and the 134th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and related meetings in Lusaka, Zambia, March 16 and 17, 2016, and March 19 to 23, 2016; and the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, New York, March 15, 2016.

Committees of the House

Government Operations and Estimates 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “Supplementary Estimates (A) 2016-17: Vote 1a under Privy Council Office, Votes 1a and 5a under Public Works and Government Services, Votes 1a and 5a under Shared Services Canada, Votes 1a and 20a under Treasury Board Secretariat”.

Framework on Co-operatives Act

     She said: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to introduce my private member's bill entitled, “an act respecting the establishment of a framework to promote the development of co-operatives in Canada and amending the Department of Industry Act and other acts”. I thank my colleague from Guelph for supporting this.

[Translation]

    This bill follows up on the work started by my hon. colleague, the member for Ottawa—Vanier, and the 2012 recommendations of the Special Committee on Co-operatives.
    The objective of the bill is to legally make the Department of Innovation, Sciences and Economic Development responsible for the co-operative sector.
    We also want to promote the co-operative movement, contribute to its development, and facilitate exchanges and communication between the federal government and the co-operative sector.

  (1535)  

[English]

    I hope and trust that, co-operatively, all members will support this legislative initiative.

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

[Translation]

Canadian Environmental Protection Act

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the very hard-working member for Essex for seconding my bill.
    Nanotechnology is the application of science and technology in the manipulation of matter on an atomic or molecular scale. Nanomaterials are the materials of a device or structure that measure between one and 100 nanometres. These materials are present in more than 1,000 consumer goods, including food and cosmetics. The current regulatory framework is inadequate to deal with the growing proliferation of nanoproducts.

[English]

    It is for this reason that the NDP is bringing forward a balanced approach, ensuring the responsible development of nanotechnology and the safe use of nanomaterials in Canada. The bill would mandate a risk-assessment process to identify the potential benefits and possible risks of nanotechnologies before nanoproducts enter the market. It would also require a comprehensive publicly accessible database that lists existing nanomaterials identified by the Government of Canada.
    I hope, and it just makes good common sense, that all members of the House of Commons will support this act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, for nanotechnology. I hope to have the support of all members.
    I would remind hon. colleagues that the introduction of a private member's bill is not the time to make arguments about it, but simply the time to explain what it is about.

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

Address by President of the United States of America

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
    That, the Address by the President of the United States of America, to be delivered in the Chamber of the House of Commons on June 29, 2016, before Members of the Senate and the House of Commons, together with all introductory and related remarks, be printed as an appendix to the House of Commons Debates the last sitting day preceding June 29, 2016; and form part of the records of this House;
and that the media recording and transmission of such Address, introductory and related remarks be authorized pursuant to established guidelines for such occasions.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

Petitions

Freedom of Speech  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present two petitions today.
    The first petition is from 1,300 Canadians who point out that Canadians are deeply affected by the fate of Mary Wagner, a prisoner of conscience, detained for the belief that unborn children have the right to be born alive, and for merely speaking and praying for that intention.
    The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to prohibit the detention before trial or custodial sentencing of anyone accused solely of a non-violent offence consisting of the presence or the words of the accused occurring in the course of the free exercise of speech by the accused or the free exercise of conscience by the accused.

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I wish to present is related to the issue of physician-assisted suicide, and it is signed by hundreds of Canadians.
    The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to draft legislation that would include adequate safeguards for vulnerable Canadians, especially for those suffering with mental health challenges, provide clear conscience protection for health care workers and institutions, and provide protection for children and those under 18 years of age from physician-assisted suicide.

  (1540)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present to the House today to establish conscience protection for physicians and health care institutions.
    The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to enshrine in the Criminal Code the protection of conscience for physicians and health care institutions from coercion or intimidation to provide or refer for physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of constituents in my riding of Surrey Centre.
    The petitioners would like to draw the attention of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to the burden that transportation loans have on government assisted refugees who seek to make Canada their home. They note that Canada is the only country worldwide that issues interest bearing loans to cover their transportation costs to resettle in Canada.
    The department has promised that it is looking into this issue, and I want to thank it for doing that.
    The Federal Council of Municipalities has called for the end of these travel loans to refugees.
     I am proud to say that this was led by two councillors from Surrey namely, Judy Villeneuve and Vera LeFranc.

Animal Welfare  

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to introduce to Parliament today e-petition 123 initiated by Michael Howie from Ontario. The petition calls upon the Government of Canada to ban the importation of dog and cat pelts or furs and prohibit the sale of said products in Canada.
    I am delighted to announce that in four months this petition was signed by almost 14,000 Canadians from every province and every territory, including 5,381 from my home province of British Columbia.
    Canadians broadly oppose the inhumane treatment of animals and this e-petition reflects the widespread opposition of Canadians to the dog and cat fur industry. It is my hope that the introduction of this e-petition will encourage the Liberal government to take concrete action to end the trade of dog and cat fur in Canada.

[Translation]

Natural Resources  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions signed by people in my riding who are opposed to the construction of the energy east pipeline. They do not want Quebec to become a highway for oil.

[English]

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a very complex petition here. It is regarding Bill C-14 to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, which the government has brought forward.
    The petitioners state that the killing of people is not a genuine health care solution. The undersigned residents of Canada ask the House of Commons to vote against Bill C-14 and instead to invoke the charter's notwithstanding clause which allows parliamentarians to ignore bad judicial decisions.

Agriculture  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table another petition in this House from Land Over Landings, an organization in my constituency. Since 1972, Land Over Landings and its predecessor, People over Planes, have advocated that the federal lands in Pickering be used for natural and agricultural purposes. The lands, which encompass class 1 greenbelt farmland, have the potential to become a major food source for the GTA and province of Ontario.
    I have been a proud supporter of Land Over Landings during my time in local and regional government, and I look forward to continuing to bring forward its issues in this House.

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.
    The first highlights that the vast majority of Canadians, and actually physicians and health care professionals, want their conscience protected in regard to assisted suicide and euthanasia. The petitioners are calling on Parliament to ensure that the Criminal Code has protection of conscience for physicians and health care professionals from coercion or intimidation to provide or refer for assisted suicide. They want that to be a Criminal Code offence.

  (1545)  

Justice  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition highlights that if a pregnant woman in Canada is killed or assaulted, there is no legal protection for the preborn child today. The petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to pass legislation that would recognize preborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers, allowing two charges to be laid against the offender instead of just one.

Falun Gong  

    Mr. Speaker, this petition is one of many I have presented over the years relating to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. This particular petition draws the attention of the House of Commons to the work on the issue of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners by the PRC regime that has been documented by the eminent Canadian human rights activists, David Kilgour and David Matas.
     It makes three different points. First, it asks us to engage in measures to stop the PRC regime's crime of murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs. Second, it asks for Canadian legislation to be amended in order to combat forced organ harvesting. Finally, it asks for all of us to publicly call upon the PRC government to stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners, who are peaceful and really just represent a spiritual movement seeking personal improvement.

Justice  

    Mr. Speaker, as a new member of Parliament I had the privilege of presenting a private member's bill, Bill C-225, in this House. I am honoured and amazed by the people in this country who are sending in petitions in support of protecting a woman's choice to carry her child to term, and calling on our Parliament to put into place laws that protect that right and that privilege.

Questions on the Order Paper

     The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    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.
     The Speaker: Is that agreed?
     Some hon. members: Agreed.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded divisions, government orders will be extended by 24 minutes.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (for the Minister of Finance)  
     moved that Bill C-15, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures, be read the third time and passed.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I stand today in support of Bill C-15, the budget implementation act.
    I am pleased to discuss the investments that the Government of Canada's first budget makes to strengthen the middle class and to grow our economy. I am proud to honour the trust that Canadians have placed in our government.
    We are bringing a renewed sense of optimism with our 2016 budget and with our budget implementation act, which is putting people first. The measures included in this bill will give parents more money to help with the high cost of raising children.
    Bill C-15 will ensure that out of work Canadians have the support they need while they look for their next job. It will help our seniors to retire in comfort and dignity. It will support our veterans and give back to those who have given so much in service to our country. In short, it is the first step in our long-term plan to restore hope and revitalize the economy for the benefit of all Canadians.
     This legislation reflects what Canadians have told us. The Minister of Finance and I, as well as many members of our caucus, travelled the country from coast to coast to coast in an unprecedented pre-budget consultation exercise. I personally met with Canadians across Canada, from my home province of Quebec to as far north as Yellowknife.
    What we heard from the thousands of Canadians who spoke to us directly shaped the measures contained in today's legislation. In communities across the country, we heard two common messages. First, people would say that we should do something to help them and their family make ends meet. Second, they would say we should invest in things that will make the whole economy grow, so that it creates jobs and wealth, strengthening and growing our middle class, and our communities.
    Our government listened. We took action based on what we heard. The result is budget 2016 and the legislation before us today.

  (1550)  

[Translation]

     Bill C-15 builds on the measures that we implemented as soon as we took office, when we lowered taxes for middle-class Canadians across the country. Approximately nine million Canadians now benefit from this tax cut, which took effect on January 1, 2016. This tax break will help them to save, invest, and grow Canada's economy.
    Now, with our budget plan designed to grow the middle class, we are taking an even bigger step to help the middle class, and those working hard to join it, keep more money in their pockets through the Canada child benefit.
    Compared to the existing system of child benefits, the new Canada child benefit will be simpler, tax-free, more generous, and better targeted to those who need it most. Nine out of 10 families will receive more money from the Canada child benefit than they receive under the current system. Families benefiting will see an average increase in child benefits of almost $2,300 in the 2016-17 benefit year.
    This is an important measure to help Canadians make ends meet. This money can be used to buy groceries, pay for soccer camp this summer, or buy clothes for the fall.
    Furthermore, the Canada child benefit will not only help us strengthen the middle class, but it will also help us lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We estimate that about 300,000 fewer children will live in poverty in 2017, compared to 2014.
    With this bill, as of July, families with children under 18 will receive a maximum annual benefit of $6,400 per child under the age of six and $5,400 per child aged six through 17.
    By supporting the budget implementation bill, all my colleagues will help give more Canadian parents some breathing room at the end of the month and will help them save for their children's future.
    Helping families improve their lives is just one aspect of the budget implementation bill. This bill implements measures to help people who are struggling as a result of the troubled global economy.
    These measures include targeted support for people who are facing exceptional circumstances. For example, unemployed Canadians in the regions most affected by the slowdown in the commodity sector will have the support the need as they look for a new job.
    This bill will provide five extra weeks of EI regular benefits for eligible claimants in the affected regions across the country and will also provide up to 20 additional weeks of EI regular benefits to long-tenured workers who have experienced the highest increase in unemployment in these regions.
    The budget identifies 12 economic regions for EI that are eligible for extended benefits as a result of the slowdown in the commodity sector.
    Regardless, our government also promised to monitor the economic situation after introducing the budget, and it recently acted on its commitment by announcing that, as a result of its analysis, it would add three more regions to the list. Those three additional regions, along with the 12 initial regions, will be targeted by the passage of the budget implementation bill.
     Moreover, for employment insurance recipients in all regions of Canada, this bill will reduce the employment insurance waiting period from two weeks to one as of January 1, 2017.
    The goal of this measure is to relieve the financial pressure on those who have recently lost their job and are looking for work. Furthermore, with the passage of these legislative provisions, people who enter or re-enter the labour force will have to comply with the same eligibility criteria as other claimants in their region. This measure, which will come into force in July 2016, will make about 50,000 more Canadians eligible for employment insurance benefits.
    Canadians have always understood that the test of a just society is how it treats the most vulnerable among us. Our budget and its legislative provisions bear witness to those values, and not just for people who lose their jobs.
     This budget implementation act will help ensure that Canadian seniors can retire with a degree of comfort and dignity through substantial additional support for those most vulnerable. Although Canada's retirement income system has generally been successful in reducing the incidence of poverty among Canadian seniors, unfortunately, some seniors continue to be at a heightened risk of living on a low income.
    For instance, seniors who live alone are nearly three times more likely to live in low income than other seniors. That is unfair to the people who helped build this country, and we need to fix it. With the passing of this budget implementation act, that injustice will be rectified. This legislation will increase the guaranteed income supplement top-up by up to $947 per year for seniors who live alone, who are the most vulnerable, starting in July 2016.

  (1555)  

    These measures will also help those seniors who rely almost exclusively on old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits and may therefore be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties.
    This enhancement will more than double the current maximum top-up benefit, which represents a 10% increase in the total maximum guaranteed income supplement benefits available to the lowest-income single seniors.
    By investing over $670 million per year, we are improving the financial security of about 900,000 single seniors across Canada and helping them retire with some security and dignity. In addition, two-thirds of the people who will benefit from this increase are single women.
    This bill will repeal the provisions in the Old Age Security Act that increase the age of eligibility for old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits from 65 to 67 and allowance benefits from 60 to 62 over the 2023 to 2029 period. Restoring the eligibility age for old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits to 65 will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Canadians as they become seniors and start to retire. These benefits will be particularly helpful to lower-income seniors age 65 and 66, who depend on this support and, without it, face a much higher risk of living in poverty.

  (1600)  

[English]

    As is the case with seniors, it is unfortunately sometimes those who have given the most to our country who face the biggest challenges, and that is just not right. Canada's veterans and their families have earned the deepest respect and gratitude of all Canadians for the sacrifices they have made. With this budget implementation bill, we are giving them the support they deserve for the sacrifices they have made.
    Upon passage of the bill, we will make significant investments to ensure the financial security and independence of disabled veterans and their families as they make the transition to civilian life. It proposes to restore critical access to services for veterans and to ensure the long-term financial security of those who are severely injured physically or mentally in the line of duty.
    The bill will amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act to increase, both retroactively and going forward, disability awards and associated benefits, such as the death benefit, and to adjust the orientation and terminology of the permanent impairment allowance, while also increasing the earnings loss benefit to 90%.
    As a result, $1.6 billion over five years will flow directly to our veterans and their families in the form of higher direct payments. Specifically, the bill will increase the value of the disability award for injuries and illness caused by service to a maximum of $360,000 and will ensure payment of higher benefits retroactively to all veterans who have received a disability award since 2006.
    It will increase the earnings loss benefit to replace 90% of an eligible veteran's gross pre-release military salary, and it will change the name of the permanent impairment allowance to the “career impact allowance” to reflect the intent of the program, consistent with changes announced in the budget to better compensate veterans who have their career options limited by a service-related illness or injury.
    These amendments deliver on mandate commitments and respond directly to recommendations from key stakeholders, including the Veterans Ombudsman. However, most importantly, they give back to those who have given so much in their service to our country.
    Our government, through the budget implementation bill, will also support those who are educating the next generation of Canadians. We know that educators often incur costs at their own expense for supplies that enrich our children's learning environment. The passage of the bill will implement a new teacher and early childhood educator school supply tax credit in recognition of out-of-pocket expenses for supplies such as paper, glue, puzzles, and supplementary books for their students. This 50% refundable income tax credit will apply to up to $1,000 of eligible supplies in 2016 and subsequent tax years.
    In conclusion, taken as a whole, all these measures contained in the bill represent a giant step forward in our plan to put people first and to deliver the help they need now while investing for the years and decades to come.
    I am proud to have been involved in its development, and I am proud to lend my voice today to its timely implementation for the benefit of Canadians. By doing so, we will be seizing the opportunity before us as members of Parliament. It is an opportunity to build a better future, through targeted investments, to support our people and grow our economy.

  (1605)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always nice to hear the hon. member, whom I always associate with Shawinigan, even though he is not from there. I am a good old-fashioned archaist, as everyone knows.
    He raised two points that I find intriguing. First, he reminded the House that in this budget, his government is bringing the retirement age back down to 65. It is our belief that that is not good for the economy. In fact, that point of view was also held by the current Minister of Finance, who just two years ago published a book entitled The Real Retirement. In that book, he said that raising the eligibility age to 67 was the right thing to do and a step in the right direction, adding that “in 20 years' time, the economy will run better”.
    Unfortunately, the former author and experienced businessman became a Liberal minister who is short-sighted when it comes to public finances.
    The other point is that the member and parliamentary secretary keeps repeating that it is excellent because their budget puts more money in people's pockets.
    Can the member and parliamentary secretary recognize that his approach is based on spending money that we do not have? In fact, the tax changes announced a few months ago will cause a $1.7-billion deficit, and the changes in family benefits will result in a $1.4-billion deficit.
    In short, does the parliamentary secretary recognize that with these changes, the money we put in people's pockets is money we do not have?
    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my hon. colleague for his question. He knows that I have a great deal of respect for him.
    We have had many opportunities to debate these issues because the bill is at third reading stage. However, this is what we should take away, and I am not the only one saying it: we must consider what writers and economists in Canada are saying, including the Bank of Canada, the parliamentary budget officer, and the economists, even those outside of Canada. Ms. Lagarde cited Canada as an example and said that the right approach is to invest in the economy and in our society in order to grow the economy.
    Canada has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7. That puts us in a unique position relative to our partners in that we can invest in the middle class and families. Let us take a moment to think about that. I believe that my Conservative colleague should be pleased. Our party has already reduced taxes for nine million Canadians. That was the first measure implemented by this government to help Canadian families.
    We also introduced the Canada child benefit, which I believe is the most important social measure since universal health care. These types of measures will put money in the pockets of Canadians, grow the economy, and help Canadian families.
    Mr. Speaker, I really like hearing the parliamentary secretary talk about the nine million Canadians who will be helped, all the while ignoring the fact that these nine million people are among the wealthiest and that 17 million to 18 million Canadians will not see a single cent from this tax cut. These Canadians are not among the wealthiest.
    We have had this debate many times, and the Liberals often use this excuse. They say that they are cutting taxes for the middle class and that they have the child tax benefit, as an excuse for having broken one of their basic election promises to lower taxes for SMEs from 11% to 9%. They swore, hand on heart, that they would go along with the New Democrats and Conservatives and that they would also help grow the economy with this promised tax cut.
    Why does the parliamentary secretary defend the government he represents? Why does he defend the Liberals, who are breaking their promise to cut taxes for SMEs and entrepreneurs, which would have enabled them to hire employees, expand, and grow their business? I look forward to his explanation.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I always appreciate the work he does on the Standing Committee on Finance. He has a lot of experience and we are always very interested to hear what he has to say.
    This budget is not just for the middle class. As my colleague was saying, members need to look at all of the measures. This bill is at third reading. The budget includes tax reductions and the Canada child benefit. We need to think about all of the Canadians we are helping.
    For example, my colleague failed to mention what we are doing for seniors, students, and first nations. We are making historic social investments to help the middle class and Canadian families.
    In my region and throughout Quebec, everyone knows how important SMEs are to the economy. People asked us to grow the economy. That is exactly what we are doing by implementing measures such as the tax cut and the Canada child benefit, giving more money to our veterans, helping students pursue their education, and investing in first nations.
    These investments in our society and these support measures will create long-term growth, which will benefit all Canadians.

  (1610)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. I also want to thank him for his leadership on this file and the consultations that he and the Minister of Finance held with Canadians.
    About a dozen consultations were held in Fredericton. I know that my constituents are happy with this budget.

[English]

    There are three things in particular that stand out in my riding of Fredericton. One is the Canada child benefit, which will not only help nine out of 10 families but will help lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. There are pockets of communities across New Brunswick and within Fredericton that are in need of that sort of support for young people.
    A second piece of the budget that has been received well in the riding I represent is the increased supports to veterans, ensuring that they are able to live past their service years in dignity, and I know that is just the start of the commitment the government has made.
    The third are enhanced supports to seniors, the returning of the retirement age to 65, as well as the topping up of the GIS for single, low-income seniors.
    I wonder if the parliamentary secretary could explain a bit more in detail about just how important it is to support young children, to support our veterans, and to support seniors, not only in the region I come from but right across this country.
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is a member who always understands well the issues at stake.
    He said it. The first thing the government did in an unprecedented fashion was to listen to Canadians. That is why personally I went from Moncton to Yellowknife with the Minister of Finance to listen to Canadians and come up with these measures.
     He did mention the Canada child benefit. As we went across the nation, people asked us to help them and their families. We met I do not know how many hundred Canadian families who told us they needed a bit more. Everything has been going up and the low growth we had in this country, which we inherited from the Conservatives, has not translated into additional income for these people, so they asked us to help them and their families to make ends meet.
    When we talked to students, they said they would like to stay longer but they also needed some help from the government.
    When we talk about our veterans, who deserves to be helped in our society more than our veterans? After a decade where they were left on the sidelines, we put them front and centre.
    This budget, as my hon. colleague said, puts Canadian families at the centre, puts the middle class at the centre, puts students at the centre, puts first nations at the centre. It puts Canadians at the centre of our actions. For once, this country has a government that works for Canadian families, works for the middle class for the benefit of all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a brief question in regard to tax expenditures.
    The member opposite cited his support for a new tax credit for teachers and their supplies. In the last Parliament there was a lot of controversy over tax expenditures. Some people on the Liberal side at the time said there had not been enough proper analysis by finance officials to say whether or not those tax expenditures were a good use of public monies.
    Would the member support tabling that information so that all members could find out whether or not this tax credit meets the criteria of good public expenditure?
    Second, if it turns out that tax credit is not performing well, will he include it in the list of tax expenditures to review, because there has been some talk on his committee of a review of all tax expenditures, or will the Liberals simply guard their electoral promise?

  (1615)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is not about politics. This is about helping teachers and students.
    I am very pleased that the hon. member asked this question, because it is quite important. As we see in the budget, we have specific measures to help teachers, because we understand what they contribute in the classroom to help their students. Obviously, we also help students in our budget, because we understand that they are the future of our country.
    We have listened to thousands of Canadians. More than 300,000 people came forward to provide input as we made our last budget. Therefore, we are obviously willing to listen, and we will listen to him as well as other hon. colleagues as we go forward and plan the future of this country together.

[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 Essex, Agriculture and Agri-Food; the hon. member for Vancouver East, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the hon. member for St. Albert—Edmonton, Justice.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to address Bill C-15, the budget implementation act.
    I will note that the hon. member opposite indicated in the introduction to his speech that this was part one of budget implementation. Therefore, we look forward to part two of the budget implementation act when that arises.
    For many weeks, we in the official opposition have had many opportunities to take a look at the legislation. We have actually had a lot of opportunity to also question the Minister of Finance and the government on their fiscal plan. Unfortunately, it appears that the more we ask for clarification the less things become clear for us. That is why I would like to focus today on the aspects surrounding the credibility of the minister in delivering this budget.
    This plan, or really the lack thereof, his projections, and his assertions are incredibly important to the veracity of this budget. The Minister of Finance is continuing to battle serious questions about his fiscal credibility and his lack of transparency.
     We in the opposition would much rather be working with the government to make amendments to the legislation. However, we cannot support a plan for massive borrowing and massive spending when it is based on such flawed assumptions. The fundamentals of the legislation were simply not sound from the beginning.
    During the committee of the whole on May 30, the Minister of Finance stated the following, “We found ourselves in a low-growth era. That is what we are facing right now.” Indeed, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance repeated the concept of the low growth the Liberals were handed. This simply is not the truth.
    In a briefing prepared for the Minister of Finance, his own department advised him that Canada's real income per capita growth was the strongest of all G7 countries in the 2000s, compared to the weakest growth in the 1990s. It also showed that we had the healthiest middle class of our G7 cohorts. More importantly, it was proven by the OECD that income was evenly distributed during this period of time.
    It is indeed concerning that the Minister of Finance and his Liberal budget appear to be so out of touch that his budget is based on a false assumption. The history and the current state of the Canadian economy are important factors, and the way in which the Liberals are characterizing it is simply incorrect. Indeed, the excessive spending that is set out in this budget is wholly inappropriate for the actual state of the economy of this country. The facts are very clear that we are not in a recession, yet the government continues to act as though we are.
    During the committee of the whole, the Minister of Finance also said, “The 'Fiscal Monitor' in 2015 shows clearly in the month of March that in fact the government before us left us in a deficit. That is our starting point.”
    Once again the facts do not support this claim. The evidence shows clearly that the minister was actually left with a surplus by the Conservative government and that it really is his own spending decisions that have set it off track. Our government balanced the budget in 2014-15, as we said we would, and there was a $1.9-billion surplus. The parliamentary budget office has confirmed that the 2015-16 budget was left in a surplus by our Conservative government. We have still yet to see the full extent of the Minister of Finance's March madness, but it is clear that in this spending spree he worked really hard to spend away Conservative surpluses, and he refuses to take the responsibility for this reckless spending.
    Credibility is key and trust is a key as well. The current government's inability to answer simple questions asks us to question both credibility and trust.

  (1620)  

    When we look at the budget implementation bill and reflect on the testimony in the committee of the whole, we actually gave the Minister of Finance about four hours to answer some pretty basic questions about his plans, but our questions were often met with silence, and that is a very revealing indication of problems with respect to the implementation of this budget.
    Revealing, as well, were our questions about the $6-billion contingency fund the minister built into the budget. During this particular exchange, the minister was actually unable to provide any details at all as to what kinds of factors were taken into consideration when determining the size of the fund. I would add that one of the witnesses before the finance committee indicated to the members of the committee that applying this contingency fund was, in essence, projecting oil to be at a price of $20 per barrel, and we know that not to be the fact.
    More concerning was the fact that the minister revealed that he already had plans to spend this $6-billion contingency fund. The next day, in question period, the minister doubled down. Again, he committed to spending this $6 billion, regardless of whether it was needed, instead of returning it to taxpayers. This is not responsible and is simply not acceptable.
    People could understand it if it were put in simple terms of dealing with their own credit cards. For example, a person asks for a $6,000 credit card increase but has no need and no plan as to what to buy but knows that he or she is going to buy something, the only factor being that every single last cent of that $6,000 will be spent. Even Canadians going to a bank for a loan these days are asked to explain why they need the loan, whether they are students looking to invest in their educations or young families wanting to make improvements to their homes. Any responsible institution would ask why they are applying for the loan.
    Canadians also expect that when someone promises to do something, that person will follow through on the promise. The Liberals have made many promises, but those promises lack credibility. The Liberals have broken their election promises, and their out-of-control spending will end up hurting families, small business, and hard-working Canadians, because we know where this ends. It ends in the form of tax increases.
    The Liberals were elected on a platform of modest deficits capped at $10 billion. They were elected on a platform of reducing the ratio of debt to GDP, with a goal of returning the budget to balance. However, almost immediately after taking power, they changed their minds. At a time when Canada is not in a recession, they have nearly tripled the deficit, admitted that they cannot control the debt to GDP ratio, and decided that balancing the budget was really not that important after all.
    Not only is the minister breaking his promise, but as we know, he is suggesting that Conservatives would do well to get past this whole budget balance thing. However, the Conservatives will not simply get past the whole balanced budget thing, because we know that budgets do not balance themselves. We will continue to voice our concerns, as well as those of Canadians who want to see balanced budgets, not broken electoral promises and out-of-control spending.
    We should take a closer look at some of the broken electoral promises. The Liberals have absolutely shattered their promise to small businesses to proceed with a small business tax rate reduction to 9% by 2019. While the Liberals promised to stand by this commitment during the election period, since taking power, it has become clear that small businesses are not the government's priority at all.
    Budget 2016 lays out the Liberals' plan to tax small businesses at 10.5%, but they cleverly say that plans for any other small business tax cuts will be deferred. I know what the definition of “deferred” is. For the record, it is “withheld for or until a stated time”.

  (1625)  

    The finance minister indicated, when he appeared before the finance committee, that he actually has no further information about any planned date to restore this tax reduction, as promised. He refuses to own up to the fact that this tax cut has been clearly cancelled.
    The president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Dan Kelly, has expressed his disappointment and his shock as well. According to the CFIB, “This decision will cost small firms over $900 million more per year as of 2019”.
    The parliamentary budget office, in a report from May 10, “estimates that by 2020-21, Budget 2016 changes to the small business tax rate will reduce real GDP by $300 million”, and this Canadians will really understand, “and the level of employment by about 1,240 jobs”.
    Not proceeding with the planned implementation of the tax rate, in fact cancelling it, will have a long-term effect on employment in this country and on our GDP. This will clearly not help grow the Canadian economy.
    We know that the Liberals will have to raise taxes to pay for all of this out-of-control spending. However, when we reflect upon it, it really is disconcerting and unfortunate that 700,000 middle-class small business owners, who employ 95% of working Canadians, were the first target of this finance minister.
    When it increases taxes on job-creating small businesses, the government is discouraging success and discouraging entrepreneurship, and that has an effect on the entire country. It is not helping the middle class. It is absolutely hurting the middle class.
    I, along with my constituents and the Conservative Party, have a long list of concerns about this budget. We have the ballooning deficit, with no sign in the future of what the cap will be. The Prime Minister famously gave an interview in the United States, and when he was asked how big the deficit will grow, he said he did not really have a number in mind. That is not prudent management.
    We also have concerns about eligibility for old age security being lowered from 67 to 65. I have two points on that. First, it was this country's finance minister who indicated no more than three years ago that this was the right thing to do, and now he has done exactly the opposite. Second, when we actually did this in the former Conservative government, we were lauded as having the courage to do the right thing by the Secretary-General of the OECD. We joined a list of 29 out of 38 countries in the OECD proceeding down this road.
    I am concerned about the fact that this budget has no plan to create jobs. There is the notion that if the Liberals sprinkle the money out into the economy, it is going to actually take root and there will be growth. The reality is that there are a lot of things that can happen between the sprinkling of the money and the creation of a job. My concern is that there is no plan to actually nurture the creation of jobs.
    I am very concerned that there is no plan to promote business investment. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The government's version of promoting investment by private businesses is taxing them more, creating more regulation, and giving far greater uncertainty in decision-making within this country when it comes to the movement of our natural resources.
    That does nothing to help our economy. That does nothing to help us with the commodity shock we are feeling right now in this country that is actually putting so many people and Canadians in pain, in several provinces, as a result of something that is completely out of their control.
    I am very concerned that the Liberals have repealed the balanced budget legislation. There were provisions within this legislation to take into account in emergency situations. Instead, the Liberals have decided to just remove it, because they do not want to be tied to a fiscal anchor that every Canadian household can completely understand and should absolutely live to attain.

  (1630)  

    We can look at studies that have been produced by the parliamentary budget office. One that came out in January that was of most importance to me looked at household indebtedness in our country. It may be surprising to note that household indebtedness in our country is projected to rise to about 174% of debt to household income. That is a very large number. It means that Canadians are gathering in more debt. They have higher debt than they did before the recession hit in 2008-09. The government is now getting on that bandwagon and saying that debt is good, and it is going to go into debt now too, as their government. However, it is not doing it on its own behalf; it is doing it in combination with provinces that are doing the exact same thing, going into greater amounts of debt. We have households with increased debt. We have provinces really racking up the debt, especially in my province of Ontario.
    By the way, Ontario is the number one sub-national government in the world in terms of the size of the debt. We are number one, Ontario. That is fantastic.
    The other aspect of debt is the reality that at the end of the day, this debt actually does matter. It takes away the flexibility of a government to act when things get very difficult with respect to the economy.
    The bill also targets tax credits we introduced, as the previous government, that actually helped families. One of the aspects of the fitness and arts credit I appreciated the most was the fact that it was actually recognizing Canadian families for doing something good for their children's health in the future, their mental health by taking arts and their physical health by getting involved in fitness. That incentive has been taken away by the government.
    Changes to EI are of great concern.
    However, the small business tax cut cancellation will, of course, have a long-term, long-run effect on our Canadian economy.
    When people realized that the government had actually increased taxes on higher income earners in our country, a lot thought that should be okay and that it did not really mean a lot, because those people make so much money that it does not matter. I asked the minister's officials at the finance committee whether there had been any studies done to indicate difficulties in having a combined tax rate of over 50% when we are trying to attract to Canada world-class talent for our Canadian companies. Not a single study had been done to determine what the effect would be. That is just another example of rushing to implement parts of a platform without thinking about the total effect.
    The only things the government is going to grow in the coming years are two-fold: it is going to grow our debt, and it is absolutely going to grow the size of government. Coming from Cape Breton, I can say that big government is not here to save us. Big government is not something we should be reliant upon. We should be reliant upon ourselves, our families, and our communities to ensure that we live a prosperous life and can contribute to the economy of Canada.
    With all of these concerns in mind, Conservatives will not forget that Canadians voted for responsible fiscal management on election day. Those who voted for the Conservatives and NDP in both cases voted for balanced budgets. We will not forget those who voted for the Liberals either, because they voted on the basis of small, moderate deficits that would primarily go to infrastructure. That is far from what the Liberals have delivered so far.
    We will hold the government accountable. We will fight for lower taxes, we will fight for a balanced budget, and we will fight to get a plan that will actually keep Canada growing and thriving.

  (1635)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her speech. I really enjoy the work that we do together on the Standing Committee on Finance.
    The member talked about promises. I remember the promises that her government, the previous government, made, such as reducing wait times and balancing the deficit. Her government borrowed $150 trillion, which is nearly one-quarter of all the money borrowed since Confederation, yet it failed to prepare us for the tumbling price of oil and commodities, a situation that our government is confronting now.
    The member spoke of a plan. I know that she is from the Maritimes, so I hope she will contribute some common sense. Budgets can be balanced by cutting spending or raising taxes. She talked about cutting taxes and balancing the budget.
    Would the member mind clarifying? What is her party's plan? When will we see her party's tax plan? What is the Conservative Party's plan for the budget?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as the Liberals know, the government's job is to govern, and our job is to ensure we hold the government to account. I know government can be hard, but we were able to do it for 10 years and we left the country in pretty good shape, I have to say.
    I would say this to the hon. member's question. Number one, yes—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, please. I just want to remind the hon. members that I am trying to listen to the hon. member for Milton and I really cannot hear her with all the back and forth here. If members do not mind, if they have to talk, and I know they get along just fine, just whisper to each other or go next to each other or sit together but do not speak across the floor.
    The hon. member for Milton.
    Mr. Speaker, I could not hear you either, unfortunately, in that interchange.
    What I would say with respect to the hon. member's question is this. In 2009 and 2010, at the time of the great recession, it was very difficult for then finance minister, Jim Flaherty, and the prime minister at that time to take the country into a budget that actually showed we were going into deficit because that is something that, as Conservatives, we are not comfortable with. However, the decision was taken after unprecedented consultations; and it was also taken in concert with our colleagues in the G20, who unanimously agreed it was time for stimulus spending.
    Can members guess what happened two weeks ago? Our Minister of Finance went to Japan saying he is going to sell this stimulus funding, that we are going to go back into deficit, and only one member of the G7 actually agreed to it. Germany's representative, finance minister, and the chancellor indicated that it was the wrong path to take, that lower taxes matter, and that it does matter that we balance our budgets. That is what real countries do in this world.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the Conservative Party finance critic, with whom I have the pleasure of working on the Standing Committee on Finance.
    I would like to come back to what happened at the Standing Committee on Finance. I would like to know my colleague's thoughts on how disorganized the Liberals were in committee with regard to a very specific situation.
    The bill proposes extending employment insurance benefits to claimants in 12 regions determined by a formula that seems quite arbitrary to me. In mid-May, the Prime Minister promised to extend this measure to three additional regions. Now that the clause-by-clause review of the bill is over, they are still talking about 12 regions. There is no clause that talks about three additional regions.
    We proposed an amendment to correct this situation, but the amendment was deemed out of order. It seemed that the Liberal members did not understand what happened. They had such a poor understanding of their own promise that they had to correct this mistake here in the House at report stage.
    I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the Liberals' level of disorganization on an issue that is so very important to regions such as eastern Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

  (1640)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question, and I am glad that he reminded me of what it is like to be in finance committee with that level of disorganization on the other side.
    I can say that was not the only surprise we received at finance. That was very distressing. In fact, our side of the table did support the hon. member's amendments in order to ensure that what was being passed actually was reflected in the words of the government.
    However, we also heard from a witness that there was a plan to index the child care benefit in a certain year. This was not included in the PBO report. This was not included in the forward projections of the government. Yet, this witness gave testimony that he was told by the Prime Minister's Office that this was in fact the case. We also heard from another witness who had heard from the minister's office that the small business tax rate was going to eventually be reduced again. Of course, we had not seen any of that in the costing, in the spending, or in any of the projections.
    It would appear that there is a case with the current government where it may have, within the document, aspects of what the Liberals think they are planning to do, but they are also freelancing it whenever a camera appears.
    Mr. Speaker, I have attended a few meetings of the finance committee that the member is on. One of the occasions that I was there, we heard from Dr. Jack Mintz, who raised concerns about, first of all, raising the upper bands with regards to income taxes, and also dealing with small business. He also mentioned that quite a significant proportion of higher income earners also own small businesses.
    One of the things he suggested was that the CRA have the capacity to track the movement of entrepreneurs who are in both of those classes to be able to see if the Liberal plan would actually chase away those people, where they move to other jurisdictions outside of Canada or from a higher provincially taxed area to a lower one.
    I would ask the member if she agrees that this evidenced-based decision-making is helpful for the public and members of Parliament to evaluate this policy a few years down the line?
    Mr. Speaker, I am so glad the hon. member brought that point up in the House of Commons. It is a very valid and important one to be able to have benchmarks and measures against which we can actually take a look to see if the budget did what it said it would do. I think that is an excellent example of something that the government should be measuring, and I am sure that we will be asking questions about it in the future.
    I would say as well that there is another example of data that I personally would like to see. I have raised this in the chamber before. It has to do with the percentage of women in the workforce. Those numbers are gathered by Statistics Canada and by Labour Canada as well. I would very much like to see whether there is going to be any change or movement in those numbers as a result of this new child care benefit that the government has introduced.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her great speech. I know the member is from Atlantic Canada, and I certainly respect her contribution to the House.
    I want to focus on the member's comments about how the Conservative Party was such a great steward of the economy, on the balanced budgets, and that members on the other side and our party knows nothing about the economy. I take exception to that.
    I went door to door in my campaign and the Conservatives' so-called balanced budget was a shell game. A balanced budget to me is not a balanced budget when it throws in the EI fund, the rainy day fund, and the sale of GM stocks. That budget was balanced on the backs of veterans, the middle class, and those living in poverty. Canadians know that, and they spoke on October 19 about that.
    I have asked this question several times to the party opposite, but I never get a straight answer. I want to focus on the tax-free savings account, and that only 7% of Canadians maximize it. It does not make sense that the party opposite would double something that only 7% of Canadians maximize. Therefore, can the member opposite give me a straight answer as to why, because it is something that was going to double, that was going to cost this country billions and billions of dollars, that the finance minister himself said that the ex-prime minister's grandchildren would pay for? I would like to understand the member's philosophy on doubling the tax-free savings account when 7% of Canadians maximize it.

  (1645)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would refer the hon. member to his own Minister of Finance, because he wrote in his book The Real Retirement that the TFSA actually was a good start, and that was at $5,000, and that he looked forward to it increasing over time, because it made sense as a vehicle for people to save.
    A real place where Canadians can save money these days and build equity is in the housing market. However, as members in the House are aware, it is becoming more and more difficult for young Canadians to enter into that market because of the costs associated with housing.
    The TFSA is a great vehicle to help Canadians save for that first down payment, and having it at $10,000, if we understand what real estate prices are, we will know that this is a great way to save after-tax dollars so that people can get into another vehicle of savings, which is a house here in Canada.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the first thing I want to say at third reading of this bill is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
    The Conservatives introduced omnibus bills that were around 175 pages in length and sometimes 500 or 600 pages. Now, we have a 179-page omnibus bill that amends or eliminates 35 acts.
    The Conservative government systematically refused to accept any of the amendments proposed in the Standing Committee on Finance. Now, the Liberal government is systematically refusing to accept any of the amendments proposed in the Standing Committee on Finance. It is just more of the same.
    I think this bill clearly shows why Canadians are so cynical about politics. The Liberals promised to do things differently, but they introduced this massive bill. If we had had the time to study it carefully, we could perhaps have gotten through it all and thoroughly analyzed it to identify its shortcomings.
    However, we had only two committee meetings to hear from witnesses and examine the Liberals' 179-page budget bill. We were able to hear from only 17 witnesses in committee to discuss the various aspects of the bill. That is only one witness per 10 pages of legislation. I commend the Liberals for this so-called comprehensive study.
    Some extremely important aspects of this bill were dealt with in a very cursory manner. I am thinking about the entire chapter on the mechanism for bank recapitalization in the event that our key or systemically important institutions break down.
    First of all, I am not fundamentally opposed to that provision. However, it completely changes the way our banking system can get help when it might be in trouble, which we hope will never happen. It changes the way our banking system works.
    When we requested a more comprehensive study, the Liberals told us that it was unnecessary because a department official had explained to them how it works. Yes, that is what they said. If we follow that logic, why bother hearing from witnesses in committee at all? Let us just ask department officials to explain the measures on which we have to vote and then just vote on them already.
     I see that my colleague does not agree, and I am sorry, but that is the reality. The official in question, Glenn Campbell, did a good job explaining the technical underpinnings of the bill. However, the fact remains that we did not have a chance to hear a single witness talk about this important provision.
    The other part of this bill that warranted closer attention is the issue of compensation for veterans. First of all, that should have been in a separate bill, but the Liberals decided to include it in the budget implementation bill. We heard from only one witness on that, the veterans ombudsman. That was it.
    If it had been examined more thoroughly, first of all, it would not have been in the Standing Committee on Finance, but rather in the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, and second, at least two or three meetings would have been dedicated to examining precisely those points. Ultimately, we heard from only one witness in committee on something that should have been in its own bill.
    To sum up, to study Bill C-15, we had two days of debate and a time allocation motion in the House at second reading, before it went to committee. It was so urgent that the committee began examining it before it even passed second reading. Regardless, we still only invited witnesses to two of the six committee meetings. The minister and other officials attended some of the other meetings.
    On top of that, the Liberals rejected all the amendments proposed by the opposition. It is not as though we went too far. We proposed 15 substantial amendments to a 179-page bill. The Conservatives proposed three, and I know the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois also proposed some. One of the amendments proposed by the Conservatives came from a member who does not sit on the committee.

  (1650)  

    I will digress for a moment. Once again, this shows that the Liberals operate much like the Conservatives did before them. They even moved the same motion at a Standing Committee on Finance meeting to force independent MPs from parties not recognized in the House to present their amendments in committee so that they could be discussed for a minute instead of using their rights as independent members to move those amendments in the House. They did exactly what the Conservatives used to do.
    We studied the amendments, and the Liberals listened to them. They are perfectly happy to listen to the opposition, but when it comes to really hearing, analyzing, and actually using what the opposition says, forget it.
    I mentioned an interesting fact in the question I asked the member for Milton, who is the official opposition finance critic. The Liberal side was totally disorganized during the committee's work. Take, for example, the employment insurance provisions that the government included in the bill. Once again, the Standing Committee on Finance should not have been the one studying that issue. It should have been the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Nevertheless, it was included in the budget bill.
    The Liberals decided that only 12 regions in the country would benefit from the extended EI benefits. What is the formula? The formula seems somewhat flexible, but 12 regions are going to be included, mostly in western Canada and Newfoundland. We realize that these regions have been hit especially hard by falling oil and commodity prices. However, the random nature of the criteria that allowed those regions to be included on the list was never really formally explained to us.
    In mid-May, the Prime Minister himself announced that three new regions would also qualify for the extension: Southern Saskatchewan, Southern Interior British Columbia, and Edmonton. In committee, we tried to explain that instead of having a random formula, perhaps all regions should be included in the formula. That was declared out of order, so I cannot blame the parties for that. However, I do not think the government would have been very receptive to that measure.
    We decided to include only the regions that were benefiting from this five-week extension to fill what is called the black hole before the Conservatives and before 2012. The black hole is the period of time between the end of EI benefits and a return to work, for those who work in seasonal industries. Again, the government was not really listening and this was declared out of order.
    Finally, we proposed our third amendment. This one sought to remind the government that it promised to include these three regions. In the House, I cannot explain succinctly the level of confusion that reigned on the Liberal side on this aspect because they seemed to have forgotten that promise. They did not seem to understand that this amendment needed to be added in committee. The Liberal Party made no proposal on the matter. Finally, we ended the clause-by-clause review without any such amendment. The Liberal government was forced to correct its mistake by introducing a motion here at report stage.
    I should point out that the committee accepted just one amendment during its study. It was a Liberal amendment to fix a mistake that the Liberal government introduced into this bill. This was nothing new to me, since I saw this kind of thing go on for five years with the Conservatives' omnibus budgets. They would realize after the fact that the bill was poorly thought out and needed to be fixed. Conservative amendments would be accepted, but the opposition's amendments never were.
    What we have here is a series of measures. I just talked about veterans and bank recapitalization. These issues should have been dealt with separately. I also talked about employment insurance. In fact, many measures should have been dealt with separately, or there should at least have been a more careful study than just 17 witnesses for 179 pages of text.
    Since the start of debate, I have been listening to the government side claim that this is not an omnibus bill since all of the measures were in the budget. Indeed, there are lots of things in the budget, because in a 500-page document, you can have one little line about a forestry program, another line about the TFSA, and another line about a post-secondary education program for indigenous communities.

  (1655)  

    The government can include pretty much anything in a budget or a budget implementation bill by arguing that it appeared in the previous budget. That is not how things work. The Liberal members who were here during the previous Parliament completely agreed with our definition of an omnibus budget bill. I would like to quote a few of them.
    At the beginning of this Parliament, in April 2016, the member for Malpeque, who is now the chair of the Standing Committee on Finance, indicated that the Department of Finance had gotten into the habit of putting a lot of things in a budget bill. He said that his concern was that there could be an area in a bill that really required giving MPs the opportunity to debate that issue in the House, not as part of a budget bill, but as part of a separate bill.
    We completely agree with him. That is the whole point of my argument. Let us look at what the member for Kings—Hants, who is now the President of the Treasury Board, said in 2015, in the previous Parliament. He said:
    For years, the Conservatives have crossed the line in what is acceptable in a functioning democracy as a government in the area of respect for Parliament. It is not only how they have now normalized the use of massive omnibus bills, they regularly shut down debate in the House...
    Lo and behold, the Liberals cut short debate in the House and introduced massive bills that we were not able to study in detail.
    Do members want other examples? The current Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and member for Charlottetown said:
...the government's use of omnibus legislation has degraded the committee review process and hidden important legal changes from public scrutiny.
    That is not all. The Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and member for Vancouver Quadra said:
     Liberals will end the abuse of omnibus bills, which result in poorly reviewed laws.
    I challenge any Liberal member to state in the House that they kept their promises concerning transparency and are allowing this Parliament and this committee to carry out an exhaustive and thorough review and, ultimately, letting us fulfill our responsibilities as MPs on the committee.
    If that is what the Liberal members are interested in doing, I urge them to explain how holding two committee meetings with witnesses qualifies as a comprehensive study of thirty or so acts in this 179-page bill. I urge them to explain why, in June 2015, they said they would put an end to these massive bills because they are not conducive to thorough and transparent study, yet now, they have introduced just such a bill. I challenge any Liberal member to tell me to my face that there was no time allocation, something the Liberals strongly criticized back then.
    Today, with this first budget implementation bill, this government is showing what the next four years will look like. It seems to have no remorse for breaking its promises. I am thinking of promises such as reducing the tax from 11% to 9%. The government swore that it would reduce the small business tax. That is not the only broken promise. It also said that it would fix Parliament so that it could do what it should do: analyze legislation and even help the government address deficiencies in these bills. Obviously, the government has its own idea of how things should be, but it may miss some things.
    We do not expect the Liberals to accept or adopt all the recommendations or amendments that we propose, but we do expect them to listen carefully, to be able to realize that they may have been wrong or they may have forgotten something and, ultimately, to make changes.
    I mentioned three parliamentary secretaries. I have other examples of Liberal members who, in the previous Parliament, said similar things. I think it is a huge shame that the government is acting in a way that it does not even seem to regret or repudiate.
    If the government wants to change its tune and introduce omnibus bills to get legislation passed faster, like the Conservatives did, will it at least own that?

  (1700)  

    Whenever we bring up certain incidents, the government, in defiance of truth and logic, denies them.
    Earlier, in response to a question about cutting small business taxes from 11% to 9%, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance asked why the government should keep that promise seeing as it kept others. He did not even attempt to answer the question.
    He said that nine million Canadians will benefit from the tax cut, but he left out the part about how it will do nothing for 18 million Canadians.
    He talked about the Canada child tax benefit even though the question was about small businesses. That benefit does not have much to do with investing in businesses, particularly if the owners of those businesses do not have children.

[English]

     There is a group mentality, that this is the Liberals' theme and they can do no wrong. That despite what they said during the last electoral campaign, they are in government and totally justified in doing whatever they want, and that the opposition cannot say a word, especially with a majority government. I see some heads shaking no. This was the Liberal Party's thinking in the last Parliament when it was the third party, and now it is no longer good.
    When we sit in Parliament, we represent all Canadians. I am proud to represent my riding. How can I go back to my riding and say that all the shiny promises that Parliament will work better and that committees will actually be able to do the work that they are supposed to be doing are no longer any good? I cannot, in good conscience, say that the government is respecting its promises.
    The government boasts about all the nice measures in the budget. There are some interesting measures that New Democrats are glad the government is implementing, such as the elimination of the GST on feminine hygiene products, which is something we fought for in the last Parliament. There are some interesting measures, but there are some measures that would have deserved significant study and were not. We are in breach of our responsibilities in this Parliament.
    Can any MP in the House explain to me what the 25 pages on bank bail-in provisions actually mean or will entail? I suspect not. Can any Liberal MPs in the House explain to me the mechanisms of the changes in compensation for veterans? Some questions have been asked on that specific point because it is not clear to everyone. It is not clear that it will actually achieve what the Liberal government says it will achieve.
    Can anyone explain to me what formula was used to define the 12 regions that will have access to the extension of EI benefits? Before voting yes or no, members should think about what they know in this budget bill. If they do not know a lot, then I suspect members are victims of the group theme mentality of their team telling them to vote in this way or vote blindly, and trusting their team.
    In the end, I expect and forecast that there will be some disappointments on the Liberal side. There will be some disappointments because more and more, maybe not right now, maybe not in two months, maybe not next year, people will eventually realize where the government has respected its promises and where it has broken them.
    We have seen that this type of attitude toward the fundamental duties that opposition members have in committee and in the House has led to an atmosphere of mistrust, which led to the very tense situation that we witnessed a few weeks ago.
    New Democrats are happy that there has been some co-operation on some of the files; namely, the committee on electoral reform, but that cannot be the only instance where there will be such co-operation. We need to work together and ensure that committees will be able to fulfill their duties of examining government bills and keeping government to account. We have not seen that in committee.

  (1705)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat disappointed with the general approach the member has chosen to criticize the government. I would invite him to go to a university, whether in Winnipeg or in Ottawa. I would love opportunity to debate the member on many of the assertions he has made.
     This government has in fact been very open and transparent with respect to accountability. Most of the things the member has said are meant to mislead the viewers into something that is just not true. I understand the member might have a difficult time voting against a budget that is very progressive in its nature, and which delivers for our seniors and young people, for Canada's infrastructure, and for our middle class. This is a progressive budget that will have a very positive impact on Canadians.
    It appears that the member's only justification is the issue of time allocation. I will debate the issue of time allocation with this member anywhere in Ottawa or Winnipeg, and possibly, if I can make arrangements, in his own riding. The NDP members need to refocus their attention on what we are debating, which is this budget.
    This is a progressive budget. Why does the member feel the NDP cannot support and vote for a progressive budget, one that has been more progressive than we have seen in the last decade plus? How does he justify that to his constituents?
    Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to remind the member for Winnipeg North that we have a university in Rimouski. Therefore, he could come there and debate me. I would be more than happy to go to Winnipeg to do it as well.
     What is quite interesting is that rather than giving us facts, he is replying with talking points. I stated the facts. It is a 179-page budget with over 30 laws that are either being added, amended or eliminated. We had two committee meetings with witnesses out of six committee meetings. We had 17 witnesses for 179 pages of legislation. We had time allocation, which the Liberals actually denounced at the last election.
     Therefore, the Liberals cannot say that this bill has been fully debated in the House. It has not been fully debated in the House. It has not been fully debated in committee. The government is actually breaking any promise with respect to transparency. Transparency is not just showing us bill and saying that we can read it, that this is what they are offering us. It is also about having the time to go through very technical details to ensure that everything is right, that there are no perverse effects, and that there is no negative impacts with respect to what we vote on. This is the way the Liberals have presented this. The way they have forced us to work in committee makes us derelict of our duty of examining it carefully and clearly.

  (1710)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech, which was very interesting and instructive as usual.
    The Conservative Party and the NDP are worlds apart, but we must admit that sometimes we have the same vision and we think alike. For example, in the last election campaign, during the debate on refugees, the current ruling party said that Canada had to welcome 25,000 refugees by Christmas. That made no sense. The NDP said that it made no sense. We said that it made no sense. In actuality, it made no sense. Therefore, our party and the NDP were in agreement.
    When it came time to debate public finances, we said that a deficit made no sense. The NDP, which is on the far left, said that it made no sense. The Liberal party said that it would ring up a $10-billion deficit, which turned into a $30-billion deficit.
    My question for the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques is the following: why, as a left-leaning progressive, does he believe that a deficit is a bad thing for the Canadian economy?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague form Louis-Saint-Laurent for his question.
    I want to respond to what he said about refugees, because it is also important. It is an excellent example. The NDP was the first to talk about the need to welcome between 10,000 and 15,000 government-sponsored refugees. The Liberals promised to welcome 25,000. We regarded that as a bit of one-upmanship during the election campaign. They are claiming that they kept their promise in that regard, but I would remind the House that they said those 25,000 refugees would be government sponsored. We are now dealing with 25,000 privately sponsored refugees. This means they did not keep their promise, but at least we are helping refugees, which is good. The fact is, their commitments were unrealistic from the beginning.
    I am an economist by training. I realize that a deficit can be a good thing. It all depends how the deficit is used. There is no denying that one of the Liberal Party election promises was to have a $10-billion deficit the first year, an $8-billion deficit the second year, and a $5-billion deficit the third year; in the fourth year, we would magically have a balanced budget.
    We asked repeatedly during the election campaign how the Liberals were going to balance the budget, but we never got an answer. Now we are in a completely different situation, because now we have no idea when we will return to a balanced budget. The government seems to be improvising on this issue, which is extremely unfortunate.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the eloquence and the depth of the member's speech on the budget.
     The member for Winnipeg North said just a few minutes ago that it was a progressive budget. We look at some of the things the Conservatives did, like stripping the Canadian Wheat Board. The Liberals said that they would not do when they campaigned last year, which seems like a long time ago. However, in the budget, the Liberals are enabling the Conservatives' stripping away of the Canadian Wheat Board and a whole host of other measures, and not just the omnibus nature and the closure the government has brought in. The government mimics all the bad practices that we saw under Conservative government for 10 years. Canadians wanted a change, but they are getting very much more of the same.
    The budget would not address some of the major concerns. As we know, the debt load of the average Canadian family, which was at record levels under the Conservatives, has now gone up under the Liberals. The first eight months have been disastrous. The average Canadian family now is carrying a larger debt load. We have seen an erosion, even worse than the Conservatives, in manufacturing jobs, good-quality jobs.
    I would like my colleague to comment on how the Liberal economic policy seems so close to the Conservative economic policies. The result for the average Canadian family is higher debt load, lower income, and of fewer job prospects.

  (1715)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.
    We are indeed seeing similarities in the Liberal government's practices, in how this bill was studied, and in other measures that have been brought forward as well.
    I was thinking about another Liberal promise, the one to reinstate the tax credit for labour-sponsored funds immediately after the election. They did indeed reinstate it in this budget bill, but only effective next year and after lowering it to 5%.
    The way the Liberals are currently operating, they might end up being just like the Conservative government. Hon. members will recall that in the 1990s, despite the promises made in one of the most progressive platforms I had seen at the time, the Liberal Party's 1993 red book, the government spent 10 years adopting a series of measures that truly went against what they promised they would do. This eventually led to extremely significant cuts in the name of achieving a balanced budget.
    We hope that all these promises are going to work for the Canadian economy. If they do not work, we are going to end up with a very large deficit, few results, and a call for a return to balanced budgets that could undermine the economy, a bit like what the Conservatives did between 2006 and 2015, and specifically in 2009.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the member for Labrador.
    I am happy to rise today in the House to speak again to the 2016 federal budget, Bill C-15.
     During the 2015 federal election, I was an unelected candidate, I was consistently down 10 points in the polls, I had to trust my party's platform. My party's platform was my road map and I came to know my road map very well. I came to trust it, I sought to inspire that same trust from the people of Saint John—Rothesay.
    I told my constituents that a Liberal government would tackle head-on the generational poverty that was gripping Saint John through the enhanced child benefit that would lift 300,000 children out of poverty. I told my constituents that a Liberal government would make investments in affordable housing. I told my constituents that we would increase funding for skills training and social enterprises, finding innovative ways of teaching people who needed the skills to succeed. I said that we would provide better support than previous governments for community-based initiatives like the Saint John community loan fund and the Saint John learning exchange.
    I told my constituents that the Liberal Party would take social development seriously and provide better support to the excellent work done by people like Randy Hatfield at the Human Development Council, and provide better resources for the homeless through our local women's shelter Coverdale, our men's shelter Outflow, and our youth shelter Safe Harbour, which after some tough times I hope will be reopening very soon.
    I told my constituents that the Liberal Party would make historic investments in necessary and overdue infrastructure upgrades, such as Rothesay waste water, as a long-term plan to grow our economy.
    I told my constituents that a Liberal government would support major upgrades to economic drivers such as the port of Saint John and the Saint John City Market.
    I told my constituents that a Liberal government would cut income taxes for nine million Canadians as a way of strengthening the middle class and putting money in the pockets to those who spend and those who drive our economy.
    I told my constituents that a Liberal government would do more for seniors than previous governments, especially the past government opposite. We would increase the GIS by 10% for seniors living in poverty.
     I told my constituents that a Liberal government would invest in social infrastructure such as tourist sites like Carleton Martello Tower and recreation facilities like the Saint John field house and the Rothesay Arena.
    I told my constituents all these things. Our party platform was my road map and that map did not steer me or the Liberal Party wrong. That map steered me and my constituents toward a new government, a government that rather than cynically catering to a small strategic base, that made and followed a plan that looked out for all Canadians.
     Good government governs for the many, not the few, no matter who they are or what party colours they fly. We govern for the homeless, the middle class, veterans, disabled, rich, indigenous, ill. Everyone ended up in a better place because of this map, our party platform of 2015.
    How can I prove this? Let us talk about the budget Bill C-15. This budget was endorsed and accepted by the majority of Canadians. Even critics are forced to fall silent when the real judges, the Canadian people, weigh in. The budget has been a resounding success with Canadians. Everything I told my constituents has either been delivered or the way has been paved for delivery in future years and in future budgets of this government's mandate.
    With its first budget, the Liberal government delivered on its plan to tackle poverty head-on. I come from Saint John—Rothesay. I am so proud of my riding, but my riding leads the country in child poverty. Our Canada child benefit is transformational. It is a historic, $23 billion investment in Canadians and, most important, Canadians who need it the most. This program will help more Canadian families than any other social program since universal health care.

  (1720)  

    I am excited about July, and not only because of Canada Day, not only because of summer, which is my favourite season. I am excited this year for the new Canada child benefit and what it will do for disadvantaged people in my riding of Saint John—Rothesay.
     Nine out of 10 families will get more help than they do under existing programs. A single mother with one child under the age of six and earning $30,000 a year will receive an annual benefit of $6,400 a year, tax free. Coming from a city with the highest rate of child poverty in Canada, I cannot express how happy I am for the priority wards in Saint John, such as ward 3 where one out of every two children live in poverty, 50%. That is a higher rate of poverty than is experienced by people in many developing countries. This cannot be allowed to continue, and I am proud to be a part of this historic change.
    Coupled with our local poverty reduction strategy, I am proud to say that we are finally set to change things for the better in the priority wards of my riding.
    It takes an important shift in social policy to move the needle on poverty. I believe this is a historic investment in Canadians, and we will finally move the needle in Saint John—Rothesay. I look forward to seeing how many children we can lift out of poverty across our great nation. This act, the Canada child benefit, is transformational and will make us a greater country.
    Also, $112 million will be given to anti-homelessness initiatives across the country, which is good news for our local shelters and our programs. We would love to see what the very successful At Home-Chez Soi program, which helps homeless participants get off the street and into a stable home, can do for those experiencing homelessness in Saint John. We would love to see increased funding to Outflow and Coverdale, our men's and women's homeless shelters, to continue every day to do their excellent work in our community, helping those who need help. We need to give these community leaders all the help we can.
    One thing both our men's and women's homeless shelters desperately need is transition housing. This is a crucial step in the process of getting Canadians off the street and into stable homes. Transition housing makes it so that those people who are getting back on their feet can move out of the shelter and into their own room.
    As a government, we need to look after all of our people, not just the ones who we think will vote for us.
    With this budget, the Liberal government is delivering on infrastructure. This year we will invest $11.9 billion to modernize and rehabilitate public transit, water and waste-water systems, provide affordable housing, and protect infrastructure systems from the effects of climate change.
    This is good news for my riding of Saint John—Rothesay. In Saint John, we have 1,400 people on the waiting list for affordable housing, and we have many projects that are shovel ready. This budget is good news for them. Rothesay waste water has applied for necessary funding, along with the Saint John field house. Both projects make a strong case, and I am confident they will move forward.
    The Liberal government is also investing $3.4 billion over five years to maintain our national parks, harbours, federal airports, and border infrastructure, and to support the cleanup of federal contaminated sites across the country.
    There has been great news recently for Carleton Martello Tower, the first line of defence in guarding Saint John since 1813. Parks Canada has undertaken a massive restoration of one of Canada's most significant historical fortifications. It is the oldest structure in our city. This funding is also great news for Partridge Island, an important and neglected historical site on federal land.
    I told my constituents that a Liberal government would implement a middle-class tax cut from 22% to 20.5%. We were able to do this even before the first budget. A strong economy needs a strong middle class.
     Seniors make up a large percentage of our population in Saint John—Rothesay. We will help the most vulnerable seniors by increasing the guaranteed income supplement for single seniors by up to $947 annually.

  (1725)  

    In our election campaign, we promised real change. I am proud to stand here today speaking to my constituents, speaking to all Canadians. I am proud to stand here and say that my road map, our party platform of 2015, was a success. I am proud of our government. I am proud of the budget we delivered. It is progressive. It is innovative. It will be a change for our country for the better.
    Mr. Speaker, I enjoy working with my friend from Saint John—Rothesay on committee. I appreciate his contribution there.
    I listened very carefully and the member spoke about campaigning door to door and how he expressed to his constituents the faith that he has in his party and his party's platform. I wonder what the member is going to do when he runs for re-election and he has to go back to those same voters and explain to them how his government introduced a budget that contained a litany of broken promises on everything from lowering the tax rate for small business, to limiting a $10-billion deficit, to returning to a balanced budget within its mandate. There is a litany of broken promises here that have compromised the credibility of anybody who went door to door with that platform and delivered this budget.
    Would the member care to comment?
    Mr. Speaker, I too have enjoyed getting to know my friend opposite and working with him on our committee.
    Going door to door in Saint John—Rothesay was an eye opener for me. Although members opposite talk about fiscal prudence and how they were the stewards of the economy, what was resoundingly clear to me was that those living in poverty, those living in need, the middle class, our veterans, were forgotten by the previous government. It is one thing to preach austerity and balanced budgets, but not on the backs of middle class Canadians or those in need. Those in need were forgotten by the party opposite when it was in government. Canadians spoke loud and clear on October 19 and changed the government.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, I think that every single candidate in the country talked about the middle class. The vast majority of my constituents were happy to be heard and to see that something would be done for them.
    How can we reconcile that with the tax cuts that will not benefit six out of 10 Canadians? People who earn $200,000 and over will be the ones who benefit the most. I am sick of hearing about the middle class, when the government has no respect for the middle class. Furthermore, the government is telling the six out of 10 people who will not have access to the tax cut to wait, since there is also the Canada child benefit.
    Does someone absolutely have to have children to be part of the middle class? Can the member recognize that the choice to have a family and the desire to be part of the middle class are two completely different things?

  (1730)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in all transparency, that is a little rich coming from the NDP member opposite. Those members ran in the election on balanced budgets and on austerity. Everybody across this country, including the PBO, thought their platform was so full of holes it was Swiss cheese.
    The NDP cannot have it both ways. Those members cannot stand up and say we forgot this and we did not spend enough on that, when they themselves ran on austerity and a balanced budget. Canadians saw right through that.
    I am proud of our budget. There are cuts in it for the middle class. There are programs and funding for those who need it, people living in poverty, through the Canada child benefit. I stand proud today to endorse our budget and most Canadians do also.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the eloquent, passionate speech that he made and for the tireless efforts he puts in representing his constituents of Saint John—Rothesay.
    I could not agree more with his statements as far as the efforts that our budget is putting forward to create growth, to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty with the Canada child benefit, to invest in social infrastructure, and to provide a tax cut that would benefit the middle class.
    Could the hon. member tell me how he sees the Canada child benefit specifically benefiting his riding of Saint John—Rothesay?
    Mr. Speaker, one thing that was resoundingly clear as I went door to door during the election campaign was that those living in poverty, especially, felt forgotten. I remember one lady in Crescent Valley who asked why someone making $150,000 a year should get the same cheque that she got making $20,000 a year.
    The Canada child benefit will be better for nine out of 10 Canadian families. It would put money back in the pockets of those who desperately need it. It would lift 300,000-plus children out of poverty. Movement on poverty will happen by national initiatives, and the Canada child benefit is a transformational program for our country.
    Mr. Speaker, I have listened very attentively to colleagues who have spoken in the House, and I want to thank my colleague from Saint John—Rothesay, who is sharing his time with me today, for his speech. He is one of our colleagues who has continued to champion many issues, and certainly the issue of poverty, which he speaks very passionately about.
    I also listened attentively to members on the other side. Let me say that I was somewhat disappointed by my colleague from the NDP, the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques. I found the condescending way he spoke somewhat offensive, because to indicate that members on the government side would not be attentive to bills and legislation and fully informed about what we are debating in this House is offensive to all of us as hon. members.
    I was very proud of my colleague from Winnipeg Centre, who has offered to have that debate and to do so in Winnipeg. I hope that will happen, because I think it is important to have the facts before the public and real information people can understand.
    I want to speak to a few of the things raised here today. First, we talked about transparency and accountability. Our government has led the way on transparency. In fact, we led the way on transparency when we were the third party in the House of Commons. We were among the first MPs in the House of Commons to make transparent a lot of the financial investments we were making within our ridings. New Democrats were one of the groups that did not want to make transparent many of their finances at that time. Members need to be reminded of who started the trend toward transparency and who continues to build and lead on transparency, reform, change, and accountability in the House of Commons. Not only that, we are leading on change and on reform in terms of how we deal with Canadians. I think that has been obvious.
    Our government listens to Canadians and understands Canadians and is working hard to meet the goals and objectives they have laid out for us.
    I can say for certain that we have responded to great needs in this country in this budget, needs that have been left behind for a very long time. When I hear the former government members speak, I am only reminded of how history continues to try to rewrite itself.
    The facts also speak for themselves. We live in a country where, under the former government, many people were left behind. A lot of those people left behind were the very people who sent me here to represent them. That is what I will do.
     I am very proud of the budget we have laid out for Canadians, because it not only responds to those who are the loudest or those who may be the most affluent, it responds to the needs of all Canadians, even those who have been left behind and left in poverty.
     It responds to the needs of first Canadians, our indigenous peoples. I can read off a whole list of stats with regard to Inuit people, of which I am a descendant. They show that 39% of them live in crowded homes. We have a budget this year, for the first time, that invests in housing for Inuit people. I say to members opposite that they may want to stand in this place and vote against that, but I certainly will not be standing in this place and voting against it, not with those statistics. Compare that with 4% of Canadians who live in crowded housing. It is quite substantially different. However, we do not want anyone in this country living in unsubstantial situations, and that is why we are investing in all aspects.
    Let us look at the fact that the unemployment rate for Inuit people in this country is 45%, as opposed to other sectors.

  (1735)  

    That did not get created in the last seven months, I want to remind hon. members. Those are gaps that had been left there because former governments and members did not address those gaps. These are investments that we have made, putting more money into the assets program and ensuring better targets for employment of people who are left behind. Again, I will continue to say that we are living up to our commitment, and yes we are. We are living up to the commitment and the promises that we have made to Canadians. We have a full mandate to fulfill those promises and commitments, and I can say that this government will do so over the course of that time.
    In the last seven months, I have seen a transformation in this country that I have not seen in the last 10 years. I have seen a government that has responded to the very basic needs for infrastructure across communities in this country. Who in this House of Commons wants to vote against that? I have seen the government make historic investments in indigenous communities. I challenge people to stand and vote against that. I have seen this government invest millions more in student jobs. Even in my own riding, this year, I am seeing record numbers of summer jobs, more than I ever have. I am seeing more investments in summer jobs going to both indigenous and non-indigenous communities.
    When I look at this budget, I am not only seeing the targets to the middle class and how we are helping raise people up and helping people rise up out of poverty. I am seeing new investments for the first time in our country in housing for northern regions and Inuit people. I am seeing infrastructure investments in highways, transit, and schools, which we have not had for a long time. People cannot forget that we are not going to fix in seven months what was created in decades. However, we are making the greatest attempt to do so and to honour our commitment to the people of this country.
    I can say that when I stand to vote on this budget, I will be standing to vote very proudly. For the first time in many years that I have been lobbying, fighting, representing, and challenging governments to do more for people in rural and northern Canada, I am finally seeing some real action. Even more than that, I am seeing action for all my colleagues as well, who come here to lobby hard for the people who sent them, who talk about the growing numbers in the cities across our country and the need for new transit, infrastructure, and co-op housing, and other housing programs. I must say I am very happy to see the investments that are going in those directions.
    On the child benefit program, the feedback I have been getting from people in our province of Newfoundland and Labrador is amazing. They like the new child benefit program. It is putting more money into their families and into their pockets. Despite what everyone on the other side may be saying or thinking, they can just read through the comments I get. I am amazed. “I have gained this amount of money”; “My family has gained this amount of money”. Those are the real facts and where we are seeing the real transitions that are being made.
    Many people would love to rewrite history. They would love to rewrite the fact that they did not support investments. The New Democrats and the Conservatives campaigned on balancing the budget, and my challenge to them today would be this. Which of those investments would they cut? Would they stop trying to help children out of poverty in this country? Would they cut record and historic funding to indigenous people in this country? Would they not address the problems with transit and overcrowding in our cities? I would challenge the members to tell me today which pieces of this budget in infrastructure and spending and social and economic development they would not support. If Canadians had voted in their direction, they would not be seeing this change, they would not see the investments that are going into their communities.
    Again, when one continues to do the same thing, one gets the same result. We are doing things differently, and we are getting a better result.

  (1740)  

    Mr. Speaker, I was just riveted hearing about all of the programs and everything. However, I find missing from the budget the $3.4 billion for palliative care that was in the election plan. Palliative care was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of the Liberal platform.
    I wonder if the member would inform us as to where that money is coming from, why it was not in the budget, and why they broke their promise to Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, palliative care is one of the priorities for our government. We have continued to talk about it. We are doing the work we need to do to build a better system of palliative care around the country. The Minister of Health has discussed this with a number of regional health authorities and other Canadians, as well as her colleagues. We are going to continue to move forward with this.
    What I would say to the member opposite is that in seven months, we have already moved the dial immensely, in terms of the service that we are able to provide to Canadians and the discussion that we have had around palliative care. We have not taken 10 years to talk about it, with no action.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague across for her passionate speech. She mentioned being different and doing things differently. If by that she means breaking promises to Canadians, then I am quite proud to not be different and to not be going down that road.
    One of the promises that has been broken in this budget to Canadians is the promise that was made to small business. Small business was promised a cut. We know that without this cut, small businesses will be desperately hurt. We are looking at over $2.2 billion over the next years. It could lead to job losses of 1,240 jobs.
    How can the member defend the government's position on breaking a promise to small business?

  (1745)  

     Mr. Speaker, we have been able to invest for small business in many ways throughout the budget. In fact, the more we spend on infrastructure, the more it benefits small businesses. The more we invest in industries like tourism, forestry, and mining, all of these small businesses that supply these sectors in the communities and regions across the country are benefiting. The more money we put into employment and training programs to help people who work in small business, the more it is helping them.
    I say to the member opposite, there are many facets of the budget that are going to enhance, improve, and build up small businesses in this country. We are committed to small business. We believe it is an important and sustainable piece in our economy. We are going to keep working with them so that they can build and enhance their businesses in the way they need to.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, first I would like to commend my colleague on her speech and her sensitivity toward the most disadvantaged members of our society. It is very commendable.
    I would like to ask her a question in that regard, more specifically regarding the health care and social services available to the less fortunate. When I am out and about and run into people from my riding and elsewhere in Quebec, that is what they talk to me about. The health care and social services available, particularly to the less fortunate, are no longer up to snuff, both in terms of quality and quantity. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that the federal government is providing less and less funding for these services every year. I expected the budget and Bill C-15 to include increased transfers for these services, but I did not see anything like that.
    Why did the government not at least undo the most recent cuts made by the Conservatives?

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, we certainly realize, understand, and support the need for further social equity investment across Canada, especially in programs around health and health care and in the area of mental health. Those are all areas that are being looked at by the government. There have been extensive discussions among the provinces and territories, something that has not occurred for a long time. They are anxious to work with the federal government to ensure that we can improve health care programs for all Canadians, and we are eager to work with them to make sure that we get those outcomes.
    Before we go to resuming debate and the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London, I will let her know that there are only about six and a half minutes remaining in the time provided for government orders at this point in the afternoon, but we will get started and I will give her the usual indication when her time gets near the end. Of course, she will have the remaining time when the House next resumes debate on the bill.
    The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand to discuss Bill C-15 today, an act to amend certain provisions of the budget. Today, I would like to discuss two different issues. One thing I will be discussing is old age security and what I think we should be looking at. It is great to join in those kinds of conversations.
    As I said, I will be discussing things that are important to Canadians, seniors and youth. I will begin with changes to old age security and eligibility being reversed from 67 back down to 65.
    In March 2016, the Prime Minister made the announcement in the United States that the government was going to do this. When the Conservative government made the changes in 2012, it was taking a very complex issue and putting forward a very simple solution. The Prime Minister has now put forward a very simple solution to a very complex issue just by reversing it. These are considerations that we have to look at.
    We see countries like the United States, Denmark, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and a variety of other countries in the industrialized world that have made these increases to age eligibility, and there are many factors in doing so. Last week, I joined the discussion in the House with the Minister of Finance about old age security and I was looking for answers. Unfortunately, I did not find them, so I am hoping that today I can find some of the answers as we go forward.
    I want to point out some of the facts. When we talk about old age security, we have to look at why it came into existence and how it has moved along.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time.
    Back in the 1960s, when old age security was put forward, it was because the government saw that approximately 40% of seniors were living in poverty. At the time the change was made and the age went from 70 down to 65, there were approximately six workers for every one senior. Today, that ratio has changed to four workers for every senior, and in 20 years, there will be two workers for every senior receiving old age security.
    To me or anybody who can do simple math, that is extremely problematic. In a simple pie chart, we can see that if half the group is working and the other half of the group is not working, who is going to be paying for the other half? We have to be aware of those things.
    When I come to the House, I come with years of experience from working in a constituency office. Many people believe that they pay into and invest in old age security. We have to remind ourselves that old age security is derived from taxes for that year. It is not money that people put into it, like the Canada pension plan or RRSPs, or even pensions at work. Therefore, we must be aware of that when we are having these discussions.
    If we look back to when the changes were made to old age security in the 1960s, the life expectancy for men was about 14 years above retirement age. In the 2011 to 2016 period, our life expectancy has grown. For males, it is 21 years above retirement age and for females, it is 25 years above retirement age. Just in those few decades, we see people living seven years longer and receiving old age security.
    This is a big transition and we must recognize that there have been many changes since the 1960s, including the removal of mandatory retirement. If one person out of four is retired now, we must recognize that old age security is going to be drawn on very heavily and will be for a much longer of period of time if people are living longer. In 2011, old age security was an expense to the Government of Canada of approximately $38 billion. In 2030, it is going to be $108 billion.
    Let us look at two workers per pensioner. I welcome any solutions. The Prime Minister indicated we went back to a simple solution, but just yesterday, the anti-poverty committee came up with some excellent solutions. Even Mr. Shillington, who appeared at the anti-poverty committee yesterday, indicated the proposal for a gradual shift for old age security eligibility to go up to 67, as proposed by the Conservatives, and to move the age of eligibility for GIS back down to 60. Those are things we are going to look at.

  (1750)  

    In talking about a very complex issue, let us not just take such an easy solution as the government has done, reduce the age back down to 65 and say we will be fine and then deal with it in 20 years.
    Another thing I want to discuss when it comes to this is that many women are very unfortunate. Perhaps they are single or widowed, and I recognize that one in three senior women are living in poverty. That is why we need to look at this complex issue and not just have such a simple approach by reversing the decision.
    We must consider that in the future this is truly going to be a greater deficit, with more and more spending, and those middle class families the government says it is going to help are going to be stuck footing the bill when we have not looked at any long-term solutions.
    Therefore, I urge the government to look at solutions. We cannot just have short-term solutions. We need to have long-term solutions as well. Those are some of the concerns I have.
    One of my biggest concerns is the deficit. We talk about the middle class. This middle class is going to have more deficit and more debt than we can even imagine with all the spending we have here.
     I see you would like me to stop, Mr. Speaker.

  (1755)  

    The hon. member will have an additional three and a half minutes for her comments when the House next returns to debate on the question.
    It being 5:54 p.m., the House will proceed to the consideration of private member's business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

National Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias Act

    The House resumed from May 4 consideration of the motion that Bill C-233, An Act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House in support of Bill C-233.
    The bill calls for the development and implementation of a national strategy for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. We need to develop and implement concrete plans and actions to address the needs of those suffering from these diseases. As well, we need strategies to support those who care for family members and friends who are living with and struggling with these diseases.
    It is a staggering number, with almost 750,000 Canadians living with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Of that, 72% are women. Equally concerning is that 70% of the caregivers are also women. My mother was one of the 72% and I was one of the 70%.
    I can personally say that my journey with my mother was an extremely difficult one, especially because she lived in Alberta and I lived in British Columbia. Initially, she refused to believe that she had Alzheimer's, but knew that something was wrong.
     She like many others are often afraid to confront the disease. She found ways to mask the daily symptoms, wanting to give the impression to her loved ones that everything was okay. It became very problematic because my mother was a diabetic and she could not remember how much insulin she was giving herself or if she had taken any at all.
     As the caregiver, trying to navigate the medical system in another province was simply a nightmare. I tried to get her transferred from Alberta to B.C., but I had no other choice, no other alternative, than to take her from her home and into the emergency department where I knew the hospital system would keep her safe. That was in the month of September. By November, she was placed in a facility, and by April she had died.
    During that time, I flew to Alberta every few weeks to see her for a few days. However, during those times, I came to realize that there was no standardized care, nor a full understanding of Alzheimer's or dementia at staff levels.
    When she fell and broke her collarbone, they waited two days to get her to the hospital for X-rays. The nurses and caregivers would ask her if she was in pain, and she would say no because she did not remember falling. She did not remember breaking her collarbone, so they gave her nothing. A broken collarbone and no pain medication.
    I can list hundreds of times when they asked questions about her well-being and they took the answers to be the truth. The only problem was that she had Alzheimer's and did not know who these people were nor why they were asking her those questions. When I came to visit, she always wanted me to stay with her because she knew me and I was her sense of security and comfort.
    I tell this story because of the many others across this country where loved ones are suffering with this terrible disease. We need a strong national strategy because of the 750,000 Canadians who are currently suffering, but also for those yet to come.
    Early detection, research, collaboration, and partnerships remain key to early diagnosis and treatment, and to ultimately finding a cure.
    Research is currently underway in my community between the Simon Fraser University and an incredible partnership with the Sagol Neuroscience Center at Sheba Medical Center in Israel to identify the correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer's. As this begins to be proven out, one can only imagine the impact of Alzheimer's and dementia on those suffering from diabetes.

  (1800)  

    We need to be ahead of the curve. We need to put measures in place to assist those who are potentially at risk. There is excellent research being done currently right across the country, but a national strategy will bring all of those pieces together to ensure a solid plan is in place.
    I have walked down this road with my mother. I have seen and experienced significant gaps within the system. I have lost my mother to a terrible disease that many do not fully understand.
    This is the first step of many more to follow, and I am proud to give my support to Bill C-233 today.
    Mr. Speaker, I too am pleased to rise today to speak in support of Bill C-233, an act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
    Just like the member of Parliament for South Surrey—White Rock, I was in a similar situation. I was not the caregiver, but my parents were the caregivers to my beloved grandma, my beloved nonna. As was eloquently, passionately, and poignantly pointed out by the member for South Surrey—White Rock, there are 750,000 people suffering from all types of dementia. As the proposed act properly states, it is Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Our family's situation was a bit different from that of the member for South Surrey—White Rock. My parents were able to give everything up and basically they became the caregivers. I would try to get home as much as I could to see a bittersweet situation. I always referred to my grandmother as Nonna Me, because as a little boy I was unable to say her name, Domenica. I saw first-hand where my grandma became a child. My mother and father had the resources and the time to stay home. My aunts and uncles also had the time to take care of my nonna.
    However, a lot of folks are not blessed. We have many situations throughout Canada of different family dynamics and situations from coast to coast to coast, and that is why I am very pleased to rise today in full support of Bill C-233.
    I am also very pleased to note that this bill has bipartisan support. I listened to the eloquent and passionate presentation by my colleague from South Surrey—White Rock and also to the member of Parliament for Niagara Falls who put forth this piece of legislation; as well as to my colleague, the member of Parliament for Richmond Centre. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health also spoke eloquently as did the co-sponsor, the member of Parliament for Don Valley West and the member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway.
     As well, I believe the member of Parliament for Abitibi—Témiscamingue spoke eloquently about not the exact bill but a similar bill put forth by the former NDP member of Parliament, Claude Gravelle, back in 2012. While not exactly the same approach, it was a similar bill to deal with a national strategy on dementia. We need a national strategy on dementia because Canada is big.
     As others have done, I will talk about the elements of the bill. After 180 days, the Minister of Health would put forth a conference, bringing experts from all the provinces and territories, from all the stakeholders and people. There would be an advisory board of no more than 15 folks from different sectors of Canadian society who would advise. As well, every two years the minister would report to Parliament on the approach and the success of the national strategy.
    There are big buzz phrases such best practices and evidence-based. Ultimately, what this means is that the Parliament of Canada would work with the provinces and also with the levels of government closer to the people: the municipalities, health boards, and universities.

  (1805)  

    Kwantlen College in my riding of Steveston—Richmond East is also doing research. Yes, we need a national strategy to deal with the folks who are suffering from a horrific disease. I saw that with my nonna, my grandmother. We also have to figure it out. Dementia or Alzheimer's should not be part of the natural process of aging. It does not have to be that way. It will be tough. It will require the investment and the research. I am not a scientist but it requires research with respect to how the brain works and how everything is connected.
     This strategy would do that. It is the first step, but it is a very important step. I urge all members of the House to fully support the bill.
    Mr. Speaker, last month, I joined my community in Nanaimo on the walk for Alzheimer's where our community walked in support of Alzheimer's patients and their families.
    The honoree this year was the late Dale Horn. She was born in 1933 in Australia and she came to Canada at the age of 24. She was such a strong part of Nanaimo's community boards and the life of its community spirit.
    At this Alzheimer's walk a month ago, her son, John Horn, honoured her at the walk for all the hundreds of participants ready to get started, saying: “Dale was a fantastic companion, fully engaged, witty and keenly observant. She drew you in and made you feel lucky to be included in her world.” With “a steely resolve and genuine grit,” Dale was unfazed by her disease, said John. “When affected by Alzheimer's, she insisted on helping others with the disease. She retained a wicked sense of humour and immense grace, right up to the end of her life.”
    This year's Nanaimo Alzheimer's walk raised $18,000. This is to promote critical research to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's, but also to provide services for those living with, or assisting with Alzheimer's. This is really to ease the personal circumstances that exist for the people suffering and for their families every day.
    It is in that spirit that I am pleased to stand and speak today in favour of the bill at hand and to speak about Canada's responsibility to improve care for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffering from dementia, and to give better support to their families and caregivers.
    Bill C-233, which calls for the development and implementation of a national and comprehensive strategy to improve health care delivered to persons suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia is something we can and should all support. Canada has fallen behind other countries such as the United States, the U.K., Norway, France, the Netherlands, and Australia. All of these countries have coordinated national dementia plans in place already.
    Past president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Chris Simpson, spoke to this when he said:
     We have the dubious distinction of being one of the few G8 countries without a national dementia strategy. Meanwhile, our acute care hospitals are overflowing with patients awaiting long term care placement and our long-term care facilities are understaffed, underspaced and underequipped to care for our most vulnerable seniors. This leaves patients and their families in limbo, struggling to fill these gaps in our system.
    He also said:
     The reason your father has to wait nine months for a hip replacement is that the beds are being used by dementia patients.... That is the single biggest reason why elective surgery wait times are so long.
    Now, it was the NDP that first introduced a proposal to the House to create a national strategy for dementia. In 2012, former NDP MP Claude Gravelle introduced Bill C-356 in Parliament, prescribing a national dementia strategy. Unfortunately, that bill was defeated at second reading a year ago by a single vote. The bill was opposed by a majority of Conservative MPs, Bloc MPs, and, critically as it turned out, a single Liberal MP who failed to stand for the vote. I was watching it on CPAC. It was heartbreaking because it would have made a big difference in our communities.
    Inexplicably, the member for Niagara Falls, the sponsor of the bill before the House today, voted against the national dementia strategy just a year ago. If the House had followed New Democrat leadership in the last Parliament, Canadians would have a national dementia strategy in place right now. Canadians would not have lost precious time, and that is something that is so precious to people suffering from a degenerative illness.
    This has had real human impact. I have heard countless stories in my riding about the impacts of Alzheimer's disease and dementia on my constituents. Many cannot afford quality home care for their parents and it is especially shameful that the Liberals abandoned their election promise to invest $3 billion in home care.
    I have heard stories from personal care workers, nurses, and physicians who report emergency wards overwhelmed with patients, long-term facilities that are understaffed, and long gruelling hours for caregivers. These are very often offering low-pay work in the homes of dementia patients.

  (1810)  

    These stories underscore the need for real leadership in this chamber. So many are affected. Three-quarters of a million Canadians were living with dementia in 2011. That is 15% of Canadian seniors. That might double by 2031. This costs our country $30 billion a year in medical bills and lost productivity. Left unchecked, that number could skyrocket to $300 billion within 25 years.
     As Canada's population ages, we must prepare our health care system and our communities for the inevitable rise in the number of Canadians suffering from dementia.
    To paraphrase Tommy Douglas, the father of medicare and a New Democrat, only through the practise of preventative medicine will we keep health care costs from becoming excessive.
    The need is pressing. The burden for caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's falls primarily on family members. In Canada, family caregivers give millions of unpaid hours each year caring for their parents and family. That is $11 billion in lost income and a quarter million lost full-time equivalent employees from the workforce.
    If nothing changes by 2040, it is estimated that family caregivers in Canada will be spending 1.2 billion unpaid hours per year providing care, and a quarter of family caregivers are seniors themselves.
    Dementia also has a disproportionate impact on women. Women are two and a half times more likely to be providing care. Women themselves represent 62% of dementia cases and 70% of new Alzheimer's cases. That puts them at the epicentre of a growing health care crisis. Also, women are nearly twice as likely to succumb to dementia.
    Another group of vulnerable patients are affected by another bill in the House, and that is the government's physician-assisted dying bill. We keep hearing arguments again and again that people with a dementia diagnosis should have a real choice over how their lives end. The federal government's legislation for assisted dying would not allow Canadians with a dementia diagnosis, while they were still of sound mind, to make an advance request for physician-assisted dying. This puts up an enormous barrier for thousands of Canadians with dementia or other degenerative illness.
    Without the right to make advance requests for assisted dying, Canadians with a dementia diagnosis are faced with what the courts call a cruel choice between ending their lives prematurely or, potentially, suffering immeasurably and unbearably. This is completely unacceptable. To us it looks as if those who most need physician-assisted dying may inexplicably be excluded from it. We remain optimistic that amendments will be made to ameliorate that very serious flaw.
    Let us go back to the national Alzheimer's strategy.
    The New Democrats believe that the bill must be crafted correctly to ensure the best outcome for patients, their families, and their caregivers. While we support Bill C-233, it is less ambitious in its scope and implementation provisions than last year's New Democrat bill.
    We will work constructively at committee stage to bring about meaningful and substantive amendments to strengthen the final version of the bill. Canadians deserve no less than the best national Alzheimer's strategy possible. The New Democrats have a long and proud history of advocating for federal leadership on health care issues.
    In fact, as my colleague, the member for Vancouver Kingsway likes to remind me, we invented it. The New Democrats stood in the House unanimously for a national dementia strategy in 2015. We stand in the House in 2016 and work so every Canadian, every Canadian family, every caregiver, can have a world-class dementia strategy, as the New Democrats have fought for in the last five years.

  (1815)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour to be here as official opposition critic for seniors and to speak to Bill C-233, the national strategy on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
    I would like to begin by thanking, particularly, the member for Niagara Falls for introducing this important bill. The secret to the success of the bill moving forward is his non-partisan approach. This is not an NDP, Liberal government, nor an official opposition Conservative Party issue, it is a Canadian issue on which we need to work together as parliamentarians. It is moving forward because of his non-partisan approach and I congratulate the member for Niagara Falls. He is a well-respected member in this House.
    Bill C-233 provides for the development and implementation of a national strategy for the health care of persons affected with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
    Just to divert for a moment, my understanding of what my NDP colleague said was that people with dementia, with Alzheimer's disease, deserve to have assisted suicide. I hope that is not what she meant because people with dementia already feel bad and they may feel stigmatized.
    They realize that their brain is getting a little fuzzy and they are forgetting. It is frustrating for them and maybe even a little bit embarrassing. We would not want them to think people expect them to take the obvious choice, and we heard that from Dying With Dignity, saying that it would be sensible for persons with dementia, lying in bed in the last years of their life with an adult diaper, to ask for assisted suicide.
    That would not work in Canada. It is not dignified to expect people to leave this world because they are in a state of dementia. We need to show them dignity, show them love and support, and only in the most extreme cases should assisted suicide be considered.
    When someone's pain is intolerable, irremediable, that is what the court said, and in extreme cases, but assisted suicide and euthanasia should not be considered the norm because it is a horrible loss when someone finds themselves in that situation. We should never put this on to people who are suffering with dementia through Alzheimer's disease or any other dementia disease.
    As the seniors critic, I have met with the Alzheimer's Society and many other seniors organizations which are very supportive of this bill. Mimi Lowi-Young, the CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada had this to say about Bill C-233:
     We’re thrilled that parties are working together so soon after the election to address the urgency of dementia. We all need to get behind this bill. We strongly believe that a national dementia strategy that focuses on research, prevention and improved care is the only solution to tackling the devastating impact of this disease. We’re ready to collaborate with our federal, provincial and territorial partners to make this a reality.
    I am really thankful to her and the Alzheimer Society of Canada for supporting Bill C-233. According to the research done by the society, 83% of Canadians have said that they want a national dementia strategy.
    I would like to give a brief summary on the issue of dementia. Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are progressive, degenerative, and eventually fatal. They impair memory, judgment, and the ability to reason, think, and process information. Changes in personality and behaviour also result from dementia.
    Currently, 747,000 Canadians have some form of dementia. This number is expected to nearly double to 1.4 million in my lifetime. Three out of four Canadians, 74%, know someone who is living with dementia. As Canada's population ages, the number of Canadians diagnosed with dementia is expected to double.

  (1820)  

    Research, collaboration, and partnership remain the key to finding a cure. Early diagnosis and support for treatment can lead to positive health outcomes for people with any form of dementia. Early diagnosis also has a positive impact on the family and friends providing care for their loved ones.
    The Government of Canada, in consultation with the ministers responsible for the delivery of health care services in each province and territory, should encourage the development of a national strategy for the care of people living with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
    What is dementia? Dementia is a difficult disease, but it does not define the person who has it. People with dementia are people first. They can lead happy and vital lives for a long time, especially when the right care and support and understanding is in place. Timely diagnosis is very important. It opens the door to treatment and connects people with the disease and their families with helpful resources like the Alzheimer's Society.
    While there is no guarantee, Canadians can reduce their risk of dementia by eating a healthy diet, doing more physical activity, learning and trying new things, staying socially active, quitting smoking, and watching their vitals.
    While dementia is not a part of growing old, age is still the biggest risk factor. After age 65, the risk doubles every five years. Seniors represent the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population. Today, one in six Canadians is a senior. In thirteen very quick years, it will be one in four. That is a major demographic shift. Dementia also occurs in people in their forties and fifties, in their most productive years.
    A good question that needs to be asked, and is asked, is this. What is the impact of dementia on families and the Canadian economy? For every person with dementia, two or more family members will be providing direct care. The progression of dementia varies from person to person. In some cases it can last up to 20 years. Because of its progression, caregivers will eventually provide 24/7 care.
    In 2011, family caregivers spent 444 million hours providing care, representing $11 billion of lost income and about 230,000 full-time jobs. By 2040, caregivers will be providing 1.2 billion hours of care per year.
    Dementia is a costly disease, draining approximately $33 billion per year from our economy. By 2040, it will be very close to $295 billion every year.
    There is a need for a strategy that includes awareness and research.
    It is commonly believed that dementia is a normal part of aging, but it is not. This kind of attitude means too many Canadians are diagnosed too late, and their caregivers seek help when they are in crisis mode. The causes of dementia are still not fully understood. Nor do we have a cure for dementia. Effective treatments are lacking and there is no proven prevention. Dementia can lie dormant in the brain for up to 25 years before the symptoms appear.
    Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for over two-thirds of dementia cases in Canada.
    What would Bill C-233 achieve? It would achieve a national strategy. The minister or delegated officials would work with representatives of the provinces and territories to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to address all aspects of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Within two years of passing the legislation, every year after that the minister must prepare a report on the effectiveness of the national strategy, setting out his or her conclusions. The national objectives need to be given priority. A report will be tabled in the House during the first days of the sitting after the report is complete.
    A number of western countries have a national dementia strategy: the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Finland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia. It is Canada's time to have a national strategy.
     I again want to thank the member for Niagara Falls for bringing this forward. Together, if we work as a Parliament, we can pass the legislation quickly. It is needed in Canada.

  (1825)  

    The New Democrats believe that a national strategy for dementia is long overdue. In fact, one should already be in place, and would be, had the current sponsor of this bill, the member for Niagara Falls, and his party not voted down a similar yet more comprehensive NDP bill that was tabled in the previous Parliament.
    Dementia disease is a progressive degenerative disorder that attacks nerve cells in the brain, resulting in loss of memory, thinking, language skills, and behavioural changes. The disease forms lesions in the brain cells of patients, causing nerve connections to sever and nerve cells to die.
     Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term used to describe a group of systems, such as loss of memory, language, motor skills, and other brain functions. Alzheimer's is not part of the normal process of aging, and currently has no cure.
    The New Democrats ardently support the need for national leadership to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy across Canada to address Alzheimer's and other dementias. Our caucus unanimously supported former NDP MP Claude Gravelle's bill in May 2015 to create a national dementia strategy. Further, in election 2015, the NDP committed $40 million toward the implementation of a national Alzheimer's and dementia strategy.
     Our party recognizes the crisis facing Canadian health care as our country's population ages, including the growing prevalence of dementia among the elderly. We believe immediate action must be taken to tackle these serious challenges on a comprehensive basis. Accordingly the New Democrats are concerned by the decision of the Liberal government to abandon its home care promise in budget 2016. By abandoning the necessary investments now, the Liberal government will only further exacerbate the costs and suffering down the line .
    A national strategy for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia must include mechanisms to ensure that staff have the necessary knowledge about the disease and the skills to deal with it. This means that people have to share information. The purpose of a national strategy is to share that information. People should not be working in isolation.
     We have to find a way to ensure that everything we learn, everything that might be useful, such as best practices, is communicated to people struggling with the same problems. It is essential for people to have ways to talk to each other. The goal is not to step in for the provinces, but to ensure that communication channels remain open and people work together. Real collaboration needs to happen so people can share best practices. We have to ensure that nursing staff, doctors and other professionals, such as police and emergency responders, know and understand how to deal with dementia. They need to have the right skills and knowledge to work with people with dementia and provide them with quality care that is appropriate for their situation.
    They are often forgotten, but the volunteers who work in this field need to be able to understand the reality of a person living with dementia. It is not always an easy thing to do. There are certain situations that are very difficult to go through on a daily basis, and it is hard to know how to intervene. The volunteers who work at these centres must have access to the knowledge and skills they need to properly understand the reality of the field they have chosen to work in.
     As far as research is concerned, we have extraordinary Canadian researchers. However, we could also form international partnerships to further our knowledge. In my opinion, the quality of daily life for people with dementia is an essential area of research. Lately, a lot of research has been done on daily life, and we have learned how significant and deeply impactful this research can be.
     In many places there has been a shift from a very medically-based approach to one focusing on the daily experience of dementia sufferers. The goal is for the transfer to long-term care to go as smoothly as possible. For that to happen, the person with dementia needs to be able to create reference points.

  (1830)  

    A lot of advances have been made because of these various approaches that focus on quality of life and ways of providing care and intervention. Not only is this helping those living with dementia to live much more happily, it is enabling families to be an integral part of the care process.
    There is a lot to do. With the challenges this will present in the coming years, it is essential to share information in order for us to adopt an effective national strategy for dementia. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, as we heard earlier tonight, the disease and other dementias now directly affect 747,000 Canadian patients, and this number is expected to double to 1.4 million by 2031. Current dementia-related costs, both medical and indirect lost earnings, of $33 billion per year are expected to soar to $293 billion by 2040.
    Sadly, the burden of caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's falls primarily on family members. In Canada, family caregivers spend 444 million unpaid hours per year caring for dementia patients, representing $11 billion in lost income and 227,760 lost full-time equivalent employees in the workforce. Providing millions of hours of unpaid caregiving has forced people to cut back or leave work altogether, which harms them and our economy. I want to talk about that this afternoon.
     I learned from the Canadian Medical Association that 15% of scarce acute care beds are occupied by people who could be placed elsewhere, and half of them are dementia patients. Beyond those statistics, I have learned the real face of the problem. The real face of dementia is not just older people. I learned that 15% of dementia patients are under 60 years of age. I learned that we have a health care crisis and a social and economic crisis that we must address.
    This is therefore an issue that cries out for leadership from Ottawa, working with the provinces and territories, which of course, have primary jurisdiction duties for health care delivery. I want the leadership from Ottawa to tackle five main elements: early diagnosis and prevention; research; a continuum of care for people and families in the home, the community, and institutions; real help for caregivers; and training for the dementia workforce.
    Alzheimer's disease puts enormous emotional stress on millions of families in Canada and costs our health care system billions of dollars every year. Delaying the onset of Alzheimer's by two years could save our health care system $219 billion over a 30-year period. A national strategy for dementia may be able to make an astounding difference in advancing research to work toward achieving this goal, which would diminish this enormous economic hardship and subsequently, and most importantly, improve the lives of those affected Canadians.
    The challenge caregivers face needs to be discussed. Over the years, I have known people who have been forced to take a leave of absence without pay to take care of a loved one suffering from dementia, sometimes for several years. In such situations, money gets tighter as families try to keep their loved ones in their homes for as long as possible. They often have to draw on savings that were meant for their own later years.
    Canada needs a national strategy for dementia that comes from Ottawa but one that respects provincial and territorial jurisdiction over health. One strategy tailored to the needs of each province or territory would be far better than 13 separate strategies implemented in isolation. We want a national strategy that goes beyond research to also help those now living with the disease, their caregivers, and the dementia workforce.

  (1835)  

    Resuming debate.
    Accordingly, I invite the hon. member for Niagara Falls for his right of reply. The hon. member has up to five minutes.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all members of the House who have contributed to this debate. I appreciate, in particular, my colleague from Don Valley West for supporting and seconding this piece of legislation. He has a great career, among other things, as a United Church minister. As a pastor, he was constantly challenged by the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer's and dementia.
    One of the stories that he passed on to me was about one particular woman, Mae MacMillan, who was a vibrant, intelligent, committed, and compassionate woman. She was trained as a nurse and was ahead of her time in promoting women's rights. She loved strong and powerful women and she was one herself. However, dementia slowly crept up on Mae.
    At first, she thought it was just part of the normal aging process, which I have heard before. She was slightly forgetful and misplacing objects, but as she moved on in age, she moved from being the object of affection to being the object of attention. Family, friends, and professional caregivers helped her to live with some independence for as long as possible. Sadly, this is a case of where the mind cannot remember, the heart never forgets. So many of us can relate to that sentiment.
    When I introduced the bill, I told of my own family experience with this and one thing that has moved me over the last couple of months since introducing the bill is all the stories and experiences that people have shared with me. The members for Steveston—Richmond East and South Surrey—White Rock shared their encounters with this terrible disease, and all of us were moved by it.
    In one sense, I was surprised, after introducing the bill, that so many people either contacted my office or sent emails and letters. People stopped me on the street, even when I was not in my hometown, to tell me about their experiences with these diseases.
    The bill before us was very carefully drafted. When I showed it to my colleague, we were very concerned about ensuring that there was no restriction on provincial autonomy and that it was not framed in a way that would require a royal recommendation, which, as we know, would stop the legislation.
    Again, I am pleased that so many colleagues have moved forward on this. I believe this is the right thing to do. I believe that we can make progress on these things. In all of our lives, we have seen the terrible consequences of diseases. There are cases where we know that changes can be made. I always remember, as a small child, what a terror polio was in this country. Then I remember hearing the news—I do not think I was any more than five—that a cure had been found for it. Every child in Niagara Falls went to the arena to get the vaccine.
    I can appreciate that some diseases are very complex and it is not just a question of coming up with a special potion, but as my colleagues have said, there are so many different parts of this in terms of care, diagnosis, support, and working together. I firmly believe that supporting the legislation is the right thing to do, and again, I am deeply appreciative of all those who have indicated that they support it.

  (1840)  

     The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Deputy Speaker: Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Health.

    (Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)


ADJOURNMENT PROCEEDINGS

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

[English]

Agriculture and Agri-Food  

    Mr. Speaker, near the end of March, I asked the government to explain its broken campaign promises to Canadian farmers.
    I appreciate the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's answer and understand that he is excited about the government's efforts to increase the accessibility of broadband Internet in rural regions, something that would be of great benefit to my riding of Essex. However, I remain concerned, because the issues I raised went unaddressed and this directly impacts the livelihoods of family farms in Essex and across Canada.
     I asked the minister why the budget slashed agricultural research funding, cut the new CFIA investments, and dropped any mention of the promise of a value-added investment fund. These issues are important to family farms.
     While the government's commitment to broadband Internet is appreciated, it falls far short of the support that farmers have asked for. Farmers in Essex and across Canada deserve better. New programs, like the value-added investment fund or increased investment in agricultural research, are the types of initiatives that would have been welcomed. These initiatives would increase the opportunities available in Canada's agriculture sector.
    Instead, the value-added fund was completely excluded, and overall investments were shortchanged by $130 million over two years. The government must do more to support family farms. How does the government expect our farmers, some of Canada's most valued small business owners, to be able to innovate and thrive in today's globalized marketplace when they cannot count on their federal government to follow through on simple commitments?
    One step that the government must take is to support Canadian farmers by implementing a PACA-like program here in Canada.
     Earlier this year, I tabled a motion calling on the government to take action to implement a payment protection system by the end of the year. Canadian produce farmers have already lost their preferential status in the U.S., and now face serious financial risk when trying to collect outstanding payment for their perishable products.
    The government's inaction is hurting the ability of family farms to trade with our largest trading partner. These families deserve action. This was also a promise that was made during the election to farmers, and many of the members opposite shared this information throughout the campaign. It is something the government needs to follow through on.
    Canadian farmers also deserve more information on another issue that may seriously impact their livelihoods. The previous Conservative government promised $4.3 billion in compensation to egg, poultry, and dairy farmers for losses that will be inflicted by CETA and potentially the TPP. Now, the Liberals refuse to guarantee this compensation and made no mention of it in their March budget. How does the government expect Canadian farmers to prepare for the future under this cloud of uncertainty?
    Last week more than 3,000 dairy farmers came to Parliament Hill to protest the government's inaction on diafiltered milk. The government promised a solution for dairy farmers, just like they promised a solution for produce farmers. However, in both cases, time ticks on while the solutions are staring us in the face.
     Meanwhile, farmers are losing money, and they are fed up. When it comes to compensating farmers for CETA, implementing a PACA-Iike system, and stopping the import of diafiltered milk, when will the minister finally start delivering the change his government promised?

  (1845)  

    Mr. Speaker, on March 24, the member raised a question regarding agriculture in our budget as well as issues associated with CETA.
    Our government strongly recognizes the contribution Canadian farmers and food processors make to the well-being of Canadians and to the economy. They are the foundation of Canada's agricultural sector, which delivers over $100 billion to Canada's economy, or close to 7% of the country's GDP, and one in eight jobs.
    We are proud that budget 2016 includes investments in innovation and science infrastructure that will help farmers to create jobs and growth.
     Our budget includes $30 million over six years to support agricultural research in genomics to help deal with on-farm risks of pests and diseases. Over $40 million, or $41.5 million to be exact, will support the modernization of a number of research centres across Canada.
    Budget 2016 also reiterates our government's commitment to increasing trade, which creates more jobs, growth, and prosperity for all Canadians.
     The budget states Canada's commitment to swiftly ratify the Canada-EU comprehensive economic and trade agreement, CETA, and to continue to consult Canadians in an open and transparent manner on the trans-Pacific partnership. We are working with industry to ensure it continues to thrive and benefit from these agreements.
    As we committed to in early May, our government has held many consultations with the Canadian dairy sector over the last few weeks to discuss mitigation and transition measures for CETA, among other important issues facing the dairy industry. We have announced that we will be moving forward with a plan to help this important Canadian industry adjust to market access concessions, and we will be using the very productive and co-operative consultations over the past month to inform our decisions on this matter.
    The member raised questions as well about investments in agriculture in budget 2016. Therefore, I would like to point out some other budget highlights for the agriculture sector, which include over $1 billion to support clean technologies, including in the agriculture sector; a $500 million investment to extend high speed Internet to hundreds of rural and remote communities across Canada, again touching on farmers; and a $38.5 million investment in the CFIA to further strengthen Canada's food safety system.
    These important investments follow years of Conservative cuts to Agriculture Canada, which totalled $700 million.
    Our government has underscored its commitment to farmers, to food processors, and indeed to the entire agricultural sector through the investments announced in budget 2016. We are committed to working together with our agricultural stakeholders from coast to coast to coast, making Canadian agricultural safer, stronger, and more innovative.

  (1850)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the work of the parliamentary secretary and his effort on this file. However, strongly recognizing farmers is not enough. This is not enough for our agricultural sector.
    At the trade committee, supply-managed farmer after farmer sat before us. They were left wondering where they stood on the promised compensation. Saying that they are moving forward is a positive step, but until we see that compensation, we know these farmers will lose big. This is why we see farmers protest out on the street, like we did last week.
     The time for consultations is well past. The Liberals know what is needed. The farmers know what is needed. The government knows what is needed. When it comes to the issue of diafiltered milk, there is a simple solution, and it is time for action. It is past the time for discussion.
    Unfortunately, the government did not support the opposition motion that we brought forward on this issue. Therefore, we see farmers once again coming to Parliament Hill in a huge demonstration. They need action now because they are losing money on a daily basis.
    This threatens the very health of our family farms and the ability for them to move forward, generation after generation, supplying us all with safe, quality food in Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, investments through budget 2016 will support the agricultural sector in a way that allows it to be a leader in job creation and innovation. These investments reflect what matters for Canada's hard-working farmers and food processors, and keeping Canadian agriculture on the cutting edge.
    We are working together with our dairy industry to address issues such as the appropriate mitigation package to help the industry adjust to market access concessions for CETA. We have also committed to meeting with our supply-managed industries if and when we choose to ratify the TPP, a decision that this government has not taken yet and in which we are still consulting.
    Our government is seizing opportunities to make Canada's agriculture and agrifood sector safer, stronger, and more innovative.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship  

    Mr. Speaker, I rose in the House in April to draw attention to government-sponsored Syrian refugees in Saskatoon. We learned that the government-sponsored refugees had not received their monthly funding for April. In fact, many families received their monthly assistance nearly three weeks late.
     In the Lower Mainland, there have been situations where the IRCC officials have not even shown up for their appointments with the Syrian refugees. This has put significant strain on the refugee families and the community organizations working with them.
    At least one family was close to eviction until the Saskatoon Open Door Society stepped in to buy more time. Were it not for the dedicated and hard-working folks at the Saskatoon Open Door Society, these families would have been evicted. When I questioned the minister about this, or when I brought to his attention the issue that many Syrian refugees are stuck in hotels for weeks on end, he referred to these situations as “hiccups”. It is not a hiccup for the families impacted.
    We should put ourselves in their shoes for just a minute. They almost lost their homes, homes that were difficult to find and secure because of the lack of affordable housing in the market. They did not have the resources to buy food for their children. Families were frustrated, worried, and embarrassed as they were made to feel like they had to beg for funding.
    I would like to know this. How long is the overall average wait for the late funding? How frequently is this happening? How many families have received their assistance late? What assurances can the minister give to ensure that this does not happen to any other family?
    I had the privilege of meeting Amer Alhendawi and his family in B.C. Just last week, he was able to appear at the citizenship and immigration committee to share his story. He and his family came to Canada as refugees from Syria. His family arrived prior to the Liberal government's waiving of refugee travel loans.
     The family arrived, and there were no winter coats given to them from the Prime Minister in front of the media. Do not get me wrong. They were very grateful to be in Canada. However, unlike the government-assisted Syrian refugees who arrived after November 4, the family is starting out indebted. The Alhendawi family owes the federal government over $7,000 for their transportation loan. Each month, the family receives a hefty bill of over $600 from the government demanding payment. Despite the family's best efforts, the loan is already in arrears. After the monthly loan repayment and the high cost of housing, this family of seven has merely $200 to live on. They have to resort to the food bank on a regular basis.
    Waiving the transportation loan for only some Syrian refugees is bad public policy. It makes a clear statement that in Canada, there are different classes of refugees. How is this acceptable? The Prime Minister called the former Conservative government out by saying that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian. I wholeheartedly agree, yet under this Prime Minister's policies, we now have different classes of refugees. Such policies are saying that some refugees deserve support more than others. How is that better than the previous government's unjust policies of creating different classes of Canadians?
    When this unjust policy is questioned, the minister is on the record as saying that he is reviewing the issue. It has been months since this inequitable policy has been in place and pointed out to him, but still there is no action. Just what will it take for the government to act, and when will the government act to ensure that all refugees are treated the same way and offered the same opportunities to succeed?

  (1855)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, the member for Vancouver East, for her work on this issue, for her advocacy on behalf of her constituents, and for her advocacy in terms of immigration policy; specifically, making Canada a more welcoming and better place for resettlement of refugees, not just the Syrian refugees.
    In terms of responding directly to some of the comments the member opposite has raised, such as the issue about wait times, about getting money delivered to individuals who are here, I cannot provide her details on specific cases. However, what I can endeavour to do is work with her going forward to find out about average wait times, in terms of delivering those much-needed income supports. The income supports are very critical, and any delays in receiving those income supports do not serve the individuals, they do not serve the government's policies and programs, and they do not serve in terms of propagating or perpetuating Canadian values.
    She raised the case of an individual who appeared before the committee. I would raise a few points in response to my friend's comments.
    There is, obviously, a difference between the policies that were enacted by this government versus the ones of the previous government. The individual in question arrived here during the time the previous government was in power. Obviously, it had different policies, policies that we do not believe in and have not chosen to replicate.
    Yes, travel was not covered at the time the previous government was in power. Also, clothing was not provided at ports of entry, such as the Pearson airport or the airport in Montreal. Those are changes, and they are good changes.
    There is a reference, my friend acknowledged, to looking at some of the policies going forward. Are we keen on revisiting the travel loan program, potentially ways to make it more fair and more equitable? Absolutely we are. What we are looking at are things such waiving the interest requirements, loan forgiveness, or loan renegotiation.
    This issue about differentiating between refugees from different parts of the world is a difficult subject. I am always candid with the opposition critic, and I will be candid here. Difficult decisions are being made by government, in terms of immigration policy and in terms of many policies, but the decision was informed by the single fact the Syrian crisis is the single largest humanitarian crisis on the planet right now. We have heard this before but it bears repeating. It has resulted in the largest number of displaced people, both internally and externally, in the world, and those levels have not been seen since World War II. That is specifically why we made a decision about this refugee population.
    Can more be done? Absolutely, more can be done.
    Are we willing to entertain some of the issues being raised by the member for Vancouver East? Of course, we are. We are an open and consultative government.
    However, we also know and are buoyed by the fact that the steps we are taking are being recognized not just here in this country, but also around the world.
    Yes, there have been challenges, and we have acknowledged those changes. However, there have also been significant success stories, not only in terms of the settlement of Syrian refugees in this country but also in terms of the overall targets of 44,000 individuals coming in on humanitarian grounds just this year. That has been recognized by the UNHCR. It has been recognized by people in communities throughout this country, including in my own community, where we get school kids writing welcome cards for refugees and asking us to deliver them within our communities.
    Do we feel strongly that we are on the right path to sorting out Canada's commitment on the refugee file? Absolutely, we are confident about it.
    Can we use the opposition's help in perfecting this process? Absolutely, and I encourage that support going forward and I encourage that co-operation going forward.

  (1900)  

    Mr. Speaker, on the transportation loan question, there is nothing that would bar the government from retroactively waiving the transportation loan for those who arrived prior to November 4. Absolutely, the government can act on that, and it is much needed, by the way.
    The government has made ambitious promises around the commitment to address the Syrian refugee crisis. However, I must say that once they have arrived here in Canada, Syrian refugee families are struggling to survive and to rebuild their lives in Canada. The truth is that the income assistance rate is woefully inadequate. This is especially the case for those who arrived prior to the travel loans and medical costs being waived.
    Refugee families are turning to food banks on a regular basis to make ends meet.
    By the government's own admission the IRCC estimates that a family of four would receive roughly $1,349 per month in Vancouver. According to CMHC, the average rent for a two-bedroom “purpose-built rental” in Vancouver, in 2015, was $1,360 a month. That means, without covering food, utilities, or any other incidentals, the average Syrian refugee family is already in the red by $11.
    This is the case for all people on income assistance. There is no question that this needs to change.
    It is time for a national poverty reduction strategy.
     I am calling on the government, the minister, to convene a provincial and territorial discussion with his counterparts to develop an anti-poverty strategy.
    The time has come for Canada to eradicate poverty in this country.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Vancouver East for her comments. There have been significant success stories in terms of some of the resettlement efforts, albeit that there are some continuing challenges that we are seeking to meet. For example, at the time my hon. colleague asked her question, approximately 90% of Syrian newcomers had been permanently housed. That figure is now at 99% and it is 100% in the city from which my friend hails and the constituents she represents.
    However, in terms of addressing the income support, it is a very important issue that deals with challenging housing markets, such as in Toronto and Vancouver, and trying to see how much money is left over for addressing basic needs apart from housing.
    I wish to inform the House that the minister has recently increased the maximum level of support from $25,000 to $50,000 per resettled refugee family. That is an increase for all government-assisted refugee families, not only Syrian families, if a family composition and circumstances warrant it. Therefore, there is an effort being made to ensure that income support will continue to align with social assistance rates, so that the amount allocated per individual will not change.
     These are positive developments in terms of trying to address what is a dynamic process in terms of resettlement efforts, and trying to calibrate the funding necessary to ensure the success of this effort. Will it continue? I am confident that it will, but with the help of the opposition.

Justice 

    Mr. Speaker, on April 13, I asked the Minister of Justice a question related to the fact that, on the one hand, she has found a lot of time to attend pay-to-play fundraisers on behalf of the Liberal Party, but has not seen fit to find the time to fulfill a core responsibility as Minister of Justice; namely, to appoint desperately needed judges.
    The Minister of Justice has a duty not only to at all times be independent but to also at all times be seen to be independent. The Minister of Justice compromised the perception of her independence by attending a fundraiser at a law firm with extensive dealings with the federal government on legal matters which were targeted to a select group of lawyers and lobbyists, and which was advertised as an opportunity for attendees to engage with the minister on matters that pertain directly to the minister's responsibilities. Pay-to-play is what the fundraiser was all about. One pays money to the Liberal Party in return for access to the Minister of Justice.
    It even gets worse because a senior partner at the law firm that hosted the pay-to-play fundraiser, namely Torys LLP, happens to be a registered lobbyist who until the eve of the fundraiser was registered to lobby, guess who, the Minister of Justice.
    The Minister of Justice not only compromised the perception of her independence in attending the pay-to-play fundraiser but also violated the Prime Minister's ethics code by which the minister and all ministers of the government are bound.
    While the Minister of Justice found plenty of time to attend a pay-to-play fundraiser and found plenty of time to compromise her independence as the Minister of Justice, after seven months in office the Minister of Justice has not seen fit and has not found the time to appoint a single judge. There are some 46 to 50 judicial vacancies and the minister has not found the time to appoint a single judge.
    The minister is creating a crisis because of her own inaction. Serious criminal cases are being thrown out of court because of delays due to the backlog that this minister has created.
    To recap my question of April 13, when will the Minister of Justice stop attending pay-to-play fundraisers, return the pay-to-play cash, and begin appointing desperately needed judges?

  (1905)  

    Mr. Speaker, like everyone else, I was there when the member asked the question to the Minister of Justice. I must say I was somewhat disappointed that the Conservative Party, through this particular member, has decided to try to create something that is just not there. At the end of the day, there was nothing that took place with that particular event that was inappropriate or improper. All one has to do is consult the Conflict of Interest Act or go to the commissioner. The commissioner has told us that the minister was quite right to be there. There was nothing wrong.
    It is important to recognize that in November, as part of the Prime Minister's commitment to accountability and transparency, he issued “Open and Accountable Government”, a guide for the conduct of his ministry. It includes core principles regarding the roles and responsibilities of ministers in Canada's system of responsible parliamentary government. As well, it includes expectations for personal conduct of office-holders, which includes compliance with statutory obligations under the Conflict of Interest Act and the Lobbying Act, with the ethical guidelines set out in annex A of the guide and with the guidelines on fundraising set out in annex B.
    This was a prime ministerial initiative, very transparent, and accountable. It reminds me of when we were sitting as the third party and our leader, who is the Prime Minister today, took the bold initiative to talk about proactive disclosure for all members of the House. We tried to get it passed through unanimous consent, and both the Conservatives and the New Democrats opposed it.
    That was just a couple of years ago. Not wanting to settle for that, we ultimately took that step alone. We are the ones who made the proactive disclosure. In fairness to the Conservatives, it took them a couple of months before they finally came on side. Then, a number of months later, we had the New Democrats come on side. However, let there be no doubt, in terms of transparency and accountability, the leader of the Liberal Party, even back then, started to set the stage. What we saw in November is a very proactive approach on transparency and accountability.
    We take conflict of interest and ethics issues seriously. The ministers' individual and collective responsibilities are an essential principle guiding the role of cabinet government in Canada, and it is at the core of the standard for ministerial behaviour.
    To the issue of judges, we recognize the importance of making appointments to the judiciary across the country and doing that is based on merit and diversity. We are entering into a comprehensive process to do just that. We recognize that there are a number of positions that need to be filled in the very immediate future. We are undertaking a quick process to do just that. We are committed to ensuring that we will make substantive and thoughtful appointments to the judiciary. Our government will ensure and is committed to engaging with the different stakeholders, including the judiciary, on these appointments.

  (1910)  

    Mr. Speaker, in response to the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader, the issue is not whether the Minister of Justice contravened the Conflict of Interest Act. No one is suggesting that. The fact is, the Minister of Justice is bound by a higher standard than the Conflict of Interest Act. The fact that the minister is obeying the law, not breaking it, should be a given for a minister of justice.
    The issue is the fact that the minister has contravened, in black and white terms, the Prime Minister's own ethics code. The Prime Minister's ethics code in black and white terms expressly states that a minister shall not solicit funds from department stakeholders or lobbyists. The minister clearly did that when she attended the pay-to-play fundraiser at Torys LLP, and therefore, compromised her independence and breached the Prime Minister's ethics code.
    With respect to judges, with all due respect to the parliamentary secretary, I found it alarming, but also telling, that he would say that the minister has just started a process. It is seven months in. It is time for the Minister of Justice to stop talking and start appointing.
    Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by the member in the sense that he has indicated that there was no violation of the conflict of interest law. The only thing that would be nice to hear from the member is his recognition of the fact that the Ethics Commissioner has already told Canadians and the minister that there was nothing wrong in regard to this particular event.
    In the last quarter of last year over 55,000 Canadians chose to donate to the Liberal Party of Canada. All political parties take part in proactive fundraising.
    I always look at the glass being half full. I appreciate the member's admission that the Minister of Justice did nothing wrong. I understand and appreciate that he is making reference to the Prime Minister's manual. I can assure the member that the Minister of Justice is in complete compliance with that too.
    The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 7:14 p.m.)
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